Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Me, Suzy P

I'm Suzy Puttock (yes, Puttock with a P), fourteen years old and a total disaster magnet. My life's full of ups and downs. My loved-up big sister Amber's getting married and wants lime green bridesmaids' dresses. I'm not happy about that. But there's this hot new guy, Zach, just started at my school. I am happy about that. Only... I've had a boyfriend since forever, Danny. So now I'm all kinds of confused!

Author: Karen Saunders
Publisher: Templar
Date of Publication: January 2013
Pages: 352
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I've wanted to read Me, Suzy P since I interviewed Karen Saunders all the way back in November last year, and I've finally had the chance to do so! And, it definitely didn't disappoint me. I was hooked on Suzy's hilarious tales of woe and wonder from the start.

Suzy Puttock has a boyfriend, Danny. He's cute, but he doesn't do affection. Millie, her best friend, and her boyfriend Jamie basically eat each other's faces off in public, and Suzy isn't sure what's going to happen with Danny; after all, they've been together since they were 13! Her parents are embarrassing, her older sister is mad and her younger sister is a prankster. But generally, life is normal... Until Zach turns up.

Suzy decides to break-up with Danny, as it has lost it's spark, before ending up with Zach. Jade, resident Mean Girl, decides to go out with Danny. After unexpected, nasty things occur, it's all happily ever after (maybe).

Saunders made each character so unique and I came to love every single one (barring Zach and Jade. I hate them). I especially adored Harry, her younger sister, who was definitely smarter than they gave her credit for! Even Amber, the mad older sister forcing Suzy to wear a horrible bridesmaid's dress, found a special place in my heart.

At the time of reading this book I was in the car on a miserable day, and it cheered me up and made me laugh out loud time after time. It's one of those books that you can just sit back and enjoy, there's nothing to overthink and nothing to worry about, except who you want Suzy to end up with! I loved that, unlike the heavy dystopias and fantasy I normally read, I could just sit back and relax.

I couldn't stop reading it! I finished it in one sitting, in about an hour and a half. I absolutely adored everything about it. I could definitely imagine being there even though there wasn't any particularly heavy description, because of Suzy's loud, teenage voice in the book.

I also loved the spark that Suzy had. One of the things I picked up on quite early on was that Suzy almost created caricatures of members of her family, such as her Great Aunt "Loon".     

At the time of writing this I have also read the sequel and I can't wait for the third book to come out next year! It's too long to wait!

This book was a really quick read that I could just sit back and enjoy. The characters are all uniquely crafted and Saunders has created a perfect world (except me wanting hot chocolate every time they went to Bojangles!)


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: I Heart Beat

Beatrice has got a deadbeat mum, an addiction to online messaging and an aversion to the sun. Except she's being shipped off to stay with her 'Grummer' - a grandmother she barely knows - while her mum has another go at rehab. If Beatrice is going to have any chance of having some peace she will need to distract Grummer with a husband. 

Her plan is simple. But all does not go to plan for control-freak Beat. Suddenly the very important 'rely on no-one' policy has to make room for Toffie; a boy with a bike, a shock of red hair and a love for the natural fauna of South Africa.

Beat always knew that love was found in unexpected places. She just never thought that it might find her.

Author: Edyth Bulbring
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: February 2014
Pages: 224
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 read this book on a long car journey; and it certainly made the time pass! It was quite a short book so I read it in about an hour and a half; and I really enjoyed it! It was a refreshing change from the heavy dystopia's and massively fluffy contemporaries that fill my shelves these days.

Beatrice, or "Beat", was a protagonist I loved to hate, but also hated to love. She bugged me, a lot, but her intellect and good sense of humour made me love her. I hated how off-hand and, almost, snobby, she was. She pretended to be ill and didn't eat just to set her Grandmother up with someone. I think I almost couldn't relate to her, and that is why I didn't like her very much.

Toffie, however, is a character I just want to hug! He seemed really funny and wouldn't give up on Bea. He made me laugh several time throughout the story!

