Thursday, April 30, 2009

2008 Most Challenged Books List Released.

Yahoo! News reported that ALA's 2008 top ten list of the most frequently challenged books has been released. Topping it? And Tango Makes Three. Kind of makes you die on the inside, doesn't it? There were even 93 more challenges this year than were reported last year. Methinks some people need to get themselves some hobbies. Some physical exertion is always a good thing.

Among others on the list, Gossip Girl, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Scary Stories series. It hurts, doesn't it? I know my brain is kind of screaming. To see the whole top ten list along with the top ten most challenged authors, go to the ALA website.

Now, I can understand wanting to shield your children from reading material that you find objectionable. While it's a little stifling, I can still understand it. I just don't get the people that attempt to force their ideals and the masses, regardless of whether they share those same ideals or not. So you find a certain book objectionable. That's great. Doesn't give you the right to rob someone else of their freedom to read. Oh am I going to have a field day during Banned Books Week. I'm already scheming!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Children's Book Week

You just can't forget about Children's Book Week! Publisher's Weekly has a nice, easy rundown of all the important stuff going on that week. Or you can just head on over to the Book Week website directly and rummage for yourself. But whatever you do, don't let the week go by without promoting this awesome event. And be sure to vote in the Children's Choice Book Awards! I'm not a kid or a teen and I voted! I just couldn't help myself. I might be heading up to one of the events (either New York or Boston) and if you are too, be sure to take lot of pictures and show them to us!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Proactivity with the Dur Factor

I re-read the interview I did with Mrs. Magoo (because I did it at least a month and a half ago and I couldn't remember what I wrote!) and it brought to mind some things happening in the YA book blogging world currently. Namely people shilling for free ARCs and books. When Sophie asked me for three tips about blog promotion. Part of my answer was, "Want an ARC? Don't wait to get contacted. Contact the author and ask." Considering the badgering authors have been going through (or so it seems, I tend to stay out of stuff like that), I feel a need to expound on that just a little.

First, I stand by that statement. If you really want a certain ARC, don't be afraid to ask for it. I'll elaborate on that in just a second.

What are ARCs? Aside from Advance Reader Copies, they're promotional material printed up at cost to the publisher as a means for promoting a book. A limited number are printed because they're not supposed to be handed out like business cards. They're supposed to go to reviewers who will be the mostly likely to garner as much viewage as possible. And give you a good review, of course. Not all will, but the bottom line is, they're supposed to go to the people whom the author/publisher/agent thinks will do the best job in promoting the book.

So you can see why shilling for ARCs is a dumbass idea, right? RIGHT? I've seen authors with some pretty strict guidelines when it comes to giving away their ARCs. And rightly so. Why should they give them to book bloggers who've had 500 page views in 6 months with three posts a month? What good is that going to do them? It defeats the purpose of promotion. Does it make the author bad? Not at all. They need to utilize their limited means of promotion effectively and that means they have to be choosy as to who gets and ARC.

So back to my statement. Yes, if you want something ask for it. But don't be a moron. Do some research. Don't ask for an ARC because you want bragging rights or want to up your ARC collection. You're not impressing anyone, least of all the author. You're just an ass that's making the rest of us look bad. Stop. Or I break out my wooden spoon. You don't want that. Trust me. Just think of where splinters can end up.

Just like when you're querying an agent for representation, you want to know that the agent is a good fit for your work. You want to make sure you're a good fit for the author. What are the page views to your blog? What's your comment ratio? How many followers do you have? How many entries to contests do you have? How often do you post? Do you know diddly squat about the author in question?

If you don't know anything about the author, haven't read any of his or her books, don't ask for an ARC, you dorkwad. What good is that going to do the author? Believe it or not, this exchange isn't about you. It's about the author and what can be done for the book in question. Such is the purpose of the book blog. To promote reading, and stuff. Do your homework. Make sure you're a good fit for the author. What does that mean? You like his or her work. That's really the bottom line. I'm not about to jump on Stephenie Meyer and ask to review her next ARC. That'd just be a dumb move. JK Rowling on the other hand, I'd beat people to get to it. You want to make sure you're compatible with the source material. When asking for an ARC, explain why you should get one. What was it about his or her prior books that intrigued you? That you liked? What is it about the upcoming one that you'd love to read? Why should you be chosen to get an advanced copy?

Really, it's common sense.

I equate those ARC whores to the jerks in the slush pile that type their query letters in all caps and then go on AgentFail and complain about how they were wronged and nark on about the conspiracy against the next great bestseller they have in their hands. Y'all make the rest of us that follow the rules, utilize that lump three feet above our asses and play fair look like schmucks by default. I don't like that. It makes me cranky. You won't like me when I'm cranky. See: wooden spoon.

Right now there are two that I'd like to get my hands on for a couple of different reasons, but I haven't read any of the authors' previous work. So I will. See what the odds are of me liking the book in question. Then I'll proceed from there. But normally I don't ask. I'd just feel weird. And considering my TBR pile of doom, I just can't take on books like that.

So peeps, the bottom line is, use the brain Darwin gave you. If you want a particular ARC, don't be afraid to ask for it but be prepared to explain why you should get it. It's only fair. They're not Help Wanted posters than can be stapled all over town. If you don't get one, don't get discouraged. Keep plugging away at your blog. Promote yourself. Get involved in the community. Build yourself up. And then try again. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones that has the author contacting them. If so, good for you! If not, don't be afraid to ask. But don't be afraid of getting turned down either.

