Hey! This is a post where I tell you Imma be blogging again.

Hey guys! Okay, I took a very short blogging break the past week and it was awesome. I read books that I wanted to read, didn’t put so much stress on myself to social network/comment, etc. But today when I got my e-mail that my The Weepers review went up, I realized… I miss blogging! I miss going through my Google Reader and I miss seeing my pretty font pop up as I type and I miss formatting my reviews… blah blah blah.

So here’s some stuff that will be happening in the next few days:

  • I’ll be doing quite a few mini-review posts to catch up on reviewing the books I read over vacation, of which there are many.
  • And getting back to my normal blogging routine.
  • With the exception of switching over from In My Mailbox to a “weekly haul” type of post that will also go up on Sundays.
  • My blogoversary is in a week–eep!

And as for something that’s already happened: Malinda Lo wrote a fabulous post on Kissing which I looooved. So interesting to think about, specifically the way she points out that in every kiss, there’s a power dynamic in place.

Anyway, expect to see some reviews tomorrow and nice to see you guys again :)

Review: The Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life.

Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ – rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Edition: Hardcover, 352 pages (read: eARC)
Genre: Post-apocalytpic
Interest: Plot
Source: From publisher via NetGalley–thank you!

The Weepers originally came on my radar when I saw the original UK edition on Goodreads. At the time I had no idea it was UK but when I saw it on NetGalley I connected the dots.

A book that reminds me of this one is The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe. Similar to TWWF, The Weepers deals with a sort-of apocalypse, of the virus variety. In TWWF it was a flu, and here it’s rabies–terrifying, weaponized rabies. I really loved the beginning of this book. I’m not sure how much you know about different typed of learning or whether you believe in that, but I’m a very “digital” learner. I like working with data, math, computers, numbers, etc. Numbers are a big part of the introduction to Sherry’s world and as that type of learner/reader I loved it.

Another thing I really liked was the relationship between Sherry and Joshua. There’s no insta-love here… their relationship is one that builds because they’re there for each other through challenges, and it develops naturally. They’re not exactly friends first, but they help each other, which made it easy for me to root for them to hook up so they could be together in a more romantic way, not just for the sake of a romance plotline.

Speaking of Sherry, I didn’t really feel connected to her throughout the novel. I had a problem like the one I had with Ember in Article 5–her actions were supposed to be admirable, and they were… but just because I hugely admire Martin Luther King, for example, doesn’t mean I connect to him as I should to a YA protagonist.

But thankfully, The Weepers isn’t a hugely character driven book–and the plot was original and kept me guessing enough that I ended up really liking the book. Speaking of the plot–man, there is a HUGE PLOT TWIST. And it makes total sense and I totally loved it. AMAZING ENDING. And OMG, Tyler–I cannot.

Definitely a recommended speculative-fiction novel.

I’m Back, I Don’t Feel Like Blogging, and I’m Sorry

Hi, guys. So if you’ve been following about the last month on reutreads, you may have noticed that I went on vacation on the 4th. I got back on Sunday. Sunday I was exhausted, and Monday was my return to routine. Since I scheduled a post for Monday, I figured I would schedule a post for Tuesday with my official “I’m back!” post and then get back to normal. But that didn’t happen.

Monday night, a huge scandal broke in the YA blogosphere. I honestly am sick of talking about it. I hope this short summary suffices.

The blogger in question was a huge inspiration to me. She was the first book blogger who’s blog I ever stumbled upon, which of course, inspired me, eventually to create my own blog, a decision that has influenced my life for the past year in many ways, some small, some big, some good, some bad. This blogger’s expertise and resources helped me a great deal, and I continued to aspire to her blog’s standards regarding viewership, seek her advice, and participate in memes she created. Reading the recap posts, I honestly felt like I had been sucker-punched. Physically, I felt short of breath. I could not believe it.

Here’re Ashley’s thoughts on the matter, which to me seemed like my thoughts but in a much more convincing and well-written way that I could’ve done.


I’ve decided to just jump in with my two cents on this whole The Story Siren plagiarism matter. Unless some new development comes to light with this situation, this post is the last I plan to say on that matter, either here, or on Twitter/Facebook.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s the post from one of the bloggers that Kristi plagiarized giving the explanation and evidence.

