June 21, 2011

The Septavalent Stone by J.O. Jones


Mrs. Ugabi never told Andrew that she was a renowned witch or that his uncle was a retired magical salesman who traded contraband dark magical objects. If she had, he would have known that:

    1.    Travelling to his uncle house to stay for a few weeks was a bad idea, and,
    2.    Forgetting to search his box before leaving the house in case anything sinister found its way into it was also a bad idea.

Instead, Andrew has to learn about his uncle the hard way as strange things begin to happen around him. As the medical schools in Africa grow worse academically, Andrew transfers to Norgads University in Ukraine where a group of fellow nephews-and-kids of mystic parentage have mysteriously convened, unaware that he holds, in his box, an ancient relic that belongs to a very powerful being called an elder.

But just when he thinks he can settle down and finally study, he discovers the stone, and to make matters worse, his cousin, the wild and unpredictable Aloysia, arrives on her father's orders to retrieve it. With a second war threatening to repeat itself between the two families, and the power of the stone causing the school cadavers to arise and attack the students, Andrew and Aloysia must put aside all differences, and team up to solve the mystery behind the stone which leads him to learn lesson number three:

3. There are some situations that two enemies cannot pass through together without becoming best friends.

The Septavalent stone is an epic 80,000-word novel about family rivalry, secrets, campus life and supernatural beings, which will engage both loyal and casual YA readers, with cross-over potential for twenty-something men. Andrew's story celebrates a broad multicultural and international appeal.

My Thoughts:

So this is my first indie book to review (that the marvelous author J.O. Jones gave to me to review)! So hoorah for that!

*does a little dance jig*

But um, overall, I was really confused and conflicted over this book. Let me tell y'all why:


There were WAY too many characters. Not only that but there were five characters with the same first initial. Andrew, Alex, Ama, Agatha, and Aloysia. Can you say confusing?

I wish I could tell y'all that Alex and Andrew (who's the main character) sounded completely different and  could I tell the difference from one or the other. But I couldn't. So I kept confusing them both up. When Alex would talk, I thought he was the main character then I was like oh no it's not Andrew but Alex. Darn.

So the first suggestion I would make to the author (who I'm going to give pages of notes to that I took) is to limit the name giving. It confuses the reader and it's hard to keep all of those names in the text. I think 10 names at the most is a reasonable number. I know that in my book, Angel Diaries, there are like five main character and like three side characters. A lot of the side characters are going to come into play, but I don't name them except I think one. Why? To avoid confusion and because it's not relevant at this point of the game. So they are not given names.

Alot of J.O. Jones did was he gave names to the side characters, the guard at the passport place and to the people of the meeting in the very beginning of the book. A lot of side characters are given names that don't really need names. You can say Joe Schmoe number 1 or Mrs Debate or something along those lines. Something that's easy to remember but that's not going to be needed to remember. I know he didn't give a name to one character but a nickname to an elder who had an afro but I think he was important. I guess. It was kinda ironic that he gave names to characters who only showed up once in the book but didn't decide to give names to an important side character.

So that's one of the reasons I was confused: The names.


Oh my gosh. I didn't know where we were until like page 100. No lie. I had no idea that the main character was from Nigeria! I would have been gripping my seat and been like, "Huh! A main character is African and it's a fantasy sort of book! Very interesting!" Instead I said that in the middle of the book.

Then when I read that they were from Nigeria, they move halfway across the world to Ukraine. And funnily enough, I speak Russian (Prevet to my Ukrainian visitors!). I'm learning Ukrainian. Apparently there isn't a big difference except some words sound completely different . . . Anyway, getting back to the point. He uses Russian words in his text and I have to say they were all correct. I'm pretty sure. Besides, I think J.O. Jones lives in the Ukraine, so I'm not surprised that he knows Russian and Ukrainian. Which is interesting because people don't suspect that African and African Americans speak Russian (and the fact that it is hard to find a place that teaches Eastern European languages is also a factor)! I had to bust out my coworker and tell him that yeah I speak Russian. He had the most funny look on his face that I almost busted out laughing. But I didn't.

Anyway, veering right back to the point. I knew the second he entered the Ukraine but I had no idea that the setting was in Nigeria. So that's why I confused on that notion.