And for the love of christ, don't be that asshat that completely ignores the 'I DON'T HAVE ARCS' notice on an author's website and ask for an ARC anyway. You'll hurt my brain if you do. You're probably sending unsolicited manuscripts by snail mail to agents that only accept e-queries under strict guidelines. I hate you so bad.

Where's Waldo?

On April second of this year, 1,052 Rutgers University students, all dressed as Waldo, gathered at the State Theatre in downtown New Brunswick, new Jersey, to shatter a standing Guinness World Record. They succeeded in being the largest gathering of people dressed as Waldo of the picture book variety.

And not by a few measly participants. The previous record was set with a lowly 577 people by Acuity Insurance employees from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. How about them red stripes? Waldo's not lost anymore!

I think it's time to call in the Harry Potter world records!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Don't Forget to Vote

In the YA Book Blog Awards! Make your vote count and may the best blogs win!

Obama Starstruck

As it turns out, there is something that could goggle President Obama.

While at the G20 summit, the president made a beeline for Harry Potter author JK Rowling so he could introduce himself and tell her how he read her books to his daughters. Have I said lately how much Obama rocks my socks?

Among other Rowling fans at the summit were Russian president Medvedev and his wife Svetlana who actually asked for an autograph. Wouldn't you?

I've Been Interviewed

Over at Mrs. Magoo Reads. You should be seeing my interview with Sophie over here pretty soon. But go take a read and be sure to enter the contest I'm having over there. One winner will get to choose between The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a three-in-one book of Cirque du Freak or The Graveyard Book. But don't enter here! Your entries won't count. Go over to the interview, read my snarkasms and follow Sophie's directions there. You have until May 10th. Good luck!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Girls That Growl by Mari Mancusi

First published in 2007.

I'm a vampire. I'm also a vampire slayer. (It's a long story - don't ask.) And now I, Rayne McDonald, Goth girl, have to try out for THE CHEERLEADING SQUAD?

You'd think after I saved my coven last semester, I'd get a break or something. I've got e
nough on my plate: My twin keeps whining about whether or not to go all the way; Mom's boyfriend is moving in; and my man, Jareth, who's now allowed out in the sun, has turned from a dark, brooding hottie vamp into a surfer dude . . .

But I'm still on the clock and have a new assignment. A member of the football team has disappeared - and my bosses at Slayer Inc. think the cheerleaders had something to do with it, because they're actually werewolves! I always knew they were a pack of bitc . . .

Now they want me to infiltrate the squad and get the dirt. But first, I'll need an extreme prep makeover. If only they'd let me wear fishnets
under this revolting uniform . . .

Heads and tails (har har) better than Boys That Bite. Rayne isn't anywhere near as insufferable as Sunny was and holy crap! She's smart and deep! Yay for substance! Aside from the fact that she could be a downright bitch for no reason other than to keep up her Goth girl image, there's no doubt you get to see her morph into a better person throughout the course of the book. There's more going on in her head than going to prom with some jock guy and she's torn between more than extremely superficial aspects of her life (like what to wear and woah is me).

I did think there were a couple of departures from her character, though. Like the brand whoring that still existed, especially at the beginning of the book. What would someone like Rayne care about a Juicy tracksuit or an Armani suit? It just seemed to go against her as a person. But I like how the parallels were made between Mandy's elitism and Rayne's, and she had no idea it was even there. But once it was pointed out, it was obvious that Rayne very much stood by the notion that Goth was cool and everything else was crap, just the opposite of the people she shit on (and shit on her). I very much liked that message because you don't have to have a cashmere sweater tied around your shoulders to be elitist.

There was one chapter towards the end that definitely got a little wishy-washy and everyone was hugging and seemed like they were going to break out into a round of Kumbaya at any moment. I thought that was a little much but thankfully it wasn't the last chapter so it was a fleeting moment, I guess.

I was never really one for reading werewolf novels. I don't know. They just never interested me but I liked this one. The fact that the cheerleaders would go out and "party" and wake up the next morning and not be able to remember anything. It was a perfect cover even though they had no idea what was happening to them. Great excuse. And I love the antidote! Ha!

Rayne's constant reiteration of her gimp vampire status and Jareth being her blood mate were a little wearing, though. I got it after the first fifteen times that she was a vampire with a limp that was tied to this other limpy vampire. I really wish the matter wasn't pressed so hard and I wonder if anyone would actually think of those aspects that much.

I liked her relationship with Cait as well. Mancusi introduces a disorder into her story that I'm sure affects many, many teens but in the context of the book, I'm not sure how well it worked out. I couldn't help but think it was a little contrived. Was it in there just to be in there? Would someone in Cait's situation actually be doing that? Considering everything else going on, to introduce something like that didn't seem . . . appropriate, I guess. I mean, was it necessary? But despite that, Rayne's sticking by her side instead of calling her a freak and running away says something about Rayne. Her pushing Cait to get help says even more. Their friendship was probably my favorite relationship in the entire book

So yeah, skip Boys That Bite. It's as airy as cotton candy and just as filling. If you want a book that has a first person main character with depth, turmoil and more on her mind than labels and guys, you'll want to read this one. I guess it shows the stark differences between the twins but I just hope to god that Stake That! doesn't revert back to Sunny's POV. I might have to cry.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

80s Awesomeness! ~ 8

M.A.S.H. - The Game

You know you used to make those flippy things back in the day. And if you're like me now, you'd sooner stab the piece of paper to death before you could figure out how to make one of these things again.

