Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read In 2013 Book Blogging

*Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish*

Today TTT is about Top 10 Read in 2013, but I'm doing them from since July, when I started reviewing, as I can't remember which I read in 2012/2013 otherwise *facepalm* but I would have picked these anyway, so that's ok. 

1. In first place is the amazing Earth Girl by Janet Edwards. I read this for my school Gifted and Talented Library Scheme and probably would never have discovered it otherwise. I adored it and it came first in the scheme! It's also amongst the first I reviewed.

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

2. In worthy second is After Eden by Helen Douglas. I got this just before it was released and absolutely loved it... And now all my friends are reading it!!

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

3. In third is Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham. Before I read this I'd wanted to read it for years and never did! As a person with family and bullying issues I really related to it and it is definitely worthy of being on this list!

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

4. In fourth is All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. I don't normally like time-travel but this book was just beautiful.

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

5. In fifth is the amazing Hidden by Marianne Curley. This is another one that I've had all my friends read and the cover is just gorgeous.

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

6. In sixth place is Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher. I read this while on a long car journey and it really made the time pass. A unique mystery formatted as letters <3

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

7. In seventh is one I read more recently, Forgotten by Cat Patrick. I loved the concept and adored the book!

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

8. In eighth is the amazing Rooted by Amy Good! It's a self-published which you can download for FREE! It's a truly amazing story :D

My review | Goodreads | Amy's website

9. In joint ninth is The Sentinel by Holly Martin, a beautiful self-published gem. Fantasy, romance... What more do you want?!

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

9. Last but not least, in joint ninth, is The Memory Game by Sharon Sant. I buddy read this in November and loved it! It's a short book with a sharp impact.

My review | Goodreads | Amazon

So those are my Top 10 that I've reviewed in 2013! Make sure to link me up to yours :) 

Charli x

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monthly Round-Up: December

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! 

This month, my baby brother was born! On the 11/12/13, Connor Sage was born at a weight of 8lb 14oz (way bigger than the rest of us!).

This month, I went on Christmas hiatus, but:

Reviews: 

Red by Alison Cherry

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans

Other Stuff: 

I discussed things I would have done differently at the start

I joined the Epic Recs book club with Fi as my partner!

I hosted a guest post on the Dead Land blog tour

I interviewed Pippa Jay

I showed off my Christmas Holiday TBR

I signed up for Bout of Books 9.0

I did the End of Year Book Survey! 

Tomorrow I will also be going my Top 10 of 2013!

So, not much this month, but January is going to be jam packed!! Happy New Year to you all :)
 

Charli x

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 End of Year Book Survey

I lied... I've decided to try and get through The Perpectual Page-Turner's End of Book Survey...

Best in Books 2013 

1. Best book you read in 2013? - I'm going to do it from my blogging 2013, so anything I've reviewed, and that is Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

2. Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more but didn't? - The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I bought this as I'd seen some good reviews and it had a good concept but... Meh.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? - Umm... The Memory Game by Sharon Sant. Not in the way that I thought I wouldn't enjoy it, but I didn't think it would have that much impact on me as it did.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you have recommended the most in 2013? - Divergent by Veronica Roth. Bit cliche, but seriously, I've been telling my friends to read it like crazy!

5. Best series you discovered in 2013? - Umm. Divergent by Veronica Roth..? I read the first two in January or February... Allegiant *fangirls*

6. Favourite new author you discovered in 2013? - Ok, I won't say Veronica Roth... I'm gonna go with 3 self-published lovelies I met who's books I've read; Amy Good, Sharon Sant and Holly Martin. 

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you? - Before I started book blogging I'd never read an LGBT book, so Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, which was my first LGBT book which I loved!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2013? - Hmm, tough one. APART from The Hunger Games and Divergent... it's going to have to go to Earth Girl again and Matched by Ally Condie. 

9. Book you read in 2013 and are most likely to re-read in 2014? - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, of course, in preparation for the movie! Also, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, one of the only Christmas books I've ever loved!

