Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
ISBN13: 9780062107794
Format: Hardcover, 319 pages
Genre: YA, romance, dystopia, steampunk, post-apocalyptic
Source: blog tour
Desire is contagious

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Notification of my absence

Long story short: Something happened and I won't be around much.

Very recently, a family emergency came up and I won't be able to post regularly for the next few days, as I probably won't be around a computer often. I won't be around books so I can't write reviews, but I'll try and put something together once in a while.

Someone hinted that they'd like a review of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. I'll get that out as soon as I can, although I can't make any promises.

Sorry everyone for the disappointing news.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: None
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: December 27, 2011
ISBN13:  9781606841693
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, paranormal, urban fiction
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 5.5/10

Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Booking Through Thursday (5)

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb at btt2. Every Thursday, a book-related question is posted and fellow bloggers answer them.

What was the most emotional read you've ever had?

Note: This post has a ton of spoilers in it. So many that I didn't even bother with the purple highlighting thingy I usually do. So unless you're like, "Yay, spoilers! I love knowing what comes next," please, oh please, don't read. (Wow, I just asked my readers to not read something. Imagine my shock. O.O)

I really don't want to end up a blubbering mess at X-o'-clock in the morning. But I feel like my eyes. Are. Watering. So, I actually have three. Firstly, Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison. Of course, I thought Derek was an asshole and a sort of bastard for keeping his secrets, and not really letting Beth into his life, using his biggest puppy-face to make everything better. And then came the big slam in my face, which felt like I got hit by an SUV. Derek had cystic fibrosis, and his death was indefinite. And because his hospital stay was so drawn out, I cry every time I read it. Second, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Oh, why did you have to kill Augustus, Mr. Green? 'Nuff said. Lastly, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Celia and Marco deserve each other, they really do, but the two of them die. For real. And that's just the most undeserved death anyone has ever had. At least they'd be together on the other side . . .

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Series: Mara Dyer #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: September 27, 2011
ISBN13:  9781442421769
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, horror, contemporary, urban fantasy
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 10/10

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (5)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine. It shines a spotlight on upcoming releases that we are very, very excited for.

By Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: October 23, 2012

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

By Becca Fitzpatrick
Release Date: October 23, 2012

Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the New York Timesbestselling Hush, Hush saga. Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean they are fated to be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. Now Nora and Patch must gather their strength to face one last, perilous trial. Old enemies return, new enemies are made, and a friend's ultimate betrayal threatens the peace Patch and Nora so desperately want. The battle lines are drawn—but which sides are they on? And in the end, are there some obstacles even love can't conquer?

WWW Wednesday (5)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

Just to play along, answer the following three (3) questions . . .

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

My answers:
What are you currently reading?
Still reading The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis, but I don't know if I can bring myself to read it. It's so sad . . . Another book I'm reading is Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin. Currently re-reading (terrible habit, I know) Across the Universe by Beth Revis. Fantastic read, that one.

What did you recently finish reading?
My ordered copy of 13 by Kelley Armstrong just came, and I finished it in a single sitting. All 480 pages of it. It was AMAZING. And I finished Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. So, so, happy.

What do you think you'll read next?
Dunno just yet, but maybe Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein or 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad.

And this is a completely off topic thing to say, but I recently heard someone say that they like light casual reads in summer and save the darker stuff in winter. That's not the case for me. I'd relish the reading of dark reads year round, and tend to line up a ton of quick reads for the colder days. (I'd blame it on school.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (5)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. So you pretty much do the week's topic of the top ten _______ and link back.

This week the topic is . . .

Top Ten Romances You Think Should Last Outside the Book

So, uhh, yeah. Here's a list of romances that I think should be not only in books, but also in the real world that all of us would face the moment we tear our eyes from the pages of books. Of course, there's a million that I'd love to see, but these are the ones I can pick up off the top of my head.

Note: some spoilers ahead. Major spoilers are high-lighted.

01. Abel and Anna from The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis
And I haven't finished it yet. Which shows exactly how good the book is. Anna, who finally reaches outside her protective soap bubble, I think couldn't help but pretty much trip over her feet for Abel, the school dealer but a phenomenal brother to Micha after-hours. It's like the typical good girl and the bad boy, but I have a feeling that they're not going to end up well. It's like a hovering storm cloud in the distance.

02. Augustus and Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Did I mention how obsessed I am with this book? Hazel and Augustus are pretty much meant to be, from what they both endured, to their slightly odd way of just knowing each other. The quote below from their first meeting reveals all.

“May I see you again?" he asked. There was an endearing nervousness in his voice.

I smiled. "Sure."

"Tomorrow?" he asked.

"Patience, grasshopper," I counseled. "You don't want to seem overeager. 

"Right, that's why I said tomorrow," he said. "I want to see you again tonight. But I'm willing to wait all night and much of tomorrow." I rolled my eyes. "I'm serious," he said. 

"You don't even know me," I said. I grabbed the book from the center console. "How about I call you when I finish this?"

"But you don't even have my phone number," he said.

"I strongly suspect you wrote it in this book." 

He broke out into that goofy smile. "And you say we don't know each other.”

I'd cry but that's not what I do. Honestly I really don't like sappy things. But all the sappiness between them has a fantastic touch of wit that shows exactly how teenagers should act, but makes the two of them seem wise beyond their years.

03. Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I'm jealous of the two of them. They can fight with badass-ery. Which is not a real word. Nor is it on-topic. But hey, they're great together, although I must say that most of the credit goes to Po for how far they both grew in their relationship. Po pushes Katsa to be a better person - which sounds really cheesy - and wholeheartedly accepts who she was when she was with Randa. Whenever she started picking apart everything that she's not great at, he always somehow digs up something to compliment her with. Much later in the book do we see Katsa help with Po's personal battle with losing his sight.

04. Zachary and Aura from Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Another one of my book obsessions. I'm a major fangirl of Jeri's books. Zach and Aura, they are literally soul-mates, or at least as close as you'd get. With their complimenting ghost-related powers, and Zach just being an absolute gentleman, I'd love it if I could drive to Baltimore and see them around town, or fly to Scotland to do the same. Which sounds very, very stalker-y. But to me, the two of them are celebrities.

05. Driggs and Alex from Croak by Gina Damico
Do you feel how angsty they get with each other? They fight like a married couple already. Needs no further explanation.

06. Frank and Glory from Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
Those two don't even need words to describe how much they belong to each other.

07. Tom and Alex from Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
The two of them are mere humans fighting for survival in a world gone so wrong. And lucky for Alex, Tom's nearly perfect. Unfortunately, what becomes of him remains a mystery.. After he gets sick, I think I started crying big-time.

08. Oliver and Hadley from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
They are adorable together. And, yes, it's a little weird of me to like stuff with 'love at first sight' in the title but it works for these two. They kind of remind me of Augustus and Hazel. A bit.

09. Jack and Saba from Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Saba, excuse my language, is a bit of a b**** at the beginning of the book. The only person she truly cares about is her twin, Lugh. She probably would hire a parade if her little sister Emmi got run over by a horse. And in comes Jack, who pretty much tells her, "Hey, give the kid a break. And quit being so mean. And rude. And blowing people off." And there's the spark.

10. Marco and Celia from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
They're two children raised from a young age to do one thing: perform against another extraordinary magician and win. Spending their childhood years practicing and doing little else would not do much for their social lives, so when they meet each other I think it's little wonder that they would fall - and fall far. In the synopsis, it clearly states "only one can be left standing," which is just plain tragic. The starcrossed pair deserves some peace.

Teaser Tuesday (5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not when I heard Dee speak, her voice sounding muted and far away. "I told her not go. I could still see it."

"I know. " There was a pause. "Don't worry. I'm not going to let anything happen this time. I swear."

~ pg 84 "Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Series: Jasper Dent #1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3, 2012 
ISBN13: 9780316125840
Format: hardcover
Genre: YA, horror, thiller, mystery, crime, contemporary, urban fiction
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 9.5/10

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Musing Mondays (4)

Musing Mondays is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Every Monday a reading related question would be posted, and all you have to do is answer it, and link back.

This week's musing asks . . .

Do you snack while you read? If so, what is your favorite snack?

I know I'm not supposed to eat while I read, but I still do it. *avoids eye-contact with local librarian* I really like drinking milk. And eating granola bars. Chocolate ones. And cookies. Who doesn't like cookies? Really, I'd eat those anywhere, anytime, not just when I'm reading. But those are just my favourites. It depends on what's in the fridge. If I'm hungry, and I'm reading, I'd most likely make a quick sandwich.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (5)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

What happened this week?

Last week I said I suck at posting reviews regularly, this week I proclaim my inadequacy at writing reviews. I am not good at writing fast

Below are some books that I've read and re-read this past week.


Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Revived by Cat Patrick
Wrecked by Anna Davies
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Currently reading:
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

If you have a suggestion for, say, what I should read next, or what other memes I should participate in, shoot me a comment down below. Or just post your own IMWAYR, so I can check it out!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Title: Kill Me Softly
Author: Sarah Cross
Series: None
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: April 10, 2010 
ISBN13: 9781606843239  
Genre: YA, romance, urban fantasy, retellings
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 9.5/10

Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again.

But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she'll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

My thoughts:
First of all, I thought the cover has this sort of simple beauty to it. At first I thought it may be something like Alice in Wonderland because of the red liquid on the rose. I seriously didn't look like blood, so I automatically assumed it was paint of some sort. [insert very un-ladylike snort] I was so off.

Kill Me Softly is a mishmash of all sorts of fairy tales with the ugly bits left in. If you watched the Disney movies instead of reading the original fairy tales, you probably don't know that, say, for example the mermaid didn't get the prince and was instead forced to commit suicide. Or that Cinderella's step-sisters cut of parts of their feet in an attempt to fit into the glass slipper. Creepy, but for some reason I think I like those versions better. More real, with gruesome sacrifices mixed in.

Honestly, I want to thank Sarah Cross so much for shining a spotlight on little-known fairy tales, Highlight to see spoiler like Bluebeard.

Mira, the protagonist, was nicely written, although a bit more information about her past would be interesting. She was just a little predictable, always returning to Felix, doing what the fairy tale requires of her, but I thought that Sarah Cross made her predictability work very well. And there's the Valentine brothers, Felix and Blue. I was very pleased with the usage of foreshadowing with Felix and Blue's hair. Y'know, blue hair, Bluebeard? Nevermind. Felix was a tad too perfect for my taste, and I kind of didn't get how Mira just fell in love. Yes, they talked, Felix was a perfect gentleman, but there was nothing substantial in it. If anyone could feel like that slimy dude that tries to pick a chick up before the hero swoops in, it's Felix. Lastly, Blue. He's so much more real than Felix. He shared his happiness, sadness, desperation, and pain with Mira, and didn't give her the princess treatment. He took her places, introduced friends to her, and kept her at arm's length with a very good, bot nonetheless tragic reason. Although Blue hid so many truths from Mira, he as a whole seemed true, and honest in a way by letting her take a few glimpses into his world.

With the secondary characters, you can actually see how their curses affect their lives, and gives off an idea of how it'll happen. They're all amazingly alive ticking time bombs.

As a conclusion, I've not much to say but I am in LOVE with Kill Me Softly, and hope you liked/will like it, too.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Booking Through Thursday (4)

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb at btt2. Every Thursday, a book-related question is posted and fellow bloggers answer them.

Name a book you love in a genre you don't normally care for. What made you decide to read it? Did it make you want to try more in that genre?

I don't usually go for contemporary romance, or even a ton of purely contemporary novels. (I'm a sci-fi/fantasy girl.) But a few books I actually liked very much were:

  1. The Duff by Kody Keplinger: It was very honest and didn't gloss over the negative side in life. And it's very unlikely to see an author just present sex as a topic without making it sound all flowery and pretty. Which are possibly among the worst adjectives I've used, ever.
  2. A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger: Okay, I kind of started loving Kody Keplinger's writing after The Duff, and this is another honest story told from a teenager's point of view that may as well be real.
  3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Did I mention how much I love this book? Only a few hundred times, I suppose. Throughout the story, I thought of Hazel as ticking time bombs and waited for her cancer to come back, and for some miracle to bring her back to Augustus' side. Highlight to see spoiler Little did I know that it was in fact not Hazel in danger, but Augustus who had his foot on a grave. It was a bit lyrical how the tables turned so quickly, showing that it was not Hazel's star that needed to be "healthier, but instead Augustus'. *Sniffle*
  4. The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter: I have a thing for honest soul-food. The Snowball Effect is not as well known as the books I've listed above, but it's hard to put into words how this book felt. I had a more difficult time than usual getting through this one because Lainey, the protagonist, had to go through so much conflict and pain and she was just so sad. Which is not like those cute, bubbly contemporary romances out there.
Unfortunately, no, those books didn't make me read more of contemporary romances. I liked those books listed above because they were real and broke your heart, not because it was happy and cute. But nevertheless, I still do come across bubbly and cute contemporary romances that I end up liking but wouldn't give a five-star to.

What genre do you avoid reading and why?

I try not to read too many books with religion as its topic at heart; I don't know why, but I personally get slightly freaked out at the thought of a deity, even though I'm religious myself. Weird, I know. Other than that, there's romances. I really don't like it when a character goes all "boo hoo, I don't know if I should choose between him, him, or the ten other suitors I have" (did I just say suitors?) and not just do something a lot quicker and straightforward. Besides, nearly all my favourite books have these epic battle scenes or whatnot in them.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (4)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine. It shines a spotlight on upcoming releases that we are very, very excited for.

By Gina Damico
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.

To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?

WWW Wednesday (4)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

Just to play along, answer the following three (3) questions . . .

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?

My answers:
What are you currently reading?
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis. Usually retellings or just a story about a person telling a story (storyception!) are kind of bubbly and sweet, but now I feel like my chest is kind of torn apart even though I've barely read anything out of it.

What did you recently finish reading?
Revived by Cat Patrick. I personally thought the sci-fi bit was a little overemphasized; what really hit me was the soul-food part.

What do you think you'll read next?
Monument 14 by Emmy Layborne. I've heard a bit about this book, but I'm slightly scared that it was to overly hyped up and I'd get disappointed . . .

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teasers:

"I screamed and reeled back. Then the whole world seemed to be exploding in on my father's study, glass showering inward as even more . . . corpses pulled, leapt, slithered their way inside."

~ p. 56 ~ 57 "Dearly, Departed" by Lia Habel

Top Ten Tuesday (4)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. So you pretty much do the week's topic of the top ten _______ and link back.

Well, this week the topic is Top Ten Posts that Gives You the Best Glimpse into Me. For once, I've actually bothered to check the topic before writing and posting a TTT. Unfortunately, I've been blogging for only approximately one and a half months, so there's nothing I could really put up . . . So instead, to make up for not being able to do the above topic, I'll post the . . .

Top Ten Things You should Know about Me and How it Relates to Reading or Something Book-Related

(Title's a bit long, but nevermind . . .) So here's the top ten things that molded me into the kind of reader I am today. Ugh, that sounded a bit cheesy, but whatever.

01. I'm a child prodigy.
Keyword: child. So right now, I'm quite an average teenager, destroying my parents' dreams of having a Nobel Prize winner in the future. And as a child prodigy, that made me quite prideful, never a very attractive trait. With that pride, I picked up a copy of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, thinking that, of course, I could read it. Needless, to say, I was quite disturbed by it, but at the same time it sparked my interest in slightly strange books.

02. I'm from Asia.
So I immigrated from Asia as a child, and in order to honour my heritage, my mother enrolled me in some extracurricular classes to learn Mandarin. I will not claim to have a great time doing that, but I did learn to communicate in Mandarin, and can read in Mandarin if needed.

03. I love sappy but practical stories.
I wouldn't cry if I watched Titanic or The Notebook, but I start sobbing whenever I read Ilsa J. Bick's Ashes or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. Truly, I don't get it when people fall hopelessly in love for no apparent reason. They have to have gone through something in order for me to really want to be them. Occasionally, I think it's kind of cute if they don't really have a reason, but it makes no sense at all to me.

04. Grace = least athletic person on earth.
Maybe that's a bit of a stretch, but I spend time reading on my bed than jogging.

05. My attention span sucks. At times.
I'm fine with reading non-fiction in my spare time, but I usually take a long time to finish, unless it's one of those books with a ton of miscellaneous trivia inside. So I might sprout something weird out of my mouth from time to time.

06. I'm an aspiring writer.
Alright, there's a ton of readers out there who wants to write, too, so I don't think I have much of a chance, but that makes me read author bios and the such just so I can see what driven them to begin their career. And which makes me quite obsessed with the works of Gordon Korman; I mean, he published his first book in seventh grade, and is now father to X number of books.

07. I don't have an allowance.
So therefore, I must borrow my books from the library and scrape up money once in a while to buy books. And that makes me quite familiar with the local librarians.

08. My guilty pleasure is paranormal/supernatural stories.
I try telling myself "It's unrealistic!" but that never works. If you look at number 3, you'll see that I try to be practical as much as possible. I actually managed to fool myself into thinking that I'm reading it only to pick apart the scientific mistakes and think up a solution, but I think I have to own up now. How cool is it to have some random power like making a fireball with only a few whispered words?

09. And . . . the Late Night Reader Award goes to Grace Lo!
Unfortunately for me, I'm obsessive with reading, so I end up staying up to the wee hours of the morn reading just so I won't stay up tossing and turning over the book's outcome. So it's like the lesser of two evils to me. It still doesn't work, especially if it's in a series. I'd stay up for who knows how long waiting for the next book to be released or at least available at the local library. I'm quite surprised I don't fall asleep in class more often.

10. I read quite fast.
I remember as a child I'd look at my sister reading and be like "I will read that fast one day." And I did. And surpassed it. I probably should add in something along the lines of "So children, reach for your goals, for you shall achieve it." But I won't. Because that's not Grace-ish. And quite frankly, it puts a strain on my shoulders whenever I go for a library book haul, which is possibly the only physical exercise I go through.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Review: Croak by Gina Damico

Title: Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Series: Croak #1
Publisher: Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 20, 201
ISBN: 9780547822563
Format: paperback
Genre: YA, mystery, urban fantasy
Source: borrowed from library

Rating: 7.5/10

Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex's parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort's true occupation is much dirtier than shoveling manure. He's a Grim Reaper. And he's going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can't stop her desire for justice--or is it vengeance?--whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?

Croak is a great debut, hands down. It was hilarious, it was dark, and put a new spin onto one of the less-looked upon people of the supernatural sort. Although it was a bit tricky to get a hang of the story (Lex acted a bit juvenile), it is still an amazing weave of a story. Completely unreal, and something you’d love to take part in.

Firstly, the grim reaper thing. Gina Damico’s entire idea of reapers is completely originals. Usage of the Smacks, scything, Etceteras, and Killers and Cullers were something brand new. It’s SO COOL to have a town just for Grims and built around their occupation.

Then comes the characters. Lex, the representation of teenage emotions. She might be just a bit too hard-headed for her own good, but I find it hilarious. Her roof scene with Driggs after the pizza made me laugh so hard. And there’s Driggs, victim to teen angst, taking his issues out on his drumset. And he cries himself to sleep in the presence of countless black widow spiders. Creepy, but that takes guts. Another cool thing about him? His eyes are two different colours, brown and blue. So that makes him not only one among the people with possibly the most epic job, but also a genetic anomaly. Y’know how there’s always this one guy and girl at school constantly arguing/competing against each other and all you want to say is “Invite me to the wedding, alright?” Yep. Here’s a quote from Croak depicting just that.

“Driggs and Lex dug into their pockets and took out their scythes. And since Croak was no different from any other culture – and therefore contained its own equivalent of a pissing contest – the two partners immediately sized up each other’s scythes as they tore them through the air.

“Sapphire,” Drigs said, waving a gleaming blue weapon.


Uncle Mort smirked. “Adorable.”

The two rolled their eyes in unison, then disappeared into the ether.”

See what I’m getting at? Yeeup. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. You just know what’s going to happen to those two.

Oh, and let’s not forget the crazy Uncle Mort. He’s psychotic, absolutely psychotic. Uncle Mort’s that super cool uncle that a lot of people have, and whenever he’s over, you’d be like Oh, Uncle Mort’s here! What are we doing today? Hang-gliding? Bungee jumping? Swimming with Great Whites? I’m sure he told us last time, but I think my brain’s still fried from testing that BMX track. And Lex and Driggs’ dysfunctual group of friends, including that unbelievably bubbly chick, the mildly awkward nice jerk (an oxymoron right there), and the couple attached at the hip.

One thing I’m quite disappointed by is Lex’s internal conflict between joining the Crasher and staying with the Grims. It didn’t feel right, more like a weak diagnosis from someone else. But overall, I find Croak as a great read that you should definitely check out.

Musing Mondays (3)

Musing Mondays is a weekly event hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Every Monday a reading related question would be posted, and all you have to do is answer it, and link back.

This week's musing asks . . .

What attracts you to a book blog? What puts you off in a book blog? Do you share personal stuff on a book blog?

In a book blog, I like it to be neat but seem personable. It's a bit annoying if things aren't organized well and look like just a jumble of a mess. At the same time, I'd like to know a bit about the blogger without it seeming like the blog is based on the blogger's life instead of books.

I'm bound to stick something personal into the blog eventually. I mean, your life may attribute to a reason why you don't like something about a book or whatnot, but what I'd definitely not do is talk about my family member's private lives and what they did lately. That's more for a personal blog, and I'd feel like I'm intruding on their privacy if I did post something like that, although I might talk about them without adding things that can allow my readers to track them down. Which is frankly, quite freaky.
Thank you so much for wanting to leave a comment! I read every single one of them, and respond to most of them!

I'm honoured that anyone would want to nominate me for an award, but I just don't have time for that anymore. This blog is award and tag free.