Saturday, 8 June 2013

This is a point I like to make all the time. Just be proud that you love to read and don’t try to force your favourites on me unless I’m actually interested. :D

#reading    #literacy    #literature    #teen    #ya    #books    #reader    #love    #pride    #guilty pleasure    #romance    #fiction    #nonfiction    #read    #apology    

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I have this little pink hanger on the left…and below my Kobo somewhere. It’s a link for things I shop for or will probably shop for. It’s mostly a collection of nerdy book things/nerdy nerd things. But people should check it out. Especially after my last “discovery”. Come onnnnn. You know you wanna. I do not get paid for this though.

#nerd    #shopping    #books    #reading    #reader    #reviews    #shops    #etsy    #local    #covers    #clothing    #tea    #infuser    #star wars    #kobo    #cool    #accessories    #fun    #bookmark    #totes    #stationary    #journal    #cards    #coasters    #home    #urban    

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Book on Trial #33: Seraphina

Author: Hartman, Rachel

Title: Seraphina

Keywords: Dragons, half-breeds, love, philosophers.

Recommended For: 13+, fans of Tamora Pierce, Paolini, Diana Wynne Jones, Tolkien, Rowling.

Rating: 

Sentence: I sentence Rachel Hartman to have the ability to solve many sexy equations and also a crime-free life in Vancouver. That shit be scary.

Review: I’ll try to make this review pretty short, since I had barely a complaint. Actually, if I had a complaint I cannot recall it anymore because I am baffled by Hartman. I should say this is an extremely rare occurrence. I never give out five stars.

This novel started at a relatively slow pace, but with good reason. The characters and world building painted an entirely different world from what I’ve read before and did an extremely good job at it. I had complex questions about the history of some character or saint or weapon or even family with no doubts to there actually being a story. It’s like the world has existed for so long and this story is just a minor occurrence in the history of it. A minor story I rather enjoyed, but only minor in the sense of looking at the broader picture of everything.        

This is one of those rare reads where you find the two main love interests arguing about philosophers to be some sort of sexy, chemistry-filled conversation. I was practically salivating for more about Archiboros and his pompous ass. Maybe even more about Pontheus, the jurisprudence philosopher; later said to be either genius or mad.    

But seriously, how is this turning me on? It must be all that intelligent talk and whatnot.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Seraphina storming about and trying to be pricklier than she is. She’s brave, but shy and intrepid. She contradicts herself by loving others, despite their grotesqueness, and having trouble loving her own self.

The characters throughout this entire novel are so well built that it’s only too easy to find their imperfections rather than the things that make them flat. Even the “soulless” saarantras and quigutl had me amused, laughing, and possibly crying a little. Even the Ardmagar Cormonot was confusing with his Cybermen-like reactions to emotion.

Okay, but srsly, this spoke to my heart (don’t laugh): “do not underestimate the seductive power of math.”

Basically, I have nothing else to say except GIMME MORE. And also:

Yeah, come at me dragons. I’m looking pretty sexy now, aren’t I?

#book    #on    #trial    #seraphina    #phina    #glisselda    #math    #cybermen    #sexy    #doctor    #who    #dragons    #rachel    #hartman    #goodreads    #books    #reading    #reader    #love    #philosophers    

Friday, 25 May 2012

Fan of so-and-so? Find out if you fit the stereotype! :) It’s pretty hilarious, though not entirely true.

#books    #authors    #judge    #book    #by    #lover    #lovers    #read    #reader    #bookseller    #stereotype    

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Book on Trial #25: Illuminate

SPOILER ALERT: It’s been awhile since I read this book so I may not remember the smaller details, but might give away the bigger ones.

Author: Agresti, Aimee

Title: Illuminate

Keywords: Fairies, angels, scars, cute boys, high school, internship, hotel, adoption, hospitals, co-op, devil, souls, success, earning, immediate results, cursed, fighting back, under a spell, tainted, wings, driven, improbable, friends, love, sacrifice, belonging, memories, painting, art, Dorian Gray.

Recommended For: 12+, fans of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Rating: 

Sentence: I sentence Aimee Agresti to carrying ten copies of Illuminate on her back for 48 hours. That’s how it felt when I really wanted to speed through but there were just so many possibly crucial…words. ;D

Review: I only complain about the size of the book because I fear it’ll turn off many teens from reading a pretty decent and witty book. It’s not even complicated or too heavy for teens that read Twilight and The Mortal Instruments trilogy series (UGH).

Basically all the events of this book are highly improbable, but that is true of thousands upon thousands of books. And I therefore cannot judge this book by the crazy awesome opportunity to work in a hotel for credit or the fact that the protagonist agreed even though she is not going into hospitality services but medicine (tentatively).  

From the very beginning (sort of) you know that Haven Terra (even if you ignored her ridiculous name) is some sort of angel-winged-thing. It’s no secret to anyone but her.

If I could sum up this book it would be like reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, very teened up and partially immersed in a modernized Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy settings. Perhaps Dante, Haven’s BFFL is a tip of the hat to the epic Italian poet.

In any case, the slow development and lack of action is worth sitting through. Agresti is clearly not new to writing and shows it with her wit and her quirky characters.

