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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hey guys! Another year has flew by and I want to thank all of my readers for being so awesome! You guys give me such great support and without you, Stop, Drop, and Read! wouldn't exist. :) If you are a new follower, I hope you will like what the blog has to offer the year ahead. (Planning on having a 2nd blogoversary this summer with plenty of great contests ;D).

Now, I'm sure you have been seeing a lot of top picks for 2009. Unfortunately, I'm not gonna make a list for this year. My brain is a bit fried right now because I'm trying to get it to work since I have put off all of my assignments and studying I needed to do up till now.

Anyway, are you excited for 2010? I'm actually pretty terrified at the moment. I still have to apply to university and my grades right now make me want to jump off a cliff. I'm hoping to get into a university that is in downtown Toronto (image above), where the city is awake 24/7. What are you hoping to happen in 2010?

Great advices from 28 YA authors for those who are determined to write a new story for this new year:

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Wake by Lisa McMann

Title: Wake
Lisa McMann
Age Group:
# of Pages: 210
My Rating:

Janie has an unexplainable ability where she gets sucked into people's dreams. She is tired of seeing people's dreams where they are either sex-crazed or naked in front of a crowd. Until she witnesses one that terrifies her to death. One that will have a significant impact on her...

As you probably know, Wake is one of the bestselling YA titles out there. When I picked it up, I had no doubts in my purchase. Except now it seems that if I set the bar too high for a novel, they always seem to fall below it.

Wake is written in a quick third person narrative where instead of chapters, you are given the time the event is occurring. I usually skipped over the time and date because it was much easier. However it got me lost because it might skipped over a week and I would not notice it if I didn't check back. What gave me a hard time liking this novel was how quickly everything flew by. The writing was so short and right to the point that sometimes it was just hard to connect with Janie or any of the characters.

From what I read of the summary, I expected a deep and dark paranormal plot to ensue. Instead, there was none. The story wasn't as climactic as I hoped it would be but along the lines of "meh, could do better". However, this was indeed a fast read with an interesting idea. I just wished that the writing was elaborated on and something bigger could have been created using the idea of Janie's ability.

I recommend Wake to anyone who would like to see something a little different in the normal world. Today is the last day to read your free ebook version of Wake. Click here for info.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Watching on Wednesday: Forget Me Not

Title: Forget Me Not
Type: Movie
Age Group: Older Teens
Release Year: 2009
My Rating: 4/5

Sandy Channing (Carly Schroeder) and her friends can be considered the "perfect American teens". Their lives are about the pool parties and the beautiful people with sex to top it off. During the weekend where they should be celebrating their graduation, Sandy realizes that her friends are disappearing one by one. No one appears to remember them except for her, like they have been erased from existence.

Haunted and cursed by her past, Sandy must find a way to stop it before it is all too late.

I never heard of this movie before scanning for something to watch online. The only reason why I clicked on it was because when I saw the mini-version of the poster, the girl looked Asian. Well, as you can clearly see she is not but I decided to give the movie a shot anyway because people were giving it good ratings.

The movie instantly hooked me until the end where there were times where I had to cover my face. It was not outright scary, but it did have its moments where you would jump a little in your seat (if you're the type to get scared easily). It made you curious why the characters were being sought after by an evil ghost. Eventually, the secret was unravelled as Sandy's memories were revealed.

What bothered me was the ending and the overall concept of why the characters were killed. I personally found the grudge to be a little extreme, although what the characters did in the past was wrong of them. They were children at the time so they didn't know any better. It just irked me so much that they were disappearing because of what they did (which is not as bad as it seems if you think about it).

I recommend this movie to anyone who wants a quick scare that is based around teen characters. For those who have seen the movie, what is your opinion on it?

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: Monster Republic by Ben Horton

Title: Monster Republic
Ben Horton
An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. No, whispered Cameron to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. Thats not me. Youre not me. As commercial and compelling as a computer game, this is the first book in a major new series.

I just discovered this title over at
Book Chick City. Doesn't it sound bloody awesome?!? And the trailer is wicked cool too! Have anyone read this novel yet?

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 290
My Rating: 5/5

Anna's best friend, Frankie, is determined that they will both have a fantastic summer at Zanzibar Bay. With twenty days there, their plan (or more like Frankie's) is to have a fling with twenty different guys.

