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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review: Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt


Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt
Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Edit: Nov 9, 2013
Finished reading this a few minutes ago.
I do not feel I could add anything to my review written pre-reading. All my opinions and feelings about the book are as true after reading the book as they were after pre-reading.
I feel in an organized manner, this book laid out the main points and reasonings behind the members who are actively rebelling against the new GR policies.
The discussion of the meaning of censorship, starting on page 177 of 211, was particularly interesting to me.

This book retains the 4 stars I originally rated it, well earned and well deserved.
_____________________________________________________

Looking forward to reading this soon. I've tried to keep up with the subject on which this book is based, but I'm positive I have missed at least half of the conflict. (This book is 211 pages long, I had to have missed quite a bit.)

The preface, titled "How this book got written", gave the basic background of the conflict and illuminated why the author chose to pen this book. While critics may contend that this book is just a glorified revenge piece and has no place on Goodreads, I believe this book is valuable as a documentation of the experiences of those "21" reviewers who were censored in their attempt to speak out against behavior they found unfavorable. I believe this book shows that it is not "off-topic" to discuss author behavior. As a consumer I would honestly like to know what type of author I am supporting. Even if my support only amounts to having their book on my huge to be read shelf.

I am rating this four stars at this time based on the skim read I have done of the book, my interest in the book, and my opinion on it's validity. It is my right to rate as I see fit and this is me exercising that right.



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Review: Stupid Perfect World


Stupid Perfect World
Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This review is going to be full of spoilers. But considering it is a novella there is not much I can say about the characters, plot, and setting that wouldn't spoil the story. So your basic run down is the plot is interesting, the characters are actually funny at times, and I only found a few flaws in the story.

So it starts out set in a world where teens teleport to their classes on different continents, don't sleep, have their hormones regulated, don't get sick, and they learn about the old world in a class called Scarcity. Kieran has to do a project for his Scarcity class and unfortunately Barefoot(what kind of parent names their kid Barefoot...honestly)Tillman distracted him before he could remember to put a reminder in his headspace to do research for choosing a topic. So on the fly Kieran chooses to sleep. He wonders how bad could it really be to lay unconscious for a few hours.

The other main character in this short fiction, Maria, is a "meeker" (apparently this means nerd/overachiever), who has chosen to give up her hormone regulation for the assignment. Two weeks of teen angst, crawling skin, and uncontrollable urges. Kieran jokingly tells her not to start writing poetry. Which she actually ends up doing...cause you know teens naturally do that right off the bat. Ok, I did write a few poems as a teen, but not everyone does that.

So here they both are, trying to master the art of snoozing and feeling all kinds of conflicting feelings they have never felt before. Kieran experiences what it is like to dream. And of course he dreams about Maria. Cause you know that's how dreams go...I personally dreamed about outlandish things like werewolves breaking in the house, living in a dollhouse will tiny plates, and being able to magic myself into Walmart after hours (back when they were not 24 hour supercenters) to go shopping for all the things I could never have in real life. (It's not stealing if you use magic.)

There were some flaws such as in the beginning when he talks about everyone tries not to fall asleep in class. (They don't even know what sleep is...)
"It wasn't a real course with grades and everything, so only the most pathetic meekers worked hard at it. The rest of us just showed up and tried not to fall asleep."

And if their hormones are so well regulated then why would his father deny him his request for a bed...and not even LISTEN when he tried to explain it was for a class project. Didn't really matter, Kieran made due by putting a bunch of parkas on the floor of his room. (Apparently dude either lives in Antarctica or he owns a lot of parkas because of his interest in building a snow habitat.


Even though somethings were a bit, come on that wouldn't happen, it was a very interesting book. I kind of wish it had been a full length standalone novel. I liked Kieran and Maria well enough, but the WORLD is the one I would love to hear more about.



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Review: Dust Girl


Dust Girl
Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I cannot say I truly enjoyed this book. It was boring at times and though full of wonderful details, none of them added anything to the story in my opinion. We know Callie has features of both white and black, she talks about how coarse her hair is plenty to get the point across. But we really never see her struggle because of her mixed "race". She is either assumed to be a white girl or glamoured when her skin color would give her away. There is only the internal struggle. Bull Morgan doesn't count. He knows she is mixed and he knows she is human and fairy because he is a dead person being brought back by her Uncle to kill her. These are not things he already knew. This are things he is informed about by her fairy uncle. So his use of the word pickaninny to describe her doesn't count.