10. Favourite book cover of a book you read in 2013?


11. Most memorable character in 2013? - Kieran from Stone and Stone by Joss Stirling. But that isn't out just yet, soooo, let's think of another: Connor from After Eden by Helen Douglas. Because.. *swoony fangirling*

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013? - Has to go to... Forgotten by Cat Patrick or Rooted by Amy Good.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? - As I mentioned earlier, The Memory Game by Sharon Sant and also Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham. 

14. Book you can't believe you waited till 2013 to read? - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 

15. Favourite quote from a book you read in 2013? - I wasn't sure what to put for this one, but I'm going to go for  "Then I close my eyes and think about salty ham and the fruity sharpness of the pickle, and I can almost remember the flavours." from The Memory Game by Sharon Sant.

16. Shortest and longest books read in 2013? - According to Goodreads, so probably not entirely accurate: 
Longest: Allegiant by Veronica Roth 
Shortest: The Memory Game by Veronica Roth

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? - IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION THE END OF Allegiant by Veronica Roth  OBVIOUSLY. 

18. Favourite relationship in 2013? - Fourtris (canon), Grayson and Chloe from Rooted (not canon... for now), Alaska and Miles. 

19. Favourite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously? - Coco Caramel by Cathy Cassidy! And Casting Shadows by Sophie McKenzie

20. Best book you read in 2013 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else? - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

21. Genre you read the most from in 2013? - 2013 was my dystopia year!  

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? - There are two many. I'm sorry, I literally can't remember the newest. Some 2013 ones include Kieran, Peeta, Tobias, Xander, Kai, Lucas, Gus... 

23. Best 2013 debut you read? - All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill and After Eden by Helen Douglas 

24. Most vivid world in 2013? - This is difficult! I'll give this one to Matched by Ally Condie. 

25. Book that was most fun to read in 2013? - Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, definitely!

26. Book that made you cry in 2013? - I don't cry at books. Ever. But I hypothetically cried at Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Will Grayson Will Grayson and My Sister Lives On The Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher. 

27. Book that you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked in 2013 or when it came out? - Hmm. Interesting one. Maybe My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece? I know Ketchup Clouds is pretty popular but I never particularly heard of this before picking it up. 


Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2013

1. New favourite book blog discovered in 2013? - Well, I discovered them all in 2013 except Sophie's and Ruby's, as I started in 2013, soooo Amber, Jack, Hawwa!

2. Favourite review you wrote in 2013? - Will Grayson, Will Grayson wins again! I had fun with this one and got to use tweet screenshots! 

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? - Bloggers on Bullying: My Experiences, as part of Sophie's Anti-Bullying Blog Week. 

4. Most thought-provoking discussion or review you read on some-one else's blog? - Sophie wins again! Her discussion on Personality vs Professionalism made me think... 

5. Best event you participated in? - I didn't attend anything this year :( BUT! Online counts, right? If so... Amber's blogoversary and Sophie's ABBW!

6. Best moment of book blogging life in 2013? - Authors seeing and tweeting me about my reviews! AND, being quoted in the Finding My Inner Cherokee ebook. 

7. Most popular post on your blog? - I had to look this up... It was the 50 facts about me tag, but there were a lot of spam views on it, soooo Erin Albert's Spotlight wins! (She did market it constantly... Thanks Erin :) ) 

8. Post you wish had a little more love? - My Finding My Inner Cherokee review. It was quoted in the ebook, but I kinda wish it had a little more love. 

9. Best bookish discovery? - It doesn't quite count but OneNote for my book blogging! 

10. Did you complete any reading challenges etc? - I didn't do any this year as I started book blogging in July, but I plan to in 2014 :) 


Looking Ahead

1. One book you didn't quite get to in 2013 but will be your number 1 priority in 2014? - Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. 

2. Book you are most anticipating in 2014? - Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

3. 2014 debut you are most anticipating? - A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller! I have an interview with the author going up in January, but I am yet to read it! 

4. Series ending you are most anticipating in 2014? - Actually, I think most of mine ended in 2013. So I'm not sure... 

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your 2014 blogging life? - I'd like to start building up my following etc and achieve some reading challenges!
 