“You know, a few months ago, something similar happened with some other bloggers at Paranormal Night  Owl reviews. That blog no longer exists, but basically these two girls were massively plagiarizing many other bloggers and peddling the reviews off as their own. Once this was found out, very many bloggers were up in arms and were determined to shut Paranormal Night Owls down. Completely. They contacted publishers and informed them of the plagiarism, and they even boycotted the blog.

Not one person stopped and said, “Wait, guys, we should just forgive them for what they’ve done.”

So, my question to you is, why is everyone saying this for Kristi? Why is she so special, that she should be treated differently than anyone else that decides to plagiarize?

I’ve been a victim of plagiarism, and let me tell you, it sucks. A lot. It hurts to know that someone stole words that you wrote and worked hard on, and was getting credit for them. So I sympathize very much with the victimized bloggers, and I understand why they’re so angered. Really, I do.

And no, I don’t think we should just “forgive and forget” what Kristi did, because what she did wasn’t right. And if it were anyone else, I know that people wouldn’t have those same sentiments. If you had a bum and Madonna in the same room, and they both committed theft, shouldn’t they get the same punishment? Or should you go easier on Madonna because of who she is, and maybe because she’ll publicly say sorry? (Which to be honest, I don’t buy into Kristi’s ‘apologies’ because they just sound like she’s trying so hard to deflect the blame from herself.) No, you shouldn’t give Madonna special treatment over the bum, and we shouldn’t give Kristi special treatment either.

And what I find really funny is everyone is saying “She’s human, she makes mistakes!” Of course she does! But copying numerous posts from other people–and making it really obvious once you stop and compare them–is not a mistake. One thing is to type a weird word because your finger slips, and you publish it without meaning to. That’s a mistake. But after you spend 30 minutes on a blog, several times over, in fact, it stops becoming a mistake and instead becomes something very intentional. Kristi knew very well what she was doing, because she did it several times.

Which brings me to my next point. Another thing many people are saying is that “she should get a second chance.” Do you guys realize that she’s already had a second chance, and a third, and a fourth? She had a second chance when, after she posted the first plagiarized post, she decided to plagiarize another, and another, until she had a grand total of 6 plagiarized posts.

SIX. 

Are you still going to tell me she made a mistake? That she didn’t mean to? That she’s sincerely sorry for what she did? Because if she really was sorry, she wouldn’t have done it in the first place, or she at least wouldn’t have done it more than once. But guys, she’s a repeat offender. Multiple times over.

The worst part of all this, I feel, was she lied about it. She lied, blatantly and tried making it sound like she was some innocent little bystander who just accidentally wrote down the same stuff as someone else. She said she had never been to the blogs she plagiarized, and once proof was shown that she spent copious amounts of time on them, she changed her story to “I didn’t recognize them at first, but yes, I did read those blogs.” I won’t link to her apologies, because I don’t want to associate with her blog anymore, but they’re there.

So, I will no longer read her blog. I unfollowed her on Twitter, Formspring, Facebook, and Goodreads. I don’t condone plagiarism, and in my opinion, I don’t support her being a blogger anymore. Someone made a good point that if she were a journalist, she would never get another job again. And it’s true, because that stuff follows you. This whole thing has really angered me, because, like many people, I looked up to Kristi so much. I loved The Story Siren, and now that’s gone. It’ll never come back, either, because once my trust is gone, it’s gone.”


So I haven’t felt like blogging for the past few days. Something about it is gone for me, something I’ll have to wait to get back, if it ever comes back at all. I’ll be regrouping for a bit and when I feel ready, I’ll be back.

Again.

Cover, Blurb, and Release Date Reveal: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

As you can tell by the post title–well, let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Two days after Mara walks into a police station in Miami at the close of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, she is committed for psychiatric treatment for what her parents believe is a mental breakdown. But what seems like a hallucination to everyone else is a chilling reality for Mara. Someone from her past has discovered her strange, disturbing secret and that someone wants her to pay. But she’s about to discover that the price is more than she can bear.

Dark and thrilling, suspenseful and passionate, The Evolution of Mara Dyer will have readers breathlessly turning pages to find out what will become of Mara Dyer next.

