Saturday, September 14, 2013

{Review} The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce

Title: The Weight of Souls
Author: Bryony Pearce
Format: Netgalley, eARc
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date Read: June 23rd to July 7th, 2013
Rating: ✭✭
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

 She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

There isn't really much going for this book other than the premise. Dude, how awesome is the idea of a girl cursed by ghosts to hunt murderers? For some reason though, Pearce thought it a better idea to make Taylor's social life the main point of the book instead of I don't know, her curse. 

Brilliant, just brilliant. Yes, that's a perfect idea. Focus on high school, because obviously that's going to attract more YA readers who can't read books without a huge focus on high school.

While, sure we do get some time focusing on the curse, most of the book doesn't pay much attention to it. I really only read the book because of the awesome sounding plot and Pearce does a very poor job of keeping it the center of attention. Instead it gets piled under loads of unnecessary bits and pieces that detract from the overall book. I don't get it. Why would you bog down your murder mystery with an boring drama and angst? 

It honestly seemed like, that even though there was a lot resting on this, Taylor really didn't care too much about finding Justin's murderer. She seemed more interested in his pretty body to be honest. It was more of something she had to do at some point but it didn't really matter when. If it took a while, she would basically shrug her shoulders and say "c'est la vie". 

Taylor, gurl, you do realise you, the main character, don't even care about your own plot? At all? I don't think that's how it usually works but okaaay...

Like I said, Pearce focuses so much of her efforts into building drama and angst that the curse is largely underdeveloped. We are given the bare bones to work with and are basically left to speculate about the rest. There is some backstory but it's presented in such a way that it makes it a chore to read through and I, like many others, really just skimmed or skipped these parts. 

The Weight of Souls isn't an entirely bad book. The main character, Taylor, is actually pretty cool. She's one of those fun narrators that aren't really amazing but just keep the book going and you reading. Taylor is pretty level headed and actually, fairly intelligent.

Before I end this review, I have to mention two things: Justin the asshole and the 'illusive super secret organisation' that is part of the mystery for a long time. 

Justin the asshole is this guy who's died and now he's a ghost who refuses to acknowledge this. He's also, *gasp*, the love interest. You're so surprised, I know. Who would have guessed right? Well, he's also the guy who bullied Taylor for years. You know, the guy who sent his goons after her. The goons harassed her and called her horrible things all under the blessing of this Justin guy.

Yeah, really romantic backstory.

Somehow, when someone bullies you, it means that they have a crush on you. Yes, friends, every bully that will ever bully you is actually someone who has a huuuge crush on you and you'll end up living happily ever after.

What? No. That's not how it works. Bullying ≠ Crush nor will it ever. Romanticizing bullying is absolutely horrible and should not be accepted. 

The second thing is much less atrocious, and more humourous. 

I'm going to try and not spoil anything but basically this extremely powerful club is a bunch of kids doing dares and having sleep overs. But not just any d
ares, *whispers* bad boy dares. Oh yeah, they're doing big kid dares. So. Scary.

There is a lot of unexplored potential in this book that really just went to waste. The Weight of Souls could have been so much more if certain aspects were fleshed out a bit more and others given a more minor role. Overall, The Weight of Souls was a huge disappointment. While it wasn't completely unenjoyable, it wasn't very good either. I don't really recommend this book to anyone.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Friday, September 6, 2013

{Review} Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Title: Boy Meets Boy
Author: David Levithan
Format: Library, paperback
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Date Read: August 27th, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭
This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

Maybe I read Boy Meets Boy with the wrong perspective, I dunno, but I definitely did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would have. I think I expected more realism, something that is definitely lacking in this book. While it's not a bad book per-say, but it's not a very unrealistic one. 

Boy Meets Boy takes place in a sort of LGBT paradise, where there is no hate and gay boys can be extremely popular and trans girls are on the football team and almost no one hates on them. I can tell you for a fact that that's not how the real world works, or at least the large majority of it. 

karen's review explains what I'm going to try and say in the next few paragraphs very well so I suggest you go check it out before attempting to slog through my much less eloquent take on it.

