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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Title: Still Sucks to Be Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 374
My Rating: 4/5

Mina Ham---, wait no, Smith, is now officially living in the middle of nowhere. Oh how exciting her new vampire life will be...not.

Missing both her boyfriend, George, and BFF, Serena, Mina tries to adapt to her new home. At school, she has this cute guy named Grady who is persistently going after her and mean girl Kacie who simply dislikes her. All is not so bad when vampire dud Cameron is helping her around town! Can things get any more complicated with her social life here? What is worse is that Raven may be stalking Serena! Should she be worried about this vampire-wannabe?

As Mina tries to adjust to her new environment, she learns how to use her new power and the history of vampires (where the bad ones might be back in town, ready to strike again!).

I loved Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me is definitely a great sequel! I love the light and fun atmosphere of this novel along with the cute vampire drawings in the beginning of every chapter. Mina is still the awesome protagonist that I remembered from the first novel. I feel sorry for her because as a vampire, things for her should be more cool. Instead, she is completely removed from society and is allowed no contact with her friends since she is presumably "dead". That definitely sucks. However, I found it really wicked how she is able to change her appearances to whoever she chooses to. I don't think I have read about any vampires that could change their face so that's a plus.

A couple of side characters were not exactly fleshed out (Kacie and Grady to be more specific). Even though they did their part in the story, I wished there were more to them. I tried to understand why Grady likes Mina so much but could not. He sort of stuck himself to her like an octopus pretty much near the beginning when they met. There weren't really any relationship between them for him to like her so much beyond being neighbours/classmates. She tried avoiding him as much as she could so I didn't see why he still hung on. Kacie is your usual mean girl, being mean for no reason. I wish she isn't that typical throw-in character, you know? But I had to love what had happened to her later on in the book.

I took quite a bit of liking towards Cameron. I rooted for George and Mina in the last novel but after this one, I decided to switch. Did anything happen to the two? Well that you have to read and find out yourself!

I hope there is a third novel in the series because I feel that Mina should definitely come back! If you haven't read Sucks to Be Me yet, go check it out now! (Review in tags). And if you did, go get the sequel this coming May 11th!

Fun Fact: In the process of creating Still Sucks to Be Me, Kimberly asked her readers to suggest a name for her mean girl. And guess who suggested Kacie? Yep, I was the only one who did!

Review copy provided by
Kimberly Pauley.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trailer Tuesday:Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Description: Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for their Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she may lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Not that excited for another paranormal book but I love the cover for this!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Apr 26/10)



An Abundance of Katherines by John Green


The White Cat by Holly Black
Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures by J. Torres and Jason Bone
Alison Dare, The Heart of the Maiden by J. Torres and Jason Bone

I didn't do my MMM&MM last week so this is a combination of both last week and this week!

Want to do your own Mailbox Meme? Check out how to at The Story Siren!


Music Machine

Title: Stereo Love
Artist/Band: Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
Language: English
My Thoughts: Absolutely love this song. It takes me far away to the Caribbeans where I can enjoy the sun and light breeze. Unfortunately, I won't be experiencing such luxury like the actors in the video for awhile. =( Just dying for summer vacation right now!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Short & Simple (2)

Title: The Ghost in the Shell
Mangaka: Shirow Masamune
Age Group: Adults
Series is: Completed with 3 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 2/5

Sentence Summary: In a fictional twenty-first century, Motoko Kusanagi is a cyborg agent whose job is to catch big-time cybercriminals and terrorists.

Speaking Straightly: This manga was a torture to go through. I think I was reading it for maybe five months. Maybe even more. There was simply too much going on. I had no idea what I was reading from start to finish. The content was extremely heavy as the mangaka incorporated a lot of politics and science into it, including some of his own things. I wasn't a big fan of the art either because it was too retro for my liking.

However, I can understand why this series is popular. Being one of the very few manga series out at its time, it was something different. If I took my time to read it and digest it, I may have liked it too. But, it is too overwhelming for me at the moment.

Review copy provided by Del Rey.


Title: Tantalize
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 336
My Rating: 3.5/5

Sentence Summary: Quincie's family's restaurant is about to open when someone viciously murders the head chef and she must find out who the culprit is.

