Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Metaltown by Kristen Simmons

I had been so excited to read this book for ages. As I adore Kristen. And I thought this one seemed so amazing. Then I was lucky enough to win an ARC of it, and now I have finally gotten to read it. But oh. I have so many thoughts about it. And most of them are not good. At all. Sobs. I'm just angry. I'm so, so angry.

I'm giving this book two stars. I had hoped to rate it higher. But it was impossible. I had so many issues. Sigh. But I also feel like this book could have been amazing. The writing is gorgeous. The plot was exciting. And Ty was perfection. But Colin and Lena ruined this book. Ugh. And I'm simply very bitter about it.

I'm going to have a lot to say about this book. And I'm not going to be very positive about it. I'm also going to be sharing a whole bunch of spoilers, so this is my warning to you about that. I cannot write this review of mine without mentioning all the parts that bothered me. Because those parts are still bothering me. I need to get them out of my mind. I need to forget about this book. And I need to do it now. Sigh. Though I will be getting the hardcover. And I will be keeping my precious ARC of this book. Because it is gorgeous. And I do love this author. But yeah. This book was not a favorite of mine. And I would not re-read it. Not ever. So glad it is a standalone. Which I just about never thinks about any books. Sigh. But yeah. This one was just bad. Ugh.

Honestly, though, I could have loved this book a whole bunch. Because the writing is gorgeous. And I liked the plot a whole bunch. This world was amazingly done. I loved reading about metaltown and how people were doing there and all those poor people and the war and ahh. I thought those parts of the book were amazing. And I loved Ty so goddamn much. But I felt like she wasn't treated right. This should have been her book. But it wasn't. Three point of views. One chapter each. Yet Ty got the smallest parts of it.

Final warning. I'm going to write a very spoilery review. I will share details about the ending. I will share details about the romance. So yeah. If you do not wish to know, don't read more. Shrugs. But at the same time, I wish I had known before reading this book. Sigh. Because I went into it expecting to love it a whole bunch. And so I was disappointed. But even so. I couldn't have loved this. I just couldn't. And so I have so many things I wish to share about it. Ack. If I can find the words. I shall try my best. It won't be positive.

This book is told from three different point of views. There is Colin and Ty and Lena. I thought I liked Colin at first. He and Ty have been friends for four years now, they are always together. He is seventeen, she is fifteen. He seemed okay. But hahaha. Then Colin sees Lena. And he falls in love with this rich girl right away. He starts pushing Ty away. He keeps choosing Lena instead of her. He is being such an asshole towards Ty. He forgot about her all the damn time. Friends don't do that. They do not. Ugh. He was bad.

And sigh. Lena. I wish I could say I loved her. But I did not. I found her chapters to be the most boring. She was such an boring girl. Spoiled rich kid. And not even a nice girl. The way she was thinking about Ty, when she had only seen her a few times, it was not okay. Hmph. I mean, sure, Lena has a mean father and an abusive brother. Whatever. I sort of felt sorry for her at times, but not much. Because I did not care for this girl. She came between Colin and Ty; ruined their friendship. Hmph. Did not like one bit.

And then there is Ty. Ah. She was my most favorite part of this book. I loved her so much. I thought she was the main character. But the moment Lena enters, Ty gets pushed in a corner. We don't get to read much about her at all. And I am so pissed off. Because Ty was the most amazing girl. Kind and sweet and loving. She had just started having a crush on Colin. And I shipped them so hard. But he never saw that. He kept calling her his best man. Wtf. That bothered me so much. Ty was the sweetest girl. Grrr.

We get to know a bunch about Ty. And I loved that. But. One night she gets attacked. Almost raped. We learn that she has been raped before. Sort of. It is never mentioned again or mentioned for real, and that was annoying. She sees Colin the same day; she's all beaten up. He is angry. Thinking about going after the guys. But then Lena walks in the door. And then he forgets all about Ty and that she was attacked. Goddamn it. This boy was the worst boy I have read about in a long time. I'm so upset about it. Asshole.

And then Ty gets hurt for real. A work accident kind of thing. Acid marks all over her face. One of her eyes are blind. She feels so ugly. And never once does Colin tell her it's okay. Never once does he tell her she looks good. Not. Once. I am so angry. He was a shitty friend. Always. Ty deserved better. She was the best friend. And hurting. All the time. He didn't care for her one bit. I'm so angry about it. Which is why I did not like this book. Sigh. Ty wasn't written fairly. She should have been the star of the book. Sigh.

