Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (May 31/10): AN10 Edition

Mailbox

Anime North

Bought (Art-Related)


Bought (Manga)


Kurohime vol. 5, 7, 9, 11 by Masanori Ookamigumi Katakura
Gakuen Prince vol. 3 by Jun Yuzuki

Freebies/Business Cards


Review


Shonen Art Studio by Yishan Li
Fairy Navigator Runa vol. 1 by Miyoko Ikeda and Michiyo Kikuta

Yes, I went to Anime North again this year! Surprisingly, I was more excited for it before and after rather than during the event. I ended up being tired and less enthused compared to last year. However, I think I did buy much more than last year! I got a couple of sketches of my characters so I'm pretty happy with that! (Though I was disappointed how one of them turned out because the artist is much more talented with drawing males rather than females. Wished I commissioned a male character of mine instead...).

I am looking forward to next year's event! Pray that the ticket at the door doesn't go up or I'll scream...

~~~

Music Machine

Title: Huh
Artist/Band: 4minute
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: The only reason why I got hooked into this song is because one of the singers look like a human replica of one of my characters for this MV. oO (1:30, looking like my Kimi Nataki). I ended up repeating the MV several times to watch her and just got into the song after.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Every Little Thing in the World by Nina de Gramont

Title: Every Little Thing in the World
Author: Nina de Gramont
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 282
My Rating: 5/5

Sydney has a problem. She's pregnant.

Being pregnant at sixteen years is definitely not ideal, but what can Sydney do? She knows she will not marry the baby's father because that is unrealistic and it will not work out. Keeping it quiet from her parents, she is unsure what to do in this situation. Her father sends her up north to Canada so she can join a canoeing camp that will help her learn something new and be away from the technological world today.

Surrounded by Canadian wilderness, Sydney interacts with new people and learn new things from the practical to the personal.

Every Little Thing in the World is now one of my favourite releases of 2010! It gave me a break from the usual novels that go around the cliche plots and added a flavourful variety into the YA section of the bookstore.

Sydney is a commonsensical girl who does not delude herself in any way and does not mope over the fact that she is pregnant. Instead of being depressed, she takes the opportunity of the camp to enjoy her life differently. I love how the author have such indivualistic characters surrounding Sydney. Flaws are pointed out as well as the greater aspects for each character. The interaction between Sydney and everyone else is fantastic, like a well-balanced meal that is nutritious and delicious at the same time. She is able to learn more about herself and her best friend, Natalia, with the time they are in Canada. Readers will see a strong character development and will enjoy the fact that the novel is very relatable in many aspects.

After reading this novel, I urge to go on a canoe camp too. It sounds exhausting but fun at the same time! I am a little disappointed to see the lack of reviews for this novel because it definitely deserves more exposure! Creative, realistic, and rapturing, Every Little Thing in the World is a must-read!

Review copy provided by
Simon and Schuster Canada.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi

Title: Flower in a Storm
Mangaka: Shigeyoshi Takagi
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 2 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Normal as she wants to be, Riko can not when out of the blue a guy with a gun comes barging into her classroom. Then he asks her to be his wife! Ran Tachibana will do anything to have Riko say yes to him because after all, he is the most richest and powerful 17-year-old in Japan!

The goal is to catch Riko by five o'clock the next day or else Ran will give up on her. So Riko is on the run as Ran pulls out helicopters, hired men, and other grand surprises!

Before I go into the review, I just want to point out an error. If you were to pick up this manga and read the back summary, it would say at the end, "However, Riko has one trick up her sleeve - she has superpowers!". I want to comment that, no, she does not. She just has unnatural super-strength and agility, not superpowers! Honestly, who wrote the English synopsis for this? (Unless this superpower thing appears in the next volume...)

My favourite character is Ran. In the beginning, I could not stop staring at his character. I absolutely adore the topknot hairstyle and sunglasses (he always changes them too!). I was in awe with his character design because I found him so attractive! He is quite comparable to the popular character Tamaki in the manga Ouran High School Host Club because of his personality and background. He is spoiled, rich, and a bit dumb (although smarter than Tamaki himself). He is a fun character that you look forward to seeing and he adds flare to the overall manga because of how he uses his power to get Riko. He fell for her at first sight after a car accident. The idea is a little ridiculous but cute in some sense.

I sort of like Riko, too. She's a good kid but I am not fond of her super-strength. To me, it just sort of defies science altogether because it doesn't seem like she particularly works out or anything. I know that there are some strong people out there who don't actually work out but I find it unnatural for a petite girl like her to be.

The plot is very unrealistic but it is the kind that you can't help but like. It has interesting content and great character dynamics. Many adorable and fun scenes take place too.

The art reminds me a lot of Bisco Hatori's. Even the shading and expressions are similar! But you can tell that it is obvious that both artists have a distinct style from one another, making them their own mangakas. I think Takagi is great at making a scene with a certain mood. I mentioned before that I love Ran's character design. I also like the simple girl-next-door look to Riko.