My only complaint is that Dante was a little too stereotypical as the gay friend and if he is to be so flamboyant and, well, gay he needs balance. I am all for the inclusion of diversity in books, especially teen, but a flamboyant gay protagonist needs a not-so-stereotypical gay to balance him; to show readers that not all people belong to a single label. People are more complex and cannot be entirely compartmentalized. I believe that is a responsibility of authors, as crazy and fantastical as their stories may be; people are people and that, at least, should read honestly.

#book    #on    #trial    #mtv    #video    #illuminate    #25    #twenty    #five    #books    #goodreads    #read    #reading    #reader    #young    #adult    #teen    #teens    #aimee    #agresti    #wit    #funny    #angels    #wings    #dante    #divine    #comedy    #picture    #of    #dorian gray    

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Book on Trial #24: Grave Mercy

SPOILER ALERT FROM REAL HISTORY: Brittany is eventually absorbed by France.

Author: LaFevers, Robin

Title: Grave Mercy

Keywords: Death, Mortain, saints, medieval, witches, female heroes, assassins, mercy, angel, nuns, badassery, Olden times, Brittany, France, duchy, Anne, cool clothing, poison, crossbows, killing, murder, politics, scandal, marriage, turmoil, civil war, war, loss, grief, abuse, women, untouchables, England, Roman Empire.

Recommended For: 12+, fans of Eon by Alison Goodman

Rating: 

Sentence: I sentence Robin LaFevers to an orgy of limbs that do not include elbows. And don’t mistake that for irony; it is satire.

Review: Fans of Alison Goodman are in for a pleasant surprise. Grave Mercy is another story of a strong female character shaped over time to become some sort of badass…asskicker. Or in this case, assassin for Death. Lafever’s book reads very much like Eon, in that you start off with a girl who believes herself so deformed and untouchable that when others value her it seems unfathomable. It’s almost like a really extreme metaphor for teenage girls establishing self-respect. Actually that’s not really an “almost” situation; it’s a given.

Anyway, Grave Mercy does not fail to immerse you deep in the dark world of the most ridiculous assassin nuns. You may laugh at the thought of that but beware of their deadly ninja skills. But pretty much they’re just good at poisoning people and pretending to be all secretive-like when really everyone knows about them. That’s okay, it was fun all the same.

And that’s pretty much where my positive critique ends. It was fun.

Here are my points of issue:

1. Much too Much Ado About Nothing. Come on, practically every teen romance is about some sort of hatred or distrust between the two lovebirds. We all know they’re going to end up together now. And of course just when Duval is about to die Ismae realizes her body is a fucking sponge. A SPONGE FOR POISON. What is this? SpongeMae PoisonPants?

And to heal him she doesn’t just, you know, sleep with him; she does some serious planking shit.

2. JUST DO IT. This is something the girls and I, at the bookstore, call the ultimate rule of teen fiction. Teens are rash dumbasses that let not only their hormones, but their pride guide them. In a situation where a girl has barely any clothes on, in her bedroom, with the guy she’s pining for (no parents around and he’s pretty much into her more than he is into his life being threatened)—just do it. What is the hold up? You’re already spooning.

3. Elbow fetish. I am slightly disturbed by the amount of elbow grabbing Duval does. It’s almost bad as those weird armpit fetishes. But pretty much every chance he gets, Duval is shoving or forcefully grabbing Ismae’s elbow, which she is constantly twisting out of. Look Duval, you may want to lick her elbow or whatever and hope it’s her “sweet spot”, but I’m pretty sure she’d just send that elbow straight into your mouth and knock out a couple of teeth.

4. Repetitive language and phrases. Repeating things in different ways may make the reader remember things better, but it also annoys the shit out of me. If one says the same thing over and over again in different ways, it is not only hammered into one’s memory, but also an irritant. I find repetition particularly annoying, but also effective for accurate recall, even when the subject matter being repeated is completely unnecessary.

5. Irony. 
1. Verbal irony is a trope in which the intended meaning of a statement differs from the meaning that the words appear to express.

2. Situational irony involves an incongruity between what is expected or intended and what actually occurs.

3. Dramatic irony is an effect produced by a narrative in which the audience knows more about present or future circumstances than a character in the story.”

Please, Lafevers, see this excellent explanation: The Oatmeal’s 3 Uses of Irony. You will find irony easier to identify this, rather than claiming every other sentence that something is ironic.

I will give Lafevers this much, I loved her intro of Death Himself as a utensil for mercy, not revenge. Death is mercy for the suffering. And that was pretty awesome.

#irony    #elbow    #book    #books    #on    #trial    #video    #film    #bookphilia    #reads    #read    #reading    #reader    #grave    #mercy    #robin    #lafevers    #twitter    #24    #teen    #young    #adult    #historical    #brittany    #death    #nuns    #nun    #assassin    #ninja    #sandman    

Friday, 23 March 2012

Book on Trial #23: Anna Dressed in Blood

There will be bloody fucking spoilers in this review.

