Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Gods Among Us Review and GIVEAWAY!

by Isabelle Doan

Random Information:

Publisher: Winged Lion Press
Pages: 278 (Paperback)
Series: Divine Masquerade Series (#1)
My Format: Received from author for review
Time to Read: 8 Hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover

(I'm going to recommend e-book because it's only a dollar on kindle!) 
Could you forgive a god for drowning your mother, if forgiving her made you immortal?

Pallas is a friendless teen from a backwater village on a forgotten shore. Born a slave like everyone around her, people hate her clothes, her parents…especially her strange name.

Pallas doesn’t believe in the gods except to blame them for drowning her mother. But she’s forced to shelve her moody cynicism when she accidentally rescues an obnoxious cat.

Suddenly caught in a celestial war, Pallas must do the unthinkable – champion the very goddess she hates. Masquerading as a mythic princess, she convinces everyone she’s a child of Atlantis. Jealousy hounds her at every turn as she battles dangerous fanatics, a boorish prince, and a stunningly beautiful princess.

Yet nothing can save her from certain doom, when the Volcano god reaches out to slay her. For how can a mortal fight a god?

I'm not going to lie. At the start of the book I was facedesking a lot, and very hard, I should add.

A lot of the book just didn't make sense, at the beginning especially. I was just zoning out completely, my authorial side kicking in and thinking about what Belton could have done to make The Gods Among Us better.

For starters, there's a few problems with the summary.

"Pallas is a friendless teen from a backwater village on a forgotten shore. [This statement is wrong- she indeed has one friend, and has been asked out by a guy before.] She really doesn't believe in the gods except to peevishly blame them for drowning her mother. [You'd think if Gods drowned your mother, you'd believe in them... right?] But she's forced to shelve her moody cynicism when she accidentally rescues and obnoxious cat."

Therein lies one of my main problems. Pallas did not accidentally rescue this cat. (Whose name, by the way, is Othello.)

You see, at times, it feels as if Belton doesn't know how to get his characters from one place to another. To rescue Othello, Pallas swam out to sea because she saw what looked like a giant orange egg in the sea. She was "drawn to it" or something like that. Othello turned out to be in the mystical orange egg.

This is what I imagined Pallas did.
Now, you know that I hate when authors use suddenly as a plot device, and it was used sporadically through the book, like when "exhaustion hit [Pallas] like a sudden wave." Um, ok. Suddenly being exhausted is a really good excuse not to get back to your family!

Some more problems with the writing surfaced in the beginning as well. For starters, the first chapter uses... too... many... ellipses... and... it... detracts... from... the... story...

Another problem is that some of the sentences make no sense. For instance:

"'He deserves to marry a shrew, have a dozen brats, and live a short and miserable life. But punching him in the nose...'"


When did being punched in the nose become worse than living a short and miserable life? I'd take the former any day.

Thirdly, another problem with the writing itself is that I felt like Belton wrote a first draft and then used Word to change all the small words into big fancy synonyms.

For instance:

"She martyred her boundful spirit; burying it alongside her alining soul."

.... I have no words. I honestly do not know a teenager who says that.

This cat is in cahoots with Othello.
Which is a problem, because, when later, Othello is talking to Pallas, Othello says, "'Of course, I can't expect much from a creature of your exceedingly limited intelligence..."

and then Pallas thinks:

"Is he insulting me? His words were so exotic I couldn't even tell."


His words are more exotic than yours?? What parallel universe are you living in?

Oh, yeah, ones with Gods and such. Which is actually a very well built world that I highly enjoyed.

Anyway, I feel as if these problems could ALL be solved if Belton just wrote this book in 3rd person perspective, because it's obvious that he wanted to. After all, most of Pallas's and company's thoughts are in italics, which is weird, because in first person, all the narration are thoughts. Plus, the 3rd person would prevent so many perspective changes.

The story itself is rewarding, and gripping, if you can get over the mechanics. It made for a good reading experience, and I would recommend it, despite all the gripe.


OKAY! So Mr. Belton has this awesome giveaway for us here at Wake Up at Seven! One lucky reader can win a SIGNED COPY of The Gods Among Us and a SIGNED COPY of its sequel, Whom the Gods Destroy.

Con­test Rules (which I totally didn't steal from Cuddlebuggery):

  • To enter, please fill out the Raf­flecopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The give­away is open to US and Canada only. 
  • When the win­ners are cho­sen, it will be announced here and the win­ners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giv­ing the win­ner 48 hours to respond! Oth­er­wise another win­ner will have to be selected.
  • Please enter your email address in the Raf­fle­copter form and not the comments!
  • Also, please under­stand that we reserve the right to dis­qual­ify any entries we find gam­ing the sys­tem. Cheaters never prosper!