The plot seemed to go nowhere for the majority of this book. She sets out to look for her mother and in the end still hasn't found her mother. She doesn't even for sure know where her mother is located. She thinks her mother is in California because of the movie she saw in the theatre but it is never reveal if she is actually in Hollywood. Not until the end does the plot pick up and then it's just a fast paced blur of circles. Never ending circles. First she is looking for her mother. Then she is taking care of guests. Then she is running from the guests along with Jack. Then she meets some other fairy folk. Then she is looking for her mother again, headed to California. Then she is running from Bull Morgan. Then she is being rescued from the Trixies and Bull Morgan. Then she meets back up with one of the fairy folk. Headed toward her grandparents. Then she is held hostage by Bull Morgan. Then she is headed again toward her grandparents. Then she is running from her grandparents. Then she is dead, well half dead. Then she is looking for her mother again. The whole thing was just confusing and unnecessary. Couldn't she just go looking for her mother and run from Bull Morgan. But I guess she needed to meet her grandparents to understand they were not the people she wants to be associated with and that her Uncle is a jealous jerk who will kill her to gain the throne. And the book ended with nothing resolved except a subplot and no real insight into what in the world is going on with the whole ordeal.

Callie herself was somewhat interesting but the majority of the time was spent talking about the color of her skin. Yes we know she is mixed, I would be more concerned with learning what it means to be a fairy than I would be with something I have known since I was a child.

I liked to story but honestly I don't know if I would want to read the next two books. If they go nowhere or have no real hook to keep me reading, I can't say I would want to read them. I would rather just read a book that pulls me into the story.



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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review: Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt


Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt
Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt by G.R. Reader

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Looking forward to reading this soon. I've tried to keep up with the subject on which this book is based, but I'm positive I have missed at least half of the conflict. (This book is 211 pages long, I had to have missed quite a bit.)

The preface, titled "How this book got written", gave the basic background of the conflict and illuminated why the author chose to pen this book. While critics may contend that this book is just a glorified "revenge piece" and has no place on Goodreads, I believe this book is valuable as a documentation of the experiences of those "21" reviewers who were censored in their attempt to speak out against behavior they found unfavorable. I believe this book shows that it is not "off-topic" to discuss author behavior. As a consumer I would honestly like to know what type of author I am supporting. Even if my support only amounts to having their book on my huge to be read shelf.

I have rating this four stars at this time based on the skim read I have done of the book, my interest in the book, and my opinion on it's validity. It is my right to rate as I see fit and this is me exercising that right.



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Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: Fortunately, the Milk


Fortunately, the Milk
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



A boy and girl are left at home with their father while their mother goes out of town. Unfortunately there is no milk in the house for their cereal. So the father sets off to what he thinks is a short trip to the corner shop for milk. Little does he know how that container of milk will save not just his kids from hunger but the world as well.

Great storytelling for such a short book. Funny and imaginative. I will recommend this to all my younger cousins.



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Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: After the Ball


After the Ball
After the Ball by Sarah Cross

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Back in May 2012, I picked up Sarah Cross' Kill Me Softly from my local library. 


 


Kill Me Softly was about a girl named Mira who runs away to the town of her birth. That town just happens to be inhabited by people from fairytales. I enjoyed that story well enough and rated it 3 stars on GR. (See Review) 


 


While looking through books I have read in the past year, I came upon Kill Me Softly. And I wondered what else Sarah Cross had written. Then I discovered this short story related to Kill Me Softly and the fairytale town of Beau Rivage. (If you want to download and read it, Cross has the story available on her site. Here)


 


This short story was about the Cinderella Curse. I found it entertaining and liked that characters a lot. It plays out like a modern version of Cinderella. Except Dusty (Cinderella) doesn't really like Max (Prince Charming), well she likes him but she doesn't want to be with him.?!?! I can totally understand that, dude tells me he loves me after dancing with him three nights in a row, I'm gonna give him some side-eye as well. 


 



 


 


But anyways it was a pretty good story and I wish Cross would write more. I'm looking for her book Dull Boy because it seems like it would be interesting. 





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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: Starcrossed


Starcrossed
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Not the worst and not the best. I enjoyed the idea of the story. The constant plot twists that really went nowhere and the glaring similarities to a certain book that still makes me cringe took away from the story for me. I am just very thankful there was no love triangle...even if there was instalove. Lucas was a bit too bossy for my tastes and Helen seemed to always need rescuing even though she is apparently superwoman.





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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Review: The Witch Of Blackbird Pond


The Witch Of Blackbird Pond
The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



FIVE STARS for a captivating story!!


Kit Tyler comes from a very different place than Puritan Connecticut. She is from a land with brilliant sunshine, crashing waves, and warm sand. When her grandfather dies she has the option to stay in her island home or strike out for an unfamiliar environment living with the only family she has left. Once in this new country she is surprised by the strict lifestyle she must adhere to living with her relatives. She is used to freedom and being in control of her own actions. She never dreamed that befriending an outsider could threaten her life. 

The main theme of this story that stood out to me the most, revolves around Kit finding her identity within a new world. Once carefree and somewhat spoiled, she is now thrust into a life of constant piety and hard work. The beautiful silks she once wore are replaced with wool and calico. The warm, bright sunshine is now replaced with diamond-like snowfall. She must change who she is and where she belongs. 

I remember reading this book for the first time in elementary school. Don't ask me when cause I cannot tell you. All I remember is the joy I felt connecting a troubling time in American History learned from my Social Studies lessons with this free-spirited girl named Kit. I was not ignorant of the sadness and despair caused by the Witch Trials in Colonial America during my childhood. I have always looked for answers to my curiosity within the pages of books and encyclopedias. Whether this book stirred that intense need to know the hows and whys of Witch Hunting in America or I chose this book because of my need to find out more about the culture of the time, I do not recall. But I know this book stood out as a fond memory and when I saw the old battered 1980 copy in one of my local Goodwill Thrift Stores, I had to buy it. 

It is truly amazing how you can see a book and suddenly remember that you have read it and you believe you enjoyed it. You may not remember exactly what the story was, who all the characters were, or how it ended. But in your memory you remember that you have held these words in your mouth before and it was delicious. As a child reading a book, you may not have noticed the great foreshadowing. The excellent pace and how the author withheld the climax to build up this long forgotten world so foreign to your own. You may remember feeling connected to the protagonist but don't know why, perhaps you too felt like you were a colorful bird among wrens and sparrows. 

I can easily see why this won the Newberry Award.



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Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life


Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I was right about this being a fast read. I finished this little gem in one night....stayed up until 3 am reading it but I had to be a "human alarm clock" for my husband anyways.

Nikki Maxwell is anything but cool, in fact she is a DORK. But how many of us were not dorks at 14? I know I was one of the biggest dorks in my school. I have quite a few embarrassing accidents in my past due to my dorkiness. That is exactly why I found Nikki such an easy character to relate to. Though I never had the artistic talent Nikki has, I was more like her book crazed bffs, her disastrous exploits in the world of Middle School were very reminiscent of my disastrous exploits into the world of 6th grade and 7th and 8th and......oh who am I kidding.... I still have disastrously embarrassing moments....and I am 28!

Guess you are never really too old to be a dork. :)



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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Graphic Novels and Falafels

A lot of my online time is spent switching between Goodreads, Tumblr, and Google Reader. Tonight I was cruising through my Tumblr and saw a post by Neil Gaiman which was a reblog of someone's post with a youtube video of an Arthur episode. I remember this episode from when I was younger and my brothers would watch the show with me after school. It deals with Sue Ellen's encounter with Gaiman. He encourages her to write a graphic novel. The graphic novel itself reminds me quite a bit of Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott. It also talks quite a bit about Falafels. (Mmmmm Fooooood) I think my favorite line from the episode is "You can't just abandoned your falafel like that!"