“By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead”—A Book Rant

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By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters just didn’t quite hit the mark. I feel like it could have been a meaningful and deep story, but the main character was too damn annoying for me to feel sorry for her.

Daelyn has been bullied at her old school and tried to take her life by drinking bleach. It didn’t work. Her parents found her and rushed her to the hospital. Now she can’t speak because her throat is still in recovery and she is starting at a new Catholic school.

When she starts this new school, Daelyn decides that she will not make any friends. She will not look at or talk to anyone…because what’s the point in trying to make friends when she plans to kill herself—and actually succeed this time.

Daelyn stumbles upon a website that starts a countdown timer for 23 days. During this time period, it essentially guides her through the steps of purging her life of nonessential things and cleansing everything so that she will be ready to end her life when the timer runs out. Every day she logs into this site and blogs about her life, and reads other blogs about people who are getting ready to commit suicide as well. It gets pretty heavy, as some bloggers talk about being raped and abused.

Then there is this kid who starts sitting with Daelyn every afternoon at the bench outside of her school, where she waits for her mother to pick her up. His name is Santana, and he absolutely will not give up, refusing to leave her alone like she asks. He even ends up getting her to relent and come over to his house one afternoon.

Daelyn resists Santana as much as she can, because it’s too late to let people into her life, right? Throughout the entire book, even as she starts directly interacting with Santana, she still logs onto the suicide site everyday and continues with her preparations to kill herself.

I’m sorry; I just could not get into this book. In my opinion it was entirely ineffective. The main character actually has parents who are trying to be there for her and she is completely stubborn and won’t let them help her. And she likes this Santana kid, but is too f*cking obsessed with her suicidal plans to let him be the friend he wants to be. So she has all of these people (who are not the people from her other school who bullied her) trying to befriend her and help her, but she is too stuck her own pathetic head and feeling sorry for herself to even try to put forth any effort at life. Thus, in my opinion the main character was just whiny and lazy, and by the end of the book, I just kept thinking to myself, “Oh my God, just do it already so I can stop reading about it.”

I feel that books such as Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Hold Still by Nina LaCour were much more affective in their delivery on the issue of teen bullying and suicide.

I give this book two out of five stars.

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“Beautiful Creatures” –A Book/Movie Rant

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“Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia is a paranormal teen book that has gotten RAVE reviews…and I just don’t get it. While I did actually somewhat enjoy reading this book, it was a bit tedious. This entire series has great potential to be a phenomenal supernatural story, but due to the over explaining of EVERYTHING, it misses the mark. Each book could be summed up in about 300 pages verses the 600+.

Ethan Wate lives in the small town of Gatlin, South Carolina, smack in the middle of the Bible Belt, where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. And he hates every minute of it. With his mother’s recent death, and his father’s evasion of life since the accident, Ethan’s only companions are his best friend Link, and his superstitious nanny, Amma—a “Seer” who can see the future and contact the spirits of her deceased family.

When Lena Duchannes arrives in Gatlin to live with her eccentric uncle, Macon Ravenwood (the notorious recluse), the town gets a little shaken up. Of course, the snooty debutant-type girls at school automatically hate this not-so-prissy-prim-and-proper new comer and label her a freak, doing everything in their power to make her life a living hell. Little do they know, they weren’t that far off the mark—Lena and her family are Castors (universally known as witches).

For months before Lena actually arrived in Gatlin, Ethan had been dreaming about her—literally. So naturally, he’s immediately obsessed with the girl and learns all about her not-so-normal life. In the Castor world of Kami Garcia’s books, Castors’ powers are claimed by the moon for either the light or the dark upon your Sixteenth birthday, and Lena is terrified of going dark, like her mother.

Of course there is an entire past legend/mystery that unfolds, linking Ethan’s life and ancestors to Lena’s. A new drama develops every few chapters or so, such as Lena’s “dark” cousin Ridley (who is a Siren) showing up and seducing Ethan’s best friend Link, persuading him to do her bidding with each suck of her lollipop. No, really…a lollipop. It’s not a dirty metaphor for anything.