*gasps for water* Done! Drop me a comment if you agree with any of these, or link me up to your own!

Charli x 

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist) - See more at: http://www.perpetualpageturner.com/2013/12/4th-annual-end-of-year-book-survey-2013-edition.html#sthash.kC9s2WAO.dpuf

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from To Another World!


I most probably won't be posting till the end of the year, so I hope you all have an amazing Christmas filled with books, food, books and bookish gifts!!

Oh, and, my little brother was born on the 11/12/13, he was 8lb 14oz, and his name is Connor Sage :)

The only posts I know will be happening are my TTT: Top 10 of 2013 and my Monthly Round-Up, both on the 31st, so I hope I'll see you all then!!
 

Till then,

We wish you a bookish xmas, 

We wish you a bookish xmas anddddd

A bookish new year! 

Charli x

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bout of Books 9.0 Sign-Up/Targets

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team. 


This is going to be the first read-a-thon I've ever done, and it's going to be my first week of school back from Christmas, so I'm going to set myself a moderate target.

TIME TO DEVOTE TO READING
  • Monday: As I only have school for about 30mins and then am going shopping with friends for a few hours, I'll have quite a few hours to read before I go out to photography class at 5:30pm. So, time for reading: 2-3 hours.
  • Tuesday: I'll have before school, plus about an hour after school due to Scouts, so I'm going to set my time for reading as about an hour and a half
  • Wednesday: On Wednesday I'll have before school, and all of after school excluding homework, so reading time: 1.5 hours to 2 hours. 
  • Thursday: Ditto to Wednesday
  • Friday: Ditto to Wednesday again, but slightly longer so 1.5-2.5 hours. 
  • Saturday: Although I'll have all day, our weekends are always strange, so I'm going to allocate 2.5-3 hours. 
  • Sunday: Ditto to Saturday. 
MY GOALS

I would like to read about 10 books in the week, but it depends on the length, of course, so my goal is going to be 8-15. 

Edit: Turns out I'll have less time than I thought,  so my goal is now 4+ books

BOOKS I WANT TO READ

I'm going to go with the flow :)

 Charli x 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Holiday TBR

My Christmas Holidays begin on Friday, and I've got lots of reading material to be getting through! So I thought I'd share it with you all today.

Library (Local and School)

I've picked up quite a pile between my local and school libraries! Even though I said I wouldn't get any for Christmas...

Looking for Alaska by John  Green- I started this today and I already love it! I loved TFiOS (naturally) and thought it was about time I read this one!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner- I have been meaning to get this one for a long time, so it was awesome to find it finally in the school library!

Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls- I picked this one up because it looks really good, but I've never actually heard of it, so it should be interesting!

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen- This is one of the few Sarah Dessen books I haven't read, so I hope I'll enjoy this one as much!

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein- I adored Code Name Verity so I just couldn't leave this on the "new books" trolley, could I?

Twinmaker by Sean Williams- I've seen some mixed reviews for this, but I like the cover, so... Why not?

Split Second by Sophie McKenzie- This is the only Sophie McKenzie I haven't read, so of course, I had to borrow it. AND MY SCHOOL GOT A SIGNED EDITION!!! *fangirls tons*

More Than This by Patrick Ness- I read most of A Monster Calls and I have the first The Knife of Never Letting Go, and this has been majorly hyped by some of my book blogger friends, so I thought I'd give it a try! Pretty hardback...

For review

Who Framed Klaris Cliff? by Nikki Sheehan- I have started this and it seems amazing so far, so I'm quite excited to continue with it!

Shooting Stars by Alison Rushby- Still haven't read this. *slaps hand* Bad book blogger. Need to, it looks good :)

The Crystal Ordeal by MG Dekle- And this too *slaps hand* this looks pretty good, so I ned to get this read!

ALSO via Netgalley: Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman and Drawn by Cecilia Gray.


Bought/Given/Won (If I have time books)

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld- I still haven't finished this!! It's awesome, so I need to!

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts by Robyn Schneider- Gosh, really need to read this one. I should have AGES ago. I bought it AGES ago.

