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.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Enter the Re-Draw, Quickly!

Hey guys! It's only two more days after this one that my re-draw for the blogoversary contests will be closing! I changed my mind about entering those that entered previously because god knows if you will come back if you had no idea about the redraw. So click this link now to see what books are up for grabs and enter for the ones you want to win! Good luck~

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Watching on Wednesday: Easy A

Title: Easy A
Type: Movie
Age Group: Teens +
Release Year: 2010
My Rating: 4.5/5

Olive (Emma Stone) is just your average high school girl. That is, until one little lie turned everything upside down. To help her gay friend stop being bullied, she pretends to have slept with him at a party so he can be "straight". When it has slipped out to some kids at school that Olive only pretended to "do things", many guys come to her to boost their reputation as well.

Since Olive is not actually doing anything and just says she does, that's okay, right?

I first found out about this movie through another book blogger months back. I wasn't too clear about the plot until more trailers were released. After I found out about the synopsis, it was a must-see for me!

Olive is such a fun girl that you would want as your friend. She is the type that cares a lot for others, which is the reason why she is stuck in this predicament. She gets trapped in the cycle of lies and can't really do anything to stop it because it all builds up. All the characters in the movie add their own quirkiness to the scenes, making it enjoyable to watch altogether!

There was one character, Woodchuck (Penn Badgley) who I felt could've played a bigger role but didn't. He was simply the guy that Olive ends up with later (not a spoiler because it's so obvious). Other than that, I felt Easy A is a fantastic movie for a girls' night in!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fearscape by Simon Holt

Title: Fearscape
Author: Simon Holt
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 314
My Rating: 4/5

Reggie is stuck as an experiment rat when the Vours managed to get a hold of her. She is forced to go into many fearscapes and can barely survive the horrors she must endure as well the lack of care she is given.

Meanwhile, everyday Aaron searches for new information and trains himself to become stronger. He teams up with Machen, a Tracer who once tried to kill Reggie but switched sides when he saw there were some hope in defeating the Vours. Quinn, who got out of his fearscape after so longer, is trying to adjust to his new life and understand what had happened to him. The three of them work together in order to rescue Reggie and help her defeat the Vours for once and for all.

If you have read my previous reviews for the first two novels of this trilogy, you would know that I absolutely love The Devouring. I was really excited when I bought Fearscape and was dying to know the ending. My expectations were unfortunately not met.

For the first few chapters, Reggie was stuck in a state where she kept going into different fearscapes. I didn't find it to be as exciting when she had to face the problem straight on, like in the previous novels. I got to read more of Aaron, who was changing as well as the new Quinn. I have to say, I was disappointed with the new Quinn. Obviously since the Vour is not longer within him, he is innocent and normal. However, I always liked that Vour side of him. So seeing him being a regular guy, it didn't give me the same excitement like it did in Soulstice. It would've been interesting to see a love interest between the Vour and Reggie. I know I am generally against forbidden paranormal love, but this series is so twisted that I wanted to see it play out.

[SOME SPOILERS] The way the story ended altogether, it didn't let me close the book happily because I wanted to see justice served. Although the villain was indeed defeated, it just sucked in general to know that the Vours would always be there. I was reading and waiting for them to be defeated completely and for that they would never come back. But I guess the way the story was made, it would've been unrealistic. [SPOILERS END]

However, the book still kept me going and in general, since I love the series altogether, Fearscape got its rating. At least there was some sort of conclusion, even if it wasn't one that made me too happy.

And PS, who here is not a big fan of the cover model also? His face is so squared and unnaturally pale... (Well suited for a vampire).

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blogoversary Contests Re-Draw!

Hey guys! As you may know, I had my 2nd blogoversary over the summer. It took me awhile to draw out the winners due to my first year at university but I eventually got around to it. You may also know that many winners did not claim their prizes. I gave them quite a bit of time to claim but they never did. So! I am doing redraws! Those that already joined during the summer do not need to enter again because you have already done so. But this gives those who came in after a chance to join!

I want you to comment in this post which of the following books below you want to win (can be all if you'd like). And in order to get extra entries (per contest):

+1 Be a new/old follower (MANDATORY or no entries)
+1 Link (5 max)
+1 Add Stop, Drop, and Read! to your blogroll (link)

As you can see, there are quite a lot left unclaimed! I am going to let this run until December 31st, right before New Years! Please come back to check if you have won because I definitely don't want to redraw all over again!