But you all remember MASH, right? The ultimate method for pre-pubescent kids to tell their fortunes, like who they're going to marry, what kind of car they're going to drive and whether you're going to live in a shack or not. How could fortune-telling get any more accurate?

And I know MASH wasn't actually played with that foldy thingy. But there were other similar games that you screwed around with using it. If you're feeling all nostalgic, go make your own. Or, if you're up for it, sit down and play a game of MASH. What does your future look like?

I will live in an apartment, drive a green Corvette, marry James Purefoy (Google him, *drool*), have zero kids (it knows me so well), be independently wealthy and live in London.

I'd say that doesn't look half bad! (open up Internet Explorer for this one, it didn't want to work right in my Firefox)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Freaky Friday :|: 8

Title: Nightmare Inn (book 1 in the Nightmare Inn series)
Author: T.S. Rue
Published: March 1993
Pages: 208
Publisher: HarperCollins
An all-new horror series by the author of the novelization of Home Alone. When their car breaks down on the way to a weekend camping trip, Sarah, Matt, Adam, and Julie are forced to stay overnight in the spooky, old Arcadia Inn. When Sarah has a vivid nightmare about a gruesome murder, she tries to convince the others that it's a warning to leave Arcadia--or else. (from
Not much around about this one and the author is kind of hard to pin down too. Nonetheless, you gotta love the ultimate cheese of the cover, right? I love that font!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Meme Thing

I snagged this one from Book Junkie although I've seen it pretty much all over the place.

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?

I'm up for any kind of paperback. The smaller, the better.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Barnes and Noble, definitely. I've always felt that Borders was always really scattered and hectic. I never really liked going in there. BN, though, was always, slow going, casual and a relaxing place to be.

Bookmarks or dog-ear?

Bookmarks, definitely. I like to keep my books in nice condition.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar?

As of late, Amazon can go fornicate themselves. Overall, I like brick and mortar stores. I only shop online if I know exactly what I'm looking for and don't think I'll be able to find it in store (or can be bothered to hunt for it). Otherwise I like to browse.

Alphabetize by author, by title or randomize?

Random. I'm OCD but not like that.

Keep, throw away or sell?

Who the hell would throw away a book? I keep the ones I know I would want to read repeatedly and either sell or donate the rest.

Keep dust jacket or remove it?

Keep it. The book's naked without it.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?

With it on. It acts as my bookmark. Also see: naked.

Short story or novel?

I prefer a novel but I know some damn good short stories. They definitely need more hype than they get.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

I've never read Lemony Snicket so by default Harry Potter gets this one. Although I'm sure he'd get it anyway.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Depends. If it's a novel, chapter breaks. If it's a really slow moving book that I'm somehow obligated to read, when I'm tired.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?

Neither. I prefer more subtle and barely recognizable cliches. If we're going for tone, I could go either way depending on my mood.

Buy or borrow?

Depends on my financial situation. I like to buy but I don't mind borrowing from the library either. I rarely borrow from friends.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations or browse?

I only take reviews to heart if I know the person doing the reviewing and I know their taste and it matches mine. Which is basically like three people. Same thing with recommendations. I'll only go out and buy a book from a sole recommendation from one person but if someone else recommends something to me and I think it sounds interesting, I'll pick it up. But mainly I'm a browser. I like roaming.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

Whatever. So long as it doesn't suck.

Morning, afternoon or nighttime reading?

Whenever I can actually get it in, I'll do it.

Stand alone or series?

Whatever, so long as I like it.

Favorite series?

Harry Potter, Goosebumps and Chronicles of Narnia. I wasn't supposed to pick just one, right?

Favorite children's book?

How children are we going here? Are we talking Pat the Bunny, Golden books, Babysitters Club? What? I remember the Berenstein Bears being one of my favorites. And Where the Wild Things Are.

Favorite YA book?

Currently, Cirque du Freak. For a while, Song of the Vampire. I've hung onto that one pretty strongly for a while now.

Favorite book of which no one else has heard of?

Well that's a slight impossibility, isn't it? If no one else has heard of it, it's probably well out of print, don't you think? One I think not too many people have heard of is The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Guide.

Favorite books read last year?

Do you have any idea how bad my memory is? Let's see, I liked The Dark is Rising and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Favorite books of all time?

The Things They Carried, The Historian, Harry Potter

What are you reading right now?

See first section of the sidebar.

What are you reading next?

Stake That! by Mari Mancusi

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old?

Anything from the Goosebumps series. I'm demented like that.

Favorite book to re-read?

Song of the Vampire, Harry Potter

Do you ever smell books?

That's none of your damn business, now is it?

Do you ever read primary source documents, like letters or diaries?

Well that's kind of random, isn't it? I don't think I ever have for fun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hug Your Planet

She needs it. Today is Earth Day and what are you doing to help make this planet a better place to live? Do you recycle? Do you buy home-grown or local foods? What about organic? Do you utilize public transportation? Do you carpool?