I highly recommend Flower in a Storm. Since there's only two volumes, you don't have to put a lot of money aside to collect the series!

Review copy provided by Viz.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

Title: I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Description: Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she'scrazy, but she knows he's here.

Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds.


I never got the chance to read any of Lisa Schroeder's novels yet. Hopefully I will be able to sooner her later, I have heard many good things regarding her novels.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (May 24/10)

Mailbox


Won

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs Prize Pack

Can't wait to read this novel! It sounds so cute!

Want to do your own Mailbox Meme? Check out how to at The Story Siren!

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Music Machine

Title: Bonamana
Artist/Band: Super Junior
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: This one reminds me of their last year's hit, Sorry Sorry. But I find it still catchy and I often repeat it. ♥

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 256
My Rating: 4.5/5

Colin is a teen prodigy. He has many unique attributes. Such as anagramming. And dating girls named Katherine. All which dumped him one point or another.

Moping over Katherine XIX, Colin decides that he should try to get over her by going on a road trip. With his best friend, Hassan, the two journey out to discover... well, something.

On a hilarious adventure of two friends, readers will enjoy the quirky and witty novel of An Abundance of Katherines!

I have heard many great things about John Green and I have finally got the chance to read one of his novels.

Colin is an awesome character. I mean, I do find him weird, but nonetheless awesome. He is full of useless facts and some of them are quite interesting to know cause they just add more to his personality. Hassan is the same. Both of their personalities are very contrasting so they become a fun duo when they are together.

I also like Lindsay, a girl that they end up meeting during the trip. She is the type that wants to be liked, so she tries to please everyone by making herself seem approachable and fun. However, she doesn't do it in an annoying way that most female characters do and you can definitely relate to her in some sense. I found their meeting to be quite unique because Colin and Hassan decided to start working for Lindsay's mother (who runs a tampon strings company) since they really didn't have any destination.

The cool aspect of this story is Colin's "theorem". He attempts to figure out a mathematical formula that would figure out the life of any couple's relationship. I find it quite interesting because, who wouldn't want to know how your relationship would end up like?

An Abundance of Katherines is a novel that one should definitely take on a road trip! It is funny, different, and has the right amount of romance!

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Author Interview: Will Hartzell-Baird

Will Hartzell-Baird is the author of the delightfully hilarious adult novel, Death Mill: A Lighthearted Comedy. I highly recommend the novel for those who want some awesome comedy and supernatural. You can see my review of it here.

If you would like to learn more about the author or his novel, check out at: www.hartzellbaird.com.

Firstly, what inspired you to write Death Mill Mansion: A Lighthearted Comedy?

It was actually a novelization of that movie “Twilight.” Then, when I realized that the movie was already based on a novel, I replaced all the angsty parts with lizards and robots.

There are many characters and many events that occurred throughout the novel. With so many, which character and scene/event would be your favourite?

The Sliv lizards. And, since the Slivs are the very first thing to occur in the book, it’s obvious that I haven’t read the whole thing.

If Death Mill Mansion: A Lighthearted Comedy was a show, which actors and actresses would you like to play your characters?

It would be a one man show, starring William Shatner, with the small exception of the voice of Pearl, which would be portrayed by Alec Baldwin. I would also have Woody Allen standing awkwardly in the background, complaining about the dialogue.

How long do you think you will survive in the mansion? And if you were to die, how would you die?

Through a mix of boldness and cunning, I would manage to survive the first 300 pages, but would ultimately be brought down by a severe upper respiratory infection while posing dramatically on the front porch and loudly yelling, “I’ve made it! What could possibly go wrong now?”

What do you find is the hardest aspect in writing? And the easiest?

The easiest part is the spaces. The hardest part is the words. Especially the word “Pearl.” I kept typing “Peral.” I’ve done that four times in this interview already, and I’ve only said her name twice. Typing “Robbie” was pretty easy, though.

Do you have any novels you are working on at the moment or will be releasing soon? If so, can you please give us a brief summary about them?

I recently finished the first draft of my second novel. I’m a little hazy on the details so far, but the main character’s name is “Wesley.”

Lastly, please give us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know of!

Shadow puppet ninja. I won’t bore you with the details.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Short and Simple (3)

Title: Rosario + Vampire
Mangaka: Akihisa Ikeda
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Completed with 10 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 2
My Rating: 4/5

Sentence Summary: A girl genius joins the gang; the female students in the school go missing; Kurumu is threatened by naughty pictures that were secretly taken of her; and the newspaper club might be destroyed!