Through the Ever Night Cover Reveal

If you have a life and haven't been living in your mother's basement for the past... I dunno, 10 minutes, you've had this cover blasted in your face:

No, really. I've seen this cover on my twitter feed in the past ten minutes than twitter posts about the healthcare law being upheld.

Honestly, it's great. But just because I am picky, I'm pointing out the awkward slant of the guy's shirt. Like... seriously? What's going on? If one side of your shirt rides up, you'd at least expect the other side not to stay completely ironed down.

Anyways, excited! Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi comes out January 8th 2013!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WHAT IS AIR? Cover reveals and FANGIRL

AH. I am a freaking sucker for pretty dresses, and a lot of new covers that were revealed have the most gorgeous dresses ever on them.

Released today was:

THE COVER OF SEVER by Lauren DeStefano.

Bam. Okay, I'm actually not too impressed with this cover. It sort of looks like they forgot to take the green screen out of the background. (i.e., the color scheme choice could've been better. [This is coming from a graphic design student.]) But maybe if it was less cluttered like in the other two covers:

Case in point, these color schemes are more appealing to the eye, and the poses are more intruiging. I'd go as far as to say the poses are sort of disturbing. The first thing you learn in modeling school is to work with negative space etc. etc. etc. But the girl on the cover of Sever is just like....


Okay, maybe I'm going too far. The cover is still really awesome. Plus, it's really about what's inside and I can't wait to read it. Well, you know. After I actually read Fever. (It's on my freaking bookshelf, but where is time?)

Some other covers that were released earlier this week:

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

I am actually genuinely happy with this cover. I've yet to read Unearthly (again. IT IS SITTING ON MY SHELF. WHAT AM I DOING WITH LIFE.) but I'm pleased that Mrs. Hand didn't choose to end all her novels with the same sound after Unearthly. I mean seriously, look at other series:

Divergent- Insurgent



I mean, it's cool, but...

Unearthly- Hallowed- Boundless

YES. She didn't end every title with ly. It's great that Hand relies on the covers to tie the trilogy together. It's a very artistic move on her part, and I'm especially pleased with this cover.

But you know who DOESN'T rely on covers?

Tahereh Mafi.

Don't get me wrong. I love this cover, just as I liked the Sever cover, if I haven't made that clear. But I was confused at first. Doesn't Unravel Me's cover look like this?:

That doesn't exactly go with the cover reveal. But then I realised that there was another edition of Shatter Me that went with Unravel Me's cover:

So it's not a problem with me. Although, I guess I would have been pleased if the covers did look drastically different. Who knows?

Finally, to conclude my showing of series covers, here is the recently released picture for Everbound by Brodi Ashton.

Very nice. Very nice. Again, I'm going to give my freaking-horrible-graphic-design-student-opinion, which is that the model could have worked with a more interesting pose, like in Everneath. However, I really like this cover, so I hope the actual book lives up to it.

Also,  both released on June 21st:

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett


Blood-Kissed Sky  by JA London

Very nice.

They sort of remind me of some other covers:

But that's just a coincidence. Duh.

Friday, June 22, 2012

YA Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

by Isabelle Doan

Random Information:

Publisher: Speak
Pages: 372 (Hardcover)
Series: Has two companions, can be stand alone
My Format: Paperback, bought
Time it took to read: 12 Hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home. As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?
Upon finishing the book, I felt a big "whut" moment, to say the least. Don't get me wrong, it was a good ending, but... well, I'll get into that later.
I may have exaggerated just a little. 

What I am going to say now is that Anna and the French Kiss was very enjoyable. It's very chick lit-esque, reminding me of, say, a Meg Cabot book. You see, Anna, our heroine, is deposited in a select boarding school in Paris by her rich father. (Who is "horrible" by Anna's standards. Oh no. I am in a new school in the city of light with none of my friends. What ever shall I do.) She quickly gains friends (and by that, I mean she is crying and new friends come literally knocking on her door.) and meets the ever handsome, British, and charming Etienne St. Clair. Through a magical senior year at the School of America in Paris, Anna and Etienne experience love, loss, heartache and the magic of friendship.

Soooo anyway, like I was saying, this book is very Meg Cabot like. The writing styles are similar, and so are the heroines. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I encourage all writers to find their own styles. But I was actually curious to see if Stephanie Perkins was influenced by the likes of Meg Cabot. This is what her website says:

I often refer to Meg Cabot as The Queen. Because she is. (I love you, Meg!)
Mmm yeah. It's very obvious, Miss Perkins.