"It's called The Seafood Diet. 'I see food, 
and I eat it,' he says."

Everything in the book was described in detail, and, though it was quite a basic plot, the chaos and twists of the book made it really interesting! 
This book was really funny and had comic, clear-cut characters, chaotic plot-line and lovely description. I'd recommend it to 9-12 year olds in need of a quirky, light-hearted read to pick them up.

This is quite a short review, but I think it expresses everything I want it to :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Blog Tour: Review of The Guestbook

Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.

As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider - whatever her colourful array of guests require.  A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.

This includes Annie herself - especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.

Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!

Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ - one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.

Author: Holly Martin
Publisher: Carina UK
Date of Publication: February 14th 2014
Pages: 352
Source: For review, via author and blog tour company
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from Holly Martin via Gosling Girls Blog Tours in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you Holly and Gosling Girls!

When I started this, I didn't think there would really be a plot- after all, a different person would be staying in the cottage every week, taking their part of the story with them, so nothing would be continually, right? But I couldn't have been any more wrong- there was, and it was amazing!

Annie Butterworth, a young widowed landlady, owns a cottage which she rents out to holiday makers for a few weeks at a time. She decides to add a guest book, to communicate with the guests, let them keep a bit of a diary and just make them feel at home.

Okay, so, first of all, this was absolutely hilarious. I read it at about half nine at night, so I couldn't laugh as hard as I wanted to, but I found myself giggling at multiple points in the book. Everything that happened with the various guests linked together and each one had their own font (handwriting) so returning guests were easy to recognise.

I loved how there was even a romance, formed not how it would in a normal book, but within this guest book! We got every aspect of it, purely from diary entries; some of it very cleverly done by it being the guests relaying the romance!

The same goes with Annie's history. I didn't think I would learn much about her or come to love her as much as I did, but by the end, I did. I also really loved Oliver; a funny, ironic writer, trying to win Annie's heart.

Normally this style of writing just doesn't work, but it did, and so, so well at that. It was a refreshing read, but had an amazing plot-line and there were more serious parts to break it up.

I really enjoyed The Guestbook. An unusual style, but with a full plotline and romance, it ticked every box for an adult chick-lit.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: The Summer I Found You

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

Author: Jolene Perry
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Date of Publication: March 1st 2014
Pages: 256
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

This book is an emotional rollercoaster. That is the only way I can find to describe it; I loved it and found myself riveted; speechless.

Kate is a diabetic, off to college next year. Her long-time boyfriend dumps her... And then she meets Aidan, a newly disabled ex-soldier. Everything changes. Lots of things happen on the way, but could they be right for each other?

As I mentioned before, this book is extremely emotional. There was so much development and it was so real... The slow, but perfectly paced, romance only added to that as did the dual point of view. I don't think it would hit me even half as hard had it only been from one point of view.

I loved most the characters, too. Aidan was such a typical guy, but he was so much more, too, mysterious and different. Kate, it has to be said, annoyed me. She didn't control or bother with her diabetes until she was put in hospital, and the amount of times she was rude or put her foot in her mouth about Aidan bugged me. And yet she seemed so ashamed of her own condition, and she seemed to think she was a completely different person and couldn't live her life. 

"...None of it feels real. It's like this problem 
belongs to someone else."

"His face immediately freezes. His life before this one... 
I had a life before diabetes too."

I think my only problem was that it was slightly slow in places and I disliked Kate. But, the romance of Kate and Aidan worked amazingly, so that didn't matter in some ways. And the amount of cute scenes between the two made it pretty amazing for me.

I loved this in the whole. It was funny and light in places... yet heavy and romantic in others. It was everything I like in a contemporary, even if a few things annoyed me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tag: The Winter Olympics Book Tag

1. Opening Ceremony - The best stand-alone.
Has to be The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. 

2. Just about to compete - The book you are most anticipating.
Cheat a bit on this one... City of Heavenly Fire, even though I'm only on City of Glass, I'm already anticipating it!