So um, yeah. The release date is now official: October 23, 2012. And the page length–not sure if this is accurate but Goodreads usually is–is only 272 pages, weird considering Mara #1 was over 450.

Regardless, this cover is stunning, and I’m so excited to read more about Noah Shaw!

EDIT: Check out the Goodreads page, if the cover is Pinned on Pinterest 500 times before May 6, they’ll reveal an exclusive excerpt! There’s also a giveaway for the US for 30 copies of the book. (30 copies available, not 30 copies for the winner ;)

Review: Emily For Real by Sylvia Gunnery

Seventeen-year-old Emily’s world crumbles when her boy friend dumps her, and when she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse, a series of secrets are revealed that threaten to tear her beloved family apart. Emily’s heart has been broken into a hundred pieces and she feels like there is no one to turn to, until an unexpected friendship blossoms with a troubled classmate named Leo. Sometimes moody but always supportive, Leo is Emily’s rock in an ocean of confusion and disbelief.

But Leo doesn’t have an easy life either. He struggles to be both mother and father to his little sister while his mom battles her alcohol addiction. His deadbeat dad darts in and out of the picture, and Leo would rather he stay away, permanently. The two friends lean on each other, and in the end discover the inner strength to face whatever life throws at them.

With incredible insight into the teenage psyche and speckled with pitch-perfect humor, author Sylvia Gunnery has created a heart-warming coming-of-age story that explores the intricacies of family and friendship.

Release Date: April 15, 2012
Publisher: Pajama Press
Edition: Paperback, 190 pages (read: ARC)
Genre: Contemporary
Interest: Plot
Source: Publisher

In YA, there’s a lot of romance, am I right? You’d be hard pressed to find a single book without some kind of love story. If you’d love to read a book that is, wonder of wonders solely about friendship and family… look no further than Emily For Real by Sylvia Gunnery.

I really enjoyed how romance was never really an option between Emily and Leo. There’s just no chemistry. And that happens in real life–hello, high school. Which is why it’s weird (but understandable) that the two main characters in most YA are usually “perfect for each other.” Emily and Leo have a strong friendship that is really the best kind: they help each other and make each other stronger.

I felt that the writing was a little underwhelming from what was promised in the blurb. I didn’t really feel the “pitch-perfect humor” and “overwhelming insight.”

If you’re looking for a cute and quick read about family and friendship, Emily for Real is definitely a book to check out.

Review: Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

After years of boredom in her rural South Carolina town, Maria is thrilled when her father finally allows her to visit her estranged artist mother in New York City. She’s ready for adventure, and she soon finds herself immersed in a world of rock music and busy streets, where new people and ideas lie around every concrete corner. This is the freedom she’s always longed for—and she pushes for as much as she can get, skipping school to roam the streets, visit fancy museums, and flirt with the cute clerk at a downtown record store.

But just like her beloved New York City, Maria’s life has a darker side. Behind her mother’s carefree existence are shadowy secrets, and Maria must decide just where—and with whom—her loyalty lies.

Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Edition: Hardcover, 256 pages (read: eARC)
Genre: Contemporary (Takes place in 1994)
Interest: Plot
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)

Supergirl Mixtapes was a really fun read that I would best describe as eclectic. The setting of the book–1994 New York City–was an amazing choice for this book. I love the inclusion of music in my books and this one does it effortlessly, as you might guess from the title. Music is a huge part of all the character’s lives and it blends in really nicely.

I really liked the plot of this book. Like real life, there are secrets. There’s betrayal, drugs, abandonment. There’s the discovering of true loyalties and messy, messy relationships.

Maria was a hard character for me to connect to. I found her to be a detached narrator but I also found the book to be plot-driven so this wasn’t a huge problem for me.

I recommend this book to anyone, really. If you’re a New York-ophile like me, you’ll love it. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction, you’ll like it. If you’re a music-head, you’ll love it.

Cover Thoughts: I actually really like this cover. I love the lettering, the way SUPERGIRL stands out with the pink, the whole idea of making the book into a “mixtape.” I know it wouldn’t be the same without it, but the verticality of the title text annoys me.

You Might Also Enjoy: Saving June by Hannah Harrington, The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour.