Friday, 26 September 2014

The Novel Writing Fails

If you've been reading this Lost in the Library from the very beginning, you'll know that it is my dream to be an author. I've been writing stories for as long as I can remember, and when I reached 10, I decided that writing books is what I want to do with my life. The main and only problem I have is this; I have so many ideas but can't seem to finish any of them. This is a particularly stressful aspect of writing because it makes me feel like my dream is floating further and further away. So after being tagged by Arianne and Hawwa, I've decided to tell you about my novel writing fails.

Foxes - YA Contemporary/Fairytale Retelling
This is my current work in progress and is something that came to mind about 2 weeks ago. Foxes centres around a girl who suffers from depression and at night talks to these creatures called the "Foxes" that she sees - bringing magical realism into the plot. So far I'm about 1K into this as I've simply not had the time to write, but I'm hoping to plan and get a little further soon. I'm also trying to encompass a fairytale aspect in with the actual creatures that are the Foxes. 

Stargazing - YA Contemporary
This is going to be a little bit of a long story, so, prepare yourself. This is the story that I feel the most attached to out of anything I've ever written. Simply because it includes an aspect that caused great pain in my life. Stargazing is about a girl whose friend is suffering with cancer, but she's secretly in love with him. Now I know what you're thinking "Hey, that sounds ever-so-slightly like The Fault in Our Stars." And I feel like I just need to put this out there right now: I started writing this in 2011, a few months after my friend had just died from cancer. At this point, I had never heard of John Green or TFiOS, I hadn't heard of either of these things until 2013. I don't want this to be a love story, I want it to be a cancer story that is purely about the harsh reality of life - and I know that whilst this is the story that I have the greatest progress with at about 20K, people will put Stargazing in the same box as TFiOS and judge it in a similar way to that, given it's cancerous theme. Set in Anglessey, where I've spent so much of my time, also centers around a friendship effected by making other friends and moving on. Bursting with bucket lists. i feel that THIS, THIS is the novel that I will finish.

Spark- YA Contemporary (Again)
1K. At one thousand words, this was the story that after signing up late to NaNoWriMo, I rushed into writing and is essentially about a girl who one bonfire night, was killed by a firework, and is going back to earth to say goodbye to her family. Probably something that will just reamin at 1K for eternity. This is lying at the bottom of a doomless pit, so I should probably leave this little synopsis as it is.

A World Without Colour -  YA Contemporary
No writing this is purely ideas that I've formed into completely incoherent sentences but, something that I believe could possibly be combined into something that actually works. Mainly psycological, about anxiety, depression and feeling like your world is ending, but living online through a blog.

I've had many other ideas over the years, but these are the four I feel I am willing to share. It also goes without saying - please DO NOT use any of these without my permission - I've worked really hard on these ideas and it just hurts if people take them away. All of these are contemporary, merely because I feel I can pour most of myself into a contemporary genre. That is what I enjoy the most, so that is what I write about the most. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Discussion: Unrelated Covers

As a prospective book buyer, apart from the title, the first thing you see is the cover. The cover is that thing that, depending on whether you like it, draws the reader in. Covers can be done really well and be incredibly effective. But some have no connection to the story whatsoever. For me, that is an issue.

This brings me on to the main reason I'm writing this post - the Penguin Classic Edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Thinking about it, I see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a classic, along with many of Dahl's books. It's great that Penguin have established this point, and have come up with a classic cover to fit the rest of the collection. However, that's as far as my agreements go. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a wondrous children's book. Emphasis on the word children. Filled with fantastical creations, extraordinary inventions and memorable characters. It is not, nonetheless, a Stephen King novel; bursting with horror. Not so sure? Well, judging by the cover, I can't say I blame you. Seriously, it's more Charlie and the Creepy Doll Attack than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Imagine though, if the title vanished and all there was was the cover. Actually imagine that. Very dark background, shadows consuming the light, and what is either a child on it's mother's knee, or a doll on a child's lap. That looks like something from the start of The Woman in Black. Had I not read this book and didn't know the title, from that image alone, there's no way I'd buy it.

When I showed this to my Aunt, whom introduced me to Roald Dahl's stories, it clicked with her almost immediately. Her suggestion was that it's meant to be Violet Beaureguarde and her mother, who dress identically. That makes sense. But I still don't feel that alone reflects the beauty of the book.

We need covers that actually relate to the content. Otherwise, there's going to be a lot of people surprised by what they're reading.

