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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 272
My Rating: 5/5

Chelsea Knot loves to gossip. She can't help it. Once she hears something, she must tell it to someone. But what happens when she revealed something she shouldn't have that resulted in someone almost getting killed? Chelsea takes on the vow of silence so she will never end up hurting anyone else by her words ever again.

I read Harrington's debut novel, Saving June, last year, which I highly enjoyed. In my opinion, Speechless is even better than Saving June.

The story didn't not take long to develop, which I love. Chelsea caught a classmate she knew having sex at a party. He was with another guy. Thinking that she would get a good laugh out of it, she proceeded to tell a group of friends at that party. She received an unexpected reaction of homophobic disgust, resulting in a couple of the guys to beat up the classmate later on. Originally, Chelsea had that "I don't give a damn" attitude until there was a bad turn of events due to her gossiping habits. I was proud to see that she immediately saw how wrong the actions of her so-called friends were and spoke the truth about it, even though her best friend wanted to pretend nothing had happened. Everything in her life immediately changed and everyone she used to know shunned and bullied her right after.

During her vow of silence, a girl that was friend's with the victim befriended her. Chelsea was unsure about this act of kindness initially, but graciously accepted the friendship. As a reader, you get to see how she internalizes her surroundings and grows as she starts to learn the reality of her "friends" from the past and those who truly care for her. Her being silent allows her to take in so much more than she could ever have known. From start to finish, Harrington created a novel that is truly engaging and would have you think critically about the current issues on bullying and homophobia. It's one of those novels that leaves a lasting impression which gives you sympathy for the protagonist from start to finish.

Speechless encompasses real issues, real characters and a story that anyone can truly connect to.

Review copy provided by Harlequin Teen.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

New Blog! Dedicated to Toronto Cafes!

Hello my lovelies. I would like to announce that I have created a new review blog! I created The Toronto Cafe Blog just a couple of days ago and is most excited to get it fully running! 

I know a majority of my readers are U.S. based and won't be familiar with the Toronto area, but for the few out there that does live somewhere in or near Toronto, this blog would be great for those who would like to try out some cafes in the city.

I am very eager to get my cafe blog up-to-date (with over 30 reviews pending because I have visited so many cafes this past year and only decided on making the blog now!). I honestly haven't been this eager since I first started Stop, Drop, and Read! This will be a new journey for me, especially since I will be reviewing in a different perspective and be trying something new. I want to try to integrate the Toronto community and learn more about this amazing city as much as I can. I hope you will follow me through my cafe adventures and maybe be able to go to one of these cafes yourself!

Of course, I won't stop with Stop, Drop, and Read! because I do intend to post whenever I get the chance. Upcoming review is Speechless by Hannah Harrington and I will post it on Twitter once it's up!

So please check out and follow/like/share/etc The Toronto Cafe Blog! :D You guys are amazing!

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein

Title: Hottie
Author: Jonathan Bernstein
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 312
My Rating: 2.5/5

Alison is the perfect student. She is friends with everyone, comes from a rich background, and has the coolest boyfriend ever. Oh, and of course, the most beautiful girl in her grade. Her reputation as the new class president is flawless.

Except when she went into surgery to get the perfect face symmetry, something goes drastically wrong. Luckily, her face is fine, but she ends up with the ability to shoot flames from her fingers! What in the world?? With her newfound powers, it should be all cool but everything else in her life starts falling apart! Her so-called best friends abandon her, her boyfriend turns out to be a cheater and her stepmother doesn't make her life any much easier. When she unexpectedly becomes friends with a geeky classmate she wouldn't have ever thought of twice, life becomes a little more exciting when he makes her realizes her potential. How will she handle her newly obtained skill and fix all the other things that went wrong in her life?

I had very mixed feelings with this novel, with Alison especially. Her character throughout the novel was very incoherent. She was first introduced to as the perfect all-around character who was just been elected class president and everyone seemed to be in love with her. Then right after she became a very materialistic girl who worried about her beauty (despite already being the "most beautiful" girl in class) with her friends; which then led her to beg from her rich father to pay for face surgery! I thought that part alone was a little bit ridiculous because she was like, what, 15? Another character change, but maybe it went hand-in-hand with her materialistic, shopping addiction and everything-about-me personality was when you got to see how she was with her step-mother. If you read the beginning how perfect she was, you would expect her to have that goody-goody two shoes persona who would be doting to everyone, especially her family. But instead, she acted childish and tried to annoy the hell out of her step-mother every chance she got. Her character got annoying pretty quick. 

However, she did learn some lessons as time went on as different things happened. Despite being an annoying girl, I gave her some pity for the fact that her friends backstabbed her because they were envious and pretended to like her (which I honestly didn't really see why). Her character became more tolerable towards the end. 

As for the plot itself, I was actually thinking of giving up on the novel before half-way because the plot wasn't going anywhere for awhile. Yes, she got her power, and yes, she used it here and there. There was some drama but it was a lot of self-absorption I felt on her part. There wasn't anything that made me want to read into it anymore. But, I did stuck with it til the end to see how it would go. I did like the plot twist that finally occurred in the end when the novel picked up (which was a little late into book imo). But because of it, I did enjoy it for a slight period of time.

What Hottie needed was more consistency and an early start of the main problem. If these two areas had some  improvements, the novel would have been an easier read. 

Won copy by Books By Their Cover.

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