Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 470
My Rating: 5/5

What happens when you die? Do you go to heaven? Or hell? Do you linger on Earth as a ghost? Well, Samantha Kingston knows.

Samantha has everything a girl could ask for. She has her BFFs, popularity, and a great boyfriend. So Cupid's Day, February 12th, is just another day for her in her senior year. Except it's not.

She died in a car crash but is able to relive the same day before her death for a week. Samantha is able to experience her life in a whole new perspective. She must find out the purpose of her reliving February 12th for seven days.

Alright, so if you are a frequent YA book blogger or someone who follows YA book reviews often, you likely will know that Before I Fall is a novel that everyone is raving about. I didn't want to really read the novel because it's almost 500 pages. I'm not a big fan of thick novels. However, many people requested for me to review it so I guessed why not? I didn't really want to jump into the bandwagon so I tried not to get sucked into it. But as much as I tried to resist, I ended up loving it.

Samantha is a character that most girls can relate to. In the beginning, she wanted to lose her virginity to her boyfriend and her behaviour was very teen like, more or less. After she died and she relived the same day over and over again, she started to experiment with her personality and the things she did. One point, she became really rebellious and did things she regretted. If you were in her shoes, you would understand why her decisions were the way they were. Unlike "popular" girls in books, Samantha had depth and was not shown just as some prissy, materialistic bitch. And I was glad for that. I was getting tired of seeing popular girls being put down in every YA novel. In this book, the author showed the best and the worst of Samantha and her friends.

The ending was sad but I loved it so much. I think it was honestly the best part of the novel. I re-read the last three pages and just cried my eyes out. I did not realize how much I loved Samantha until the very end.

Before I Fall is a beautiful and emotional rollercoaster that takes you on the journey of the last day of a girl's life. It will make you mad, it will make you sad, but most of all, it will make you love it to no end. This book must be picked up immediately!

Review copy provided by HarperCollins Canada.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 more days until the blogoversary contests end!

Hey guys, just gonna do a quick update. The last day to join all of the fabulous contests I have above is September 30th. So if you have forgotten to join, join quick! Feel free to spread the word to friends and other book lovers also!

I think it may take maybe a month or so until I draw out the winners. Why? Well, during the beginning of the blogoversary, I was keeping track of the entrants on a spreadsheet. Then the computer caught viruses and shut down. xox I still don't have that computer because it is being fixed but I know the spreadsheet will be saved for me. Until the computer comes back, I won't be tallying up the entries. (I really have no time to redo what I have done so far, university and life is taking up most of my time). So I apologize for that in advance and please bear it with me until then.

Also, if you notice on the sidebar, I'm currently reading nothing! Gasp! I would be doing a "What Should I Read?" post but I don't have time to make way to do it. So if you guys want to see of a review of something, just let me know! If I have it, I will consider it. If not, then oh well! I have some new titles from Penguin and HarperCollins so feel free to take a stab at that. For manga readers, no worries, I have a couple of manga reviews coming up! I apologize for the delay in manga reviews!

Hopefully I will be able to update more frequently!

Everyday life in downtown Toronto for me as I attend university :)
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Title: Candor
Author: Pan Bachorz
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 256
My Rating: 2.5/5

In the town of Candor, everything is just perfect. The teens are especially well-behaved. They are always home by curfew time, they have no bad habits, and have a perfect GPA record. However, they are only this perfect because they are secretly brainwashed by the music in town. Oscar is the son of the town's founder and is the only one able to get the teens out if they are willing to pay the price. When pretty and rebellious Nia arrives, he falls head over heels for her. Can he help her escape?

This book was not for me. I was hoping for a story where the protagonist will help get rid of this dire situation. I think brainwashing people to be perfect citizens is stupid. The lack of willpower and being forced to be something you are not is something I am really against. No one in the world will be perfect. The term "perfect" could mean anything. But trying to "perfect" teens so they can become model citizens is not the right way to do it. I wanted Oscar to take care of this problem in story. However, it was solely focused upon him and Nia.

I was not happy with the fact that Oscar kept claiming Nia as "my girl". It's a personal preference but I hate it when guys refer to their girlfriends like they are property. Throughout the novel, it felt like he was somewhat treating her as his own object. I do give him credit for that fact that he really likes her and truly wants to get her out of Candor. But in all honesty, I didn't too care much for Oscar. I couldn't connect to his character so much.

What I kept questioning was how did Oscar's father be able to get brainwashing music? There was nothing that indicated that he was a scientist, nor did he get help from anyone to create this music. I found it to be a huge loophole that just hung in your face. Also, if you don't listen to it constantly after being exposed to it for so long, you will die. I found that to be a little drastic because there wasn't any scientific explanation to back it up. So for the sci-fi part of the story, I was very unconvinced, which was also why I didn't like Candor so much.

Do I recommend Candor? Well, I say you should borrow it first and read it before buying. It is just not the novel for me, but many have liked it.