But I have to say the way he described the market place was very realistic. One of my political science teachers is from Africa, I think Nigeria (lol, you never know what I know, do ya?) and he described it exactly the same way. And when he described Ukraine, it definitely rang true to me. So all he needs to fix is make it apparent from the start that we are in Nigeria and what city and everything. Once the character leaves it, I know we are in Ukraine, so that part of the setting is fine. Just need some clarification on some other things.



Most confusing part of all. I did not get the ending. Like you know when there's a major fight scene? It was like that, but I had no idea who was good and who was bad or even who I should cheer for. Like I knew Andrew was the main good character, but other then that . . . *shrugs* I couldn't decipher what the heck was going on. Especially since he exposes one the supposedly good characters as a bad character then all of the sudden he's good again? :S

Let's back track. I understood most of it, until Andrew flew over the Ukraine. I think the plot arch (if anyone doesn't know the classic plot chart, then this would be the time to drag it out on the Internet and view it with me. Yes, I will wait. Seriously. It's that important. I'm an up and coming English teacher, what do you expect?) was a bit difficult to decipher.

I got the exposition, the rising action, the falling action and the resolution. But the climax? Eh. I didn't feel any sort of tension. There was a GASP moment, but I didn't gasp. Why? It just didn't feel like it was believable. Then most of the work on the falling action was already done for them, which is a big suspense killer. Then I already explained the ending. It was just confusing.

I'm just hoping that the book I just read is going to improve leaps and bounds, because it can only get better from here. I liked some of the building tension that he's kinda thrown into a world he knows nothing about but there was something getting in his way: The extra story stuff.

What the heck do I mean by that? Um, like when he landed in the Ukraine there was a lot of hints that this wasn't an ordinary school. So he did a lot of back story. To the point where I thought it would be important. It wasn't. All of the cute interactions between the characters and their stories didn't really progress any further then that: Stories that just added to the big bomb of foreshadowing that pretty much led to nowhere.

I mean, yeah I totally get the whole: HEY he's in a weird school part, but I say drop two hints about it, be really light handed about it, then move forward. There's no need to drop, I think it was, like five hints. I got it the first two times. Then of the course the incident with his cousin should be highlighted (since I'm thinking that's the climax), but other then that, cut it. It just distracts the reader from the main core of the story. Seriously. I thought it was important so I stored it into my memory which clouded the whole climax moment.

Another thing. It seemed to me that there was too much going on. First it was about him and the septavalent stone. Which made sense since the stone came in handy. But it was only that one time, from my understanding. So why name the book The Septavalent Stone when it came in handy once?

Then it seemed like the whole conflict was over the professors at school and their lineage. Yeah, I was definitely confused too. I was like: What the heck? This is a fantasy book. FANTASY. If I wanted to get some teacher drama, I could wait for that when I student teach next year. So I don't know where he was going with that, but it seemed to stem from that yet it had something to do with the stone . . . ?

Okay, let me back track. I know the bad guy used the stone to get some sort of magical edge over the elders. Okay. But then it's like how did he get the stone if Andrew had it? How did the souls of seven elders get caught up in the stone? Doesn't this seem a little Harry Potter-esque and did that come into play when you thought of the plot?

Actually, now that I thought of it, some things reminded me of Harry Potter. I mean, he goes to a school of magic portions (HELLO) even though it's not a high school, it still reminds me of it. Harry Potter had no idea of his powers. Andrew didn't either. The whole Lord Voldemort (sorry Harry Potter fans for slaughtering the name if I spelled it wrong. It's been like almost a half a decade since I read the books. And I didn't read the last book. Don't look at me like that!) thing trying to get the pieces of his lost soul back then elders giving their magical souls or parts into one stone? Yeah, definitely some Harry Potter themes there. The same sort of teacher drama, since Snape couldn't get the job that he wanted, Dumbledore got kicked out then killed (as far as I know), Malfoy's father was . . . I could really go on and on with the comparisons and the drama but I won't.

Point is people do your research: If you're going to write in genre, then read the most popular books in that drama and steer clear of comparisons.
I know there are ALOT of Twilight rewrites out there. And some people may love that. I hate it. Nobody can replace Twilight and I know twilight fans agree. The movie fans and the true Twilight fans alike. We can at least agree on that.

What was my main point again!? *snaps her fingers trying to remember then bingo!* Yeah, the plot was confusing, not enough tension and needs some clarification on what's the climax in the story. I think I know, but it needs some tightening up.