Speaking Straightly: I found the chapter where Sendou Yukari, the child genius, to be utterly cheesy towards the end. I wasn't so fond of this part at all.

But I loved the rest of the stories in the second volume! I was really glad Kurumu was focused upon in this volume because she is still my favourite character. I think the mangaka portrayed the monsters' human version very well and every time a new character is introduced, I like to guess their true form.

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Title: Pretty Poison
Mangaka: Yutta Narukami
Age Group: Adults
Series is: Completed with 1 volume
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Sentence Summary: Riyako discovers her boyfriend cheated on her and to get rid of her, he hired a younger male to take her mind off of it.

Speaking Straightly: I highly enjoyed this manga as this is a sweet one-shot about romance for those in their twenties. I am a sucker for romantic stories (though it really depends on the story itself) and I find Pretty Poison to be different than what I am used to in terms of plot.

I think it is perfect that it is a oneshot instead of a series because the mangaka wrapped it up very nicely in the end. Not very fond of the short story at the end though (which is about a woman doubting if she should marry her high school sweetheart or not).

Warning: Heavy explicit content.

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Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 345
My Rating: 3/5

Sentence Summary: A classical tale that follows the life of a young woman in the Regency Era.

Speaking Straightly: This classic was quite difficult for me to get through because of the language. I know I would understand the story much better if I took my time to read it but I was under time pressure since it was for English class.

What was it like to read this novel quickly? Well, the plot itself was boring (no offense to fans), but there were a few times where I enjoyed a couple of chapters with the humour and attitude the characters gave each other.

I think I will attempt re-read Pride and Prejudice later on in my life to see what my perspective is on this novel then.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Title: Fire
Author: Kristin Cashore
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 480
My Rating: 5/5

In a place beyond the Seven Kingdoms where Graceling took place, there is a girl by the name of Fire. Beautiful as the gods, she has the power to mesmerize people with a single glance and is able to control anyone with her mind. However, she is not one to use her abilities against others and wants to be liked for who she is on the inside.

When a possible war between the kingdoms of the land may occur, she is requested to help out. However she does not want to use her powers on people against their will. With the death of many coming closer, what should Fire do?

If there should be a reason to read Fire, it is for the sake of reading it.

I never got the chance to read Graceling before but I was told that I could read Fire without the first novel in the series since they are completely separate stories. If you are the type of person to do the one-chapter rule before buying a book, don't do that with Fire. The first chapter has got to be the weirdest prologue ever. The prologue introduced a vital character who would reappear again in the story. He had the ability to communicate like an adult when he was still a baby. No offense to the author, but I found it completely creepy! I was ready to put the novel aside before getting back to it but luckily I persisted onwards.

To be honest, I do not care so much for the plot itself. It was the actually writing that was addicting! Cashore was able to have me hooked simply by her words and her characters. Although the novel was long, I kept coming back to it because I wanted to see what Fire would do next. Everything that was happening in the book had me entranced. I love Fire because she is a cursed beauty that you can relate to and root for throughout.

I also liked the things Cashore presented in Fire. Her story is no where near cliche and it has you flipping the pages. I find the ending to be quite different regarding to Fire's relationship of her and her lover, Archer. I don't want to spoil anything but it was something I was sad and happy about at the same time because of the unexpected twist.

I recommend Fire to all fantasy lovers! Fire has a great mix of action, romance, and the supernatural!

Review copy provided by Penguin Canada.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour
Description: An arresting story about starting over after a friend’s suicide, from a breakthrough new voice in YA fiction.

Devastating, hopeful, hopeless, playful . . . in words and illustrations, Ingrid left behind a painful farewell in her journal for Caitlin. Now Caitlin is left alone, by loss and by choice, struggling to find renewed hope in the wake of her best friend’s suicide. With the help of family and newfound friends, Caitlin will encounter first love, broaden her horizons, and start to realize that true friendship didn’t die with Ingrid. And the journal which once seemed only to chronicle Ingrid’s descent into depression, becomes the tool by which Caitlin once again reaches out to all those who loved Ingrid—and Caitlin herself.


I have heard many good things about this novel when it first debuted. Seems like an interesting read. Have anyone read it?

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Monday, May 17, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (May 17/10)

Mailbox


Review

The Journey of Om by Chandru Bhojwani
Dramacon: The Ultimate Edition by Svetlana Chmokava
Portrait of M & N vol. 1 by Tachibana Higuchi
Deadman Wonderland vol. 1 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou
28 Days Later vol. 1 by Michael Alan Nelson and Declan Shalvey

Want to do your own Mailbox Meme? Check out how to at The Story Siren!