The Key to the Golden Firebird- I won a signed copy of this one, and I realllyyyy need to read it, because it looks absolutely awesome.

City of Bones by Casandra Clare- DO NOT SHOUT AT ME I literally haven't had time to read it I will get round to it!

So that's my holiday TBR! I hope I get through them because there are lots of amazing books in there!

Happy Christmas!

Charli x

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: Pippa Jay

A stay-at-home mum of three who spent twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay bases her stories on a lifetime addiction to science-fiction books and films. Somewhere along the line a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her various characters, she spends the odd free moments trying to learn guitar, indulging in freestyle street dance and drinking high-caffeine coffee. Although happily settled in historical Colchester in the UK with her husband of 19 years, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
The Rasmus fan, bad guitar player, and part-time scifi geek. Author of science fictions stories with a romantic soul.

Hey Pippa! *Hands plate of toast and a mug of hot chocolate* Welcome to To Another World! Tell me and my readers a bit about yourself and your books?

Oooo, hot chocolate, thanks! *slurps* hmm, me? I'm a former analytical chemist who left to be a stay-at-home mum to three redhaired monsters. Whovian, Scaper, and Sith-in-training, I live in the historical town of Colchester while wandering the rest of the universe in my head. I write mostly scifi adventures, sometimes paranormal, and often with a dash of romance. My stories are based on and inspired by a lifelong love of scifi shows, films and books.

How do you write? (Places, times, etc)

Generally curled up on the sofa with my laptop, from the moment I get back from the school run to the moment I have to do the pick up. Next summer I plan to move out into the summerhouse to write - British weather permitting, of course! >.<

You write sci-fi, which takes a lot of imagination. How do you come up with plots for your books?

Mostly by stating a lot of 'what if?' questions. Like, what if yiu found themselves on an alien planet for the first time? What if you walked through a gateway to another time? What if you became immortal? Generally I throw my characters into danger or a strange situation, and watch them struggle. Bwahahaaa!

How do you balance writing and being a mum?

With difficulty! It's easier now they're all at school, but before that I'd often be up at 5am or long into the night to cram in those precious moments of writing time. The kids have to come first generally (if they're sick, need help, have events at school etc). But during holidays they understand that mummy still needs some writing time, and can entertain themselves.

What do you do outside of writing?

Weekends are family time - trips to the zoo or beach, walking, going to town or to the cinema. For myself, I do freestyle street dance for fitness, like making outfits (especially scifi costumes), read, and play guitar very badly. No, really, I'm not being modest - I honestly can't play anything very well.

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)?

My Kindle, my laptop, and a solar recharger. Um, I guess sneaking out a barista too is breaking the rules, huh?

Favourite book? (You can have 2, as I'm nice...)
 

Even so, just two?! Hmm, I will cheat as technically these come as single physical books - the Crystal Singer trilogy by Anna McCaffrey and the Earthsea quintology by Ursula Le Guin. :P

Favourite animal?

Leopard gecko

Where would you rather go: Endor, District 12 or Hogwarts?
 

Haha, Endor!

To finish, some this or that quick questions!!

Cake or chocolate? Chocolate
Reading or writing? Writing
Physical books or ebooks? Ooooo, tough one. I guess eBooks as I'm taking my Kindle to your desert island...
 

Thanks for answering my questions Pippa!
Thanks for having me!

Charli x

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Red

Top student. Beauty queen. Girlfriend of the hottest football jock: Felicity's got everything. And it's all down to her red, red hair. Felicity lives in Scarletville, the world's only redhead sanctuary, where red hair is celebrated, protected - and the key to success.

But Felicity has a secret. A red hot secret. And if anyone finds out, she's finished.

Because Felicity's actually a natural blonde.

And in Scarletville, blondes need not apply.

Author: Alison Cherry
Publisher: Quercus (UK)
Date of Publication: January 2nd
Pages: 320
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley via Quercus in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. 

Ever since I heard about Red on Twitter, I was really excited about it, so when I was approved a copy, I read it immediately! Although it didn't really sound like my type of book, I liked the sound of the concept.

