Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tori Talks #7: Cliche

Tori's very own feature where she shouts about annoying things in the bookish world. GIF's do not belong to us.
I cannot stand cliché plots or characters at all.

Urgh. I hate them.


To me, a cliché plot is a shy, quiet girl meets a boy who happens to be really fit and hot and her life turns around when she meets him. She then becomes confident and goes off to save the world and she falls in love with the boy and they live happily ever after. Tada. So original. Can we not have some variety?


Another cliché plot is when someone (it is mostly a girl but can sometimes be a boy) has just done or saw something life changing about a new magical place or a big event and they meet two people. There is a love triangle and the main protagonist cannot choose between them blah blah. Something happens to one of them so they choose the other one.  The whole plot is centred around this love triangle. It is wrote about so often and it is just SO ANNOYING!


Now, there are cliché plots but there are also cliché characters too. There is a girl who is shy and insecure and hates her parents for some reason but her parents are really nice and she is just a brat who has a ‘tragic life’ apparently. She has fair hair and is really pretty but she doesn’t think that she is. They meet a boy and their tragic life melts away. They are usually really creative and good at art or music or writing. Some cliché characters may only be a bit like this but I guarantee everyone knows one character like this. Urgh…


Overall, clichés are just so horrible and blah and I just hate them. Please tell me if you agree in the comments.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Charli Reviews... The Baking Life of Amelie Day

My name is Amelie Day and I live to bake. Cupcakes, biscuits, bread, tarts and muffins - flour power! Now I've got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win the Teen Baker of the Year award. But it looks like my stupid cystic fibrosis might get in the way. Will my mum let me go to London to compete?

Author: Vanessa Curtis
Publisher: Curious Fox
Date of Publication: September 2014
Pages: 240
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I read this a few weeks ago one evening, all in one sitting. I wanted something short and light, and that's what I got! It's such a fresh concept with really interesting themes and characters, and I really enjoyed it.

Amelie, the protagonist, is a baker; a great one at that. She applies for a baker TV show (GBBO style), and gets through, but she had cystic fibrosis. It's been worse than usual, so it's on the rocks as to whether she will be able to go or not.

The characters in this one are great. I loved how much substance there was to them with little background or history; it was easy to identify with them. My favourite had to be Harry, Amelie's boyfriend; and I did like Amelie too, of course!

Now, I had never really heard of CF before. In primary school I knew someone with it, but I didn't know it was that at the time and obviously it wasn't shouted about; so I went into this book unknowing about it. Curtis explains it really well in uncomplicated terms, and I felt really at home with it, especially when Amelie went for appointments etc. I felt like I understood, at least to a point, which was great.

In terms of the ending, it was slightly predictable but in a good way. The way Curtis got there was funny, but with heartbreaking twists, and I wanted to see that ending happen.

I'd recommend this for people who love baking, eating and the Bake Off on TV! It's a great perspective on living with something like CF, too.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Discussion: Semi-Biographical Fiction


Today's topic is about what we think about semi-biographical fiction! 

To start off, what is it? - When an author writes a book partially based on their life, in short. 


I don't think I've read any semi-biographical fiction. What I have read is some stuff that people presume is, which really isn't. A prime example, the book that actually kick-started this discussion topic, is new debut Solitaire by Alice Oseman.

Oseman is only 19 (!!) and her book is about a sixth-former, who is really pessimistic and has a lot of difficulty with her family and friends. (It's amazing, just to say.) Now, a LOT of people have asked her if it's kind of based on her life. And time and time again, she has said no. But people still think it is. She's said there are a lot of little references to her education/school, but it isn't based on her life. The main character is not her. I think quite a few authors have been through this and it must be kind of annoying. 

In terms of what I think about semi-biographical books; I don't really mind. After all, I don't know about their life, so really it's just another fictional story, right? If, say, a friend wrote it, and I could tell, I wouldn't want to read it because I'd know everything that was going to happen and that defeats the point of a book. 

I wrote a 10K story when I was 11, and it had similarities to me and some of my history, but not enough to be like my life. (Looking back it was awful, but hey. Still proud.)

So yeah. I don't mind, because normally we don't know when the book is based on an authors' life, do we?


Before this topic for discussion came up, I had no idea what this was and didn’t know many books being semi-biographical. Now that I have learnt what it is, I love it. If all of my favourite authors wrote fiction books based on their lives or things that they have done then I would go out and buy every single one of them. I think what I like about it is that it is still fiction but the authors are connected to it in, maybe a character or a characters struggle and how they have overcome it which personally, I am really interested in. What I didn’t know is that Jane Eyre and Little Women are based on Charlotte Brontë’s and Louisa May Alcott’s personal experiences which actually makes me want to read them! Basically, I think it is great and I’m really interested in it now.