Speaking Straightly: A pleasant read. I love the Italian restaurant that is themed with vampire idea. Tantalize is one of those stories where the whole world knows about the existence of vampires and werepeople. I guess that is a nice change of pace instead of having the main girl discovers vampires or something. Also, I liked how she liked Kieren, a werewolf, from the start where they were friends in the beginning instead of going into those cliche plots.

What bothered me though was going towards the end. It seemed like there were a bunch of things missing from the story. It did not feel like there was an ending nor a cliffhanger. More like, it seemed the author forgot to write the conclusion and sent the novel off to be published.

Recommend to fans of the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn and Dead is the New Black b Marlene Perez.


Title: Reborn!
Mangaka: Akira Amano
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 24 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 3/5

Sentence Summary: Tsunayoshi Sawada discovers he is the next in line to be the head of a mafia group and an infamous hitman toddler by the name of Reborn is going to tutor him to be a proper boss.

Speaking Straightly: This is one heck of a strange manga. This series is quite popular among many manga fans but after reading the first volume, I am baffled on why it is so. I doubt I will continue on reading this series because it does not hold my interest at all. However, guys are likely to like this series much more than girls because of the weirdness and action. So shonen fans, give it a shot.

Bookmooched from Genevieve.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Author Interview: Robin Wasserman

I have received the opportunity to interview one of my favourite authors, Robin Wasserman! You may know her popular dystopian series, The Skinned Trilogy, which I highly recommend! (Click tags below to check out my reviews for the first two novels).

You get to read some cool insider information regarding one of her books becoming a movie and her new upcoming series! Hope you enjoy the interview!

If you would like to learn more about Robin and her books, please visit her at

Firstly, what inspired you to write the Skinned Trilogy?

When I was in grad school, I spent a lot of time studying the history of automata (ie the history of mechanical replicas of human life). I got totally fascinated by the idea of humans that acted like machines and machines that acted like humans, especially when it came to the subject of emotion. If it were possible for a machine to feel, I wondered, what would it feel *like*? That's how I stumbled onto the character of Lia, a girl who thinks like a human and feels like a machine. Who is neither one nor the other, and has to figure out what that means for herself and who--and what--she really is.

If Skinned became a movie, which actors/actresses would you like to see playing your characters?

I always love answering this kind of question about my books, difficult as it is! (And actually, one of my other projects -- the Seven Deadly Sins series -- is going to be a Lifetime movie next month, and it's been ridiculously cool to see who they actually cast in the parts. Especially since some of them are exactly as I'd always envisioned the characters and some could not be more opposite than the image I had in my head. But back to your actual question...) My dream pick for Lia used to be Kristen Bell, but now that she's a little old for the part, I've settled on Leighton Meester, of Gossip Girl fame, who I actually think would be even more perfect than Bell. She's got this delicate, brittle, perfect beauty and can somehow pull off being hard and fragile, all at the same time, which is exactly what this character would need. I haven't thought much about who should play the other characters, but if anyone's got any suggestions, please let me know, because I LOVE THIS GAME.

Out of all of your published books, which one (or series) do you say you favour most? And why?

Ouch--that's a tough one. You want me to play favorites? Well, if I absolutely HAVE to, I guess I'd say that I'm proudest of the Skinned trilogy, because I think it's probably the best thing I've written so far. (That's the plan, at least -- you always want your next book to be better than the previous one.) But Hacking Harvard remains a sentimental favorite, because it's so autobiographical. Going back to it is like flipping through an old high school/college photo album.

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

If there's an easy part of writing, no one's told me!

But if I had to pick one, I guess I would say that it's writing the last page or so of a book. Usually by the time I'm midway through the book, I know exactly how it's going to end -- not always the last sentence, but at least the last image, the last visceral emotion, and writing last few chapters of the book is like rolling down a hill toward that final point. The closer I get, the faster I go and the more wild a trip it is. So that when I'm finally there, I just blow right through the finish line. And then I do a little dance of joy.

The hardest part, on the other hand, is *getting* to the last page of a book. At some point about 100 pages into any novel, I become convinced that I'm never going to be able to finish it. That it's going to be the worst book ever written, and I was crazy to even start it. Forcing myself past that point and moving forward, page by painful page, is torture. But it's the only way through to the good stuff.

What kind of stories or genres do you still have yet to try out?

My next book is a murder mystery thriller with some historical components, all of which is new for me, so I'm pretty excited about that. I'd love to write a horror novel someday, as that was one of my favorite genres when I was a teenager. And I'll admit I'd like to write something with aliens in it. Someday!

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 sold my new book! It'll be out in late 2011 or early 2012, and it's called The Book of Blood and Shadow. Here's the official description:

THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW, about a girl who, upon discovering her best friend murdered and her boyfriend the apparent killer, is caught up in a dangerous world of competing secret societies, all searching for the Luminus Dei, an ancient device that will supposedly allow direct communication with God,

And in fact, as soon as I finish this interview, I have to start writing it -- so wish me luck!

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

I was once, sort of, on the Jerry Springer show. (One of the trashiest of trashy 90s talk shows.) I went to visit a friend of mine in college and she dragged me to go watch this show. At some point, someone in the audience near us stood up to ask a question, and the cameras swiveled around to point in our direction. I did my best to get out of their way. But when I watched the episode, there I was in the audience, wiggling around in my seat looking like I was doing my best to get *on* camera. Thus far, those have been my only 15 seconds of fame.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Watching on Wednesday: The Princess and the Frog

Title: The Princess and the Frog
Type: Movie
Age Group: Youth +
Release Year: 2009
My Rating: 5/5

In the era of all that jazz and flappers, Tiana is a strong and independent girl who dreams of opening her own luxurious restaurant. Following her father's words, she works hard everyday by juggling two jobs, trying to get by.

She gets hired to cater at her best friend's family's costume social function where she accidentally gets food spilled all over her clothes. After dressing up like a princess, she encounters a talking frog who claims to be Naveen, a prince who recently arrived to town. He requests that she kisses him in order for him to revert back to normal. When she does, she turns into a frog instead!

In this new princess tale, the audience will enjoy this fun and heart-felt movie.

It has been such a long time since I've seen a Disney movie in cartoon since most of them are in 3-D now. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to watch The Princess and the Frog because it is an absolutely amazing movie!

It has been awhile since I saw such positive messages being thrown at me from a children's movie. Yes, there is a moral behind most kid movies but this one didn't bother being discreet about it...and I love it! Tiana is a no non-sense girl who yet enjoys the little things in life. In contrast, Naveen doesn't give a care in the world and is quite spoiled. Most of the time, Disney princes reveal themselves towards the end and swoop the princess into his arms where they proceed to live happily ever after. I hate that sort of relationship when it comes to anything because if the prince was ugly, guaranteed that there would be none of that typical Disney stuff. Tiana disliked Naveen a lot because of his personality and when the two came together, I loved the chemistry between them! (Have to admit, Naveen is the first Disney prince I had ever crush on!)

I never really see any movies or books that take place in the 1920s or somewhere in that general era. So to see that this story's setting is at that age and bringing back that world through the clothing, music, and attitude, I found it so much better! Now I definitely want to read more stories about this time because I am getting tired of the same Victorian era stuff. Where are my 20th century based books??

This is a two thumbs up film that I recommend for the kids and the family to watch together!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: The Marvelous World Saga by Troy CLE

Title: The Marvelous World Saga
Author: Troy CLE
Description: The Marvelous World Saga is Mega Dramatic Remarkably True Super Action Fantasy with Louis Proof and Cyndi Victoria Chase at its core. They will learn that they are FAVORITES– the most powerful beings in existence. Those two will discover that they have the latent ability to fight an omnipotent celestial threat that is unraveling both space and time. The funny thing is that they are on opposing sides and depending on what side you stand Louis is your "hero" and Cyndi is your "villain" and vice versa. They both want to stop the threat but must go about in ways that are in complete conflict with the other. This is unlike anything you have read before. Get ready!

I think it is interesting to see a story from two POVs, the hero and the villian. I wonder what this series will be like.

Oh and for anyone wondering what had happened to yesterday's MMM&MM post, my computer refused to turn on . So I will combine last week's post with this week's.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Title: Perfect
Author: Natasha Friend
Age Group: Tweens
# of Pages: 172
My Rating: 4/5

Isabelle is an eighth-grader with a complicated life. Her father died about two years ago and her mother is an emotional wreck. After her younger sister ratted her out for throwing up all of her food, she is now stuck in a help group. She thought this was going to suck until she discovered that popular girl (and her idol) Ashley was in it too.