Holly x

Friday, 19 September 2014

Sophie's Interview

1)Welcome to Lost in a Library! Could you begin by telling us a little about yourself and A Day Dreamer's World.
Of course! I'm a fifteen year-old who can usually be found with her head in a book or pen in her hand. I've ran my blog since April 2012, and although mostly a book blog, I also love to write posts about world issues, in my feature The World from YA Eyes. Over the past few years, I've become a huge fan of 'The Hunger Games' and while also spending a lot of time at Starbucks and procrastinating. Continuously.

2) How did you come up with the name "A Day Dreamer's World"?
I can never remember! I think it was because I'd always been - and still am - a dreamer. No matter the place, I'm day-dreaming; but I'd also like to think I'm more of a 'doer' these days.

3) Which author would you like to meet the most and why?
I think it would have to be Suzanne Collins(author of 'The Hunger Games') as her series first introduced me to YA novels, and was my first read in this genre. She also inspired me to read books that dared to be controversial and challenging, and deal with such serious topics. She's had a huge impact on my life, and I'd like to tell her that. Also, I'm - no doubt - curious about what happened to Katniss, Peeta, Gale and Effie after the books ended!

4) You do a lot on your blog surrounding the campaign against bulling (which is such a great thing to support) do you see yourself continuing posting about bullying etc?
Thanks, Holly! Last year, I ran the Anti-Bullying Blog Week, which had me in tears daily because of how honest everyone was being about their own experiences. Another project has been in the works for a while now, but it came to a halt for me to do my GCSE exams this year. Luckily, they're over and done with now, so I'm going to be preparing for the launch of the 'Turn the Page Project' over the next few months. At the moment though, I'm working with authors Siobhan Curham and Andy Robb on THIS( amazing campaign about writing anonymous letters to those who bullied you/you bullied.

5) We're doing this interview four days before The Fault in Our Stars is released in cinemas. I know that you plan on going to see it and so which scenes are you anticipating the most?
I actually was able to go to one of the advanced screenings being held across the country a week ago, and I thought the movie was great! It's a near perfect-adaptation of the novel, and despite a slow start, it was both full of humour and heart-breaking at the same time! Before the movie, I was anticipating the Van Houten and Anne Frank House scenes in Amsterdam the most, and these were definitely my favourite!

6)Are there any other blogs that inspire you and inspire what you write?
I think everyone blog I read does, in a way. Each blog, including yours Holly, is so good, and I just want to write better posts and come up with more exciting ideas to match theirs. I'm not saying I'm competitive; it's just that reading other blogs makes me want to be a better blogger.

7) What is your best book related memory?
I think there are two. One would be when I finished 'The Naughtiest Girl in the School' by Enid Blyton when I was about eight, which I remember so well because I freaked-out over finishing my first over-one-hundred-pages novel. Also, meeting Sarah J. Maas, which was incredible, as she is definitely one of my most-loved authors!

8) Which books are currently on your TBR pile?
My TBR must include about fifty books that I own at the moment - but at the top of the pile are Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher and 1984 by George Orwell, which I borrowed from the library a while ago. Ooops!

9) Where would you see yourself in 10 years time?
Hopefully, having finally finished a novel and visited NYC!

10) New York! Finally, is there any advice you would give to new bloggers or people wanting to start a blog?
I'd always say to not try and write what seems to be 'popular'. Write what you love talking about, as this will really show in your writing. And, use social media! My blog has changed for the better since I got a Twitter account!

Thanks for letting me interview you Sophie!
Thank YOU, Holly, for letting me be on your blog! 

Thank you once again to Sophie for letting me interview her - and sorry I didn't get this up earlier than now! Remember to take a look at her amazing blog A Day Dreamer's World!

Holly x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Messenger of FearThe Messenger sees the darkness in young hearts, and the damage it inflicts upon the world. If they go unpunished, he offers the wicked a game. Win, and they can go free. Lose, and they will live out their greatest fear. But what does any of this have to do with Mara? She is about to find out .

I received an ARC review copy of this from Electric Monkey, in no way have my opinions been effected through this.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen this tweet a few days ago.

Surprised. When I finished this book, that was how I felt. Happily surprised.

Messenger of Fear follows Mara, a girl who wakes up in what appears to be an unknown place, and standing by her is a guy called Messenger. He is the Messenger of Fear. When people do wrong, the Messenger gives a verdict of whether they deserve a punishment or not, if they play and win, they can go on with their lives, but if they loose, trouble ensues.

If you didn't know, I actually did a cover reveal for this book back in late June, and in August, I received a large box consisting of an arc of Messenger of Fear, playing cards and postcards, reading the back of the box only added more mystery to this story and I knew I had to read this book.  

Messenger of Fear was devoured within 2 hours - which really showed me what a page turner this book was. So fast paced, intriguing and mysterious that I couldn't do anything other than read on. It got later and later into the day, I had things to do, but I couldn't but Messenger of Fear down. 

