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, March 30, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: The Secret Friend by Chris Mooney

Title: The Secret Friend
Author: Chris Mooney
Description: When Harvard student Emma Hale disappears, her father—one of Boston’s most powerful men—believes she has been kidnapped. Months pass and the trail goes cold but then her body is found floating in the Charles River . . . A year later, Judith Chen, another student, disappears. Like Emma, she is soon found in the river. Dead.

CSI Darby McCormick is assigned to the case and uncovers a key piece of overlooked evidence, one that brings her into contact with Malcolm Fletcher . . . a former profiler with strange black eyes who is now on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Is Fletcher working for Emma’s father? And what connects the two dead girls? Fletcher, it seems, not only knows the answers but also the identity of the killer. When a third student goes missing, Darby is led into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with the former profiler and stumbles across deadly secrets that need to stay buried . . . forever.

In the adult fiction world, there are thousands of stories involving missing people and murder. Of course, which one would be the cream of the crop? Living Jacket's book trailers are always so enticing, making you want to pick up the books no matter what the plot may be!

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The Guardian by Joyce Sweeney

Title: The Guardian
Joyce Sweeney
Age Group:
# of Pages: 177
My Rating:

Hunter is alone, for as long as he could remember. Over the years, he has been moving around and living with different foster families. Now, he is currently under the roof with three foster sisters who are equally annoying in their own way and their abusive foster mother, Stephanie. Continuously bullied at school and at home, Hunter is sick of it all. He seeks for guidance and help from the great forces beyond.

After wishing for a couple of things, they miraculously come true! Hunter can not believe it. Is it really Saint Gabriel, his guardian angel, come to aid him? Starting to believe in it, Hunter begins to feel more confident about himself. Maybe life isn't so bad after all. But, can this also be the worse thing that has ever happened to him?

When I chose this book to review, I expected a bit more from it. Not overly amazing but something I would like. Honestly, I don't know how to feel about it. But annoyance held onto me throughout the book for sure.

Let's start with Hunter. Never have I read a book with such a weak and unintelligent male protagonist. With a personality like his, I can see why he was always picked on. He could not stand up for himself. After years of being bullied, I expected him to smarten up a bit. Stephanie abused him non-stop but he didn't bother to go to child protection services. I know I would. School teaches you about this stuff. A red flag should go up in your head when you are getting bruises in a non-accidental manner. Instead, this guy tried to please her by getting a job so she could take away his hard-earned money! If I could slap this guy, I seriously would. I disliked him more and more until the last one hundred pages. He grew up a bit towards the end but still needed a lot more character development. I especially hated Stephanie because she was so unfit to take care of kids but I guess it was her job to make the readers hate her so I can let her off for that.

The writing itself was a bit bland. Since it is written in first person, you are only seeing the story from Hunter's point of view. If the author added more details about the character's surroundings instead of simply stating what is going on, I know I would connect with the book much more. For sure, it would've been much better in third person. While I read it, I didn't like it. But after finishing it, I realized that it was not so bad if you look at the overall content. Of course I could still rant on about it, but The Guardian reveals the lives of unloved youth who were left behind when they were young. It invokes pity in the reader. But I am unlikely to recommend this book.

Review ARC copy provided by
Henry Holt and Company.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

In My Mailbox - XVII

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed

Aishiteruze Baby vol. 4 by Yoko Maki
Shaman King vol. 13-14 by Hiroyuki Takei
Tactics vol. 7 by Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama
How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

The Bought


The Received

Tarragon Island by Nikki Tate
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Pixie by Mathieu Mariolle and Aurore
Sucks To Be Me T-shirt

First, I want to thank Anna from TangognaT for Pixie! Also Kimberly Pauley for sending me the cute t-shirt (couldn't find my parents' camera which had a timer so had to attempt image at arm's length) and bookplate!

Again I have borrowed a bunch of books but with no time to read them (I have yet to start last week's batch). But I am eager for How To Ditch Your Fairy because it looks like a fun read!

Please check out Stephanie Kuehnert's blog on helping her cousin's charity. Tipping Point is an amazing organization that provides unprivileged youth with low-cost but high-quality tutoring. I think that everyone should help out by voting for Tipping Point so they can win a grant from Match Rugby and Teach for America. And you could win Stephanie's latest novel, Ballad of Suburbia.