As a gay teen, I definitely appreciated the break from reading about LGBT teens go through horrible, horrible acts of physical violence and verbal abuse. Boy Meets Boy was a happy, fluffy, cute read that made me really happy. The world of Boy Meets Boy was everything I could ever hope for, you know. A world where I can have a girlfriend in high school without risk of being hurt and socially outed. I dream of a world where I can be me without being bullied about it. 

Yet, I couldn't help but see how much of an unachievable utopia it was and it was kind of depressing. I read about how the home-coming queen can be the quarterback on the football team. But I can't help think about all the trans teens that are killed because of who they are and it almost makes it worse.
I'm not saying that BmB doesn't talk about serious topics such as familial intolerance but these are concealed by the overwhelming happiness in the book. It was almost overpowering at times like people get a grip, this is not High School Musical. 

While I really love how Levithan tried to change the norm of LGBT books but it made me almost sadder than a normal LGBT would make me because I know, this could never be real. The sheer unbelievable-ness of the scenario made the book as a whole less enjoyable than it would have been if it wasn't so... perfect.

But don't get me wrong, Boy Meets Boy has plenty of redeeming qualities to it. It's a cute and funny love story that explores the ups and downs of high school and of romance. The characters were really sweet and lovable as a whole. 

The love interest Noah is just a huge cutie and I love him. Paul was also very likable but as the story progressed, he really got on my nerves. Mostly because he messed up a lot because he was an absolute idiot when it comes to relationships. *sigh* Paul, you stupid ass.

Boy Meets Boy is an endearing, charming story that is worth the read even if it's bit too happy. It's a good fluff read and I would recommend it to be read directly after a tear-jearker because, damn if this doesn't make you happy nothing will.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

{Review} Slated by Terri Terry

Title: Slated
Author: Terri Terry
Format: Library, hardcover
Publisher: Orchard Books
Date Read: July 12th through July 16th
Rating: ✭
DNF Review
Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

Slated is one of those books that sound great in theory but in actuality, it didn't end up that great. Reading the blurb made me extremely excited but the book however is the exact opposite. While there were many flaws to the novel, the major one was the fact that the book was written in the first person

To understand why this was a monumental fail on the author's part, you need to know something about the main character. Thankfully, this won't be a very long interruption because there isn't much to say about her.

Kayla is the main character who's traumatic backstory includes brain wash and stuff. Yeah, poor baby, .ect. Someone however forgot to tell Kayla that brainwash does not mean you become akin to say a robot or a door.

Actually no, there are robots and doors with more energy and vigour than her. She's worse. 

Kayla is seriously the most colorless, commonplace, dead, drab, drudging, dull, flat, ho hum, humdrum, insipid, interminable, irksome, lifeless, monotonous, moth-eaten, mundane, nothing, nowhere, platitudinous, plebeian, prosaic, repetitious, routine, spiritless, stale, stereotyped, stodgy, stuffy, stupid, tame, tedious, threadbare, tiresome, tiring, trite, unexciting, uninteresting, unvaried, vapid, wearisome (no I did not just copy the thesaurus entry for boring... heh) character out there. 

Consequently, the writing is the driest monotone out there and there is pretty much absolutely nothing to keep you going. Like, how am I supposed to stay awake interested when much of the book sounds like this:

‘Interesting choice for breakfast,’ Amy says, then sits up and yawns. ‘Are you an early bird?’
I look at her blankly.
‘Do you always wake up early?’
I consider. ‘I think so,’ I say, finally. ‘Though that could be because at the hospital you have no choice.’
‘Oh, I remember that. Horrible morning buzzer. Breakfast by six.’ She shudders.
‘Want one?’ I hold out the box.
‘Oooh, tempting. Maybe later, when I’m more awake. What is that?’ She points at the folder in my other hand.
‘My drawings.’
‘Can I see?’
I hesitate. I rarely show them to anyone, though Dr Lysander insisted on checking through them now and then.
‘You don’t have to show me if you don’t want to.’
I sit next to her and open the folder, pull out the sheets of paper. Amy exclaims at the one on top. A self-portrait. Me, but different: half as I am in the mirror, the other half skin missing, eyeball hanging from an empty socket.
‘May I?’ she holds out a hand, and I pass the drawing to her.
But that wasn’t on top before. I start flipping through the sheets.
‘You’re so good, this is amazing.’