The concept, in short, is a modern version of racial issues, using hair colour as the basis. As a complete history nerd, myself, I found that this interested me to see what happened throughout the book. The way things were described, such as how other hair colours were treated, such as not being elected for things, really wanted to make me go on into the book.

I think my honest only gripe about this book was that it was very American and some of it was VERY cliche. But, it's obviously intended to be American, and the cliches worked. The tiny flaw of the book made it ever more perfect.

And as per usual, I loved the love interest of the book, Jonathan. Even if he was a brunette, I would go for any arty, smart boy who took me out for fries because my prom wasn't working out. One quote I absolutely adored from the book was

"Jonathan played with his cuff link, suddenly unable to 
meet Felicity's eyes. 'Well... the girl I really wanted to ask 
was-um-indisposed, I guess."

It's hard to explain what I felt for the protagonist, Felicity. I found it slightly annoying that she wouldn't just stand up to her mum and stay a strawbie, but then, I'm a bit of a feminist and it all works out in the end, not saying anything about that.

A little thing that interested me throughout the book were little recurring phrases, such as "red cred". It showed how Felicity was very focused on her social status, and afraid of being outed as a strawbie. Again, this goes back to the amazing concept of modern racism. Also, little bits of humour were added throughout, for example one of their history lectures was "Vikings in the History of Redheadedness". 

Altogether, I really enjoyed this book as a refreshing, but thought-provoking, read, and I'd recommend it to anyone with a love of a good concept and contemporary US Young Adult.

Charli x

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Review: North Pole Reform School and Giveaway


Mistletoe Bell hates Christmas. So would you if you had a name like hers. Her Christmas-mad parents make the festive season last all year, and with another Christmas looming, Mis doesn’t think she can take any more. After her carelessness causes an accident at school, it seems like things can’t get any worse. Then she wakes up to find The Ghost of Christmases Ruined in her bedroom. She is taken to the North Pole, to a reform school run by elves determined to make her love Christmas. Stuck in a misfit group of fellow Christmas-haters with a motley crew of the weird and even weirder, watched over by elves day and night, she doesn’t expect to meet cute and funny Luke, who is hiding a vulnerable side beneath his sarcastic exterior. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with him. But all is not as it should be at the North Pole. A certain Mr Claus is making the elves’ lives a misery, and pretty soon Mistletoe and Luke are doing more than just learning to like Christmas

Author: Jaimie Admans
Publisher: Self
Date of Publication: November 6th 2013
Source: For review
Goodreads | Amazon

**Suitable for older teens and upwards due to bad language.**
I received a free copy of this book from Oops I Read It Again courtesy of the author in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Jaimie!

Normally, I hate Christmas books. I'm a person that hates the crass commercialism of Christmas, and I'm not Christian; I'd probably in the reform school myself! But, I loved it, a humorous interpretation of the festive period that makes you wonder about what really goes down in Lapland.


I adored the characters of the book; they were all moulded, down to the elves, so well that I felt like I had a relationship with each and every one. Mistletoe, as the protagonist, was cute and her dry humour reminded me of myself. And, for the record... Luke is mine! Yet another book boyfriend to add to the list... The relationship development of Luke and Misty was flawless, too. Throughout the whole of the book they had their little interactions and we see hints of Misty's thoughts about him.

As I mentioned before, I loved the interpretation of Christmas; anyone who had spoilt Christmas for someone would go to the North Pole and experience all the work that goes into it. My favourite quote in the book has to be the one about Rudolph's representation within the world and how he was treated:

"That’s Rudolph.” “Really?” I stand back and watch him chewing the carrot. I’m disappointed that his nose isn’t glowing. “I thought he’d have, like, a penthouse suite of his own or something,” Luke says. “Isn’t he a bit of a diva? He is the most famous, after all.” “Reindeer pay no mind to media attention.” Winter seemingly misses the fact Luke was joking. “Rudolph is no different to the other reindeer, apart from a glowing nose of course, but he doesn’t get any preferential treatment, and I’d appreciate it if you kept it that way!"

 As a non-religious person who does celebrate Christmas, I loved the slant within the book that not everything is actually as it seems.