Another thing about the writing is that it's very humorous from time to time. Not like "knock-knock" joke humorous, but in the sense like it's a satire making fun of itself. Like Anna and the French Kiss knows how ridiculous romances (especially chick lits) can be.

For instance, in some romances, we have this multicultural person. Like he has a sexy British accent and is hanging out in another country (like Paris). In other romances, the heroine would have let it slide and the reader would have rolled their eyes (and maybe stabbed it with a fork. Who knows?) But in this book, Anna said: 
"French name. American school. British accent. Anna confused."
That was just amusing. It really did feel like a parody, so much that I almost heard the Harvard Lampoon in the background snickering with the 5 o'clock shadows and Monster Energy drinks. 

The only thing I disliked about this book was the ending. (Don't worry, you can keep reading. No spoilers. But it's not like you don't know who's gonna be a couple at the end.) Anna and the French Kiss lost a lot of energy toward the end, and it used the dreaded "suddenly".

If you know me, you know I hate when authors use the word suddenly.

It's like some authors don't know how to get their characters from one place to another, so they're so lazy, they just say, "And suddenly I felt like going across the country." And they run into their love there. Or something like "and suddenly I felt like I needed to be at Walmart. Something was drawing me there!"

No, there's not.

So that explains the headdesk I gave at the end of the book. I was severely disappointed.

All in all though, Anna and the French Kiss was a cute and fun read that held my attention. Fans of Meg Cabot will surely enjoy this electric debut from Stephanie Perkins.

Content: Quite a bit of swearing, but nothing that will remove you from the reading experience. Also, mentions and implications of sex. A bit of teen drinking as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Praise Puns- Anna Dressed in Blood

You ever notice that when real reviewers are reviewing books, they always make puns?

Well, we here at Wake Up at Seven have a sense of humor, and will take the liberty to make fun of those who are too clever for their own good. We're going to point out any puns that are pasted on the back of YA books, whether they're from another author or from Kirkus reviews.

Today we're looking at:

Anna Dressed in Blood

I've been reading this one (along with, like, 8 other books) and the first thing I might notice is that on the very front is a quote from Cassandra Clare.

It says "Spellbinding and romantic."

DING DING DING DING. Spellbinding? Jesus Christ, winner of the most cliched phrase for paranormal YA blurb goes to...

And then on the inside flap, there is yet another quote from Cassandra Clare. Yay.

Happily, this praise was not punny, but it did use words like intricate and tale together. Shudder. I love you Cassie... but do publishers force you to say these things? You're clever-er than that. :C

On the back, we discover a quote from Holly Black.

(I'm going to be honest here, I'm not even exactly sure what it says, because the library tag is covering it up, but I think it's something along the lines of Holly Black wants to get into the main character's pants. (Holly Black, I adore you... but you scare me. In a good way.))

Below an excerpt that I'm pretty sure no one reads, we have a lovely blurb from Stacey Kade, the author of the Ghost and the Goth series. (That's actually on my TBR list, so I can't hold judgement there.)

"I loved Cas [Main character]! And the world he inhabits is terrifyingly vivid and utterly compelling. Get ready to sleep with the lights on because this book has teeth. Sharp ones."
Upon closer inspection I may actually think that Stacey Kade added the "sharp ones" thing as an after thought. Like when the publisher went up to her, she said this. And then the publisher was like, "That doesn't make sense at all. How can a book have teeth?" and then Kade was like, "I dunno." So they decided to make it so illogical that us stupid people would think that it sounds smart.

Anyway, there was yet another blurb under that, by, guess who! Another author. Yup. There was absolutely no praise on here from Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, etc. 

Anyway, the praise was from Courtney Moulton, who wrote Angelfire.

Her blurb said 

"this is the kind of book I've been dying to read!"
Took the words right out of my mouth.

Please don't use the word dying on a ghost book. Also don't use

"cool as hell"
because no.

I love all these authors, but puns make me weak. I myself used them all too often. I'm trying to cut back.

Monday, June 18, 2012

{Mechanics} Yes, I Read to Myself! Problem?

My first ever audio book was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

That was narrated by Sarah Drew, and I was completely blown away by how compelling the narration was. That being my first time, I was led into believing that all audio books were this well acted out.

If you don't get this meme, you suck.

In fact, as I soon learned, most YA audio books are less than satisfactory compared to my first one, which was so chilling, and MADE ME FREAKING CRY. I didn't even cry at Micheal Jackson's funeral, ya'll. That's how much of a stone cold person I am, and Sarah Drew narrating Before I Fall made me weep more than for the King of Pop!