This is an actual conversation from the book, by the way. This is actually how she sounds throughout the book.

Not even the plot could keep me going because honestly, it's extremely flat and boring. There isn't enough to really keep the story moving because all and any plot twists were easily guessed.

The author gives away all the clues in such a way that it becomes incredibly obvious. While sometimes hiding things in plain sight is great, it doesn't always work. Especially when you have little to no skill. World building is what readers look for and they remember it. If you put a crucial bit of information right in front of their eyes, they'll see it.

The whole cast of characters were bland, to put it lightly. They had little to no personality or distinguishing characteristics. Everyone talked in the same monotone as Kayla, except for one of the characters who had the bubbly manic pixie personality which is less of a personality and more of a stereotype, if you get what I mean.

So, the boring plot/characters and terrible writing joined forces to create one of the most dull stories I have ever read. I would not recommend this book to anyone and would advise you all to stay approximately 50 feet away at all times.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

{Review} School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Title: School Spirits
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Format: Netgalley e-book ARC
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release date: May 14, 2013
Date Read: April 3, 2013 - July 2, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭
Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures.

But when Izzy's older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break. Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it's not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate.

But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it's strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush. Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Well, it seems like this month’s sequels just aren’t living up to their predecessors, huh?

I liked the HEX HALL series for its wit, charm, and hilarity. Sophie, the main character, was a hilarious and relatable girl in an interesting school setting with a much better plot. SCHOOL SPIRITS focuses on Izzy, a girl we briefly met in the HEX HALL series, and her ghost-busting adventures at a new school.

I liked Izzy well enough, but she was rather blah compared to Sophie. Her companion and boyfriend, Dex, I very much adored. Funny, odd, and awkward, he was just what the story needed - as for the other characters, I can’t say the same.

The plot was chunky and boring - I’ve never been very engrossed by ghost stories (hell, the pilot episode of SUPERNATURAL had me rolling my eyes like nobody’s business - don’t worry, though, I grew to adore the series after a few episodes) but it felt like a roadside attraction. SCHOOL SPIRTS wasn’t really about the ghost - it was about Izzy and her friends, Izzy thinking about her missing sister, and Izzy in a normal, human, high-school environment.

I’d recommend SCHOOL SPIRITS for younger readers, or readers who really loved HEX HALL - but if you had mixed feelings about the prequel series, I doubt you’ll enjoy SCHOOL SPIRITS very much.


Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

Monday, July 29, 2013

{Review} Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

 Title: Erebos
Author: Ursula Poznanski
Format: Netgalley, egalley
Publisher: Annick Press
Release date: January 19th, 2013
Date Read: July 11th
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭
An intelligent computer game with a disturbing agenda.

When 16-year-old Nick receives a package containing the mysterious computer game Erebos, he wonders if it will explain the behavior of his classmates, who have been secretive lately. Players of the game must obey strict rules: always play alone, never talk about the game, and never tell anyone your nickname.

Curious, Nick joins the game and quickly becomes addicted. But Erebos knows a lot about the players and begins to manipulate their lives. When it sends Nick on a deadly assignment, he refuses and is banished from the game.

Now unable to play, Nick turns to a friend for help in finding out who controls the game. The two set off on a dangerous mission in which the border between reality and the virtual world begins to blur. This utterly convincing and suspenseful thriller originated in Germany, where it has become a runaway bestseller.

As someone who has wasted fruitfully spent countless hours and weekends gaming or doing things related to gaming (aka crying about how I don’t have pc Skyrim or Guild Wars 2), this book was something that I obviously had to read. I was fairly nervous about it though because I had no idea how someone could write a good book about a video game. It's not really something that is easy to write since video games are a very visual and auditory experience that can't very well be replicated on paper.

