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.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Invisible Touch by Kelly Parra

Title: Invisible Touch
Author: Kelly Parra
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 279
My Rating: 4.5/5

It's hard to be normal after a parent's loss. For Kara Martinez, it's even harder. After her father died in a tragic accident, Kara has been able to see signs of people's futures on their bodies. Unable to tell anyone about her ability, she blogs her life out anonymously.

Kara tries to live everyday like a regular teen, but when she sees a gun in one of her classmates' future, she has no idea what she should do. Trying to piece together this mystery, Kara gets tangled up on the wrong side of town. Not to mention, she starts to fall for Anthony, a bad boy with his own secrets.

The definition of Invisible Touch: Thrilling, gripping, and romantic. Kelly Parra weaves an exciting modern tale with a protagonist who has the power to see one's fate.

It was nice to see a non-white female lead who was proud of her Mexican heritage (although she was quarter Irish). I think Kara is a strong character as she risks her life every time to solve the puzzle of her classmate's future. Although she had her own fears, she was able to overcome them admirably when she faced danger. I felt bad for her because when she first saw ghosts (before seeing signs), her mother didn't believe her. Instead, she was sent off to a therapist and rehab so she could "get better". I found it extremely frustrating to be in Kara's position because the therapist she had to deal with was extremely annoying.

When Kara first met Anthony, I thought it was sudden how he immediately started liking her (not exactly on the first encounter but the one after). I generally do not like it when a character likes another all of the sudden without the development within their relationship. Luckily, Kara and Anthony got to know more about each other as the plot progresses and they were able to deepen their relationship with each other.

I love the mystery part of the novel because it kept me going, wondering what was going to happen to Kara and those around her next. The ending was a shocker and something I did not expect at all. It made the story so much better overall with such twist!

Invisible Touch is a read you don't want to miss out on!

Won copy from Life, Words, & Rock 'n' Roll.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Author Interview: LM Preston + CONTEST

LM Preston sci-fi novel debut, Explorer X-Alpha, was recently released earlier this month! She's here at Stop, Drop, and Read! for an author interview. Scroll down to the bottom of the interview and you will have the chance to win the novel for yourself!

If you want to learn more about LM Preston or her books, check out at

Firstly, what inspired you to write Explorer X-Alpha?

It all started on a long car trip to Florida . My husband, kids and I were on our way to my ‘ Happy Place ’. Ok, I’ll admit it. I am still a big kid. I love to play, and imagine.

Anyway, while on this long drive, my husband turns to me and says, “You should write a book. You loved to write when we were younger and you haven’t written since.”

I thought about what his said and replied,” Well, I did try to write that one book, but it was boring and didn’t keep my interest.”

Then he told me,” You should write science fiction. You like it, and you work in the IT field. That way you have no boundaries, you create your own.”

When it came to creating the future in your novel, did you already have an idea of what kind of world you wanted? Or did you create it along the way as you wrote it?

World building is my favorite part of writing sci-fi. I usually spend a few weeks cutting and pasting aspects of the world I am creating on construction paper, and in a file I put all the pictures that I grab from the internet to describe this new world. As I write, I make changes on the fly while I get caught up in the experience of that new world.

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

For me the easiest part is writing. I tend to write obsessively until the story is dumped out of my head. I also enjoy editing because I feel like an artist chipping away at stone to fine tune every aspect of my story. Each time I do it, the story improves and I grow as a writer.

The hardest part of writing is creating an outline.

What kind of stories or genres do you still have yet to try out?

I would like to write a horror or mystery novel.

Do you have any authors that you were influenced by?

I love Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dave Meadows, and James Campbell.

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?

The Pack releases this August. It's an adventurous upper YA novel about a blind vigilante who sets out to save her brother and the missing kids on Mars (check out the book trailer @ . Explorer X - Beta comes out next year. I just finished writing Bandits which is an upper YA novel about a boy named Daniel's quest to find his father's killer and treasure.

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

I love, love, love karoke. Every chance I get I sing on stage. Now, at the moment I am on stage - I feel like a star. Too bad I can't hold a tune.


Now that you have learned more about LM, you can win a copy of Explorer X-Alpha (including poster and magnet)!

To enter: (Please have everything in one comment in the post)
+1 comment
+2 new follower through Google Friend Connect
+3 old follower through Google Friend Connect
+2 add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blog list (link)
+2 for every time you link the contest (link)

This contest is open to international. Contest will end on March 31/10.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston

Title: Explorer X-Alpha
Author: LM Preston
Age Group: Tweens
# of Pages: 366
My Rating: 2.5/5

Far in the future where one is able to communicate telepathically through technology and be able to own robots, kids could finally travel to Mars. Aadi is going to be one of the many campers that will go to a new space camp and experience a world outside of their own. There, Aadi makes some friends and learns new and exciting things.

What Aadi and the others do not know is that the camp is setting them up for something bigger. Much bigger. In fact, their lives will no longer be the same as their body slowly changes into something different...

Explorer X-Alpha has a unique plot that is uncommon to most juvenile fiction today. There aren't many sci-fi novels that focuses on Mars or other planets of the future. The layout of the story is quite intriguing with great concepts. However, I was not very fond with the simplistic writing therefore making it hard for me to fully enjoy the novel. There were also a lot of characters and because their personalities did not all distinguish them from one another, I had a hard time figuring out who was who in the beginning.

The story was a bit slow in the beginning so I did not get through it as quickly as I hoped. There were times where I had to motivate myself to continue reading it. Also, sometimes the events that occurred within the novel confused me but I think my quick reading was to be blamed. If the writing style was suited to my preferences, then I definitely would have liked this novel much more.

I think Explorer X-Alpha definitely suits the taste of boys around the ages of ten or eleven because it has a lot of action and not that complex to read. So if you have a son or younger brother who hates to read, have them try out Explorer X-Alpha.

Review copy provided by LM Preston.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Contests You Should Check Out!

Elizabeth Scott is an awesome YA author who is known for her romantic (and also haunting) novels. She is currently holding a super contest for the promotion of her latest novel, The Unwritten Rule. What can you get? Well, Elizabeth says...

"I'll be giving away fifteen (yes, 15!) ARCs* to one lucky US resident.** Oh, AND your name will be mentioned in the acknowledgments of my 2011 book with Simon Pulse AND--if you want--you'll get a phone call from yours truly!

AND!! As of now, you'll also get TEN hardcover young adult novels as well--which means you could win TWENTY-FIVE books.



Now I'll also be giving out not one, not two, but THREE ARCs of The Unwritten Rule, and everyone is eligible to win those, no matter where you live!"

Amazing? YES! So click here to see how you could win before March 2nd!

Description: Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like you best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more...


Dark Faerie Tales is celebrating it's 500+ followers with a great giveaway! There will be four winners and you could get some cool novels! It's open to everyone! So click here or the image above to join today!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Heights by Brian James

Title: The Heights
Author: Brian James
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 246
My Rating: 3.5/5

Henry and Catherine can not live without each other. Although Henry was adopted into Catherine's family, he can not help but love her beyond just a sister. However, their relationship is not so simple.

After the death of Catherine's father, her brother Hindley does everything in his power to separate Henry and her. His hate for the Mexican orphan is always out on display as he belittles Henry and treats him like a slave.

As he manages to slowly push the two apart, Catherine starts to see Edgar, a popular and nice guy from school. Henry, full of jealousy, has no idea how to handle this and is ready to burst. Will the love they once had for each other continue to last?

I honestly did not like this novel in the beginning. It wasn't because of any sloppy writing or dull plot. Oh no, in fact Brian James is a talented writer who knows how to fluidly seam a story together. I have to personally say that he is one of the best YA male authors of today. So what did I not like? It was the content itself, mainly because of Hindley's and his wife's hateful personalities. James depicted these two characters so well in having them despised Henry that sometimes I did not want to read on. Could one be hated so much? Well, The Heights definitely said yes.

However, I did find myself flipping the pages more frequently when I reached the middle of the novel, curious on how everything would finally play out. Henry had a lot of anger and obsessive issues and I pitied Catherine on how attached he was to her. I was glad that she was the normal one out of the bunch and it was terrible that she had to deal with such a crappy situation.

I really have no idea who to recommend this novel to. If you like any aspect of what you have read in this review, take a shot at it. I do recommend Brian James' works because he is an amazing author who needs more recognition from us YA book bloggers.

Just a quick cover comment: Does it not look like Bella and Edward from afar? I didn't notice this until my sister promptly pointed it out when I received my review copy. It's ironic because Wuthering Heights (which this novel is based from) was mentioned in Twilight. Concidence or marketing scheme?

