Song of the Week#39-Born to Love You by Skylight (The Bonus Interview Edition)

song of the week

This is a weekly meme that’s for the most part, the same as Song Of The Day except each week there will be a different ‘edition’ and it’s going to be updated once a week. This week’s edition is: The bonus interview! Interviews are not my strong point, they make me nervous and I always try to come up with fun questions but never do. However, with Skylight and more importantly, their publicist, Genevieve for being so kind about it! I had fun reading their answers and listening to Made for More and album you should all go check out!

wpid-Skylight-Cover.jpg

Skylight’s roots can be traced back to 2009 when three like-minded musos – Greg Jorden (vocals and guitar), Peter Klein (bass) and Bradley Cumming (drums) and later Wesley Ayliffe (guitar and back-up vocals) – joined forces after performing at a music event. The trio soon began writing music together, the chemistry instantaneous, and their individual visions started to take form.

Skylight are such a great band and I love their music, truly. It’s so soothing and warm and I can’t get enough! Born to Love You might be your favourite song come this summer. It’s so light and sweet and just screams not only summer but happiness which I think, is what everyone is going to need this summer.

My favourite part of the song is:

My heart has seen where I am free

Where you are walking next to me

Lungs filled with life feeling like new Yeah, I was born to love you

The sun is breaking through

Breaking through this storm

Yeah, I feel better now

Skies are turning blue

I’m coming home to you

Yeah, I feel better now

To listen to Born to Love You click here.

Lyrics are here.

 

Now, it’s time for the Q and A that I did with the band! They are so nice and some of their answers are quite funny like Greg losing his capo before a gig. Hopefully you all like their answers as well!

1. What’s the story behind your band’s name?

Greg: We wanted a name that captured what we want to do with our music… let some light in.

Brad: We believe there is a message of hope that we need to get out. A Skylight lets light in where it is dark, I guess we are trying to do the same.

2. I know a lot of musicians have tattoos dedicated to albums and songs, ect. I was wondering if any of you have tattoos dedicated to something music related. If so what do they say?

Greg: I don’t have one, but if I did I’d love ‘free’ tattooed on my arm. That’s how I feel when I play music.

Wesley:  No tattoos… I can never make up my mind what I want! When I do, it’ll definitely be music related.

Brad: I have a pair of drum sticks on my right shoulder. No words but I would like to add to it sometime.

3. Funniest moment of musical career?

Greg: Losing my capo before a song that needed it and asking the rest of the band to look for it in front of a high school audience

Wesley:  Hitting myself in the face with my guitar while trying to do a guitar sling (flipping it right around my neck). It wasn’t very funny at the time, and I looked like a complete idiot! I’ve definitely matured, along with my taste in music! 

Peter: Definitely Greg losing his capo on stage and asking us to look for it. 

Brad: Funniest or awkward? We had a Capo go missing on stage during a Highschool gig, I don’t think Greg will ever live this one down. It was on His music stand behind some music notes…

4. Best moment of musical career?

Greg: The best moments in my musical career are the ones that not many get to see – the jokes, the prayers, hanging out, jamming, and just doing life together with the band… that’s the best part about being in Skylight.

Wesley:  We’re all very close friends in the band – for me there is nothing better than getting to play music with three of my best friends; even if it’s just a rehearsal. That’s what making music is about. 

Peter: Playing at Joburg day back in 2010.

Brad: I’m tempted to say it was when we played at Joburg Day in front of 18000 people but the truth is when we’ve played a gig for 15 people it’s been as much fun. It comes down to being able to play music with amazing friends.

5. Since I’m a high school student, I was just wondering what type of high schooler you guys were like? (Eg. The jock, the writer, the nerd, the roamer, ect.)

Greg: The guy who didn’t fit in.

Wesley:  I was the coolest kid in school! (I was also homeschooled).

Peter: The NERD…still am!

Brad: The guy who got along with everyone.