Edit: I forgot to list the eligibility! So here they are:

Heavenly - International
School of Fear - International
David Inside Out - International
The Poison Diaries - International
Amanda Ashby books - International
Explorer X - Alpha - International
Little Vampire Women - US only
Silver Phoenix - US and Canada only
Death Mill Mansion: A Lighthearted Comedy - US only

Good luck~
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Story of Saiunkoku by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Title: The Story of Saiunkoku
Mangaka: Kairi Yura (Art) & Sai Yukino (Story)
Series is: Ongoing with 6 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Although she is of noble birth, Shurei lives her life like a commoner. Well educated, she always wanted to work in the imperial court. Due to laws however, women are not allowed to hold office.

An opportunity arises for her when emperor Ryuki does not want to properly rule and leaves everything up to his advisors. Shurei is asked to be Ryuki's consort in order to bring him back on track. She happily agrees as she is offered tons of gold and the chance to live a life she never had. However, it is not going to be that easy of a task!

I had my eye on this series ever since I saw the cover of it for the anime series. I found the clothes and character appearances, especially Shurei, to be so striking. When the manga recently got licensed, I had to review it.

The manga sets in the fictional world of Saiunkoku, which I find is a cross between Ancient Japan and Ancient China. The setting reminds me quite a bit of the historical Chinese dramas that I used to love watching when I was little. As well, the clothes for the noble women are very fancy and elaborate. This manga definitely takes me back quite a bit because I haven't seen those Chinese dramas for so long that it is nice to be reminded of again.

Shurei is a really sweet girl and knows how to keep on top of things. I admire her determination and her love for knowledge. I adore the clothes she gets to wear once she became a consort for sure. Ryuki turned out to be a little more different than I expected though. He is much more innocent, especially for someone who is 19. He is like a young child who is yet to fully comprehend things. Before I started reading, I thought he was going to be a cocky character since it generally turns out like that in manga. So it was nice to see him portrayed in a more youthful way. Due to their differences, the image of romance is a little difficult to imagine between them. Though I would like to see how that plays out.

I like this manga for the message it sends across and where the story is taking place. In terms of the plot, there is not a lot that is happening for the first volume. There is a hint that something will happen down the road but in terms of exciting action, there really isn't any thus far. It's more where the mangaka is putting all the characters in place and establishing their roles.

I would recommend The Story of Saiunkoku for anyone into historical mangas.

Review copy provided by Viz.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: The Poison Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 409
My Rating: 5/5

Yelena is about to executed for murder. But, she is given the chance of live longer if she accepts the position of being the poison taster for Commander Ambrose. She immediately jumps at the opportunity, although any meal could be her last.

This novel is pretty popular among YA readers and it took me a long time before I joined the bandwagon. I absolutely love love love Yelena! She is the female protagonist I have been waiting to read about! She has a strong personality and knows how to think for herself. She is able to list out all of the possible outcomes for every problem she has and can narrow down to her best choice. She is able to always prepare for the worse and makes sure that she is ready if anything. I can relate to her in that sense because this is how I generally think and it is great to see a character who have the mindset like I do. Similar to myself, she does daydream but keeps herself grounded.

Poison Study is an engaging cycle of excitement, fear, and curiosity. One can imagine its fantasy setting clearly and the world that Yelena is born in. There are unexpected twists and turns that has the reader flipping through the pages even quicker. After this novel, I am now evermore so curious about poisons! I highly recommend this novel, especially for fans of the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore.

Won copy from StoryWings.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stringz by Michael Wenberg

Title: Stringz
Author: Michael Wenberg
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 216
My Rating: 3/5

Jace Adams has been constantly moving around because of his mother. This time, he is settled into Seattle where they both will be staying with Aunt Bernice. But not so long after, Jace's mother runs off with a new man and leaves Jace behind. This hurts him deeply but what else can he do?

Jace decides to play the cello on the sidewalk to earn some extra money. On one occasion, he receives a one-hundred dollar bill with a business card attached. Given a chance to work with a famous cello instructor, Jace has the opportunity to enter a cello competition and win a scholarship. Will he be able to do it?

