Prom Queen Review

 

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Synopsis

A spring night, soft moonlight, five beautiful Prom Queen candidates, dancing couples at the Shadyside High prom—these should be the ingredients for romance. But instead they’re a recipe for terror…

The Good

I could pretend that I did not read Prom Queen in October of 2016 but I will not.

I liked that it was small and short. I miss the small mass market paperbacks that you can put in your purse. I miss the artsy cover arts of the 90s. I miss feeling like there was an expansive world out there in horror *sigh*

The Bad

I like the idea of Fear Street, the nostalgia, more than what the story is today.

Image result for Tiara TemplateBook version of jump scares (ugh)

Image result for Tiara Templatefeeling detached/underwhelmed by it all

Image result for Tiara TemplateThere was seriously a point where I was like I do not actually like this book. I wanted to put it down which is never a good sign.

Image result for Tiara Templatecharacters mesh together/they are not distinct. Did not like any of the characters because they were all mean. I am not into this thing where people are mean to each other and call themselves friends (unless it is fun which it was not in this case)

Image result for Tiara TemplateKind of guessed who did it early on (which probably was easy because I read almost all of the Fear Street books as a kid)

Image result for Tiara TemplateI wish I liked it because the books are old enough to be easily and cheaply accessible in used book market. I just did not feel any excitement while reading it. Overall it was blah.

I need some good (diverse) horror books in my life.

(image and synopsis are from goodreads)

Previews & Samples: C.O.M.J 1

Going through my preview&samples queue makes me realize why I don’t post a lot of these reviews. One major reason is that it is giving publicity to books/authors who are very popular. Another reason is that a lot of the preview books are me backsliding into genres that  seem to not  be here for me aren’t here for me. I’m doing these to clean out my journals of books I sampled in the past. c.o.m.j = cleaning out my journal

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(I like the cover with the girls on it. It has a dark skin and light skin latina on it. The second cover is nice too but it feel like one of those lets hide the race of the main character things.  )

When Pasquala Rumalda Quintana de Archuleta (Paski)’s father returns to Taos from a business trip wearing a velour Juicy men’s track suit, she knows her life is taking a turn for the worse. Paski and her father move to Southern California, where his comic strip has been optioned for a movie.

At her new high school, money is everything and the haters rule – especially beautiful, cruel Jessica Nguyen. While Paski tries to concentrate on mountain biking and not thinking too much about ultra-hot Chris Cabrera, she is troubled by visions. Her psychic grandmother warned that ignoring her gift would lead to trouble. Can Paski ever find a home in the land of the glamorous haters?

[chapters 1-2]

Adjectives to describe the main character: judgmental, mean, opinionated, fat shaming. colorblind? (as in I don’t see race)

I overall do not like the main characters attitude. I know she is a teen which can mean  she is not going to be as conscious about certain things. I do feel the author may be consciously making Paski deal with certain things such as how she views being Latina. Nonetheless, I don’t like the main character. Other than the main character this overall feels like it will be an average story.

  1. moving to new town
  2. being social outcast
  3. hot guy!
Eh.
On a positive note the story is racially inclusive and main character has possible psychic abilities
I just simply don’t like the main character and the story so yeah.  DNF

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I found this for cheap so I decided to read it. It is written in alternating point of views by different authors.

Chapter 1  made me think that this was going to be okay/decent. I liked it. It felt that the guy main characters invisibility would be treated with some levity. I could see how his being invisible seemed to be well thought out.

Chapter 2  This is where the problems came in. Early on into the girl main characters chapter she annoyed me. Her voice as a character is really irritating. First off she does that annoyingly silly simile/metaphor thing “the fans were around him like they were sacrificing him”ya books like to do. Also, of course the lead guy has watercolor or all the colors of the rainbow-colored eyes. Then what probably really got me was her whole he (lead guy) looks like a New Yorker thing. Of course looking New Yorker is white. Then a couple of paragraphs later she is like “this is possibly racist for me to think this”. I’m like yep it is racist. I mean of course the main chick is “frumpy”, white, and I’m not cute girl who still fits the mold of constituent of what is considered attractive.

Nope, DNF

Fantasy

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The glittering tradition of sword-and-sorcery sweeps into the sands of ancient Arabia with the heart-stopping speed of a whirling dervish in this thrilling debut novel from new talent Howard Andrew Jones

In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving the puzzle, the scholar Dabir soon realizes that the tablet may unlock secrets hidden within the lost city of Ubar, the Atlantis of the sands. When the tablet is stolen from his care, Dabir and Captain Asim are sent after it, and into a life and death chase through the ancient Middle East.