Anna is not too keen with this idea. What her BFF doesn't know is that she still loves Matt, Frankie's older brother who tragically died the year before. Planning to keep this a secret, Anna will go with Frankie's plan to keep her happy. What she does not expect is this trip will change her perspective on everything...

After I finished this novel, I was like, "Why did I not read this earlier??" As you can tell, this novel takes place in the summer and Sarah Ockler made it the perfect summer read. Sitting in my room with the heater on as winter was going to stay for another few months, I was swept away into the gentle breeze and soft sand where I followed Anna through her journey of grief, friendship and forgiveness.

Anna is a character that is definitely relatable to the female audience. She had a hard time forgetting the guy she first loved and was afraid to expose the secret that would hurt her friend. She had her ups and downs in life and she tried to cope with it, even though it was hard on her because every time she remembered Matt, she wanted to cry. Her emotions were very honest and the reader could easily connect with her.

Even though the story just followed the events of Anna and Frankie, they kept me turning the pages because I absolutely loved its voice. I recommend this novel to those who are looking for a romantic read that also deals with friendship and honesty.

Won ARC copy from Books By Their Cover.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

In My Mailbox - LII

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed


The Bought


The Received

Death Mill Mansion: A Lighthearted Comedy by Will Hartzell-Baird
Scorched by Sharon Ashwood + Ravenous Bookmark + Cat Card

I was hoping there would be a sale of like, buy 3 get 1 free, at Indigo yesterday but there was none. If there is a sale going up soon at the bookstore, I will definitely purchase some new novels. I unfortunately didn't get any books as Christmas presents but I guess that is alright, considering the number I still have to read on my shelf. Did anyone get any books under their Christmas tree?
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Hate You More Than Anyone! by Banri Hidaka

Title: I Hate You More Than Anyone!
Mangaka: Banri Hidaka
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 13 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Kazuha Akiyoshi has a big crush on Mizushima, a teacher at her baby brother's daycare. He is kind and considerate and Kazuha can't help but like him so much. Then there is Sugimoto, a hairdresser who seems to be obsessed with her. Except due to his cheeky behaviour, she greatly dislikes him! What is a girl to do when a guy won't just leave her alone??

I have read Banri Hidaka's later series, V.B. Rose, one that I did not highly favour. I Hate You More Than Anyone! is slightly better, though it is a series I would not start collecting.

Kazuha, like most shojo protagonists, has a love interest. As you could probably tell, female characters' first love interest in the beginning of a series usually turn out to be some sort of fluke. Kazuha is the type of character where she keeps a strong face in front of others but when it comes to her personal feelings, she breaks apart. The first volume focuses a lot on her and Sugimoto and how their relationship grows over time, which is cute.

There is one part that I wished didn't happen and that was when Sugimoto cut Kazuha's hair. It became really short and it just irked me how she looked like a male character with a girl's face. Except, this part of the story did contribute overall to her relationship with Sugimoto.

I don't mind the art, but what bothers me the most is the hairstyles Hidaka used on her characters at the time. From the way they were drawn, some characters' hair seemed very thin and it is one of my manga pet peeves. What is even worse is the Sugimoto ties back his hair, making it look like he barely has any hair at all! Other than that, I do love how clean Hidaka's art is.

I Hate You More Than Anyone! is somewhat a slow paced manga, which makes you want to put it down very fast. However if you want some sort of simple romance, you might like this series.

Review copy provided by

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Friday, December 25, 2009


Oh my, 2009 is almost coming to an end! How are you celebrating your holiday? What presents did you get?

I got: a Guess sweater, a blue scarf, a Magic Eight Ball in a form of a fortune cookie, a pretty blue journal, and $150 in cash which I've spent most of already. (Still have one more present to open). No books. :( But I think I'll make some book purchases if there is a sale on Boxing Day. Fwee! Can't wait to splurge some more tomorrow!

I think my parents will take me to their friend's party later today where I will only eat their free dinner and leave afterwards, lol.

