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The Social Potato Reviews

Reviews, news, and giveaways. Blog is http://thesocialpotato.maryfaye.net

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Disappointing finale. Hulk Faye SMASH!

Horde - Ann Aguirre

It saddens me to say that this book disappointed me beyond my imagination. I have had such high hopes for this finale seeing that I loved Enclave and Outpost a lot, falling in love with the story and the main cast of characters. When I got my hands on Horde, I quickly consumed it without delay, and I thought with my excitement, I could probably finish it in one sitting. I finished this book days after. And it's bad when I finish a book in a span of a few days, because that means I am not as invested/interested.

My question now is...




The main reason I loved the Razorland series was because I thought it had a big potential to end in an epic, exceptional way. You cannot imagine my disappointment when I found Horde flat, boring, and just absolutely mediocre. Perhaps I have only gotten more critical, but I cannot ignore the countless times I rolled my eyes of the cheesiness (Deuce and Fade, I am GLARING at you), and skipped pages upon pages of redundant battle scenes (Action scenes are supposed to make you excited, so why the hell was I BORED to death?). Don't jump on me yet; hear me out. Here are the reasons why I am tossing this to the MEDIOCRE category:

Deuce's voice/the narrative is dull and helplessly boring. Seriously, could there not be any more boring character than her? I don't know why but the narration felt so monotonous. I couldn't feel any emotion in her words as it felt like a robot was speaking to me. I don't have the book in my hands right now so I can't really provide any samples, but it's just something you observe especially when you've read really good first-person narratives.


I also didn't like how she would assume what other characters must be feeling every time the spotlight goes to them. Case-in-point: Stalker was looking at Tegan in a particular way while she was sparring with Morrow, and the narration would describe that gaze and then say what he was feeling inside. And I am like... hold it, what? Isn't this supposed to be a first person narrative? Why is Deuce saying what Stalker was feeling? During these instances, it seemed to me that the narration was unsure whether it was first-person or a third-person omniscient, and it would piss me off so much.


Every time Deuce would describe the environment or her surroundings, it was done in a similarly boring manner, too. There were too many unnecessary details that the book could have gone without. I was tempted many times to just skip the tedious paragraphs and get on with the story. Speaking of tedious, the battle scenes were awfully redundant as well. Deuce would hack, slash, and slice the enemy, and of course, the ever-graceful Fade would be fighting behind her, covering her rear - hacking, slashing, slicing, too! And there was Stalker at the distance, stabbing that Freak at the neck, and here comes Tully by the cliff, who effortlessly shot the enemy at the chest, and another one at the head! Rinse and repeat every battle... and I am always right that Fade would always be nearby to cover her rear, with added adjectives describing how awesome and beautiful he is... zZzZzzZzzzzz...


And, oh, Fade, Fade, Fade... I loved him in Enclave, was ambivalent towards him in Outpost, and utterly hated him in this installment. It was like his personality in the previous books simply vanished in thin air. Aside from fighting alongside others, he did nothing but go lovey-dovey with Deuce every time they get the chance. The romance between the two of them was tiring and the dialogue even worse... the lines were just so awfully cheesy that it was borderline unrealistic. Go on, read the scenes with the two of them again and dare tell me they're the kind of lines you'd tell your husband or boyfriend. No offense, but if they are your kind of lines, I am super judging you right now (I'm kidding, but seriously, I like cheese in my plate, not in my books.) To add insult to injury, the first half of the book was absolutely Fade-centric with Deuce putting his name every page. Fade this, Fade that... yada yada yada... God. Her constant obsession of wanting to touch him, then saying how that touch would hurt him so she wouldn't, but oh! she would give anything to touch him... nearly drove me nuts. There was a portion of the book where she would mention this every chapter, and my head kind of hurt from rolling my eyes after the nth time.


The book constantly reminds us of Boring Deuce's awesomeness. Everywhere she goes, there would be people who would be amazed of her adventures ("You're from the underground? NO FRICKING WAY AWESOMESAUCE!") and of her persona. The book pretty much made every men aside from the boys of the main cast as wussies in order to make Deuce seem stronger and better. Like seriously, everyone is blindly following a teen girl around who prefer to be called "sir"? A sixteen year old over battle veterans? Seriously? Yeah, I don't think so. I would have liked it better if say they were following an older, more experienced soldier as their leader with Deuce and Fade having influential roles. I mean, come on, a 16 year old leading a war with an army named after her! People practically kissed her feet, eventually making her the sort of character I try to avoid: the loved-by-everyone, good-at-everything, can-never-do-wrong, will-still-be-loved-even-if-she-nuked-a-city character. After the first few instances where unnecessary praise were thrown to her, I kind of just skipped the circle-jerks. Redundant shit is still redudant shit, so there.


