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, May 19, 2015

Author Post: Kai Strand

Good vs evil. Which side are you on? If you had to choose, could you?

Seriously, who would choose the side of evil? Unless you love to commit crimes. Each one grander in scale than the one before until you’re stealing states secrets or holding the President of the United State hostage. Maybe you can’t help but love to play mind games. Screw with people until they are so confused they bend to your will. Some people are inherently bad. Whether because of upbringing, circumstances, or they are hardwired that way, their actions consistently create trouble.

If the thought of telling lies, breaking and entering, hostile takeovers, makes sweat bead on your forehead then you can choose to side with good. After all, you volunteer most of your spare time feeding the poor, you donate a percentage of your income to research the cure for pediatric cancer, and you never, ever tell a white lie. Right?

Let me make myself perfectly clear here. I don’t think the choice between good and evil is simple. I think we all have a mix of angelic habits and devilish delights within us, swirling together and fighting for dominance.

That’s exactly what Jeff, Sandra, Source, Set and friends discover in my young adult series, Super Villain Academy. Whether they are super heroes or super villains, they are faced with circumstances that make them question the side they’re on. And in the end, they’re compelled to make a choice. Hero or villain? What would you choose? Hop over to my website and complete the survey

The series is complete! Super Bad, Super Villain Academy Bk 3 is now available.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”

Available in print or electronic formats from:

King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?


About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski

Title: If You Feel Too Much
Author: Jamie Tworkowski
Type: Self-Help/Memoir
# of Pages: 192
My Rating: 3/5
Review Copy?: Yes

Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of the non-profit, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA), which is known for suicide prevention and supporting the vulnerable worldwide. His debut novel, If You Feel Too Much, will officially be released on May 26th, 2015.

If You Feel Too Much is a compilation of Tworkowski's blog entries and thoughts on different subjects. Some chapters are autobiographical, while other chapters include his own poems and blog posts. This work is more of a personal journal rather than a novel. 

I was happy that this was a quick read. With less than 200 pages, you can go through this book in no time. When I originally agreed to review this novel, I was looking forward to learning about how Tworkowski started his organization and his organization's journey. Unfortunately, this book did not exactly cover that. He briefly mentioned the person who inspired him to start TWLOHA, but it wasn't as in-depth as I thought it would be. If you have ever written in a journal or a personal blog, there tend to be gaps between the entries and not everything entirely makes sense unless you are the writer. That's how I felt when I was reading If You Feel Too Much. It was haphazard and did not fully appeal to me. I know that this isn't a story but I was hoping there would have been more cohesiveness throughout the novel. I like that it is truthful and that the author reminds you that he isn't a professional writer. This book is simply the author's way of sharing his thoughts and feelings with the world.

I think this book is perfect for people who are advocates of TWLOHA. It's also good for people who like this informal type of memoir. It's a short read so it's not something you would have to spend a lot of energy on. 

Check out the pre-order campaign here:
Check out Jamie Tworkowski's tour dates here:

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Watching on Wednesday: Friends with Kids

Title: Friends with Kids
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2011
My Rating: 4/5

Jason (Adam Scott) and Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) are best friends. They decide to have a baby together without the hassle of a marriage. With this arrangement, they can date whoever they wish and split the responsibilities of taking care of the child. Will it be as easy as they thought?

I was intrigued to watch this movie because I wanted something light-hearted. This movie raises questions about the contemporary mindset of having children together, without actually being together. I enjoyed watching it and it was nice to see the lives of the protagonists' friends as well. My favourite couple in the movie is definitely Leslie (Maya Rudolph) and Alex (Chris O'Dowd).

Friends with Kids is pretty much like the extended version of Friends with Benefits or No Strings Attached.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbott

Title: Watersmeet
Author: Ellen Jensen Abbott
Type: Young Adult
# of Pages: 341
My Rating: 2.5/5

Abisina is an outcast since birth because of her hair colour and skin. She lives a miserable life but is only protected from the village's true wrath because her mother is their only healer. One day, a powerful and mythical leader arrives to Vranille and claims to lead them to a better life. Abisina ends up running for her life when he turns the village against all the outcasts. She must find her father that she never knew in Watersmeet, a place of legends.

As you may have noticed, my blog is a lot more active lately. Now that I'm done with university and taking it slow with the job hunt, I have more free time to read again. I got to admit, my reading pace is a lot slower than it used to be back in 2009. My patience grows thin easily and I put books down instead of plowing through them, no matter how bad, like I did back in the day. I realized I have accumulated a mass of books and I want to start diminishing my collection. It's another reason why I don't take requests anymore (except for one recently). I've decided to go through my entire collection and go through my TBR pile in alphabetical order by author's last name. Depending how active I am again with this blog, I may revamp it.

Anyway, Watersmeet is the first YA novel I have been able to complete in a long time. I wouldn't say that it's great but it gets by. The writing is pretty good but the plot itself doesn't always stand out. When I first started, it had potential. Then afterwards, the storyline was just meh throughout. Abisina is a decent character and could've been much more. I wasn't keen that her father, who never knew she existed, accepted her so easily. It suited with what was happening in the story but I like to think of things realistically. 

The climax wasn't at all exciting and pretty much was there to wrap up the story. [SPOILERS] I was confused with the Epilogue though. When the battle and everything ended, all the sudden a new character called the Green Man entered. He was a mythical creature that everyone knew of. Though it made no sense, whatsoever, to bring him in. He did not contribute to the plot in any way and was there to pay respects to Abisina's father's death. It bugged me, even though I have a feeling it was to set up the sequel. [SPOILERS END]

Watersmeet is readable but it won't get you excited. There were many times where my eyes just glazed over the pages. If you have this book on your shelf like I did, maybe give it a shot. However, it's nothing worth going out to buy or borrow. 
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Thursday, April 23, 2015

SECRET Shared by L. Marie Adeline

Title: SECRET Shared
Author: L. Marie Adeline
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 273
My Rating: 3/5

Cassie is now part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an organization that helps women live out their sexual fantasies. After completing the Steps herself, she is now responsible for picking out a new candidate to give her the experience of a lifetime.

Dauphine is a vintage shop owner. After her ex-boyfriend left her for her best friend, her self-confidence plummeted. She hasn't been with a man since. That is, until Cassie introduces her to S.E.C.R.E.T. 

SECRET Shared is the second novel in the SECRET series. I reviewed the first book last summer and finally finished the second novel at the end of last month. The more erotica novels I read, the more I feel that this genre is not for me. Or maybe the novels I have picked up so far just haven't clicked with me yet.

I feel that the second novel is a lot better than the first. In the first volume, I complained about Cassie's personality and her being downer on everything. She improved in that novel and continued to stay consistent in this volume. At first, I wasn't too happy when SECRET Shared became a two-person POV story with Dauphine added into the mix. However, I realized that Dauphine gave a better variety to the story overall. Her character is different to Cassie and I prefer her because she is a lot more open-minded. I also liked the fact that she's a vintage shop owner.

SECRET Shared is better than its predecessor, but still not a series I would automatically recommend. It has its moments but the climax, once again, happens way too late in the book. Therefore, the reader can lose motivation to continue reading. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Mailbox (Apr 13/15) - Geek Edition

Does anyone remember this segment? Haha, it's been so long since I've done a proper book haul. This past week, I scored pretty well and thought it was worthy of an update. I have been geeking out on Doctor Who as of late. I'm not a comic book reader, but I've made an exception for Doctor Who. Also so happy I finally got my hands on The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. They are no longer being published in North America and are hard to find. Also one step closer to completing my Harry Potter book collection! Only the Goblet of Fire left to add. If you are from Toronto, Yorkdale gives out free Flare magazines every month FYI. 