Stopping the thieves a cunning Greek spy and a fire wizard of the Magic requires a desperate journey into the desert, but first Dabir and Asim must find the lost ruins of Ubar and contend with a mythic, sorcerous being that has traded wisdom for the souls of men since the dawn of time. But against all these hazards there is one more that may be too great even for Dabir to overcome…

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The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, “the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat,” just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame’s family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter’s path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla’s young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed’s sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man’s title. She lives only to avenge her father’s death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father’s killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince’s brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time—and struggle against their own misgivings—to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

I cannot remember if I talked about my impressions of these books so far so excuse me if I already talked about these. I read both of these books around the same time to do a fantasy versus thing.

Overall, I was not engaged with these two books. In Throne of Crescent Moon I did not exactly know what was going on and if I liked it. Desert Souls characterization was off.  DNF

June: Samples & Freebies, Updating the Queue

Updating the Queue

A Feast For Crows

Thanks a lot Ever After High!

So I got a craving for a teen romance from reading Ever After High, Monster High, and visual medias. It just got into my head to read a ya novel even after all my talk recently. It is best in these situations to just let myself sample a couple until I realize the state of my relationship with ya. So I sampled a bunch of ya novels.

I Need To Be Engaged…

17844678 It had me a bit with the thing on being a quiet girl. It just did not go further to catch me. I want ya so bad to go that extra mile to catch me as a teen. Even if it did not catch me as a teen I want it to engage me. This story started going the average teen territory which is where it lost me.  Discontinue

8428195 I think I sampled a bit of this when I was in high school and found it boring. I need to trust past me more.  I read one chapter from a sample and was done. It was boring as far as I read. discontinue

12180248 I find the family dynamic to be basic. I like the idea of the frog prince fairy tale. I want to like the relationship between the main character and the guy but I feel that I am trying to like it more than I actually like it.  I am not engaged.  discontinue

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I picked this book up because it has a romance in it and I have always kept looking at this book then putting it down. I decided to finally read it. This book is so average. Coming from a person who is trying to look for something different (or can be good that it having all these things I don’t usually like not be a problem). I think I was barking up the wrong tree with this one. Popular mean girl- check. cliques that kind of make no sense- check. It was just so average. Discontinue

Please be good…

3559996 I like that it shows the relationship between a brother and sister is important. In trying to pump up romantic relationship other relationships get put to the side. I like also that the story is about a different race teen. continue

14742759 This had some funny moments towards the end of the preview. It seemed to have promise in terms of the character versus a lot of other ya books I have read recently.

I need to step away from ya completely and not come back because I am starting to get into that stage where I am going to say mean things about the category. What gets me about ya is that it has the makings to be great but falls into tropes and stereotypes. I continued still for some reason.

16045855 My biggest complaint that is going to run a theme throughout this review is the lack of nuances in this book. My one of many complaints about ya (and just most other categories/genres) is the lack of distinction going on.

-Of course the main character main guy is stereotypically hot and has a dark secret

-Of course the lead girl is a part of the nerd crowd who is hot  but no one ever approaches her because she is so unattainable and  only a nerd by association to her friend -who turns out to be a jerk who feels entitled to her +yeah, for standing up against friend zoning -minus for how the friend zoning was handled

-the  perpetuation that you are not living your life unless you are partying and doing what all the cool kids is doing, is something I sincerely don’t like

-To sum this up there is not anything really creative or distinct.

I did have a weird interest in this story but I have to ask myself what will I gain from this.

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Like: I think that this book is unique in that it has a main character who does not speak for most of the book. Reading this made me  think about how I have not read that many books that deal with disabled or characters who go outside the norm. The main character is not disabled but  it made me think about reading a book with a deaf person.

Didn’t Like: I did not like that this book even though it has a different premise than most books reads like an average ya book. Yeah, it is different in that she does not speak and how that affects her interactions with people. But it still is about focusing mainly on her relationship with the said guy character.

I wanted to see more of how being silent manifested in her as a person. I want to state first that not everyone has the same experience as me and this is just my feeling on the text.  My feelings come from me being a person who does not talk a lot. When I was young I did not start really talking until I was six years old. I am more of an introvert so I spend large amounts of time not talking. My not talking manifested in me daydreaming and thinking a lot. I thought how cool that would be as a reader to see that. I thought it would be interesting to see a person who does not talk and how active their imagination and mind is.   I don’t own the experience of someone who does not talk but I want to see more of her as a person beyond cliché ya stuff. I don’t have to see her be me. I just don’t want to see her in relation to Clay. I want to see her personality. I want to see her as a person.