Do you like semi-biographical fiction?

Have you read any of the books mentioned?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Charli Reviews: Between the Lives

The perfect life or the perfect love. You choose.

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she shifts to her 'other' life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she's a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she's considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments that bring her dangerously close to the life she's always wanted. But if she can only have one life, which is the one she'll choose?

Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Books with Bite (Hodder)
Date of Publication: August 2014
Pages:
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Books with Bite (Hodder) in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Hodder!

I read this book whilst camping, and being the only girl and massive book nerd, I didn't really have anyone to fangirl with about fluff and plot twists and all the other elements of every book I love. Instead, I had 10 guys, including my leader, asking me about it and comforting me when I'd finished.

This book? Very close to perfection. The concept of switching lives with no-one knowing; having two very different personalities; was amazing to me. It made me wonder what it would be like having the Switch every night.

I adored the characters, too; Sabine was a great protagonist and I loved Ethan, the nurse in the hospital Sabine is in (in one of the lives). Shirvington developed Sabine's story so well and I found myself extremely attached to both her, the story and the romance.

The book also deals with topics like suicide; family issues and self-harm really well. Because Sabine wasn't actually suicidal but was taken into hospital for it, I didn't think it would work well in the story but it worked really well.

I won't be forgetting Between the Lives anytime soon; it's a intriguing concept with flawlessly formed characters; and the ending both made my heart break and sing. Shirvington has written an amazing book that I would recommend to anyone who likes contemporaries with slightly paranormal twists.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Bookish Confessionary: I'm a Little Scaredy Cat...

Welcome to The Bookish Confessionary, where I confess to all my bookish sins! GIF'S ARE NOT MINE.

I'm a little scaredy cat, short and stout...

Honestly? I hate horror.  


We read a few Goosebumps books back in Year 4, and I was okay with that, but generally, I hate it.

NOW.

I've wanted to read Say Her Name, by the one and only Queen Dawson, for ever.

It's been sitting on my shelves forever.

Taunting me.

"Come on Charli. You'll love me, even though I'll give you nightmares..."

It sounds phenomenal. And I keep going to pick it up.... Then I wimp out.

Because apart from those few, tame little Goosebumps books, I've never really touched horror.


So, really, I'm writing this confession in the hopes that you guys will help psych me up in the comments, and get me to read this book! Before Halloween and before I meet the Queen himself on the 30th of October.

Perhaps, I could revisit Goosebumps before I read it? Let me know in the comments what I should do!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'm Not Going to Finish... The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices

So early this year, I read the first five books in The Mortal Instruments series by the one and only Cassandra Clare. 

I read all five, because although they weren't mind-blowing, they were okay, and I don't like leaving series unfinished.

Now, Tori told me that really, I should have read The Infernal Devices first, and I definitely need to read them before I read City of Heavenly Fire.

So I read Clockwork Angel.

I think I did actually rate it 5/5, but looking back, I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I thought I did. I think, without realising, I felt pressured to like it and forced myself into liking it.

Now. I took Clockwork Prince out of the library in July, and I was super hyped for it. But then... I didn't read it, and I didn't read it, and I didn't read it.

I took it back a few weeks ago. I realised I just wasn't bothered.

I don't care what happens to Will and Tessa in TID (especially since I know a huge spoiler anyway, and that was the only thing I wanted to know), and I don't particularly care about what happens to Clary or Jace either, really.

Don't get me wrong. I really liked, loved, even, the first books in that series. But I'm just not bothered about finishing it.

At least not bothered enough to sit through 700 pages of the two books in The Infernal Devices that I haven't read, then the 700 pages of City of Heavenly Fire.

Does this make me a bad book nerd? I don't think so.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Charli Reviews: Blue

Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris’s world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.

Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.

But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit…

Author: Lisa Glass
Publisher: Quercus
Date of Publication: May 2014
Pages: 375
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

What can I say about this book? It was an absolutely perfect summer read! Blue is cute from start to finish and I can't wait for the sequel next June.

I didn't actually take many notes on this book because I was so into the story. As someone who hasn't got any interest in surfing whatsoever, I thought I could get really bored, but I was glued to the book and it actually did captivate me.

Something I adored particularly about this book was the characters. I liked Iris, and loved Zeke! Can we talk about Zeke's playlist:

"...Zeke just had a load of mellow surf music on there... Ben Howard, 
the Neighbourhood... Newton Faulkner..."