3. Sochi 2014 - The book that left you feeling cold and heart-broken.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth, no doubt at all. :'(

3. Team GB/USA - The book with a cultural aspect.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. I love the series!

4. Figure-Skating - The book with beautiful-writing.  
Far From You by Tess Sharpe (out in March!) and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Both so, so powerful.

5. Speed Skating - The book that kept you gripped/made your heart race.
I don't know if I have one for this one... Oh! Yes... Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Absolutely adored this one <3 

6. Pairs(Short Programme) - The book with your favourite friendship/romance.
Divergent by Veronica Roth, TFiOS, HP, Earth Girl by Janet Edwards. All of them <3 

7. Alpine Skiing - The book with the most twists and turns in it's plot.
Haha! Has got to be The One Plus One (out 27th Feb) by Jojo Moyes. Was predictable as to what would happen at the end, but throughout the book, so many! 

8. Cross-country - The book that took you on a journey.
Earth Girl by Janet Edwards. My fave book of 2013 and I just adore it. 

9. Snowboard - The book with the most ups and downs.
Not sure for this one! Um...Ok. Delirium by Lauren Oliver, I would say.

10. Biathalon - The book that hit all the targets.
Earth Girl again! And Split Second by Sophie McKenzie

11. Luge(Team Relay) - The best book-series.
Apart from HP and Divergent, the Flynn books by Sophie McKenzie

12. Last Place - The book that left you disappointed.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey!! NO DOUBT for this one. 

13. Gold Medal Winner - The best book you have read.
Can't pick, so, even though this couldn't happen at the Olympics, I AM PICKING 3
Divergent, Earth Girl and TFiOS. Obviously. 

14. Podium - Top three characters
Augustus Waters, Cherokee Brown (Finding Cherokee Brown by Siobhan Curham) and Tobias Eaton. 

15. Closing Ceremony - The best finale.
HMM. Defy The Stars by Sophie McKenzie. THE ENDINGGGGG :(

I tag....... 

EVERYONE! <3 Link me up in the comments! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Consider Yourself Quoted: City of Bones and City of Ashes

This is my brand new feature! I'm very driven in my reading by the beautiful writing, and I always loved a good quote! So, if I don't want or need to review a book, I'm going to share it in one of these posts... 

 For my first ever CYQ post, I'm sharing quotes from City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare! I'm going to put a "read more" in, because, though there shouldn't be spoilers (there may be in the CoA bit), I know some don't like to see stuff from books they haven't read! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review: Far From You

Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Indigo
Date of Publication: March 27th 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

This review is definitely not going to do this book enough justice; I cannot stress that enough. Heart-stopping; I can barely form words about it! It's full of everything I want, a thrilling, yet gorgeously written.

How is this a debut? Sharpe's writing is thought-provoking; extraordinarily vivid and full of emotional language that made even me shed a few tears. I haven't read a contemporary so powerful for a long time; relatable, yet miles away from my own world.

The protagonist, Sophie, has lost her best friend, Mina; she was murdered, taking with her a secret that only she and Sophie knew. I think part of the reason this hit me so hard was because I could relate to the death of a best friend; but yet, it was so different to myself, as Mina was murdered.
Sophie has to deal with so much; Mina's death; a drug habit; almost dying herself twice... And you'd think this would be overpowering throughout the book, and, yet, it's not.

As a protagonist generally, Sophie was one of those characters that I just want to give a hug. Yes, she seemed a bit of the rebellious type, but she'd been through so much, and still was. And, now, looking for the murderer.

My only fault about it was the time changes in each chapter; as I got confused every now and then. But looking back, this was almost definitely my own fault for not properly looking at it at the start of each chapter.

The way Sharpe also made the book have an LGBT theme made it all the more phenomenal. With everything else going on, I thought even more would make all the details go a little hazy over each other... But it didn't.

