Book Review: To Nowhere by C.E. Wilson

Friday, 25 September 2015

To Nowhere
C.E. Wilson
Genre(s):  Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Published: July 5th 2015
Pages: 296
Rating: stars

A world no one would believe.

From the moment Lyris is treated to coffee by a beautiful stranger, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. In her enthusiasm to start at a new school with a new boyfriend, Lyris is almost able to look past his oddities.


The way he eyes up her striking red hair.

The way he loves that she’s seventeen. “The perfect age.”

And the way he’s gone from all but begging to show her a specific room in a specific house to making her swear never to even think about it again.

When Lyris doesn't take his strange warnings seriously, she finds that nothing could have prepared her for what lay behind that door.

Suddenly, Lyris finds herself in a world no one would believe. A world where she’s only a few inches tall and giants aren’t creatures from fairy tales. Where humans are no longer the dominant race, but pets auctioned off to the highest bidder. Lyris understands the true danger of such a place, but there seems to be one person on her side.

Her kind and surprised captor.

And while Brindt appears to be sweet and trustworthy, he also straddles the line between seeing her as an equal and a cute animal.

Lyris has to get home… before the one person can turn to becomes the one person who can’t let her go.

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

To Nowehere wastes no time in jumping into the romantic side of things. Personally, I wasn’t a fan, as it felt way too sudden for the main character to stumble into a guy she instantly fell in lust with. I also wasn’t a fan of the guy; he was arrogant and rude and I didn’t like the way he spoke to Lyris, almost commanding answers from her. However, I did like how things started up immediately with no waiting around. I was interested in the Shaw place as soon as it was mentioned, wanting to know what role it played in everything.

Wyatt was just the type of character that I cannot stand. He was cocky from the start and it continued throughout the rest of the story. From the first couple of chapters I had a feeling he’d be involved with something bad and I was right. He was one of those annoyingly cliché ‘bad boy’ types and the way he described Lyris in one scene – snooty, stuck up, immature, spoiled – was incredibly accurate for himself. My biggest issue with him was how he spoke to and treated Lyris. He treated her more like a child, coming across as not really caring for her or what she had to say and constantly making comments at her expense. To say it didn’t sit well with me would be an understatement.

And Lyris… I wanted to like her more because she seemed confident and sure of herself, but I couldn’t help but find her irritating and hopelessly naïve and clueless. Mostly because, to me, she came across as one of those characters that’s actually very attractive yet tries to make out they’re only average. You know, the ones with perfect hair and an odd eye colour and perfect skin that complain that no one likes them boo hoo. Yeah. I hate that.

As for the writing, I enjoyed it. It flowed nicely and was very easy to read, as well as quite fast to get through. I also got a great feel for Lyris’ voice; even though I didn’t particularly like her it was very clear that this was her story and her feelings. 

The introduction of the giants was good and left a lot to the imagination. I was especially intrigued by the language and what was being said to Lyris when she was taken, and then how she came to understand everything. The whole idea of writing about giants is something I’ve never come across in a book before, so I was definitely intrigued by the uniqueness.

I thought the world building was good, even if it did take quite a while for things to become established and then turn into the actual plot. But for such a short book what do you expect? Overall I did enjoy the story.

C.E. Wilson can be found at...

Top 5 Wednesday: Books About Mental Health

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

When I saw this week's topic I frantically opened up a new blog post to start drafting it because I knew it would take me a while. I love books about mental health and psychology. An odd thing to say, I know, but it's something that's close to my heart (or rather, my brain) and I love finding accurate portrayals in fiction. Needless to say, it was tricky to narrow it down to five.

Book Review: The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Friday, 11 September 2015

The Art of Being Normal
Lisa Williamson
Genre(s):  Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Published: January 1st 2015
Pages: 368
Rating: 3.5 stars

Two boys. Two secrets.

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl. 

On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan. 

When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…

The Art of Being Normal fooled me when I first saw it in Waterstones. For some reason - and I still don't know why - I thought it was non-fiction, kind of like a memoir or autobiography. I left it on the shelf and, when I remembered the title, looked it up online to see what it was about. 

The idea interested me; I'm all about diverse young adult literature and tackling 'taboo' and 'sensitive' subjects that many think are too 'serious' for teens, so this looked to be just my cup of tea. I felt the taboo nature come through, in how main character David struggled to tell his parents that he wanted to be a girl, even though they'd told him they support him. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I felt the anxiety coming from him, and felt bad that he felt the need to hide the things that made him comfortable. 

I'll admit, I'm not the most knowledgeable on the whole transgender/sexual part of things, and this book may have been a totally awful portrayal of the struggles and activities as those identifying that way. For me though, I find it quite insightful. I can't imagine the feeling of wanting to change my gender, or feeling wrong in my own body, so in a way this did open my eyes. That's always a good thing, I think. I enjoy taking new things away from the books that I read, and The Art of Being Normal certainly did that.

While I wasn't completely taken in by the plot - I felt like honestly there wasn't much of one - I was intrigued by the characters. I feel like this is a much more character driven novel anyway, so it didn't hamper my enjoyment too much. David and Leo I found to be very different, and very refreshing because of that. Their personalities almost came across as total opposites, and I liked that. It shows that, even if someone is going through the same thing as you and can relate, each case is highly individual and cannot easily be generalised. To me, this is an important message to send, as too often are people lumped together when experiencing similar things. Yes, person A has the same problem as person B. Just because A can do something that sends B into a panic attack, does not make their problem any less of what it is: a problem. But I digress.

Williamson has managed to piece together a good debut. I'd recommend it if you enjoy heavier reads that still manage to come across as light.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Things About Blogging

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week's topic is out favourite things about blogging, or booktubing for those taking part on YouTube rather than on a blog. It was quite easy for me to come up with my top five, but giving reasons was a bit more tricky so please excuse any ramblings.

The Grass is Greener

Friday, 4 September 2015

I got the chance to test out my new lens the other day at Burghley sculpture gardens, and then again at Rufford Park. I still need to find an editing software I can afford (and also get along with) so that I can alter my images, as I'm not entirely happy with the natural lighting. Despite that, I want to share some of my favourite shots.

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Cities

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly topic created by gingerreadslainey over on Youtube. There's a Goodreads group here, where you can sign up and take part each week.

This week's topic is our top five favourite fictional cities. I really had to scour my shelves in search of five, as the things that instantly came to mind were entire worlds or places that actually exist in real life. In the end though, I did manage to come up with some.

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