Lastly, I want to thank Susan from Black-Eyed Susan and Diane from The Book Resort for the lovely Splash Awards! Hopefully I will do my part in nomination soon but now, I have to start finishing up my reviews!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Watching on Wednesday: No Reservations

Title: No Reservations
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2007
My Rating: 3/5

Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the master chef at a fine dine restaurant. She is seriously dedicated to her work and refuses to let anyone get in the way. She would immediately snap at whoever thinks her food is not cooked properly and has zero tolerance for foolishness in her kitchen.

On an unexpected day, her sister dies in a car accident on the way to visit her. Kate's niece, Zoe (Abigail Breslin), is left alone with no parents and is now in her care.

Kate takes a couple of days off as she tries to adjust her life with her sister's daughter. She comes back to discover that her boss has hired a new chef during her absence. Nick (Aaron Eckhart) is a fun and laid-back guy who likes to goof off once in awhile; the type of person Kate does not welcome in her kitchen. Thinking that he is there to steal her position, she refuses to acknowledge him. Meanwhile at home, she has no idea on how to take care of Zoe, who is missing her mother dearly. After bringing her to the restaurant, Zoe becomes friends with Nick. Soon enough, the two will impact her life more than she could ever imagined.

As you could likely tell, this is a romantic drama but with a food theme. The story is cute and in a way, predictable. I think Catherine plays brilliantly as the master chef who is constantly wanting everything to be in perfect order. My problem with this movie lies with Zoe. Abigail does her role perfectly as a dramatic kid who makes fusses over everything. Except she did it a bit too well. I personally am not a fan of children around the age where they can walk and talk. Especially hate it when they get mad at everything and make it like the world is going to end if something bad happens to them. Zoe aggravated me throughout the movie and I seriously wanted to pull her out of the screen just to kill her. (Such murderous intentions!) If the plot revolved around something else instead of a child, I think I would have enjoyed it much more. Otherwise, it's a good chick flick movie that I think a woman beyond her teens would enjoy very much.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: The Living Dead by various of authors

Title: The Living Dead
Author: By the many popular and talented supernatural and fantasy authors
Description: "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!" From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west. Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie fiction.

These days, vampires are out and zombies are in! So why not snuggle up with a read that would keep you up all night with a bat beside your bed? Speaking of zombies, win the new zom-rom-com by S.G. Browne, Breathers! Check the sidebar near the end of the Giveaways section for the link.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Res Judicata by Vicki Grant

Title: Res Judicata
Author: Vicki Grant
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 172
My Rating: 4/5

Cyril MacIntyre is back and still short as ever. His mother, Andy, is still one heck of a colourful, loud-mouthed lawyer. But this time, she brings back one very big and unexpected surprise for her dear son.

Meet Dougie Fougere (or nicknamed "Biff"). He is a deputy sheriff. And is probably one of those nicest guys around, even when he blocks your sight with his sturdy physique. The shocking thing is, he's dating Andy! Who in the right mind wants to date a woman with thick eyeliner and eats McDonalds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Apparently Biff does! Cyril does not welcome him. Like, who is he to come in and act like he's part of their dysfunctional family?

Meanwhile, Andy takes on a case where janitor Chuck Dunkirk is convicted of murdering the rich creator of the famous whitening coffee, Gleamaccino. Not that Cyril cares in the first place but then things started to get a little fishy after Andy won her case. Chuck tried to "save" the man who wounded up dead in the process by accident but Cyril doubts it's that simple. He decides to do some research to understand what had really happened. Not to mention, as he is getting used to Biff, Andy kicks him out! Oh how this all gives him a headache! Will Cyril ever get to the bottom of the so-called "accident"? And now with Biff gone, will he ever get to have a normal dinner ever again??

When the I first started the blog, I reviewed the first book in the series, Quid Pro Quo. I absolutely adored it and it was the only novel I have actually read over and over again. When I saw its sequel in the store last week, I was like, "Omg! Ms. Grant wrote a second one???" because I never expected it. I immediately grabbed it and with not a single doubt if I should buy it or not, I walked out of Chapters happily.