Anyway, be safe and don't drink and drive! Also, for anyone who lives in Toronto, TTC is running for free from 12 AM - 4 AM on New Years I believe. Check up on that if you think you may need an alternate transportation on the first day of 2010 after some great partying. ;)


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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Warrior Princess by Frewin Jones

Title: Warrior Princess
Author: Frewin Jones
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 346
My Rating: 3/5

Branwen is a young princess who's homeland is in danger. Threatened, her family sends her off to get married so they will have a strong ally with their kingdom. Except Branwen wants to be out there, fighting against her enemies, instead of being tucked away into safety.

When an old prophecy reveals that her future would be different than she thought it would be, she has a big decision to make. Except, what will be the path she chooses?

Warrior Princess is as typical and predictable as its title. It is about princess who doesn't want to be pampered and wants to be in the action instead. This novel will definitely appeal to those who like this sort of story. Unfortunately, I was drawn to this book by its cover rather than its plot so I did not enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

This novel took me quite some time to get into and even though I did halfway, it still had me hesitant to continue. In the beginning, I thought Branwen was too stubborn for my liking. I generally don't mind stubborn characters but it depends on how they are presented. It wasn't until many chapters later on in the book where I no longer mind her because she became less hardheaded.

The plot moved slowly for the majority of the novel because the protagonist was stuck at a neighbouring kingdom temporarily before she had to head out to meet her future husband. During her stay with another royal family, she was looked down upon because they thought her lifestyle was not "sophisticated" enough for them. The bullying that was given to Branwen by her hosts had me disliking the novel for a while because I couldn't stand it. Afterwards, it did pick up its pace towards the end, which was enough for me to finish it.

I recommend this novel to anyone who likes novels about a princess who would prefer to be on the battlefield. Click here if you would like to read a preview of Warrior Princess.

Review copy provided by

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Author Interview: Lauren McLaughlin

Lauren McLaughlin wrote the fun novel Cycler, where the protagonist is both a girl and a boy! She joins us today for a quick interview where I also ask her a couple of holiday related questions!

You can learn more about Lauren and her novels at

Firstly, what inspired you to write Cycler?

I never know for sure what inspires anything I write. I came up with the idea for Cycler many years ago when I was a screenwriter. I've always considered gender an interesting topic because we invest so much in it and, at the time, are always changing our ideas about it. Each generation seems to define masculinity and femininity differently, yet each generation seems to think it knows best. Once the story and characters got rolling, I really liked the way that the main character's condition prevented him/her from settling down into a single identity. Since identity is so important for teenagers, it felt like rich territory.

If you woke up one day to find yourself as the opposite gender, what would be your first reaction?

In a way, I wouldn't be all that surprised. I've always been somewhat psychologically androgynous, my female friends often referring to me as the man of the gang. I don't look very androgynous, but when I think of myself, I certainly don't see someone extremely feminine. I think I would enjoy being a man for a while. I'd like to see how the world reacted to me, and how that changed my own reactions.

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

The easiest part is coming up with ideas. My head is swimming with them. Too many of them, in fact. Dialog is also very easy for me. The hardest part is rewriting. By the time I've made it through a first draft, it's usually pretty rickety and needs a lot of help. But once you start making changes, it's very easy for the whole structure to fall apart. Another difficult thing for me is slowing down the pacing to include more interiority and mental wandering. I tend to write in very here and now, action-oriented scenes, undoubtedly because of my screenwriter background. I work hard to slow down and open things up.

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?

I just got my edit notes from the editor, in fact, on my third novel, tentatively entitled Steal the Future. It's set in the near future after someone has invented a software program which can process data from the now-ubiquitous surveillance cameras, along with cell phone conversations, email, and Web habits to come up with a monthly score indicating a teenager's overall social fitness. This score determines everything in life--who you can eat lunch with, who your friends are, where (and whether) you go to college, etc. It's like a universal S.A.T. score. The story follows a high school senior named Cady, whose own score is dropping because her best friend has started dating an "unscored" boy. The novel is scheduled for publication some time in 2011.

Since the holidays are around the corner, what novel(s) do you recommend for as a gift?

Right now, I'm reading Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City, which I'm quite enjoying. I also loved Justine Larbalestier's Liar and Robin Wasserman's Skinned and Crashed.

What is your favourite part of the holidays?

I love Christmas lights. The rest of Christmas leaves me a little cold, but I love the way the city puts on its brightest, sparkliest attire to celebrate the season. And, of course, I love when it snows. Snow is magical.

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

I think my weirdest trait is that I am deathly afraid of butterflies.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Title: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Description: It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

There is another trailer for the novel but I think the interview with Sarah is much more personal and interesting. Now I want to check out Along for the Ride!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture by Masayuki Ishikawa

Title: Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture
Mangaka: Masayuki Ishikawa
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 8 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Bacterias are microscopic organisms. They surround us constantly, from being in the food we eat to the insides of our bodies. No one can see them with a naked eye. No one, except Tadayasu Sawaki.

A new student at an agriculture university, Sawaki is able to see germs that surround him. With his special ability, he gets tangled up in funny situations and meets a couple of odd people here and there. An absolute hit series in Japan, Moyasimon is brought to North America to reveal an adorable and educational world of bacterias and agriculture.

When I first saw the manga, I automatically thought it was in novel-format because of the cover. That was until I realized it was backwards and was indeed a manga. I also question the cover because as you can see, it is mocking the American flag, which I find is cute. Except, isn't this made in Japan?? I assume the cover is so because the publisher is trying to bring the hype from Japan over to America.

There are interesting facts involving the things you could learn in an agriculture university and the different uses of bacteria. I actually didn't know there were universities existed solely for agriculture until I read this manga. You could obtain many scientific information from this series and the mangaka made it fun to read.

I love the drawings Masayuki Ishikawa gave to each group of bacterias. Scenes and characters are sometimes drawn to be humorous. The art style is easy on the eyes and there are very clear transitions in the panels. I found it pretty comical in one scene where Sawaki was hit by a massive wave of bacteria and he was unable to see where he was going while to regular people's eyes, he just seemed weird.

I do recommend Moyasimon for manga readers who want something different from the usual shojo or shonen series out there. This series however takes time to digest because there is a ton of information given in some panels.

Review copy provided by
Del Rey.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Contest Winner

I got no books this week so I'm skipping out on my IMM post. However, I did draw out a winner for the t-shirt of Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by E. Van Lowe! The winner is...


Congrats! Please email me at faked_sugartone at with your address!

Edit: E. is letting you read his new and FREE ebook, I Want You Back! All you have to do is go to his site and subscribe! As easy as that! He will be releasing chapters starting this Wednesday!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn

Title: Kitty and the House of Horrors
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 304
My Rating: 5/5

When a reality show producer approaches Kitty, a popular radio show hostess, she worries. Apparently the new show is only for supernatural beings. Of course, she had her fair share of publicity when she showed the world her werewolf side, but she isn't too keen on this proposal. That is, until she finds out a couple of her friends agreed to participate. So she decides, why not? To hang out with some old buddies and have a good time, even though being filmed constantly, doesn't sound too bad after all.

Except what is supposed to be an innocent show turned out to be a gruesome battle for survival of a bigger and darker plot for the paranormal participants. Stranded on an island miles away from home, Kitty and the others must fight back before it is too late.

This is the seventh novel of the Kitty Norville series and I'd only read the second volume aside from this one. When coming into a random novel of a series, readers generally worry that they will get lost since they have not yet read the previous books. However, it is not the case for Kitty's House of Horrors because Carrie Vaughn creates an exciting story for the audience, new or old.

Kitty's House of Horrors held my attention from beginning to end. When things started to get climactic, I held my breath most of the time, worrying for the safety of Kitty and the other characters. There is only action throughout the novel but one that is thrilling and will have you continuously flipping the page!

There is actually an Asian vampire that appears by the name of Anastasia. I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride because I rarely see any other kind of vampires other than white. It was nice to see a little diversity here and there and also all of Vaughn's characters were distinct in their own way.

If you are looking for a paranormal read without all of the mushy forbidden love stuff between two different species and that have great action, then you have to check out Kitty's House of Horrors! Except, it won't be out until January 2010!

Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Q4U: What book are you wanting/giving for the holidays?

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

The holidays are fast approaching! As an avid reader, I am sure that you either want a book or will give a book as a gift. So...

What book are you wanting/giving for the holidays?

I actually just gave a friend The Dust of 100 Dogs earlier for Secret Santa and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did. I am planning to buy two more books, one for my younger sister and another to my cousin but we'll see what I'll come across when I shop over the weekend.

I actually don't have a book I am desperate for right now actually. Well, ones that are already out. The only novel I wanted before for the longest time was What I Wore to Save the World by Maryrose Wood but received it to review not too long ago.

If you are stuck on some book ideas, here are a few that pops out that I recommend for the holiday season:

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (No review yet)

Did anyone get any books in advance? If so, what are they? :) For me, no books yet but I have a feeling I might not be getting any this Christmas lol.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin

Title: Cycler
Author: Lauren McLaughlin
Description: AS FAR AS anyone at her high school knows, Jill McTeague is an average
smart girl trying to get her dream date to ask her to the prom.

What no one knows, except for Jill’s mom and dad, is that for the four
days Jill is out of school each month, she is not Jill at all. She is
Jack, a genuine boy—complete with all the parts. Jack lives his four
days per month in the solitude of Jill’s room. But his personality has
been building since the cycling began. He is less and less content
with his confinement and his cycles are becoming more frequent. Now
Jill’s question about the prom isn’t who she’ll go with, but who
she’ll be when the big night arrives

I actually have already reviewed this novel but I think the trailer is cute! You can read my opinion of the book by clicking here.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

In My Mailbox - LI

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed


The Bought


The Received

Never After by Dan Elconin

Yep, I did buy a book, but it's for my Secret Santa. What novel is it? Well I can't say because I may ruin the present but just know that I have already reviewed it in the past. :) (Got a 5/5 rating!)

My t-shirt contest for Never Slow Dance with a Zombie ends this Saturday! Click here to join! International! :D

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I Wore to Save the World by Maryrose Wood

Title: What I Wore to Save the World
Author: Maryrose Wood
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 276
My Rating: 4.5/5

Morgan is about to enter her last year of high school. She has no flipping clue on what she wants to do later in life. Her parents decide to dish out two hundred bucks so that she is able to meet a private college counsellor so she could finally make up her mind. Odd Mr. Phineas recommends that she should try for Oxford University for mythological studies. Yes, the Oxford.

Given a free plane ticket, she is to go to England immediately for a campus tour. Except a problem arises and her sexy Irish Colin emails her a request for her to meet him at Wales immediately without a given reason. Worried and excited, Morgan takes a detour to Wales after landing at her destination to discover another mess caused by the faery realm. This time, it is no joke. This time, it could be the end of the world if she can not stop it.

In this third and last instalment of the Morgan Rawlinson series, readers will be entranced by a world of magic, love, and fun!

After waiting for months, I finally got the chance to read What I Wore to Save the World! Unsure about her future, teens could relate to Morgan's problem. Still as witty as ever, our protagonist is now on the other side of the continent (yet again) with her long-distance love and a load of magical complications to fix. Surprisingly, I didn't find myself laughing as much as I did in the first two novels. I was a little disappointed that the humour is more of chuckle-and-mental-appreciation instead of a laugh-out-loud moment. However, there is a lot more emotions and heart-felt moments involved, which I thought was perfect considering it is the last instalment.

In this novel, Morgan has to make a big decision on if she should tell Colin about her half-goddess identity or not. Of course, you would have to read it to know what happens but it makes you wonder if someone truly loves you, will they accept the secrets you have?

The ending took me by surprise because I was hoping for it to wrap up differently than it did. I didn't like it at first but when I thought about it, the author did put a nice final touch to the series.

For fans who have long waited for What I Wore to Save the World would be delighted by this enchanting tale and it would be enjoyed from beginning to end! The novel is finally out so get your copy today!

Review copy provided by
Penguin Group (Canada).

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Description: Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson’s vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.

I don't like the cover for this novel but I am definitely intrigued by its premises. It is quite similar to Skinned by Robin Wasserman, a futuristic novel I highly adore. For those who have read The Adoration of Jenna Fox, what is your opinion on it?

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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

Title: The Espressologist
Author: Kristina Springer
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 184
My Ratings: 2.5/5

Jane Turner, who works in a coffee shop, can judge a person's personality by their choice of coffee. She takes a habit of jotting down her observations in her little book. After hooking up coffee drinkers who were compatible with each other, her manager creates a store promotion out of it!