The thing that made this book special to me besides the slant of the book, was the little phrases such as "every cloud has a marzipan lining, after all". I thought these little touches made the book special.

 A quick, humourous read, this book is perfect for the Christmas season as a thought-provoking read! 


 Charli x


About Jaimie Admans

Jaimie is a 28-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps. She has been writing for years but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. Afterlife Academy is her third novel and she hopes you enjoy it. There are plenty more on the way!

GIVEAWAY: $25 AMAZON GC
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Review: The 5th Wave

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up

Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: May 2013
Pages: 457
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon

This review is going to be very ranty, I warn you! Read at your own peril, it's not my usual style!

I bought this book in the summer after some of my favourite bloggers said it was good, but I didn't read it till this November, when I buddy read it with Crystal and Octavia. Over the few months were it was sat on my bookshelf, as I read more reviews, they were really mixed so I was quite nervous to begin it.

I found the concept quite curious, which was why I'd really picked it up in the first place. And to some extent, it was. But DID THIS BOOK DRAG OR NOT?! YES. Yes it did. Around 200 of the 457 pages just made me sigh, and fidget, and avoid it for days. I completely lost my interest for it because I just wasn't into the story! I loved the start and the end, but the middle wodge... NO.

It was also really confusing! I didn't actually realise the point of view swaps- Cassie and Sam- were alternating between each "part" until Crystal mentioned it, though once I knew, I definitely preferred Cassie's point of view. Also, the chapters were all 1-4 pages long maximum, and the scenes jumped every chapter!

Once I managed to reach the end, it was okay, I suppose. The ending was alright, but it felt really forced! I can't STAND forced endings, because although there is going to be a sequel to The 5th Wave, it always feels like the writer is trying to kill us (and failing), can't be bothered to work out an ending OR have started writing the sequel and have had to jam the ending to the beginning of the next book. I feel like it will be the 1st one or possibly the 3rd, though we don't know.

Onto some positives! I liked the character backgrounding, because although I wasn't clear on the characters at the beginning, there was quite a bit of history to go by and learn about the characters from. I also loved the use of metaphors throughout the book, such as "Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity's last war, then I am the battlefield.". My third positive is that all the thoughts of the characters were clearly expressed, but with a little mystery.

So... This is a difficult one. I loved and hated this book; it's been described as a Marmite book, but it wasn't to me. It confused, bored and annoyed me, but there were some good elements. And so, because of this, I am going to give it half marks.

Charli x

Friday, December 06, 2013

Blog Tour: Dead Land: Wearing A Thick Skin

I am honoured to host on the Dead Land blog tour today!

The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.” Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow 

Let’s be real; it’s hard to accept criticism. Even after asking our peers for their honest opinion, according to Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking, “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Is it really that important for others to criticize our work? If we love our novel, poem, song, or painting, does it truly matter what others think? Well, if we desire to perfect our craft, I believe the answer is yes. A fresh pair of eyes is like a clean sheet of paper. Words that may have become stale from the writing and rewriting of their parent can be reborn under the gaze of a new reader. Last year, I completed the writing of my first novel, Dead Land. I read it countless times. I laughed when the characters joked, and cried when they suffered. Even after reading the first draft dozens of times, I would find myself tearing through the pages, again caught up in the lives of my fictional friends. It was an enjoyable process. The characters and their world became my world, and I lived amongst them throughout my season of writing. My confidence grew with each reading, and eventually I decided to take the next step. With a deep breath, I did the unthinkable. I shared my first draft with others. I gave copies to my incredibly cerebral book club, to my close friends and family, and, gasp, even to my connection of English teachers. I asked all to be honest. I asked for their constructive criticism, and in turn I received it. Although hard at the time (as I thought the first draft was pretty solid) I now see that their criticism was a gift. My English teacher colleague Julia reminded me of several grammar rules I had forgotten; my exceptionally well-read friend Erica suggested that I add a heart-twisting ending; my friend and local librarian Diane pointed out areas of the story in which she wanted to know more; and my family members suggested adding details of scenery and character descriptions. Need I go on? I received more suggestions than, at first, I thought I could handle. But instead of caving under criticism, I chose to handle it. I sat down at my writing desk, opened my laptop, and spent the summer with my manuscript. I knew that my first draft readers wanted me write a successful novel, and, after all, wasn’t that my goal too? It may take a village to raise a kid, but I think it takes a whole network of family and peers to write a novel. Honestly, it’s hard to hear people tell you what they don’t like about your book. But do you know what’s wonderful? Listening to your critics with a thick skin, seeking wisdom in the suggestions that are solid and dismissing with maturity the ones that are not, and finally, recognizing that “the strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.” Once weaknesses are fortified, the sea of criticism calms. Confidence is restored. And one who is willing to learn becomes better. The result? Readers of the revised draft only criticizing one thing: that the sequel was not yet completed. I better get busy. Now that’s progress. 