As she struggles with binging and purging, Isabelle learns that Ashley is not the flawless goddess she always admired and moving on can be a difficult but rewarding task.

To be honest, I was not a fan of Isabelle throughout the book. Most of the time, she was this annoying premature teen that I wanted to throw a ball at. She was completely obsessed with Ashley and the idea of being with the It kids. You know, typical teen issues but with a bulimic problem to top it off. There were a couple of times where she redeemed herself but overall, I didn't like her. I guess for the most part it was because she had not yet enter high school so I made her character worse than she was in my mind.

As for the book itself, it came off pretty well. I like the writing style and the plot can get pretty good for something that deals with adolescents who struggles with bulimia. It has a realistic portrayal of what it is like to wolf down all of these junk food and throw it all up. Unlike most stories that are about bulimia (actually, I'm taking a guess here), it is not overly depressing nor emotional. Yes, Isabelle is dealing with tough issues but it's not to the point where the novel becomes angsty. With the length of this book, I find that the author wrapped it up very nicely from start to finish.

If anyone would like a short but pleasant read about a young teen with real life problems, Perfect is a great novel for that. Or for anyone who is not yet in high school, this should be a pick up.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Short & Simple (1)

Title: Lament
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 336
My Rating: 2/5

Sentence Summary: A prodigious harpist discovers the existence of faeries (that are trying to kill her) and falls in love with a dangerous but gorgeous guy who has his own dark secrets.

Speaking Straightly: I did not finish this book. This is where you gasp because every since I made this blog, I have finished every book I've started except for one.

Characters were extremely frustrating. After Luke met Deirdre, they both went on how much they loved each other and would die without each other... literally, after a couple of weeks. Or less. Luke being this tortured but handsome character who decided to no longer be evil because he fell in love with the protagonist made me roll my eyes. I felt their so called "relationship" to be underdeveloped and unreal. The story itself was beh for me so after awhile, I simply lost interest and could not finish the last 100 pages.

However, I think Twilight and Need by Carrie Jones fans would take a liking to this novel. The writing is not bad either. Just the characters made me want to slam my head against the floor.


Title: Pig Bride
Mangaka: KookHwa Huh & SuJin Kim
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 5 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-3
My Rating: 4/5

Sentence Summary: Si-Joon's nightmare of being married to a pig bride at eight years is actually true when she visits him on his sixteenth birthday, declaring that they must consummate their marriage!

Speaking Straightly: A great tale regarding curses and reincarnations! Mu-Yeon, the pig bride, must have Si-Joon fall in love with her since they were lovers in their past lives. If not, then a horrible curse lay upon them!

An addicting series thus far and is dying for the last two volumes to be released. My favourite character would have to be Si-Joon's best friend, Ji-Oh. Love his personality and megane character! Highly recommend this series to manga and manhwa fans!


Title: What I Saw and How I Lied
Author: Judy Blundell
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 288
My Rating: 5/5

Sentence Summary: In post-WWII, Evie is a young girl who falls in love with an older man whose secrets destroy her life.

Speaking Straightly: A fantastic novel that evolves around the mid-20th century. The author created a great story of that era, which is quite rare in the YA fiction world. A swell contemporary read that would make the girls want to put on some lipstick, have a cigarette between their lips, and wear a daring dress.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Leviathan
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Description: It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.

Never read any novels by Scott Westerfeld but I definitely like the steampunk idea in this one!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Apr 12/10)



Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell


Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie
Poison Study by Marie V. Snyder
The Axes of Evil by Michael A. Ventrella
Yaya Han's Dawn Poster

I had to stick the poster in because it is so pretty! Yaya Han is a cosplayer and model who creates gorgeous costumes. You can check her out here.


Music Machine

Title: Say Aah (Cover)
Artist: Original - Trey Songz; Cover - Scott Yoshimoto, CP & Jason Chen
Language: English
My Thoughts: When I saw the song on the site of a radio station I frequently listen to, I decided to search it up. Instead of the original artist, this cover version is one of the first results. I clicked it and got addicted! I love both the cover and original. But I have to say, AZN PRIDE! :D

If you would like to hear the original, click here.


