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, November 26, 2010

Other by Karen Kincy

Title: Other
Author: Karen Kincy
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 326
My Rating: 5/5

Gwen has a secret. She is an Other, one of the supernatural species. She is a shapeshifter who can turn from an owl into a horse by will. Although there are others just like her out in society, along with vampires and werewolves, it is still hard for Gwen to come out to her Christian-boyfriend, Zack.

While on a stroll with Zack, Gwen discovers a couple of dead bodies. They were Others. Gwen realizes that there is someone targeting Others when more dead bodies were uncovered. She starts to fear for her safety and her kind.

Along comes Tavian, a mysterious boy who makes her heart flutters. He is hiding a secret of his own and Gwen has her suspicions. When the killings get worse, the two get together in order to figure out who the culprit is. But would they be able to before it is too late?

I held off reading this book for a few months because I hadn't been too fond of the supernatural stories for awhile. I was getting sick of the repetitive plot lines of forbidden love without any action happening. This was my initial impression of the novel with no reviews read prior to me cracking it open. However, it brought back some hope for paranormal books as I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Kincy made Gwen to be a very well-rounded character that I could strongly relate to. Gwen is a smart girl but is also insecure because of how society treats her kind. This concept can be related to real life in many aspects from homosexuality to cultural differences. Gwen has a realistic approach to things and I like that about her. Also, the people around her definitely shape who she is and it was nice to see how she changed over time through her experiences.

I also found Gwen's love life to be extremely realistic and is one that I support. It is nothing along the lines of those sappy forbidden romances that I have been seeing lately. Instead, it is something that anyone could go through and be in the position of.

I absolutely love the thriller part of this novel. I think this was definitely the drive that kept me reading. There is so much suspense and the culprit in the end was a slight surprise to me (I say slight because I was expecting some sort of a twist, though the twist I thought of was not correct). There was this one character that died and it broke my heart of how it happened, but it definitely added more novel depth.

I have strong sense of equality and this book manages to poke at that interest. It is quite interesting to see that these supernatural creatures wanting to live a normal life and do no harm (except for the odd ones out) get hunted down by humans. Although fictional, this strongly relates to some past events (such as WWII) and it is a book that anyone should be able to connect to. Not to mention, the storyline and writing makes everything that much more interesting.

I highly, highly recommend this novel (as you can tell by this longer-than-usual review). So go pick up Other now if you haven't yet!

Review copy provided by Flux.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Should I Read This November/December?

Although I haven't been updating so often, I still have quite a few books to go through. The last time I asked what novels I should read next was in July. I tried my best to go through the list of suggestions for that post and managed to read most of them.

Now, it's time for another round! What novel do you want to see me reviewing next?

First up, the latest titles in YA?

Don't care much for the newbies? Alright, what about the ones behind them?

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Batch of Blogoversary Winners

Sorry for the delay guys! School got hectic, life in general got hectic. But I have finally drawn the last winners for my blogoversary! There are many unclaimed prizes, so please check now by clicking here to see if you have won any previous contests.

I am giving about maybe two weeks to claim prizes. After that, the unclaimed prizes will be redrawn again. I will be giving the chance for people who haven't gotten the opportunity to enter my blogoversary to enter to and win the unclaimed prizes. (There are quite a bit).

So here are the winners for this last batch! (Names crossed out are those who have contacted me). Please claim ASAP by emailing me what prize you have won and your address to faked_sugartone at

Audrey for Breathe
The Itzel Library for Hollywood Carwash
deltay for School of Fear
Judit for Heavenly
Anne Royce for A Season of Eden

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Arisa by Natsumi Ando

Title: Arisa
Mangaka: Natsumi Ando
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 5 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Tsubasa hasn't seen her twin sister, Arisa, for years. She is excited to finally meet her again after so long. They always kept in contact through letters and Tsubasa is kind of jealous to know that her sister has such a perfect life.

However, things turn out for the worst when Tsubasa realizes that Arisa has been hiding a secret after she attempted suicide. What is secret and how can Tsubasa get to the bottom of this?