With that said, I am overall very disappointed. Even though there were some parts I liked, it was overall a dismaying read for me especially since I expected better than this. I cannot just simply shake off the frustration I've undergone while reading this book, evne though I hold the previous books close to me heart. Hopefully, Ann Aguirre will make me fall in love with her writing again when her next book comes out.


Final Verdict: 2.5



Far From You - Tess Sharpe

I am not a big fan of contemporary books. Sure, I like reading about drama, especially about love, life, and family, but for some reason, drama set in the real world don't really reel me in. Mysteries and conspiracies in made-up worlds appeal so much more to me than the realistic ones, but Far From You was a bit different in a way it reached out to me few other books could (i.e. Unteachable, If You Find Me). It had that rawness you rarely find in other books, and a sincerity and intensity that reach your core and grip it with iron hands. Make no doubt, the magic worked from the very first page and never let go until my heart was able to breathe freely again.


What I loved about this book was how it genuinely showcased Sophie's complex relationships with her best friend and Trevor. At first, I thought it would be just your average best friend thingamajig with a few intrigues here and there, but it was actually far deeper than that, and the rawness of it all - how they met, how they grew up together, how they truly understood each other, how they formed a bond so intricate and previous - really got to me. Usually, I am not fond of flashbacks and interludes, but the author really wrote it well here, to the point that it became the certain element that I looked forward to reading the most. It was through those tidbits of the past that I truly understood the impact of Mina in Sophie's life and Sophie to Mina's, and that dawning realization was highly intense and honest. Yes, it may disguise itself as a murder mystery, but reading Sophie's genuine voice and her journey to recovery and closure was this book's strongest point. Her gradual transformation - from a broken and run-down person to someone relieved of any burden and now has a positive outlook in life - was uplifting and inspiring, and my heart went to her all the way.


Of course, there were a few things I didn't like… for instance, the mystery aspect was honestly weak. The drama took a huge part of the novel that this factor was left out, making it fail to deliver. This makes me a bit sad as I am a huge mystery fan. There's nothing greater than looking for clues alongside the main character and piecing everything together with them. In Far From You, not only did it feel dull at times, it was completely random! Truly, what is the point of making us suspicious of certain characters, giving us clues that THIS might be the guy or THAT might be the guy, when in the end it would be some random person I didn't even give a fuck about? The climax was just so anti-climactic; instead of making my heart jump or bounce in suspense, the poor thing only felt deflated upon discovering the mastermind of the said crime. "He's the guy??? But….. why…?" It truly felt random. There was no build-up whatsoever. There were so many other people who could have been the real suspect since they seemed to really have the motive to go after her, but we're given some dude who was only mentioned once and that's it. I was very disappointed.


There was also a derp moment, near the climax, that made me roll my eyes so much. A bit of warning: this is spoiler-y, so proceed at your own risk. 


You see, everyone knows that the murderer was someone they knew and someone who lived in the neighborhood, but despite having that knowledge, our heroine here still decided to go to a party held in an isolated place. I was thinking to myself, "Hey, girl, since your life is in danger, and you already received multiple threats, shouldn't you try to keep a low profile?!" But no, our main character even separated from her friends to "take a breather", all by her lonesome, in the woods, with a guy from their group of friends who she didn't see for the longest time.




In the woods.


Separated from her friends.




I truly thought it was a derp-y scene. It was like trying to force upon the main character to make the climax happen already. It was stupid, stupid, stupid. Your life is in danger and you don't hesitate to go by yourself in a remote area???? It didn't feel natural at all. This moment in the novel seemed very contrived to keep the story going and it was at this point that I kept shaking my head. I wish this aspect was thought-out more. Not only did the real plot feel rushed, it felt random and… weird. I know, my description is pretty vague, but I have no other words to describe it. BIZAAAARRE.


Other than that, though, the book is a gem. Don't read this expecting an awesome murder whodunit mystery, because you'll only be left sorely disappointed. But if you want to read about some good internal drama-rama that explores a certain kind of love, a certain extent of brokenness and guilt, and a certain kind of friendship that would really punch you in the gut. The emotions here run very high, and you'll be left gasping.

One of the best I've read this year, no freaking doubt.

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not alter my thoughts in any way.