Even though she loves matchmaking, why doesn't she feel comfortable about it? Is it the fact that she got her best friend, Em, and Cam, a guy from her community college, together? She should be happy for them, since after all, she got them together even when Em refused blind dates. Right?

You do not know how much I was dying to read this novel. My expectation for this quick, light romance was to be 4.5/5 at the least. I am an avid coffee drinker and the idea of matching people up by their regular drinks is so appealing to me! I even adore the cover that goes with it! Except, that is as far as my love for this novel goes.

I got really irritated by Hannah's voice and my dislike for her narration grew as I continued to read. She threw out random tidbits of information that I found useless to the plot and it occurred very frequently. The words describing Jane's actions always felt misused. If I was to imagine how this would play out according to the novel, the characters would be like bad actors that seemed to over exaggerated on every emotion.

What bothered me the most out of all was Jane's crush on Cam. I wondered why she even liked him in the first place. They barely talked to each other in school and if they did, it was more on a friendly level. Their contact outside of class was so minimal that I couldn't understand how this relationship could have her freaking about Em being with him.

However, I really like the descriptions given to the coffee drinks in the novel. I think the personality of the drink fits perfectly with whoever drinks them. If there is someone out there who is actually like Jane, a Espressologist, I would totally ask them what I would be like if I chose a certain drink.

The Espressologist is a quick read for those who want something that deals with light teen romance. Many others have enjoyed this novel, so don't take my word for it.

Review copy provided by
Henry Holt and Company.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

In My Mailbox - L

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed


The Bought


The Received

Princess Princess vol. 2-3 by Mikiyo Tsuda

Thank you Az from Bookmooch for the great mooches! :D Since the holidays are coming up, I will likely go buy a book or two for gifts! But I don't think I will be able to post them here since whoever will get them could know. Px

Contest: Hey, if you guys haven't noticed, I am currently hosting another contest! You can win a super adorable t-shirt and signed bookmarks based on the YA zombie comedy Never Slow Dance with a Zombie! Click here to check it out!

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nightschool: The Weirn Books by Svetlana Chmokava

Title: Nightschool: The Weirn Books
Mangaka: Svetlana Chmokava
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 2 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4/5

There are things that go bump in the night when the day sleeps. From vampires to demons, all exist without human knowledge. Like students, these paranormal beings can also go to school and earn their own diplomas. Unlike regular schooling, their education is far from normal.

Alex is a young weirn (witch) who has been home-schooled for her education. There are magic and mysteries lurking within the Nightschool, at which her older sister, Sarah, works at and for some reason, there is a mysterious force that draws her to the school.

I am a big fan of Dramacon, a very popular series by Svetlana Chmakova about a romance that buds through an encounter at an anime convention. Unlike her light and romantic series through Tokyopop, Nightschool reveals a darker side of magic and supernatural beings.

Throughout the first volume, the story flips between Alex's, Sarah's, and the Hunters' point of view. Hunters, from what I gathered, are a group of skilled humans who go after paranormal creatures that impose some sort of threat to the community. Quite a bit of action is involved when the readers are seeing the story from their side. Not only that but Chmakova added her adorable chibis and humour that her old readers will recognize.

I have always adored Chmakova's art style. They are somewhat manga-like but with her own twist. I absolutely love the diversity in her character designs in this series, seeing that she needed a lot of different characters throughout for different roles.

Manga readers who are new to her work will instantly be charmed, not only by her drawings but by the series as a whole. I recommend this one for sure, but go check out DramaCon too! There is a huge cliffhanger in volume one of Nightschool and I am looking forward to see how everything develops in the second!

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Something, Maybe
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 224
My Rating: 5/5

Having your mother do commercials of herself half-naked is pretty humiliating. Ask Hannah. She has to deal with her mom walking around with barely any clothes on at home everyday and the fact that her father is rich by displaying his "girls" (think Playboy).

Not only does she have to deal with the embarrassment of her family but Hannah is crushing on Josh big time. Being around Josh makes her feel great but unfortunately, Finn always have to come in and ruin it when things are getting good. Doesn't he understand that she has no interest in him whatsoever?

Trying to balance out her social life and family problems, Hannah may get a little surprise out of both!

