Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Tell the Wind and Fire

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "can't-wait-to-read" is:

title: tell the wind and fire
author: sarah rees brennan
book birthday: april 5, 2016

blurb from goodreads:
Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

Tell the Wind and Fire is a retelling of the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Hello, I Love You

title: hello, i love you
author: katie m. stout
book birthday: june 9, 2015
rating: 2 stars


Let me say in advance: I apologize to anyone I might offend in this review but I have thought long and hard about it and I'm just going to say what's on my mind.

First: Am I seriously the only one that saw the name "Jason" and thought of Jason from Dream High?!
Ok now that's out of my system.

During my absence from blogging and reading the year I was pregnant, I was depressed. I have always loved watched foreign movies, anime, manga etc. February 2014 I discovered Viki and the world of Korean dramas and KPOP and I fell in love. So, when I read the synopsis of Hello, I Love You I was so excited that two of my loves (books and K-dramas) had been brought together. However, this book felt like it was trying too hard to be a Korean drama and it failed miserably.

I never doggie-ear books but I did to this one. My husband asked me multiple times if something was wrong because it was so out of character for me to do so. Yes, something was wrong. I doggie eared a bunch of pages where I found an awkward reference to Korean culture, where Grace said something dumb and incompetent,  if "Korean" or "Korea" was written more than 5 times on a page, and anything else that completely bothered me. I stopped counting at 30 doggie eared pages.
first thing I caught (aside from Grace's little excursion from the airport to the school): "no one listens to KPOP in America" -_- what am I? chopped liver?
pg 34: the commentary on the school system.
pg 37: while in Korean class Grace says to Jason: "You're Korean. Why are you in this class anyway?" That's like saying: "You're American and speak English. Why are you taking English class?" As a teacher, this one really got on my nerves. Basically most of pg. 37 and 38 got on my nerves.

OH! here's a good one:
Jason: Seoul is really western, so I think you'll like it.
Grace: Are you implying that I don't like non-Western places?
Jason: Well you're not exactly known for your cultural sensitivity.

Yup that sums up Grace.
I do not like Grace's character at all. I think she was arrogant, spoiled, and full of herself. What person googles international boarding schools and goes to the first one that pops up without researching the country? Seriously? And her comments about the culture were offensive. I understand it may have been the author's intention to create Grace's character this way but it was taken too far. Grace didn't understand why people enjoy foreign language movies, she didn't understand Korean fashion, that Koreans play musical instruments like a guitar, that there is a lot of sea food in Korean cuisine. She displays extreme cultural intolerance that makes me afraid for those reading that are not familiar with Asian culture because Grace's opinion is not one that should be the first they hear or read.
Also about Grace, while the cover is beautiful, the girl on the cover does not match Grace's description in the book. From what I read, Grace likes to curl her hair and is more full figured.

I agree with the comments on goodreads that say that you could place these characters in any country and have the same story. If it weren't for "Korean" repeated over and over you would think Grace fell in love with an America pop star. I would hate for Grace to come to where I live. She would try to influence Latino music and save a Dominican.

Another thing that bothered me is the useless love triangle and insta-love. At first the love triangle worked and I wanted to see the jealousy it would bring and the choice she would have to make between guys but after the band broke up, the love triangle was forgotten. Also, Grace's knowledge of music was obnoxious. It was like "white girl is here with real music to save the day". When she sees Jason, she calls him the "hot Korean". They basically bond over how much Jason is like her brother who became an alcoholic. Their whole relationship is a tug of war but the only one fussing is Grace. One minute she wants him, the next it's too much too fast or their too different or his drinking is too much blah blah blah. She snaps too quickly. It's ridiculous how fast Grace flips a switch and gets angry with Jason almost like she's looking for a reason to be angry with him all the time.

The only thing I truly enjoyed in this book is Sophie's character. I loved her. I felt like she had a more interesting story going on as the sister of the star, coming from a broken family, going from America back to Korea, falling for her brother's band mate who didn't want a relationship with her because of her brother. *sigh* I want a book on just her.

I see why so many people do enjoy this novel. I understand that if live in a place where you don't have very much diversity in your town and you are not familiar with Asian culture in general that you would find the world in Hello I Love You fascinating and want more. If you are familiar with Asian culture, I understand why you are offended like I was. I do not see how anyone could gain an appreciation for Korean culture from this book. South Korea was like a stationary stage setting in which Grace came to terms with her brother's death and found a boyfriend. The premise of this book had such promise and it was spoiled by Grace's character and the under representation of Korean culture.  Grace gained NOTHING from being in Korea that she could have gotten anywhere else. Rather than bringing awareness to culture and diversity, Hello I Love You danced around it.

*** On another note, the author posted on her blog what happened to the characters after. She says that another book will not be written and Hello I Love You is a stand alone novel. To read what happens visit Katie M. Stout's blog here: So What Happens After Hello I Love You?

Personally, I felt like the characters deserved an epilogue or something if she put this much thought into the characters' life after the story was over. Again I heart Sophie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Auto-buy Authors

TTT again hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today is Top Ten Auto-buy authors. I don't have many that I auto-buy, it's more like I auto look at them or borrow them from the library. 

Here are my auto-buy authors:
Holly Black
S.E. Hinton
Neil Gaiman
Laurie Halse Anderson

Here are my auto-look at authors:
Jessica Day George
Susanne Colasanti
Jennifer E. Smith
Jackson Pearce
Melissa Marr
Maggie Stiefvater
Katherine Longshore

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Soundless

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's "can't-wait-to-read" is:

title: soundless
author: richelle mead
book birthday: november 10, 2015

blurb from goodreads:

From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore. 

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. 

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read

Top Ten Tuesday again hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today is: Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read. OMGSH I am so pumped for this topic! I LOVE fairytale retellings. I have a never ending TBR list of them and I have read so many, so for the purpose of this post I'm going to list 5 I have read and 5 I want to read.

5 retellings I HAVE read: 

1. Fairytale Retellings series by Jackson Pearce
    Sisters Red (red riding hood)
    Sweetly (hansel and gretel)
    Fathomless (the little mermaid)
    Cold Spell (the snow queen)

2. Entwined by Heather Dixon (the twelve dancing princesses)

3. A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn (sleeping beauty)

4. Beast by Donna Jo Napoli (beauty and the beast)

5. East by Edith Pattou (east of the sun and west of the moon)

5 retellings I WANT to read: 

1. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (red riding hood)
I read Cruel Beauty and loved it. While this one may not be in the same world as Cruel Beauty, I am curious to see how the author retells another fairytale.

2. The Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey (mulan)
Ok, so this one may not really be a fairytale, it's an epic poem. Mulan is such a mysterious character to me and I want to know more about her.

3. Towering by Alex Flinn (rapunzel)

4. Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli (the little mermaid)

5. Tales of Beauty and Madness series by Lili St. Crow
    Nameless (snow white)
    Wayfarer (cinderella)
    Kin (red riding hood)
So, I read Nameless and really liked it. I want to continue the series to read other characters' stories.

6. Winterspell by Claire Legrand (the nutcracker)
Again, not really a fairytale but still an epic fantasy.