Won copy from Pam Bachorz.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender

Title: Bad Girls Don't Die
Author: Katie Alender
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 346
My Rating: 4/5

Alexis's sister, Kasey, is into dolls and is considered an oddball because of her eccentric personality. Alexis doesn't think much of it though. But when Kasey changes eye colour and acts a bit killer, there is something definitely wrong. With her sister possessed, Alexis must find a way to rid of the unwanted guest before it makes Kasey do something terrible.

I had mix feelings for Alexis. In the beginning, I liked her because she appeared to be very real and her personality was dynamic. I like how she fully enjoys photography because I rarely see characters have a hobby of their own. When this guy named Carter came along and wanted to be her friend however, she was all "Why do you want to be friends with me? I'm not interesting." I facepalmed. That got me disliking her for a bit because I don't believe in something like that. When someone wants to be your friend, just go with it. Unless you hate them or something, don't go telling them that you are not worth their time. I hate people like that. In the end though, I was fine with her again because she did learn a few things along the way.

The story is not pure horror where you are scared the daylights out of. However, there is a great mix of mystery and intrigue. I think Alender did a fabulous job on the story of the ghost that possessed Kasey and made Alexis have flashbacks of the ghost's memories. I loved how Alexis found out about the ghost through the town's old archives and pieced them together. It is like a mini adventure where Alexis is able to explore and experience her hometown's history.

Bad Girls Don't Die is not a horror story that will chill you to the bone but it's definitely one that you will remember.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Middleworld by J&P Voelkel

Title: Middleworld
Author: J&P Voelkel
Age Group: Tweens
# of Pages: 415
My Rating: 5/5

Max Murphy cannot wait to go to Italy for summer vacation. But his plans are ruined when his archaeologist parents have to go to Central America for work. So he is stuck at home with his maid. Yippee.

Days passed by and he has heard nothing from his parents after they left for the trip. He finds out there is a plane ticket sent for him to go and meet them. When he gets there, his father's brother takes care of him. Max realizes that his uncle has no idea where his parents were and that they were temporarily missing.

Next thing Max knows is that he is swept away into a dangerous Mayan adventure with a girl named Lola where he seeks out his parents. Close to many death calls and meeting the Mayan gods themselves, this is a summer Max will never forget!

I brought this novel to the amusement park because I knew I needed something to occupy myself while waiting in the long lines during the summer. I generally have a hard time focusing if I'm not reading in a quiet place. But although there were people screaming, rides swooshing over my head, I was captivated by Middleworld 100%!

I find this to be a perfect read for all ages! Max is a character who is young and that anyone can love and relate to. He reminds me a bit of Harry Potter, being a normal kid at first who gets dragged into a world of magic and wonder. I absolutely love the environment he is in. There is quite a bit of a culture shock for the protagonist while he is San Xavier. It shows how ignorant some people are nowadays, especially being raised up in a developed society like America (no offense intended). But it is also a great way for Max to grow as a person once he experiences the Mayan culture without electronics and technology.
After reading this novel, I wanted to learn more about ancient cultures. I generally don't see a lot of Mayan history in books in comparison to the Greeks and Egyptians and I think that Middleworld does a fantastic job introducing that world to the readers. I highly recommend this novel!

Review copy provided by Goodman Media.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Sept 13/10)



Alice in the Country of Hearts vol. 1 by Hoshino Soumei and QuinRose

I promise I will try to have manga reviews up soon. ;-; So far the only ones in drafts are all YA novels. But I have finished a couple of mangas this week that I plan to review soon.

Music Machine

Title: A
Artist/Band: Rainbow
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: When Rainbow first debuted, I didn't think were were strong enough with the MV they decided to release, Gossip Girl. However, I changed my mind after listening to one of their latest songs, A. It is the kind of song you have to listen to over and over before you start to like it, haha.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Soulstice by Simon Holt

Title: Soulstice
Author: Simon Holt
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 266
My Rating: 5/5

It has been a few months since Reggie discovered the existence of Vours, beings that take over people's bodies and be able to give you nightmares that last forever. Police are now searching for Quinn, the Vour that she got rid of with the help of her best friend, Aaron, and the bookstore owner, Eben.

But the problem is that Quinn is not dead. He is very well alive and wants Reggie's help. There is no way she is going to aid a Vour that tried to kill her in the past...right?

I was so happy when I finally went out and buy the sequel to The Devouring. And thankfully, I was not let down at all!

So this time, Reggie's problem is that Quinn is back and needs her help because the Vours are after him since he betrayed them. Reggie is curious about what he knows, even though being near him would make things so much worse. When I came from the last book, I did not expect for Quinn to ever appear again. I guess the author "ended" his life so nicely it's just like, "Time to move on!". I think it is a pleasant surprise though that he came back. It adds a lot more to the story and problems that Reggie must face on top of everything else.