Something, Maybe is an irresistible and adorable story within a span of a little over 200 pages. I instantly liked Hannah's personality and her quirky mother, Candy Madison (I always wondered, is that her fake name she uses for work purposes?). Their relationship as mother and daughter is sweet, despite Candy's job.

Finn automatically captured my attention as well. He is sweet and doesn't give up on his interest in Hannah, which I found surprisingly attractive. With him around, he outshines Josh, even if Hannah didn't see it. Josh tend to say big things but never does anything. He is always reading these smart books to make himself look deep, but really, he isn't. Finn on the other hand knows that talking does not mean actually taking action. He is a very honest guy and I'm sure will capture most readers' love. Not to mention, for a guy he sure blushes a lot!

The story from beginning to end was charming. You also get to the emotional side of things when Hannah went to see her father after five years. It was very heart-touching and sad but fitted perfectly with everything that was going on in the novel.

For anyone who wants a quick dose of young love, overcoming family hardships, and fun, pick up Something, Maybe today!

Won ARC copy from Books By Their Cover.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Q4U: What would you smell like in a romance novel?

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

So you know how in romance novels, the character always describe his/her crush with some sort of scent(s)? So...

What would you smell like in a romance novel?

If you don't know what you smell like in real life, how would you like to be described in a book?

If I was to be described right now, I would smell like citrus or oranges and a hint of Calvin Klein perfume. My mom always buys clementines and I love to eat them because they are so easy to peel back and pop into your mouth. I just started the perfume about a couple of days ago because I had the bottle for so long but I never used it.

During this summer, I smelled like some sort of heavenly flower because I kept using this one body butter called My Desire from Victoria's Secret. I stopped because I was using way too much of it (addicted!) and I didn't want to waste it.

So what about you guys? :D

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

Title: The Tear Collector
Author: Patrick Jones
Description: Fans of urban fantasy should prepare for a new kind of vampire, one that feeds off of tears instead of blood. Descended from an ancient line of creatures that gain their energy from human tears, Cassandra Gray depends on human sorrow to live. Only Cass has grown tired of living this life and wants to live like a human, especially now that she’s met someone worth fighting for.

I've read a lot of mixed reviews for this one. I think the concept would be better if it was not related to vampires, but a whole new species altogether. For those who have read it, what is your take on it?

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Author Interview: E. Van Lowe + Contest

E. Van Lowe, who debuted with his first and laugh out loud YA novel, Never Slow Dance With A Zombie, is here with us today for an interview! He has written for popular comedy shows such as The Cosby Show and Even Stevens too!

There is a contest to win a cute t-shirt of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie and some signed bookmarks! Scroll down below for details!

If you want to learn more about E., please visit: If you subscribe to his site, you will be able to read his new novel, I Want You Back!, for free! He will start releasing chapters around Christmas!

What inspired you to write Never Slow Dance With A Zombie?

I had been writing for TV for quite a few years and knew that I wanted to write a YA novel. I love both vampires and zombies, and since there were so many vampire novels, I chose zombies. Who knew (three years ago) that there would a literary zombie uprising?

Why is it that you decided to write in a girl's perspective opposing to a male's? Do you consider it harder or easier to write the opposite gender? Why?

I had been reading a lot of YA when I decided to write a novel. Everything I was reading at the time was from a girl's POV. So, I knew I was going to write as a girl. I don't know how it happened, but even in my scripts I write from a female POV most of the time. It feels natural to me. Back in college I wrote for romance and confession magazines--all female POVs. So, I guess it started back then. I don't consider it easier or harder. I do find women more interesting. The emotions in my characters are emotions I feel intimately: wanting love, feeling betrayed, etc. The emotional makeup of my characters is neither male nor female.

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

The easiest part is coming up with fun, funny, adventurous situations to put my characters in. I can entertain myself all day doing this. The hardest part is everything else. But I LOVE it all. I wouldn't trade what I do for anything.

What other genres are you thinking about expanding your writing to, asides comedy and zombies?

I've just completed my third novel, and I am currently writing a novella, I Want You Back! Everything is about teen girls with elements of the paranormal and some comedy. The later books have romance in them. The novel I just completed, Hollyweird, has a very strong romantic element, too, and it's darker. It features all the elements found in the first, I think it's just more grown up. Hopefully, I am getting better as a novelist.

What is your favourite zombie movie and zombie novel?

My favorite zombie movie is 28 Days Later & Shaun of The Dead. I know, I chose two. I love them both. Hmm, zombie novel. I haven't yet read a bunch that have come out this year like: Breathers and Zombie Queen of Newbury High. So, I need to get back to you on that one. I read Patient Zero this past spring. It was pretty good.

What is your number one survival tip on living through a zombie apocalypse?

When you see a zombie coming--run!

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

I like to dance. I don't know if that's interesting, but it's definitely something I don't tell my buddies. LOL. I look at So You Think You Can Dance? and think "I think I can dance, but not like them!" LOL.


Now that you had the chance to learn a little bit more about E., it is time for the contest!

One winner will get a large t-shirt of Never Slow Dance With A Zombie and some signed bookmarks! Yes, the size is only large at the moment but it'll be a comfy t-shirt to sleep in!

Answer the following to be entered. NO ANSWER, NO ENTRY!

+1 What is your favourite zombie movie or book?

Extra Entries:

+1 New follower
+2 Already a follower
+1 For every site you link to. Give me direct links! No links, no entries! 5 max!

This contest is open to international readers and it will be closed on December 19, 2009!

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

In My Mailbox - XLIX

To do your own In My Mailbox, please check out how to at The Story Siren!

The Borrowed


The Bought


The Received

Explorer X - Alpha by LM Preston + Goodies
What I Wore to Save the World by Maryrose Wood
The Book Buddy Pillow

Sorry the picture is a bit messy. ><

Thank you so much Jennifer Lawrence aka my Secret Santa for a fantastic gift! It is so awesome and I can not wait to use it! Those who are curious about the pillow's use:

"The Book Buddy™ holds both hardcover and softcover books in place with adjustable ribbons for hands-free reading. The special filling in the pillow makes any book feel practically weightless."

If you want to check it out, go to!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Go Go Heaven!! by Keiko Yamada

Title: Go Go Heaven!!
Mangaka: Keiko Yamada
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 13 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-2
My Rating: 2.5/5

Innocent Shirayuki's life has been cut short when an incoming truck accidentally kills her. Instead of dying, she is revived by the Prince of Hell! She will be able to live for 49 days before dying once more so she can resolve any unfinished business. The only catch is that the Prince of Hell will be beside her 24/7!

Go Go Heaven!! is a comedy manga that went a little too extreme for my taste, in terms of attempting to make everything funny.

When it comes to love at first sight, which is the reason why Prince revived Shirayuki, is something that can easily be a flop in some stories. I couldn't understand why Prince took such a great liking to Shirayuki, even though he pretty much know every single detail of her life because he has the power to do so. I was glad when Shirayuki brought this up in the third chapter of the first volume when they were caught up in a tight situation and she was frustrated at the Prince for his stupidity.

I disliked how over the top the mangaka went with her story. All the things the characters did were unbelievable and dumb. For example, right after Shirayuki was brought back to life, the Prince managed to get the Director position at her school. What made this strange was that fact that he was in kid form and he had his vampire cape getup on the whole time. In what way could this be taken seriously in real life? Most of the chapters were like that, with a lot of out-of-control humour attempts.

The Prince is in his kid form most of the time and has a very impulsive personality. He does change into his older form a little later within the second volume and that was the only thing I looked forward to in the series. The way the second volume ended, I expected the series to have wrapped up. Apparently this was not the case, seeing that the series is 13 volumes long. As a reader, I wonder what the mangaka could possibly come up with for the following volumes with the way everything is going for the first two volumes.

The art is very old-school manga but would be considered one of the better series of its time. What really distracted me was sometimes a page would be completely cluttered and I couldn't tell what was going on in a certain panel. The transitions would be messy once in awhile and just annoying to follow.

Go Go Heaven!! is a series that may be a little hard to grasp but if one has nothing else better to do, it could be read.

Review copies provided by

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Medina Hill Winner Redrawn!

For my contest Medina Hill, one of the winners, RKCharron, had already won another copy from another blog. So I drew out another winner!

oO Mariana Oo

Please email me your address ASAP to faked_sugartone at hotmail! I have received the rest of the winners' addresses so I will send that off once Mariana contacts me. Congrats!

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