~~~

Music Machine

Title: 2 Different Tears
Artist/Band: Wonder Girls
Language: English/Chinese/Korean
My Thoughts: One of the first Korean bands I listened to were the Wonder Girls. I always liked their songs but for some reason, never really liked them as a band.

This year they did a comeback with 2 Different Tears... in three different languages! (A lot of hard work right there). Since I last heard them sung one of their other hits, Nobody, in English, they improved vastly! I am quite impressed and I really like the English version. I think the Korean one sounds a bit off since I think the song was made to be sung in English rather than Korean (or Chinese).

Who else has this MV reminding them of Austin Powers? xD Now I urge to go back and watch the movies!

English Version


Chinese Version


Korean Version

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 357
My Rating: 5/5

Brittany Ellis is your perfect beauty queen. She has everything, from popularity to a great boyfriend. But at home, her life is not as beautiful as she makes it seem. Her older sister, Shelley, has multiple-sclerosis and has Brittany taking care of her with all of her might. Trying to keep up her image, Brittany holds everyone at a distance to make sure no one finds out the truth.

Alejandro (Alex) Fuentes lives on the other side of town. Part of the Latino Blood, he and his gang are feared throughout Fairfield High School. He's not afraid of anyone and will put up a good fight if he has to. He may be a gang member, but by being one he is able to protect his family from harm.

When Brittany and Alex have to pair up for chemistry, the two polar opposite personalities collide at full force. Their dislike for each other is intense, but then over time, events occur that make them re-evaluate their feelings.

I will outright admit this got to be one of the cheesiest YA novels I have read in awhile. It put cheese in the cheesiness. Except, Simone Elkeles made it one hell of an addicting read.

As stated in the title, they definitely have great chemistry together. I always liked the plot where the characters outright disliked each other in the beginning but end up falling for each other later on. Surprisingly, I do not see this so often in YA fiction (recommend me any good titles?) as I do in mangas. I was glad that they both grew up over time and that the events occurred played out very well in order for them to build their relationship.

What annoyed me a bit sometimes were Alex's descriptions of Brittany's flawless beauty. I understood that she was a very pretty girl but it felt a bit overdone in the novel. Thinking how both of them are extremely attractive on the outside but with some personal flaws does scratch my skin a bit because I have seen this everywhere now in YA books. However, the plot itself and the interactions between the the characters had me swallow the story whole because it was like a delicious treat that I couldn't help but feel a little guilty and satisfied at the same time afterwards.

I am curious how Rules of Attraction will turn out for me since it will be based on Alex's younger brother, Carlos. I am afraid it will follow the same plot line as Perfect Chemistry and I don't want that. Any opinions for those who have read both?

I recommend Perfect Chemistry to all romance fans for sure! Pick your copy up today!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Watching on Wednesday: Blood Diamond

Title: Blood Diamond
Type: Movie
Age Group: Older Teens +
Release Year: 2006
My Rating: 4/5

Based on true events of today, Blood Diamond is about African war zones that deal with illegal diamonds. Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) is a fisherman who is captured by the militia group, RUF, and is forced to work in the diamond fields. Meanwhile, his son is taken and brainwashed by the RUF, turning a young innocent boy into a ruthless killer.

Solomon discovers a large diamond in which he proceeds to hide it, close to getting himself killed. Enter Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a man who smuggles diamonds across the borders and into the world market. He knows that Solomon knows of the diamond's whereabouts and wants it in order to leave Africa. He promises Solomon he would find his family for him in return for the diamond.

Beyond the intense action-packed scenes, the audience will be exposed to the horrors that exist this very moment in Blood Diamond.