The Neighbourhood and Newton Faulkner! Zeke has extremely good taste. 
I did have a few grumbles about this book; all involving the plot. The element to do with drugs seemed a bit forced into it, and the situation with Daniel blew over quite quickly (I won't spoil what that thing is). The ending was really sweet, but was slightly anticlimatic. 

But where I wasn't being picky about the plot, it was a great storyline! It was really sweet and the romance was gorgeous. 

There are quite a few themes in this to do with LGBT and mental health, which Glass wrote about really well and they were threaded through the book so that it wasn't too heavy. Because of this, it was still all about the surfing and the romance, but it did have some more serious stuff to think about. 

I did really enjoy this book even though I had a few complaints! Glass is definitely one to watch and I'll definitely be reading the sequel. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tori Talks #6: Dragging Out Series

Tori's very own feature in which she rants about stuff that bugs her in the bookish world. GIF's used do not belong to us.  


I absolutely love series way more than stand-alone books, whether they be trilogies or seven books. However, one thing I hate is when they’re dragged out over loads of books.  The pace is slow and it is really boring until something big happens at the end of the series. Why can’t it just be one really good book instead of three really boring books?


I find that trilogies are more dragged out than longer series, for example, the Divergent series. I absolutely LOVED the first book because it was so action packed and I was so eager to read the next one, Insurgent but I hated it. Absolutely nothing good happened and I didn’t finish it because it was just too boring. About six months later I decided to attempt to read it again. It was still bad and I still disliked it but the end got a tiny bit better so I wanted to read the last book, Allegiant. I recently read this and the first half was kind of slow paced but the second half was AMAZING!!!Although the first book and second half of the last book was okay, the trilogy was dragged out and I think that it would have been better as two books instead of three so the smallest of thing didn’t have to be explained in such detail.


There are also some long series that would have been fine finishing at three books instead of six, such as The Mortal Instruments series.   This is one of my FAVOURITE series ever! However, it has six books that could have stopped after the events of the third book. Obviously I loved the fact that there were more but I don’t think that it was absolutely necessary.




Basically, I don’t like dragged out series. Comment and tell me what your opinion is!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Charli Reviews: Fearsome Dreamer

There is a world where gods you’ve never heard of have wound themselves into hearts, and choice has led its history down a different path. This is a world where France made a small, downtrodden island called England part of its vast and bloated empire. There are people here who can cross a thousand miles with their minds. There are rarer people still who can move between continents in the blink of an eye. These people are dangerous. And wanted. Desperately wanted.

Author: Laure Eve
Publisher: Hot Key
Date of Publication: October 2013
Pages: 384
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

Going into Fearsome Dreamer I thought it was going to be one of those books that I either loved or hated. I was neither wrong or right about that statement, and you'll see why later in the review. I started it, and I found myself reading 150 pages in about an hour. It was addictive; an intriguing, beautiful concept and a huge amount of gorgeous world-building.

About halfway through, I did find it slowing down, but this wasn't necessarily a bad thing; it made me stop and consider more about the plot and the world. Then, around 90 pages before the end, it got more exciting again, and I liked that.

The romance running through the book was slow developing, but it worked really well and I enjoyed reading about it. With such a complex concept and world, it added another element to the read that I liked.

I think my annoyance with this book was that I found the swapping between point of views and worlds too much. I didn't feel connections to the characters very much, and because of that I couldn't get into it as much as I wanted to.

Although I had a few qualms with this book, Eve writes astonishingly beautiful, and this book is very powerful; with an amazing concept and plot-line.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My TBR Has Jaundice!


Doctor Charli was recently observing her patient, the TBR pile, and noticed two serious things that were a bit off.

1) It is morbidly obese.
2) It has jaundice.

Jaundice is a common illness/symptom/thing, particularly in babies, nothing wrong with it.

BUT WHY DOES MY BOOKSHELF HAVE IT?

For those of you who are confused (probably all of you), I mean that loads of books that I currently have to read have yellow covers/spines.

It took me a moment to work out why. A lot of publishers are trying to not "genderise" books, ie no pink or blue. This is because the other sex opposite to each stereotypical colour thinks it isn't for their gender.

Has yellow become a "gender-safe" colour?

Don't get me wrong, I like yellow! I have no issue with it as a colour. But is it really the only colour a book can be now, without offending someone?

Green? Purple? Grey? Red? Orange? The spectrum is wide, my friends.