Phenomenally written and completely spine-tingling; I can't do this debut enough justice or recommend it more to anyone who wants a contemporary with something unique.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: A Million Little Snowflakes

Oliver Hurst has always been abnormally normal.

His grades are horrible, his best friend just left for Utah, and he's depressed. His overly religious parents don’t help, especially since they control every facet of his life. One stupid sentence said in desperation gets Oliver tossed in an adolescent psych ward, where his depression and fears become even more of a reality.

When Oliver meets snide, tough girl Lacey Waters he doesn't think his life could get any better, that is, until she becomes the ray of sunshine he has desperately needed on his cloudiest of days.

Author: Logan Byrne
Publisher: Self
Date of Publication: September 2013
Pages: 206
Source: For review via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I wasn't sure at first what to think about this book; but I came to fall in love with it. It perfectly reflects being depressed in  modern society and everything that comes with it; along with a stunning romance and distinct characters.

The thing that pulled me in right at the beginning was the protagonist's (Oliver's) character was clear straight away - a very blunt, and evidently depressed. He stated straight away; I'm depressed, but I'm not a stereotype, so get over it. He was foregrounded with a history right at the beginning, too, so I could understand him more.

"I might as well have been Voldemort, for 
my name was never spoken." 

A Million Little Snowflakes didn't have much action. And it didn't need it! It had romance, description, emotion. It's about a dispirited boy who goes into hospital for it... But, yet, it wasn't a depressing read. And I absolutely LOVED that about it. I mean, it's good if a book makes you feel the same way as the characters, but in this, it didn't, it made it all the better.

"I walked into a stereotypical sight..."

I obviously won't share any spoilers, but the ending. Heart-breaking, tear-jerking... but it worked absolutely perfectly with the storyline.

My only thought was that it was a little stereotypical in places, not in the depression, more in the romantic element. The relationship was captivating; but some of the descriptions did come across as a little cliche.

"...smiled, her hands starting to get clammy 
as you could almost see the butterflies fluttering out of her 
mouth and into the stale hospital air."

It was full of beauty and intrigue, detail and relationships. It riveted me; overall, even if it was a little cliche, this was an extremely powerful read. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Review: The Moon and More

Luke is the perfect boyfriend, handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline had been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough... Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclucoerceocal artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby? Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin
Date of Publication: June 2013
Pages: 435
Source: Borrowed from library
Goodreads | Amazon

The Moon and More is a coming-of-age story in which Emaline is about to go to college, and after not being about to attend Columbia, is having her final summer working at the resort before having to go to college. It shows her trials through a love triangle and a lot of family issues.

I have really mixed thoughts about this one, and they coerce so much that I'm not actually sure which are negative and which are positive! So, instead, I'll let you make your own minds up about it.

The first thought I had about it was that it was very much like Sarah Dessen's other books; romantic, descriptive... but, unfortunately, predictable. Now, I know contemporary books aren't supposed to have a lot of mystery, but it would have been nice if it had been a tad less forseeable.

However, I did like the use of small details within the story, particularly of Colby, the town, because it made the story seem more real, which, even in reality based stories, isn't always done very well.

The relationship between Emaline and Benji, her stepbrother, was one of the best elements of the book; it was relatable to me and I loved the scenes in which Emaline took him out to the arcades, restaurants etc. 

Within a few pages you can tell the family relationships are less of a "relationship" than somewhat of a strain. 

"There's a difference between the words father and dad. 
And it's more than three letters." 

The romance... The romance was again quite predictable. I preferred her and Luke than her and Theo, to be honest, and I thought the chemistry that Dessen wrote between them was heavier, too. 

"Luke got an egg and bacon biscuit, as always.
Even when nothing was normal, breakfast apparently didn't change."

So, yes, this book was predictable. But it had some great twists and turns, and some gorgeous descriptions. So, overall, I am going to rate this as 3/5.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Books and Bullying Go Hand in Hand; In More Ways Than One

No, I'm not talking about bullying being in books. A little more personal. 

I've had a passion for reading since I could listen to my mum reading books. I've been reading since I was about 3. I love it.

Books are what got me through primary school. Throughout horrendous bullying from years 2-6, I kept a book on my person, reading, taking me to another world (for any slow people; that is why my blog name is what it is). I had friends, I had somewhere else to be.

Of course, in the playgrounds, the bullies would approach me and take my book out of my hands. I found good places to hide and read. However, you get those annoying people who come up to you like "what you reading?" *shows cover* "oh cool. I've read/haven't read that." *sits, bored*. But it was always better than the bullying.

I was reading teen books when I was 8; I started reading YA when I was 11. The teachers would watch me if they were on duty, sitting in an enclosed corner, reading, and marvel when I bought a new book each day.

Of course, it was different when I was best friends with Simran. Super Simmi and Chick Charli. I was still bullied when she wasn't around, but I didn't have to lug a book out into the playground and risk getting it dirty. And then, and most of you know, the walls came crashing down when Simran died in November, 2010.

It all started again. The cycle.

But my point is, books and bullying do go hand in hand. Inadvertently, I suppose. They get so many people through rubbish at school, home, or just whisk them away to another place.

Just don't take Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire into the playground. Don't do that. Personal experience.

And you know, I don't think this post will help anyone. It wasn't intended to, really. If it does, that's great. It was more to show how bullying and books are inadvertently similar, and my own experiences.

Charli :)

Friday, February 07, 2014

Review: Fracture

When Decker found Delaney kissing his best friend Carson, he told himself that it meant nothing. But then Carson calls to Delaney from across the vast frozen lake. Jealous, Decker insists they walk over the fragile ice. Halfway, he leaves her there ...Ten minutes without air, Delaney will be dead. Decker pulls her out of the icy waters after eleven. Delaney is alive, but now she is drawn to those who are dying ...and to stranger, Troy - someone Decker should see as a threat.

Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date of Publication: (This Edition) February 2014
Pages: 272
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Goodreads | Amazon

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

A short but powerful book, Fracture is a unique, gripping story to curl up with. Full of emotion, this is a poignant read. I honestly don't think my review will do it justice.

Fracture was full of imagery, and it worked so well with the story. It made it feel real; I felt like I was on the ice, it cracking under my feet.

"The two drinks in my stomach churned and the 
acid in my gut rose upward..."

The book was quite heavy on description but it worked amazingly. All the tiny details were there and Delaney's thoughts and bundles of emotions shone through. It hooked me from the first page. 

"The first time I died, I didn't see God. No 
light at the end of the tunnel. No haloed angels. 
No dead grandparents."

I loved the developing romance between the two best friends, Delaney and Dexter. I rooted for them from start to finish, and the twists and turns it took throughout the book made it a romance to squeal about. 

The great thing about it, though, was that the romance wasn't the key theme in the book, but it worked together with this beautiful, gripping story to make it amazing. And there was also a love triangle (well, square) but it wasn't too prominent, and tied in the with book.

I still can't get over how vivid this book is; almost too much so, though I wouldn't change it for anything. I now really want to read the sequel, also out this month, Vengeance.

All in all this book is a unique, gripping story with a beautiful added romance and stunningly vivid imagery. I recommend it completely, especially with the new cover!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Discussion: Does YA Give Us a False Image of Love?

At the point in time of writing this, I'm reading Eleanor and Park. It's amazing (like perfection...), but it got me thinking. Does YA give us a false image of love? 

*Note: I'm writing this in the point of view of a girl reading books, but it can work either way with a guy. (Do boys have book girlfriends? If you're a guy, let me know in the comments!!)*

All in time in the bookish world, we reference to "book boyfriends". There are so many! And a lot of people, including myself, say things like "I want a guy like *insert name of book boy here* some day". Because, they, and the romance between the characters, is often flawless and makes us feel all warm inside. The little things they do, the way they look, they like books/can cook/are smart, all things like that, makes us daydream about these guys.

But... Are there really guys like that? Will any of us ever be with a guy like that? The awesome Jamie wrote this post about being married to a non-reader, and it doesn't seem that bad. But I think that maybe YA gives us that image over love as teenagers and as readers.

And, I think there is an illusion as to what being in a relationship is like. It isn't all singing and dancing, is it? (I'm guessing, of course.) And a lot of the time, it isn't forever. It's not our best friend, love at first sight or any of this. 

The graphic on the left is just a few examples of book boyfriends! I have loads from standalones, but these are a few from various hyped books and series. Park, Tobias, Peeta, Draco and Simon are a few of mine, and I added Jace and Ron for a little variation ;)

So, what do you guys think? Does YA give us a false image? 

Let me know down in the comments about what you think! (Especially if you're a guy; do you have book girlfriends? Who are they? I want to know!)

Monday, February 03, 2014

Blogger Spotlight: Arianne on Cover Trends in YA

Today I'm sharing with you an AWESOME guest post by the amazing Arianne. I'm really excited for this post and squealed when it landed in my inbox, so I hope you enjoy it too!

Arianne is a lovely freelance book blogger, and she's done various amazing guest posts around the blogosphere. Make sure to follow her on twitter here, too. Now, on to Arianne!

I’m a sucker for a good young adult book cover. When you pick up a book with a beautiful cover, that book is perfect – just for a moment, but perfect nonetheless. The words inside each book are what really matters, of course, but I can’t be the only one who savours those first few seconds of shining cover glory before the story starts. Here, I take a look at some of the cover trends that have characterised YA in recent years – and they’re only getting stronger in 2014.

Redheads Rock

It’s official: redheads are going to dominate 2014. Some say the real-life redhead gene is in decline, but YA says otherwise – so if you’re a redhead wondering where all your pretty covers have been in the past, rejoice! 2014 is going to be your year.

Did Somebody Get That Cover From My Instagram/Pinterest/Some Hipster Down the Street?

Contemporary young adult writers are looking to contemporary photography for their covers these days. In an era of filters and Photoshop, hipster and happiness, the popularity of this striking, cool style has absolutely skyrocketed – and I can’t say I haven’t loved a lot of it!

The Return of Illustrated Young Adult Book Covers

In stark contrast to the hipster/Pinterest trend, illustrated covers have recently been making a comeback.  Backed up by fantastic cover designs and strong, eye-catching colours, the new age of illustrated covers dispenses with the tired, old-fashioned illustration stereotype. Instead, these covers stand out from the crowd – fine additions to anyone’s shelf!

Sunshine, Daisies, Butter Mellow , Make This Dystopia Bright and Yellow!

Dystopian is a genre that needs no introduction – especially when you can recognise it by the colour of its font! This is an unmissable yet slightly odd trend that it seems to be working for publishers at the moment, creating a definitive look for the bestsellers of the dystopian realm.

And It’s Not Just Dystopians Going In For The Yellow Theme, Either

Continuing the idea of dressing the darkest books with traces of striking yellow, the more abstract patterns featured on All Our Pretty Songs and Dreams of Gods and Monsters could be the start of a brand new yellow trend.

It’s worth noting recent use of this attention-grabbing palette in title font, too, especially in books like How To Lead a Life Of Crime (still one of the most memorable covers I’ve ever seen!) where the title literally becomes the cover, telling us everything we nee dot know about the story in one fell swoop.

Hold On, Using The Title As the Main Attraction of the Cover Isn’t So Rare…

In fact, this has to be the most populous trend in YA in recent years – and I have to say, in the race for Trend of the Year, there’s just no contest. This is a trend that can turn its hand to almost any type of book, from contemporary to paranormal and back again. Typeface grids epitomise the directness of graphic design, and it’s perfect for YA: straightforward, sleek and stunning.  There are dozens of examples I could have picked here, but I’ve whittled it down to eight that show every side of the trend – and I’ve sneaked a few of my personal favourites in there, too!

So there are my top five cover trends of YA – but what about yours? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter, and share the cover love!

Thanks to Arianne for the awesome guest post!! <3 

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Review: Who Framed Klaris Cliff

People used to call them 'friends' and said how they were good for your brain. And then a day came when all that changed . . . when they became our enemy.

Now, anyone found harbouring a rogue imaginary person is in for the Cosh, an operation that fries your imagination and zaps whatever's in there, out of existence.

That's why I wish Klaris Cliff had never shown up. And why I know that proving her innocence is the last hope I have of saving myself.

Author: Nikki Sheehan
Publisher: Oxford University Press Children's
Date of Publication: February 2014
Pages: 256
Source: For review
Goodreads | Amazon

I received a free proof of this book from OUP Children's in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you!

Who Framed Klaris Cliff  is about a boy named Joseph who has an imaginary friend, Klaris. But now, imaginary friends are bad; and to get rid of them, they put you through the Cosh, frying every bit of imagination you have.

I found this concept of imaginary friends being bad and evil intriguing and different; I've never read one with a concept like it! Full of clear-cut characters and detailed description, this book had stunning imagery, mystery and a fresh new voice.

There was always description as to what Joseph was doing and feeling, which was incredibly insightful. I found that when we found out he was worried about losing all his memories of his deceased mum, I was actually really emotional for him.

"But, when we got home and stepped inside of the 
house, my certainty trickled away like down a drain..."

"...It flooded warmth through my body, radiating out
through my chest. Klaris was hugging me..."

The only thing I did find was Joseph seemed younger than 13; I'm 13 myself, and though I'm mature, he seemed a lot younger than the level of my peers. However, the book was quick and refreshing, so I didn't mind too much. 
Overall, Who Framed Klaris Cliff was a light read with a unique concept; a stunning, beautiful debut.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Monthly Round-Up: January 2014

The first month of the year had been absolutely jam-packed, both at To Another World and in my real world...

In My Real World...

  • I finished my Silver Arts Award!! I don't know if I've actually passed yet, but... It's awesome. 
  • My sister started nursery and they are looking at The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I <3 TVHC and now so does she! They made biscuits and everything
  • I got Flappy Bird. Don't do it. 
  • I have been sticking to all my resolutions! I managed to read 17 books (13% of my goal!) 
Books I Read
Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman; Who Framed Klaris Cliff by Nikki Sheehan; Drawn by Cecilia Gray; The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry; Split Second by Sophie McKenzie; A Million Little Snowflakes by Logan Byrne; The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes; How To Love by Katie Cotugno; Defy The Stars by Sophie McKenzie; Blood Orange Soda by James Larranga; Fracture by Megan Miranda; I Heart Beat by Edyth Bulbring; Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell; Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins; A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Top 3  4 of January
  1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Split Second by Sophie McKenzie
  3. Defy The Stars by Sophie Mckenzie
  4. Fracture by Megan Miranda
What's happened at To Another World


Drawn by Cecilia Gray

The Moment Before by Suzy Vitello

Looking For Alaska by John Green 

Defy The Stars by Sophie McKenzie 

Split Second by Sophie McKenzie

How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman

Storm and Stone by Joss Stirling

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Other Stuff:

I posted my 2014 Blogging and Reading Resolutions

I interviewed Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf, Eric Price and Jamie Baywood

I discussed choosing what to read

I talked about the Writes of Passage scheme for World Book Day

I hosted:
an excerpt on the Cyberstalker tour
a cover reveal for Sworn to Secrecy 

I discussed how much time you spend blogging (and cause comment rampaging by mentioning some silly muggles)

To Another World hit 6 months old! The giveaway (UK) is running till the 3rd of this month, so get in there now!

As you can see, I have had an awesome month blogging wise! School has been another story, but ah well. Swings and roundabouts. 

How was your January?