You see, I try to find audio books that don't sound like they're narrated by a forty year old. I like YA books that sound like they're narrated by an actual teenager. (Take The Hunger Games audio book for example. It sucks.) What I liked about Sarah Drew's narration in Before I Fall is that she didn't sound so steady all the time. In The Hunger Games audio book, it sounds sort of robotic at times, which freaking unnerves me.

Robotic voices unnerve me, but Micheal Jackson doesn't.

Considering that I get free audiobooks from Overdrive and my library (I live in a city that's big on reading), I don't really care if I get a horrible audio book. But I found a completely awesome way to fix my post-awesome narration syndrome.

Read to myself. Out loud.

I'm not kidding. Don't you remember when your mum used to read to you out loud at night? (If not, then I figure you're a psychopath. Don't hurt me!) Well, that kind of experience can't be reproduced unless you live in your mother's basement, so whenever I'm alone, I'll start reading to myself, and I even give different voices to the different characters.

So you might be thinking:

  1. Then you read slow!
  2. You can't pay attention to the story then!
To that I reply

  1. I read slow already. Have you seen my last Mechanics post?
  2. I actually pay more attention to the story. 
I guess I should elaborate on point 2. I cannot read for more than 30 minutes without my brain being completely fried. I am distracted way too easily. This is the reason I never watch movies at a theatre: because I can't freaking pay attention to the movie! But when I read aloud to myself, it gives me something active to do, as opposed to passive, which describes reading.

I mean, do you find that you need to twirl your hair when you read, or squish a ball in your hands? It's because you need something else to do when you read, or else it becomes too passive of an activity.

So in conclusion: try this next time you're reading. You might be surprised with the results. Or not.

By the way: Here's the Chuck Testa reference:


Mechanics is a weekly feature on Wake Up at Seven. It explores everything surrounding books and reading, to make you hyper-aware that books are nothing but chopped paper.

Friday, June 15, 2012

YA Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

by Isabelle Doan

Random Information:

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Series: No
My Format: Library
Time: 10 Hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

This book... for me... ah.


Well, when writing this review, I really wanted to give this book 4 stars, I really did. I bumped it up to 5 stars because:

1) I didn't want to die a slow painful death as all the fangirls came to my door and beat me to death with copies of City of Bones saying, "WHY DID YOU GIVE THIS CRAP A HIGHER RATING THAN THE FAULT IN OUR STARS?" (To that, I say that star ratings are objective. I've read quite a few cancer books, and this hardly brings something new to the table.)

2)Upon finishing the book, I realized that all the problems I had with this book had been acknowledged. I realized that in their purpose, they added to the story, however much they annoyed me.

Let me elaborate.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is about a girl named Hazel who has a form of lung cancer. She meets a boy named Augustus Waters, who has osteosarcoma, and they have an epic love story.

In typical John Green fashion, the book is about something you don't really expect it to be about. Also in John Green fashion, chapters and passages end where it may or may not have really deep meaning, or is just there. (Think of an analysis of text. Am I digging too deep, or did the author mean for this line break to have metaphorical purpose?)

For instance:

"Augustus and I timed it so that we started watching the same romantic comedy at the same time on our respective screens. But even though we were perfectly synchronized in our pressing of the play button, his movie started a couple seconds before mine, so at every funny moment, he'd laugh just as I started to hear whatever the joke was."


I really question if that's just there, or it has meaning. If so, does this metaphorical meaning mean that Augustus knows everything before Hazel? Or does it mean that Hazel can't laugh last, because the expectancy of laughter ruins it for her? Does my head hurt?

That brings me to another thing. Augustus Waters is somewhat pretentious.

He's not pretentious in the sense that he's arrogant (although I guess that's the meaning of the word pretentious) but in the sense that he over thinks everything and tries to joke around too much. (I suppose I do that, too, but I am a horrible human being, and somewhat of an asshole. Augustus Waters is not.)

However, an acknowledgement to these pretentious tendencies was made at the end of the novel, in a speech another character, Issac, made.

Though I had a few other gripes, they were all solved similarly. I though this other character, Peter Van Houten, was an idiot in his emails to Hazel. (Too much swagger.) I thought that it was wrong for Hazel to still like Van Houten, because I would be repulsed by these emails. However, Hazel realized this. All other problems were beaten down as well.

My last, and somewhat sad complaint, is that I love John Green too much. I wish authors weren't people, because there's a reason I was putting off reading this book.

I'm part of the Nerdfighteria and have been for a while, now. That being said, I know John and his bother Hank's wittiness, and I couldn't read TFIOS without thinking DFTBA, a slogan from their vlogs.