Just a quick shout-out to the winners of The Dark Divine Nailpolish, Kelsey and Ah Yuan: I went to the post office, ready to ship off your prize but then to find out that it is extremely expensive because of the thickness of the package. Being completely broke now, I hope you guys won't mind waiting for a bit (might be awhile @.@)!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mixed Vegetables by Ayumi Komura

Title: Mixed Vegetables
Mangaka: Ayumi Komura
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 8 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-2
My Rating: 4/5

Hanayu's family owns a pastry shop. She thought she was going to take over the family business until one day as a child, she saw how sushi was done for the first time. Then, she was set on becoming a sushi chef when she grows up!

Now in high school, she still has not stray away from her dream. She is planning to woo Hayato and marry him, since he is the only son of a sushi chef! This way, she will have her dream of taking over a sushi shop fulfilled for once and for all!

But then, she is surprised by Hayato when he suddenly asks her out. It makes things much easier for her...right?

I read the first two volumes several months before out of boredom at Chapters. I didn't think much of it as I read it too quickly to form a proper opinion. Now that I had the chance to re-read it, it was much better than I thought.

Surprisingly, I did not dislike Hanayu for using Hayato like that. It is a bit idiotic I have to admit for wanting to marry some guy because he is your pathway to your dream (almost like a gold-digger but not). Then again, she didn't really woo him or anything because he was the one that ended up asking her out. Seeing her obsessed with her possible career as a sushi chef was cute. Most children tend to lose interest in what they wanted to become before so Hanayu is sort of refreshing in that way. I also love her character design. Although she dresses plain, she can be really pretty once she goes all out. And her hair, I absolutely love how she does her hair no matter what! I wish I have the ability to weave my hair into simple but cool designs that the mangaka does for her character.

Hayato isn't focused upon too much until the second volume. This is when the reader finds out that he is doing the same thing as Hanayu. Instead of taking over his family's sushi shop, he wants to become a pastry chef instead. After confronting Hanayu about the real reason for dating him, he becomes mean and distant. In this volume, one can see both characters begin to grow up from their original positions, especially Hanayu who learns about her true feelings towards Hayato.

I also found Hayato to have a cool appearance. Although he is very simple and can be said to look like almost every other anime guy, he is appealing in his own way. Komura has a knack for drawing her characters in a realistic manner (although it is completely manga-styled) if you understand what I mean.

Hanayu shows another admirable quality in the second volume where she loves her little brother. Since her little brother is destined to become a baseball star, she doesn't want to interfere by dropping out on taking over the business or else he would have to.

While reading the manga, I got hungry just looking at the pastries. Detailed stuff like that in manga makes it so much better overall! Man, I wish I am a baker or something...

I recommend Mixed Vegetables to shojo lovers. It is not over-dramatic but it has great content and art style!

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 310
My Rating: 4/5

Mary's life has always been inside the fence, away from the Unconsecrated that exist within the Forest of Hands and Teeth. The Sisterhood has always been there, guiding the village. The Guardians make sure that everything is safe and keep the Unconsecrated at bay.

Except, Mary doesn't like being trapped in the village. Her mother told her stories about the ocean and she is determined to see it one day. Stuck in a life with traditions of either becoming part of the Sisterhood or marrying off in order to have children, Mary is restricted from any freedom.

In this post-apocalyptic tale, readers are transported far into the future where life as we know it today cease to exist. Follow Mary into a dangerous journey as her world collapses. Along the way, she must choose between her love and her dream!

I have been dying to read this novel since forever. When it first came out, I knew I had to read it eventually.

I guess the reason why I did not fully enjoy this novel was the setting that it took place in. Mary's era goes back literally a couple of centuries. No technology, no cars, no nothing. Not that it was anything bad, but as personal preference, it bothered me. Without it though, the story would not be what it is.

There were honestly times where I could not stand Mary. I admired her very much for her strong and curious personality, but sometimes she was too hardheaded that the things she did or said seemed stupid. I can not recall a specific example but if I could step into the novel and lecture her, I would've. But overall as a protagonist, I don't mind her too much.

[SPOILERS] In the story, Mary is in love with this guy named Travis. After tending and caring for him while he was bedridden because of a terrible injury, he developed feelings for her too. Except his brother Harry had already ask for her hand. Although Travis may equally love her as much as Harry, I felt that it would be better if Mary ends up with Harry. Harry may sort of be a side character, but there is that special something about him that made me like him. [END SPOILERS]

I have to admit, it took awhile for the story to build up in the beginning. It was not completely lagging, but the action did not partake until midway and I wished it came faster than it did. Like I said before, the setting is like in the olden days so what much can one do in a tiny village without a computer or the contact with the outside world (for hundreds of years)?

Check out The Forest of Hands and Teeth if you like zombies. Especially with the fact that they are around for so long and you would like to see what kind of environment an author came up with for the characters to be in. I won't recommend this to everyone because it does not seem like it would be for most people's taste but if curious, try it out.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rosario + Vampire by Akihisa Ikeda

Title: Rosario + Vampire
Mangaka: Akihisa Ikeda
Age Group: Older Teens
Series is: Completed with 10 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1
My Rating: 4.5/5

Being a C-student, Tsukune Aono is unable to get into any of the schools he applied to. Finally, he managed to get into one. Only to find out that it is a school for demons and paranormal creatures! He must not let anyone on campus know that he is a human or it will be the end of him! There, he befriends a cheerful girl, Moka Akashiya, who turns out to be a vampire with a double personality!

Will Tsukune be able to survive this school year as creatures from left to right attempt to get rid of him??

This series has been out in North America for awhile now but it never crossed my mind to pick it up. I guess since vampires tend to be an in or out thing, depending on the trend, I was holding out on most vampire-related stories altogether. Except Rosario + Vampire came out to be a pleasant surprise!

So you have Tsukune who is surrounded with danger constantly because he is unwilling to leave his new vampire friend. Because of this, he gets thrown into troubling situations quite few times. Luckily, if he removes the rosario that Moka wears around her neck, her dark and sexy side unleashes and helps him out. With Moka and a beautiful succubus hanging onto him, his male classmates get pretty jealous as they don't understand how he get the girls! I don't know where my opinion lies for Tsukune yet. Same with Moka. I think I would need to read a couple of more volumes to decide.

I found Kurumu Kurono, the succubus, to be my favourite character thus far. Although she was a little violent in the beginning and the persistent kind, I found her personality and character design to be so cute. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't end up with the protagonist (because it is always like that) so I do hope things turn out for the best for her in the end.

The art is most appealing too. Ikeda can draw cute girls to aggressive, yankee-looking dudes. I love how the mangaka gives a panel close up to a character so you could see a glimpse of their eye or some part of their body to show their true personality. It very clean and it has great transitions of scenes.

Volume 1 of Rosario + Vampire proves to be an addicting read through its humour, action, and paranormal world! I am going to look for the next volume for sure! Manga fans should definitely give this series a go!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trailer Tuesday: White Cat by Holly Black

Title: White Cat
Author: Holly Black
Description: Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Another trailer from the amazing Vania! I would definitely love to read this novel!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

My Monday Mailbox & Music Machine (Apr 5/10) + WINNERS



Friend by Natasha Friend
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Mixed Vegetables vol. 1-2 by Ayumi Komura (vol. 1 not shown)


Spin by Catherine McKenzie


The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa


Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione
Shadowrise by Tad Williams

I got to meet Catherine McKenzie at Chapters on Saturday and it was the first time I met a YA author! I was so nervous and I felt a little stupid because my brain went all haywiry. Dx But she was very nice and once I'm done reading Spin, I'll have an author interview with her!

Want to do your own Mailbox Meme? Check out how to at The Story Siren!


Music Machine

Title: Lupin
Artist/Band: KARA
Language: Korean
My Thoughts: I never liked KARA. I still don't. But I find their latest MV to be quite catchy. The annoying part is the chorus around 1:00. Any part that sounds like that in the song ruins it for me but if ignored, I like the song.


I have randomly drawn the winners for my two contests!

Explorer X-Alpha Prize Pack - Ah Yuan // wingstodust
Dark Dive Nailpolish - Kelsey and Ah Yuan // wingstodust

Congrats! (Ah Yuan, you got lucky!) Reply with your address ASAP at faked_sugartone at hotmail!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Q4U: What are your opinions on your school books?