- Doctor Who: Revolutions of Terror
- Doctor Who: After Life
- Doctor Who: January 4th issue

- Flare: May 2015 

- The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service vol. 10-13
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Maid Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara

Manga: Maid Sama!
Mangaka: Hiro Fujiwara
Age Group: Teens
Volume(s) Reviewing: 2
Series is: Completed with 18 volumes
My Rating: 2.5/5

Misaki's days as the school president are always so busy. A couple of her fellow classmates got into a fight with one of the students from a prestigious school. She must figure out how deal with this problem. Also, she has to worry about the upcoming school sports festival. It doesn't help that Usui follows her everywhere and has confessed that he likes her!

After reading the first volume awhile back, I wasn't keen on picking up the second volume from my shelf. In attempt to diminish my book collection though, I thought I should pick it up to see if the series was salvageable.  

The more I read, the less keen I was with Usui's character. I know he's supposed to be the "cool guy" that is good at everything, but sometimes he takes it too far. For example in the first volume, he pretended to be a stalker to teach Misaki the lesson that "she's still a girl". Saying that even if she is tough, it doesn't mean she would be able to overpower a guy bigger than her. There were moments like these where he seemed close to assaulting Misaki. That didn't settle right with me. 

I didn't like the plot where they suddenly rivalled with a prestigious school. The president of the Miyabi Gaoka Academy plays the villain. Which in my opinion, maybe because I am so picky about my books, is uncalled for. He's basically a stuck-up rich kid that is used to having things his way. It was my least favourite plot in this volume.

The only thing I like about Maid Sama! is the "Idiot Trio". They give some good comic relief throughout the manga series. 

Overall, I'm not sure why there is a hype about this series. The art is nice though. 

Review copy provided by HarperCollins Canada.
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Unfinished Reading: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 416
My Rating: 1/5

Alice survived a tragic car accident, but her family did not. Up until then, she always thought her father's paranoia about monsters was rubbish. Except after the accident, she thinks he may have been right after all and they are the ones responsible for her family's death. 

In attempt to diminish my unread YA collection, I picked up Alice in Zombieland from the pile. I recognized the author and have heard much hype around her previous series, Intertwined (which I also have, unread). I thought I'd give Alice in Zombieland a shot because I love a good zombie novel (they are harder to pull off in book form in my opinion). 

As you can tell from the post title, I did not finish the book, I have about 100 pages left but I don't think I will be picking it back up. I thought that I should give my opinion on what I have read so far regardless and give this blog a little boost after much neglect. 

Alice's character is tolerable. She's more or less an average girl (aren't they all?) in a less-than-happy state after the death of her family. She then met bad boy Cole. Cole's character bothered me because while I was reading, all I could think of is Katy Perry's song Hot N Cold. One minute, he's there and helping her out. Next minute, he pretty much tells her to stay away from him. His Edward Cullen's hot-and-cold persona was not winning him any points with me. 

What bothered me the most about the plot is the fact that the "zombies" aren't really zombies. When you think zombies, you think infected people that feeds off of humans. Not these ones though. They are apparently invisible and only certain people can see them. In order to fight them, your essence or soul or whatever has to be separated from your body because the "zombies" were spirits and their physical forms do not exist. Anyway, the whole premise of this alone flabbergasted me. This would have been better off if it was a whole new supernatural species the author created. Not to mention, the novel is not based off of Alice in Wonderland at all. There are just very few references to it. 

I didn't like the writing style either because of the lack of detail. I feel that in order for me to enjoy a novel now is for the author to have a writing style that creates an atmosphere and immerse you into the world (similar to J.K. Rowling). It's unfortunate but a lot of the novels nowadays have that straight forward action and sentence structure. No details, nothing to give you a proper feel of the world in the book. This is pretty much why I have a hard time getting back into reading YA novels. After reading hundreds and hundreds of books, I've seen a lot of books go through the same cliches with plot, characters, writing style, etc. Which is why now I am very selective when it comes to reading nowadays. 