I was looking forward specifically to the humour in the story. A little disappointed to say that there was not as much as there was in the last book. I still enjoyed it quite frankly. I got a pretty good laugh here and there. The ending could have been much better and to be honest, seemed a bit rushed. I recommend Quid Pro Quo and Res Judicata for those who are looking for some comic relief. You would love the way Cyril thinks. He should seriously consider becoming a comedian. I hope that there will be a third volume!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox - XVI

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed

Tactics vol. 4-6 by Sakura Kinoshita and Kazuko Higashiyama
Airhead by Meg Cabot

The Bought

Bound Beauty vol. 2 by Mick Takeuchi
Res Judicata by Vicki Grant

The Received

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
The Guardian by Joyce Sweeney
The Agency by Ally O'Brien
Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton

I got a steady amount of books in the mailbox this week. A little disappointed that I was sent the second volume of the Kitty series instead of the first to review. But I will suck it up and read through it anyway because it would be a hassle to send another email saying that there is a mix-up. I just hope I don't need to read the first to understand the second. Incubus Dreams is huge, so I likely won't get to it for awhile. I am definitely eager for the third volume of Bound Beauty to come out. All of the good mangas are taking ages to be released...

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Author Interview: Kimberly Pauley

I'm back with another author interview! It's been awhile, eh? No worries, I have three more coming up! (But I have to start producing questions because I'm way behind.)

Do you recognize this face? No? She is known as the YA Books Goddess of Young Adult Books Central and is the author of Sucks to Be Me! She agrees for a quick interview with me. And I have to say the last question she answered caught me off-guard. Who would've known! If you would like to know more about Kimberly, please check her out at

This question must be asked fairly frequently, but for those of us who don't know, what inspired you to write Sucks to Be Me?

The first paragraph or so came to me one night while I was lying in bed brainstorming and it all just kind of flowed from there. I really wanted to take the “normal” vampire story and turn it on its fanged head.

If you are in Mina’s situation, would you choose to become a vampire? Why or why not?

If I were in her exact situation, I think I’d choose to become a vampire because of the family situation. Family is forever.

Becoming a vampire means you must fake your death as you no longer will be human and no one must find out. How would you prefer to “die”?

Hmmmmmmm. That’s a good question. Logically, you should pick something unobtrusive and non-suspicious, but if we’re just playing…then, how about something spectacular? Like a tragic cave diving accident or drowning while trying to swim the English Channel?

New life as a vampire requires you to change your identity and live far away from home. If you could choose, what would you change your name to and where in the world would you move to?

Another interesting question. How about Nadia for a first name? I’ve always liked that name. Last name…um, no real preference, honestly. And Italy. Anywhere in Italy would be just perfect.

What would you enjoy and dislike most about being a vampire?

I’d enjoy being able to know what will happen in the future (not in advance or anything like that, but just being able to be “alive” for so long and being able to experience years and years of history…being able to live through it all). The worst thing would be the whole blood thing. And after awhile, I imagine all the people you’ve loved and lost (by them dying and you not dying) would really be terrible too.

What would you miss most about your old human life that you have left behind? And not miss?

Sleep. I’m a big fan of sleep. I would not miss gaining weight and being unfit though!

Now moving away from the vampire questions, did you always wanted to be an author? If you were not one and could work in any other field, what would it be?

Pretty much. I always wrote as a teen. I kept a notebook with me all the time. If I could be anything else, maybe I’d be a musician, except I wouldn’t want the fame part really. That’s one nice thing about being an author…unless you’re really, really big, no one recognizes you.

Before Sucks to Be Me went on paper (or computer), were you planning on writing a different type story (considering that this is your debut)? If so, what was it going to be? Why did you change your mind?

I was actually working on two different novels at the time. One was a traditional fantasy with a male main character and the other was a middle grade novel featuring fairies and a precocious girl named Abigail. I still may finish those. At the time, I wound up going with Sucks to Be Me because it seemed like it would have the most marketing potential and it was a lot of fun to write. Of course, I had no idea at the time that the whole vampire craze was going to happen. Who knew!

What genres/storylines are you planning on touching in the future?

I imagine I’ll do some more fantasy (non vampire-related) and also some “general fiction” (i.e. no supernatural or fantastical elements). But most likely everything will have a sense of humor about it. I tend to write “funny.” (Ha, probably in more ways than one).

