Notice for Review Requests

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

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

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Short and Simple (9)

Title: Arisa
Mangaka: Natsumi Ando
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Ongoing with 9 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 2
My Rating: 4/5

Sentence Summary: Tsubasa's guess of who the King really is might not turn out to be that person after all!

Speaking Straightly: I really like the continuation from the first volume so far. It seems predictable where the story is going, but the mangaka is definitely great at building up the suspense regardless! It might be even a tad darker than Zodiac P.I. I highly recommend this series for fans of Natsumi Ando's other works and shojo mysteries!


Title: Time and Again
Mangaka: JiUn Yun
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 6 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-2
My Rating: 4/5

Sentence Summary: Haunting stories that follow the exorcists-for-hire, Baek-On and Ho-Yeon during the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

Speaking Straightly: I enjoyed the first two volumes of this series very much. Similar to Nightmare Inspector in terms of what the stories are like (but a lot less dark). Each story is tragic in its own sense and a couple would have Chinese myths incorporated. I absolutely love the Chinese's historical outfits, so it was fun to see a manhwa based on a time period that had some of the best clothing!

Highly recommend for anyone would like reading mangas/manhwas that have a few stories per volume, each unique and scary on its own. 

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Watching on Wednesday: Snow White and the Huntsman

Title: Snow White and the Huntsman
Type: Movie
Age Group: Youth +
Release Year: 2012
My Rating: 4/5

Once there was a kingdom that was ruled by a strong king and queen. They have a daughter who they named Snow White. The kingdom was happy and prosper...until the passing of their beautiful and gentle queen. The king was devastated and ended up getting drafted into war. He found a prisoner in the hands of the opposing side; a striking beauty. He took her as his new queen. Little did he know, she would be the death of his kingdom.

Many years have passed and Snow White has finally escape the grasps of the evil queen. Will she be able to reclaim her kingdom in her father's name before she gets captured?

If anyone has followed me since the start of the Twilight craze, you'd know how much I detest that series. With that, I was never fond of Kristen Stewart. However, when I saw the commercial for Snow White and the Huntsman awhile back, it really captured my attention. It seemed that Kristen could be really be okay in this movie. And honestly, she was! I can't say her acting was amazing, but, it's a start and I'm more lenient if she is to star in another movie.

In my personal opinion though, what made this movie was Charlize Theron. She was absolutely phenomenal! I had never seen her acted in any other movies or shows before this one and I absolutely adored how well she played out her character. Her acting gave the evil queen so much life and made her so three-dimensional. She's my favourite character in the movie because there is so much history that makes her who she is. And can I say how absolutely gorgeous she is? I am in love with her outfits and hair! (Second to her, my next favourite character is the Huntsman. Chris Hemworth's accent is TO DIE FOR).

The storyline is very dark and has that twisted fairy tale element. The fantasy effects are very nice and I enjoy that. But, I felt it were the actors that made the movie what it is. 

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dirt by Lori Culwell

Title: The Dirt
Author: Lori Culwell
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 205
My Rating: 2.5/5

Living with a rich and famous family would make life so much more awesome, right? Not for Lucy Whitley. Her family has been in the tabloids on and off, especially since her mother disappeared many years ago, taking one of her sisters with her. Just when Lucy's father is about to remarried and she's about to go to boarding school in Europe to escape her crazy life for once and for all, an unexpected guest shows up and ruins the wedding! Will her dream of leaving her life now ever come true?

Three years ago, I reviewed Lori's first novel Hollywood Carwash, which I highly enjoyed and still recommend to this day (click the title to check out my in-depth review). So when I was asked personally by Lori to do a review for her latest novel (and her first in the YA world), I was honoured. Hollywood Carwash gave me a lasting impression, so I was hoping The Dirt would give me a similar effect as well. However, The Dirt was a take-it-or-leave-it YA novel that had many similar cliches amongst the stories within its genre.

With a setting where the main character is surrounded by the rich and beautiful, there would always be that one mean pretty girl. In this novel, it's Lucy's older sister Sloane, who is in charge of a group called the PG (what it stand for is unknown) and dominates the entire school. I'm used to reading about that it-girl making the protagonist's life a living hell, but the fact that they are related was too much for me. If you are not heavy on realism like I am, you could pass this by. I found it unnatural for Sloane to treat her sister the way she did. And I won't get into the unrealistic cliche of this one high school girl "controlling" the school and the people around her.

The pace and story of the novel wasn't picking up too quickly for me to keep wondering what was going to happen next. I have to admit, the climax was definitely unexpected. I felt that there was so much more that could've been done in the novel to take it to the next level, considering how it ended.

I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys stories that revolves around the rich and the popular and doesn't mind reading something that doesn't require a lot of thinking.

Review copy provided by Lori Culwell.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snapshot of Books

My house is getting its floors redone so my bookshelf from the top floor had to be transferred down to the basement. I haven't been reviewing novels for so long so it surprised me the amount of novels and mangas I have collected within the span of a decade or so. These are just the ones on that one bookshelf, I have plenty of more beyond this. I think I would have a minimum of 500 books altogether. And a good 50 novels I still haven't read yet (which I will try to pull a couple out to read this summer hopefully...)

It doesn't look like a lot unless you're there in person, haha. How many books do you think you have in your collection?
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