One of the first manga series I have collected because I enjoyed was one of Ando's older series, Zodiac P.I., about six to seven years ago. I remember it grabbed my attention and it was something that kids around ten years old would wholeheartedly enjoy without the intense drama and gore. Fast-forwarding to now, I received a surprise volume of Arisa to review. Although it has been so long since I have read Ando's works, they still left an impact on me throughout my manga years. (I honestly don't count Kitchen Princess as one of her works because she is simply the artist rather than the storyteller. That series is meh to me). And I am glad to say, I love Arisa thus far!

This series relate to the school that Arisa goes to. Compared to regular bullying or anything along those lines, it is much more different. The entire class have this cult feel to them because they worship a mysterious person named "the King", who apparently can grant any wishes that are texted to his or her number. It is a little creepy but exciting at the same time. The idea is completely original and I was captivated throughout the first volume. The mangaka knows how to grab the reader's attention and hold it until the very end.

I really enjoy this manga and it has rekindled my love for Natsumi Ando's mangas. I highly recommend Arisa if you are into thriller/crime shojo manga.

Review copy provided by Del Rey.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Title: Spin
Author: Catherine McKenzie
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 424
My Rating: 5/5

Kate's dream comes closer to being true when she manages to get an interview at her all-time favourite magazine, The Line. However, things turn out for the worse when she came in drunk from the previous night. So there goes that dream.

However, they will offer her a position in their magazine if she goes undercover at a rehab centre and spy on a celebrity. Easy, right? But what happens when friendship, love, and truth gets in the way?

Okay, I have to sadly admit but I thought this book was a YA novel for a few months before and after buying it until I actually cracked it open. When I read the first page that the protagonist was about to have her 30th birthday, I mentally smacked myself. (I bought it at the author's signing event and the cover screamed YA to me for some reason...). That aside, I think this book is a fabulous contemporary romance novel for adults.

Although Kate is 30, her voice is young and she is very easy to relate to. Everyone has their own problems and Kate has quite a bit on her plate. She ends up befriending Amber, the celebrity she was supposed to be spying on and it makes things harder for her. Her interactions with others are genuine and sometimes, I felt bad for her. Kate have issues in all areas of her life from family to love to work and so on. She gets stuck in many dilemmas and it was interesting to see how she navigates through them slowly. You cannot help but support her.

I wholeheartedly enjoy this novel. It is fun with the right amount of seriousness. It is a kind of novel I would like to see on the big screen because it would translate over so fluidly, making it even more entertaining to watch.

I highly recommend this novel for any YA readers who are tired of the usual YA novels and the adults who are sick of the melodramatic and tragic stories. Anyone who would like some light and fun, yet heart-touching story, should pick up Spin.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Q4U: Do you have time to read nowadays?

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!

Oh my, I haven't done this feature in awhile. Guess it is a good time to get back into it! :) So my question of the day is:

Do you have time to read nowadays?

It may sounds like a silly question to some people, but university/college kids who love to read will give a little sigh if asked this.

If you are a long time follower, you may have remembered back in the day that I would constantly update. Out of seven days a week, there were at least five to six posts. Now, I would be lucky if I get two up a week!

Since the beginning of university, I didn't get a chance to read as much as I did before. Now, I'm slowly getting back into it. I still don't read that much but I try (you can see what I am trying to get through on the side). I generally have a book with me when I go to school and back because I like to read on my commute. I am impressed with anyone who can do their homework on the subway or the bus because I can absolutely not. So instead, I read. It does give me some peace and it is nice to just forget about all the exams and assignments due by getting sucked into another world temporarily. (However, if the book is not that impressive, it's no fun).

So I am wondering if there is anyone else in the same predicament? If so, when do you read and how often?

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

Title: The Unidentified
Author: Rae Mariz
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 296
My Rating: 2.5/5

Katey (also referred to as Kid) is one of the many students in the Game, a mall which was converted into a "school". As each student levels up, the corporations study them for research in order to create new products.