J.E. Byrne Bio 

As an undergraduate Journalism student at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Jodi took the advice of one of her professors and changed her major to English, specifically focusing on the art of writing. This decision laid the foundation for a career in technical writing, teaching, and eventually fiction writer. Her debut novel, Dead Land, is set to be released by Take Two Publishing on December 3, 2013. Dead Land follows the life of eighteen year-old Sarah Cain as she struggles to survive the pressures and temptations of high school, relationships, self-discovery…and the end of the world. The novel combines Jodi’s love of fiction, appreciation for young adults and the many challenges they face, and a passion for the spiritual components in life. Jodi resides in Pennsylvania where she’s working on the second installment of the Dead Land series as well as running her online book club blog. 

Social Media 

Jodi’s Blog: http://authorjebyrne.com/blog/ 
Jodi’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjebyrne
 Buy Dead Land http://www.taketwopublishing.com/j-e-byrne/ 

Synopsis 

Caught up in the rave of the ultimate high school party, eighteen-year-old Sarah Cain finds herself outside at 3:10am with her high school crush. Together they witness a violent explosion that tears through the sky. Knocked unconscious, Sarah awakens to a world she no longer recognizes. The sun does not rise, there is no moon or stars, and black rain falls heavily on her shoulders. Forced into survival, Sarah is frequented with strange words and dreams that mystically draw her toward a mountain promising life, even amidst her dying world. Setting out on foot to follow this vision, Sarah meets up with other survivors and discovers that some of them have shared her same dream. Together the group sets off to find The Mountain. Tempted by good and evil at every turn, survivors must decide which path to take.

Epic Recs: December

Epic Recs is hosted by Judith and Amber! Book bloggers partner up and recommend books to each other each month.

Me and Fionnuala have partnered up, and THIS MONTH...





I am to read THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak (which I'd been meaning to read anyway) and Fionnuala is to read EARTH GIRL by Janet Edwards (which is AMAZING). 

Hopefully this will go well!!! I can't wait to start it when I have it :D 

Charli x

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Things I Would Have Done Differently At The Start

So. It's been nearly 5 months, and I'm starting to get into it properly, now. Today I was thinking about things I would have done differently at the start of my book bloggy life (not bloggy life, because RTSG was a completely different kettle of fish). 

Requesting. 

I wasn't too bad with this, requesting too many or anything, but I found that I requested stuff I wouldn't be able to get with my experience, and although you don't take it personally, it does knock you. Also, I became a little too eager with NetGalley...

Scheduling

At first, I didn't THINK about scheduling my reviews at intervals, so they all came out in lumps with only little gaps where I had some random post. Nowadays I schedule ahead and have gaps in between my reviews.

Accepting over Twitter *facepalm*

In my review policy it says to only request over email. BUT a few authors have just popped up and offered review copy pdf's, and I didn't know anything about the book but accepted. Now I have two books I have to read and review... One looks okay, but the other...

Email requests

At the start, I wasn't quite sure how to request books. And I know I sounded arrogant (which I'm not), scared (which I was, but you're not supposed to sound it) or pompous (see arrogant) in the maojority. THERE WAS EVEN ONE WHERE I DIDN'T MENTION MY BLOG *facewall*

So, those are just a few bits and bobs I could have done differently. Um. The purpose of this post: try not to do these things! Yeah. 

Charli x

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Review: There Is No Dog

What if God were a feckless teenage boy named Bob?

‘You can’t leave Bob to run the planet on his own.’
‘He is God.’
‘He’s not much of a God.’


In the beginning, Bob created the heaven and the earth and the beasts of the field and the creatures of the sea, and twenty-five million other species (including lots of fanciable girls). But mostly he prefers eating junk food and leaving his dirty clothes in a mouldering heap at the side of his bed. When Bob plays with mortals, millions die. And every time he falls in love, earth erupts in natural disasters. So humankind is going to be very sorry indeed he ever ran into a beautiful, completely irresistible girl called Lucy.

Author: Meg Rosoff
Publisher: Puffin
Date of Publication: August 2011
Pages: 256
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads | Amazon

The concept dragged me to this book, and I loved it. The concept that God could be a teenage boy, who preferred staring at girls and eating to actually changing the world, really interested me. The book had a mix of modern and old-fashioned bits and pieces, and it worked really well. For instance, the book started with a nature description, but with modern metaphors; "Birds tweet and twitter their social networks".

It showed all the problems with the world, and interpreted that maybe the reason why there are wars, hurricanes etc because of the period of time "creation" happened in; "well, what do you expect when you skip through creation in 6 lousy days?". As an ecletic (non-religious but takes pieces of faiths to make own) person, this is actually partly why I am not a Christian, and I loved this interpretation.

Throughout the book, little chunks of history develop the characters and the backgrounds of the protagonists build all the way through the book. I found it really interesting how Bob's name changed between Bob and God depending on his emotions.

The characters were all introduced at very different points in the book; and the way it was staggered worked very well. I loved all the characters; Lucy, Bob and the secondary character Mr B. He was like a dad-secretary to Bob, and he was always very frustrated but he was a funny character and I could tell how much he cared for Bob.

The book was humourous yet serious, a good balance so that it wasn't too overwhelming but worked really well as a mix. We get lots of emotions and thoughts from Bob subtlety, particularly through descriptions of the weather because it would change to express his mood. It was a good way of showing us his emotion, without it being really plain description of how he felt.


There Is No God was a funny book with a concept of pure gold and an amazing plot-line. I loved it; and I hope I get to read some of Rosoff's other novels soon.

Charli x

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Review: Forgotten

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Egmont
Date of Publication: June 2011
Pages: 280
Source: For review
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Egmont in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Egmont!

As soon as I'd been offered this to review and had checked out the synopsis, I knew it was for me. I've read quite a few amnesia books, but never anything quite like this. Every night when London goes to bed, she has to write about what has happened to her that day, and that is how she gets by... Because every night she forgets everything. It's a slightly heart-breaking contemporary full of intrigue, and I loved it.

The book starts with a question, before beginning to mention the notes that she makes. This pulled me in straight away. We begin to wonder why theses notes matter so much, and from the beginning there are lots of character thoughts and emotion, which we really need at the beginning because we don't know- and neither does she!- what is happening.

I love the insight we get of London. We see how she thinks about seeing the future but never knowing what has happened just the night before, and if that description and heavy insight wasn't there, we wouldn't really understand what was going on in the book.

I mentioned before that it was slightly heart-breaking; if she hadn't written something down, she didn't know. For instance, in one scene, there is a girl called Carley and London doesn't know why she hates her so much (which can happen in real-life) and genuinely doesn't know what she has done. Another scene was the day after her first date with Luke; they fell asleep and woke up in the morning, and so London had forgotten.

"I can't believe I missed what might 
have been my best date ever..."

The romance is beautifully described, and so are the characters, particularly Luke. She describes Luke almost everytime she saw him, slightly differently each time, because she didn't remember him. 

Amnesia type books are sometimes awful, purely because the author doesn't have experience or there isn't enough happening, or they can't describe what has happened in the point of view, so the slant with the notes and being able to see the future made it beautiful, and well-written. It was also a refreshing change.

I loved Forgotten; I loved the uniqueness, the essence, the description. I found it sublime. 

Charli x