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.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

{Review} Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

Title: Flyaway
Author: Lucy Christopher
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Chicken House
Release date: October 1, 2011
Date Read: May 28, 2013 - June 2, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭

One cold winter morning, Dad gets sick – and goes into hospital. It’s there I meet Harry, with his scruffy hair and firefly eyes. From his window we watch a wild swan on the frozen lake outside. There’s something different about her, truly different. Almost magical. Perhaps, if we can help her, everything else will begin to make sense.

While visiting her father in hospital, Isla meets Harry, the first boy to understand her and her love of the outdoors. But Harry is ill, and as his health fails, Isla is determined to help him in the only way she knows how.

Together they watch a lone swan struggling to fly on the lake outside Harry’s window. Isla believes that if she can help the damaged swan, somehow she can help Harry. And in doing so, she embarks upon a breathtakingly magical journey of her own.

One of the reasons I love Lucy Christopher's books so much are because they're real. She knows that the teenagers reading her books aren't stupid, and instead of treating her younger teenage readers like they're nine, she gives us a novel that can be read by anyone.

Seeing as the narrator of FLYAWAY is a thirteen year-old girl, Lucy Christopher could've written a juvenile middle-grade book with ridiculously simple writing and stiff dialogue. But she didn't. Lucy Christopher knows teenagers; she knows we're smarter than society thinks we are, and she doesn't fuck around. FLYAWAY was a smart book with beautiful messages and intricate characters.

I had a friend die of leukemia several months ago, and when I learned that Harry, one of the main characters in FLYAWAY, suffered from the same type of cancer, I nearly put the book down because it upset me so much. It brought back memories I wasn't ready to face and I spent most of the time reading this book with watery eyes. 

I've always loved the aspect of bonding with animals (I mean, SPIRIT is probably by favorite animation ever) and FLYAWAY gave me that and so much more. I mean, it also caused me a lot of pain and tears, but it was worth it. Every character is detailed and interesting, and Harry and Isla's romance friendship literally made me squeal and sob and scream at the walls.

I have a feeling a lot of people haven't read this because it's a middle-grade novel, technically, but if you're avoiding this book because of its age group...



Also, a million hugs to Vanessa, for sending me a signed copy of FLYAWAY all the way from England. Thank you so much. I love you.


of course i'm not ugly crying who told you that hahaha

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.