These Broken Stars may just be one of those books that are hard to describe and review about. I’m not even sure if I could write a decent introductory paragraph, but let’s just put it this way: when I was young, I loved playing Role Playing Games (RPGs) on the Playstation. Final Fantasy, Tales of, Suikoden… you name it. However, there was this one game series that I loved above all: Star Ocean. Sure, it has that hack and slash, leveling up, fighting monsters, and other mumbo jumbo from other similar games, but what made it different was its premise. All Star Ocean games have this thing in common: it’s about humans who suddenly find themselves in an alien planet (due to warping, technical glitches in their spacecraft, accidents in some machine that blinks you to somewhere else, etc.) and they have to fight for their lives surviving and finding a way to get back home. I loved how it blended science fiction and fantasy into one, giving me a chance to explore new worlds, other civilizations, while also making my imagination run wild of the endless possibilities of space travel. These Broken Stars reminded me of that game, of my fondness for the secrets of the universe, of my curiosity of unknown worlds in deep space… and I loved every minute of it.


There’re a lot to love in this book, but what captivated me the most was the narration/prose. Oh my goodness, it was gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking. I loved how it gave me chills and that looming feeling of loneliness and bleakness. Like the two main characters, I also felt some sort of distress in being alone in a new, unknown world, where just a few miles away are the hundreds of bodies of people I’ve been hanging out with a few hours ago but are now lifeless corpses. The scene with the huge ship falling from the sky in flames was perfect and melancholic and… I don’t know! It was beautiful in its way, and I *felt* I was there with them as they watched everyone die. During that scene, I felt a lump forming in my throat, and I’m sorry to say, but not many authors are as effective as this. So, bravo!


Also, It’s kind of hard to find a Young Adult science fiction book that is rich in detail (the descriptions of the alien surroundings were beautiful. It wasn’t hard to imagine them at all) while also abundant in character development and build up. It was so fulfilling to be able to connect with Lilac and Tarver as their thoughts and frustrations were efficiently and stunningly sent across from the pages to the reader. Even the dialogue was well done! At the beginning, when they kept on bantering, I couldn’t help but giggle here and there.


Here’s an example:


“Would you like a rest?

“She considers the question, then nods, reaching up to tuck her hair back where it belongs. “Where will I sit?”

Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise lounge I’ve carried for you in my pocket, Your Highness. So glad you asked.


The characters were also really well-rounded. There were a lot of character development that I couldn’t get enough of. At first there was some insta-love (okay, maaaybe insta-attraction) and it made me see some spots of red, but it was after their ship went down in flames did their personalities really take off in flying colours. I didn’t like Lilac in the beginning because she really acted like a spoilt brat, but she eventually grew on me once she started growing some balls. Her past, her journey, her survival – it made me really see how her growth changed her as a person. We may have started in the wrong foot, but we definitely hit it off after a while. And Tarver? Ohh lala! After reading this book, I kept on praying wishing that I meet one like him in real life. Practical, realistic, hard-working, efficient, and last but not the least, handsome… what more could a girl possibly ask for? It was swoon swoon *-* all the way, baby. There weren’t much character development from him, but I really liked how he was a crucial part in Lilac’s. Now if only Disney make Tarver figurines, I’d buy aplenty…


One thing that did throw me off was the paranormal aspect of it, or at least it seemed paranormal at first. Hearing voices in your sleep, seeing ghosts, etc. etc. I thought it seemed out of place in such a futuristic world. It makes kind of sense later on, but that doesn’t change the fact that for a few moments in the book where these events were taking place, it felt absolutely random.


Overall, this is a spectacular book. I especially recommend it to readers who don’t read Science Fiction but would love to try it out. These Broken Stars would transition you well, as it has enough Sci-Fi and Romance and Adventure to go along with it. There are a lot to love and look forward to with this book. I also recommend listening to RADIO GAIA on iTunes (Ambient section) while reading. It totally made me feel like I was walking on an alien planet!



Final Verdict: 4.5 / 5 stars!


The 100 - Kass Morgan

"This shit is going to be a TV show?" was the first thing I thought of when I turned the last page of this book.


I was initially interested in 100 by Kass Morgan when I found out it was going to be adapted into a TV show on CW channel (I think. I may have got this wrong, so please correct me if I got it mixed up!). As I have mentioned over and over again in my reviews, Dystopia and Post-Apocalyptic remain as my favourite genres ever, so it's a no-brainer that I really wanted to get this book as soon as it was out. Conspiracies! Suspense! Thrills! I was expecting these all!


And yet...


Like many others before 100 by Kass Morgan...


It left me disappointed...




