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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Things From the Internet

This is perhaps the most catchy alphabet song known to man:



This version of this song is jazzy, and is therefore the best:
 
 
Whenever Matchbox Twenty comes on the radio at work, I have a sing along party in my head.
 
 
The fact that I like this song deeply distresses me brother, because HE also likes this song:
 
 
(Confession: I only like it because it reminds me of Treasure Planet, which I love deeply.)
 
 
 

Daemons In The Mist

So. I'd heard about this book. It's self published, and a self published author I really love recommended it. Highly. Like, a "Oh-my-gosh-this-book-is-so-good" recommendation. And my computer had this kindle thing on it now, so I can buy e-books for cheap and read them immediately. (Instant gratification is so awesome.) And I was like, it's less than $3! I'm going to finally buy this book and read it! And I bought the e-book.

It was awful.

I hate writing bad reviews. I have almost no bad reviews on this blog - I love to talk about books I love! Or at least like a little bit. Or that have redeeming characteristics. And this book? There are so many glowing reviews, I feel like I HAVE to talk about it.

Where to start? Let's begin with . . .

THINGS I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK

It wasn't all bad. There's the cover:



And this picture, which the author created from a scene in the book:

 
 
And the idea:
 
A high school girl and boy go to Vegas and accidently get married. Because the girl is a daemon, and daemons have all kinds of different rules and such, they're stuck together.
 
 
 THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE
 
 The execution. The writing was often clumsy, and it felt underdeveloped. The dialogue frequently sounded fake. The descriptions were over the top and I found myself skimming through most of it. There were many clich├ęs in the writing that gave it an amateurish feel, overall.
 
Take, for instance, this scene:
 
The smile disappeared from Shawn’s face as he looked past me. “Loraly, what’s wrong?”
 
“Patrick thinks we’re scary,” she almost sobbed.
 
Oh fuck, that’s why she had looked so upset. She probably thought I thought they were monsters. “Oh no, that’s not what I meant at all!” I said quickly. “It’s not because of what you are. That doesn’t bother me in the least, it’s kinda cool really. It’s just, you’re her parents and well, I was terrified to death you would hate me.”
 
 
THE ROMANCE
 
Or, really, the lack of romance. A huge part of the story is that Nualla and Patrick are in love - Nualla's beautiful and nice, and Patrick? Well. Patrick isn't really a great catch. He's often dazed and confused - honestly, to me, he came across as rather slow and really young. To top it off, Patrick is a very self depreciating narrator. Here are some excerpts from the scene when Patrick meets Nualla's family for the first time: 
 
“Um…” I said like an idiot. Her hostility had caught me off-guard and the clever things I had rehearsed to say flew out the window. Great, I was making a wonderful impression already. I had hoped to impress them, or at the very least make sure they didn’t hate me. But that was already falling apart and I had only said one word, if you could even call it that.
 
I was relieved when I saw Nualla’s Aunt Skye pop up behind the girl whose name was apparently Andraya. “Hello, Ms. Varris,” I said with an uneasy smile.
 
“Oh Patrick honey, call me Skye. You make me sound ancient calling me that.”
 
“Oh sorry— Skye…” I said nervously. Great, I hadn’t even made it in the door yet and I was already going down in flames.
 
 
I swallowed hard; now to make a good impression. “Hello, Mr. Galathea, I’m Patrick Connolly, your daughter’s—” somehow I couldn’t get the word out.
 
My brain screeched to a halt. Had he actually just said I was part of his family?
 
“I don’t have any pets,” I said like an idiot. “I mean I like animals— I just don’t have any.”
 
I get what the author is trying to do. She's trying to show Patrick's unease in the situation. But he's so self deprecating, he fumbles so much . . . and this happens all the time. Really, it just makes him seem timid and slow, not cute or romantic.
 
There's no chemistry. There's no moments when I think to myself, "Aw! They're so cute together!" Most of the story is Patrick alternating between feeling so lucky he accidently married his long time crush, and being awkward in situations with Nualla and her friends and family.
 
Oh, and remember this picture?
 
 
 It's way more romantic than the actual scene in the book.
 
THE FORESHADOWING
 
Most of the story is "love story." There are a few sporadic hints thrown around this story that end up being really important later, except, the foreshadowing is so sparse and random, that it literally feels like it's just there to justify the ending. Like, there's this ONE LINE saying this ONE THING so now the plot is totally legitimate, and not out of place. Because there's this ONE LINE.
 
THE FACT THAT PATRICK KEEP TELLING US THAT HE HAS THIS GREAT MEMORY . . .
 
but he doesn't. Or at least, we never see him use it.
 
THE ENDING
 
I won't spoil you, but there a lot of things that are just way too convenient.
 
All in all . . .
 
This story has so much potential to be awesome. But unfortunately, there are just too many problems for it to work for me.
 



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I suck at blogging (and other things)

Hi everyone!

So. School kind of devoured me this semester, and by the time it spit me back out I was so covered in mucus and bile I haven't been able to make my way over to the blog at all.