Measure your carbon footprint here. You may think you're not emitting much but you'd be surprised. I know I was. I wish I could be a little more accurate on that test, though. My electric bill, for instance. The pricing is deregulated in Connecticut so I'm getting royally butthurt in that department. Our usage is actually down about half from last year yet the price is twice as much. And my car. Yeah, it's a 1997 Honda that has 130,000 miles on it. But highway driving I can get over 400 miles to the tank. That has to count for something, right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi

First published in 2006.

My mom is so going to kill me if she finds out I'm turning into a vampire.

Okay, so technically she can't because I'm immortal. Well, not yet. See, due to the worst case of mistaken identity with my dark-side-loving tw
in sister at a Goth hangout called Club Fang, Magnus, a vampire hottie, went for my innocent neck instead of hers. Now, if I don't reverse it in time, Magnus will be my blood mate forever and I'm doomed to be a blood-gulping, pasty, daylight-hating vampire. Believe me, it seriously bites.

After the unfortunate slaying of the vampire leader, it's up to me, my sister, and Ma
gnus to find the one thing that can solve my problem - the Holy Grail. No joke. I seriously hope I can get out of this in time because, somehow, I scored the hottest prom date in my school, the mouth-watering Jake Wilder. And I do not want to be a vampire for the prom - let alone the rest of eternity . . . (book back blurb)

My trustworthy Canadian friend who heads up the YA section at her local Chapters recommended this series to me for one reason - the Lost Boys reference in, I believe, it's the second book (Ok, I told you people I had a problem, didn't I? A loooooooong time ago.). And because we have really similar tastes in reading material so I pretty much take her recommendations to heart since we're pretty much the same person in that regard. I figured I'd read the entire series since I didn't want to start in the middle and she warned me about this one.

And she was right.

It's Clueless with fangs. I was waiting for 'gag me with a spoon' to make an appearance. Sunny was such a vapid, unrelatable character for most of the book that I couldn't care one way or another what happened to her. The whole valley girl thing really grated on me, as did the constant brand whoring. One of the constant pieces of advice I've heard from agents is not to name drop or label drop in your story too much because it'll end up dating your book, which is not necessarily a good thing. I have a feeling that this was supposed to be Sunny's personality but holy crap. Enough is enough already. There was nothing but Prada and Gucci and Diesel in that air head of hers. And that moron Jake that she kept going on about.

The whole teen voice, to me anyway, sounded just this side of contrived. I don't want to say it was forced because that's going a little too far but it wasn't natural-sounding either. It felt like the author was trying just a little too hard to make her sound like a "typical" teenager and it kept splashing over the brim. I know girls can really talk like that but I hope that they're deeper than what Sunny was. And I was in her head the entire time and only went ankle deep.

I have to say, though, I liked the end. Sunny redeemed herself a bit when she broke out of her whole dumbass shell and started acting like a normal human being instead of a superficial peabrain that she was throughout most of the book. She showed depth and caring and sacrifice and I only wish more of that side of her was present in the book because I probably would have liked it more. I mean, I can watch Heathers and they all talk like that but there's depth. Talk like a valley girl all you want so long as you're deeper than a puddle. Because of that I was all around disinterested with Sunny up until the last few chapters.

I actually liked Magnus. Out of all of them, he was probably my favorite character if for nothing more than his adamance to put the welfare of other people ahead of his own despite the fact that other person was completely selfish for most of the time. He seemed like a pretty cool guy and I liked the fact that he's not really into the whole Goth scene but just plays the part. Puts a twist on the character and doesn't make him a stereotype within Mancusi's world. I still don't understand why he fell for Sunny outside of the whole DNA thing (blood mates are made based on DNA, identical twins have identical DNA, thus switching Sunny and Rayne wouldn't mean much in the mates department). Her personality just sucked most of the time and being behind Sunny's eyes and knowing her every thought and action, I really didn't see what was so appealing about her. Thus is the enigma of guys.

The whole Vampire Scent thing got to be a bit much, though. The secretary? Come on. I think that was supposed to be funny but I just saw that as really forced. And the whole thing with Jake? Um, yeah. So apparently the Vampire Scent can make a guy want to hump your leg. Awesome. Again, a bit much.

Overall, I mean, it's not bad but it's definitely not something to write home about. I'd recommend it just for the ending, maybe the last 1/3 or 1/4 of the book or so. The rest of it I could have done without.


You know, I had a feeling I was skimming over another award. I could have sworn I got two nominations for the Splash Award but for whatever reason, my eyes didn't want to see that email in my inbox last night. Of course, at work today I saw it and did a *facepalm*. Gah!

Jen has also nominated me for the Splash Award. My tired eyes just didn't grab her website yesterday! Sorry, hun! Because I've already paid this one forward, I'm just going to leave it be. Consider it piggy-backing on my last post. *meek smile*

Monday, April 20, 2009

More, More Awards!

Ok, so I got a little backed up with my emails and I'm just getting to these today. My bad. I swear I didn't let them sit in the hopes that I would accumulate more awards. :) But how about I start with some living-dead chickens?

Miss Jen awarded me with these flesh eating chickens, for which I'm very grateful. They beat a garbage disposal any day.

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all...

Hmm, who should I sick these crazy pieces of poultry on?

Shooting Stars Mag
The Story Siren
Presenting Lenore
{Insert Book Title Here}
Shalonda's Blog

ProphecyGirl over at Wondrous Reads bestowed upon me the Splash Award. Natural bodies of water give me panic attacks but for PG, I'll gladly accept this one. :)

The Rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post
4) Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award.
6) Have F~U~N

Hmmm, I'll nominate three for this one.