I know that you are currently working on the sequel to Sucks to Be Me. Can you give us a summary on what we will be expecting? And are you working on any other projects at the moment?

Well, I can say that Mina’s old nemesis Raven will be back and we’ll find out what happened to her. And boy, is she not happy with Mina! And Mina will also find out that transitioning from human to vampire isn’t easy-peasy.

Other than that, I’m kind of working on a book proposal at my editor’s request about a kind of snarky girl with some real conflicts in her life…not that they aren’t somewhat funny! Can’t really say any more about that one yet.

To wrap up this interview, please give us a fun fact about yourself that not many know of!

Let’s see…something fun that not many know of…well, I’m half-Chinese. I like to say it’s my short half (I’m only 4’ 10” tall). I’m actually the shortest person in my family, including the ones that are full Chinese. Well, except for my baby Max, but I’m sure he’ll be taller than me someday!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sephora by Melissa Schweiger

Title: Sephora
Author: Melissa Schweiger
Age Group: Older Teens +
# of Pages: 212
My Rating: 4/5

Are you a make-up fanatic? Love to know about the coolest products? Need to brush up on your skills? Then Sephora is for you! Packed with information and beautiful photographs, you can learn new makeup tips, different tools of use, how to keep you skin glowing, and much more!

Since I rarely use makeup in my life, it is sort of hard for me try out the techniques without the right equipments. Unfortunately also, it is not a step-by-step book with images. They do describe how to apply certain makeup and such but there aren't really any pictures to show you how to do it properly. (I am a visual learner so I just skimmed through the text). I think my favourite category of the book is "Skin Smarts" and like the title suggests, it is all about keeping your skin flawless.

Sephora is a book for the people who already uses makeup. If you are a newbie like me, I don't suggest you try this book to start you off.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Watching on Wednesday: Baby and I

Title: Baby and I
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2008
My Rating: 5/5

Han Joon-so (Jang Geun-suk) is a very attractive eighteen years old delinquent. His parents are devastated to know that he will never change his ways and decide to one day run away! Well, more like stay out of town for awhile and tell him through a home made video that his attitude has chased them away. Strange as it is, Joon-so does not mind so much and continues on with his daily life.

While he goes grocery shopping, he finds a baby boy in his cart with a note saying that he is the father! Shocked, he goes around asking all the previous girls he was with if the child, Woo-ram (Moon Mason), belongs to any of them. Not only did he not find the mother but he got quite a bit of pounding on top of it.

Unsure of what to do, Joon-so attempts to abandon the baby. He fails so everytime. With no one to take care of Woo-ram, he brings him to school and causes an uproar. As time passes, the inevitable happens between the young father and the toddler.

I simply LOVE this movie!! When my friend introduced it to me, the first thing I did was gawked at Jang Geun-suk. He plays a prince in my favourite historical Korean drama called Hong Gil Dong and I was surprised how young he looked. When I searched him up, I found out he is only 21 years old instead of 26-ish (like his character in Hong Gil Dong). I love him in this role and is looking forward to the future movies and dramas he will be in! Moon is also the cutest baby I've seen on TV! He's a baby model over in South Korea and I just want to pinch his cheeks whenever he comes on the screen! Haha, I wonder how he'll grow up to look like.

Moving away from the actors, the movie is very comical and adorable! If you are a Korean drama addict, this is something you should overlook! I forced my cousin to watch it until she did and she loves it as much as I do! Even if you do not watch Asian dramas, you should definitely try this movie!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: A Field Guide to Surreal Botany by Two Cranes Press + Operation TBD 2009

Title: A Field Guide to Surreal Botany
The many talented writers of Two Cranes Press
Description: Two Cranes Press presents A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, an anthology of fictional plant species that exist beyond the realm of the real, with contributions from Jay Lake, Eric Schaller, Darja Malcolm-Clarke, Ben Peek, Victoria Elisabeth Garcia, Mark Teppo, Vera Nazarian, and many, many others. Fully illustrated in gorgeous full-color by Janet Chui, the specimen entries are by turns witty, hilarious, and very strange.

You know, I have never heard of the word botany until I saw this trailer that Eric from Living Jacket introduced to me from his site (they make awesome book trailers!). I absolutely love the graphics in this one! They are so enticing! Now I am curious to pick up this book. If you like what you see, you can order it at

And to spread a word about an amazing book cause at
readergirlz, check out the trailer below!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell

Title: Coraline
Author: Written by Neil Gaiman & Adapted by P. Craig Russell
Age Group: Tweens +
# of Pages: 186
My Rating: 4.5/5

Young Coraline has recently moved into a new home out in the country. With nothing to do during the last week of summer, she goes around exploring the grounds and hoping to find something exciting. In one of the rooms of her house, there is a door that is covered up with bricks with nothing on the other side. Or so she thought...

One day, Coraline decides to unlock the door and the brick wall has disappeared. Curious as a cat, she walks through the dark tunnel, wondering what she will find. It leads her back to her own home. Actually, her "other" home. There she has her other parents who have black buttons as their eyes. They give her much more than her real parents. Her other mother says she loves her very much and wants her to stay there to be a family.

But Coraline knows that she is evil. She tries to leave but her real parents ended up being kidnapped. She must play a dangerous game to save herself and her family or else she will be trapped in this alternate world... forever.

I have never read the book but I am sure that it is even more amazing compared to the graphic novel! Coraline is quite a dark story, considering that it is written for a younger audience. Never have I seen a young protagonist so clever and sly. She was calm when she was in front of the evil mother, making me wonder if I could be like that if I was in her situation! Neil Gaiman is a genius at weaving a tale of the strange and mysterious. This is definitely a recommended read for all ages! You will see why it has been turned into a movie. For fans of the Corpse Bride, you will definitely be pleased with Coraline.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

In My Mailbox - XV

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed

Naruto vol. 28-30 by Masashi Kishimoto
Coraline by Neil Gaiman and adapted by P. Craig Russell

The Bought


The Received

Cinderella Society Glass Slipper from Kay Cassidy

No books in my mailbox sadly but I did receive a pretty glass slipper from Kay Cassidy! I won it during Amanda Ashby's book launch party. =) Since the popular animation of Coraline is in theaters, I decided to check out the graphic novel of it. It's pretty good for something written for children! I should have a review of it up tomorrow.

I want to thank Tower of Books for giving me an I Love Your Blog award! I have already done my list of favourite blogs here, but appreciate it greatly to receive it again! =)

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The Snow Empress by Laura Joh Rowland

Title: The Snow Empress
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 310
My Rating: 5/5

In the late 17th century of Japan, the beautiful mistress of Lord Masume is murdered. Shot by an arrow out in the forest, her corpse brought many tragedies as Lord Masume is no longer sane due to her death.

Sano Ichiro is a samurai detective living in the city of Edo. His young son disappears while they were celebrating the moon-watching festival. In a frantic search, it leads him and his wife, Reiko, to Ezogashima (also known as Hokkaido) where Lord Masume resides.

Sano and Reiko soon discover that the death of Tekare, the mistress, branches out to more than just a simple murder. And her haunting spirit possesses Lord Masume. Mysteries surround the people of Ezogashima with secrets that may change everything. Sano must get to the bottom of this before it is too late to save his son.

What drew me to the book was the simple, but elegant cover. I adore oriental-styled things, hence the name for my domain. The summary sounded quite intriguing so I decided to borrow it. I was quite impressed.

This action-packed Eastern story was written with a vivid imagination. The scene will unfold in front of you if you read it word for word like you are watching a movie. There are a things you may not understand due to historical references and Japanese terms but it does not get in the way of reading it. I think that it should become a movie for sure. If you watch a lot of historical Hong Kong historical dramas, I think you would definitely enjoy this! But everyone should try and have a taste of the past in Japan on the pages of The Snow Empress.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby

Title: Zombie Queen of Newbury High
Author: Amanda Ashby
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 199
My Rating: 4/5

What to do when your hot prom date might get stolen away by a pretty, stuck-up cheerleader?

Well, Mia Everett is definitely in trouble if she doesn't do something soon because this is the exact situation she is in. So her best friend, Candice, drags her to a shady part of town to an equally shady store. An old hag named Algeria sells Mia a love spell for a hundred bucks. Of course Mia doubted that it would work because, seriously, a love spell? But blinded by dashingly handsome Rob, she can not help but do stupid things.