I guess that Colin also had issues. With his mom being sick and whatnot. But I didn't care all that much, after he started treating Ty that way. He was just an asshole. There is just so much I want to say about this book. Sigh. I haven't mentioned the plot yet. Colin and Ty live in Metaltown. A poor city where they have to work at a weapons factory to live. Yet they work all day, no breaks, almost no money, and ahh. They had such awful lives. All the people did. And I loved reading about it. And the other characters.

I sort of knew that this book would be based a bit on Les Miserables. But I did not know that the story of the three main characters would be exactly the same. Damn. It was annoying. I mean, I loved Les Mis, the movie. But I would never want to read about a love triangle like that. Never. In a way, this wasn't a normal love triangle, but at the same time it still was. And I hated it. I hated it oh so much. I just feel so disappointed. I had such high hopes for this book. I thought the romance would be amazing. Sigh.

But no. The romance was not good at all. Colin and Lena were both awful people. Ty was the best. And Ty got no romance at all. Colin and Lena did not fit together at all. I don't get why they fell in love with each other right away. Ugh. I just. I loved Ty so much. And she was treated so badly all the time. At the end of the book, there is a big fight. Ty goes looking for Lena, because of Colin. And Ty ends up getting killed. And being in pain all alone for a long time before dying. I'm so goddamn angry about it all. Uuugh.

Ty deserved so much better. And I just. I cannot deal with it. This book sucked. Okay, fine, I did love parts of it. I loved Ty. But I'm so angry. That ending was shitty. Oh, and there is a family secret that is about Ty, and her parents. Hahaha. I guess that would have been very exciting. If she had not died. Grrrr. So angry. Ty deserved more. I just. I now wish to forget about reading this. Which makes me so sad. I really did wish to love this one. But I couldn't. Not after how Ty was treated. Not after she died too. Ugh. So sad.

Okay. I have now written way too much about this book. Yet I still feel like I could write so much more. Ahh. But I will not. I just. I did not love this book. I loved parts of it, yes, but not nearly enough. I do want others to read it, though. I need to know if I am the only one who feels this way. Sigh. Metaltown is all kinds of gorgeous. I just wish the inside were just as awesome. Also, do let me know if you read my whole review, with all the spoilers. I just couldn't stop writing about this. Sigh. I wish it had been different.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Thickety: The Last Spell by J. A. White

Oh gosh, I love this series so much. And the cover for this final book is beyond gorgeous. I'm in love with it. So pretty :D I love all the colors for these covers. And all the artwork. Swoon. So much gorgeous. This is book four in this stunning middle grade series. And also the last book. Sad face. I want more. I have loved reading these amazing books. I have even read book one three times, lol. And will read it a fourth time before reading this final book :D Eee. I'm so excited. I just love this story so much. And the writing. And all the characters. And ahh. I cannot wait to read this pretty :D Crossing all my fingers that I will manage to find the ARC. <3 But if not, I cannot wait to get my hardcover of it in April :D If you haven't read The Thickety books yet, then you must get started. Now. They are all amazing. I love them so much.

The spellbinding conclusion to the critically acclaimed Thickety series. In The Thickety #4: The Last Spell, Kara and her brother Taff must find the hidden pieces of Princess Evangeline’s grimoire to defeat Rygoth and her army of witches in one last good versus evil battle.

Kara and Taff have discovered that the Spider Queen is searching for Princess Evangeline’s grimoire, the Vukera. Legends say that any witch who wields its dangerous magic would be indestructible. Kara and Taff have to stop the Spider Queen from finding the ancient weapon—and destroying everything.

They will travel through time with an old enemy, come face-to-face with the creatures that guard the grimoire’s pages, and unravel a king’s dangerous secret, before one final battle against the Spider Queen. But can Kara save the people she loves and cast a spell that could change magic forever?

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom Blog Tour: Guest Post

I'm so excited to take part in this blog tour today :) My post is the final one of the tour. And I'm having an awesome guest post by the author :) I love it. I haven't read this book yet, but I'm hoping to do it one day. It looks so awesome. I love that cover. Plus it sounds pretty exciting too. You should all get this one :) Thank you so much to Josh at Random House Children's Books for letting me take part in this awesome blog tour. The blog tour has been going on for all of August, you should see the full schedule for it here :D

A Little Bit of Scary
By David Neilsen

My debut novel, Dr. Fell and the Playhouse of Doom, is a Middle Grade horror/comedy/adventure featuring three kids who must deal with an enigmatic stranger and, in doing so, find themselves drawn into a dark place they may or may not be ready to experience. I very purposefully worked to make it creepy and dark (while still allowing for some humor), writing it in many ways for those kids ready to--as I say in the dedication--peer into the darkness.