Sharon Loves Books and Cats
Steph Su Reads
The Book Obsession

And last but not least, Desert Rose awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award. There wasn't much by the way of instructions but from the looks of it, I'm supposed to pass it on to blogs that I've recently discovered and enjoyed. I can do that!

Book Reviews by Jess
Tales of a Ravenous Reader
50 for Jen
Young Adult Romance Reviews


Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Field Guide to Monsters by Dave Elliott

First published in 2004.

All works of non-fiction these days claim to be the "definitive" this, the "essential" that, or the "ultimate" the other. This guide, however, truly is essential, for the information contained within these pages may well save your life. This ESSENTIAL, ULTIMATE, DEFINITIVE guide is the most comprehensive tome ever put together on the subject of monsters. Within these pages lie the secrets to many of the monsters that are still at large today. Whether you are a monster watcher or monster hunter, you will find these entries invaluable.

We cover their height, weight and other vital statistics: their origins, their habitats, their eating habits (watch out Tokyo), and even their breeding patterns (those that have them). We also cover the following:

Behavior: Through careful comparison you can find out if your next-door neighbor, schoolteacher, boss or even parent is truly w
hat they seem.

Lethality: Discover which creatures are even more dangerous than secondhand smoke, non-saturated fats, and excess carbs.

Weaknesses: If you're going to protect yourself from the forces of evil you MUST know not only how to protect yoursel
f, but how to send the forces of darkness back where they belong (and we're not talking train tickets here).

Powers: Who can do what to whom and how: The when's, the where's, the why's and the what with's.
(book back blurb)

Gotta love them bargain bin finds. And you usually get these good ones right around Halloween. I love Barnes and Noble. I really do.

Aside from being heinously inaccurate (I mean, to say the guy mutilated the Lost Boys section is an understatement), it's actually a pretty funny read. I don't know if the mistakes were intentional or a result of an "I don't give a shit" attitude but the snarky comments partially made up for it. So the guy can't tell the difference between Medus and a Hydra. Is that any reason to mark it against him? O_o

Nevertheless, it's a good handbook to have if you ever decide to take on the forces of evil, or attempt to shave a werewolf's back. Knowing where just to poke them to have them on the ground in a fetal position is vital. I would highly recommend backup material though because, like I said, at times the author couldn't tell his ass from his elbow and I wonder if this guy is really working for the other side and intentionally trying to screw us all over. Bastard.

I think the author fed his editor to Godzilla or something too because damn. A ten-year-old wouldn't have missed some of the stylistic errors I found. Sheesh.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Amazon Drop

I can no longer, in good conscience, continue using Amazon after their massive bumfuckery of a failure which they keep trying to explain away as a method of making their site more family friendly.

If someone were searching on the topic of homosexuality, whatever they were looking for, this search result would be considered "family friendly"?

(click to see the larger image and see what I'm talking about)


So Amazon only panders to the greater voting population of California and the various Bible Belts across the country? WTF are they playing at? Removing "adult" themed books that feature gay characters when Hustler's barley legal issue is as easy to get as the soap off the counter? Really?

I'm failing to see anything other than a blatant alternate lifestyle cleansing of Amazon for reasons only their top-ranking officials know. Amazon ain't for gay people no more. And they're not for me anymore. How they could do something like this and pass it off as a glitch is beyond me. How they thought this was going to slide right by people is even further beyond me.

So I've registered for Barnes and Noble affiliates. As soon as they approve my account, I'll be switching all of my book links over there. Let Amazon pander to the close-minded fuckholes of the world. I'm taking my business somewhere else.

80s Awesomeness! ~ 7

Which one are you?

John Hughes is the teen movie god. Nothing that comes out today can even hold a flickering match to what Hughes created in the 80s with movies like The Breakfast Club.

John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian, the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy). These five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal (Paul Gleason), and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. "When you grow up, your heart dies," Allison proclaims in one of the film's many scenes of soul-searching, and, judging from the adults depicted in the film, the teen audience may very well agree. Released in a decade overflowing with derivative teen films, The Breakfast Club has developed an almost cult-like status. Dylan Wilcox, All Movie Guide
I loved this movie so much I even had the opening quote of the movie, an excerpt from David Bowie's song "Changes" as my senior quote:

And these children
That you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune to your consultations.
They're quite aware of what they're going through.

And who could forget the letter they wrote to the principal at the end?
Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal.

Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours,

The Breakfast Club

Friday, April 17, 2009

Freaky Friday :|: 7

Title: Blood & Lace: Vampire Heart (#1)
Author: Joseph Locke
Published: July 1994
Pages: 160
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
In the tradition of Dark Shadows comes an intriguing romantic epic. In this first book, 17-year-old Sabrina Van Fleet yearns to know the truth about her parents' mysterious death and other family secrets. Why does her eccentric Uncle Viktor sleep in a casket in the basement? Could it be that Sabrina is from a family of vampires? (from
Fan Review:
Sabrina Van Fleet is a wealthy teenaged girl who is away at boarding school in England when she learns her parents have died in a car crash. She returns to her home in Maine to live with relatives. There she learns her "Uncle" Viktor is really an ancient ancestor. Cursed to become a vampire 200 years ago, he now wants to turn Sabrina so that she can be his servant. Sabrina, her boyfriend Eric, and a group of their friends must stop Viktor before it is too late. I think teens who enjoyed books by L. J. Smith and Janice Harrell would like this book. (from
Never even knew these books existed but now I want to hunt them down and devour them!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Books, They Are Dropped

Did you drop today? Where? What did you leave in your wake? I had 14 YA books total (minus the dog), plus a bunch more that needed a good home. I outright bought four of them just for this event and the rest I've accumulated over the course of my reading that I just wasn't going to read again. They'd be better used at the library than with me. Thankfully the walk to the library took all of five minutes because any longer and my shoulder would have been bleeding.