I like the idea of an underprivileged teen that has a passion for music. Jace doesn't slip into gangs or drugs (considering his circumstances) and I'm proud to see that he stands strong in what he believes in. I wish, however, that the novel left a bigger impact on me than it did. It was a great story idea, but I felt that more could have been added in order to make it even more memorable. If it was longer, there would be more room for it to expand and enabled the storyline and characters to develop.

I recommend Stringz to those who would like to read something motivational.

Review copy provided by Book Divas.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Other by Karen Kincy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review copy provided by Flux.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Should I Read This November/December?

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

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

First up, the latest titles in YA?

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

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Batch of Blogoversary Winners

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

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

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

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

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Arisa by Natsumi Ando

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review copy provided by Del Rey.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q4U: Do you have time to read nowadays?

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

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

Do you have time to read nowadays?

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Imposter's Daughter by Laurie Sandell

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

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

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

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

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

Review copy provided by Hachette Book Group.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

4th Batch of Blogoversary Winners

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

New winners are:

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

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Review copy provided by Robert Simon.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prada & Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Title: Prada & Prejudice
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 238
My Rating: 4/5

Callie goes to London for a school trip. She is known as that clumsy girl in class. Hoping to increase some sort of popularity, she decides to go and buy some real Prada heels. Immediately after she puts them on, she trips and blacks out. Next thing she knows, she wakes up in the early 1800s of England! She must find a way to get back to the present, but how?

I was really hyped up to read this novel in the beginning because it looked really cute, and it was. There are many novels that are set during a historical period but rarely do they involve some time-traveling. I always wanted to read a book about the protagonist that gets sent back (or forward) to another era and see how they interact in that world with the current knowledge of today.

I was a little disappointed that Callie badly wanted to get noticed in the beginning. In general, I would like to see female characters being comfortable with themselves rather than striving for popularity, perfection, or whatnot. What I did love about her was that she had a sense of pride and vast knowledge when she was stuck in 1815. Alex, Duke of Harksbury, looked down upon her because she was a girl and she stuck up for herself, refusing to bow down to anything. So you could definitely see a transition of character development for Callie throughout the novel. If I was to see Callie in ten years, she would be studying medicine or working for an organization of women empowerment. She was the type of character that had a lot of future potential but didn't recognize it yet for herself.

Prada & Prejudice is an adorable and light read that female readers can definitely take a liking to! I recommend it for Jane Austen lovers and anyone that likes a bit of a present and history mix.

Review copy provided by Penguin Group (Canada).

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Friday, October 29, 2010

3rd Batch of Blogoversary Winners

Many people have yet to claim their prizes. Please click here to see if you won the other contests! Winners, email me the prize you won and address ASAP to faked_sugartone at!

linz for The Poison Diaries
EVA SB for David Inside Out
throuthehaze for Never Slow Dance with a Zombie
Cass for Ballads of Suburbia

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Alice in the Country of Hearts by Soumei Hoshino & Quinrose

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts
Mangaka: Quinrose (Story) & Soumei Hoshino (Art)
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 5 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4/5

Alice Liddell is randomly kidnapped one day by a rabbit in a suit who claims to be in love with her! He takes her to the world called Wonderland where she must play a game in order to escape. She meets some pretty odd characters there and apparently, parts of Wonderland are at war with each other. Being caught up in this crazy realm, Alice must try to keep her head together and get out quickly!

So as you can see, this manga is based off the classical tale that I'm sure everyone knows of. Characters from the original Alice in Wonderland is used and as well as the broad concept of the world. But at the same time, the mangakas definitely recreated for their own plot. There is definitely intrigue for this series, from what is presented in the first volume. It seems like there would be a lot of mysteries involved and the series might stretch out since it is still ongoing.

I really like the art and definitely the characters' designs. The clothes are really pretty and to be able to reproduce the same thing in real life would take a lot of time and skill. I like all of the character designs, except for Blood (aka the Mad Hatter). His hair is just not working with his face and sometimes that bothers me when all the other characters are better looking.

There is one flaw that I noticed while reading the first volume. The Cheshire Cat or in the manga called Boris, is dressed up like a punk. The thing is, Alice pointed this out and I found it very out of place. The reason is because she lives in an era where punks were not yet to exist. So how in the heck's world would she be able to define Boris as punk when there was no such thing in her time?

