Monday, September 30, 2013

Monthly Round-Up #2: September

This has been a really hectic month, with school starting up again! I didn't read quite as much as I wanted to. 

Reviews:

Spotlights:

Other:

Amongst other things, it was my birthday this month! I was 13 on the 4th :) thanks to everyone for the lovely birthday wishes.

I've been sent and read some awesome books for review, so expect some cool reviews coming up soon. I've also got a new feature coming soon too.

Before I forget, I go to camp from the 11th-13th of October, so I've got 2 posts scheduled but I won't be around, so don't worry when I'm silent!

Also, Amber for TMLB made me a beautiful new rating system, so that will be on my reviews soon! :)

That's all for this month, bye for now! 

 Charli x

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review: Code Name Verity

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two. We are a sensational team

Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont
Date of Publication: February 6th 2012
Pages: 447
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Amazon

Before reading this, I'd waited for it for a whole six months in the library before it turned up from somewhere on the other side of the city, so when I finally got it, I almost squealed in the middle of the library. But I didn't as it was a library.

I love historical fiction, even though I don't regularly read it, particularly WWII. I found every single page interesting from the start, and there was such an amazing balance of description, dialogue and action that I couldn't tear myself away till I had to. Another thing that made it grip me was the different medias in it, such as newspapers, forms etc, the underlining of words that made it seem like a real diary.

It was very obviously a war setting from the second page. Throughout the book there's a lot about propaganda, women's rights, culture... But Wein set the scene, and the war, so well that you knew exactly what was going on, and felt almost at home with it. There's also a lot about the funny side of the war, the taking the mick out of some of the political developments and having some light-hearted fun in the heavy tension of the war. A lot of it was slightly adult, ironic humour, but I understood and enjoyed it anyway.

The fact that Verity has been captured and is having to write about the war doesn't affect it. It appears like she's writing it at the time, and just running out of paper then and there. It shows the pressures of the war, the events and times, and I can imagine a lot of research went into the book.

I think the only negative thing about it, to me, was the length. But that's really just me; I have trouble getting through books over around 350 pages, especially in this category of writing. 

Verity as a character was a perfect protagonist to me. She was very transparent, but had hints of mystery and bitterness where needed, and showed her emotions so clearly it made me cry. I also loved Maddie! She was funny, accomplished and just all roundly lovely. I loved the fact that Wein had created her characters so perfectly.

A few quote loves...

"They have WASHED MY HAIR...... Now I stink of explosives, 
but I have not got nits."

"(You see- it was just like being in school)." 

I thought these two quotes had that ounce of irony and light-hearted humour that just made this book for me.

So overall, this was very almost perfect to me. I loved the transparency of it, and how beautifully written both the plot and the characters were.



Charli x

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Stuck For A Book #1

 

Stuck For A Book is a meme/feature hosted by Zoe. It is where we share our own, and other peoples', 5/5 reviews! 

Firstly, one of my own recent ones!

HIDDEN BY MARIANNE CURLEY

 I absolutely loved this! It's a gripping read with a powerful "mystery".... the cover of Hidden is absolutely gorgeous!... There were so many beautiful events and quotes in this book...

Synopsis:  For as long as Ebony can remember, she's been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It's as if she's being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can't be concealed. She's growing more beautiful by the day, she's freakishly strong, and then there's the fact that she's glowing. On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she's intensely drawn to him. It's as if something explodes inside of her--something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn't know that she's a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

Next, a book that has two reviews I'm featuring here today...

THE ELITES BY NATASHA NAGAN

Amber's review:  "Wow. The names of the characters in this book are beautiful!".... "This really is a fantastic roller coaster of a book. It blew my mind! The writing was beautifully breathtaking with a great range of characters that I truly cared for and I always felt a  real sense of danger due to what was happening."... "Once you've started reading this, you won't be able to stop. It's absolutely phenomenal, with a compelling plot and a Dystopian world disguised as a Utopian world that Ngan has expertly crafted."

Hawwa's review:  "The Elites is definitely not a novel to be missed: Compelling yet subtle, the book does not scream 'LOVE ME' but draws you in with its descriptive writing and lovable characters."... " I whizzed through it at the speed of lightning and only stopped for breath when i had to."

Synopsis:  'There is a rumour that the Elites don't bleed.'
Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilizations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures - and racial tension. 
Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She'd never dream of leaving - but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel's president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.
Packed full of adventure, romance, exoticism and the power of friendship, THE ELITES is a highly compelling and beautifully written novel from a supremely talented debut author.