Yet, somehow, even with Erebos' shitty translator, Erebos manages to convey the feeling of playing a fantastic video game while having an amazing plot at the same time. Many chapters are from the point of view of the video game character, which makes Erebos a wholly original experience in many ways.

Like I said, one of Erebos' biggest drawbacks is the absolute awful translator. Sentences are completely weird and often, whole paragraphs don't make any sense at all. The translator is German but obviously, they don't know how to translate at all. I can't really say anything about the writing because there is a high chance that Poznanski is an amazing writer with a really sucky translator. I'll have to get my mom to read it in German one of these days so she can tell me if the writing is decent or not.

Horrible translation aside, the story is amazing. I couldn't put the book down once I picked it up. The story was incredibly engaging and entertaining. Like a good thriller, Erebos kept you guessing for much of the book. It was a bit erratic at times and it wasn't very tight but I loved it anyway.

While you don't have to be a gamer to find the concept absolutely brilliant, but it definitely helps. A game that interacts very directly with the player and adapts itself to you? How awesome is that? It's both scary and amazing. 

I am happy to say that the concept was executed brilliantly. I am still in awe of how Poznanski handled the incredibly hard subject. It had the perfect feeling to it, one that put you right into the character's shoes. I fell headfirst into the world of Erebos and I'm still not over it. I really wish I could wipe my memory of it and reread it and re-experience it.

Another flaw to the book are the characters. They lack life and energy for the most part. I never really connected with any of the characters. 

The main character, Nick, was the worst. He felt more like a filler character that was created simply because Poznanski needed a main character. He didn't really have a personality and felt like a character that you should use as, I don't know, a body for you to put your personality into? I'm not sure how to describe it but Nick didn't feel like a normal character. 

I know I've said words like perfect a lot in this review but that’s really all I can think of for the book. Overall, I’d recommend Erebos to people who either like thrillers or video games – or both. It was an awesome read that deserves lots of readers.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

{Review} Splintered by A. G. Howard

Title: Splintered
Author: A. G. Howard
Format: Library, hardcover
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release date: January 1st, 2013
Date ReadJuly 8th
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family.

She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

I really don't know how to tell you how much I love this book. I'm pretty much sitting here thinking "wHAT IS WORDS" even though I finished the book two days ago and should, theoretically, know how to write this review by now.

But, I don't because I'm still in a state of

and while accurate, a review consisting of keyboard smashing does not make a proper review.

Splintered is an Alice in Wonderland retelling, a type of retelling I'm not exactly a novice about. I've read many retellings, watched many retellings, and for gods' sake, I've played American McGee's Alice (which, by the way, I wholeheartedly recommend). I'm definitely not new to the genre, yet Splintered still was an entirely new experience for me.

Instead of being a traditional retelling Splintered acts more like an addition or a sequel. It didn't really retell the story we all know, nor did it have any similarities when it came to storyline. In fact, the only similarities were characters. It functioned much like an AU fanfiction with the same characters but a completely different storyline.

While I could definitely see the similarities to American McGee's Alice in the world-building and overall feel to the book, Splintered was wholly original and beautiful. If you are not familiar with McGee's Alice, it's an very odd, yet thoroughly enjoyable, horror game in which Wonderland is turned upside down and about 217% wackier than the original. Likewise, Splintered was insane and unsettling at times, yet still lyrical. It managed to retain the Alice-ness of the original book, while still being a fairly original novel.

The best part of Splintered is most definitely the world-building. The world is as disturbing and unnerving, as it is beautiful and wonderful. The descriptions are vivid and bright, making the reader feel as if they are down the rabbit hole themselves, something often absent in average Alice retellings.
The first fifty pages of Wonderland are absolutely impossible to put down because of the vivid imagery and absolute magical-ness of the whole scene. It's incredibly surreal and just, a+ your parents should be proud of you Mrs. Howard. Honor on you and your cow. 

However, Splintered wasn't entirely perfect as there was one problem, whether it is minor or major is up to you. 