I recommend this series for manga fans. Those into mangas where characters get to fall into a parallel world should enjoy Alice in the Country of Hearts delightfully.

Review copy provided by HarperCollins Canada.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Journey of Om by Chandru Bhojwani

Title: The Journey of Om
Author: Chandru Bhojwani
Age Group: Adults
# of Pages: 287
My Rating: 3/5

Om discovers the love of his life, Preeti, has cheated on him. It breaks his heart terribly and he cannot properly function, knowing that his life will never be the same. Two of the closest people to him, his cousin Mona and best friend Arun, are also in their own predicaments. The three struggle through their own personal journeys as they discover love, heartbreaks, and betrayal.

By the book's synopsis, it was unlikely that I would have ever picked up this novel if it wasn't for a request. I tend to avoid all sob stories as much as I can because I hate being sad. It did not turn out to be depressing as I originally thought it would, which was a good thing. However, I think it is the book's downfall because it seems like it should have been more heart provoking than it was.

There was potential in this novel. In my opinion though, the writing did not match up to the story in sequence. I felt that there was something missing from the writing. Sometimes there would be big descriptions and other times, it was pure dialogue. The writing was uneven. Sometimes it would jump back and forth from present to past. Most of the time, I saw it coming but other times, it just came out of nowhere. I think that there shouldn't have been so many past memories included because from what I was reading, it was unnecessary to the development of the plot.

The situations that were happening were realistic for sure, but there were times it was like "Really?" The one thing I did like about this book are the articles that the protagonist wrote, because he is a journalist. I also liked the Bollywood feel to the story. My best friend is Indian and she is a huge Bollywood fan. I was proud to have spot out and knew some of the terms and celebrities that were included because she somewhat exposed me to that world. So this book reminded me of her in that way and the fact that she really likes sad romances.

My biggest problem would be the ending. I was left puzzled and a little peeved. There is a huge cliffhanger but with an obvious hint of how it will turn out. I am unable to spoil it but it was disappointing after all that had happened.

I would recommend this novel for sure to Bollywood fans that enjoy love drama.

Review copy provided by Chandru Bhojwani.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2nd Batch of Blogoversary Winners

Here is my 2nd batch of winners! Email me ASAP at faked_sugartone at with your address and prize you won! And also, please check 1st batch of winners to see if you won by clicking here!

Wanda for Explorer X- Alpha
Yan for Sucks to Be Me
linaramz for She's So Money
Dominique for either Zombie Queen of Newbury High OR You Had Me at a Halo (Email choice)
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Title: Frostbite
Author: Richelle Mead
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 327
My Rating: 4/5

The Strigoi has struck once again, killing another royal vampire family. Students and people of St. Vladimir's are freaking out, trying to grasp their heads around the insane situation. In order to take everyone's mind off the problem, they are taken to a luxurious ski resort.

Rose is able to enjoy the awesome ski hills and scenery. However, being a guardian means she mustn't be too relaxed. Things turned out for the worse when she discovered that three of her classmates decided to pursue the Strigoi. She must find a way to get them back before anything terrible could happen.

In this novel, we get introduced to a couple of new and important characters. They add a bit more complexity, especially when it comes to Rose because she gets some mixed feelings. Dimitri might like Tasha, who is Christian's aunt. This gets Rose jealous, which is completely understandable since she likes him but can not do anything about it because of their relationship. Her actions towards Dimitri felt completely real, even though it was somewhat rude. I like how her character is very diverse and her feelings are well explored. Another character that comes into scene is the mysterious Adrian, Lissa's cousin. I like him because he definitely adds mystery to the story and I want to see what kind of role he plays in the later novels of the series.

I come to like what had happened towards the end. I expected to be typical somehow, with Rose being trapped in a dilemma. However, it was drawn out realistically and it made the novel better. Although the characters were vampires, Mead shows that they aren't almighty and powerful as they are sometimes depicted to be.

Frostbite is a good read. I still don't find that the series is out of the world, but it's something that should be looked into at least once (especially for vampire novel fans). If you have read The Vampire Academy, I recommend trying out its sequel.

Review copy provided by Penguin Group (Canada).

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