So I would skip this novel if you are looking for a traditional zombie novel. Maybe try it out if you are a fan of Gena Showlater. If you just want to pick up any YA novel, I would say to avoid this one. 

Review copy from Harlequin Teen.
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Author Post: Jay Stritch

Title: The Man of a Thousand Faces
Author: Jay Stritch
Description: Nineteen year old Achill has never left his training camp on Mars. With the revelation that his mother was exiled from the strict system after he was born he feels even more pressure to prove his loyalty and status as a fearless warrior who doesn't think before he kills. That is until he, who has never been taught of love or freedom, is sent on a secret mission for which he must travel through the other seven planets and fight for survival. As his journey unfolds he will discover unknown truths, potential love and face the strangeness of the lives and culture of those raised so differently to him. He may even uncover the timeless mystery of the man of a thousand faces. As tensions rise and the stakes are higher than ever Achill must decide who he is actually fighting for as he tries to understand both conflicts between the planets and also within himself.


Hey guys! I am bringing a new author post today. Jay Stritch is the author of an upcoming sci-fi series, The Eight World Chronicles. The first novel, The Man of a Thousand Faces, is now out. Check her post below about what makes us love the anti-hero and details on where to get her novel!


Thank you for having me on your blog today. I am thrilled to be able to talk about ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces.’ Today I thought I’d talk about a topic that makes up a large portion of the book and that is the power of the anti-hero.

I don’t know what it is but the characters I always wind up falling in love with the most are those who I hated to start with. To my mind it has always been far more appealing to have a character that is flawed but capable of redemption than a ready-made hero who you are supposed to fall in love with. Maybe I'm just a little dysfunctional (certainly a possibility) but it definitely makes for more interesting reading when a character undergoes such a transformation.

I think the reasons this is so powerful centre around hope, identifiability, and environment.

Hope: This is often what we live for, what makes us thrive, keeps us happy and I think that when reading about a character’s ability to change their ways it gives us hope for our own lives and for the world in general which so often feels stuck in ways of prejudice.

Identifiability: I think it is a lot easier to identify with a flawed character than a hero. In the presence of a hero I tend to shrink away, to feel inferior but I can root for someone who is a damaged product of the life they have lead so far having to turn it around and become a hero. We like to be able to relate to what we read, to see our lives reflected back at us in all their gritty realism, horror and delight and that is what you get when you read of someone’s struggle and not only of their success. 

Environment: I think that it is impossible to get to a certain age and not feel like the world has messed you up a little. Like you have to hold it accountable for some of your darker moments. Also looking around the world or opening a news paper we see many environments people have had to endure which seem unbearable. War, hardship, poverty, indoctrination, I think it’s always a wonderful reminder when you can separate a person from their environment and allow them to think for themselves. It gives us inspiration not to be defined by circumstance but to live by our own standards and beliefs.

These three things are the key to why an anti hero can be so powerful, likeable and readable in my humble opinion.

When writing ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces,’ I really wanted to explore the psyche of someone who had been raised in a very all consuming system and knew nothing but a certain way of life. And then I endeavored to take him out of that system and confront the other possibilities of life. It was interesting seeing how these beliefs unravelled and how difficult it can be to try and start from scratch again and discover who you are when who you've been told you are no longer holds true.

I hope this doesn't make the book sound too serious, it is actually a fun should buy it, it’s available on Amazon now:


Author Bio: Jay Stritch is a published author, Cambridge student and part time occupant of the real world. (They’re trying to convince her to go full time but she’s having none of it.)

Born and raised a country girl and more accustom to cows than cars she is an avid reader, writer and adrenaline junkie. Jay wears big glasses for her short shortsightedness, both literally and figuratively. She has just published the first installment of the eight worlds chronicles - 'The Man of a Thousand Faces.'

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