Unpopular Opinion: Starred Reviews

Oct 27, 2014

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I’m probably going to sound like a huge ignoramus here, but here’s my unpopular opinion: I don’t get what the big fuss over starred reviews is all about.

I mean, I know that it’s exciting and a huge honor to have Kirkus or SLJ or Publisher’s Weekly write a glowing review for an author’s book (and if I was an author, I would feel more than happy, too), but it doesn’t really make me want to read the book any more than I originally wanted to. It takes a lot more than starred/popular author reviews to interest me. And if I’m being entirely honest here, I’d say that the reviews of my fellow book bloggers weigh a lot more than any starred review. After all, I’m not obliged to like something just because someone popular does.

Short post is short, but it’s just something that’s been bugging me for a while. Every time I see a starred review on the front cover of a book, or on the back, I basically skip over those few words and trust the book’s Goodreads rating or reviews I’ve seen from other bloggers. ‘Cause I’m just trusting like that. *puts on shades*

Am I the only one who feels this way? Do you think I should be hunted down and denounced as a book lover? What are your thoughts on starred reviews?

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Me!

Oct 23, 2014


I have to admit that I was just looking for an excuse to do this tag because it looks so fun! And then my savior, Chiara from Books for a Delicate Eternity, came by and officially tagged me. So THANK YOU, CHIARA! Without further ado, here are twenty things you might not have known about me. :D

How tall are you?

I’m around 158 cm, which is roughly 5’2″.

Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

This is a truly amazing talent, guys: I have the uncanny ability to drop all the lettuce in my burgers just by unwrapping the thing. Oh, and when I actually eat the burger? Everyone turns and stares at me in disgust. Without fail. It takes talent to draw that kind of attention. *weeps*

What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Messy blog designs! Or, well, those that are painful to the eyes. Especially those with neon colors? Yeah, no. Don’t do that. I also really dislike it when a handwritten font is used in the content. Please keep your fonts simple and easy-to-read. No one wants to squint while looking through your blog, you know?

What’s your biggest non-blog-related pet peeve?

Honestly, there are really a ton of stuff that annoy me, but I have to say that people who stare are the WORST. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m an introvert, but I absolutely hate it when people stare and won’t look away. I always feel like saying, “Never seen a human before, dude?” but obviously I never have the guts to. And I don’t care if the person doing the staring is a kid. Just as long as you stare, you’re my enemy.

What’s your favorite song?

DIFFICULT. I have so many favorite songs, but right now my favorite is abnormalize by Ling Tosite Sigure. It’s the OP song for Psycho-Pass, which I’m currently watching, and it just gets me so pumped up. GO LISTEENNN.

What’s your favorite Etsy shop?

I don’t shop on Etsy, so I don’t have one.

What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

Aside from the obvious — reading — I binge-watch my TV shows and binge-read my manga like there’s no tomorrow. I also like to create mock-ups of websites and code them up just to see how they’d look… even if I don’t end up using them!

What’s your favorite junk food?

French fries, Lays, Pringles, Ruffles, Oregon Fresh — you name it, I eat it! I only like original flavors, though. :P

Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

I have two dogs and a cat! One of my dog’s is a Jack Russell (Max), the other is a Beagle crossed with a Labrador (we think) and his name’s Ben. My cat, Butter, is a stray we picked up from the roadside while he was a kitten. His nickname’s Butt.

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Swag That Failed: The Hit, Melvin Burgess

Oct 22, 2014

Title: The Hit
Author: Melvin Burgess
Published: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Chicken House
Source: NetGalley
BUY IT: The Book Depository | Amazon

Live the ultimate high. Pay the ultimate price. The shocking return to YA by the author of SMACK. 
A new drug is on the street. Everyone’s buzzing about it. Take the hit. Live the most intense week of your life. Then die. It’s the ultimate high at the ultimate price. Adam thinks it over. He’s poor, and doesn’t see that changing. Lizzie, his girlfriend, can’t make up her mind about sleeping with him, so he can’t get laid. His brother Jess is missing. And Manchester is in chaos, controlled by drug dealers and besieged by a group of homegrown terrorists who call themselves the Zealots. Wouldn’t one amazing week be better than this endless, penniless misery? After Adam downs one of the Death pills, he’s about to find out.

My thoughts on Melvin Burgess’ The Hit are so muddled I don’t even know where to begin. I ignored the average rating on Goodreads and requested this months ago because I loved the sound of the blurb. I mean, a drug that keeps you high for a week before you die? And a protagonist who takes it?! The book sounded so damn original and had such high potential that I thought it couldn’t be that bad.

Oh, how very, very wrong I was.

What I Liked

  1. The premise: The Death Pill, as this new drug is known as, was originally created as a way for people who were close to death to go out with a bang — they take it, they have one sweet week, and die happy. It was an interesting concept, even if it didn’t make much sense because a lot of the details weren’t talked about at all.
  2. There is no second thing.

What I Disliked

  1. The protagonists: Can I just say that both Adam and Lizzie are probably the dumbest set of characters I have come across? They may not have been completely annoying (emphasis on may not), but their stupidity just blew my mind. What would you do if your boyfriend took a drug that would kill him in a week and asked you to help make his life freaking awesome at your cost? Meaning, (a) robbing a shop, (b) having a threesome, (c) murdering someone? I hope you said “I’d dump him!” because that is exactly what Lizzie did NOT do. Granted, they ended up not killing anyone OR having a threesome, but those two (along with a bunch of other stupid stuff) were high up on Adam’s bucket list. And Lizzie agreed to go along with it. I just — ARE. YOU. A. MORON? As for Adam, I would have expected him to be more considerate than that, but he turned out to pretty much be a five year old in a teenager’s body.
  2. The world building: If you know me, you know that I greatly appreciate it when the setting of a story has a considerable amount of depth to it. There was nothing like that in this book. The only things we are told is that there is a new drug circulating England, and that an underground terrorist group known as the Zealots are causing a massive uprising in Manchester. Why? Something about people being unhappy with the current government. And that is it. There’s literally no background of this futuristic world, and no concrete reasons to the political aspect of the country to make the world building realistic. Considering that the entire story took place because of this political riot, it was just something I couldn’t accept.
  3. Rationality: A minor point, but thought I’d just throw it out there anyway — so apparently, once you take Death, your skin magically heals itself and you’re made handsomer than you were before. Oh, and people find you more attractive, so they’ll be more willing to sleep with you and you can complete your fabulous bucket list. Yay! Yeah, um, someone please tell me where’s the logic in this? How can a drug that was first created for the sole purpose of letting dying people enjoy their last days suddenly become some beauty pill as well?
  4. The ending: Look, if The Hit had ended differently, I might have knocked my rating up a little. The ending was SO predictable. I had high hopes that the author would pull something original, but he ended up doing just waht I expected. You failed the last challenge, book.

In the end, The Hit was a massive disappointment, and a complete waste of time. The only reason I kept reading was because I hoped that it would get better. As you can probably tell, it didn’t. Melvin Burgess’ other works may be masterpieces, but unfortunately, this will be the first and last book I’ll ever read by him. Don’t let the awesome blurb fool you, guys!

Rating: ★ 1/2

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series To Start

Oct 21, 2014

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Writing this post probably isn’t the best idea ever, since I really shouldn’t be buying any new series or even starting them, for that matter. *stares guiltily at ARC pile* But — screw it, it’s not like my self-control was strong to begin with. ^_^”

Top Ten New Series I Want to Start

in no particular order

ttt collage 1

1. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick — I admit it: have a thing for sweet, cheesiness-done-right romances, which is exactly what My Life Next Door sounds like! And so far, all the reviews I’ve seen for it have been positive, so I have really high hopes if I ever get around to reading it.

2. Losing It by Cora Carmack — This one didn’t really catch my attention when it was first released. Until all the rave reviews started pouring in. It definitely isn’t a contemporary I would go for, but I have to say that the premise intrigues me, and it sounds like a really awkward book. And you know, awkwardness is kind of my forte.

3. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson — Again, everyone seems to absolutely love this book and its sequels! And it sounds right up my alley too, since it sounds a little Shadow and Bone-esque (though I know S&B came after this). The only thing I’m worried about is the hinted love triangle in the blurb, though…

4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab — I might have been a little leery of Vicious when I first stumbled across it, since it was an adult book, and to be honest, the blurb sounded boring. But I’ve read that it’s a really clever book, with some really clever villains, and well — it sounds different and original, so I’m quite willing to give it a try.

5. The Archived by Victoria Schwab — Another Victoria Schwab book! I took one look at The Archived‘s blurb and immediately knew that this was something I wanted to read. Even though the reviews are kind of mixed, I really like the concept of souls like books in one big library. Fingers crossed that it’ll be good!

ttt collage 2

6. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey — I actually started this one last year, but then put it on hold because of school and just never got around to picking it back up. Anyway, when ARCs for the book were released and the first reviews trickled in, I was just blown away at how many five-star reviews it was getting. It must be a pretty badass book then, right? So I can’t wait to get started on it again!

7. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken — Just read the first two lines of the synopsis: “When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police.” HOLY COW. Like, WHAT HAPPENED TO RUBY??? And what kind of parents would even do that to their own daughter? I NEED TO KNOW.

8. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake — Kendare Blake is known for her gore and brutality, and from what I’ve heard, the details are quite graphic in Antigoddess as well. And also, after re-reading Percy Jackson, I need more Greek mythology books. Let’s hope this one isn’t another disappointment. :D

9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski — This was yet another book that seemed to get only four- or five-star reviews! I managed to read the first couple of chapters while hanging out at the bookstore (thankfully I forgot to bring my wallet that day, so I didn’t end up buying more books xD) and I love Kestrel already. Can’t say I think much about Arin, but I’ll make my judgement after I actually read the entire book, lol.

10. Splintered by A.G. Howard — Gosh, the covers for this series are all so psychedelic and weird. Love ‘em. I’m not particularly big on retellings, even though I’ve only read a handful of them, but I do have a weakness for “twisted” retellings — ones that are set in darker worlds and have a lot more evil than their original stories. And, well, I like the sound of “grotesque madness of a mystical under-land.” ;P

Have you read any of the books I listed above? What did you think of them? Be sure to link me up to your TTT post, too!

Giveaways Are A Pain

Oct 20, 2014

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Giveaways used to give me joy. Well, okay, maybe they still do, but most of the time now? They annoy the hell out of me.

I really like hosting giveaways. Not because they gain me new followers, but because I know how great it feels to win a giveaway (even though I’ve only won once xD) and receive something in the mail. Making people happy makes me happy. But then bad things start to creep in and make me wonder: Are giveaways really worth it, after all?

Let me just give you an example of something that happened to me during a fairly recent giveaway. The giveaway had just ended, so after choosing the winner, I emailed them. I congratulated them on winning, thanked them for supporting my blog and the book’s author in the process, and asked for their shipping address so that I could send them the book.

The person replied. Only, they replied with their shipping address and that was it. No “Thank you!” or any other kind of message. I don’t know if I’m being a bitch about it, but the least you could do is say a fucking “thank you,” you know? I mean, I’m spending hard-earned pocket money here — and books ain’t cheap these days. And this is the kind of shit reply I get? Did you even learn manners, brah?

And that’s not all. Giveaways may earn you followers, but what about the people who swim around the internet looking only for giveaways? Once your giveaway ends, they’re going to unfollow you, just like that. I hate seeing my Twitter follower count increase until 599… only to decrease to like 540 when the giveaway is over. Like, what was the fucking point? I love giveaways, I really do, and I love anyone who hosts them, even though I don’t always enter, but it’s experiences like these that make me want to throw a tantrum like a little bitch.

Which is why I’ve come to the conclusion that giveaways really aren’t worth it. I know not everyone out there is rude, and I know not everyone is as insincere as those I’ll-follow-you-only-if-you-have-a-giveaway followers, but I don’t feel comfortable spending money on giveaways anymore. This probably makes me sound selfish, but this feeling is something I’ve had for a long, long time. I just never had the confidence to write a post about it. Besides, it’s another step in the direction of “stats don’t matter!,” right?

What about you? How do you feel about giveaways? And am I being overly sensitive here? ><