I talked to my brother and he gave a valid point on my the author may have made the character this way. The point is that the character is made this way to be able for everyone to relate to her. I think that is the problem with a lot of books in genres that even go beyond ya. Authors want to hit every reader instead of forcing readers to go beyond their comfort zone in the type of characters and their experiences that they read. When I say I want distinction or nuance this is what I am talking about. Why does it still feel like I am reading an average ya novel even though the main character has different experiences than the average teen? I really want something that challenges the status quo of how we address high school. I thought about recently after watching Twisted why do they make it seem like if you are not drinking, smoking, or rebelling you are not living your high school life to the fullest. Why is the nerdy teen seen as this person who has no life? These are the things that keep me from being able to get back into ya. These are the things that I think about when people say that ya is talking about important things.

Self-Publishing: My Expectations vs. The Reality

I think that I have this idealistic expectation of self-publishing because it is toted as this space that is away from the chains of mainstream publishing. Many people make self-publishing seem like this place for people who works are too creative to get into mainstream publishing. The reality that I find myself reading in is of books that are just as unique and creative as published works. It is a travesty that a place that could essentially do anything is just plain as vanilla.  I don’t want to say that all self-publishing is not creative but a vast majority that I am seeing is basic.

Respecting Authors: The Line Between My Wants And Authors Accountability, etc.

Do I respect authors? I saw this recently on this video:

The video is about the pressure that George r.r. Martin has to go through to finish his next book.

My opinion on George r.r. Martin with his books has always been for him to take as much time as he needs to write the next book. I came to the series late, when books 1-5 was already out. So I had the luxury of taking my time reading the books, and that I did. The problem now is that the series is currently airing and it is already having things from book 4 and 5 in season 4 ( which annoys me because I am on book 4 and why fast forward to stuff when you know the author is not done with the series/far enough to afford the luxury). He does not have the time ( this is not taking into account if the show will do the same thing it did with the third book) to take as he did with the other books. Now he has to write faster to the pace the show. I am scared personally that the books could possibly not be as good as because of him having to rush. It is so rare to find a book that is at the level that A Song of Ice and Fire is that I am cool with waiting.  I will say that, I do not think I have experienced the amount of people telling authors to hurry up and put out the next book as I have with this series.

I think that I respect authors. It is hard to make that distinction between what is being criticism  and what is being rude. For me it is extra hard when I know that genres and entire categories can do better. I should not be reading books that are operating at the same level as everyone else or fiction in the past. The lack of creativity and distinction to me is one of the hardest thing to have to read through with fiction. I want so many things and know that so many things could happen but won’t for the same old, same old. What stood out to me in this video the most is the idea that artist don’t owe readers anything. I want to endorse that sentiment because there are many things that happen in certain series such as A Song of Ice and Fire that people don’t agree with that made them stop watching/reading the series. I feel as a reader that authors do have power over their creations and there is a certain point that I want to say we should not question. But as a reader there are so MANY  things that are not present in fiction that it bugs me. I can’t let writers and others who put things out into the world off the hook. What bothers me at times is that put my time and energy into these things and people expect me to not comment. Writers and the people who put things out into the world owe me something, not just anything mind you. Writers and the other people who put things out into the world you can take as much time as you want but I still want something. I want you to bring me something that is not basic, generic, or average. I want uniqueness and greatness. I understand that  there are may readers that have a sense of entitlement. Now that the line between authors and other professionals are lessening you are more prone to seeing that. I don’t like this ever smaller growing line that separates authors and readers, honestly. I don’t like that so many readers want to be authors now. Now people are being less subjective in reviewing books they are worried more about hurting authors than actually being honest about books. I am not talking about being a jerk towards authors let me get that out-of-the-way. Then now that more authors are present on social media and there is a connection to authors. I don’t want to break the wall between me and my favorite authors. I just want to read their books and rant or rave about them. I don’t want to rush them to finish x book. If I like an author I trust them enough to sit back and enjoy. I don’t want hand wringing and this is my story so shut up. I put my time and effort into your writing. I want space where I can rant about how much I hated something without having to worry about authors feelings. It really bothers me a bit because it is coming to a certain point where it feels like shut up and accept what I give you. The idea that I am supposed to thumbs up everything writers put out without questions makes me think why am I here if my opinion does not matter. I want to the best possible for writers and readers.

This blog sums up my feelings basically if this is too rambly :

Reader entitlement

17934480 I like the different point of views of the characters. I have been wanting an under the sea fantasy/sci-fi novel for a while. I think that this may be the thing that I need.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon (librivox) I listened to this on librivox. I initially thought that this story was just Beauty and the Beast. It is nice to say that it is only similar in one aspect the man/bear curse. As I was listening to it I thought this would make a great retelling. One of the things that I wanted as I was reading this was for the prince to end up with the ugly girl. I seem to want the exact opposite of the way that normal stories want to go. I want more stories now with the evil, ugly, or etc. character finding love.

July Reading Plans

I am not really into reading right now so I probably will not read anything in July.