And also, they should've at least made the guy looked somewhat Mexican. Not that it bothers me too much but I know some readers take book covers seriously.

Review copy provided by
Henry Holt and Company.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Author: Kimberly Derting
Description: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

To be honest, I never knew what this book was about before the trailer. And can I say, awesome?!

This trailer was made by the popular book blogger Vania over at Reverie Book Reviews! If you don't know her, then go check her out! She does amazing photography and do shoots for books!

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Monday, February 22, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Feb 22/10)



Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley


I So Don't Do Spooky by Barrie Summy

Definitely can't wait to get started on Still Sucks to Be Me once I am done with most of my current reads! And I So Don't Do Spooky looks so cute!

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


Music Machine

Title: I Did It For Love
Artist/Band: BoA
Language: English
My Thoughts: I actually am not a BoA fan. She is a popular Korean artist who has been around for a few years now and have penetrated not only the Korean music industry, but the Japanese's as well. And just last year, she debuted her new English album in America.

Although I don't like her Korean and Japanese songs so much, I am actually a fan of her English album. I Did It For Love is one of the many songs on it that I find extremely catchy and addicting.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Black Bird by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Title: Black Bird
Mangaka: Kanoko Sakurakoji
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 9 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 2
My Rating: 4.5/5

Misao still doesn't want to marry Kyo but her feelings for him cannot be ignored. She finally gets to meet the rest of Kyo's clan which consists of five handsome tengus and Taro's two brothers. One of the vassals is Kyo's older brother, Sojo, who originally was the clan leader. Misao is surprised to find him to be a gentle and caring person, unlike his erotic brother. However, Sojo has a secret agenda of his own...

If anything, Black Bird is my guilty pleasure manga. The content does start to push over the PG-16 rating but surely does not go beyond that.

My favourite part in this volume is when it takes a look into Kyo's and Misao's past. I found it utterly adorable and started to respect Kyo some more (not that he wasn't already a cool character). Just seeing them as kids gives the reader a break from all of the intense scenes to coo over young Kyo's caring gestures toward innocent Misao. When it did get back to the more mature moments, I couldn't help but blushed.

Those who have read the first volume will not be disappointed with the second. It does show that the situation Misao is in gets more dangerous but unfortunately for her, she can not escape her fate. Readers can see that the mangaka have left some new trails of bread crumbs that have to be followed in order to see what else is really going on. This volume ends off with a huge question that is making me dying to know what will happen next! I think I will definitely get the third volume!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Q4U: E-books, yes or no?

Q4U (Question 4 U) is a feature on Stop, Drop, and Read! that appears on random days. A question is asked for you to answer, where it could range from getting feedbacks for the blog to a start of a fun topic!

As you may realize, e-books are starting to become more frequent in the book industry. With the new iPad released, it has given more opportunities for people to read their novels electronically asides the Kindle. So...

E-books, yes or no?

I don't think I would ever buy e-books. I get headaches reading a novel from the screen and I just prefer to have a book in my hand. Reading it online doesn't feel like it's really a novel like it would in hard copy.

If you have e-books, what are your experiences with them like? If not, will you consider?
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Variante by Iqura Sugimoto

Title: Variante
Mangaka: Iqura Sugimoto
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Completed with 4 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-2
My Rating: 4.5/5

Aiko came home to see her parents slaughtered just before she was attacked herself by an unknown being. She wakes up to find herself in a laboratory. Scared, she has no idea what she is doing there. She then finds out that there is something wrong with her left arm --- it has a mind of its own and can transform itself!

Somehow her DNA is mixed with the DNA of a creature called the chimera. These gruesome beings are out killing people senselessly at random. Aiko is afraid of her new arm but she must confront her fears as she is the hope against these monsters. Will she be able to do it?

Variante is a sci-fi thriller series that I found to be a compelling read. It follows a girl who has pretty much lost everything in her life and has to deal with the horror that caused it all. It made me curious on why this happened specifically to Aiko because it seemed like there is a reason that won't be revealed until later on.

Aiko is an innocent teenager who works hard to please her parents. You couldn't help but pity her after a strange monster came and destroyed her life. Although she is frightened with the situation she is (who wouldn't?), you will admire her bravery as she decides to face these beings in the second volume.

This series not only focus on Aiko, but the reader can see why Sudo, a private investigator that plays a big role, is where he is today. The second volume takes a look into his past and I thought it was great that the mangaka did that because it fleshed out her characters effectively. Sudo is a cool character and I hope that his and Aiko's relationship could further deepen.

I find the art to be really nice, full of emotion and depth. Sugimoto's characters are designed simple but it worked with their personality. She also knows how to pull out the macabre drawings that contrast her usual art that makes it even more appealing.

If you are looking for a new horror series with some mystery and interesting character plot, I recommend Variante.

Review copy of vol. 1 provided by CMX.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Watching on Wednesday: You're Beautiful

Title: You're Beautiful
Type: Show
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2009
My Rating: 5/5

Go Mi Nyu (Park Shin Hye) has been raised by the church for most of her life. She plans to go to Rome to become a full-fledge nun where she can fully devote herself to God.

However, she finds out that her twin brother, Go Mi Nam, is going to be in a popular band called AN.JELL. He is currently in America, recovering from plastic surgery. So Go Mi Nyu is asked to pretend to be him long enough so "Go Mi Nam" can sign the contract to be an official member of AN.JELL.

What is supposed to be a temporarily step-in turns out for the worse for Go Mi Nyu. Instead, she must keeping pretending to be her brother until he returns to South Korea. In the meantime, she must deal with the AN.JELL band members: moody Hwang Tae Kyung (Jang Geun Suk), hyperactive Jeremy (Lee Hong Ki), and kind Kang Shin Woo (Jung Yong Hwa). Will she be able to keep her identity a secret?

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS DRAMA!! ♥♥♥ (This unprofessional and fangirly comment pretty much sums up everything).

I didn't bother looking at this drama before because I saw screencaps that made it look like a depressing show (and I hate depressing things). However, through recommendation from friends and fellow bloggers, I decided to give it a go during my break after exams. And it was the best decision ever!

I literally hooted with laughter when Jang Geun Suk came on with his weird hairdo and thick eyeliner for his character. I didn't even know that he was going to star in the show and I was delighted that he did though because I am a fan of his! His role in You're Beautiful just made me into an even bigger fangirl!

I found all of the actors to be amazing! I don't know how the director did it but everyone chosen were perfect for their parts! Their backgrounds and emotions were all so real! There were so many moments that made me topple out of my chair laughing like crazy while others made me bawl like a child! The story keeps you going episode after episode without being cliche and over-dramatized.

The relationship between Go Mi Nyu and the others are so cute! She has got to be the most adorable protagonist ever in Korean dramas! You just want to pet her on the head as much as Shin Woo does! (I am now a Park Shin Hye fan!)

Is You're Beautiful that amazing? YES! It's the first Korean drama I have ever completed! I have seen quite a few Korean dramas but I never finished them because I lose interest easily. Seriously, even if it is Korean and you don't watch Asian films, you have to see You're Beautiful! There's only 16 episodes! <-Is so going to buy the series!

The trailer has no subtitles, I apologize (couldn't find any that does).

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers

Title: Some Girls Are
Author: Courtney Summers
Description: Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard–falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High… until vicious rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend start going around. Now Regina’s been “frozen out” and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn’t come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend… if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don’t break them both first…

I really want to read the author's other book, Cracked Up to Be, but Some Girls Are sounds interesting too.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Feb 15/10)



Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Dracula by Bram Stoker


Love Hurts: Aishiatteru Futari by Suzuki Tanaka + Bookmarks + Posters

For English, I have to do a comparing and contrasting essay. I wanted to read Pride and Prejudice for awhile so I chose it as one of my two books. My teacher suggested Dracula to go along with it and although I am not into vampires right now, this is the original so why not?

Have you read either of the classics? If so, did you like it?

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


Music Machine

Title: Girls
Artist/Band: Se7en feat. LiL Kim
Language: English
My Thoughts: I thought I should add some English to the mix since I'm sure most people aren't willing to listen to foreign music (yet). Se7en is a Korean artist who has been around for quite some time and is known by pretty much anyone who is into Kpop music. He is one of the first Kpop artists I listened to when I was first got into the genre.

I know this song sends out such a bad message, but I love it! Not a fan of the MV nor LiL Kim though. (I listen to the version without LiL Kim in it).

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Switch by Carol Snow

Title: Switch
Author: Carol Snow
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 215
My Rating: 3/5

Claire is just another girl with some body problems. Not the weight kind though. Instead, she is able to transfer into other people's bodies during electrical storms. It is troublesome but she has managed her unnatural ability thus far.