ROSE UNDER FIRE BY ELIZABETH WEIN 
 
Hawwa's review:  "it literally just made you feel a hundred different emotions and was so gritty, and heartbreaking and overpowering and i just. i can't.
If you have the strength. then read this book. and if you don't then i don't blame you but Rose Under Fire was seriously scary and at times i just wanted to put this book down, but there was always this invisible thread dragging my eyes left and right. left and right. left and right. i just couldn't stop."
Synopsis:  Rose Justice is a young American ATA pilot, delivering planes and taxiing pilots for the RAF in the UK during the summer of 1944. A budding poet who feels most alive while flying, she discovers that not all battles are fought in the air. An unforgettable journey from innocence to experience from the author of the best-selling, multi-award-nominated Code Name Verity. From the exhilaration of being the youngest pilot in the British air transport auxiliary, to the aftermath of surviving the notorious Ravensbruck women's concentration camp, Rose's story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Code Name Verity is shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.

SEVERED HEARTS, BROKEN HEARTS BY ROBYN SCHNEIDER

Arianne's review: "Filled with wit and humour, Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider is a brilliant reinvention of everything we think we know about the young adult contemporary genre. One part frank, two parts funny, it's a stunning display of how to get a character-driven plot just right."... "
The romance between Cassidy and Ezra was what made this book for me. It had the spontaneity of teenage love as well as the slow-burn feel of a very powerful relationship; it was more than the sum of its parts. It was cute and physical and beautiful and enigmatic all at the same time... I expected a lot from this book and it didn't disappoint. Given its premise it could easily have become preachy, but the poetic artistry of the plot structure is pitch-perfect."

Synopsis: After witnessing his girlfriend in a “very friendly” position with a guy who is definitely not him, closely followed by a catastrophic car accident that shatters his leg along with his pro Tennis hopes, Ezra Faulkner returns to school for senior year, cast into social oblivion, a shadow of his former self. Ezra believes that everyone suffers a defining tragedy: it appears that his has just occurred.

But this new tragic self might have its own appeal, especially after he meets the clever, oddly sexy Cassidy Thorpe, a girl who launches him into a series of transformative adventures that help Ezra learn the truth about tragedy: unlike lightning, it can and will strike the same place twice.

I hope this post has given you some reading ideas! I'm definitely going to read the other three! :) 

  Charli x 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Author Spotlight: J.C Michael on Reading As a Teen...

I have the honour of welcoming J.C Michael to To Another World today!

 __________________


When Charli first offered me the opportunity to write a guest post for her blog (thanks Charli!) my first question was "what sort of thing do you suggest?" One idea was a post on what I used to read in my teens, and that got me thinking.
 
I don’t recall ever hearing the term Young Adult when I was a teen. There was no Harry Potter, no Twilight, and no Hunger Games. There were kids’ books of course, and children's literature, like the Narnia books, but once beyond that you were into fairly adult territory.
 
I'd always been a reader. I'd read Homers Odyssey, and The Iliad, at Primary School. I can remember my teacher rolling his eyes when I asked how to pronounce the Greek names, and the Latin scientific names of plants and animals in an old copy of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. By the time I was mid-way through Secondary School I was reading Stephen King, James Herbert, and a whole raft of other horror and thriller writers. These were the pre-Amazon, pre-Internet even, days, and I gathered up paperbacks like The Rats, and The Crabs, from car boot sales. A group of us used to read the gory bits together during dinner break at school, trying to find the most gruesome, and yes, I admit, the rudest, sections in these clearly "adult" books.
 
In some ways my own novel, Discoredia, ticks some Young Adult boxes. Many of the characters are relatively young, in their teens and early '20's, and it's set in the world of clubbing and raves. In essence though it is a very "adult" book with regards to theme, tone, and language. Yet I still think that there's a place for it amongst a younger readership, despite the explosion of the Young Adult genre. It's undeniably great that there are so many books aimed at the teen market, once we have all learnt to read it's vital that we continue to read to learn. However I fear that Young Adult doesn't appeal to everyone, teenage boys in particular, and it's a shame to see anyone lost to the simple pleasures of reading for fun.
 
With that in mind adult literature, like mine, can still have a part to play when it comes to younger readers. I concede that the swearing and gore isn't perhaps the best thing for youngsters to be reading, but they're going to get that from rap music, or movies, or video games, not to mention TV. You can't deny that the soaps cover some blatantly adult topics. Surely there's some value in just reading an actual novel, whatever the content, as the very act of reading has a value. It always seems sad to me when people say they've never read a book unless forced to at school, so if my novel prevents just a single person from ending up like that then, to me, that's a success.
 
Discoredia will be released this September by Books of The Dead Press. For more information on both J.C.Michael and Discoredia please visit  http://www.discoredia.weebly.co.uk .
 

Thank you, J.C Michael! You're awesome. 

Charli x 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Along For The Ride

Ever since her parents began fighting, Auden has been unable to sleep at night. Now, spending a summer at a charming beach town with her father and his new family, she has to find new places to pass the time she spends awake. And so she meets Eli, a fellow insomniac who becomes her nighttime guide. Together, they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she has missed; for Eli, to come to terms with the death of a friend.

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Puffin (UK)
Date of Publication: January 1st 2010 (UK)
Pages: 424
Series: Standalone
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Amazon

This book is a cute coming-of-age story filled with plenty of sweet, and dramatic, moments! The start is cool and in the first few chapters, nothing much happens, but it still interested me. But the thing was, it wasn't a bad book at all, it just felt a bit purposeless, and it felt like I'd read too many stories like it. I think that was just because I've read a few books like it recently.

The book's characters formation and development was amazing, and though the characters weren't described in massive detail, I could completely form them in my head because of the reality of the book and the backgrounds given to the characters.

Dessen used lots of contrast, detail and description, which don't always seem right in modern, coming-of-age stories, but it did in this. It didn't appear old-fashioned, but beautiful and insightful. Naturally, the characters were all very regular teens, so there were issues, contradiction etc.

Another thing was the relationship strengths and developments between various family and friends to Auden. We could see every break and form, and the emotions and thoughts, even of other characters, were transparent. I loved the fact that I could emphasise, even though it was in a first person point of view.

In this book, there were quite a few amazing quotes. Firstly, this short sentence at the end of one paragraph, "And just like that, my summer changed.". Also, this one from Auden's mother, who had a very strong character, "'...maybe he's changed.' [Auden] 'People don't change. If anything, you get more set in your ways as you get older, not less.'". 

Lastly, I chose this one which shows the issues between Heidi, Auden's dad and their baby, Thisbe (yep, Thisbe.)... "'Heidi loves you.'  [Auden] 'And I her,' he said. 'But sometimes, love isn't enough.'".

Overall, this is a cute story, but it dragged a teeny bit at points and was slightly similar to other books.



Charli x

Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Out of Sight Out of Mind

Thirteen year old Queen-of-mean Amanda Beeson, wakes up one morning in the wrong body. She's become lonely, unfashionable Tracey Devon - one of Amanda's targets for bullying. Amanda discovers that Tracey, ignored at home and at school, has the ability to turn invisible. Amanda sets out to rescue her one-time victim from obscurity - as well as rescuing herself from Tracey's life.

Author: Marilyn Kaye
Publisher: Kingfisher (imprint of Macmillan)
Date of Publication: February 2nd 2009
Pages: 222
Series: Gifted #1
Source: Borrowed
Amazon | Goodreads  

This book was an interesting one. It was short, but filled. The start appeared really random, a description about lunch breaks at the school. The prologue was intriguing, and the third person point of view swaps that weren't in a structured form and weren't so obvious were also quite intriguing.

About half the notes I wrote for this book said "mystery", "intrigue" or both! Amanda was a very typical popular girl, making fun of those around her, especially Tracey,The fact that Amanda was a gifted one and basically turned herself into Tracey, before seeing what happened in peoples' lives, was amazing. Some parts of this book were slightly confusing, but it didn't particularly matter.

You all know that I'm pretty big on character formation, right? Well, this book was both good and bad for this. Some of the characters were formed really well, but some of the main characters could have been more explained. However, the way some of the secondary characters were given full backgrounds and we knew what they were like helped me to understand them, and the story, better.

As characters, Jenna was more interesting than Amanda, so I kind of wish there were more of her thoughts and emotions in it. But because of the situation in the book, it wouldn't have fit the book, so that didn't matter.

Another thing was how the book showed stereotypes in a fantasy setting. I normally hate stereotypes, but this book was focused on them in a different way; it showed how clique-like girls think, and if they all saw what those who they bully go through, perhaps they would stop. I'd personally love to have some of the girls in my form, and from my old school, go through that.

I noted down a few quotes for this book, but they were all a bit long, and didn't show what this book was all about like this one: "Eight daughters! What was the matter with these people? Didn't they care about Tracey at all? Had they forgotten her?". I thought this quote showed exactly how Amanda came to think about Tracey's situation more, and it reflected what happened at the end of the book, when Amanda paid some attention to her positively instead of bullying, like the other girls in her clique.

So, overall, this wasn't the absolute best book in the world, but it wasn't horrendous.




Charli x

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review: Hidden

For as long as Ebony can remember, she's been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It's as if she's being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can't be concealed. She's growing more beautiful by the day, she's freakishly strong, and then there's the fact that she's glowing. On one fateful night, Ebony meets Jordan and she's intensely drawn to him. It's as if something explodes inside of her--something that can be seen from the heavens. Ebony still doesn't know that she's a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back.

Author: Marianne Curley
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date of Publication: March 14th, 2013
Series: Hidden #1 
Pages: 325
Source: For review
Goodreads | Amazon 

I received a copy for free from Bloomsbury in change for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way. 

 I absolutely loved this! It's a gripping read with a powerful "mystery". I loved this from the first sentence; I wanted to know more about the characters and what was going to happen. By page 4, I was wondering if she was really a normal teen. By 6 chapters in, I couldn't leave it alone.

I don't normally talk about covers in reviews, but the cover of Hidden is absolutely gorgeous! I'm not shamed to say I probably wouldn't have requested if it hadn't had such a beautiful cover! 

I liked the fact that the chapters were split point of view's between Ebony and Jordan, so we saw the whole story before the two characters became linked. Another amazing thing was the balance between there being something wrong and them being normal teens, as opposed to what else they were. Even when she found out, she was still a normal teen. I loved the author's writing style.

Towards the end, a few details became slightly hazy and I didn't understand quite what was going on, but it didn't affect the book from being amazing, or the ending. The killer last sentence hit me, too!

One of the main things about this book were the characters. Jordan was a classic boy; sarcastic and ironic. One of the quotes from the boys, "Dude, I react to any pretty girl...". And I had to chuckle at "Did I say how messed up this world is?" from him. Ebony is very serious and curious. All of the characters, main, secondary and even those that only appear once or twice, were extremely well-formed and I could imagine them exactly.

There were so many beautiful events and quotes in this book, but I had to pick a few out! One beautifully mysterious last sentence at the end of a chapter: "Actually, Amber, I have to find out what I am...". Another was "His voice grows serious. 'You have the choice of making this easy or hard.' 'I'll live my life the way I want.' " . There were so many hard hitting quotes like this in the book, which had me gripped at every sentence.

Overall, this was an intriguing read, full of mystery and killing sentences.




Charli x

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blogger Spotlight #2: Cat from Through A Cat's Eyes: Most Read Books!

So happy to welcome back the lovely Cat to To Another World today! 

Most Read Books!
 
I'm an avid reader but, oddly, I'm even more of an avid re-reader. When I find a book I absolutely love I'll read it again, and again, and again until I grow out of it or lose interest. I have over 200 books but I still choose to re-read more and more books instead of trying one of the many unread books on my shelf. It's becoming a bit of a problem... Before I try to tackle my problem I thought I would share the love and show you some of my favourite and most-read books. ^_^

Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie

Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren's life seems like a sham. How can she find her biological parents? And are her adoptive parents really responsible for kidnapping her? She manages to wangle a trip across the Atlantic where she runs away to try and find the truth. But the circumstances of her disappearance are murky and Lauren's kidnappers are still at large and willing to do anything to keep her silent…
Read count: 8
This is, by far, my most read book.  I haven't picked it up for a few years but I used to absolutely adore it. My copy is looking ridiculous....:P I actually did an essay and solo talk on this book 3 years ago!



The Banana Kid by Valerie Mason-John

So begins Pauline's spirited and moving story of her childhood and teenage years in and out of foster homes and detention units in England. Both realistic and magical, "The Banana Kid" is a celebration of a child's will to survive. It is the first novel by Valerie Mason-John, who lives in London, England.
Read count: 3
This book is so under-rated! I don't actually know anyone who has read this book and most people haven't even heard of it which is a shame because it is such a profound and beautiful book. I first read it about 4 years ago and still love it now. This one really isn't suitable for young readers though so be careful and maybe wait a couple of years. It deals with incredibly mature and upsetting issues so it's best to wait until you're 15/16 before you read it. 



Looking For Alaska by John Green

Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same.
Read count: 4
I talk about this book non-stop so I won't say too much here. :P This was the first John Green book I read 3 years ago and it sparked off my JG love, making me read all of his other books only weeks after. It's written so beautifully and I just love it so much. :') LFA isn't actually my favourite book of his - Paper Towns is - but it is my most read. 


The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Read count: 4
The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han are my all-time favourite books for summer. They're so fluffy and fun! ^_^ The first - The Summer I Turned Pretty - is my personal favourite from the three and is my most-read one as it's been out for the longest. I read it every summer without fail and I intend to keep this tradition going!



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the colour yellow. This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighbourhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
Read count: 3
This is another under-appreciated book and I have no idea why as it is honestly one of the most moving books I've ever read. I first read it about 5 years ago and have picked it up twice since then. I cry every time I read it and laugh even more each time. It's beautiful and thought provoking and I just adore it. :')





Thank you so much to Charli for letting me guest post on her lovely blog! I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you want to see more of my posts I'd love it if you popped over to my blog. :3 You don't have to but there are free unicorns over there so...y'know... ;D

Lots of love, Cat
xxx

Monday, September 09, 2013

Mini-Review: Shug

Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there's nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there's not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore -- especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today?

Author: Jenny Han
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 247
Date of Publication: August 6th 2006
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon

I bought this book in a second-hand shop, having loved Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty series. I was disappointed with this one, for quite a few reasons!

The basic start didn't stop me, as I expected it: it's written from a 12 year old's perspective and most 12 year olds aren't like me (weren't, it having been my birthday a few days ago)! I expected basic language and typical "tweeness". But when the idea and determinism of "love" by the second page made me feel suffocated, almost, by the fact that it was only the first chapter, and this girl was twelve!

I let that slide, due to the fact that, as I said before, this book is from a 12 year old's perspective. Some girls are like that! What really then annoyed me if how self-conscious and almost vain this girl was; she looked at everyone's looks like you had to be pretty at twelve, and she was always on about looks! The book contained too many stereotypes, too.

I think if, as a character, Shug was older, I wouldn't have been as deterred. The fact that she was "in-love" at the age of twelve, and so funny about looks, made me quite uncomfortable. At 12, me and my friends are/were only starting to wear make-up, if any, and notice boys! We certainly weren't anything like that. Shug was also dealing with various issues at home, one of the slightly positive things, which made me think. I had lots of issues like this last year, but not the same. Shug was dealing with LGBT, divorce/arguments and alcoholics! The perspective of her, as a 12 year old, was quite strange.

I liked Elaine as a character. She was upfront, nice and liked to be different! I kind of wish we had a least one chapter from her, to see her perspective on the self-consciousness and almost obsession of her friend.

I was really sorry to have disliked this book. There were a few good bits, but they just didn't overlap the foolish love and fact that Shug was just too young a character.



Charli x

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Review: Runners PLUS Author Spotlight: Sharon Sant

Elijah is nothing special. He’s just a skinny kid doing his best to stay one step ahead of starvation and the people who would have him locked away in a labour camp – just another Runner. But what he stumbles upon in a forest in Hampshire shows him that the harsh world he knows will become an even more sinister place, unless he can stop it. As past and present and parallel dimensions collide, freedom becomes the last thing on his mind as he is suddenly faced with a battle to save his world from extinction. But before Elijah can find the courage to be the hero the world needs, he must banish his own demons and learn to trust his friends. And all the while, the sinister figure of Maxwell Braithwaite looms, his path inextricably bound to Elijah’s by a long dead physicist, and hell bent on stopping Elijah, whatever the cost.

Author: Sharon Sant
Publisher: Immanion Press
Pages: 283
Date of Publication: 8th June 2013
Series: The book is standalone, though Sant is writing accompanying stories.
Source: For review.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way. 

This review is quite hard to write, because I had such mixed feelings about it. In many ways, it was phenomenal. In others, I felt like I couldn't completely interact with it. The book wasn't boring by any stretch, but it was quite hard to get back into after taking a break from it.

I didn't feel like I was in the book, I felt like I was watching the scene, because the world isn't completely developed. The first paragraph is gripping, the characters are formed flawlessly- with enough description, but not too heavy- and the emotional development is great. I liked the fact that the action was well developed and not rushed, though one bit of it felt too early in the book.

The "point" of the book, the fact that there were all these problems with the world, and some people didn't know that there were people on the run from it all, intrigued me. Shortages, climate, bankruptcy poverty, disease, amongst others;  it basically felt like what our own country will fall into if we don't pull it together!

Elijah, the main protagonist, was quite a mysterious character. He was very pessimistic at times, and got angry at times, becoming physical; but knowing when to stop. Xavier, on the other hand, was almost completely opposite; he seemed to like organsation, he knew when to back off. He had a tough family, but cared very deeply for Rosa. My favourite character was definitely Sky! She was headstrong, but a typical girl in many other ways.

There were so many descriptive bits in this book it was hard to pick out some certain ones, but some of them did stick out, like these:

"Back at the derelict house, now miles behind them, the storm had loosened and washed away layers of soil in the field just beyond the boundaries."

"They weren't prize-winning fruit by any standards, some of them were quite small and bitter, but were wolfed down just the same."

"When  Dr Sethi returned laden with cola, crisps, sandwiches and fruit, their uncontained delight drew puzzled looks from the two doctors."

So, overall, this is an amazing book, full of description and amazing character formation.




I'm a YA author and freelance editor. I love books, telly and film of all genres but I have a special place in my heart for fantasy. My debut novel, Sky Song, the first book of the Sky Song trilogy, is out now via Amazon. I like to go on adventures!

 I'm so happy to welcome the amazing Sharon Sant to To Another World today!

Have you always wanted to write, particularly for the YA genre?

Yes, I've always wanted to write, although I haven't always been confident enough to let others read it. YA is definitely my favourite genre to read and write too. I do write in other genres but always find myself going back to YA.

I particularly like Sky, from Runners. Who is your favourite character, from any of your books?

Thank you, I love Sky too. Oh my goodness, you know you should never ask me who my favourite is, it's too hard to choose. I love Elijah in Runners and I have quite a soft spot for Francois, but I also love Jacob and Luca to bits (they're from the Sky Song trilogy). I have a new book out soon called The Memory Game and I'm very fond of David and Bethany from that. Oh ok, I love all my characters really!

Are any of your characters based on you, or anyone you know? They are all so well formed!

Luca from Sky Song is based on a little Italian boy that I had a crush on aged about 5! Other than that. they're quite often inspired in part by people, rather than based on them. It's no secret, for example, that Elijah from Runners is inspired by Elijah Wood because at the time I wrote it I was in the middle of a Lord of the Rings obsession!

Runners is a beautiful story. Was there a particular inspiration for it, or did multiple things help?

Thank you so much!  It was actually based on a dream I had! I dreamt of a bunch of kids on a quest and had to wake in the middle of the night to write it all down.  By the time the morning came, I had a fully formed cast of characters and some idea of what the quest was. The rest of the story grew from there really.

I've only read Runners, though I do plan to read your others! Can you tell me and my readers a little bit about your trilogy, Sky Song?

Thank you again!  The Sky Song trilogy follows the story of adopted fifteen-year-old Jacob, who is woken one night by a stranger in his room. The stranger tells him of an unknown past and a destiny awaiting him that is beyond his wildest dreams. It seems that Jacob is not at all who he thought he was. But it's not all good and when Jacob refuses to go away with the stranger, he begins a chain of events that will put him and everyone he loves in mortal danger.  The trilogy follows Jacob and his friends, Luca and Ellen, for the next three years while they battle the forces that threaten them all.

Now for some fun questions!

Now, I ask all the authors I host here at TAW this question: which 3 items would you take on a desert island, and they can't be things to help you off (because I know you creative types)?

Darn it, I was going to say lifeboat! Ok, so 3 things.  Can I have an electricity supply? Pretty much everything I would want would need power! If not then I'd have to have some books, preferably a teeny portable library, some jelly sweets (lots of jelly sweets), a kettle and some teabags.

Favourite animal?  Horse
Favourite book/s? I have loads! The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly is one that I could easily read lots of times. I love the Harry Potter books too, and an older fantasy series called The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
Do you have a role model? I'm not sure I have just one. I'm in awe of a lot of people and I tend to take titbits of inspiration from them all.
Favourite sweet or chocolate? At the moment I'm addicted to fizzy jelly dummies. I have a big bag next to the laptop when I write.

A couple of this or that questions to finish off!

Restaurant or takeaway? Takeaway because I can eat in my pyjamas. Though I do enjoy eating out with friends (in my clothes, I hasten to add).
Ebook or physical copy? Physical but I am getting more into ebooks now.
Chocolate cake or Victoria sponge? Victoria sponge.


Thank you so much for this interview Sharon!

Connect with Sharon on her website, GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter @sharonsant 

Charli x

Friday, September 06, 2013

Blogger Spotlight #1: Favourite Book Quotes: Holly from A Day Dreamer's Thoughts

Hey guys, I'm happy to welcome Holly to To Another World today! :)

Hi, I'm Holly from A DayDreamers Thoughts, and as courtesy of the lovely Charli, I am going to share my favourite book quotes with you.

"Of course it is happening inside of your head Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it's not real?" - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The truth is, nearly all my favourite quotes are what Dumbledore says at some point or another but I will try to provide some sort of variation and variety in this post. In the films, although this is in the books, is the last line the Dumbledore actually says, and I think it is just so, so true and it really is heart warming because for me and perhaps many other Potterheads, that is my lasting memory of Dumbledore.


“So that's little Scorpious. Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank god you've inherited your mother's brains.” - Ron Weasley, 19 years later. I think that this quote just says so much of what Ron would be like as a Dad, caring, but clearly competitive and although Ron said many quotes throughout the series that were great and made me smile, this is definitely my favourite.

"I will not calm down!" - Hermione Granger Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hermione says many memorable quotes throughout the Harry Potter series and I have another favourite one of hers, but when I read this it really makes me laugh. I've always thought of myself, and many others have said that I am rather similar to Hermione and this is exactly something that I would say and have said before now. But as I read this, I can just picture Hermione's hair crackling with electricity and fury as she says this to Harry when Ron returns.

“My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations.” - Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars. Just.... because.

Thank you to Charli for letting me do this guest post, it was great to do and remember to check out her giveaway!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Review: Arclight

No one crosses the wall of light... except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it. When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

Author: Josin L. McQuien
Publisher: Electric Monkey (UK)
Pages: 400
Date of Publication: August 5th (UK)
Source: Won (Thank you Claire Legrand! ARCAPALOOZA was such fun!

I won this book in Claire Legrand's ARCAPALOOZA, and I hadn't heard of it before; and I absolutely loved it. It's intriguing, beautifully written and descriptive. It uses those pesky writing techniques that we are told to in English, but extremely well, unlike forced like in my short stories for English. It uses quite a lot of short sentences, which are effectively mixed with longer, more descriptive sentences. One of my favourite short sentences was "Absolute silence terrifies me."

The natural flow of the book makes it a lot easier to read; though it is does put quite a weight on your emotions. It's one of those books everyone says "I read it in one sitting!" but I didn't,  I took short breaks every 5 or 7 chapters to make sure I'd fully processed the book.

Every single bit of action is described in detail, and everything other than it was, too. My definite favourite descriptive quote was "Emotion ceases to be an abstract; it's tangible with a taste and smell of its own. Tension has an acidic bite."

As I mentioned before, McQuein uses a lot of short sentences to add impact to the book. This is true particularly to the last sentence of each chapter, which ninety percent of the time was a short, impacting sentence that gripped you to carry on. One of them that stayed with me all throughout the book, even afterwards, was "This isn't Purgatory. This is Hell."

The characters in this book come to life, because we're given bits of their history and all the thoughts and emotions are really clear. The main protagonist, Marina, didn't have many friends. She got pretty frantic at times, though in her circumstances it was understandable, and curiously, she got very protective and secretive at many points.

In all honesty, I liked the secondary characters better- Tobin and Mr Pace. Tobin was a very protective, kind and didn't like to talk or show his emotions very much; but that's typical to most boys! He has been added to my book boyfriend list. Mr Pace, her teacher, was like a typical teacher, calm, collected and strict at times, and kind in others. As a character, he intrigued me; I had a feeling there was more to him than we were shown.

The idea of there being a Fade was interesting and made it into the unique dystopia it is. The fact that Marina could sometimes hear him made me even more intrigued, as he only said single words, like "Recognition... Nothing... Remorse..." 

Another favourite quote was "we became a massive khaki tangle, with a single heartbeat...". I just found this to be a beautiful, descriptive quote. 

So, naturally, overall, I loved this book. It's beautifully written, descriptive and extremely clear... It's pretty much all I want in a book!



Charli x

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Book Blitz: Sworn To Transfer: Excerpt+GIVEAWAY!



Excerpt & Giveaway: Sworn To Transfer by Terah Edun


BOOK TWO
Terah Edun
(The Courtlight Series #2)
Publication date: September 20, 2013

Synopsis:

Companion trainee Ciardis Weathervane has won the friendship of the royal heir and saved his claim to the throne. Yet her interference in the inheritance rights leaves more harm done than good. With the death of the Princess Heir, the Ameles forest - the home of the kith, is dying.

The inhabitants of the forest, magic-wielding non-humans, are defiant. They have not forgotten their long struggles nor are they content to watch as the last of their lands perish. As humans begin to die in gruesome deaths, the Emperor dispatches the royal heir to the forests with the solution to the kith concerns.

With enemies closing ranks in Sandrin, Ciardis can little afford to leave the city's nest of vipers to take on a new task. But she's given no choice when her loyalty to the crown and courts are called into question.

To keep the Companions' Guild happy and the favor of the Imperial Court, Ciardis will be tested in frightening new ways, especially when she's faced with an obstacle that could risk the lives of her friends and the family she never thought she had.

This second novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Raise.
Add to your To-Reads on Goodreads

Available September 20th from Amazon, Barnes & Nobles + iTunes!

BOOK ONE
Terah Edun
(The Courtlight Series #1)
Publication date: April 10, 2013

 
Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire's seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder-intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.

Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion's Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she'd never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.

But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.

Add to your To-Reads on Goodreads

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes

EXCERPT CHAPTER SEVEN of Sworn To Raise

"But before we do we need to be certain of your abilities, which is why we asked you to come today," Damias said.


He stood and waved his hand at the doorway, as if inviting someone to come in. They all stood and watched as the double doors swung inward, revealing two armed men with swords strapped across their backs and small, covered cages in each hand.


Ciardis eyed the cages warily. This did not look like it was going to be a friendly and relaxed guidance session. The two men set down the cages at their feet, bowed, and retired to one side of the atrium.


Their group rose from the table and approached the four cages, Terris and Ciardis trailing behind the others uncertainly. Ciardis was sure from the look on Terris's face that she had no idea what was going to happen either.


Damias stopped in front of the two cages on the left and turned to the group. He addressed Ciardis and Terris. "These are Rabiae, woodland creatures that eat and absorb magic."


Ciardis frowned; she had heard of the innocent-looking little beasts. They were favored hunting targets of the nobility who lived on estates near Vaneis. The nobles, many of them from the bloodlines of mages, had delighted in facing the magical threat of the Rabiae. They ran the little animals down on horseback and speared them. The problem was that once speared, the Rabiae emitted a foul purple stench that clung to clothes for days. Ciardis had spent many a day scrubbing fabric clean of the rank odor, which never deadened the olfactory sense as most bad smells did.


"The Rabiae are a byproduct of the Initiate Wars of over two centuries ago," Damias said. "They were designed by manipulative mages to appeal to children."


Vana and Serena shuddered delicately, and Vana said, "With those cute floppy ears and soft fur, many young mages come across them and keep them as pets. These 'pets' slowly steal every drop of power these children have. The mage children who retain them as pets then become mundane."


"It is for reasons like this that certain categories of mage work have been restricted, and must be approved by Imperial mandate before commencing," said Mary. "But the Rabiae have already been created, and are impossible to eradicate with magic. As such, we've done our best to make practical use of their kind."


"Today, you will each pick one up, but for no more than a few minutes. The Rabiae not only absorb magic; they also memorize which talent each person exhibits," continued Damias, "Once collected, their memories of such characteristics were used by their masters to catalogue the bloodlines of mages that would useful." He snorted. "It was barbaric then, and it's barbaric now, to consider breeding in order to ensure a magical bloodline is produced."


Ciardis frowned, not because she disagreed, but because she was wondering, isn't that what the nobles do, anyway? Only marry other nobles, just as mages only marry other mages?

Vana summoned the two trainers from their corners. The men wore tight leather jerkins, the hilts of their swords jutting upward. They looked powerful, like the mercenaries Ciardis had sometimes seen on the roads up north. Opening the cages, they dragged the Rabiae out by the nape of their neck. Ciardis couldn't help but think that the trainers looked like more force than was needed, even though she knew what the beasts were capable of. These two big, strapping men each held a Rabiae in one hand by the loose, soft skin at the nape of its neck. The Rabiae hung unresisting in their grip. Their soft thumper legs kicked lightly and their noses twitched, but they made no noise. Ciardis smiled grimly, thinking, No wonder children like them so much.


The men approached the two young women as the adults moved back into a half circle behind Terris and Ciardis. The two young women exchanged nervous glances and simultaneously reached forward for the bundles of gray fur.
 



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