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!

I'm sure everyone here had to read a certain book for English class at one point in their life. From Shakespeare to the Harry Potter series, there were the novels/plays that you enjoyed and didn't enjoy. So I am curious...

What are your opinions on your school books?

I remember back in 6th grade I had to read The Wrinkle in Time and The Book of Three. They were both alright and I managed to read through them. The Wrinkle in Time stood out the most for me as it was just plain weird.

Fast-forward to high school, I had to read The Hobbit in 9th grade. Prior, I did not like The Lord of the Rings series. When the movies came out, I was still in elementary school, so the concept was scary and confusing. However, after reading The Hobbit (spectacular!), I went home and watched all three movies of The Lord of the Rings and got really into it! But till this day, I still haven't read the actual series aside The Hobbit.

10th grade, I had To Kill a Mockingbird. This novel was a bit of a strange ride for me because there were times where I got so into it and while other times it got so boring that I didn't want to pick it up anymore. The class got to watch the movie so we didn't do much with the actual reading. Before I could finish it, the teacher took the novel back. (I doubt I'll go venture out and get a copy now, way too many other books to catch up on).

Last year, my 11th grade class got a chance to read The Kite Runner. At that time, it was when I was just starting out on my blog. You can see my review of The Kite Runner here. It was such a depressing novel but a brilliant one. Highly recommend everyone to read it.

This year, well, nothing so far. The only reading I'm doing for English right now is Pride and Prejudice (still pushing myself to finish it; so hard to get into) for the end of the year summative. I'm comparing it with Dracula! But first, I have to finish Austen's novel before going to Stoker's.

So what were the novels that you had to read like?

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Author Interview: Kelly Parra

Kelly Parra is the author of Graffiti Girl and Invisible Touch, both with a Latino protagonist. I highly enjoyed Invisible Touch, which I definitely recommend for you to read.

Enjoy the interview!

Q: Firstly, what inspired you to write Invisible Touch?

Hi Diana, thanks so much for inviting me for an interview! Let’s see, I’ve had an interest in the paranormal since I was younger, and the television show Ghostwhisperer inspired me to write about a young girl with a psychic ability. I thought wouldn’t it be great to write about a teenager that could see signs and have to piece them together in order to solve mysteries? And that’s how the concept was formed.

Q: If Invisible Touch becomes a movie, which actors/actresses do you want to play your characters?

Oh, tough one. Hmm…someone asked me this before but it was hard for me to come up with people because I imagine what my characters look like in my head. I’ll go with Selena Gomez for Kara and maybe Jesse Metcalf for Anthony. They both have similar looks to the faces I envision. :)

Q: What do you find is the hardest aspect in writing? And the easiest?

The hardest aspect of writing is weaving the plot with themes and goals/conflicts. Having to stay on my toes with many aspects of a book can be daunting! The easiest is the fun part, creating characters from my imagination.

Q: What genres or story plots do you still want to try out that you have not done yet?

I’d love to write an adventure story. I have always loved watching movies with lots of action and adventure and I think one day I’d like to give it a try.

Q: What is your advice to those who wants to become published authors?

Keep reading and writing, learn the craft by taking classes and on- line workshops, and don’t give up. If you love your characters and your story, you’ll keep rewriting and learning until you see them published.

Q: 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 am actually branching out into adult romantic suspense writing under the pen name Kelly Lynn Parra so I do not have a young adult book releasing soon. You can learn more about my books at my website:

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

How about that I feel that I’m not all that interesting at all? LOL. Okay, my parents have 13 siblings each, for a grand total of 26 aunts and uncles around me while I was growing up. It was definitely entertaining at family gatherings. :)

Bio: Kelly Parra’s earliest stories were told with paintbrushes, but upon discovering the drama, forbidden love, and danger of romance and suspense novels, those paintbrushes were replaced with a keyboard. Now a multi-published author, she has created memorable characters such as a graffiti artist, a psychic teen, and a tough undercover narc. A two-time RITA finalist, she divides her time between her novels, freelance writing, and the adventures of motherhood, where she juggles her home life with two children, a tattooed husband, a sweet poodle, and a stealth turtle. Learn more about Kelly at her website,

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