It started with a bang. We're introduced to Clarke, imprisoned somewhere in a space settlement, for allegedly doing a heinous crime, a crime which was also related to her parents'. We're informed that in this world, as soon as a prisoner turns 18, he is granted a trial and can either go free or be put to death. Fortunately, Clarke has been chosen as one of the hundred teenage prisoners to be sent to Earth, their previous they left three hundred years ago due to the Cataclysm, an nuclear-something-radiation-something event that crippled their planet. They are to be sent there to find out if the world is still liveable, and if they survive, they will be pardoned of their felonies. Sounds exciting, right? Yup, I was ecstatic myself. The general plot sounded like something that could attract A LOT of twists and conspiracies!


And then the romance came...


Which pretty much ruined this book for me.


What would you feel if you were stuck in a planet, all by yourself and 99 other strangers (okay, make that 97 because OF COURSE there has to be a love interest and that mandatory best friend), a planet, which, may I remind you, has been labeled toxic due to the immense radiation in the past? You'd think about survival... right? You'd at least TRY to set aside your feelings and think about how you could live for another day, right? Right. Of course. Any rational being would. Unfortunately, Clarke and the rest of the three characters, which all have their own chapters, by the way (holy shit, four POVs?!), think otherwise. What could have been a really good sci-fi, action, post-apocalyptic dystopia turned into one mushy drama-rama, like those telenovelas from Latin America that my parents used to watch. That means a lot of conflicted feewings, jealousies, love rages, etc. etc. It made me RAGE.


Imagine this:  you just crashed into Earth with the other delinquents. You're a boy and you weren't supposed to be in this operation, but you risked your life in order to "protect" the girl you supposedly "love" but hates you because you betrayed her in the past. A lot of people have been killed on impact, a lot are injured, and a lot are dying. But you focus on that one speshul girl and end the chapter with, "I'll make her fall in love with me."


If you're that kind of person, come here and let me punch you please. Many times.


I felt rage each and every chapter as soon as they got to Earth. Sure, there were some fighting over food, over equipment, over medicine, but those were in passing and in the larger scheme of things, were put aside for the romance aspect. The unnecessary, annoying part took a large percentage of the book that it drove me bat-shit insane. See, look here. If I wanted drama, I have other avenues for that (like my life, for instance) and I didn't sign up for it especially when the synopsis is all about Danger! Conspiracies! Survival! It was a constant questioning of WHO KISSED WHO, THEY KISSED WHERE, WHO IMPREGNATED WHO, WHO WAS SEEN EMBRACING WHO, and I'm like... fuck you, boo. Fuck you very much.


Here's a very memorable quote that would make you want to punch a brick wall:


Clarke rose with a groan, her muscles stiff from their hike yesterday. But it was a good kind of pain; she'd walked through a forest that hadn't been seen by a single human being for 300 years. Her stomach squirmed as she thought about another distinction she'd inadvertently earned — the first girl to kiss a boy on Earth since the Cataclysm.

Um... congrats?


Awesome priorities, by the way. /sarcasm


And because the romance aspect was the number one priority, nothing really happened on Earth in this book. Yeah, like I said, there were some fighting here and there, but generally, all of it were just idle stuff. And when exciting events started to happen, BOOM! CLIFFHANGER! GOTTA BUY THE NEXT BOOK GAIS.


The writing was also very juvenile. I did not like it at all. I found no depth in it, and was very telling than showing. There were four narrators (Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, and Glass) and chapters rotated among them, each one having a present and a past thing, which made the flow of the story absolutely terrible and wonky. I kid you not that it gave me a migraine (I had to skip the last eighty percent because it was at that point that I GAVE ZERO FUCKS ANYMORE), and a lot of the past stuff were nonsensical gibberish that could have been omitted. Because of that, the characters lacked personalities as well. The characters were complete simpletons. Girl offends guy she kissed, he storms away, and she cries about it — all in 2 pages. Next chapter. Guy gets all moody, and both are acting like they had a nasty, drawn-out confrontation when it fucking barely lasted half a page.



Aside from that, they were just flat, annoying, and stupid. Clarke was annoying. She's this holier-than-thou character, making herself the kindest of the group when I found her very self-righteous. Wells, on the other hand, is this dude who threw away everything (EVERYTHIIIING) to follow Clarke. He's borderline, Edward-creepy with his quest to make Clarke fall in love with him again (yes, of course! Because that is SO obviously important!) Of course, like any other typical YA, here comes Bellamy, the survivalist angry/cocky loner whose role also includes the-mandatory-love-triangle! There's also Glass, another girl who managed to escape and get back to their space/moon settlement (how they got there we have no idea), who I found extremely superficial and shallow. Here she is, just escaped from a fate supposedly worse than death, and the first person she goes to is of course... her ex. Who she found is with another girl. DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUN... DRAMA ERRBODY!