I was not one of those kids.

If you had approached my 10-year-old self and told him that I’d eventually write not only creepy Middle Grade books but full-on adult horror short stories, I would have looked at you, confused. Well, first I would have asked if you had a time machine and if I could maybe go for a ride, and then I would have laughed in your face. Unless you had a time machine and offered me a ride. Then I’d still laugh, just not in your face.

Growing up, horror was the last thing I was interested in. I had no desire to be scared. Ever. I remember one Halloween when I was maybe 11 or 12. The big sister of a neighborhood friend put together a ‘haunted house’ and all the kids went in. I didn’t want to, told anyone who would listen that I didn’t want to, and ended up in line anyway because all of my friends were in line and because the girl (who was one of my babysitters) promised it wasn’t so bad. When it was my turn, she opened the front door and led me down into the dark basement, talking about the dead bodies she’d found and asking me to stick out my hand to touch the brains or guts or whatever.

I screamed holy terror and wouldn’t stop screaming until she turned on the lights and showed me the bowls of noodles (intestines), wet sponges (brains), chilled grapes (eyeballs), and all the other various grocery items she’d gathered up for her show. Didn’t help. Even with the lights on and a bowl of limp spaghetti staring at me in the face, I continued screaming.

When I got into high school, horror movies were all the rage. Specifically the slasher flicks. Nightmare on Elm Street. Friday the 13th. Halloween sequels. Child’s Play. All my friends went to see them without me. They gave up asking me to join them after the first or second attempt. Even my girlfriend would go see one with our friends and we’d meet up later. Nothing could get me to see those movies. I did not want to be scared.

But something odd started happening as all my friends saw Freddy and Jason and Michael and Chucky and Pinhead do their dirty work. After the films, they’d talk about what they’d seen. I would try to tune them out as they described Freddy performing various cruelties, but every now and then they’d mention something about where Freddy came from. The story behind the horror. The mythologies of the films.

I got intrigued. I still wasn’t going to see the movies, but I wanted my friends to see them and then tell me all the origin stories. The curses or myths or legends behind the nastiness. I wanted to learn about the worlds created within the films. Meanwhile I was a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy. Yes, sometimes those films had horrific elements here and there (I still have trouble watching the snake come out of the skeleton’s mouth after Indiana Jones and Marion escape from the Well of Souls), but I could always cover my eyes and ears during those parts and know that it wouldn’t stay scary for very long.

During and after college, I saw a few almost-horror or classic-horror films on video. I survived the original Halloween pretty well, made it through first Aliens and then Alien, left the room when Nightmare on Elm Street started (still haven’t seen it). But the movie that probably did more to shift my thoughts regarding horror may have been The Blair Witch Project. This was a seriously scary movie, and there was no gore. No scenes of people being opened like a can of sardines. It was just seriously scary. And it had a marvelous mythology to go along with it. Who was the Blair Witch? Where did she come from? What was the curse? What was with all those stick-figure tree men? A couple of other atmospheric horror films came along like The Sixth Sense and The Others and I found myself enjoying them quite a bit.

I’d found my niche. It turned out I didn’t mind being scared, I just didn’t want to see a lot of people killed in nasty and imaginative ways.

My writing eventually evolved along the same lines. I enjoyed coming up with creepy backstories and creating different worlds in which to play, each with their own rules. I wanted a dash of wonder to go along with my skin-crawling creepiness. This led me to Middle Grade Horror, which is where I have nestled in and made myself a home.

The skepticism of my 10-year-old self is understandable, particularly when you consider that I was a teenager in the 1980s, when horror was synonymous with “crazy people killing teenagers.” I like my horror bloodless and filled with tension. Forget the unkillable madman stalking people, give me a sinister old man, a creepy house, and a terrible secret any day.