I wish I could say yeah this guy wrote great dialogue. Something positive to take away from this. And fortunately I can say that most of the dialogue was believable. until it came to conflict. That's what everything went up shit creek.


When the climax came, the surprise twist and the slapping of the knee oh no! part the dialogue between the two characters (one trying to influence him to do something while the other person is like hell naw) was not convincing. Not one little bit. When his father and mother speak, it didn't sound convincing. When Uncle Jeffrey and Ama speak, it didn't sound convincing. It just sounded stifle and fake.

And it's strange since the characters he has created and their voices sound natural. Like breathing. But when something isn't right, it really hits the fan and flares up as fake. Like my bullshit meter goes off. It beeps, then starts to really starts to beep. You know the sound. I'm not even going to post it up here. It's like a gay-o-meter, except louder and beeps the word bullshit. Same thing. So anyway, laughing and kidding all aside, I just wish that he could have worked on the conflict and tension parts a little bit more. But there is something else I would like to bring up.

Conrad and Felix. Yes, I remember their names. For some odd reason, I think I got them right. J.O. Jones, please correct me if I'm wrong. The way he presents them leaves no room for debate. They are late, rude and have bad motivations.

*reference to iCarly*

They're bad people.

*end of scene of iCarly*

And that's not how real life works. People aren't just "bad". There are reason unless they are insane which I doubt that's the case with Felix and Conrad. If you want to present characters that are not favorable, don't make it SUPER obvious. I had to learn it the hard way. I did the exactly the same thing with Phillip in Angel Diaries. I made him the ultimate bad guy and people were like, "Where's the tension? Where's the conflict? Why can we not judge this man for ourselves?" And they were absolutely right. We have to let the audience determine his goodness or badness.

Now how in the world do we do that? We humanize them.

Instead of standing on a soap box and preaching about how bad these characters are (much like history textbooks portray slavery and not actually blame Europeans for the whole mess. Hey, wait, that's for the next book review. Lol, anyway, moving onwards!) we need to just present their actions and let the audience decide if it's rude to stand in a meeting and say that they have a life and if this meeting is coming to a close.

I think most of us would be a little annoyed and we would be like, "Eh, Felix is not a good guy huh? Or maybe he has a legit excuse for asking that question." Let us decide who the monsters and bad guys are. And besides, it's kinda fun. It's kinda like Spike or the Phantom of the Opera.

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And yes, I know people will argue with me that THEY ARE bad people. But really, how do you know that? How did the person who wrote the screenplay/book/comic portray that? Through their actions. The only way we will ever be able to debate the topic if Phantom of the Opera and Christine would ever be together (and don't look at me that way! She belongs with him! Even though that's debate-able, I still think it's true. There's even a rumor that the author made them be together in the original book until his editor told him not to. Ah hah! Now you're thinking I'm not as crazy or that it's a simple rumor. Either way, I got you thinking about the possibility! So ha!) or if Spike is just a tool (because let's face it, um, Spike almost raped Buffy)  is because the authors allowed us to make the judgement calls.

Yes, I know it's a bit scary to let go of the reins. I think all of writers can attest to that, but instead of overdoing it with screaming HE'S BAAAAD we can just be like, there are his actions. You figure it out. It's allowing the readers to think, feel and explicate (and yes I like that college word, explicate. So yeah, there it is! Bam!) characters and be able to see them as human. Just like us. It breeches the gap from monster to human. And it's a heck of a lot easier for us to just put it out there and not have to explain it to the reader, like they are five year olds, what's going on.

This is what some people call: Show versus tell. I already hear the groans from fellow writers. I'm not going to continue down this path, but know that telling us that a character is bad and showing us that a character is bad are two different things. Anybody Joe Schmoe can write John is sad, it takes a real artist (and yes, writers are artists) to show us how John is sad.


I think there were two different themes going on here. There were parts in the book where it became a little preachy, like "HEY YOU SHOULDN'T BE RUDE TO PEOPLE" or "HEY YOU SHOULDN'T FORCE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT THEY DON'T WANT TO" or even, I think he screamed this too, "HEY YOU SHOULDN'T BE GREEDY! POWER CONSUMES!"

But I really couldn't pick up a certain theme here. Like I think if I knew where he was going, I would be like

*Despicable Me reference*

Light bulb.