Am I going mad? Or do you agree? Let me know!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Tori Reviews: I'll Be There

Emily Bell believes in destiny. To her, being forced to sing a solo in the church choir—despite her average voice—is fate: because it’s while she’s singing that she first sees Sam. At first sight, they are connected.

Sam Border wishes he could escape, but there’s nowhere for him to run. He and his little brother, Riddle, have spent their entire lives constantly uprooted by their unstable father. That is, until Sam sees Emily. That’s when everything changes.

As Sam and Riddle are welcomed into the Bells’ lives, they witness the warmth and protection of a family for the first time. But when tragedy strikes, they’re left fighting for survival in the desolate wilderness, and wondering if they’ll ever find a place where they can belong.

Author: Holly Goldbery Sloan
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Date of Publication: March 2012
Pages: 256
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads | Amazon


At first I picked this book up from the school library thinking, ‘This will  picked this book up thinking 'be nice for the summer. It sounds very cute and will not break my heart with a bad event happening to one of the characters.’ It was AMAZING AND SO CUTE but parts broke my heart…

The plot was so well thought out and intriguing that I could not put the book down. It just kept getting better and better then got interesting then MAJOR PLOT TWIST and I couldn’t stop reading it!

Also, it was written perfectly! The descriptions were perfect. The language used was perfect. The whole book was perfect! I absolutely loved the way the emotions were described the best. It made my heart flip, melt, break and stop for moments.

As for the characters, I loved all of them. However, at first I disliked the main character, Emily, because she kept talking about feeling a romantic connection and being in love with someone she just met. Though, I did come to love her and Sam.

Sam is Emily’s boyfriend. His dad, Clarence, is a criminal who has to move around a lot and brings his two sons, Sam and his little brother Riddle, with him. Sam and Riddle are left to look for their own food, find a place to go during the day and aren’t cared for. I instantly loved Sam because he always thought about and helped other people before himself and was so caring!

Overall, this book was beautifully written and I fell in love with it. I would recommend this book to ANYONE!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Charli Reviews: This Book is Gay

Former PSHCE teacher and acclaimed YA author James Dawson gives an uncensored look at what it's like to grow up as LGBT. Including testimonials from people 'across the spectrum', this inclusive book explores everything anyone who ever dared to wonder wants to know - from sex to politics, how to pull, stereotypes, how to come-out and more. Spike Gerrell's hilarious illustrations combined with funny and factual text make this a must-have read.

Author: James Dawson
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: September 4th 2014
Pages: 271
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I never normally review non-fiction, but I knew that I had to read and review this one. I don't identify as LGBT+ myself, but I'm personally a big supporter of their rights and have wanted to know more about the subject.

James Dawson is the perfect person to write a book like this. He's blunt and witty, but reassuring and doesn't pretend he knows more than he does (which, of course, is a lot). The illustrations also add to the experience of the book.

Although I knew quite a lot about lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual and pansexual people, I didn't know a lot about transgender/gender-queer people, so it was really interesting to learn about that. I also liked all the testimonials and stories from people of various backgrounds, ages etc on the spectrum. 

I strongly believe that every single school, library, nurse's office should have a copy of this book. It's perfect for anyone either confused about their sexuality, wanting to know more about it, needing to gain confidence, or even like me, just want to learn more.

This book is absolutely brilliant and I want to shout from my roof tops for everyone to read it, LGBT* or not. It's amazingly insightful and hilarious, too!

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Discussion: "Green-Lit"


Today's discussion is about Greenlit. GAH- This could turn into a quite ranty discussion on Charli's side. 


I HATE THIS TERM. I love John Green. I absolutely adore the man. I've read all of his books and I have loved all of them. 

BUT HE IS NOT THE FIRST WRITER TO WRITE WHAT HE DOES. 

It's called contemporary. It has been being written for years. Okay? OKAY. 

He isn't the first to have written a contemporary about girls going missing, or roadtrips, or terminal illness, or gay people, or romance. 

It's not as if he has coined the term himself, which makes me slightly sane, but STILL. People. I think it's great that John Green has got a bunch of people reading who don't - I've seen it firsthand - but there are so many other books like that. 

It's not as if we call Fantasy, I don't know, Tolkien-Lit or Rowling-Lit.

So no. Charli no likey the term. I love him. But NO. It's just wrong.