So during the school ceremony, she does the spell in the gym. After doing so, Rob approaches her with a really nice attitude and even offers her sweets. But then strange, quiet Chase Miller tells her in reality that she has infected the whole school with Viral Zombaticus. Meaning, she has turned everyone into zombies! And now they are fattening her up as their zombie queen so she could be eaten! What is a girl to do when prom is days away and everyone attending is planning to have her as their appetizer??

When I first saw the book, I never expected it to be so thin. I am so used to YA novels being around 300 pages. But, I did finished it in a day. Which is good in a sense because it let me review it much sooner. Since it had a lower word count compared to others, everything went by too quickly for me. I found that there were a few things that I wanted to know but was never revealed. It would have been much nicer if an additional fifty pages was added on so there could be more meat.

Another thing I did not expect was the story to be in third person. When I cracked it open, I immediately assumed I was going to read it through Mia's point of view. It caught me a bit off-guard when it was not so. Also, I was thinking that there would be actual flesh-eating zombies, like the ones you see in Resident Evil. I was expecting a lot of action but with a comedy twist like Shaun of the Dead. To my disappointment, these zombies just inches near that stage but no where close to being complete rotties.

Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a fun and fast-paced read. There are a few times where I got some good chuckles from it. Don't expect a deep story with characters that has complex layers. But check it out if you want to have a good laugh revolving around the oh-so-getting-popular zombie species.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Otomen by Aya Kanno

Title: Otomen
Mangaka: Aya Kanno
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: Approx. 200
# of Volumes: 6
My Rating: 3/5

Asuka Masamune is every girl's dream boyfriend. He is tall, handsome, stoic, and a fierce fighter. But he has a secret. Every since he was young, he loved all things girls would like. When his mother found out, she was in shock. So she told him to put a cap on his girl-like hobbies and be more like a man. She did not want him to go down the same road like his father did who left the family to become a woman.

Now in high school, Asuka tries his best to be a "real man" through kendo (Japanese sword-fighting with wooden sticks) and keeps on a straight face. Until he meets recent transfer student, Ryo Miyakozuka, his facade starts to peel away. Being in love makes him act girlier by the minute!

Meanwhile, secret mangaka classmate, Juuta Tachibana, uses Asuka as a model for a character in his popular manga series. However, his playboy ways are not fond of by Asuka. He only goes around to different girls so he could understand how the female mind works (which no one knows about because he keeps his manga career on the low). He starts getting close to Asuka as a supposed friend, hoping to lure him into confessing to Ryo (that way he would be able to continue on his comic with inspiration). But would Asuka's lovesick situation get any better when Ryo is completely clueless about his feelings toward her?

When the first volume came out, quite a few manga fans online made a small fuss about it. So I decided to check it out. And I have to say it let me down.

I think the only reason why there is a hype is because the handsome male protagonist likes girly things but he is not gay. Asuka was not a bad character himself and the situation he is in is interesting compared to the norm I have to admit. But I had a bit of a problem with Ryo. She was just there and did not contribute much except make Asuka's heart throb. She is supposedly a "strong" female character who apparently can not cook or sew to save her life. She came off way too friendly. Maybe if she was more aggressive and not so nice, there would be more tension to make the plot more interesting.

The mangaka have gone way too fast with the storyline. I honestly thought that it should have ended at chapter one. Ryo found out about Asuka's real self way too soon. I could not help but wonder what could possibly happen after the first volume. I mean, the whole point of the story is sort of chucked out the window. At least have her discover his "womanly" side in the second volume. That way, I would want to pick it up and see what would happen to him.

Something that I wished the manga was might as well be was shonen-ai (light boyxboy love). Juuta's and Asuka's relationship was much more tight compared to Asuka's and Ryo's. Literally, I was waiting for the two to kiss. Reading through it, I am amazed that Asuka did not go for a gender change yet. Sadly, the manga is straight edge but with flowers.