When she enters Larissa, a cool but gorgeous teen, she does not think much of it. However, when she realizes that she is unable to leave the girl's body, she knows that she is in trouble. Not to mention, Larissa has caught the attention of Claire's crush, Nate.

Claire must find a way to return to her body before she is found out. Except getting all the attention she never had from Nate, will she want to leave it all behind?

I thought I wouldn't like this one but it turned out to be alright. We have Claire who is an average girl that likes swimming. Like most female protagonists, her crush does not acknowledge her beyond just a friend. There is also her best friend, Beanie, who supports her throughout, but does not know about her condition. Claire is someone most female readers can relate to. However, I didn't find her standing out as a character. She is one that could easily be forgotten, which held the novel back. I think it would have been better if the story had Larissa's point-of-view and had the two interact a lot more. Instead, Claire was stuck in Larissa's body and had to deal with a couple of annoying kids as she tried to figure out her problem.

I wish there was something more to the plot. It was pretty mediocre in which one could read but nothing too exciting. There were times where I was not interested in continuing any further because it did not offer any sustenance. I think this novel could be liked but it really depends on the reader. I personally thought it was okay but I doubt I would come back to it for a second try.

If you like the premises of Switch, check it out. Other than that, it is one that can be passed up.

Review copy provided by

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Author Interview: Sarah Ockler

I totally adore Twenty Boy Summer, a 2009 debut by Sarah Ockler! I was able to get an interview with her; however, this interview was sent back at the end of 2009 (which is why there is a question on New Year's Resolutions).

If you would like to learn more about Sarah, please visit:

Firstly, what inspired you to write Twenty Boy Summer?

I was inspired to write Twenty Boy Summer by the teens I met through my work with the National Donor Family Council, an organization that supports families whose loved ones died and donated organs or tissues. My brother is a liver transplant recipient, so this cause is very important to me. When I began work on Twenty Boy Summer, I wanted to tell a story that honored the families I met through the Council while showing a very intimate picture of some of the things teens go through when the suffer such a horrible tragedy. At the same time, just as Anna and Frankie learn in the book, life goes on, whether we want it to or not. I wanted to show that side as well -- all of the "typical" life things that happen between best girlfriends and first loves on a summer vacation.

What do you find is the easiest part of writing? And the hardest?

For me, the easiest part of writing is coming up with new ideas. That part is so refreshing and exciting, full of possibilities. The hardest part is revising, because it's so difficult to know what to keep, what to add, where to expand, how to make it the best story possible. But even though it's challenging, I love revising. That's where the story really comes to life.

Do you have any authors that you were influenced by?

I was influenced early on by some of my favorite YA authors, including Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Laurie Halse Anderson. I was also inspired by adult authors like Jack Kerouac and Anais Nin -- two of my top faves of all time! Now, I find sparks of inspiration in almost anything I read. Writers are great motivators!

Did you always wanted to be an author? If not, what led you to where you are today?

I started writing stories and poems almost as soon as I learned how to read. Back then, I didn't know what to call it, or even that you *could* make a career out of writing in that way. By the time I figured it out, I was knee-deep in corporate life, hating almost every minute of it, writing on my lunch hour and weekends and whenever I could sneak in the time. Somewhere in the middle of writing TWENTY BOY SUMMER, my husband helped me see the truth: that I am a writer, and that becoming an author is my dream, and the only one who can stop me from achieving it is me. Once I figured that part out, everything else happened really quickly. I finished the book. Found an agent. Sold it. And now I'm incredible fortunate to be able to write full time.

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?

My next novel, FIXING DELILAH HANNAFORD, comes out in November. Here's a quick summary:

Stuck in Vermont all summer with her workaholic mother, a Tarot-card-reading aunt, and a childhood friend who thinks he can fix anything, sixteen-year-old Delilah Hannaford confronts her elusive family history to expose the secrets that have defined and divided the Hannafords for three generations.

You can learn more about Delilah here:

Also, TWENTY BOY SUMMER will be out in paperback on May 1st this year.

What are your New Year resolutions?

I don't usually make resolutions, but I do try to look back on the last year of my life and my career to see what worked, what didn't work, where I want to spend more time, that sort of thing. This year, I'm trying to simplify things and create more space in my life, both online and off. I actually just did a blog post about this and I'd love to hear how other people make this kind of space in their lives!