“Such deliciously creepy fun! I fell in love with Dr. Fell! So will urchins and whippersnappers everywhere.” —Chris Grabenstein, author of the New York Times bestsellers Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and The Island of Dr. Libris

When the mysterious Dr. Fell moves into the abandoned house that had once been the neighborhood kids’ hangout, he immediately builds a playground to win them over. But as the ever-changing play space becomes bigger and more elaborate, the children and their parents fall deeper under the doctor’s spell.

Only Jerry, Nancy, and Gail are immune to the lure of his extravagant wonderland. And they alone notice that when the injuries begin to pile up on the jungle gym, somehow Dr. Fell is able to heal each one with miraculous speed. Now the three children must find a way to uncover the doctor’s secret power without being captivated by his trickery.

David Neilsen is the author of Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, and several other odd, weird, supernatural, and occasionally slightly disturbing books and stories. David is also a professionally trained actor who works as a professional storyteller up and down the Hudson River Valley and in New York City. His one-man performances based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft have sent many screaming into the hills in search of their sanity.

Where to find David Neilsen:

We hope you enjoyed the blog tour for David Nielsen’s DR. FELL AND THE PLAYGROUND OF DOOM! In case you missed part of it, you can head over to My Brain on Books to start again. Thanks for joining us!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

In My Mailbox #252

Time has been moving so fast this year. Feels like it is almost Christmas already. Gosh. I have so not read as much as I wanted to this year. Sad face. But hoping to read more these next few months :) Fingers crossed. I have just had a difficult year. Sigh. Being so sick all the time. Ugh. But yeah. I did read a little bit this week, and starting Metaltown later today :D I'm excited. I had a good week; despite not feeling the best. And I got some amazing mail too :D Some gorgeous trade books. <3 Ahh. I am in love. Also blogged a bit too :) I posted my review of The Possibility of Somewhere. Ugh. This week I'm waiting on The Burning World :D Then I read The Little Prince :) Which was a bit meh. I then read The Return of the Young Prince, which was awful. Ugh. My newest Book Collection is books by Michelle Hodkin :D Eee. Anyway. I got some gorgeous mail. I had a good week. Still obsessed with Pokemon Go, haha :D Sister and I have started watching The Fall, which only has a few episodes. It's pretty amazing and awful. Gah.

Vassa in the Night + Nemesis. Thank you so much Tracy for trading with me :D SO happy about these.
Going Wild + This Savage Song. Thank you so much Emily for trading with me :D Ahhh! I am so thrilled.
Zootopia. This tin box thingy is all kinds of gorgeous. I own many from other movies too, hih :) So cute.
Heartfire. Ahh. I loved book 1. Have yet to read book 2. And now book three is out :D I shall read soon.
The Bronze Key. Eee :D UK edition arrived a week before US publication. <3 So excited to read this one.
Hermione Pop. Ahh :D It was finally a bit on sale, so I got to buy this train :D Now just need the other two.

Happy Hello Bookmarks. I simply love buying bookmarks from this amazing woman. She is the best :D Ahh. I own so many, haha. I shall share my collection soonish :) They are all on my wall. Love. Still missing some. Anyway. I adore Criminal Minds :D And Harry Potter. <3 I'm never ever reading any books by Sarah, though.. but I couldn't help but buy this bookmark. Because it is gorgeous. Love :D

More Instagram photos here. <3

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Collection #26

26th week of my new Book Collection posts. I will be doing this every Friday. And I am loving it. I own so many amazing books, and I love that I get to share my collection of many of them. I will be posting all my collections randomly, but I love them all. I hope you will all enjoy these posts of mine. Would love to know if you have any collections like mine; if you own and love these books too. Let me know. I love my books.

Books by Michelle Hodkin.

I love this collection of mine. Eee. I simply adore these books. Okay, fine, I haven't yet read the third one. Ack. I'm not sure why. I loved book one and two oh so much. I just haven't had the time yet. Because I need to re-read the first two books first. Which I'm super excited about. I will get it done soon. But yeah. These books are beyond gorgeous. And I love the story. And the characters. And oh gosh, I own a bunch of these signed. Eee. Just missing book three personalized to me. And, uhm, I have four copies of book one personalized to me. Heh. One is my precious ARC. One is a paperback. And two hardcovers. One ordered, and the other because I met Michelle in Orlando years back. Ack. She's awesome. I just adore these books. Wait. I just looked at my reviews of the first two books. And it has been four whole years since I read them. Oh gosh. Yeah. I must re-read them very soon. I cannot wait to do that. So excited.