It did get a bit better half way through the first volume but I can't predict what would go on in the next. A lot of females enjoyed it so you might too if you like shojo (girl-themed mangas). It is a very light read but could have been much better if it was thought out in details.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: Swim the Fly by Donald Calame

Hey guys! I have decided to make a new feature. Seeing that nowadays how I don't have a lot of reviews up due to school, I needed to come up with something I am able to post about without spending too much time on it. So! Every Tuesday (hopefully), I will post up a different book trailer starting today! =) I hope that this feature has not already been done. I rather not be accused of for stealing ideas. So I tell you now that this came on top of my head over the weekend. I don't mind if you guys do it too but it would be nice if you refer back to here.

Oh! For authors: If you would like to promote your book, feel free to shoot me an email (on sidebar) along with a youtube link to your book trailer. I will have it up for the following week unless another author have been scheduled before you.

For fans: I know there are a few fans that make trailers of their favourite books. So if you're one of them and you would like to have your trailer up on Stop, Drop, and Read!, shoot me an email also (sidebar). Okay, let's get started with our first trailer!

Swim the Fly

Author: Donald Calame
Three adolescent boys with a single goal: see a real live naked girl. The result? Razor-sharp, rapid-fire, and raunchy, of course. And beyond hilarious.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter-turned-YA-novelist Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: characters who are side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.

Isn't this a hilarious trailer?? I really want to read Swim the Fly! I found it at a book launch party at Darby Speaks for A Walk Through a Window by Kc Dyer. Go check it out! You still have time to catch some cool prizes!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Makedown by Gitty Daneshvari

Title: The Makedown
Author: Gitty Daneshvari
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 324
My Rating: 5/5

Once a fatty is always a fatty.

From Ohio, Anna Norton used to be an overweight and nerdy girl who was constantly shoving junk food down her throat. She knew she was fat but struggled through the insults and stares for over a decade anyways. She even created a log called Hello Fatty where she recorded down all of her thoughts.

Now, Anna is fed up with her pathetic life. First thing she decides to do is pack up and go to New York so she can start over. Reality slaps her across the face once more when the employees at a company she tries to apply for make fun of her behind her back. She quits before she is hired in tears. Blubbering, she runs to an employment center and begs for a job. Even though she has a degree in molecular biology, she is willing to take on anything as long as no one will call her fat. This lands her on a catering job with a beautiful woman named Janice. Janice, who is a former fatty, understands Anna completely. Therefore, Janice drills Anna like it is boot camp, making her eat healthy and run around the block for ingredients. She even went as far as calling up all of Anna's favourite restaurants and tells them to stop delivering her food orders.

Seven months later, Anna have changed completely from head to toe. She is still insecure but now she feels like a normal person. At a club Janice has dragged her to, she caught sight of a very attractive man. He is so handsome that she could not peel her eyes away from him. But of course, she will never see him again. Or she thinks.

While catering at a party, Anna finds the same man there! Apparently he is the son of her clients. His name is Ben and has been with several beautiful girlfriends before. Not long he becomes Anna's boyfriend! It's a dream come true!

But then seeing Ben catches the eyes of every women who passes him starts to pain Anna. So she devises a plan to make him less attractive. But what will be the results of the Makedown?

If I am able to, I would shove The Makedown in the faces of film producers and be, "Make a movie of this... Now!" Gitty Daneshvari gave her characters a great voice and enjoyable plot line for her debut novel. After reading it, you will be motivated to change your life for the better! Did I mention that it's downright hilarious also? It is more of a comedy novel than a romantic comedy one but heck, I wouldn't care less for the lovey-dovey part! (But it does play a role in it.)

The beginning was certainly a hooker. I loved the way Anna spoke and how random her family was. I would love to meet Anna's mother, she is simply awesome in the randomness category. There was a point in the book where I got slightly annoyed by Anna's personality but it did not last long when everything else in the novel compensates for it. Anna grew and learned for the best through her mistakes. I wish the epilogue would be elaborated some more but I think it wrapped up pretty well. Read it, you won't regret it.

Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

In My Mailbox - XIV

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed

Sephora by Melissa Schweiger

The Bought

Death by Bikini by Linda Gerber
Ouran High School Host Club vol. 10-11 by Bisco Hatori
The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
Zombie Queen by Amanda Ashby

The Received

In Too Deep by Jennifer Banash

First I want to say, oh my god. Can you believe it? I BOUGHT BOOKS! Even though they are through gift cards I have accumulated over time, I STILL GOT BOOKS! Actual novels! Why is it such a big shocker? Believe it or not, the last book I purchased (and even then it was through my dad's money) was four years ago. After that, every dime and gift card spent was purely on mangas. Books I either get from publishers for reviews, gifts, or won online. Until now of course.

I had $50 with me yesterday in four gift cards. There was a sale going on, 20% off for every teen and kid book. I refuse to miss any sale when it comes to YA fiction and mangas. I knew I wanted the three novels I have purchased. There were two more I wanted but they were only available in hardcover (Need by Carrie Jones and The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan). And The Elite by Jennifer Banash was not on shelf. I want to read that before moving onto In Too Deep. As a cheapstake, I want to get as much with as little as I have. I ended up saving $10.10. Hah! Just enough for another book! But I have a feeling it'll be awhile until I buy another one. I have, uh, quite a bit in my room that are still unread.

Don't you just love the Sephora cover?? My school library just got it yesterday. Since I am on good terms with the librarians, I managed to snag it before it was inputted through the computer completely. Why did I pick it up? I know this may sound a bit far-fetch to anyone that knows me (unless I told them) but I want to be a model. Which I know will not be happening soon because my skin and weight is sorta killing my chances at the moment. So I need to get my hand down with the practical stuff first before even dreaming about getting on the runway. Which is makeup where I have zero talent in. But, I wonder if I will try any of the tips...

Oh! And this week there will be much more posts than the last two. I have already planned what reviews will go up on each day. Finally, some activity for this dying blog.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

.hack//xxxx by Megane Kikuya & Hiroshi Matsuyama

Title: .hack//xxxx
Mangaka: Megane Kikuya (Manga) & Hiroshi Matsuyama (Original Story)
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: Approx. 200
# of Volumes: 2
My Rating: 2/5

The World is a virtual online game where you can put on a headset and experience the fantasy adventure with other members through the network!

In .hack//Legend of the Twilight, high school students Shugo and Rena received the two legendary avatars named Kite and BlackRose. After a series of adventures, they are on a new and dangerous one in .hack//xxxx!

Kite finds out his close friend became unconscious after saving him from a monster that attacked them in The World. Before the creature appeared, a mysterious female by the name of Aura gave his friend a bracelet. After the attack, the bracelet was bound to Kite once Orca became a "Lost One"! Kite is determined to find out what had happened with the help of BlackRose and Mistral.

After Kite uses the bracelet a few times as a weapon, the System Administrator comes by for a visit. He says that the bracelet is an illegal program and that activating it was ruining the game through viruses, data corruption, and much more. Kite is shocked because he never knew how much damage he was inflicting to The World. If he continues to use the bracelet, what will become of the game and how does it link to the real world?

I was never a .hack// fan. I remember reading .hack//Legend of the Twilight and it stopped at three volumes. At that time, I never even knew the series was even finished! I kept looking around for the fourth volume and it took me awhile to realized that it had ended. It was left at such a terrible point in the story that I lost interest in it completely. I only picked this one up because it was in the library and I tend to grab most mangas I have not yet read. The art is very nice but the storyline itself was something that did not hold my attention. It took me a few days to read it in fact. I kept putting it down after a few pages because I got bored every once in awhile. Most of the time, I finish my mangas in one go. That tells you have much this one is not worth your money.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

In My Mailbox - XIII

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed


The Bought


The Received


I swear to god, I am reading. It's just that I have so many books to read that I'm unable to finish them all! So I am refraining from borrowing any new books from the library until I clear up the ones that I am reading at the moment. Hopefully I can get more than one novel review up this week. If I still don't finish anything, I will do a manga review from one of the mangas on my shelf that I have not reviewed yet. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

On the other hand, I should have at least a couple of books coming in this week and next. My winning streak is back and I just won three more books! Ah, I haven't experienced that since the beginning when I first made my blog. Look forward to those!

Oh, I almost forgot! In Bed With Books tagged me! Instructions: Find the 5th photo file folder, then the 5th photo in that file folder. Post that picture on your blog. Tag 5 others to do the same.

Lookie! Me reading MeruPuri! =)

I tag:
The Electrical book cafe...and more!
Kimberly Pauley
Amanda Ashby
Bloody Bookaholic

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