Kid discovers an underground group that call themselves the Unidentified, which had ideas much different from the corporations sponsoring the Game. What will Kid do when they decide to spice things up?

I have to say, I was disappointed with the novel. I expected some really hardcore conspiracy plot to ensue, but received none. The writing is fine and the setting of the story is definitely different. However, I thought I was going to get a lot more out of the story than I did.

The Unidentified takes place in the future. Although I think it is unique how there are corporations running a school, it is disheartening at the same time. Throughout the novel, kids are just basically playing games or have to do some sort of scavenger hunt around the mall in order to discover the answer to a "school" question. They were learning nothing. I could understand from the corporation's perspective that it was a way to research on a targeted market and it is easier to keep an eye on them. However, to see education be devalued at such a level didn't settle right with me. Also, being a business student, the book made me feel bad because of how it is representing the people in business. This book conflicted with my beliefs, which is one of the few reasons why I had a hard time liking it.

Also, I thought there was something really big that was going to happen in the end. I was thinking something like the Skinned Trilogy by Robin Wasserman, where there is a line that will divide down the middle of certain groups in the book. I was not given this satisfaction and was actually left a little bit puzzled with what actually happened...which was nothing really. It felt like the novel was building up to a big climax but just never reached its peak and ended up rolling backwards.

Overall, I was not a big fan of The Unidentified.

Review copy provided by HarperCollins Canada.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell

Title: The Imposter's Daughter
Author: Laurie Sandell
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 247
My Rating: 4/5

Laurie Sandell's father was always her idol. He would tell her his grand adventures about his life, from the people he met to the accomplishments he made. However, after she entered her adulthood, she started to realize that her father did not turn out to be the great man she thought he was. Through a series of life-changing events, this true-memoir is hand-drawned by the author herself, filling it with sad memories to her celebrity-enriched ones.

I received this graphic novel to review as a surprise from Hachette Book Group. I honestly didn't think I would read it right away, considering that if I don't expect the novel, I generally put it aside until one day I'm bored enough to give it a try. I guess what made me get to it faster than the norm was the fact it was a hand-drawn memoir. And by the author herself at that. That in itself was interesting enough for me to give it a start.

I guess the biggest part that I enjoyed the most about the memoir the fact that I got to see how Laurie got her job and what it is like to work for Glamour magazine. I am always interested in people and careers, especially if the career is something that are not commonly done. I liked how the author just went ahead and made a graphic novel on top of her day job. I found it to be impressive. Her style definitely has the cartoony uniqueness to it. It adds a lot to the story itself when the author took time to draw everything out, considering that she is not a graphic novelist before as her regular job.

I definitely recommend this novel to those who would like to read another person's memoir in a different view. It iss a truthful story that could be loved and understood by anyone.

Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

4th Batch of Blogoversary Winners

Guys, click here to see if you have won previous contests. Those crossed out meant that they have contacted me. Contact me ASAP with your address at faked_sugartone at

New winners are:

Nova for Titus and Atreus
Brooke for Mystyx
misha1989 for Skinned
Liviania for The Blood Confession

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zoey Zeta and the Sisters of Power: Family Secrets by Robert Simon & Tomomi Sarafov

Title: Zoey Zeta and the Sisters of Power: Family Secrets
Author: Robert Simon (Story) & Tomomi Sarafov (Art)
Age Group: Youth
Series is: Ongoing with 2 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 3/5

There are three sisters named Zoey, Ella, and Lexi. Each one has their own superpower. Together, they make the superhero team: Zoey Zeta and the Sisters of Power! They fight the bad guys and make sure that everything is at peace! What happens when an evil villain threatens their beloved town?

This cute little comic will satisfy Powerpuff Girls fans. There are adorable drawings that would definitely appeal to younger girls and it has an easy-to-read dialogue. Unlike a picture book, Zoey Zeta introduces the world of comics to a child with simple panels and action details.

I recommend this series for people who would like to give a little something new and fun to their daughters or siblings of this age.

Review copy provided by Robert Simon.

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