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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