Book Review: Talker 25 (Talker 25#1) by Joshua McCune

17339959Talker 25 by Joshua McCune

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: April 22, 2014

Pages: 432 (Hardcover)

good good

 

It’s a high school prank gone horribly wrong-sneaking onto the rez to pose next to a sleeping dragon-and now senior Melissa Callahan has become an unsuspecting pawn in a war between Man and Monster, between family and friends and the dragons she has despised her whole life. Chilling, epic, and wholly original, this debut novel imagines a North America where dragons are kept on reservations, where strict blackout rules are obeyed no matter the cost, where the highly weaponized military operates in chilling secret, and where a gruesome television show called Kissing Dragons unites the population. Joshua McCune’s debut novel offers action, adventure, fantasy, and a reimagining of popular dragon lore.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Greenwillow Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

 

Close your eyes (do it.) Now, imagine a mythical creature that terrifies you, it’s okay you don’t have to tell anyone what it is. Got it? Good. Keep that creature in your head, think of how scary and fucked up it is, now turn it into a fluffy adorable version of itself. Disney-fy the shit out of it if you have to. That, is what you get in Talker 25. You get these badass creatures lying around sleeping and then getting ridden like some kind of pet. That’s pretty much it and I’m sad to say it never gets any better.

Melissa, Mel, Callahan, whatever you want to call our protagonist is an idiot who thinks she’s brave and has a lot of spunk. She doesn’t. She’s just stupid and naive. Half the time, she doesn’t make sense. She has spent the better of three years fearing and hating dragons because of what they did to her mother, yet at the first chance she gets, she rides them. Why? Did I miss something in this sudden change? It makes no sense, if something killed my mother I would not under ant circumstance befriend it/them. On top of that, nothing is well explained. There are three types of dragons yet all I really understand about the green ones are that they’re the most military like. The other two are lost causes to me nor do I care about them. The romance is also very pathetic and annoying since we have the protagonist be a snotty brat one second and then worried about the way she looks the next when a complete stranger who was following her knows her name. It’s so forced and I really didn’t see what the love interest saw in her.  To make matters worse is the military, the US can make these insane weapons yet can’t keep some teenagers out of a dangerous compound? The military in the book is a complete joke, maybe worse than the protagonist and the romance combined. They do nothing, think of nothing, and just allow these teenagers into the compound with fucking Dragons and don’t even send these kids to jail because, “they were just having some fun.” What the hell is this book? I believe in having fun and taking chances but this is a damn dragon compound. These kids could get killed and it seems that the military would still sit on their asses. *Shakes head*.

What did I like about this big joke of a novel? Believe it or not, despite the super cheesy summary, I was expecting something exciting and I liked what I thought was the concept of this story. Turns out that was a joke too.

Talker 25 is just bad, from every angle. From the first page, I was confused. Dragons aren’t some kind of side plot, they are the plot or at least should be, so I would like to know about them before the 30% mark other than they’re red or blue or green and the red and blue can mate. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that information? It also doesn’t help that no one can make up their fucking minds on what the fuck to call our protagonist and I’m aware that this is silly but it’s not. One sentence her friends are calling her Callahan, and then the next they’re calling her Mel. Why? No reason, it’s not to show anger or anything. I don’t recommend this one to anyone because it is absolutely horrid and stupid and bad and you will either get really angry or really sleepy reading it.

1 Lonely Cloud

1 Lonely Cloud

Album Review: Musicassette/Magnetic Memory by Night WIndows

Musicassette Magnetic Memory - Album ArtworkMusicassette/Magnetic Memory by Night WIndows

Record Label: Black Road Records

Genre: Indie

Release Date: April 15, 2014

Songs: 12
good good

Night Windows is a project started by Benjamin Hughes. His self- engineered/produced album (Musicassette/Magnetic Memory) was crafted from the perspective of a young man facing a reality far different from the one promised him in his youth.

