Friday, March 28, 2014

Reader Jargon Dictionary

So. I (Charli) was sitting in my chair and was thinking of how much jargon (for those who don't know: "special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand") we as readers actually have! So Tori and I have come up with a bit of a dictionary for you...

Fangirly/Fanboyish Jargon 

AHHHHH- a very eloquent term which is the first thing that comes out of your mouth when real words fail you whilst fangirling over a chapter, scene or ending of a book.

asdfghjkl- a term usually used online, very difficult to pronounce, and used commonly when someone mentions a shipping (see "ship") or event.

Book Boyfriend- a boy from a book that if was real, you would want to date. Many girls have many. Fanboys may also have book girlfriends, but I do not know.

BroTP- or Brother OTP (see "OTP"). A sort of ship but for a bromance, eg Johnlock (Sherlock).

*crying*- a pretty self explanatory term.

DYING HERE- see above definition.

feels- The feels are basically what infect you to say many of the above terms such as asdfghjkl, AHHHHH and *crying*.

*flappy hands*- We don't know if anyone except Tori and I do this, but we have this thing where we flap our hands about when we have feels........

NOTP- a ship you could NEVER ship, for example Snily (Snape and Lily) or Gale and Katniss.

OMG WHAT- this is one of my (Charli) most common pieces of jargon. I use it a lot. Pretty self-explanatory, it comes out at the ends of books or plot twists.

OTP- One True Pairing. Your favourite, canon or not, ship. Charli's are Scorose (Scorpius and Rose from HP) and Fourtris (Divergent) and Tori's is Jily (James and Lily from HP)

Ship- two people you want to be together in a book.

Sparkly Vampire- *cough* *cough* Edward *cough* *cough* less said the better.

<3 <3 <3 <3 - a series of hearts.

General Reader Jargon

DNF- Did Not Finish- you did not like this book and COULD NOT STAND IT ANY LONGER, so you "DNF" it.

Duology- a series of only 2 books. Normally heart-breakingly so.

Genres- types of book (or film or music or anything else really). Examples are fantasy, dystopia, contemporary and fantasy.

LGBT+- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender +. Obviously this is a general term, mainly for people, but is also a genre of book.

MG- Middle Grade. Basically the genre before "teen" and also known as "tween".

NA- New Adult. They say it's the category between Adult and YA (see "YA), but personally I think it's just the term for YA with lots of slightly older content.

POV- Point of View. In short, the point of view a book is from!

Protagonist- the main character in a book and normally the person the book is in the POV of or is focused on.

Standalone- a book that isn't a series. So, like, they stand alone on their own feet? I don't know, it's a way to remember it.

Trilogy- A series comprising of 3 books. Trilogies are very common in YA (see YA)

YA- Young Adult. A little maturer than teen, but not adult.

So that is our jargon dictionary! Did you like it?

What should be added? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Consider Yourself Quoted: These Broken Stars

This book was so gorgeously written that I just couldn't write a review and had to do a Consider Yourself Quoted! I had stickied around 40 quotes, but I narrowed it down to these top 5. Enjoy, and I hope it makes you want to read it! There aren't any spoilers.

5. "I cup the flower in my hands, closing 
my eyes for a long moment... abruptly I see
Tarver's quiet smile, the beauty in the moment..."

4. "The air leaves my lungs with a rush, pain
shooting up my back..."

3. "The trees are tall and straight, their lower trunks
mostly devoid of limbs, their foliage a dark 
green with a distinctive smell, crisp and clean."

2. "And  there it is, against all hope, like the
sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The
smallest hint of a smile..."

1. "Too bright. Too loud. Harsh on my skin, 
in my eyes. The world tastes like ash and acid, 
and I am drowning in the air." 

Don't you all just want to read it now? No? Well, you need to. I finished it in like two hours. It's just gorgeous.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tori Reviews: Beautiful Dead: Jonas

Note from Charli: This is Tori's first review, and I think it's great, so please leave a comment!

Something strange is happening in Ellerton High. Phoenix is the fourth teenager to die within a year. His street fight stabbing follows the deaths of Jonas, Summer and Arizona in equally strange and sudden circumstances.
Rumours of ghosts and strange happenings rip through the small community as it comes to terms with shock and loss. Darina,Phoenix's grief-stricken girlfriend, is on the verge. She can't escape her intense heartache, or the impossible apparitions of those that are meant to be dead. And all the while the sound of beating wings echo inside her head! And then one day Phoenix appears to Darina.
Ecstatic to be reunited, he tells her about the Beautiful Dead. Souls in limbo, they have been chosen to return to the world to set right a wrong linked to their deaths and bring about justice. Beautiful, superhuman and powerful, they are marked by a 'death mark' - a small tattoo of angel's wings.

Author: Eden Maguire
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Date of Publication: April 2009
Pages: 279
Series: Beautiful Dead #1
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon

Honestly, I was really disappointed with this book. I decided to buy it because one of my friends at school was reading the series and said it was really good however, I have to disagree. 

The book is in Darina’s point of view and starts two days after Darina’s boyfriend, Phoenix, dies, which, as you can guess, means that she is quite depressed and unhappy. Suddenly, she sees Phoenix alive as Beautiful Dead; people who have died then have come back from beyond the grave. The Beautiful Dead have only got a year from their death to try and find out how they died and Darina has to try to discover how Jonas, a local teenage boy, died.

Although I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wished to, I loved some of the characters including Zoey and Arizona. I thought that the relationship between Zoey and Jonas was so touching and really cute! Arizona was, by far, my favourite character. She was the only one who was looking at the scene realistically and I loved her sarcasm and her remarks under her breath.

“So Darina, Jonas’s eternal future is down to you and you alone.
Wowee –zowee, Jonas, that sure makes a person stop and think”

The descriptions were written well and I could actually imagine scenes and people which does not happen in some books. I think that the descriptions of people were the best.

“Close up, his features blurred through the flickering fringe
of my lashes, but his eyes shone clear into mine.”

The main part of the reason that this book disappointed me was because of it being too unrealistic such as the mother-daughter relationship between Darina and her mother confused and annoyed me at times. It was poorly written in my opinion because she calls her mum Laura when she is describing her which doesn’t really happen. I’m sure most people call their mum, mum and not by their real name. In addition to this, one day they’re arguing which does happen between teenagers but the next day they dismiss it and start crying in each other’s arms.

 Also, it was very predictable. I have nothing against books that are predictable because sometimes it works but with this book it just made me dislike it.  They mention someone saying that they have a bad feeling about them and then suddenly, someone remembers them and this happened around the middle of the book so it was very obvious.

Overall, I did like the book seeing as it was a good plot but I will not be reading the rest of the books in the series.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Bookish Confessionary: I Have Series Tendencies

Another new feature here at TAW, The Bookish Confessionary. Confessing all my bookish sins! It will be posted fortnightly, on a Wednesday, and I will use something I never have before- GIFs!

Images used are not mine.

I do. And bookshelf tendencies. 

I HATE hardbacks, as you have heard before. THEY STICK OUT.

But I hate EVEN MORE, when they CHANGE THE COVERS OF A SERIES HALFWAY THROUGH, or randomly make the last one bigger.

Oh yes, for more money. *COUGH* ALLEGIANT *COUGH* REACHED *COUGH*

AND THEN. When I get books off Amazon, and THEY COME AND THEY AREN'T THE RIGHT MATCHY COVERS even though the picture on Amazon SAID IT WOULD BE.

And I'm just like w h y.

Why do they do this.

And then sometimes, they release GORGEOUS new covers when I have the old covers, again (even though the first were quite nice), Allegiant.

On my bookcase, hardbacks have to be at the end of the shelf, because I have to have a flat shelf. Which is why series with a RANDOM HARDBACK go at the end of one of my shelves.

Sometimes, it's not publisher's fault. I bought Cherry Crush and Marshmallow Skye in book fayres at school, so they were paperback exclusives before the paperback came out. THEN I left and had to buy hardbacks of Summer's Dream and Coco Caramel. End of the shelf they have gone. 