Again, I didn’t entirely hate this series. It has serious cool potential and characters…this quote is one of my favorite descriptions of Lena Duchannes: (She’s sounds like a badass chic that I could totally get along with.)

“She was wearing a purple T-shirt, with a skinny black dress over it that made you remember how much of a girl she was, and trashed black boots that made you forget.”

There is also a touch of snark and wit here and there in the novels, which I appreciated:

“If a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.”

Thus, to end my rant, I will say that if you have HOURS of your life to waste, go ahead and pick up “Beautiful Creatures” and give it a whirl…it’s not completely terrible. But if you are like me, and have the attention span of a ferret, skip this one and read something a little more stimulating. (If you need recommendations, just ask! I have them coming out the wazoo!)

Alas, the movie was the same as the book…it took WAY too long to end! I was intrigued for about the first 30 minutes or so, but then I found myself becoming bored and restless. There just doesn’t need to be that much extra “stuff” to get the point of the story across.

*The horrible southern accents were quite entertaining, though 😛

“Daughter of Smoke and Bone” — A Book Rant

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Okay, my first book rant. Here it goes…brace yourselves.

Before I commit to reading or buying a book, I always check out the reader reviews. Every review I read for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor said this book was phenomenal. I mean, people RAVED over it, saying things like, “Absolutely Perfect,” “Breathtaking and Heartbreaking,” and “Exceeded Expectations.” This seems to be the opinion of the masses.

What’s the truth about this novel (and its sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight)? Total crap. This series is horrible and extremely anomalous and hard to get through. I tend to devour books in a matter of days (if not hours), but both books in this series took me TWO WEEKS to finish.

To back up my claims of the horridness of this series, let me paint you a picture… Karou, a girl with blue hair, that grows that way out of her head (I’m not going to lie, that part is pretty cool), is an art student in Prague and has a knack for drawing portraits of odd looking creatures and monsters. Doesn’t sound so awful yet…but wait! The monsters that Karou draws—Brimstone; a “man” with a ram’s head, lion haunches, raptor feet, and crocodile eyes; Issa a lady with a snake tail, the hood and fangs of a cobra, clothing herself with snakes;  Yarsi, appearing to be completely human, but for the parrot beak on her face—are her family, the only family she has ever known.

Weird right? And the strangeness doesn’t stop there…Brimstone (her father figure) has Karou go on errands, going through portals and traveling all over the world to collect teeth. That’s right, TEETH. Human teeth and animal teeth, alike. What does he need teeth for you ask? YOU DON’T FIND OUT UNTIL ALMOST THE END! And worse, Karou hardly even questions what he uses these teeth for…she’s just a selfish girl who brings them to him because he grants her simple wishes (such as magically “knowing” a different language, making an ex’s family jewels itch during a nude modeling session for her art class, and her blue hair) in exchange for the service.

Oh, and of course, there’s also a ridiculously gorgeous angel that Karou falls for, who is going around the world marking the portals that she uses to travel with a black handprint, assigning them for destruction. And, predictably, Karou (who is supposedly human) and Akiva (the seraphim) are forbidden to be together, thus making Akiva’s siblings (Hazael and Liraz) set out on a personal mission to destroy Karou.

All in all, this book (and its sequel) are just weird. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about weird…I live for reading about the strange and supernatural, but Daughter of Smoke and Bone just takes weird to a whole new level—and not a good one. Just trying to keep all of the different chimera creatures straight is enough to give you a headache. And once you finally start to figure out what the hell is actually going on and things start getting explained (somewhat), the book ends!

Now, I have to admit, I was intrigued enough to read the sequel , Days of Blood and Starlight, just because the first book ended on such a cliffhanger. But you can be certain that I will not be reading the third and final book in the series. I just don’t care that much. The series is weird (in a bad way) and boring and tedious. Don’t waste your time!