A 26 year-old with a bachelor’s degree worth of debt and a series of unrelated day jobs to pay it back, Hughes is a poster boy for the bursted-bubble millennial generation. He sings about being part of a downtrodden blue-collar work force, helping loved ones through hard times, and clinging desperately to his musician dreams which ebb to the margins of his days. With his acoustic guitar, a hand-me-down drum kit, and an array of gritty lo-fi instruments and effects, Hughes shaped this seamless 12-track debut album in his bedroom; creating an album with an authentic tone and a personal character you only get with quality lo-fi music.

First of all, I would like to thank Audiodaft PR for giving me an advance copy of this cd to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Sometimes in life, you just need to relax and have fun. You need you look around you and say to yourself, “You know what? Fuck this. I need to take a break.” But then there’s always that quiet voice in the back of your mind saying, “Yeah but will you have enough time to finish your task?” Although no one really knows how much time we have left, Night Windows covers the need to relax fairly well in Time, the first song off of the album. As a whole, I think Musicassette covers all the things a person wants in life–to have more time and be happy in Time, to love and be there for family members in Brothers, find something to believe in, in I Believe in the Wind, and to say Fuck you as well as don’t be sad in Green Shirt. At least these are the things I want in my life.

As a person with a limited attention span and very limited fucks to give per thing, I expect the music that I listen to, to move me. I don’t want it to be too repetitive and too predictable. I hate songs that are these things, despite how well done they might be, they’re boring and annoying and I can’t help but get annoyed with the oh so repetitive, Home that only has the lyrics, “I just wanna go home. Hoooommmeeeee.” I got the message the first time, I don’t need to listen to almost 2 minutes of you repeating this.

The first half of the album is fairly energized and I really enjoy that. There’s a Friend of Mine and Life’s a Spinning Wheel both start off fast and carry that energy to the very end. However, right at Human Shell things get fairly slow and quiet. The change isn’t too sudden since listeners will get a heads up from Brothers which is actually a sweet song that has great build-up and a lovely message about always being there for family. I also like I Believe in the Wind and how fast it is, the vocals are so smooth and strong and full of talent and experience. Songs about not caring what people think as well as songs about finding happiness are always songs that young adults will enjoy which might be partially why I love Green Shirt. The beginning of the songs is solely talking, a mini monologue that leads into a slow guitar riff and steady vocals.

Musicassette is an album with a message. My favourite songs on the album are Time, Brother, There’s a friend of Mine, and Green Shirt although most songs sing to people and I recommend this album to everyone because Night Windows is band that will help listeners relax. With exams coming up for many people and all those hectic deadlines that everyone else has, many people just need a break even though they don’t have much time to spare because if you don’t take a break now, when will you?

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

4 Awesome Treble Clefs

Book Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

18051349Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Pages: 342 (Hardcover)

good good

 

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Atheneum Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Noggin is a story full of bad jokes, awkward situations, and horrible puns. And I loved every second of it. I didn’t feel like I was reading a work of fiction, instead, I felt as if I were reading a story, my story and my life of how I was brought back to life and forced to live in the present when I’m barely understanding the past. It’s weird, confusing, and such a fun ride. John Corey Whaley is an author  that I’ve been waiting for a long time and this will not be the last novel I’ve read by him.

Unfortunately, there are some downsides to this story. First of all, this whole situation is just too unbelievable and it took me some time before I could really wrap my head around it. No way did a dude get his head chopped off and then come back to life! That’s too insane. I understood that Travis is really confused about this whole concept as well yet I still would have liked it if Travis was just as curious about the scientific aspect as I was and other readers will be. It’s interesting yet not at all explained which sucked for me.