And then, while reading this, Hazel said, "I think forever is an incorrect concept." That's something John said on a very recent vlog. (June 1, 2012)

I kept hearing John in Hazel's voice, just in the sheer smartness of the dialogue.


Anyway, long story short, pretty good book, and  I think fans of Sad Things will like this.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{Mechanics} How Fast Do You Read: A Lamentation

 I read like a snail on honey- who's eaten too many honey buns.

If I was kidding, then I'd probably put a hilarious joke right here- no such luck.

See, it's only semi-hilarious.

This is because I read slowly. I once recorded my reading time, and I read 30 pages in an hour. Now, this is with a fast paced book. 

So let's discuss reading times.

Generally, I read faster when I'm on a Kindle. I don't know, but when I have a real book in my hands I feel like I have to savor the paper- you know, like lick it or some kinky crap. But according to survey by Dr. Jakob Nielsen, reading on a tablet is actually slower than reading on printed paper!

"The study found that reading on an electronic tablet was up to 10.7 percent slower than reading a printed book. Despite the slower reading times, Nielsen found that users preferred reading books on a tablet device compared to the paper book. The PC monitor, meanwhile, was universally hated as a reading platform among all test subjects."

(Just throwing this out there: anyone who likes reading on computer monitors- you are screwing yourself over. Glasses are expensive, man!)

Funny thing, though- the article goes on to say:

"Users were reading 6.2 percent slower on an iPad compared to paper, and 10.7 percent slower on the Kindle 2."

I'm pretty sure this keen thing will hurt your eyesockets less.

Hold on a second- you're saying that the fricking iPad LCD screen that rapes my eyeballs with its television-like quality- it lets us read faster than with the Kindle?

Granted, this study came out almost 2 years ago, so the Kindle has become better. I remember that the Kindle used to take forever to load the next page! Like, I would hit the "Next Page" button, go to the kitchen, make myself a sandwich, eat it, digest it, take a dump, and then come back to read. And then I would forget what was on the last page, so I'd have to go back.

Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but I decided to put this to the test.

As a study, I read the same chapter  of the same book on my iPod touch, my Kindle 2, and on Printed paper. (For posterity, I did this twice, then averaged it. Also, the book was Delirium by Lauren Oliver.)


iPod- 34 minute 50 seconds
Kindle- 37 minutes 47 seconds
Book- 40 minutes 02 seconds

What does this mean?

Even I don't know.

I have noticed that my reading time has gotten faster as I've read more books. I guess that its one of those things where as you do it, it becomes easier. (I think that's everything- wait- not people. Haha, I made an inappropriate joke.)
This is the font Chinese restaurants use.

However, you have to note that the spacing on pages is different for every book. The Hunger Games only had like 2 words on a page, so I felt like I was reading fast. This is opposed to, say, a mass market paperback.

It also should be noted that certain fonts make us read faster. I'll draw out this point by exaggerating- do you think you could read an entire book in comic sans or courier typewriter font? No.

And, last thought. I read in National Geographic that there was this one man who read one page with one of his eyeballs and read the other with his other eyeball. So the left was reading the left page and the right, the right. After he was done, he put the two pages together.

I was thinking three things:

  • Holy turds
  • How does he do that?
  • I want to be like that guy.
But, as I tried to do it unsuccessfully, I realized something: we should all just appreciate books, no matter how long it takes us to read, because we do it for enjoyment, not for sport.

Also, I realized that I became more formal toward the end of this article, so here's a stupid picture for your enjoyment.


Mechanics is a weekly feature on Wake Up at Seven. It explores everything surrounding books and reading, to make you hyper-aware that books are nothing but chopped paper. 

Stupid Horror Movies That Should Be Books

Just a disclaimer:

I haven't watched any of these movies. They just look stupid, but I'd totally pay to read them as books.

1. Chain Letter (2010)

I found this on my Letterboxd feed, much to my chagrin, but later amusement. It's a horror about teenagers who get chased down, stalked, and murdered if they don't forward this chain letter.



And here's the kicker: he murders them... with chains.

Point is, the gore is apparently decent. I'm sorry, but no gore is decent. 

I'm sure if someone feels the need to write this as a book, it'll be AWESOME. Sort of like a book about diseases. (Lauren Oliver, are you listening?) Don't disappoint, future writer, please don't.

"A serial killer unleashes his blood lust at a remote environmental camp. Years later a horror novelist relocates to rural England and is plagued to the point of madness by horrific hauntings of a massacre.