Okay, most of that's not true, but the being really busy part is! Seriously, where was my brain when I decided to take 20 credits, be a TA, get a job, and be a volunteer in THREE different capacities, all at the same time? Honestly, there were some days when I even forgot reading for fun is a real thing, and not just some crazy concept I hallucinated up out of sheer exhaustion.

I'm working on a couple of new posts and book reviews and the like, which I hope to get up within the next few days. I promise! I'll try really, really hard to become a good little blogger-girl. :]

Until then,



Gabi

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Farewell Anonymous

Dear Anonymous Spammy Commenters,

It's not me - it's you. The way you comment on my posts about generic but mostly unrelated things, compliment my 'content,' and then ask me ever so nicely to visit your webpage. And this just isn't working out - I know you're a spam, you know you're a spam . . . do you see where I'm going with this?

It's a pain in the butt to have to delete all your spammy comments. So, Anonymous commenter, I think that it's time that we go our separate ways. I've disabled the Anonymous commenting option, so from now on, O Spam Lords, you must either comment with an account or not comment at all.

I think we both know how this is going to end.

Sincerely,

Gabi
Mato's Blog

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Books and Stuff


So. This week is midterms. And because it would be too easy on me if my exams were spread out over the weak, I have Bio and O Chem on the SAME DAY.

I have such an exciting life.

ANYWAY. Something that makes me happy is dreaming about new books to read. Let's have some happy time, okay?

 
Okay, so I've already talked about wanting to read this book. It comes out March 12, which is while I'm on spring break! Yipee! I am so excited.
 
 
This book doesn't come out until forever. Or, you know, until 10/1/13. Which might as well be forever away. I enjoyed the first one - and guys, there's a freaking unicorn-pegasus thing on the cover. Even if I hadn't liked the first book, I would still make lovey-gooey eyes at this one.
 
 
I was super excited, because when I read that this comes out on May 28th, my brain autocorrected it to March 28th. And when I realized that it is not, in fact, coming out this month, and that it won't be out until I'm on summer break, I may have cried. A lot.
 
Have I blogged about Merrie Haskell's The Princess Curse? Because that is a book I love deeply. I read a Middle Grade Monday review of it, and I bought it last spring not really knowing what to expect, and it completely blew me away. It was so much more then I was expecting - it's definitely earned a spot beside Wildwood Dancing and The Goose Girl as one of my favorite fairy tale retellings.
 
 
This comes out at the end of April, right before finals. I read Unraveling right after finals last spring, and it was my first non-school book in months. You know when someone who's been on a diet suddenly has a lot of fruit and chocolate and freaks out about how good it all is, and practically dies of ecstasy?
 
Yeah. Um. That was me with Unraveling.
 
 
I read Aurelia by this author and I really enjoyed, and everything I've heard about this book has been fantastic, enthusiastic praise. So I can't wait to finally read it. I'm thinking a spring break read, to reward myself for surviving midterms. Along with Poison, which comes out that week. I think these two books sound like an excellent way to spend my week off.
 
 
What are you guys looking forward to?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Catching Up

Well, hey there! I'm sorry it's been so long, but it's been pretty crazy in my neck of the woods. Here are some things that have happened while I've been out:

 
Did you guys know about this? Awesome comics featuring classic and contemporary Disney ladies, and they're all here. They're so cute.
 
 
I'm not going to lie: I will read this, if only for the piglet.
Did I ever tell you guys about the swine farm?
We went there last year as part of one of my AVS classes.
And it stunk.
I'd heard that pigs stink, but wow, you guys, do you have to smell it to believe it.
My grandpa says that's the smell of money.
He loves pigs.
When my mom was growing up, they had a pair named Pork and Beans.
Guess what happened to them?
Yup.
Dinner.
 
My mother had a traumatic childhood.
 
In all seriousness, I just heard about this yesterday. Bridget Zinn, the author of Poison, died of cancer.
 
"Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads."
 
And then, here's the book synopsis:
 
"Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon."
 
Find out more here: Bridget Zinn
 
Okay, so maybe I wont be reading this books just for the pig. It does sound pretty awesome. And funny! What ever happened to funny books?
 
I did read some pretty good books over break. I didn't get to as many as I was hoping, but that's usually how it plays out.
 
 
I am so, so glad I read this book. It was a random pick from the library, and you guys, it was so cute. It's a book about a girl/boy friendship - which is pretty unusual these days. And it was so sweet. I feel like I should say something about the great character development, or the touching story, or the cool songs . . . but I'll just tell you guys it was super sweet, and leave it at that.
 
Plus, I don't really want to admit that I cried.
 
 
 
I can't tell you how long I waited for this book! I've wanted to read it since before the cover, and I think before the official synopsis, even. Wowza.
 
I didn't pre-order it because I was like, I'll save on shipping and just go buy it from the bookstore when it comes out! And so I went to Hastings (you know your town is small when the Hastings is the biggest book store) and they didn't have it. They ordered it for me and I got it 7 days later.
 
I hate waiting.
 
But it was totally worth it. There were some things I didn't like - insta love, I'm looking at you - and I didn't really care for one of the love interests. Why does the girl never choose the guy I want her to?
 
But there was so much awesome in this book that it doesn't even matter. I enjoyed the twists on the original Alice stories, and there were many moments when I was just struck with the cleverness.