Author: Blake, Kendare

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood

Keywords: Anna, blood, gore, horror, young adult, teen, love, ghosts, supernatural, demons, voodoo, athame, witchcraft, spells, mystery, death, resolution, grief, friends, family, humour.

Recommended For: 12+

Rating: 

Sentence: I sentence Kendare Blake to a Supernatural and possibly some classic Japanese horror movies marathon. Also, writing something that is not teen.

Review: When I first saw this title in stores I thought Shit, this author knows how to hook you in with the dramatics. And then I thought, I hope this isn’t a teen version of Carrie. While keeping it fairly dramatic, Anna Dressed in Blood did not disappoint me.

This series is a reminder of why I bother with teen at all. I had sworn off teen for three months and failed because sometimes it just doesn’t feel like teen. It’s something more than that stupid, superficial crap or the very depressing “everything is about me and it’s all life and death” stuff. Don’t get me wrong, some of those books turn out very good, but they are all very overdone.

Well written horror teen is pretty hard to find and Blake’s novel is just that. Readers start off with a lonely Cas and his mother travelling around the world and freeing the ghosts tethered to certain areas; causing mayhem and death. You end up with Cas trying to figure out how he can keep Anna in his life, even if she isn’t alive.

I’ll admit at first the way Cas wielded the athame reminded me of Supernatural, but then the story started to create its own character. Cas turns out to be a compassionate young man just trying to save people and ghosts alike. And there is certainly Something About Mary Anna.

If possible, there is a more sinister creature than Anna haunting Thunder Bay. Familiar bite marks are discovered on the bodies and Cas is suddenly facing his ultimate ghosty; the one that killed his father.

From the setting in Thunder Bay (Canada, ftw) to the overly expressive cat (and even the touch of voodoo), Blake weaves a story about love, friendship and haunting histories.

This book bled into a seat of favour on my bookshelves.

#anna    #dressed    #in    #blood    #book    #books    #good    #goodreads    #read    #reading    #reader    #review    #film    #movie    #video    #bookphilia    #young    #adult    #horror    #teen    

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Book on Trial #22: Jellicoe Road

Few spoilers to be had.

Author: Marchetta, Melina

Title: Jellicoe Road

Keywords: Shangri-La, teen, young adult, heaven, school, academy, orphans, parents, relationships, love, games, make-believe, territory wars, understanding identity, history, stories, violence, death, secrets, clarity, cadets, pedophile, survival, guilt, sacrifice, drugs.

Recommended For: 12+

Rating: 

Sentence: I sentence Melina Marchetta to swapping stories over drinks (and possibly cookies).

Review: I know I normally spoil books to no end, but there really is nothing to spoil in this book. In fact, from the very beginning I could see things falling into place, even before it had been confirmed by the narrator. But it didn’t matter because suddenly I realized I was already invested in the outcome of my beloved protagonists. 

It doesn’t even matter that there is something special about Jessa or that Taylor is more connected to Jellicoe School than she realizes. I found myself pushing past the sorrow of Taylor’s abandonment to console her with the love of her friends (even when they seem like they’re in a war) and Hannah.

I don’t believe in god (or ghosts), but the eerie coincidences and ghosts of the past (especially the boy in the tree, haunting her dreams) make me want to believe in some sort of higher power helping Taylor find herself. I can’t help but love her even when she’s pathetically moody; avoiding mentions of her and Jonah (swoon) in the same sentence; and wheezing or fainting at every TMI moment (I’m currently listening to Coward of the Country courtesy of Kenny Rogers, haha).

I cannot do Jellicoe Road any justice in this review because I am nowhere near as eloquent as Marchetta. Taylor’s story and its intricately branching history is worth the gamble, whether she knows it or not.

#melina    #marchetta    #jellicoe    #road    #book    #books    #on    #trial    #review    #review    #good    #reads    #reading    #reader    #read    #goodreads    #plums    #plum    #points    #indigo    #kobo    #ebook    #orphan    #webb    #tate    #narnie    #australia    #teen    #adult    #young    

Friday, 17 February 2012

This made me really sad. Especially because the ad I saw said “now YOU can have your own Edward”. Ew.

What has the world come to? Why can’t we just keep our fantasies in our head and create them for free? Rather than letting someone else create our fantasies for us and insert our names in it? It’s like being sold a used condom or something.

Edit: AND I just went through the descriptors. There is no option for skinny, overweight, plump, etc. You’re just not allowed to be anything but attractive or within the slim to a little extra curvy range. D:

#book    #by    #you    #books    #reading    #fantasy    #head    #pay    #for    #insert    #your    #name    #edward    #vampires    #teen    #young    #adult    #reader    #classic    #personalize    #bookphile    #bookphilia    #biblio    #philia    #phile    #harry    #potter    #twilight    #edward    #bella    

Monday, 6 February 2012

My fingers are itching to buy everything. I especially love “unreliable narrator”. 

#books    #love    #loving    #book    #reader    #reads    #literacy    #literate    #literature    #etsy    #buy    #book    #fiend    #shop    #stuff    #reads    #good    #great    #classics    #quotes    #i    #like    #big    #books    #and    #i    #cannot    #lie    #awesome    #shopping