The majority of the characters of Splintered are very nicely done. Alyssa is a very nice heroine - appropriately kickass but also vulnerable. She is actually pretty likable, though admittedly not amazing. Morpheus, the star of the book, is extremely likable (which may be just me because he's not exactly the good guy nor a good guy). He is awesome and insane and brilliant. 

And then, there's Jeb who's basically the one character who doesn't really fit in with the book. He's supposed to be Alyssa's human anchor to the mortal world but, to be honest, he was more of a pain than anything. Just because you're flipping gender standards and having a guy be a Mary Sue and have him be damsel distress doesn't mean it's any less annoying and stupid. Damsels in Distress are annoying no matter the sex.

Admittedly, this is only one character among four or five many. This may annoy you more or less than it annoyed me. It's a relatively minor complaint, I suppose but it still managed to annoy me and pull me from the story because all I could think was, "Are you kidding me Jeb? Dude, seriously, again?"

Overall, Splintered is an absolutely beautiful, magical read that I recommend to anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland and even to those who don't necessarily like it that much. Splintered is a fantastic book that should be read no matter what.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

{Review} Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Title: Hysteria
Author: Megan Miranda
Format: Library, hardcover
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release date: February 5th, 2013
Date ReadJuly 1st through 9th 2013
Rating: ✭✭
Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

Enticed from the very first moment I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew that I would have to read this book. A novel about a girl who murdered her boyfriend interested me a lot. Would the author be able to pull it off or will the book be one giant fail?

The answer is no, she wasn’t able to pull it off. While not a bad book per-say, Hysteria is an incredibly boring one. Neither the plot nor the characters interested me in the slightest. Hysteria was a horrible let down for me, especially since the concept was so promising.

Half the book is Mallory, the heroine, obsessing about her murdered boyfriend. I don’t mean to sound rude or inconsiderate. It's understandable that Mallory would feel horrible and lost and would think about it often. It's a natural human reaction, I suppose. 

But, the way the author wrote these pages feels so off and unnatural. It’s fine to write about a character obsessing over something. It happens all the time and there’s no problem with it.

However, when you make every page for a long time about the same topic, it gets old. I have no problem with obsessed characters but I do have problems when the writing mirrors the characters thoughts because then, the obsession takes over everything like plot and character development.

So, for the majority of the book, nothing happens at all except for boy troubles and friend troubles. Once again, there's nothing wrong with friend/boy troubles except when you're reading a book about a girl who killed her boyfriend and thinks she's going insane. Then, it's not so cool because you don't actually get to read any of the insanity. Instead we get boys, boys, mean girls, and more boys.

The author exaggerated everything about Mallory. If she was obsessing over it, the writing reflected it and there was nothing going on except for those thoughts. If Mallory was having boy problems, that little side plot was exaggerated so heavily that nothing happened except for that.

On the flip side, the beginning and end are almost worth the middle; hence my two star rating. The beginning and end is tense and awesome and full of rainbows and sparkles and brilliance. And then there's the middle of the part of the book where it all becomes boring and lacking in excitement and pretty much anything interesting. 

There were two other points of annoyance and frustration, namely the characters and the dreaded romance. These two aspects ruined any hope Hysteria had of getting a three star rating.

Mallory wasn’t a bad main character, more like an annoying one. I never really hated her but she did make me want to scream. To Mallory, nothing existed other than her and her self-loathing and her thoughts reflected that. If she only thought about anything other than how horrible she is and how much of a monster she is, she would have figured out a lot.

Aside from that though, Mallory was really empty. She had no personality outside of her issues and for much of the book; she was roughly as interesting as a bricks. The other characters were equally interesting. They had no real personality. Even important ones like the love interest or Mallory’s best friend were lifeless and forgettable.

As far as romances go, Hysteria’s wasn’t terrible. It was all but nonexistent. I can only really tell there was one because of the ending but other than that, it seemed like it mostly popped up out of nowhere.
The only thing I hate more than bad romances are needless romances. Bad romances are really annoying and frustrating because the two characters aren’t compatible. That’s bad enough, right? Well, let me you a thing.

Needless romances are ones that are out of place. Like romances that don’t actually add anything to the story but are thrown into the mix, mostly as a fan service. The fact that Mallory got a boyfriend did not add anything to the story. It did not help plot progression. It wasn’t even in there for squealy fangirly purposes because if it was, that would be fine. 

But no, it was just there and that really pissed me off.

As you can see, Hysteria wasn't really my thing. If people can handle 100+ pages of nothing, this might be your book because Hysteria would actually be really good if it weren't for those middle pages. I definitely don't recommend this book to people like me who can't sit through filler to save their lives.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{Discussion} Reading, Writing, and Reviewing Slumps

Yes, my last post was a kind of farewell, but don't worry! I'm not gone yet. I decided to film a vlog discussing reading, writing, and reviewing slumps because . . . well, I'm kind of in one - and so are a lot of bloggers I know.

So what the fuck is going on? Is there some disease affecting the willpower of book bloggers around the world? DO WE BLAME 2013?


No, but really. I want to know what you lovelies do during a reading, writing, or reviewing slump: do you watch crappy television (tip: don't watch good television series - you'll get addicted and never stop) or keep on reading until you find a good book? Do you take a break and wait for the day you wake up and go, "well, I feel like reading today!"

I want to know! Comment below and check out the video.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

Monday, June 17, 2013

{Random} Oceana Takes a Vacation

The title of that post is sort of misleading, seeing as I haven't posted a lot in the last few weeks. I'd like to apologize for that; blogging is exhausting and I'm in sort of a reading slump.

I'll be in Colombia for the next six weeks, about, and I won't always have wifi. I'll be spending a considerable amount of time there at my uncle's horse farm in the mountains. I may be on one day and disappear for the next two. I just never know, so I wanted to make sure you guys were aware before I left tomorrow.

I'll try to get reviews in while in wifi range, but I can't promise anything.

I'll miss you all!

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

Monday, June 10, 2013

{Review} Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Walking Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Format: e-book
Publisher: Atria Books
Release date: April 2, 2013
Date Read: April 29, 2013 - May 27, 2013
Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster.

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.


Can you despise a book but still enjoy reading it?

That's a question I've often asked myself while reading Jamie McGuire's two DISASTER books, because while I spend most of my time wanting to throw them off cliffs, they're also very readable and engrossing. It's not quite a train wreck that you can't look away from - more like staring at a naked man peeing in a plaza fountain.


Wait, that's not particularly enjoyable.

Actually, ignore that. I'm drunk. A little. Not really. Not at all. I've just had a rough fucking week, okay?

McGuire isn't going to win any awards for her gorgeous writing style; that's for sure. It's really quite meh; on a scale of E.L. James to Laini Taylor. There's not a lot to say about it, besides being endlessly average.

WALKING DISASTER is angst. Really. The whole story is just a bunch of angst and slut-shaming and bagging vultures. Oh, I should probably explain. Travis calls every woman (except for Abby) who shows an interest in him a vulture, and instead of saying "we had sex" or "we banged" or even "we fucked", he goes for the charming "I bagged her". I mean, there's also the I-murdered-her-and-stuck-her-in-a-body-bag kind of bagged, but I really wouldn't put it past him.

If you want a short version of WALKING DISASTER, here it is: Travis wants to sleep with Abby. Abby says no. Abby sleeps in Travis's bed and does a bunch of questionable things that make Travis think they're more than friends, but no. Abby goes out with a guy named Parker sometimes. Travis beats the shit out of people. Angst. Angst. Angst. They get together. They break up. Travis bangs and throws out women like trash. Wash, rinse, repeat. Gangsters and Vegas and tattoos and really unrealistic fighting. Babies and a stupid ending.

The story of Travis and Abby is one of complete and utter chaos. At times, Abby could be a strong, likable female character who wouldn't take any shit from Travis. But more often, she submitted to Travis' controlling demands and partook in the slut-shaming of the very women she had often defended. I felt like McGuire couldn't get a grip on Abby; her personalities and actions were so different. I had a hard time believing it was all the same character. She's pretty much the definition of hot-and-cold.