I generally avoid movies like Blood Diamond but this time I had to watch because it was for school. Gruesome, this movie will have those not used to watching films that are based on horrific real-time events in shock. I admit, I never liked watching Leonardo DiCaprio after Titantic because his movies later on weren't so great. Although I found his fake accent to be really off, he played a pretty good role for this film.

Throughout the movie, I was incredibly tensed because I kept fearing for the characters. It was very well done because the actors and the situations were made to be very real, having the audience entranced by a world different from theirs (if they are not of that war-torn area).

It was definitely an interesting film to watch. I don't think I would want to watch it again but I think everyone should see it at least once, even if they are not into those kinds of plot.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle: Bracket 12's Winner


I was lazy to announce that I was one of the judges for the YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle that is hosted by Alyssa at The Shady Glade (shame on me!). I was paired up with Andrea from The Little Bookworm. We were in charge on passing either Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev or The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan.

VS

I did not find any difficulty in choosing the winner for this bracket to be honest. So the winner is...

EYES LIKE STARS

I've read Eyes Like Stars months ago and I loved it. The Demon's Lexicon however wasn't really up to par in my standard. You can see my review of Eyes Like Stars
here and The Demon's Lexicon here.

For those who have read both, what is your opinion? Happy with this result? No? Why?

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The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: The Demon's Lexicon
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 322
My Rating: 3.5/5

Always on the run from magicians and demons, Nick and his brother will never be able to find peace. Their mother has a charm that a powerful magician, Black Arthur, wants and he will do everything in his power to get it.

When a brother and a sister comes to Nick and Alan for help because demons have marked the boy, things get more complicated. Alan insists on helping them and gets himself marked in the process. Nick is desperate to keep death at bay for his brother, so he tries to save him before it's too late. But while looking for clues to help his brother, he stumbles upon some unimaginable secrets along the way...

Unfortunately, The Demon's Lexicon was not a read that held my attention in the beginning. I was not a fan of Mae (the sister) at all. Because of personal preference, I didn't like how she dyed her hair pink. It felt like she was trying to state something with that and her stubborn attitude irked me so much. I know that if I was in her position, I would be the same, but her insistent for the brothers to help when they barely knew her made me a little angry. Alan was frustrating too. For someone who was on the run from getting killed, he was too nice to the point where I found him to be stupid. Nick did bother me once in awhile. I was getting tired of seeing hot, bad guys in YA novels nowadays so he was not helping much with that as a character.

Over time, I noticed my least favourite characters less as the plot picked up. I was glad that this story was a little different compared to the usual YA fantasy/supernatural genre because the protagonist in the beginning was already in a problem rather than him discovering he had powers and whatnot over time. There were a couple of good twists that made the novel better which I didn't see it coming.

I liked the idea of the story, considering that most YA fiction focused on other paranormal creatures rather than demons. A lot of potential could've been brought out but instead it fell a little short for me.

The only honest complaint I have about this novel are the characters. So for those who wouldn't mind that part of the story, it is not a bad read as many have liked it before. I recommend The Demon's Lexicon to supernatural fans.

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Trailer Tuesday: Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Title: Rules of Attraction
Author: Simone Elkeles
Description: Carlos Fuentes doesn't want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him in Boulder, Colorado. He wants to keep living on the edge, and carve his own path—just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren't easy to break, and he soon finds himself being set up by a drug lord.

When Alex arranges for Carlos to live with his former professor and his family to keep him from being sent to jail, Carlos feels completely out of place. He's even more thrown by his strong feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

As the danger grows for Carlos, he's shocked to discover that it's this seemingly All-American family who can save him. But is he willing to endanger their safety for a chance at the kind of life he's never even dreamed possible?



I absolutely love Perfect Chemistry (gonna put review up of it soon), so I definitely looking forward to Rules of Attraction! I wished they chose better actors (no offense) but it is a pretty good trailer if I focused on only the acting of what I should expect of the novel.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (May 10/10)

Mailbox


Review

Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi

Won

Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon by Keith R.A. DeCandido

Want to do your own Mailbox Meme? Check out how to at The Story Siren!

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Music Machine

Title: Run Devil Run
Artist/Band: SNSD
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: This song is like the sequel to SNSD's other latest song, Oh! (Posted about it here). I absolutely love the girls' style in this one! Fashionable and talented, just the way I love them! :D It's one that sticks in your head too!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Author Interview: Kristin Walker

Kristin Walker debuted with her laugh-out-loud novel, A Match Made in High School, earlier this year. I got the chance to read the novel and it was a delightful, fun piece. You can read my review of it here.