Well, personally I don’t like this. I know that the John Green books are amazing, and people are inspired by them but John Green is an author who writes books that are in the contemporary genre, not a genre. Some people are saying that the books of authors like Rainbow Rowell (author of Fangirl, Eleanor and Park, Landline and Attatchments) and E.Lockhart (author of We Were Liars) are in the John Green genre. This makes me a bit angry, because they are very different. Rainbow Rowell and John Green write books that are in the same genre but are completely different. Different plot, different setting, different characters, different everything except the genre! John is, in my opinion, one of the most successful authors recently and many many people love his books but his books are contemporary just like loads of others in that genre so the genre is contemporary, not John Green. That’s just like saying all books about magic are in the J.K Rowling genre, not fantasy. Basically, I think that this whole John Green genre is stupid.

What's your opinion on this controversy? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Charli Reviews: Solitaire

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

Author: Alice Oseman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's
Date of Publication: 31st July 2014
Pages: 400
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I read this book in July, and it's now September. I've tweeted and fangirled and squealed about it, and I went to the author's launch party, but it's taken me this long to find words for my review. I honestly don't think I can do this justice, because Oseman's debut is purely phenomenal.

Tori, the protagonist, is relateable from the very first page, and I loved her straight away. She's extremely like me, and my friends (particularly Tori herself), and all the references to fandoms, bands and uses of sarcasm make it perfect.

The plot to do with Solitaire is amazing, and it shows the power of social media- how easy it is to spread a message to people, and to drag them in. I also loved the trail of post-it notes at the very beginning, leading to their blog address.

There's a lot to do with mental health in this book; and it's very open. I think that's important in YA and Oseman tackles it amazingly well. The themes of anorexia, self harm and general depression are brilliant. There are also mentions to equality for women, which was really interesting to see.

I related so much to this book; my history, attitude and the myths and truths of going to a grammar school; but it wasn't like reading a biography or anything, because it's so different and there's mystery, fun and so many other aspects.

This is one of those books that I think you have to have a certain outlook, attitude and sense of humour to enjoy. Tori is quite a pessimistic, sarcastic character, much like myself; but obviously that isn't for everyone. One thing I found intriguing was why Tori didn't like to read - because it's not real. Personally, I read because it isn't real.

As I said, I don't think I can review this and give it enough justice. But what I can say is that it's intriguing, funny, mysterious, and absolutely gorgeously written.

(I haven't used any quotes in this review because I had so many I wanted to use. Instead, I'll be doing a "Consider Yourself Quoted" post in October featuring a small army of amazing quotes.)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Bookish Confessionary: Fluff is Everything

Welcome to The Bookish Confessionary, the place I confess all my bookish sins! GIF's used do not belong to me.
I'm one of those girls who doesn't really date, or flirt or anything like that. I can't be bothered and I'm too much of an introvert. But. Romance in fiction? EVERYTHING.


I loveee romantic books. I love reading about cute relationships and their love and everything.

I'm a massive shipper. I. SHIP. EVERYTHING. From Everlark and Fourtris, to Viola and Orsino in Twelfth Night, to Troyler and Jamber.

Shipping gives me ALL. THE FEELS.

When I read Between the Lives at camp, I had massive feel attacks and I was actually squealing and stuff whilst the boys were playing cards. A few wanted to know what was happening and a couple (including our leader) were commentating on it as if I was a bird, like "And here we observe the greater spotted Charli having a fangirl attack...". Yep.


But yes. I love romance in fiction. When it's written well, I absolutely love it.

Why have romance in reality when you can read about so many relationships in books? Romance is dead in real life anyway.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Charli Reviews: The Fearless

The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect – anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother – and when Jory is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

Author: Emma Pass
Publisher: Random House Children's UK
Date of Publication: April 2014
Pages: 400
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

Having wanted to read one of Pass' works for ages, I jumped at the chance of reading The Fearless. I dived straight into it; and it definitely didn't disappoint. 

The scrapbook pieces and emails to begin with were really interesting, and the prologue was already full of adrenaline. The first line of the book - " 'When I was ten, the world ended.' " - is sharp, shocking and starts the story off so well. 

Pass explains each characters' history and personality in such depth that I felt like I had known them all my life. The description throughout is also amazing; threaded with emotion and beautifully detailed. 

Because of their isolation to the world, there isn't much of our world there. Pass puts in a lot of little relateable references to our world, which I really liked. 

" '...I'd give anything... those burgers that had cheese and bacon on it.' " 

Throughout the book, there are both clumps of action and lulls in the story. However, through both, the story always flowed. My only tiny complaint about the whole book would be the action being clumped together and not spread throughout. 

Cass wasn't an unlikeable protagonist, and I really liked Myo and Sol too. The elements of romance were cute, too! 
 
I, ultimately, loved this book. The characters, world and plotline were all excellent and I only had one small complaint.