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.

Friday, May 1, 2020

[Movie Review] My Soul to Keep (2019)

Title: My Soul to Keep
Release Year: 2019
Runtime: 91 mins
My Rating: 5/5

[Rotten Tomatoes Synopsis]
Like many 9-year-olds, Eli Braverman believes something evil lives in his basement. When his older sister Emily leaves him home alone one night, Eli discovers if this evil is real or all in his head. What Eli confronts may end up being far more terrifying than his worst nightmare.

My Soul to Keep is such an amazing underrated movie that I had to make a review about it by reviving my blog from the dead. There needs to be more movies like this! I cannot praise it enough!

It's a very straight-forward horror movie concept. Boy thinks there's a monster in the basement. People don't believe him (except for a classmate who has a crush on him). But what makes this movie stands out from your basic run-in-the-mill horror is that the characters are so dynamic and well-thought out. I loved everyone, except for the sister who is a piece of work (insert swear words here about her). The parents are genuinely caring, fun, and supports their son, especially the father. He even encourage his son to face his fears in a constructive manner. They are what I would call "hip parents". They are also very well aware that their teenage daughter has issues. Eli is quick on his feet, smart, and clearly has a lot of talent for being 9-years old. He also has his best friend Sam who is fiercely loyal and equally smart. Their dynamic is fun and you cannot help but immediately root for Eli and Sam. Throughout the entire movie, I was completely invested in Eli and wanted him to survive.

I was definitely peeved with Eli's sister, Emily. She made my blood boiled throughout the movie. In one part of the movie, their parents did not understand what Emily's boyfriend saw in her cause he was this cool guy that was keen to babysit his girlfriend's little brother and have fun with the kid. So yeah, she was the only crazy one out of this perfectly happy, cool family that I wish I would have one day.

So if you wanna watch a movie with extremely likable characters that would have you rooting from beginning to end, give My Soul to Keep a try! It's also kid-friendly so you can watch it with children as well if they are daring!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

I Am Here! Vol. 1 by Ema Toyama

Title: I Am Here!
Mangaka: Ema Toyama
Age Group: Teens
Volume(s): 1
My Rating: 1/5
Review Copy?: Yes

[Summary from Kodansha Comics]:
Invisible to her classmates, Hikage Sumino is an eighth-grader with no self-esteem. Her only friends are the visitors to her Internet blog. One day, the most popular boy in the grade suddenly talks to her. Encouraged by this twist of fate, Hikage determines to transform her life.

I'm not entirely back to book blogging, but I have a huge TBR pile that I want to chip away at. Even if it's just a little bit. I Am Here! was one of the very few mangas on my shelf that I never read. I tried reading it this past year, but struggled to finish it. I finally sat down and went at whatever was left (about half the manga) in one fell swoop. I decided to come back on here to do a review since I forced myself to read it.

I Am Here! is your very typical shojo manga. The protagonist is a very shy girl who has no friends and struggles to be noticed. Her hobbies are taking care of a sunflower and blogging snippets of her daily life. Eventually, the popular boy in her class took notice of her and becomes her friend. Which in turn, makes her a target for bullying when other girls noticed that he's paying attention to her.

I had a really hard time digesting this manga because 1) for some reason it's extremely long for one volume, 2) the protagonist's weak character made it hard for me to sympathize, and 3) all the cliches you can think of for a shojo series are there. Even the potential love triangle (which was heavily hinted with the popular guy's best friend). There's not a lot of substance throughout the story. It's primarily Sumino trying to get through the bullying and eventually, standing up for herself. The art is quite generic, nothing that stands out or memorable if you are an avid manga reader. Over the course of my life, I've read shojo series with similar plot devices that were much better.

I say skip over this series altogether unless you have a 10-year-old that likes fluffy shojo series.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lies We Tell Our Kids by Brett Wagner

Title: Lies We Tell Our Kids
Author: Brett Wagner
# of Pages: 96
Age Group: Teen+
My Rating: 3/5
Review Copy?: Yes

[Summary from Amazon]
From acclaimed artist Brett Wagner comes a book about the tall tales that parents tell their kids in the hopes of getting them to do something-eat, sleep, apologize to their sibling, or learn to do something the right way. Fun, heartfelt, and a little bit weird, Lies We Tell Our Kids exposes the not-so-great generational parenting tactic of lying to your child for the greater good! 

Lies We Tell Our Kids is for adults who have a fondness for picture books. The artist created colourful illustrations for different made-up sayings, such as "If you pick your nose, your finger will get stuck up there" and "Eat your veggies or else they'll eat you." I was surprised that some of the illustrations were a bit more "horror"-themed than I expected. Based off the cover of the book and the summary, I thought the drawings were going to be comedic and light-hearted. Some of the illustrations would be considered scary for children. For example, "The finger nail fairy will take your nails if they're not covered at night." This is illustrated with a monster with wings that had removed a nail with a small knife! Of course, like mentioned, this picture book isn't meant for children. However, if you have kids, you might want to read it yourself before allowing them to pick it up depending on their age and personality.

This book has a lot more pages than I expected. I prefer picture books with a lot less as it would be faster to get through. It's overall is a very colourful book. It's definitely for people that like fun, but also horror-related things as well. Would you gift it to kids? Perhaps not.