If you would like to learn more about Kristin or her novel, visit her at: http://www.kristin-walker.com/.

Firstly, what inspired you to write A Match Made in High School?

I was inspired by my obsession to get published, to tell the truth. I'd tried for years to sell a book, and I kept moving up in age range until I finally accepted the fact that I'd have to write a young adult novel. From there, I decided to write a funny one. And then I got the idea for MATCH and it seemed like it could be pretty hilarious. Then I was off!

Out of all of your characters, who would you say you favour the most?


Hmm...I really like Fiona and Todd of course, but my favourite (I spelled it ala Canada!) is Johnny. He's just so endearing and funny to me.

If A Match Made in High School becomes a movie or show, which actors/actresses do you want to play your characters?

I get asked this question a lot, and it seems crazy to even think about that. Usually, I say I want unknown actors to play the leads. But I have to say that Eden Sher ("The Middle") could totally rock the role of Fiona.

What do you find is the hardest aspect in writing? And the easiest?

For me, the writing the first draft is the hardest. It's difficult not to get overwhelmed by the amount of work ahead of me. Sustaining momentum is a challenge. The easiest aspect for me is creating characters. I struggle with plot, but my characters come to me fairly easily.

What genres or story plots do you still want to try out that you have not done yet?

Wow, good question. I don't know! I think I might try something in adult romance.

Do you have any novels you are working on at the moment or will be releasing soon? If so, can you please give us a brief summary about them?

I have another young adult novel in the works for Razorbill, and I'm working on a middle grade paranormal about a group of kids who start a business dealing with the town's ghosts.

Lastly, please give us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know of!

I'd love to be an extra in a zombie movie. How fun would that be?

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant

Title: Not Suitable for Family Viewing
Author: Vicki Grant
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 289
My Rating: 5/5

Robin is filthy rich because her mother, Mimi Schwartz, is a big-time TV host. One would expect her to be popular and surrounded by famous people. Instead, she coops up in her room and watches the re-runs of her mother's show episodes without giving a care in the world.

When she finds an old picture of her mother, she decides that she will go off to discover who Mimi really is. Packing her bags to leave New York City, she lands in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. As she tries search for her mother's real identity, Robin unexpectedly runs into romance and the buried secrets that made Mimi a celebrity today!

Vicki Grant is a favourite Canadian author of mine. I absolutely love her novel for preteens, Quid Quo Pro, which is full of delightful humour that kids and adults can both enjoy! Most of her novels, however, are for reluctant readers, which are all quite short and simple. So when I saw Not Suitable for Family Viewing, I had to get it!

Compared to Quid Quo Pro, there was not a load of in-your-face humour. Instead, the funny stuff were done subtly. I love the atmosphere of this novel as it is very contemporary.

I pitied Robin in the beginning and there were a couple of times where she lightly touched my nerves, but overall I loved her as a character. She is very realistic and I liked how instead being the type of person who uses her mother's fame to her advantage, she is very withdrawn and knows that those who befriends her uses her. Her relationship with pretty much her only friend, Selena, is quite tight. Although Selena acts like she doesn't care, she comes around in the end to aid an old friend.

I found Robin's time in Nova Scotia to be very charming and new. Her first meeting with her boyfriend-to-be, Levi, was absolutely hilarious! Their relationship is absolutely adorable and not overexaggerated. It was nice for once to see that a novel was not wholeheartedly based on the romance because the main story was trying to find out who Robin's mother really is.

Not Suitable for Family Viewing is such a page turner, where contemporary book fans will devour it in an instant! The ending will take readers by surprise and glee for that it is done amazingly well with uniqueness and love. A recommendation for all girl readers and realism fans! Preview the novel here!

Review copy provided by HarperCollins Canada.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: The Tensions of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Title: The Tensions of Opposites
Author: Kristina McBride
Description: Two years ago, when Tessa’s best friend, Noelle, was kidnapped, survivor’s guilt kept her from living her life. But that all changes the day she learns Noelle has been found . . . Alive. Tessa becomes determined to help her friend acclimate to the life she should have been living all along. But Max, the new kid in Tessa’s photography class, pulls her attention in a different direction. And Noelle, who insists on being called Elle, returns as a distant and self-destructive girl who Tessa has trouble connecting with. Will Tessa regain the friend she thought she’d lost forever? Or will Elle slip away and leave Tessa feeling more lost and confused than ever?



I wonder if there is going to a mystery/suspense element to this novel (since the summary just talks about the characters coping). If so, I would love to read it!

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