So... My crazy thoughts about my series tendencies. Tada. 

Do you have series tendencies? Or bookshelf tendencies? Let me know in the comments and make me feel better...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Far From You Coundown: Consider Yourself Quoted

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?

10 days. 240 hours. 14,400 minutes. 

Today I'm ultra excited to be hosting on the Far From You Countdown with my feature Consider Yourself Quoted, and some beautiful quotes. You can see my review here. 

"I wolf down half my burger,  loving it simply 
because it's not rehab food and doesn't come on a tray"

"All they'll find is her blood. My blood. Our blood. 
My nails dig deeper into my knee. I take a breath, then another.
On the third, I step into the shower.
I let the water wash away the last of her."

"With my addiction tackled, now they're 

setting out to fix me completely. 
A New and Improved Sophie. 
Whole and mended, with no jagged edges or sharp points."

"I curl my fingers around the ring so tightly, 

I'm surprised the word stamped into the silver 
doesn't carve its way into me the way she did."

"It's the only way, because I know my my mother.  

She'll never believe me but she'll do whatever it takes to keep this from ruining my life.
It's the first thing I've done that isn't about Mina."

This is just a phenomenal book and as you can see is just gorgeously written. Pre-order it now! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Charli Reviews: Bird

'Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John. His name was John until Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird with the way he kept jumping off things, and the name stuck. Bird’s thick, black hair poked out in every direction, just like the head feathers of the blackbirds, Grandpa said, and he bet that one day Bird would fly like one too. Grandpa kept talking like that, and no one paid him much notice until Bird jumped off a cliff, the cliff at the edge of the tallgrass prairie, the cliff that dropped a good couple hundred feet to a dried-up riverbed below. From that day on, Grandpa never spoke another word. Not one.

The day that Bird tried to fly, the grown-ups were out looking for him – all of them except Mom and Granny. That’s because that very day, I was born.'

Twelve-year-old Jewel never knew her brother, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Then one night, on her birthday, she finds a mysterious boy sitting in her oak tree. His name is John. And he changes everything.

Author: Crystal Chan
Publisher: Random House Children's UK
Date of Publication: February 2014
Source: For review via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

Bird broke my heart, and it captivated me with it's astoundingly beautiful language, description and plotline. I don't think I can do it justice, because it was just so powerful and purely heart-breaking.

Jewel's brother, John, died on the day she was born. His grandad had nick-named him Bird, and he tried to fly off a cliff... Now, years on, when Jewel feels she is just an empty replacement, she meets a boy visiting his uncle - John.

The empathy I felt for Jewel was immense. My best friend, as close as a sister, died when I was 10- but I think anyone could feel that empathy regardless, for the emotions and thoughts were just so developed and detailed.

I loved the characters. John, her new friend, was ambitious, interesting and balanced Jewel out. Jewel, as she became more herself, had a beautiful, thoughtful personality. They were just formed so flawlessly.

I loved all the little things that made it all the more heart-rending; her going to Bird's cliff, where she met John. The element in which her family believed about spirits and duppies gave a mysterious air and that just gave it another unique edge.

Because of the many issues dealt with in this book, I had thought it would be quite heavy and overpowering. It wasn't; obviously it wasn't a light, easy read, but it was just beautiful.

I was so shocked to find out this was debut. I hadn't thought it was; because it's just so powerful. It seemed like Chan had written half a dozen novels before!

This book is just so poignant, and I can't fault this debut. I loved it so much and there was a lump in my throat all the way through it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Charli Reviews: Blood Orange Soda

Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.

Publisher: JML
Date of Publication: March 15th 2014
Pages: 350
Source: Review copy from the author via NetGalley
Goodreads | Amazon

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

I decided to download this book on a bit of a whim after thinking it sounded like an interesting concept, and I wasn't let down!

Darius is a Goth, and will become a Vampire if he stops taking a special pill, the Reds, a Government pill to stop these pre-Vampires. His mum also takes them, because she is very ill. He takes the decision to stop taking the Reds, but also takes Blood Orange Soda to speed up the process. This, along with meeting some new people, all has it's own problems.

"He beat me because I'm a Goth on the Red pill, 
I'm not fully a human and I'm not fully a Vampire either."

Aspects and parts of this book were understated, or mildly confusing, like his mum's illness, but I thoroughly enjoyed it in the general sense. 

I think the best bit of Blood Orange Soda was the relationships, be it romantic, familial or friendly. They were all described and developed so I got a real love for each character and their relationship to our protagonist, Darius. 

As for Darius, I thought he was a purely misunderstood teenager (with the whole Vampire thing added, too). The way he talked was slightly annoying and stroppy at some points, but at others, I could see the amount of care he had for his family and friends. 

"In hers, there's a sadness- in mine,
there's actually a glimmer of hope." 

As I mentioned previously, I really liked the concept. It was almost like being a Vampire was just like an average clique, like jocks or geeks, completely normal and nothing new. Also, that Blood Orange Soda was like a sacred contraband, that had "normal" people going mad if they drank it. 
Overall, this was a really thought-provoking, enjoyable read with a unique Vampire angle. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Author Spotlight: Interview with Sophia Bennett

Today I have one of my favourite authors here at To Another World! I've loved Sophia since I got a free copy of Threads in a magazine when I was eight, and the only book I haven't read so far is The Look, but I really want to... Enjoy! 

Hi Sophia, welcome to To Another World! Can you tell us about you and your books?

Hi Charli. I've wanted to be a writer since I was about seven, and after years of trying to get published I finally managed it in 2009, when I won the Times/Chicken House competition with Threads. Since then, I've published two other books in the Threads series, as well as The Look and You Don't Know Me. I write Young Adult books for girls, set in the contemporary world and dealing with contemporary challenges, like media exploitation and cyber-bullying. But there's a lot of glamour and friendship in my books too. I like to think that my girls rock.

In Threads, your trilogy, each character has a different personality. Are any of them based on yourself?

Nonie, the narrator, shares my secret desire to be a fashion designer and Jenny shares my love of the theatre. But the one who's most like me is good-girl Edie. I was always the geeky girl at school, busy doing clubs and trying to get into a good university. I also wanted - and still want - to change the world, like Edie does. Oh, and I often inadvertently say something rude when I'm trying to be kind. Edie does that all the time and she totally gets that from me. Crow, on the other hand, is a child genius and I make no claims in that direction! She's based more on an Olympic gymnast I admired when I was growing up, called Olga Korbett.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Yep. Pretty much. I've had other ideas, such as air hostess, playwright and, recently, bass player for a funk band - but writing novels was always my first love. I had a whole lot of other jobs before I finally got to do it though.

Do you have any writing habits? Like a place or things you do?

I drink gazoodles of tea and coffee while I write, and probably eat too many biscuits or, if they're available, Twirls. My favourite places to do it are: in my shed (see the pictures on my website), in bed (cosy when it's wet), at the dining table (if my husband isn't practising his guitar) and in local cafes. The best time for me to write is in the middle of the night, when the house is perfectly quiet. This doesn't make for a very bouncy Sophia the next day, though.

Within Threads and it's sequels, you write about some issues, involving Crow and her family. Why did you decide to write about these?

Crow is a refugee from Uganda, and her family is affected by the Lords Resistance Army, who kidnap children and turn them into child soldiers. (They're doing it in the Congo now.) I was inspired to write about them by a poster I saw on the London Underground, talking about the Night Walkers and sponsored by the Invisible Children campaign.

I didn't originally intend to write about these issues. Threads started off as purely a fashion book. But it made me so angry to think that these children were suffering and not enough was being done to help them, so I decided to incorporate their story into mine. I'm usually inspired to write by things I love and, I've discovered, by things that make me furious.

I was very proud when money from the sale of Threads went to Save the Children, to help their work in Africa to support victims of the LRA. It always helps when you feel that you can do something, however small.

If you were on a desert island, what 3 items would you take with you? (And it can't be anything that will help you off, because I know you creative types!)

My younger son's teddy bear, which has a voice recording in its paw of the other three children telling him they love him.

A notebook and pen. Gotta write...

My bass guitar. Gotta practise...

Quickfire Questions!

Favourite animal? Tortoiseshell cat (but it varies)

Favourite colour? Schiaparelli pink

Favourite book? Flowers for Mrs Harris, by Paul Gallico. (Twiggy's about to star in a remake of the film. Woo!) Also, Thank You Jeeves by PG Wodehouse and Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers.

This or That!

Writing or reading? Hmmmmmmmmm. Writing.
Chocolate or sweets? Chocolate.
Paperback or hardback? Paperback.

Thank you so much for this interview, Sophia!

Thank you, Charli! It was such a pleasure. xxx

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tori Is Joining TAW

I'm so excited to announce my friend Tori joining the blog! We'll be both vlogging and posting, and hopefully it'll go well :)

This is us.

And we're co-blogging!

Over to Tori to introduce herself. 

 Hi everyone! I am 13 years (and 2 days) old. I am a Potterhead, Tribute, Shadowhunter, Demigod, Initiate and Youngblood. My favourite authors (not including my fandoms) are Kathryn James, Carrie Jones, Cat Patrick, Helen Douglas, John Green and Stephen Chbosky. My favourite subjects at school are Maths and ICT. I am a Scout with Charli and I go to Debating with Charli and I do Library Shift with Charli (can you see a pattern here?) My Instagram account is @torilouxo so please follow me but don't be a stalker! 

Charli and Tori

Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: A Breath of Frost

Emma Day and her two cousins, Gretchen and Penelope, are uninterested in their debutante lives. All the boring balls, tiresome curtsying and polite conversation leave much to be desired. Then a girl is found dead, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and the murder is traced to Emma. As their world is turned upside down, Emma discovers more about herself and her cousins, from her connection to the murders to the secrets of her family legacy. Now the girls must embrace their true Lovegrove inheritance in order to stop the chaos, even if that means risking their lives. Dangerously handsome Cormac Fairfax wants to help Emma – but, with secrets of his own to hide, can she trust him?

Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Date of Publication: January 2nd 2014
Pages: 482
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!

Firstly, isn't that cover just stunning? As soon as I opened it I let out a bit of a squeal, because I just think it's so pretty! However, I have a really mixed opinion about this book, and I'm still not quite sure what to rate it!

It started out amazing, and I absolutely loved how much description there was in it; but this was what continuing throughout the book, and it became a bit too heavy and overpowering for my liking. I had to read this in short segments because I found the unbalance of action and description quite overwhelming.

"Emma held her breath, list forgotten. The second deer
was equally beautiful. She pushed farther into the grove, bluebell 
bossoms between her teeth." 

However, I found the amount of development of each character very good; particularly of our protagonist Emma. Now, I didn't really like Emma, but it was good that we got a lot of character insight throughout the entirety of the story.

As I mentioned before, there wasn't as much action as I would have hoped for a 480 page book. In honesty, I think this is where A Breath of Frost fell down; if it had been only around 300 pages I think I would have definitely enjoyed it more.

I'm not saying this was a bad book by any stretch of the imagination; I think it was beautiful and powerful, but ended up just not being the right type of book for me. I loved the romance in the book and the ending was wonderful, and I'm kind of sad that I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

 So, although I found it a bit long and the description slightly over-powering, this book was beautifully written and I loved the character formations.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Monthly Round-Up: February 2014

I'm so sorry this is so late! I was at camp from the 28th-2nd, and then school days, so not enough time to post this!

This month has been a bit of a whirlwind! A much better one than January, though!

In My Actual World

  • Not an awful lot really! Half term... 
  • Lots of tests at school
  • Lots of homework for school. 
  • Um. That's it, really
  • OH YEAH! I got into the District Air Rifle Shooting Team for Scouts (completely legal. I promise. DO NOT WORRY.)
Top 3 of February

1. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
2. Far From You by Tess Sharpe AND If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
3. Me Suzy P by Karen Saunders

At To Another World...