Anyway, fuck them.


I see reviews where they are praising the world-building, and I'm left scratching my head because I'm wondering if we even read the same books. World-building? What world-building? Unless you count that single sentence explaining there was a sort of nuclear-ish war 300 years ago and a paragraph of the shady judicial system as world-building, then yeah, okay, fine, but I'd have to disagree. How they even got to space and built their orbiting settlement were never even explained in depth (in fact, I'd wager it was never mentioned at all. YES, GREAT WORLD-BUILDING), making everything just one big blur.


All in all, I hated this book a lot. I read this while I was on a flight back home and I totally regretted it. I could have made my flight memorable if only I chose something better. I mean, I was disappointed in a lot of dystopia/post-apocalyptic books... what would make this any different? Should've known better. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS. If interested, I really think you're better off watching the show. It may be better than this crap and would probably explain the countless plotholes the novel has. I would imagine some things would be changed.


Final Verdict: NOT IMPRESSED.

[REBLOG] Some Advice From IT Professionals on How to Handle the Latest Goodreads Shenanigans

Reblogged from Litchick's Hit List:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband is a programmer. He works for an international company with a high bar for its IT staff. 


I ran GR's latest nonsense--their claim that Booklikes is causing Goodreads content to be deleted--past him, and the verdict is that this is actually probably GR's fault. More than likely is has to do with flaws in their API code that are more like security holes than features. Other sites should never be able to delete GR user content. The fact that it may have somehow happened indicates that the blame lies with Goodreads, and they're trying to use Booklikes as a scapegoat.

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Steelheart: A Love Letter

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson never ceases to amaze me. His writing and prose are spectacular and lyrical. He doesn't use big words, doesn't beat around the bush, but his words, however simple they may be, still pack a lot of punch. I remember reading his other work, The Emperor's Soul, and remember being very touched by its ending. I've pondered about it for days on end, thinking about the characters and their impact on me. I think it's very safe to say that this man is one of the best fantasy authors I've ever had the pleasure to read. Not only does his writing stick to you like glue, his characters are memorable and the world-building in each and every one of his series and novels is unique. I've never seen such a big and vast and complex imagination such as his. If I were a scientist, I'd be interested in dissecting his brain and figuring out how he does it! This man's a genius, I tell you!


Steelheart? Man. It is a stunning book deserving of many accolades. Like many of his other novels, Brandon Sanderson created a whole new world so imaginative, deep and different; a world that completely immerses you in it effortlessly. I mean, the prologue was enough to suck me in! It captures you in its first try and does it so beautifully. The first time I got introduced to the Epics (a.k.a. Supervillains), it was definitely love at first sight. I kept thinking, "Holy shit, only Sanderson can pull this one awesomely!" and I was right. The first few pages was enough to give you a sense of what was to come - a dark world that suddenly found itself at the mercy of new beings, and is helpless to go against it. Who can agains such superpowers? When I was done with the Prologue, I had to stop for a while, breathe, and gush about it to a friend of mine. That's how good it was.


We all know how awesome Sanderson is, and how his writing is absolutely spectacular, so I won't repeat myself. Instead, I'll focus on certain aspects that made this book special to me.


1.) FUN FACTOR. This book is very fun. I am in awe of how Sanderson can make us feel depressed over the bleakness and hopelessness of his world, but still make it a fun ride at the same time. I liked how he shaped the world in a way that made it... endless, you know what I mean? Because every Epic is different, as sometimes they have more than one superpower, and they usually have a secret, hidden power, to be their trump card. I loved how it kept my imagination going, trying to guess what kind of superpower the next Epic we encounter will have. It reminded me so much of my childhood years playing "pretend games" with my brothers, as we tried to come up with various powers to destroy each other. The world-building wasn't just unique to me, it was also very enjoyable in its entirety.


2.) THEME, PACE and CHARACTERS. In a nutshell, Steelheart is Brandon Sanderson's love letter to comics, shounen manga, games, and action movies. I totally felt Batman vibes from it, and even felt like I was in Gothic city. Its atmosphere reminded me so much of the comic books I loved to read then. I also loved the Underdog (Humans with no powers) vs. Something Powerful (Epics). This is a common theme in shounen manga (boy comics in Japan) and loved how Sanderson killed it while also taking it to the next level, making me not just cheer for the protagonist but for everyone else, despite the lack of screentime. It's fast-paced, with ample visually-enticing descriptions of fight scenes and environments, but even with that, it barely comprised character-building. And David! God, David was cool. I loved his geekiness. I loved how he used his smartie wits and knowledge to get his way around. I loved how he was such a nerd and be so adorable at it, too. He was extremely likeable, and I revere the dedication he gave towards his goal.