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

I feel like since I became a published author, I don't have many secrets left! :-) But here's something that until now, only my husband knew. I have an irrational fear of choking if anyone touches me while I'm eating. My poor husband isn't allowed to kiss me on the cheek or even pat my back as long as I'm chewing! That's probably the dumbest thing you've ever heard, but it's true. So if you ever see me in a restaurant, wait until I'm done chewing before trying to give me a group hug. :-)

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Diana! I hope you and all of your readers are having a wonderful 2010!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Watching on Wednesday: Leap Year

Title: Leap Year
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2010
My Rating: 5/5

Anna Brady (Amy Adams) is not the type to joke around and is considered a perfectionist. Although she has that serious exterior, like most girls, she is hoping for her boyfriend to propose to her. However, when things did not turn out the way she expected, she decides to take things into her own hands.

Her plan is to go to Ireland, following an old Irish tradition where the female can ask her partner to marry her on Leap Day. Her arrival there instead turns out to be a disaster as she lands on Dingle, miles away from Dublin, which is her destination. She encounters a handsome but cynical Irish native by the name of Declan (Matthew Goode) who reluctantly drives her to Dublin. Together, the polar-opposite duo goes on a trip of their lifetime!

When my second attempt to watch Avatar 3D IMAX failed yet again, I decided to go for Leap Year. I didn't have high expectations but I still expected it to be good. Luckily, it exceeded my thoughts!

Leap Year was definitely the chick flick I needed. Witty with romantic moments, I found myself tearing up in the right parts. There were so many comedic scenes that a sitcom fan like me had to enjoy it! Not to mention, romance in Europe with a handsome, accented stranger? It just got itself an extra 100 points!

I absolutely love love Declan! He has got to be one of the best foreign male leads in chick flicks yet! His sarcasm towards anything American and also to his own country was absolutely hilarious! The more I saw him on screen, the more I fell in love with him! Add Anna to the mix and the chemistry came out of be an explosion with satisfying results!

If you are a romantic comedy fanatic, l tell you now, go watch Leap Year! This is something you have to watch with your girlfriends because it will leave you squealing in delight! I am so buying the movie the moment it comes out on DVD!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Description: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny - one she could never have imagined...

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school...or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

I like the graphics for this trailer, very funky! I'm think the concept is cool, however, for some reason I am not so keen on reading about faeries. But maybe I'll change my mind one day if I get a chance to read this. Has anyone read The Iron King yet?

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Monday, February 8, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Feb 8/10)



Panic X Panic vol. 1 by Mika Kawamura

Only one new manga to review but I don't mind! I still have to get through so many other novels and mangas.

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


Music Machine

Title: Amoled
Son Dambi & After School
My Thoughts:
In South Korea, big companies usually have popular celebrities endorse their products. When it comes to making music videos based on the product, they are generally phones. In this MV, AMOLED is the latest Samsung HP Model.

I absolutely love this song! I had it on repeat (with MV and all) several times at one point. Son Dambi is one of my favourite Korean celebs (main female singing) and I love how she looks in this MV! After School is also a good band but one that I do not follow. If you would like to see the HQ version without the subs, go here:

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Night Head Genesis by George Iida & You Higuri

Title: Night Head Genesis
Mangaka: George Iida (Story) & You Higuri (Art)
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Completed with 3 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Naoto and Naoya are brothers who can only depend on each other. Both with psychic abilities, they were abandoned by their parents and were tested on at a research facility. They broke free and escaped their twisted lives, living on their own for many years.

However, when Naoya sees the possible ending of the world, everything becomes much more dangerous for the brothers. Who do they trust? What should they believe? And will the world really come to an end? If so, why?

Night Head Genesis was created over a decade ago and was first adapted as a live drama before becoming an anime and manga series. You Higuri generally does the art for most stories in the mangas she has published so far. Except with her well-known yaoi style, in the manga, the brothers seemed more like lovers than siblings. You have Naoto who is short-tempered with the ability to cause havoc around him while Naoya is soft-spoken and can see into the future (they are like seme and uke respectively). I think that the mangaka is so used to drawing males that her female characters don't exactly appear as womanly. Nonetheless, Higuri's art style is concise and detailed nicely with lovely drawn leads.