I feel like I really shouldn't say very much here, because it would probably ruin the book if you know too much, but in simple terms, it is gruesome, violent, gory and rather unpleasant at times - everything I hate in a book - and yet I quite honestly loved this. The ending is an absolute shock, something that you won't see coming and more likely than not you'll just want to say "WHAT?!". 

The perfect Sci-Fi - Horror - Fantasy book, and certainly a must read.

Holly x

Friday, 12 September 2014

Published in September

I'll Give You the SunJude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

Author: Jandy Nelson
Date: 16th September 2014
384 Pages (Dial)
Standalone Novel
Falling into PlaceOn the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Author: Amy Zhang
Date: 9th September 2014
304 Pages (Greenwillow books)
Standalone Novel
Apple and RainWhen Apple's mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bittersweet. It's only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are. 
 A story about sad endings. 
A story about happy beginnings. 
A story to make you realise who is special.

Author: Sarah Crossan
Date:1st September 2014
320 Pages (Bloomsbury)
Standalone Novel

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Discussion: Judging Books By Their Covers

Lets face it. We all at some point or other do this. 

You may be browsing Amazon or the Book Depository, or you might be wandering though a bookshop, and you see it. A cover that is so appealing, so interesting, so intriguing, that you pick that book up. You like the look of it, so you read the title and then the blurb, then the entire book.

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)
But if we rewind back a bit the fact is that we have ultimately based all of our 

judgements of the book on that front image. There's times when this can be good. For example; I picked up Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike purely because I liked the cover and spine. I've no interest in reading the Wings series. So if I'd looked at the author's name first, my interest would've vanished. Actually I loved this and there's no way I would have ever picked it up if Earthbound had another cover.

The Tragedy Paper
It can work the other way as well. The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan had a stunning cover, and again, that was the only reason I bought it. Amazing cover, but with terrible content. Before I Die by Jenny Downham had an awful cover in my eyes, but the story was excellent. 

Maybe not everyone does this but I know I'm not the only person who does. it might even be that we love the cover and are a little uncertain of the cover, and yet still by the book simply because the cover has given us that little bit of hope and faith that the purchase is really worth it.

Often we pin all our hopes on a cover, just because it appeals to us, and that means there's a chance that you're not going to like the content anywhere near as much.It's alright to do this, but we can't expect to like every book we read in this situation.

Holly x

Friday, 5 September 2014

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

We Were LiarsWe are the Liars. 

We are beautiful, privileged and live a life of carefree luxury. 

We are cracked and broken. 

A story of love and romance. 

A tale of tragedy. 

Which are lies? 

 Which is truth?

Now I understand why people nagged me to read this.

Due to the nature of this book, it is very hard to write this without containing spoilers, so whilst spoilers will be highlighted, read them at your own risk.

We Were Liars was phenomenal, and will stick with me for an incredibly long time. It is the type of book where as soon as you get to that final page, you immediately want to read it all over again. In the most unusual sense, this book is like a drug. Once you start reading, it becomes addictive. 

Being rather vague surrounding the plot, We Were Liars follows Cadence, a 17 year old girl from the Sinclair family - a wealthy family who every summer holiday on their private island. She along with her cousins Johnny, Mirren, and friend Gat, form a close friendship and are known by the Sinclairs as "The Liars". And that's all I can tell you.

One thing I loved was the mysterious air that this book had. Seeing through Cadence's eyes, you are constantly kept out of the loop, meaning that you just want to read on to try and find out what exactly is being hidden from you. As I said before, it quite literally was addictive. The characters are also excellent, as whilst they aren't neccessarily well developed, I love how Cadence only told you a few words about them e.g. "Mirren was sugar and rain." and that was pretty much all you needed to know. These are the types of characters where you don't care about them at all, until the very end.

However, I know it's kind of impossible to avoid, and I probably wouldn't have picked the book up if I didn't know about this, but it would be such a better book if in the hype the twist wasn't discussed. Knowing that there is a twist, I went into this book scouring every page for clues, and all I could think about was wanting to know what the turn in events was.

Whilst I loved the book for good reasons, things have happened since that have made me want to distance myself from the book - by things I mean things related to this book. We Were Liars had the most bizarre psychological effect on me. 15 hours after finishing this book, I still couldn't stop thinking about it. It sounds so stupid but this book messed with my head so much that I couldn't sleep or think straight. I was paranoid. Even the next day confusion just consumed my mind. We Were Liars was quite literally mind-boggling. Obviously, this is just the effect it had on me but I'd suggest being prepared to be very confused after finishing this.

Addictive, beautiful, and twisted.

Holly x