3.) ENDING. That. Ending. Damn son, that ending. I wish I can tell you more about it, but alas, spoilers have no place here. Still, though. That ending.


There were some things I didn't like, but that's just my being nitpicky. For example, while I liked Megan, I didn't really like the twist that concerned her near the ending. I felt it was awfully cliché and wasn't something I expected from Sanderson. I felt that David was better without Megan and vice versa. But anyway, like I said, I can be very nitpicky and it's not a big deal.


Overall, though, this is an excellent book and an excellent start to an excellent series. I am very excited and am eagerly anticipating the next instalment. It has all the necessary elements  to a perfect read, and I guarantee you'll enjoy the ride every step of the way. Especially recommended to comic, superhero, shounen manga, action fans.

Holy Shit Batman

Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

This book is totally giving me Batman feels. And the atmosphere eerily feels like Gothic City. NO. THIS IS LEGIT, FOLKS.

How To: Easily Embed a Font

Reblogged from Great Imaginations:

I'm a very wordy person when trying to explain something, so I'll do my best to keep it short and to the point.


First of all, your blog's font is most likely Arial - a default font that's used everywhere.  You can change this with an override of custom CSS when you go to customize your blog. Custom CSS goes in the little bitty box at the bottom.



But we're not really going to get into that here. We're gonna take the short cut, because I'm lazy and I'm pretty sure I'd screw things up. So, what we're going to do is change this:


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Caps not much for you?




Or an extra person to help me submit reviews. Before, I'd post 2-3 reviews a day, but it has gotten absolutely tiresome for me, and real life stuff have to be prioritised so... There you have it!


I just need you to be really good in expressing yourself. I prefer someone who'd explain their points, and explain it well. Swearing is good. Swearing is encouraged, actually, so no problems there. You need not to be a debater, you just need to be able to get your points and meanings across. No purple proses, please. And no beating around the bush, either, although I'm guilty of that sometimes.


Also, you need to be good in English. Nah, you don't need to be super excellent at it, and I will proofread your reviews, but you HAVE to HAVE good grammar and spelling. I'm not going to accept anything less. I'm not being condescending, but reviewing means building credibility and informing others, and if my eyebrows twitch at obvious grammar mistakes, why shouldn't others? I'm not perfect at it, either, but it's gotta be acceptable.


There will be arcs. Lots of them. Just tell me which one you want and you'll have it.


If you're Filipino, I'll lend you hard copies of ARCs, too. Filipino preferred, actually. We can meet and discuss books over coffee!




Get me a co-blogger.




Evil Word of the Day: Giggle. (May have spoilers)

Earth Star - Janet  Edwards

Oh, Earth Star. What to do with you?


First, let me say this: I loved Earth Girl. It was an astounding book despite a few flaws here and there and I enjoyed it immensely. World-building was pretty good, the romance was boring but it was pretty fulfilling, main character was awesome but perhaps just a bit too awesome, but hey! In the end, I was satisfied, and that's what mattered right? Earth Girl pretty much set up and introduced to us the foundation of the series, so for a sequel, of course I was expecting a bit more plot, a bit more action and suspense, a bit more thrill and enough of the OMG-JARRA-YOU-ARE-RAMBO-PERSONIFIED-IS-THERE-ANYTHING-YOU-CAN'T-DO? 


Unfortunately, Earth Star didn't impress me. Actually, it disappointdoed me so much that it hurt.


I wanted to like Jarra, but she annoyed me to no end. I wanted to really believe in her capabilities, but of course the book just had to make her the most impressive person ever and that we should all bow down and kiss her toes. If she was portrayed as awesome-in-everything in Earth Girl, it gets worse here. She was illustrated as too-perfect-to-be-true that every time something happened that showed how speshul she was, I'd get this urge to go ape-shit, because... damn, everything was just fucking ridiculous, really. It's like she achieved Saiyan mode in the first book, and she achieved SUPER SAIYAN mode here... effortlessly. I don't know about you, folks, but there's a fine line between acceptable and comically absurd when it comes to being "awesome".


So we know that she's super talented, well-versed, and knowledgable in a lot of things, and I accept that. She's got guts, she's courageous, and she earned her Artemis medal, the highest accolade ever in the Military. OK, cool. Then in this instalment, the military decides to get her for the Alien Contact Programme, and she is awarded Commander, and we later find out that OF COURSE she was a descendant of Tellon Blaze, that super legendary hero back in the good old days. It was at this point my eyebrows were twitching because sweetheart, do you really have to be THAT fucking special? I was shaking my head because it was becoming borderline unbelievable. And of course, she's the one that thinks of the solution to why the aliens came... besting many others who had a lot more knowledge and experience than her, which led her to leading an excavation. Riiiiiight.




I know the sky's the limit, but seriously? SERIOUSLY?


Not to mention the dialogue and narration were just... bizarre. I don't know but it felt like Jarra was a completely different person from the Jarra I knew in Earth Girl. A lot of the lines were cheesy as hell to me. She kept on giggling at everything ("I giggled."), and every time she kept on mentioning about Fian looking like Arrack San Domex, I wanted to punch a wall and make my fist bleed. It was absolutely horrid. Imagine being in a dire situation and she just had to ruin all the sense of suspense and urgency because Fian looked like Arrack San Domex and she couldn't stop fantasizing about it. GAAAH. I WANTED TO CHOKE HER.


Speaking of Fian, if he was boring in Earth Girl, he sure as hell is even more bland here. Goodness, I get that he's nice, but come on, dude! Have a bit of personality here! Their romance was mind-numbingly boring, and as another reviewer has pointed out, they acted more like an old married couple than anything else. I just wanted to roll my eyes every time they'd throw cheesy mushy lines to each other. Here you have a boring character, and another boring character.... who dared think this would have worked out? I didn't see any chemistry at all in their romance and for the first time ever I was PLEADING to the high heavens for a love triangle to happen JUST SO THEY COULD SPICE IT UP. This Fian/Jarra relationship can easily get the MOST BORING COUPLE award. Congratulations.


The secondary characters were boring as hell, too, and their dialogues weren't memorable at all. Ugh, I wish I took samples, but they were easily forgettable after a page. I wish they had better lines but theirs were just as bad as Jarra's and Fian's. So sad. :(


I don't think I'll be continuing the series. Maybe I will, but I am not going to eagerly anticipate it anymore. If Jarra is going to become more awesome without showing any significant flaws, then I'm jetting out of here.



The Fallen - Charlie Higson

I just realized the fifth installment of The Enemy series by Charlie Higson was out like weeks ago. I AM ECSTATIC. I love this series so much. Hands down THE BEST zombie-horror-postapocalyptic series I've read. I am no doubt reading and finishing this tonight and I IMPLORE each and every one of you to check the series out.

Read this. Read this now.

Reblogged from Litchick's Hit List:


Review: Perdition by Ann Aguirre

Perdition - Ann Aguirre

I honestly don't know what to feel about this book. I like Ann Aguirre. I heard a lot of great things about her and I ABSOLUTELY loved her Razorland series. Hands down one of the most enjoyable and atmospheric post-apocalyptic dystopian YA I've read. Once I was able to get her Perdition, I was utterly ecstatic and was hoping for an equally, if not, better read than her YA series. Unfortunately, it left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth, as it didn't reach the high levels of expectations that I reserve for great authors like her.


This book had a pretty cool premise (a ship that's just floating in space that's used to imprison the deadliest of criminals… just how awesome is that?!); it had a tough, strong female lead that's perfectly capable of taking care of herself and of others, of which many are men; and it had romance, too! I mean, who says "no" to romance, right… Perdition had the right ideas, the right concept; basically, it had the skeleton of what could have been the perfect book, but the execution? It lacked… and quite terribly at that, I am afraid...


You see, I have no qualms with Dred. I get that she was strong and capable and not afraid to make hard choices, and I totally see that she earned her place and the respect of her peers. It was actually quite refreshing to see a lone female towering swarms of men like they're nothing. Jael, the other main character, was an angsty dude that had trust issues (DUH. Didn't see that one coming /sarcasm). They were likeable to a certain extent that they were not detestable, but they were still bland. I suppose they were meant to be highly complex characters, however, every time they exchanged lines, to each other or to other people, they came off as hollow shells with cardboard personalities - dull and absolutely flat. Good lord, the dialogue was excruciating. If they weren't bland, they were cheesy, and it was an eyeroll and grunt-fest throughout the damn book. Sometimes they were attempts for humor, but they only failed in making my chuckle or smile… heck, this book failed in making me feel anything beyond twitching my eyebrows and grinding my teeth in annoyance.


Character development felt a bit rushed to me, too. It annoyed me to no end how it felt like the emotions and perceptions of the characters toward each other changed in a snap, like there were no smooth transition, or at least an event that would completely justify it. I like it when the character grows, I grow with them. I like it when his attitude changes, mine changes, too. In this book, however, it was the complete opposite.


Character A does something unusual and terribly cliché. A gesture of kindness towards her minions, something Character B has never seen before. EVER.


Character B: Wow, Character A is so kind. I feel like trusting her now! Yup yup, I'll place my life on the line for her now.


Me: T___T Are you fucking serious?


Yes; yes. Go ahead; accuse me of being nitpicky, say what you will, doesn't change the fact that the changes in feelings and character didn't seem believable to me. Couple that with the cringe-worthy lines and you have one hell of a horrible experience. I fucking swear, each time Dred did something cliché that OF COURSE would soften a hardened heart, I felt a little bit of me die inside. Each time that happened, I would remember the wonderful moments I had with her YA Razorland series and would fervently wish I'd find the same magic here.


No dice.


The politics was interesting, but nothing complex or new. The betrayal was pretty obvious, too, I didn't feel any shock factor at all. Booo! 


Overall, it was a disappointing read. I don't think I'll check out the rest of this series.


Rating: 2/5


When sequels turn bad...

Earth Star - Janet  Edwards

Man, I loved the first book of this series, but Book 2 feels amazingly bland and boring. I am hating Jarra more and more by the page, and this is so unusual as I thought she was kick-ass in Earth Girl. My heart is torn :(

Perdition - Ann Aguirre Quite disappointed in Aguirre's writing in this one. Not as strong :/
Unteachable - Leah Raeder Just to let y'all know, I don't read New Adult a lot. There was Easy and a few others I can't recall right now, but it was never a genre that absolutely enthralled me. A lot of them are more cliché than the YA dystopias we are getting, and some are downright trashy. It's just not my thing. But that doesn't mean there aren't "gems" out there, because they exist, as Unteachable by Leah Raeder has proven. NA isn't my favorite genre, but this book is making me reconsider.

I don't really know how to describe this book other than it being absolutely raw, intense, and honest. I read this with no high or low expectations, and man, did it hit me like pick-up truck! I have no doubt in my mind right now that was a quality book, and books in this genre should strive to reach its calibre. Yes, folks, Unteachable has set the bar high. If ever the time comes that I'll read another NA book, it better be this excellent or better, lest it will get three stars or less from me.

I love first person narratives. I love how it allows the reader to see the deepest thoughts of the character and make the story feel more personal and genuine. The narrative in this case is one of those rare ones that really does it right. I liked the main character, Maise. She's spunky, feisty, rebellious, and sarcastic. But behind that brave façade is a kind and fragile spirit that seeks those who can and are willing to understand her. Despite the fact that I am nowhere like Maise, I couldn't help but forge a deep relationship with her as I read her thoughts and fears throughout the book. It was like listening to an old friend tell her life story with all the intricacies, or listening to a grandparent recall his childhood with such vibrancy. I loved how the narrative absolutely and perfectly captured each moment in striking and resounding detail without going too far too much.

Let me make it easier for you guys.

If I could compare the narrative to one thing, I'd compare it to Van Gogh's Starry Night


Give it a long look. In it, you feel a sense of melancholy. You sense the painter's sorrow, pain, and pent-up feelings. But even with this knowledge, you can't help but feel awe. You can't help but feel how the sadness makes the painting so beautiful, how the pain makes it bewitching. You are enthralled by it all.

That's how the narrative in Unteachable feels to me and why it's so memorable. The author has woven a tale that's largely sad and painful, but it's so beautiful to read and consume at the same time. The characters grew to me, the story grew to me, and eventually, everything grew to me, that it made me feel a hundred percent immersed in the book.

I also loved the subject matter, as it's so real. Age gaps are something that I don't read often in fiction. The last time I read age gaps being the central conflict in fiction was when I tried to read a Danielle Steel book. It happens often in the real world - younger person falling in love with a significantly older person and vice versa - that I was legitimately wondering why there aren't any more books about this. I was so happy when I found out the relationship here was something like that because I could finally read something I could somehow relate to, since I'm also in such a relationship. It was fun to read, and since I felt very attached to Maise, it felt like seeing a dear friend of mine enacting how it was for me then. I loved how it was portrayed so genuinely and so honestly, how it effectively showcased the possible conflicts that could rise (especially since it was a teacher/student relationship, too), and how it illustrated a healthy bond between two people depends on the efforts of both parties, and not because of factors like age.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and am recommending it to those who love New Adult and those who'd like to enter this genre with a good book. There IS a lot of sex in it, though, and thankfully, they were hot, hot, HOT! Honestly the best I've read ;-)

Final verdict: 4.5 stars!!