Nonetheless, I still loved this book. Noggin is full of great, complex characters that are extremely easy to like and relate to. Travis’s relationship with Kyle is so heartfelt and awkward. I could easily relate to it and the struggles that Kyle faces to understand everything that’s happening not only to him, but also to his best friend. I also liked the writing style. Holy shit, this is the writing that I have been craving for in young adult books. It’s so relaxed and casual and makes everything seem like it’s happening to the reader and just being told to the reader. I really do need more books written like this because they usually end up to be books that I really enjoy. The best part about Noggin has to be Travis’s last holiday before his surgery. It’s beautifully described and captivating. Imagine celebrating every single holiday in one day with a group of people you love most in the world? I would want that as my last day alive because it sounds absolutely amazing.

Overall, Noggin is great. Although there are a few unbelievable parts and too little information, the good certainly outshines the bad. I recommend this novel to everyone, especially if you’re looking for something light to read with a serious undertone and don’t mind a lot of jokes and puns. I envy those people who can easily make jokes out of anything, especially when they don’t take life too seriously and can make anyone smile and for me, John Corey Whaley might just be one of those people.

4 Dreamy Clouds

4 Dreamy Clouds

Book Review: The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

18296016The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Historical Fiction and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys’ magic, Eleanor’s extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen’s Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie’s face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she’s always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she’s always dreamed of–the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor’s court: trust no one.

First of all, I would like to thank the public Relations coordinator, Annie Jackson/Small Girls PR for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This book, right here, is one the reasons why I stay far, far away from historical fiction books as well as books about princesses. They are always predictable, there is no (or barely anything) real talk about wars, enemies, etc. It’s all just romance and scandals and who’s fucking who or who wants to fuck who but not allowed to. I honestly felt like I was reading about the girls in my high school rather than an empire on the verge of collapsing. The characters are so one-sided and superficial that I had to skip a few chapters for one character because her life consists honestly, of only money and romance. That’s it. Nothing else. In fact, this is all the main characters care about, romance. Not about anything important.

The novel starts off with a lot of description. Aelwyn returns to the palace after four years. The bad thing about this novel is that it’s all fluff. Like I mentioned before, all the characters are one-sided, especially Ronan (the idiot who care only about money and romance). I could not, for the life of me, give two shits about the ridiculous shit that she goes through. More than once, I had to skip her chapter because I knew that I would give no fucks about what she has to say.

Despite the fact that just about everything important annoyed me, once I shut off my brain, I actually started to enjoy The Ring and the Crown a bit. I really enjoyed the ending, it’s so shocking and exciting. The writing is all right, I didn’t necessarily despise it, it’s well down with the palace and I liked a little French that’s put in it here and there. I also liked the magical aspect of the story although I would have loved it even more if there was more of it, more back story to it.

The Ring and the Crown is can be fun if not thought about at all.  I recommend this one only if you’ve read and enjoyed historical fiction with royalty and enjoyed all the scandals and romances and whatnot. There’s not very much meaning to this story and is solely for entertainment and I was really upset reading this and I don’t know if I’ll read any of De La Cruz’s other series. Though I might finish this series in the hopes that these characters grow the fuck up and decide that life isn’t all about stupidity.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

2.5 Mess Up Clouds

 

Book Review: Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

16179216Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

Rule One—Nothing is right, nothing is wrong.
Rule Two—Be careful.
Rule Three—Fight using your legs whenever possible, because they’re the strongest part of your body. Your arms are the weakest.
Rule Four—Hit to kill. The first blow should be the last, if at all possible.
Rule Five—The letters are the law.

Kit takes her role as London’s notorious “Perfect Killer” seriously. The letters and cash that come to her via a secret mailbox are not a game; choosing who to kill is not an impulse decision. Every letter she receives begins with “Dear Killer,” and every time Kit murders, she leaves a letter with the dead body. Her moral nihilism and thus her murders are a way of life—the only way of life she has ever known.

But when a letter appears in the mailbox that will have the power to topple Kit’s convictions as perfectly as she commits her murders, she must make a decision: follow the only rules she has ever known, or challenge Rule One, and go from there.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion
Katherine Ewell’s Dear Killer is a sinister psychological thriller.

description

I don’t know who wrote that blurb but they obviously didn’t read the same novel as me. Dear Killer is laughable at best.There isn’t anything sinister about it. It lacks common sense and has such a childish feel to it. The writing style made me want to claw my eyes out, it’s more obnoxious than The Situation from Jersey Shore and just as disgusting.