Overall, the Operation was a success!

Fanged Satire

Sick and tired of dating all those loser vampires? Had enough of your undead beau lusting after other girls' jugulars? Then you might want to pick up The Vampire is Just Not that into You by Vlad Mezrich when it drops this October.

Most importantly, you'll want to snag it if you love a good bit of vampire fun-poking. As much as I love my fanged friends, seeing them roasted is oh so hilarious when done well.

Inspired by the current vampire craze in YA, editor David Levithan just couldn't help himself. Apparently this book came together as if Fate had already determined it. It was meant to be, and finally a reprieve for people like me that need to see current vampires get a good cranking. We could all do with a little cleansing every now and then.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spine-Breaking Spawn by Stephenie "Pedophilia is teh Romance" Meyer

First published in 2008.

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life--first discovered in
Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse--seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed . . . forever?


And then there was, um . . .


Please, someone tell my my brain wasn't the only one that went here for the spawn's birth--

If you couldn't tell already, I'm not going to be nice here. If you don't want to read me peeling the skin off of this disgusting piece of literature and frapee-ing it in a blender, navigate away now.

. . .

What the fuck is wrong with this woman? Seriously. What the fuck?

And I'm not talking about the writing. In all honestly, I thought it was slightly better than the other three. Slightly. Considering the other three were pure, unadulterated lessons in how not to write, that's not saying very much. She kept the word 'granite' to an unnoticeable minimum, as was 'russet.' Thank god. Because, in Meyer's world, there's no other way to describe such texture and color.

Yeah, I'm done with this "writers need to be nice to other writers" bullshit with this woman. She doesn't deserve it. Anyone that tries to shade over rampant pedophilia as romantic and loving is sick and doesn't deserve a modicum of respect. But I'll get back to that in a minute.

First let's talk about Bella and the epic fail of the mother she is. Sure, she's still insufferable as ever but considering she puts Edtard over her own daughter, she's shit. Jacob let's her hold Renesmee. WTF? Let? She's your fucking daughter, whoretard. There's no let. And just the notion that she keeps spewing about not being able to live without Edward, that if he died, she'd kill herself to be with him . . . maybe she should have aborted when she had the chance because she's obviously way too self-involved in her own feelings to have a daughter. If that's how you feel, don't have children because you're too childish to have them. When you sprout spawns, they become your first priority. Not your husband, not you. Your children. You do anything you can possibly do to save them and that does not include putting them into the hands of baby fuckers and following your lover on a suicide roller coaster ride. To say that is horrible parenting is being way too nice. But, it's good in Meyerworld.

Then there's the massive deux ex machina that is Bella. Oh she comes in to save the day at the blue balls ending. How anticlimatic that was. I've heard about it since it came out but damn, that was horrible. And not only is she a walking talking DEM, she's the ultimate Mary Sue, as if we didn't know that already. But per amazing perfection and vampire aptitude, as commented by everyone with eyes, including herself, multiple times, is a testament to the Sueism. Yak. Masturbatory work if I ever saw it.

Then there are the more technical aspects, like being in Jacob's head yet Meyer couldn't seem to get out of Bella's. I highly doubt Jacob would have noticed Edward's skin as granite. What did I say before about a thesaurus? No one listens to me. Bella kept peaking through Jacob's voice, thus proving that Meyer doesn't know her characters enough to shift from one to another. Or her writing just isn't good enough. Or both.

Then there's chagrin, which I'm convinced Meyer doesn't know how to use properly in a sentence, as evidenced in her writing. And irrevocably. Just stop it. Find some different words already.

There's also the massive character shifts that went on throughout, like Alice up and leaving and bringing back a deux ex machina piece of evidence to save the day or Rosalie all of a sudden liking Bella. As if her mortal enemy doing something she couldn't wouldn't make her more resentful, right? And Edward lying flat on his back so Bella can walk all over him, along with every other character in the book bending to Bella's will. Self-serving much?

At least Meyer acknowledged the fact that Jacob & Co. weren't actually werewolves but shape shifters even though Jacob was all like, "Dude, I'm so, like werewolf, and junk." Now if she could just come to terms with the fact that the glittering pixies in her books aren't actually vampires, the world might be a slightly better place.

Now I think it's time to go back to that pedophilia thing. Yeah. Fucking sickness. What the fuck was she thinking attempting to make this a feasible romantic plotline? A man of legal age of consent in all fifty states imprints/falls in love with/finds his soulmate in a newborn . . . O_o Then there's his friend with the three year old. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

And all the Twihards will say, but he's like a big brother or an uncle and will take care of her until she's old enough where they can take their relationship to the next level." Mkay. Yeah, because what I want to do when I get all growed up is fuck my uncle. So it's pedophilia with a side of incest now, is it? There is absolutely no way anyone can explain this to me to make it be anything other than pedophilia. None. Why? Because the intent of Jacob's relationship with Loch Ness and his friend with that toddler is to tap that sweet, sweet baby ass in order to further the werewolf line. They said it themselves. The purpose of imprinting is to ensure the survival of the Quileute lineage. That involves fucking. Grown men. And children. NAMBLA's having a field day with this (and I will not link that sick site, if you want to know what it is, Google it yourself and keep a vomit bucket handy).

The definition of pedophilia--
  • sexual desire in an adult for a child
  • The act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children
  • a sexual attraction to children
  • from Gk. pais (gen. paidos) "child" + philos "loving."
  • sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object
So tell me how that DOESN'T pertain to Jacob and his buddy there in any shape or form and I'll not think their sick relationships pedophilic. I am so thoroughly disgusted by this book and Meyer herself. It was bad enough to blanket a controlling, manipulative stalker as the ultimate romantic boyfriend but to shade pedophilia under the romance shroud? For shame. It makes me want to light this book on fire, literally, and watch it burn a slow death. It's only deserving. What could have possessed her to think this was a good idea to write is beyond me.

To be slightly fair, I'm of the understanding that the concept of imprinting comes from a Mormon belief in being thusly attracted to your soul mate. That's all well and good and really cute when a couple of six-year-olds or ten-year-olds do it but an adult and a child is just illegal and renders Jacob at the bottom of the butt-fucking prison totem pole.

I've read better Suethor fanfiction than this. And at least that's fanfiction. It gets buried in with the rest of it and if you don't want to find it, you won't. But this . . . this is Ebola escaped into the world that's making our insides liquefy. You couldn't escape this monstrosity if you tried. This is literary masturbation of a whole different variety. The author isn't spooging her literary prowess on the page. *snerk* She's spooging herself in her ultimate fantasy all over the place for everyone to see while at the same time promoting abusive relationships and pedophilia. Yeah. Awesome.

This book is leaving my house tomorrow. I can deal with the first three. They're not so bad to read and can actually be somewhat enjoyable if I beat my brain into submission. But my home needs to be exorcised of this evil. It's not worth the paper it's printed on. Before, I could somewhat understand the appeal of Edward and Bella and their whining but now, after this last one, it doesn't surprise me that even prior diehard fans are going, WTF?

Fuck this. Meyer owes me bites.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Operation TBD Ready to Launch!

Operation Teen Book Drop is happening this Thursday, April 16th. What are you dropping and where? I went out and bought a copy of Luxe by Anna Godbersen, Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, Marked by PC Cast and Kristin Cast and Cirque du Freak 1 through 3 by Darren Shan, plus two piles of books off my own shelves.

Originally I was just going to do the four books, two for boys and two for girls, and drop them around my local mall. But the more I thought about it, and the more I heard about the budget cuts on my local news, the more I started leaning towards making a big donation to my local library that I happen to live right across the street from. Which is what I'm going to do and which is why I'm including my massive pile o' books. This way I know they'll be put to good use instead of thrown out or tossed aside or whatever else may happen if they're just left lying around.

I know libraries desperately need donations right now so if you're participating and still don't know where you want to drop, consider the library. The demand for popular books is becoming higher than the supply, what with everyone trying to save money so the more help libraries get, the better.

Still don't know what Operation Teen Book drop is? Head on over to readergirlz to read all about it. Hopefully you'll be swayed to make a drop yourself.
Operation Teen Book Drop 2009 (TBD '09) is being held in celebration of Support Teen Literature Day, April 16th, 2009. Through the efforts of readergirlz (, GuysLitWire (, YALSA (, and publishers, teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 new young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels.

Half-Blood Prince a Near-Epic Fail

Apparently David Yates has gone off the deep end with deviating from the book on this one. All romance, removing pivotal memory scenes and Dumbledore survives? WTF? They're splitting the last movie in two because they don't want to compromise the story and they're ass-raping HBP? Why? There's so much important information in HBP that needs to be said in order to get to Deathly Hallows that it's just downright sacrilege to cut it out. And all of the romance was either comedic relief (Ron and Lavender) or underlying (Harry and Ginny). Why are those aspects being amped up? Why are they screwing with Harry Potter? Go mutilate Twilight. It's not like it's too far off. Preserve Harry Potter for the awesomeness that it is instead of cranking it out to please a particular target audience, or so they think.

Shouldn't they know by now that said target audience wants what's in the books and not what the studios think they want? Why haven't they gotten that yet? We're on the sixth damn movie already!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why We Suck by Dr. Denis Leary

First published in 2008. (Warning: this book is nowhere near YA. We're talking, like, if YA were the East Coast, this book would be Pluto.)

Do you SUCK?

Would you like to not SUCK?

Do you know other people who SUCK?

Would you like to tell them how to SUCK less or how to possibly become totally SUCK-free?

Then buy this book, because inside Dr. Denis Leary is ready to help you overcome all the sucky things that make you such a suckass. Not to mention all the fat, loud, lazy and stupid suckholes you hav
e to deal with at the office, family gatherings or while using public transportation.

Part memoir, part self-help tome but definitely a full-time funny assault on all the posers, politicians and pop culture icons who have sucked in public for far too long, this book is a call to arms for everyone who feels the way the good doctor does:
  • Skinny jeans are for skinny people.
  • Men will never change. Not even into clean underwear.
  • If God didn't want us to eat meat, why did He make the cow so slow? (Ever eaten a cheetah-burger? Nope. And you never will.)
Buy this book and you will hopefully laugh out loud, call your mom a little more often and never vote for a member of the Bush family ever again.

At the very least, though, you'll have yourself a nice big twenty-six-dollar coaster to place your drink on while you watch TV. And isn't that reason alone to buy it?
(book flap blurb)

If you don't know who Denis Leary is, Google him. Now. Watch him on YouTube from his No Cure for Cancer routine or his Lock and Load bit. Laugh your ass off. Now. I revere this man. He is my role model. My idol. My god. Probably the very reason I swear like a sailor and I agree with about 98% of what he has to say, from drugging your children to women taking the same damn physical test that men do to become a firefighter to Paris Hilton just fading away. And everything in between.

If you're an asshole, a shithead, Britney Spears, a Yankee fan (chagrin), a moron, a parent, female, Linday Lohan, a right wing conservative, a left wing liberal, Paris Hilton, Mormon, prude, sensitive, anti-drugs, the Kardashians, anti-alcohol, human, Dr. Phil or politically correct, this book is probably not for you because you'll get offended. Because you're humorless. And have your head shoved in various places including but not limited to: your vagina, your asshole and the Bill of Rights.

Dr. Leary goes into tirades about the non-existence of issues like Autism, the waste of space of Anna Nicole Smith and the concept of bullying and how they're good for everyone on either side. Especially if you snap and beat the shit out of the bully. Not to mention parental discipline. And drugging children. If you can't take what he has to say, put the book down now. Otherwise you'll just end up as fodder for his next stand-up routine that I will pay outrageous amounts of money to see.

I now give you an except from the chapter entitled, "Please Drug Your Children."
Now maybe it's the product names that are putting you off. Maybe it's the ny in NyQuil or the dryl in Benadryl. That's a pretty easy fix. Would you like it better if we called them LoveQuil and BenAsleep? Or even better maybe QuietQuil or PeaceQuil. Or just cut right to the chase and name them after what YOU have to gain from putting them into a parent-induced mini-coma: Sexadryl.
This book is probably as close to unedited as you can get. The punctuation and continuity are nine different levels of FUBAR. But it's Denis Leary. As far as I'm concerned, he can write 'fuck you' in puce crayon for 300 pages and I'd still buy it. This is the guy with the Asshole song after all.

So if you're easily offended and can't laugh at yourself, run away now. If you like to snort soda through your nose while reading/listening to a really smart guy tell you exactly how it is, then read this book. And buy all of his albums. And go to his shows. You're welcome.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Added to the Pile + 2

Hey! I got the rest of the books I was expecting this week! Yeah, don't expect any more for a while, unless I win more. I really need to crank through this TBR pile. It's just this side of ridiculous.

I got my copy of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson that I won from Lenore. Yay! And it's my first ARC.

"Dead girl walking," the boys say in the halls.

"Tell us your secret," the girls whisper, one toilet to another.

I am that girl.

I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.

I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Wintergirls explores the emotions that underlie the obsessive, competitive culture or eating disorders as only Laurie Halse Anderson could. With lyrical, evocative prose, she tells the unforgettable story of one girl's desperate struggle to battle the demons within.

I also got my copy of A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick from The Faerie Drink Review. Read this snippet and tell me it didn't tingle your dingle a little bit.

He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible.

I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us.

"I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him.

He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say an
ything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?"

The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden."

My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss has just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked.

His gaze held mine like two hands joined. he understood what I was really asking.

"Let me stay," I said. "Please."

"You're going to get me in trouble."

Hot, huh?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

80s Awesomeness! ~ 6

The ultimate in yuppie swag--


Only the coolest people wore these ulta-awesome jackets, usually with the sleeves pushed up and complimented with Aviators. I can tell you it was a pain in the ass trying to find an authentic 80s jacket because the brand's come back into style (coughiownonecough). Why are they called Member's Only? I'm convinced because they were so expensive to buy that if you could afford one, you were automatically in an elite club of yuppieness. Even today you'll be hard pressed to pay below $1,000 for a Member's Only jacket retail. I got mine for $10 on this deep discount outlet site. Never shopping there again though.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Freaky Friday :|: 6

Title: Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Published: September 1991
Pages: 128
Publisher: HarperCollins

Storytellers know -- just as they have for hundreds and hundreds of years -- that everyone enjoys a good, scary story!

Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories 3 joins his other popular collections of scary folklore, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, to give readers spooky, funny and fantastic tales guaranteed to raise goose bumps.

Who is the Wolf girl? Why is a hearse filled with men with yellow glowing eyes? Can a nightmare become reality? How do you avoid an appointment with Death?

Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozens scary stories -- and even a scary song -- all just right for reading along or for telling aloud in the dark.. (from

Editorial Reviews:

A wonderful collection of tales that range from creepy to silly to haunting. (Entertainment Weekly)

Read these if you dare. (New York Times)
Wow, I'm one hell of a masochist. You don't understand how bad I want to go out and buy these books but at the same time how much these pictures scare the hell out of me. I read these when I was in fifth grade so that puts me at what, 10? Nearly 16 years later and I still get all skeeved out looking at those drawings. That's some power, right there.
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