I am not keen with how the manga is set up in terms of plot. It seems like everything will be revealed in the later volumes. Except it is missing that something that makes it desirable for the reader to continue. I don't like how some situations that cause confusions are left to be dealt with later. Night Head Genesis lacks the ability to be able to leave the loose threads because I was more disappointed rather than curious to go to the next volume. However, I do find that the basis of the plot is interesting. I am sure that the original story is much better than the adapted manga version. A lot of things can definitely build up within the storyline, but will it execute well in the manga is the question.

Night Head Genesis is not a bad read. I guess You Higuri's fans can check it out and see for themselves. It's not one I recommend for a manga reader to buy, but borrow it if curious and maybe you will like it more than I did.

Review copy provided by
Del Rey.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Crashed by Robin Wasserman

Title: Crashed
Author: Robin Wasserman
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 440
My Rating: 4.5/5

Lia Kahn has finally accepted her identity as a mech. She now lives with others who are just like her, trying to forget about her human past. Her time with Auden is now a fleeting memory and what had happen between them is something she does not want to remember.

Trouble starts to arise when a group of humans want to get rid of mechs' rights, thinking that mechs should not even exist. Jude, who acts like the leader (although Lia does not regard him so), wants to rebel against the orgs. Lia does not want to be a part of any retaliation nor cause trouble. However, the turn out of events does not allow her to have her peace. Lia is caught in a fight between machines and humans with an ending unknown. Which path will she take?

Instead of focusing on just the protagonist, Crashed expands out to the environment Lia is in. From the way humans deal with the existence of mechs to the mechs' reactions, a lot of political, ethical, and moral issues are brought up. The author has thought out the basis of the human mind quite well throughout the novel, making the reader curious on which side s/he would be on if the situation is real.

In Crashed, you get to learn more about the other characters Lia is with. [SPOILERS] When her relationship with Riley, another mech, developed, I was not all too surprise because the plot was leading to it. I felt sympathy towards the two because love between mechs can be a confusing concept. However, I strongly support it if she ends up with Jude later on. I would really like to see what would happen between the two if they have feelings for each other. [END SPOILERS]

I definitely think Lia grew since Skinned and I look forward to what will happen to her and everyone else later on. Especially since Auden returns, things get more difficult for her. The concept of this series is so interesting because what if the world will become this far in the future when technology advances?

For fans of Skinned, you will not be disappointed with its sequel. I recommend this series 100% for anyone who is looking for a dystopian read. I am totally looking forward to the last novel of the Skinned Trilogy!

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Watching on Wednesday: Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane

Title: Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2007
My Rating: 3.5/5

On a flight to Paris, passengers are unaware that scientists on board have smuggled in a deadly genetically engineered virus. When the ride gets bumpy during a storm, it accidentally gets released. How harmful is this virus? It reanimates the dead and those infected spread it around by attacking and biting the living. Will this hellish ride ever end?

This is a very typical zombie movie as you can probably tell. A pretty decent one to watch if you are certainly bored and just want to see some zombie action. The makeup and effects are well done as well as the acting.

There were times where I thought the duration of being zombified was way too off. Some people turned right away while others didn't happen until much later on. I thought they should at least clarify on how fast the virus worked on the body.

If you want a great plot that is a mind-blower, you won't find any in this film. However, if you just want zombies popping out of nowhere and snacking the hell out of the living, Flight of the Living Dead is for you.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Title: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Description: Brooklyn can’t sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe’s ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn’t Lucca visiting her dreams.

Hm, I don't know if this would be my kind of novel. I haven't read any of the author's previous works nor have I actually read any reviews for them so I can't say. Have anyone read this one? Or any novels by Lisa Schroeder? If so, what is your opinion?

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Monday, February 1, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Feb 1/10)



Ouran High School Host Club vol. 13 by Bisco Hatori
Black Bird vol. 2 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Homg, I bought books! Lol, it's a rarity for me to go out and buy books these days because I just don't have the funds to. I'm re-reading the Host Club because I realized that I zoomed through the last few volumes that I forgot what had happened. I am looking forward to Perfect Chemistry and hopefully it will not disappoint.

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


Music Machine

Title: Oh!
Artist/Band: SNSD
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: SNSD is a very popular all-girls Korean band that is known for their cute songs and appearances. The Oh! MV is just released recently. It's not my favourite song from this group but it is still a good one. I am very curious about the ending, if that is the way to introduce another new band. If so, I wonder when the band will officially debut. (Gosh, all of these K-bands debut! I wonder how many are going to be released this year).

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