Dear god, think of how awesome this book could be! Like a interestingly terrible Stephen King book.

Knowing how most indie movies go, this is probably unfortunately full of suck.

Anyone care to write a short story with this synopsis? I will give you a pint of baby blood if you do.

3. The Manitou (1978)

This is the description for the movie, verbatim:

"Possession marked The Exorcist. Demonaic Pregenacy erupted Rosemary's Baby. Warnings followed The Omen. And The Manitou has it all combined!

A psychic's girlfriend finds out that a lump on her back is a growing reincarnation of a 400 year-old demonic Native American spirit."

If you think I'm lying, I'll tell you one thing: I cannot even make this crap up. But seriously, okay, does this not sound like a better version of Twilight? Instead of a demonic half-vampire baby in Bella's stomach, we have a 400 year-old spirit not in her womb, but on her back. I have never gotten pregnant on my back. That is so freaking awesome. Twilight fan-fic extraordinaires, PLEASE try to write this in somewhere!!

 4. Troll 2 (1990)

For the record, this is a sequel, but this was too great to pass up.

"The original boogeyman is back.

A young child is terrified to discover that a planned family trip is to be haunted by vile plant-eating monsters out of his worst nightmare..."

This MIGHT be scary if the kid on the poster didn't look like he had to take a dump.

And what the... these scary monsters eat plants? MOTHER HUMPING PLANTS? Vegetarians are NOT scary. Okay, so they might be scary when they knock on your door trying to coerce you to join PETA or some crap, but still. No.

Just no.

However- this could be a fricking amazing satire. Just think what Terry Prachett could do with this crap! Yes! Please- Harvard Lampoon, are you interested? I know you wrote Hunger Pains- I'd like you to write this, too.

5. Rise of the Animals (2011)

Do I even need to post the synopsis? Okay, fine.

"Bambi doesn't want a fucking salad.

In a world where animals have turned on humanity, a teen travels across the country in search of the girl of his dreams."

I can't even.


But, if you stick  some awesome author on it- Carrie Ryan or Kendare Blake (The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Anna Dressed in Blood) this is bound to scare the crap out of me. No dip.

In conclusion:

Books make everything better.


Do you have a suggestion for Stupid... That Should Be Books? Contact me with info!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Delirium Review War and PANDEMONIUM GIVEAWAY

Delirium by Lauren Oliver 


Review War

This is hosted on Cuddlebuggery. Head on over there to win a signed copy of Delirium. Also, win a signed copy of Pandemonium below!


The play­ers

In one cor­ner we have Cuddlebuggery’s own Grand Madam Queen Mis­tress of the Uni­verse, Kat Kennedy! And in the other cor­ner we have first time guest to Cud­dle­bug­gery, hail­ing from Wake Up at Seven, Princess of Dark­ness, Isabelle Doan!
I expect a nice and dirty fight ladies. Hold no punches and take no prisoners!

Kat Kennedy:  This Kat Kennedy here with Isabelle Doan from Wake Up at Seven Blog and we’ll be dis­cussing Delir­ium by Lau­ren Oliver today – or more impor­tantly, why I thought Delir­ium was seri­ously flawed and why Izzy is WRONG.  Or, you know, on the oppo­site side of that argument…

Isabelle Doan:  I may be the under­dog here, Kat, but Delir­ium was prob­a­bly one of my favorite reads of 2012 so far.

Kat Kennedy:  I hon­estly can’t see why but I am at least will­ing to pre­tend to lis­ten to your argu­ment.  As far as Dystopi­ans go – it would scarcely be rated among the best of them.

Isabelle Doan:  If you’re will­ing to pre­tend then I’ll join your imag­i­nary play­house. And to be hon­est, I can see why this wouldn’t be a great dystopian but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great novel.

Kat Kennedy:  I’m not wail­ing on Lau­ren Oliver – I have a lot of respect for her as an author but the world build­ing was really weak and incon­sis­tent for me.  And since it is very firmly a dystopian – I felt that was a let down.  Also – my imag­i­nary play­house is awesome.

Isabelle Doan:  I’ll agree to that, Kat. As I said in my review, these peo­ple still have ibupro­fen when they have a freak­ing cure for love. How­ever, the char­ac­ters really helped to bring us into this incon­sis­tent world, AS YOU SO CALL IT.

And your play­house is a card­board box.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Isabelle Doan:  Well if it has manly alco­hol, I’ll retract my statement.

Kat Kennedy: And that’s all that mat­ters.  Look, the char­ac­ters were okay.  I felt the main pro­tag­o­nist was nicely fleshed out but they’re not really enough for me to patch up the shaky world build­ing.  Alex is very flimsy in his characterization.

Isabelle Doan:  Alex is maybe flimsy, but I feel that he has some­thing good that will hap­pen to him in Pan­de­mo­nium. As you can see, he’s not reveal­ing all of his secrets- yet. Per­haps Lau­ren Oliver is set­ting us up for an amaz­ing sec­ond novel.  He’s a tor­tured char­ac­ter, and that’s good.

Kat Kennedy:  Oliver has writ­ing chops – there is no doubt.  But I don’t think set­ting up for a sec­ond novel really excuses an awk­ward first one.  I will grant that he is a bit deeper than many male pro­tag­o­nists.  And I DID enjoy Lena though I felt her back­story was a bit of a copout on Oliver’s part.

Isabelle Doan:  What part of it did you think was awk­ward, Miss Kat?

Kat Kennedy:  Well, like I said, the world build­ing was incon­sis­tent, I didn’t think Alex was very well char­ac­ter­ized and I think Oliver bit off more than she could chew in regards to the philo­soph­i­cal aspect of a soci­ety with­out love.  For me, it made for a vaguely unful­fill­ing, frus­trat­ing read­ing experience.

Isabelle Doan:  Vaguely unful­fill­ing? This isn’t a Twinkie, Kat! (Although I could go for one right now.)  And the philo­soph­i­cal part is inter­est­ing. No love doesn’t mean peo­ple are self­ish, if that’s what you mean.

Kat Kennedy:  No, I mean in the nur­tur­ing depart­ment and peo­ple not by psy­chopaths.  But that’s kind of a lot to get into.  What did you think about the writ­ing?  Did the lan­guage and the tech­nique do it for you?

Isabelle Doan:  Well, I think Lau­ren Oliver is awe­some with a pen, although the sim­i­les were too fre­quent, so it felt like I was just read­ing words on a page some­times. If you ever get that feel­ing.  And some­times they were awkward.

Kat Kennedy:  I get the feel­ing that I’m read­ing words on a page a lot.  Like, all the time.  Like, every time I crack open a book, BAM!  Words on a page.  Disgraceful….

Yeah, I gen­er­ally have to agree – but I’m not going to com­plain much – she’s pretty pro­fi­cient and she has a smooth style.

Isabelle Doan:  You have killed my pride. Pre­pare to die.

Kat Kennedy:  In a knife fight?

Isabelle Doan:  I was think­ing more goug­ing your eyes out with rusty spoons, but that works too.

Kat Kennedy:  You should have those vio­lent ten­den­cies checked out.  Maybe your weren’t cud­dled enough as a child.


I just don’t think Oliver real­is­ti­cally explored this con­cept of a love­less society.

Isabelle Doan:  The teenagers and chil­dren care for each other, though. As you can see, Lena cared for her lit­tle niece Gra­cie. So it’s not as if the chil­dren are com­pletely devoid of love.

Kat Kennedy:  Yeah, but that’s the thing – we have no real basis to fall on because Lena was raised by a nur­tur­ing, lov­ing mother.  And her entire fam­ily is filled with sympathizers.
What about a child that expe­ri­ences no love?  Any­where.  From anyone?
Because chil­dren don’t nec­es­sar­ily make good pri­mary care­givers and solid attach­ments for other children.

Isabelle Doan:  If I’m not mis­taken, Hana was one of those chil­dren. Which is why she’s such a mav­er­ick when it comes to see what’s on the other side. Lit­er­ally, and figuratively.

Kat Kennedy:  But that’s the thing – she’s com­pletely nor­mal.  I won­der if Oliver truly under­stand attach­ment or not.  I don’t know if she has kids.

But there wasn’t any explo­ration of the psy­cho­log­i­cal effects of that kind of childhood.
And I don’t buy that “nor­mal” is the sta­tus quo.

Isabelle Doan:  Okay, so maybe nor­mal isn’t the sta­tus quo. But maybe the effects of “not being cud­dled enough” are?

Kat Kennedy:  Well, I don’t know.  On a scale of 1-10 how psy­cho­pathic are you?

Isabelle Doan:  Well if one is, trips peo­ple on the street and ten is being like one of those zom­bie can­ni­bals on bath salts – I would have to say 4.

Kat Kennedy:  You threat­ened to cut my eyes out with a rusty spoon! A five at least.

Isabelle Doan:  I won’t go higher than six. Six is cre­at­ing 27 accounts on goodreads to harass other authors and pro­mote my book.

Kat Kennedy:  Oh my good­ness.  You just went there.
Okay, I think this wraps up that dis­cus­sion!  I will be read­ing Pan­de­mo­nium though to see if you’re right about it!

If not, I’m com­ing back to get you!

Isabelle Doan:  Yes ma’am. But not if the zom­bie can­ni­bals get you first.

Kat Kennedy:  Damn those zom­bie cannibals!

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Thanks again to Kat and Stephanie of Cuddlebuggery who worked so hard to put this together. Kindness just amazes me. You're the best-est-est-est.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Rating System

I think that rating systems are BS.

I recently realized that I gave City of Bones and The Fault in Our Stars both 5 star ratings on Goodreads. I both liked them respectively, however, they are not nearly on the same literary level as each other. I refused to budge either one of the five star ratings, so I came up with a new system.

This new system will be implemented in past reviews, and will be in each new book review.

Here are the possible ratings for a book:

Library: I thought it was crap, but everyone's tastes are different. Try it for free.

Borrow: Convince your friends to buy a new copy, and steal it from them. After all, who wants the nasty, smelly library copy with period blood on it?

e-book: This isn't shelf worthy, but I think you should give it a read. You could even pirate it online, if you're ballsy.

Paperback: Definitely worth checking out and putting on your shelf. If you're into that sort of thing.

Hardcover: Pay the $17-$20 it costs right now and put it on the "special" rack on your shelf.

For any OCD, ADHD, or STD people out there, if you MUST have a star rating system, here's how it boils down:

Library- 1 Star
Borrow- 2 Star
e-Book- 3 Star
Paperback- 4 Star
Hardcover- 5 Star

If you don't like this, well...

Friday, June 8, 2012

YA Friday Book Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

by Isabelle Doan
Random Information:
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 294 (Hardcover)
Series: No
My Format: Library
Time to Read: 10 Hours
Rating: Library/Borrow/e-book/Paperback/Hardcover
Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....
Here’s an essential question: Is it okay to do bad things for a good cause?

This, I felt was a recurring theme in Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.

I came into this book thinking that it was a contrived chick lit. And FOR LOVE OF ALL THINGS BOOKISH, I wanted it to be.

However, I realized too late that this book is freaking depressing. (Sometimes that’s good, though.) 

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez is about a seventeen year old girl, named Carmen, who plays violin. She's very successful and has even won a Grammy. She has a competition coming up (Guarnieri) and that's what drives her to meet Jeremy King, the love interest.

Along the way, she takes some pills, listen to her mother who may or may not be corrupted, and stands up for herself and I guess that's important too. 

Now, here were some bad things about the book:

- The pretentious word dropping. I'm a violinist, but non-violinists will not know what things like vibrato and rosin and frogs are.

- Some inconsistencies. The love interest in this book, Jermey King, is British. However, sometimes he doesn't seem British. In one sentence he can say mom and in the next he can say mum. At times Martinez can make lame attempts at British dialect by dropping bloke or something, but still.

Some iffy things:

-Jessica Martinez seems like a nice person, and I read her blog and liked it. However, I'm not sure if Carmen is a character insert of the author or not. The reason I say this is because Martinez was a violin soloist around the world, and obviously knows a lot on it and relating subjects. 

However, to make a character of the same ethnicity (please correct me if I'm wrong) that also is a concert violinist that has amazingly amazing things happen to her is... sort of... well.

I mean, BEJEZZUS I want a hot blond British virtuoso to fall in love with me at first sight! Please and thank you.

BUT, as I read on, HOLY MOTHER OF MARSHMALLOWS, I never get this excited over some seriously flawed characters. Like, seriously. Even though this book isreally small, these characters became more and more interesting.

And, okay, hear me out. USUALLY, I sympathize with the bad characters in the novels. No, like seriously. Whenever YA books try to make out the parents as bad, I just want to bitch slap the child into the moon, because JEEZUSSS the parent is just trying to be a parent.

But in this book, even though you’re supposed to sympathize with Carmen’s mom, I really couldn’t. And HOLY MOTHER OF MARSHMALLOWS THAT’S A GOOD FREAKING THING.

Not only that, but the writing was really smart in some places.

I’ll admit that this book is not for everyone. Actually, a lot of people might not like it, as it’s sort of depressing because it looks at the bad side of everything, and no one goes on an epic journey… it’s just a portrait. A portrait tells you everything you need to know in one fell swoop, while an epic is perfectly chronicled and crap.

But honestly, what a refreshing break from that. It’s a good read if your head hurts.

I’ll leave you with an epic haiku that Carmen and Jeremy made up about baseball.

Ball-dropping fat dudes
Your mothers have moustaches
Girl Scouts run faster