If I ever had the chance to speak to Travis - to tell him only one sentence - it'd be kind of obvious, seeing as my hatred for him knows no bounds.


Okay, I know Petyr Baelish probably isn't the best person to tell someone to go fuck themselves, but give me a break.

Travis is literally one of the worst male characters I've ever encountered in all my years of reading. Actually, he's probably in the top five. I genuinely cannot understand how anyone could have an ounce of respect, admiration, or love for this violent, awful misogynist. He has no sense of self-control or humiliation, and someone needs to SIT HIM THE FUCK DOWN AND TELL HIM TO GET OFF HIS HIGH HORSE. He tore apart an entire bedroom, smashed furniture - just because Abby had left without telling him. 



He treats everyone - even the people he supposedly respects - horribly, and he's more of a mother to Abby than a boyfriend. 

Abby, you can't wear that.

Abby, you can't do that.

Abby, you can't be a fucking person and stand up for yourself.

I was convinced that by the end of WALKING DISASTER, he would've went to the veterinarian and gotten Abby a microchip so he could always find her if she ran away. He reduced her to his pet. 

By the way, since when does the FBI recruit unstable, uncontrollable, dangerous men?


Answer: since Will Graham but please just ignore that part he's my baby and he needs love and medical care and teddy bears

I'm talking about Travis. Travis begins working for the FBI. It's funny, I think, because in a lot of new adult books I read, the main characters end up successful from careers that are not suited for them at all. Kind of a "fuck it, let's make the male love interest into a gang-busting government worker!" for NO REASON AT ALL.

I don't think there is a single character in WALKING DISASTER that I enjoyed completely. Hell, the only person I didn't want to strangle was . . . oh, wait.

No one.

America, Abby's best friend, could be really smart at times (like when she slapped some common sense into Abby and told her to stay away from Travis) but she also shipped them and encouraged them to get back together, even after witnessing all the shit Travis had put Abby through. Her boyfriend, Shepley, Travis' cousin, is also annoying as hell. Even Parker, supposedly the 'nice guy' and Abby's boyfriend, was a disrespectful asshole at times. To be fair, I'd take Parker over Travis any day, but still. 

I can count, with one hand, the amount of women who weren't 'sluts', 'whores', 'vultures', or 'skanks' by the definitions of every fucking person in this book. With the exception of Travis' mother in the beginning, and Kara, Abby's other roommate, every woman in WALKING DISASTER was sexualized. Not even Travis' bartender friend, who he had no desire to sleep with, was safe from his frat brother's attentions.

So, basically, this book was shit and if I write any more, I'm going to get incredibly frustrated and end up breaking someone's face. This whole book felt like it was McGuire's subtle-but-not-subtle-enough response to her critics, defending every negative thing we had to say.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Insomnia Blog Tour and Giveaway

J. R. Johansson is here on the blog today! (say hi, guys) She's the author of the absolutely fantastic YA horror book INSOMNIA. She's not only got a kickass giveaway for you all but also a special vlog about one of INSOMNIA's side characters, Addie. Be sure to watch it and, if you want, subscribe to her channel!


J.R. JOHANSSON is a young adult thriller author published with Flux & FSG/Macmillan. Her debut, INSOMNIA is coming June 2013. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. When she's not writing, she loves reading, playing board games, and sitting in her hot tub. Her dream is that someday she can do all three at the same time. She has two young sons and a wonderful husband. In fact, other than her cat, Cleo, she's nearly drowning in testosterone.

Her eyes saved his life. Her dreams released his darkness.

After four years of sleeplessness, high school junior Parker Chipp can’t take much more. Every night, instead of sleeping, he enters the dreams of the last person he’s made eye contact with. If he doesn’t sleep soon, Parker will die.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that’s utterly addictive. But what starts out as a chance meeting turns into an obsession; Parker’s furious desire for what he needs pushes him to extremes he never thought he’d go. And when someone begins terrorizing Mia with twisted death threats, Parker’s memory blackouts leave him doubting his own innocence.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.