Even though there may be a chance for it not happening, I really, really want Quinn and Reggie to be together. However, there's too much conflicts for them to ever be because 1) Quinn tried to kill her and 2) Quinn is pretty much a monster. I found there was a lot of development between the two over time when they crossed each other's paths again. I like the fact that there is something very forbidden between them and if they end up liking each other, things would get so much more interesting. I really hope something like this will occur in the last novel but I have a feeling there might not be.

I think in terms of action and plot, I prefer the first volume much more. But with the characters' relationships, I prefer Soulstice. However, this novel leaves a huge cliffhanger that left me dying for the last novel in the series! I am a little angry with how the situation ended up for Reggie but I am definitely gonna pounce when the third volumes comes out so I can finally be at peace.

The Devouring series is a must have for horror fans!

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

White Cat by Holly Black

Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 310
My Rating: 2.5/5

In society, there exist people called the curse workers. They are able to manipulate your emotions, memories, and luck with their hands. Cassel is the only person in his family who isn't a curse worker. But he has a secret. Three years ago, he killed Lila, his best friend.

Life starts to get strange as Cassel ends up sleepwalking and getting dreams of a talking cat. There seems to be secrets lurking around and he's determined to get to the bottom of it before things get out of hand.

This is literally the first novel I have read that I have no idea what the story was about. I don't know if this is only me or not, but I could not grasp the plot at all. I understood what was happening to the characters in the moment, but the overall picture was missing for me. For some reason, it was not working for me. I did finish the novel but yet I was left clueless, like everything flew over my head.

The writing was not bad though. It is readable and you could say I like it. The characters though were a little, ehhh. [POSSIBLE SPOILERS] I thought Cassel is a little stupid when he inflicted pain upon himself for the guilt that he killed Lila. I could understand if he cuts but he was sewing marble balls or something on his thigh (I can not recall properly so I apologize if I'm wrong) as torture. I'm just like, no, you're an idiot for doing something like that. End of the story. I don't care how much guilt one would have but doing something like shoving balls under your skin is something I do not want to read about. [SPOILERS END]

Do I recommend this novel? I can't exactly say because I had no idea what was happening. I recommend you reading other reviews before picking it up. It was a novel that was simply wrong for me.

Review copy provided by Simon and Schuster Canada.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Sept 6/10)



My Soul to Steal by Rachel Vincent
Awakened by Ednah Walters


Music Machine

Title: Like a G6
Artist/Band: Far East Movement feat. The Cataracs & Dev
Language: English
My Thoughts: My cousin think the song is stupid and annoying but I'm addicted to it. Especially when I hear this in the club, it gets me in the dance mood so much more easily. I honestly don't care how overrated it may be because if I am to hear in on the dancefloor, I will go a little bit more wild.

I don't like the MV so much though. Px Just the song. :D

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ending Date for Blogoversary Contests

Hey guys! I finally uploaded the last contest for the blogoversary yesterday. It was late because I was out over 12 hours everyday this past week for frosh so I was too dead to post anything. I have finally decided on when all of the contests will be ending. They will all end on:

September 30th, 2010

So you guys have a little less than a month left to enter all the contests! Tell your family, friends, and other bloggers to join! :)

So far regarding book reviews, there may be a slow down. I luckily worked on a few during August so I will be posting them up slowly this month. I will try my best not to be on hiatus but no promises. For everyone returning back to school, wish you guys all the best!

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jennifer Laurens: Celebrate

Jennifer Laurens, Author of Heavenly series

Celebrate! You're leaving behind the catty, cliquey, trendy, insignificant things in life forever more. Right?

I hope this moment is as freeing for you as it was for me: standing on the precipice of all of your dreams.

It's an exciting, synergistic time. The sooner you solidify the direction you want to go in, the better. No more comparing your goals and dreams with anyone else's. This is your time to do what you want.

At this juncture in my life I knew exactly what I wanted and, all these years later, I am standing exactly where I saw myself being. For those of you who don't know anything about me, I didn't set out to be an author. My foremost goal was to be a mother with a big family, because I was an only child.

I attended college, married and have 6 children - one has autism, and is the inspiration for my HEAVENLY series about a teenage girl who falls in love with her autistic sister's guardian angel. My point is, looking back I didn't set out to be an author, I set out to be a great mother. I have loved being there for my children, and there is nothing that compares to the countless things I've learned from them and the growth I've experienced because of this choice.

I've always loved writing and took it up again when my youngest entered school.

And, here I am - years later, writing what my heart desires.

Is it possible to have all your dreams come true? My life says YES!

We make what we want happen, if we truly want it enough. Take each dream as it comes and make it come true.


You can read my review of Heavenly here!

Contest Time

Giveaway Item(s): 1 copy of Heavenly and 1 copy of A Season of Eden
# of Winners: 2
Eligibility: International

Entries (Leave links if needed)

+1 New follower (MANDATORY)
+2 Old follower
+1 Link (5 max)
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