*end of reference*

But there wasn't a real lightbulb illuminating part except for finding out the setting. A zillion light bulbs burst on. It was like Christmas in my head, lol. Anyway, main point: I didn't know what the main point was. I got confused. But there is some good positive news in all of this:


This is all easily fixable. Okay, not so easy, but it is fixable. You would just have to love editing, like I do, to do it. Fortunately for J.O. Jacobs, he's not publishing this sucker until August.

*cue the heavenly angels*


*end heaven song short*

So he has a little bit of time, hopefully, to fix this. I would put off publishing it until next year. Why? Because there is a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed. I know that sounds like ah man, dang it, I was so close but you know what? As a writer, I would rather wait then put out my first book which has a lot of issues with it. If you're going to self-publish you have to make sure it is clean as a whistle.

Other fellow writers can attest from the peanut gallery.

There's this stigma that self-publishers write crap and that Amanda Hocking was the exception and not the rule. Well, it's time to put these naysayers to rest. I want this book to be spotless which is why J.O. Jones is getting a full book critique for free.

Now, don't think I'm going to be doing this all the time. Because trust me, this whole critique/review took A LOT out of me. And the timing was perfect. I didn't even start school yet, so it left me time. Now that I'm in school, working and dealing with personal life stuff I don't know where I would find the time to do this again. But luckily he gets one.

So please other self-publishers stop lining up at my door for a free book critique. That will NOT happen. Okay? If I'm going to edit your book, then dang it I want a fee. I'm broke, poor education student with loans up the ying yang, so no. Stop lining up and go back.

Now, I do look forward to doing other indie book reviews. You guys can reline if that's what you are after. In fact, I already had one person ask me for one. So, you can shoot me an email about requests for book reviews all day long. And I will do it for free. And maybe if you are extremely lucky (and if you are I suggest buying a lottery ticket) then I might do a whole book critique.

That being said, I've got to go to work and send this email to this fabulous author who will get some pointers.

If you guys have any questions and want to visit his website then please click here: http://theseven-piecestone.blogspot.com/

And what did you think about the references? *wiggles eyebrows like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura* Ha! Another reference. Boom goes the dynamite! (OMG! That's ANOTHER reference! Almost didn't catch that reference! Tee hee! Another reference! That one is from Sunny With a Chance. Lol, I'm good.) Gosh, I wish I could post forever but I can't! So much to do, and such little time.

On a side note though: I'll probably stop doing so many book reviews and switch it up. Who is tired of book reviews!?

*raises hand up nice and high*

So am I!!!! Ugh! So hopefully the next thing I post about will be something completely different. Maybe some more tips and tricks, part II. Hmm. *writes down ideas on a notepad and strikes thinker pose*

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June 14, 2011

Ghost Huntress: The Awakening (Book One) by Marley Gibson

Cover Image


The first in a trilogy. Get out your tape recorders, crystals, and extra batteries— you’re about to go where our world meets the spirit world.
Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence—these and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results.

In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits.
The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.

My Thoughts:

When I read the first sentence I wasn't impressed, but I continued anyway. Then the author impressed me. I kept mentally editing a few things (grammar and spelling) but overall, I think this book is great. I love how the author makes the character sound so authentic and makes her actions seem completely normal. Like I know on screen that some of actions would look totally weird and farce, but the way she wrote it made it sound genuine and real. It's just like that last sentence said, "The story is fiction. The science is real."

If you're a lover of Ghost Hunters (raise your hands! I know I'm one!), Paranormal State (come on, raise them high and in the air! Be proud!) or the kid psychic show (Can't recall the name but I think it appears on A&E. Crap. Anyway, raise your hands!) then you will LOVE this book. You can tell that she did her homework (and she shows you in the back of the book where she got her information from! Impressed yet?) and that she cares and believes in what she's writing about.

Another thing I really loved about this book was the references. Good God knows she wrote A LOT of references. Even Shakespearean ones. And some French ones. Oh, you guys, I'm not telling you anymore then that. You'll just have to read the book. *gives you the totally cheesy wink*

I will say though, the characters are unique to say the least. Except for Becca. I'm kinda on the fence about her, but everyone else is very special and unique. And the way she describes the character, like Dasani-Blue-Eyed boy, is just genius. You totally get the picture huh? :D I know I did.

Another thing I want to bring up is the religious occurrences in the book. It's the same fight. You know, oh she's a soothsayer and so she's evil. No I got my gifts from God, and I'm not evil! That sorta thing. Her mother is really religious and she's technically, an Episcopalian. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I just know about the history being that sorta venue off of Christianity but other then that I don't know much else of it. I didn't know that European Americans were a part of it, so I learned something new. Anyway, another religion mentioned in the book is Baptist. Which is sorta interesting, so I'll leave it at that.

Just know that there are some subjects discussed about the difference between God given gifts and evil occult sorta things. If that offends you, then I would back off this book. There's a lot of discussion about it, but not in the very beginning, more like towards the end. After like the first half. I personally wasn't offended. I whole-heartedly agree with what the author said (and she states her opinion VERY loudly) so I quite enjoyed to see the whole back and forth discussion of religious beliefs and the traditional versus the nontraditional. Oh, and New Age stuff was mentioned. Okay, not really but just a tad. I think it's going to mentioned a little bit more in the next book or so, so we'll see. And there's a whole new discussion between that and Episcopalian beliefs . . .

I think you get the picture by now: There's a lot of religion in this book.

I wouldn't be put away from it if you're not a super religious or atheist person. But just so you guys know that it's in there, her opinion is stated about the whole subject matter VERY loudly and that it might offend people.

Moving on.

I liked the setting, right in the heart of the south: Radisson, Georgia. Now that I think about it, The Replacement and this book are both set in these no name towns. Both in the south. Hmm.

What does that tell future or upcoming authors? A pattern maybe? :P Just hinting to you that authors shouldn't set their characters in NYC or California all the time. I even read one agent blogging about how authors shouldn't do that. But I'll leave it at that. Some authors will take heed to the new direction of the industry. Some won't.

I also like the fact that we got a little tour of the town, got to know where everyone and everything was at. Got some of the personality of the town and got a good feel of the town.

There was a little hitch though, which won't effect you guys unless you're in the same position I am: It made me realize and think about my own psychic character, Jia. I really didn't realize how dark she was until I practically compared them side by side. Hmm. To be honest, I couldn't help comparing the book to the references that were made. And to other psychic books out there. And to Willow (BTVS). And to Ghost Whisperer (which she mentions). Down point is: There are a lot of books about this particular subject and this book made me realize it. Not in a bad way, but in a hmm way.

Anyway, it's good book that could use some improvements (since in the middle, I kinda figured it all out. Not that it's predicable, just some parts and I get pretty good at guessing what's going to happen. It's like I'm psychic. Ha.) but overall, I'm happy with this book and look forward to putting it on my shelf and seeing where she progresses in terms of her writing.

June 12, 2011

One Down, Two More to Go!

I finished editing Iwishacana/Acanawishi!
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One down, two to go! I'm halfway through editing Angel Diaries. I haven't even started on V. But it's still a good thing to be done with it and be able to put it on the market!
Whoo hoo!

*another backflip*

Now since the whole self-publishing process is fastly approaching, I'm going to give you the basic outline of my crazy plan to self-publish my novels.
Step 1:

Finish writing and editing novels.

Step 2:

Find a book cover.

Check. (If you want to take a glance at them, then go to Window Shopping for Book Covers. It's the green one. I heart it. I just hope it's still there.)

Step 3:
Write blurb.

Check. (I'm thinking about posting it to see what you guys think. Hmm.)

Step 4:

Copyright that sucker.

I haven't started on this step yet since I still have to buy the book cover. So this part is coming soon since I just got my paycheck. :D It's not as big as I thought it would be, it's better then nothing.

Step 5:

Distribute it through the following websites:


I'm thinking of adding some more, but for right now those are the five that I want to distribute my book to. Don't worry, I know about the meatgrinder. Never been through it, but I have heard horror strories about it so I've read the guide and have it on my hard drive. There are still some things I'll have to wing by but for the most part, I think I'm ready. And you guys get to see me struggle through it.
I know you guys are exicted about it.

Step 6:

Show the sales of each month.

That should be interesting. I know I'm interested in seeing that. Hopefully it'll be more then my paycheck. :) And maybe I'll get some fan mail! That would be super.

Well, that's the list. You'll see me go through each step of the self-publishing process and then I'll give y'all tips on how to make each step easier. Well, the first step of course is never easy. Writing a book is never easy. And I know I've said that over and over and over again but it's true. Writing is something you have to passionate about or you'll get bored and move on to somehting else. So I'm just putting it out there for people who think they can get a quick buck out of self publishing that it's not that simple.

Even though I tend to make it sound that simple, lol. It's not.

So I'll keep y'all posted on what's happening in my self-publishing world and I hope I can inspire others to try it instead of just knocking it because of the stigma attached to it. I know I'm not J.A. Konrath so hopefully my experience with the self-publishing industry should be genuine without any platform. The only one I have is this blog. Therefore, this should prove that you don't need a platform to become successful as a self-publisher. Just a kick ass book.

June 10, 2011

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

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Mackie Doyle is The Replacement - left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He has been raised among us. But he is not one of us. Now, he must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps from which he came and find his rightful place - in our world or theirs.

My  Thoughts:



This book is wonderful. It captured me from the word go. Like when I read the first sentence, I was hooked and knew that this book was good. And it was. She showed me a different type of book that I wasn't necessarily prepared for but I understood perfectly and was fascinated by it. And you could tell from the first page that she edited the heck out of this book too. It was practically flawless. And you guys all know that I'm perfectionist (didn't know that until my parents told me so, but whatever) so for me to say that is a big step.
And the characters in this book are awesome. Now, even though I liked Mackie (which is a boy and it took me a few pages to get that he was indeed a boy since the name could flip either way) I thought Tate took the show.


Do you know the movie Kick-Ass?

Kick-Ass Poster

I heart this movie. I really do. I will eventually read the comic book, but the movie is great and the music is just pure awesomeness in the movie too. Anyway, main point: The main character in this movie was, of course, Kick-Ass. Since it's told from his point of view and everything, but to me who really stole the show and won my heart over?

Hit Girl.

Same thing in The Replacement. I don't know why Brenna Yovanoff decided to make Mackie the main character, but I think I understand now reflecting back on it since his kind are kind of the controlling force here. I would have loved Tate to be the main character. She totally kicks ass. And I won't give too much away about her since she can speak volumes on her own even though she doesn't really come into play until like halfway, but I still would have liked her to be the main character.

Either way the book rocked.

And sure I had my reservations. I'm a girl. The main character is a boy. How could we relate? We speak two different codes. But that wasn't an issue. Even though half the time he didn't speak his thoughts, I understood him perfectly clear. And I kinda wonder if guys are like that. If they speak like Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

It's not like Mackie reminded me a lot of Oz, just the way he talked. Like he said a few words but his thoughts were just deep and interesting. I kinda liked that though, it's kinda like if we had Tate as the main character we would have gotten the filter instead of the whole package. Plus, who wouldn't want to see what he was thinking?

Now that I think about it, Mackie did play music. Spoke little. And had deep thoughts. Omg, maybe Oz was the inspiration behind Mackie. Never know. Anyway, moving away from Buffy the Vampire Slayer references, the book was great.

The descriptions were really out there. Not in like a bad sorta thing, but in a supernatural, hey I never thought of it that way, description. She really has a lot of talent in that arena. Plus the way the dudes talked in her book was super realistic. I didn't understand the music references (music fans, if you get the chance, translate for me) but I understood some of it. Mostly the feelings behind the music.

There were some religious references since Mackie's father is a pastor. Which makes this tale even more fascinating. It wasn't offensive to me, since I'm religious and I doubt it would be to other people who are religious. But I just wanted to through that out there so you won't be, "Larissa didn't tell me that! Ugh!" So I'm just telling you right now: There are some religious undertones, and I think she expresses her feelings toward the church through the character. Not saying that she isn't entitled to her own opinions, but it is still there lying right underneath the surface. Which is fine by me but maybe not by you. It's up to you to decide on that.

Um, what else can I tell you about the awesome book? I read it in like a day (even though I was working. You should have saw me like trying to eat this big sandwich with my small hands while trying to peer over it while at the same time read the rest of the book. Fun times.), word choices and descriptions were great, the characters were great. I did get a little bit of the whole monster loves human relationship there like in Twilight sorta feel. Not that I was like, "Ugh, another Twilight rip off." Because it definitely wasn't. It was actually the direct opposite of Twilight.

In Twilight everything is so beautiful and mysterious. In The Replacements, everybody knows what is going on but they aren't willing to do anything about it. And everything is ugly. In a sorta pretty way. I would love to see some of the characters on film. To see how they would describe the setting and the underground setting versus the city of Gentry. It would be flipping awesome.

I know that pretty ugly doesn't make any sense, but Brenna Yovanoff makes it make sense. I don't know how but she does. You just have to read this book.

So final jeopardy question: Would I recommend this book?

YES! Heck ya! It's awesome! Have you not read my review!? Go back and read it! The book is awesome! You could skip the references, but still, the book is great. And don't worry about the ending. It's good too. I double checked. I haven't read like the last two pages yet, but I got over the resolution part and I'm to the 'Everything is a much better place' part. So I'm sure you all will like the ending.

Especially people who like mystery, romance, teen love, and paranormal stuff. Which I love. I can't help it. :P Anyway, love the book, you should read this too if you're into paranormal fantasy type books:

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Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?

Trust me on this: This book is great too. They book remind me of this alternative life style and it kinda draws you out of the real world and makes you look at it in a totally different way. I know I promoted this book already, but I'm putting up here again. Why?

Because it's that great.

And the next book in a series, yeah you read that right series, is coming out soon. I think it's July 26. Here's the cover. Hopefully the final cover because the other one was ugly.

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Pretty huh? So yeah, I really can't think of anything else to say. These books are great, read them, love them, and put them on your shelf. Whether it's on a kindle or on a bookshelf doesn't matter to me: They are all great books to lose yourself in.

On another note: I don't know if you guys have noticed, but I haven't been able to put up posts like I normally would have. Why is that? Because I live in a place with no Internet.

Yes, I know!

So I come to the library and post. So just in case you guys, my lovely followers and fellow guests have wondered: I'm not abandoning y'all. I'm just having some Internet issues. I'm probably going to get it fixed by next week. I think. Hopefully. We'll see. But I'll still be here posting. I'll try to post at least like twice a week. If possible. You should see my work schedule next week. It's pretty awesome yet insane at the same time. At least I'll be able to get my self-publishing dreams off the ground and into cyberspace.

Which brings me to another item on my agenda: The Septavalent Stone.

Currently Reading-Book Review Coming Soon!

I know that guys have been seeing Book Review coming soon. Well, it is. I'm like halfway through the book as of right now. But my work schedule is making it doubly difficult to read the book AND post. So I'm going to post less (don't pout, it's to keep my sanity and it's good for you!) and read more so that you guys can get the full splendor and the full book review of this great book so far. So don't worry you guys, I'm trying to do it all. The ultimate juggler.

June 6, 2011

Fat Camp by Deborah Blumenthal

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Camp! Freedom, first kisses, summer fun...but not at Camp Calliope, a prison camp for the overweight. That's where Cam Phillips' parents have shipped her off to eat controlled portions, endure rigorous exercise, and sleep in a bunk full of girls who'd rather exchange recipes than ghost stories and gossip. Except for one cool girl from Texas, Faith Masters-who's normal enough to help her stay sane and temporarily replace her best friend, Evie. And then there's Jesse-the only thing close enough to drool-worthy on the camp's menu. Cam can totally relate to him, since his basketball-coach Dad sounds a lot like her perfectly thin, successful Mom. It looks like for the next eight weeks, only the issues (and not the food) on Cam's plate will be supersized.
My Thoughts:
I honestly picked up this book just because it was on sale and I liked the topic: obesity and the struggle to lose weight and its challenges. Then when I actually got to start reading I thought this would be another book about weight loss during the teen years.

O contrare!

Actually, I liked how Deborah Blumethal (who's a nutritionist, btw) shows the downfalls and the struggles of being overweight especially at an age where teens search for identity. She hit a lot of key points about how hard it is to lose weight in a world filled with fast food and larger portion sizes. Or how some people may automatically look at you and think you are not on a diet or need to go on a diet.

There was one hitch: The main character lost weight for a boy. I know, the oldest trick in the book. I would rather her conquer her compulsive eating for a bigger reason. Life changing reasons. Instead her life changing moment involved the boy. I guess I'm a little peeved about that because my mother is a feminist and beat it into my brain cells that doing stuff for men is just plain ol' wrong.

Maybe it was just me.

There was another thing that kinda hit me backwards with a slap: How she mentioned that other discriminated groups were not asked to change.

Yeah right.

So asking African Americans to change the way the dress, act, and even speak isn't asking for change?

I'm not going to go on a rampage and start ranting. I think you guys had enough about that last week. Main point is: That's simply not true and even though some history books avoid the topic, it's still there written in history forever etched into our D.N.A. (since African Americans of lighter persuasion were seen as pretty and dark African Americans were seen as unattractive and it still exists today. All you have to do is come to Hampton University and look around. Or look at the president, Barack Obama. Do you think we would have a chocolate African American as president?! Ha! We had a whole discussion about that in class, but I won't go into it today.) and not just in America, but all over the world. Look at aboriginals in Australia and watch Rabbit Proof Fence. That will change your life. Look at the discriminatory practices towards people of Romanian blood. Just because they have a darker skin tone. Look at the Asian side of the world. They lighten their skin tone, bleach, just to look lighter. Some even put a fold into their eyelids to make them look "more Westernized". Look at the book The Fold by An Na (perfect example). I'll leave you to think about it and I'll move on.

Anyway, other than that I really enjoyed the book. The twists and turns, the truthfulness about losing weight, the simple language that accompanied it, the humor (wonderful) and the overall feeling that Deborah Blumenthal portrays in the book is just right. Just gets the point of view right on the nose about the different paths to losing weight.

Would I recommend this book to other people?

Absolutely. Great book. Easy to read. I would defintely recommend this book to teenagers who have thought about losing weight or even comfortable just at the weight they are in.

Speaking off which, here's an excellent book about identity and obesity:

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Awesome book. Just great. And even got an award! I have this book on my bookshelf (got it at a library book sale. Did I mention I'm addicted to those things?!) and it was wonderful to read about it.

Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts if you've read any of the books above. I've got to go since I've got a job to get to. *screams high pitched like a teenager excited about getting a Slurpee/like on That's So Raven*

June 2, 2011

My First Blog Award!

Yippee! *jumps in the air like a cheerleader/pump fist in the air like final scene in The Breakfast Club*

Thank you Best O' Books (I would defintely check out her awesome website: http://thebestobooks.blogspot.com/) for nominating me for this award! I feel like I should be tearing right now and trying to make words through my  tears, lol. Anyway, now is the part where I reveal some random seven things about me and nominate fifteen other blogs! This is going to be fun!

1. I'm allergic to the following items: pancake batter (specifically Aunt Jemima), strawberries and possibly pineapple.

2. Even though I am allergic to pineapples, strawberries and pancake batter: I still love them and eat them from time to time.

3. I love to write in Old English for my poems. So maybe you'll see in my poems the words thy, thou, and art.

4. I am addicted to library book sales and my poor chair in my room can attest to the two boxes full of books that are in my tbr pile.

5. I hate the smell of hospitals even though my father works in them and my mother works in a clinic.

6. I am the first teacher in my family which inspired my siblings and cousins to consider teaching too.

7.  I don't read Twilight anymore because of the many twihard fans that became twihard fans because of the movie series. Don't judge me, but I think they are posers until they read the actual series and fall in love with it. I know, I know I'm a bit hard but that's just my feeling. My sister claims to be a Harry Potter fan but refuses to read it because the books look so big and she doesn't like to read. :/ Still awaiting the dna test proclaiming that we are related, lol.

And here are the fifteen blogs that deserve the glorious prize that I've won!

  1. Artzicarol Ramblings (http://carolriggs.blogspot.com/)
  2. Beauty and the Bookaholic (http://jessgal0430.blogspot.com/)
  3. Do Not Disturb My Books (http://donotdisturbmybooks.blogspot.com/)
  4. For the Love of Writing (http://reesloveofwriting.blogspot.com/)
  5. Help! I Have My Nose Stuck in A Book! (http://jnorath.blogspot.com/)
  6. Horror and Fantasy Book Review (http://horrorandfantasybookreview.blogspot.com/)
  7. Indie Writers Zone (http://indiewriterszone.blogspot.com/)
  8. Just a YA Girl (http://justayagirl.blogspot.com/)
  9. Librarywala (http://librarywalablogs.blogspot.com/)
  10. Lisa Loves Literature (http://misclisa.blogspot.com/)
  11. Novel Moments (http://novel-moments.blogspot.com/)
  12. Peace Love Books (http://readingwithstyle.blogspot.com/)
  13. The Bookshelf Muse (http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com//)
  14. Writings, Musings and Other Such Nonsense (http://caledonialass.blogspot.com/)
  15. Written in Blood (http://www.katiesalidas.com/)
 Congratulations to the other winners! They are awesome blogs! Some of those blogs are book reviews, information for budding authors, and even some giveaways! Check them out!