Friday, May 30, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Yay or Nay

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Which do you prefer: (1) Great characters and plot with lousy writing or (2) Middling character development and plot but gorgeous writing?

Hard to imagine a published book with lousy writing. Before it can hit the printer, a critique partner goes through it, followed by an agent, then an editor... Can so many people produce lousy writing?


Usually when that happens the characters are filled with potential, not greatness.

My answer: neither. A great author has his/her thinking cap on, and should produce the best of both worlds.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Emily and the Strangers

Win a haunted guitar!

The prize is too good to pass on, especially if the only requirement is performing in a battle of the bands. Although Emily prefers the company of cats, she isn't shy and enjoys spending time with others, as long as she can have creative control. But joining a band means letting go and learning how creativity can go even higher when you find others to contribute to the inspiration.

The illustrations were beautifully done. I had yet to see a graphic book displayed with so many layers. It made Emily look like a badass rockstar. Not having read any other Emily Strange books, I found the beginning strangely peculiar as she rattled on about time machines and odd ideas, but once the radio announced the band search everything fell into focus.

Looking forward to many more Emily comics.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Better off Friends

Why can't we be friends?

Sometimes, when we meet someone as fun and awkward as we are  -- we just click. For Levi it was fast. Macallan took longer to open up, but soon, these two became best friends, finishing each other sentences and sharing family dinners. So why should growing up change everything?

Now, Macallan is angry that Levi spends too much time with the boys, while he's angry over the feelings he has for her. Worse, no one can date them without getting in the middle. It's a fiasco! Why can't they just be friends?

Eulberg wrote an compelling story about the coming of age (first period and kiss), bullying, dealing with a parent's death, and falling in loveIt's clear that the most beautiful relationships out there take place between two people who are friends to begin with. It's what being soul mates is all about. But for these two, who refuse to take the risk of rejection, pretending not to be in love is difficult and extremely entertaining for the reader.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Snapshot

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Have you met a favorite author and have a picture? Share. 

Not many authors come to Montreal. How depressing!!

I did, however, get to meet author Karen Avivi at Chapters less than a year ago.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: Catch a Falling Star

Late at night, when all the world is watching television stars strut their stuff on the tele, Carter is lost in the sky watching real stars shine bright. Her best friend's Chloe's fangirl obsession over Adam Jakes never appealed to her. Who needs all that media fuss? Not Carter. Ironically, her unimpressed behavior toward Adam, grants her an offer to play the role of his fake girlfriend for a couple of weeks until the press forgets his rehab story.

Paparazzi? Keeping secrets from your best friend? Celebrity ego?

Seems like a lot to handle. But when her brother's life is on the line, and the only way to save him is by raising a heap of money, Carter will have no choice but to take the lifetime offer and risk her heart in the process.

Lots of romantic dates are in the plot. We see so many actors fall in love while working together and wonder what is the exact moment when fiction and reality crashes. Catch a Falling Star is a really great example. Culbertson mixes in the story of Carter's brother's gambling problems, and her Dad's struggle to maintain the cafe alone while his wife travels the world, providing the story with a bit more of a spark. If only the climax would have combine all the subplots.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Write Something, I'm giving up on you



Call me old fashion but I just can't DNF (did not finish). As a book reviewer and a virgo, I need to read from cover to cover before I can rate it in any form. Sometimes, the ending makes up for the whole story. Sometimes not.  

1-Go Ask Alice
I hoped it would get better and the character would be taught important life lessons, but she was far too immature for that. 

2-The Scorpio Races
Maggie Stiefvater
Both MC's had too many problems to smile. I felt quite disconnected, but am glad I stuck to it. 

3-Hanging by a Thread
Sophie LittleField
Gorgeous cover and great mystery plot, but I kept putting it down due to the slow pace. 

4-The S-Word
Chelsea Pitcher
The plot lacked depth, leading to several confusing ends. Not for me. 

Lisa McMann
Huge fan of McMann -- this book not so much. The MC has a vision, then has it again, again. And again... Books shouldn't drag like that.

6-Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire
He's jealous of all the guys who approach you because deep down he cares, he just doesn't know how to tell you plot gets tiring after a while. 

Rachel Hawkins
Very slow paced, but worth reading. Especially for the end. 

Lauren Oliver
Oh that ending!! I'm glad I didn't put it down. 

8-Where she Went
Gayle Forman
This book was heavy, emotionally that is. I had to put it down for a while and come back to it later.

Amy Efaw
I couldn't stand the character, even after getting to know her better. Too bad. Abandoning a newborn was a great topic to focus on for a YA book.

10-Dreams of Significant Girls
Cristina Garcia
There was no need for the lack of dialogue. Sadly, the story never picked up. 

Which book made your list?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday: Full-bodied and Mature

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: What living author would you like to have diner with? 

I would most certainly eat Shakespeare.

Wait, it seems I was too hungry and misread the question.

Let me rephrase that. I would serve Shakespeare to John Green and his wife to celebrate the upcoming film The Fault in our Stars. A perfect occasion to celebrate!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Fire with Fire

Book Review: Fire with Fire

Is karma worth the price of a great revenge?

Reeve bullied Mary when they were younger, and left a void in her heart that time has not been able to mend. So the girls did the best thing they could do -- they drugged him. Vulnerable from the effects, Reeve tumbled off the prom stage and broke his leg, ruining his football career in the process. You'd think this would be enough to stop the sabotage, but the girls hate that he still refuses to apologize to Mary. The best thing to do is make Reeve fall in love with Lilia this time, then make sure he gets humiliated in return. But what happens if Lilia loves him back?

There were so many things going in Fire with Fire that did not involve Kat, causing her to disappear into the background and render her point-of-view quite pointless (hard not to skip those pages). Nevertheless, Mary and Lilia heighten the stakes like never before. Lots of love and jealousy scenes made the book impossible to put down. 

Prepare for a yet another cliffhanger ending. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Paint it bold



Okay, so I'm a Botero fan. Have replicas all over my place and would love to find similar book covers to match the decor. But alas, there seems to be nothing of the sort out there. 

So my second choice would be:

1-And Then There Were None
Scary and tense. Maybe not in the office but I'll think of something.

2-Marcelo in the Real World
Remove the electric posts and it would be gorgeous.

3-Left Neglected
Perfect for my kitchen.

My idea of sensual art.

5-These Broken Stars
What is it with me and hand-holding pictures?!?

6-The Ring & the Crown
Total must if you live in San Francisco (be sure to wear flowers in your hair)

7-The Beatles in Stripvorm
Love this graphic novel cover. 

Who's your favorite painter?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: Adaptation

The sky is falling.

Well, mostly planes and birds, but the horror of it all is too much to go unnoticed. The situation leaves Reese and David stranded at the airport, forcing their debate teacher to drive them home. But when a bird crashes through the windshield their lives are held by a thread. It appears their only hope at survival involves a secret government facility. The scars soon disappear, they have the sentiment they are constantly being watched, and a telepathic power begins to arise. What exactly did happen that night?

Malinda Lo keeps the tension high, adding a sensual back-up story between Reese and her new friend Amber. Although I expected a conclusion in the end, Lo shifted the story around, turning it into a sci-fi that deserves a sequel.

Can't wait to read what happens in Inheritance.