I am not a killer. I could never kill anyone, and even if I had to for self-defence, I would feel horrible about it, like most people. Kit is a killer. Has been since like, nine or something. From this age, and a mother like hers, I would expect her to keep everyone at a distance despite the fact that she’s a teenager. I would expect her to get a fucking grip and not cry just because her mother is upset with her. She is so unbelievable, she thinks she’s a great actress yet the only reason she isn’t caught is because they are far too stupid to realize anything (the police).  I also expect her not to be smitten with her enemy which, by the way,makes for one of the worst romances I have read about that has minimal insta-love. Moreover, the murders aren’t even well explained. She seems to just use some karate kicks and then that’s it. Nothing else. Even Kit’s alter ego is thrown in with no back story whatsoever! There’s no build up nor any foundation for anything. It’s so bad that I had to laugh. Don’t read this book. Don’t even look at it, just keep walking.

Nothing about this book is good. Nothing.

Dear Killer is bad. So bad that even a night of drinking couldn’t make it any better. The characters are all half-assed and there’s no common sense. Just because the carpet is black, Kit believes that the police won’t see it which is not true. But in this book it could actually be possible since they’re so unbelievably stupid. Don’t read this, it’s not only a waste of time and money but a waste of imagination. Nothing is explained, nothing is realistic, and nothing is properly executed. No. Just, no.

1 Lonely Cloud

1 Lonely Cloud

Book Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

17934493Book Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Pages: 373 (Hardcover)

good good

 Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I am so sick of romance in Young Adult novels. It’s all insta-love or something close to it. Romances more often than not take over the story but in Plus One there’s barely any romance until about 70%! I’m not kidding! It’s flipping amazing! The build-up, the relationship, perfection! Okay, except that D’Arcy totally insta-loved Sol at the beginning, but it didn’t bother me. My biggest problem with this has to do with the world building and the flashbacks. The whole night and day thing is awesome but flawed.  I also hated that the flashbacks felt more like ways dump info on readers. But as a whole, Plus One is awesome and just what I needed! And yeah, the ending is cheesy and shit but whatever.

Despite how much I really liked Plus One, there are a lot of holes and weak spots in it. One of the weak spots is the world building. Not much of this is explained which is sad because I really enjoyed the aspect of the whole Day/Night divide, all there is on it is that the division started sometime during the Spanish flu.There’s some talk about a rebellion but it’s so small that it feels like it’s put in there just to end ties with some things. I also didn’t like the flashbacks because, although they’re a nice way for readers to know more about the characters, there’s just too much info in those few pages that it feels more like an info-dump than anything else.

I’ve never read a book with such a slow burn romance but now that I have, I want to read more of them! They’re just so realistic in this aspect and they actually focus on the plot! It shows that the plot doesn’t need a romance to get stuff done. Although it’s obvious that D’Arcy is in love with Sol almost instantly because he’s constantly risking his life for her, I enjoyed that Fama doesn’t let Sol take too much advantage of this nor does she let Sol get her feelings for him in the way of her mission. The characters are really strong and well done. They’re all mysterious and I loved reading about them, especially Sol and Jean because they’re both flawed but really do try their best. Another thing that I loved is the French, it’s amazing. It’s not too much that people who don’t understand French will get confused and well done that the French feels right to be woven into the story and I enjoyed that Fama told the meaning of the words/phrases in English so that readers could fully understand it.

Overall, Plus One is a fun novel that has great characters, tons of actions, and a bit of romance. Even though the world building is flippy-floppy and close to nothing about the division is explained, I liked it a lot. I recommend this one to anyone who’s also sick of all that insta-love/too much romance stuff that seems to be taking over YA books now.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds