Album Review: Forever Halloween by The Maine

images (2)

Forever Halloween by The Maine

Record Label: Independent/8123 Eighty One Twenty Three

Genre: Alternative Rock (with a little bit of pop)

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Songs: 12
Forever Halloween - The Maine

The Maine  is an American rock band from Tempe, Arizona. Formed in 2007. The band was founded by Pat Kirch (drummer) and Garrett Nickelsen (Bassist) when they were still in high school. Even though they’re from Arizona, the name Maine comes from a song by a very respected band called, Ivory. They got their name from their song, The Coast Of Maine (great song as well). The Maine have four EPs: stay Up, Get Down, …And A Happy New Year,  In Darkness And In Light and Good Love. And 4 albums out: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, Black And White,  Pioneer and Forever Halloween. Members of the band are: John O’Callaghan (vocals), Jared Monaco (lead guitarist), Kennedy Brock (back up guitarist), Garrett Nickelsen (bass), and Pat Kirch (drums).

(My Opinion)

There’s just so much that I love about Forever Halloween. Actually, there is so much that I love about The Maine, really. But this isn’t about how they’re my favourite band or about how they’re so nice and funny. This is about their newest album and how much is fucking rocks. And about how much they have grown as a band, which is evident with this album. They’re a lot more confident with their sound and the direction they want their music to lead to which is one of the reasons why I love Forever Halloween. 

Unfortunately, I don’t really like Fucked Up Kids because I feel like it falls flat especially at the chorus, the drums and guitar seem to be on completely different pages and parts are done a bit sloppily. And although I love Run and it’s one of my favourite songs off of Forever Halloween the transitioning between the chorus and the verse could have been smoother, it’s rushed and a little too sharp.

Fortunately, I love everything else about this album. The guitar duet in Kennedy Curse is phenomenal, it’s dark and haunting in a good way. Hopefully we’ll hear more of it on their next album. Birthday In Los Angeles is a bit different from the rest of the songs because of the song structure and sound. It doesn’t necessarily have the same chorus every time, it changes a bit and the lone ukulele accompanying John’s voice is really delicate and soft. With Blood Red there is an echo coming off of all the instruments and vocals that really compliments the song and the creepiness that is intended for it. I also love the use of different percussion instruments and clapping, etc. that are enclosed in songs, Blood Red, Happy, and Take What You Can Carry. Also, These Four Words compared to You Left Me, This Is The End, and, I’m Sorry is a lot darker and sadder with only the piano to emphasis just how sad and broken the song is meant to be. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching which I think makes the song that more great. (Also, I can’t take this song very seriously because of the line: “I really should just go home and play with myself”. It’s too funny!)

Forever Halloween is pretty much gold. Every song has its own creepy, cool, unique theme to it that comes together to make this album a whole with a Halloween feeling. Off of the album my favourite songs are: Run, Blood Red, Kennedy Curse, Love & Drugs and Happy. But I love almost all of them. I recommend this album to everyone, especially people who love alternative rock and people who love creepy, Halloween-like music and everything in-between.

4.5 Beautiful Treble Clefs

4.5 Beautiful Treble Clefs

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Take What You Can Carry-3:03

2. Love & Drugs-3:38

3. Run-3:38

4. White Walls-4:20

5. Happy-2:45

6. Birthday In Los Angeles-3:17

7. Blood Red-3:17

8. Kennedy Curse-3:39

9. Sad Songs-3:15

10. Fucked Up Kids-4:34

11. These Four Words-4:06

12. Forever Halloween-4:06

Advertisements

Book Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer#1) by Michelle Hodkin

8591107The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer#1) by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: September 27, 2011

Pages: 452 (Paperback)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.

She’s wrong.

(My Opinion)

Oh, the potential this book had. Stating the obvious, there is a romance in this novel. And this romance caused this novel to tumble and fall to its knees. Even with an awesome plot, it still couldn’t help the book as much as I had hoped. Throughout the novel, there is close to no character building and most of the characters feel like ink on paper.

A lot of creepy things happen to Mara once she moves to Miami. Things happen to the people around Mara as well. These odd happenings should have been a lot more dominant in the story but aren’t because they are far and few between. Which makes them seem quite random instead of building up to something more.  I wish Michelle Hodkin put more of these odd things into the book to help it be consistent. Now, onto the romance. But, don’t get me wrong, I liked it, the actual romance is funny and sweet but there is just too much of it. Once these two characters are apart it seems that it is short lived because the other character pops up out of nowhere so that they can be together for another fifteen chapters. It’s ridiculous and readers will get irritated and annoyed very quickly no matter how cute Noah’s accent may or may not be.

A big thing for me and books is the writing. I either like it or I don’t and fortunately for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I really, really, really, liked the writing. It’s like butter, so rich and smooth and dreamy. Everything flowed very nicely that, this almost 500 paged book felt like a 200 or 300 paged book. I also loved the ending even with how predictable it is. It’s very intense and scary, a crazy cliffhanger that forces you to need to read the second book.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is no doubt a book that many readers will love. But it’s also a book that a lot of readers will dislike because of the romance. But I did enjoy this and recommend it to anyone who loves books where the romance takes over and killer cliffhangers. Fingers crossed the second book has a lot less romance in it!

Three Clouds

Three Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Album Review: Able Bodies by From Indian Lakes

tumblr_md53fzohwh1qjcvneo1_500

Able Bodies by From Indian Lakes

Record Label: Independent

Genre: Pop/Rock

Release Date: November 13, 2012

Songs: 11
Able Bodies - From Indian Lakes

From Indian Lakes is from Yosemite Valley, California. The band released their debut full-length record, “The Man With Wooden Legs” in the Winter of 2009. The songs that were spawned out of this release reflect the bands’ collective maturity and purpose while being surrounded by music that is otherwise derivative and lacking in any sort of defining positive characteristics. Since their initial debut, the band has been working endlessly, playing countless shows throughout the US as well as dedicating time in the studio in preparation for their upcoming full-length. The next release, entitled Able Bodies, is already garnering wide acclaim with both longtime fans as well as those who have just recently discovered the band.

Able Bodies moves several steps forward in their maturity and depth, while still retaining the aggression, passion and darkness of their debut. Current band members are: Joey Vannuchi’s (vocals, guitar), Enrique Gutierrez (Keys), Justin Stanphill (Guitar), and Guy Samuelson (Drums).

(My Opinion)

Funny, the first time I listened to a song by this band, I thought they sucked. Of course, now, I’ve come to my senses and realized just how amazing they are. This album is pretty much perfect. I mean, really. There are some unpredictable songs on this album like Anything and We Follow. As listeners really get into We Follow, the instruments except for drums and a random guitar string or two stop playing and a small, heartbreaking monologue comes out which is sung by lead singer, Joey Vannuchi. Throughout the album, there are a lot of different song structures that listeners don’t normally hear. Your Son doesn’t necessarily have a chorus, it’s just a story about pain and loss which I think is a hauntingly amazing song. Actually, this is an amazing album and I think everyone should go buy it. Right now.

What makes me fall in love with this album over and over again is the fact that everything about it is so easy to love. From the bass drum that just somehow completes a song to the lyrics that compliment the sound. The lyrics hold a lot of meaning not only to the band, but I also think to the listeners, they’re easy to relate to especially I Don’t Know You and Till I Can Walk by talking about love, happiness, and just how horrible the world can be sometimes. Another thing I love about Able Bodies is that everyone gets noticed, everyone gets a part that shows off their different talents. What I mean by this is that in: Paintings, Till I Can Walk, We Are Sick, and We Follow the drummer really lets it all out and goes, well, sort of wild and I love it. In: Your Son, We Follow, Stay Outside, Breaking My Bones the vocalist gets sudden (sort of) solos and can hit really high notes that show his strength and experience with his voice. In most songs, the bass gets a cool, unique duet with mostly the drums which is a plus because rarely is the bass even heard. And of course, I adore the guitar parts and solos that are in almost every song.

Able Bodies  is something unexpected. It’s raw and talented and just…beautiful. I recommend this album to everyone, especially to indie rock lovers because this is a beautiful album about life and how fucked everything is. Off of Able Bodies, my favourite songs are: We Follow, I Don’t Know You, Till I Can Walk, and Paintings. but I love every song so just listen to them all. Or buy the album and see them live!

Five Beautiful Treble Clefs

Five Beautiful Treble Clefs

 

Songs On The Album (Click on the title to listen to the song!)

1. Anything-4:04

2. We Are Sick-3:14

3. Paintings-3:18

4. Breaking My Bones-3:48

5. I Don’t Know You-3:32

6. Stay Outside-4:34

7. Below-4:37

8. My Mouth, My Lips-4:30

9. Your Son-3:24

10. We Follow-3:49

11. ‘Till I Can Walk-4:54

Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

10429045Shatter Me (Shatter Me#1) by Tahereh Mafi

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Dystopia and young adult

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Pages: 338 (Paperback)
Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

(My Opinion)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi seems to be a hit or miss novel for most people. And I can understand why with the overuse of similes and metaphors that makes this novel quite different from other dystopian novels (in both a good and bad way). Another thing about the novel is there’s a lot of strike out text. I’ve never read a book with strike out text before and I think that’s why I had such a hard time trying to get comfortable with it. But, during the second half of the book, the strike out text is a lot less prominent than it is in the first part which helps make the novel a lot more bearable. Although this book does have some problems (that can sometimes be overlooked) I really liked this. Tahereh Mafi took a very mainstream, very overused idea and added a very cool twist to it.

The beginning is odd, there’s too much use of similes and metaphors. Even simple sentences have been changed into more complex and ‘poetic’ sentences. It reminds me of that episode on friends where Joey finds out how to use a thesaurus. (Season ten episode five: The One Where Rachel’s Sister Baby-Sits.) Because of this, the writing is really clipped and straight to the point instead of smooth and kind of casual (for the lack of a better word). I also don’t like the romance much because the book focuses almost always on the romance instead of the actual plot.

With all that being said, I still liked most if not all of the characters. They’re all different and pretty well-developed with strong personalities especially James who is a very realistic ten-year old. I love how Juliette is explained to us, although she’s had her powers for a long time now, she’s still learning about them and how to control them. We’re showed this with a few examples of just how killer her touch is with not only children, but against adults as well. It’s pretty amazing.

The idea to bring in superpowers into a dystopian series is pretty creative. It helps make the story stand out in a genre that is all the same (for the most part). Shatter Me is a thrilling read that is both intense and exciting. I recommend this to anyone who likes dystopian novels as well as people who like a lot of romance and a kick ass protagonist.

Four Dreamy Clouds

Four Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#30

1653

A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Winger by Andrew Smith

11861815Favourite Quotes:

1. “You know, nothing ever goes back exactly the way it was. Things just expand and contract. Like the universe, like breathing. But you’ll never fill your lungs up with the same air twice. Sometimes, it would be cool if you could pause and rewind and do over. But I think anyone would get tired of that after one or two times.”

2. You can’t see around corners, so you just have to deal with it and try to stay afloat.

And things get tough.

And you’re supposed to grow up.

And it’s all a bunch of bullshit.

Sorry.

3. I found out something about words. There are plenty of words I can put on paper, words I can see with my eyes and scribble with my hand, that I never had the guts to say with my mouth. Sometimes, I used to think I was brave; but I don’t believe that anymore.

And then it’s always that one word that makes you so different and puts you outside the overlap of everyone else; and that word is so fucking big and loud, it’s the only thing anyone ever hears when your name is spoken.

And whenever that happens to us,  all the other words that make us the same disappear in its shadow.

The Archived (The Archived#1) by Victoria Schwab

10929432Favourite Quotes:

1. “When you lie to everyone about everything, what’s left? What’s true?”

“Nothing,” I say.

“Exactly.”

2. “Curiosity is a gateway drug to sympathy. Sympathy leads to hesitation. Hesitation will get you killed.”

3. “You are crazy,” he says. “You are a crazy, amazing girl. And you scare the hell out of me.”

4. Truths are messy and lies are messy, I don’t care what Da said, it’s impossible to cut a person into pie-like pieces, neat and tidy.

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

16238699Favourite quotes:

1. “Fuck the bullshit, it’s time to throw down.”

2. “Yeah, that’s totally badass. Not killing yourself even when you think you want to. Takes a lot of balls to stay alive, don’t you think?”

We all smiled because it was the truth: Living did take a lot more guts than giving up.

Watersong series by Amanda Hocking

As an author, Amanda Hocking has made huge waves in the publishing industry with her Trylle and My Blood Approves series. Watersong is her newest series which I must say is pretty awesome. I’ve started this series a few months ago and it’s pretty different from other siren series. I especially love Alex! He’s so funny and sweet.

If you’re reading this post you it’s because 1. You’re curious about what this has to do with anything or 2. You like her too! Hopefully it’s both one and two but as long as you’re reading this it’s great. As some of you may know, This is a four book series with Tidal already out and Elegy coming out in august!  For more information on the book check out her watersong website for details! Who knows, you could win something! For summary of each book click on the pictures.

1058653914759334Tidal13615701

Book Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

15742858Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Publisher: Harlequin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2)

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…

…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

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

(My Opinion)

It’s usually a hard thing for a sequel to beat the début. But, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is definitely better than Confessions of an Angry Girl on just about every level. In the first book we met Rose and figured out the problems that have changed her but haven’t changed her to be necessarily angry like the title has promised us.But in the sequel as I first began reading, I was expecting some of the same stuff. I was expecting Rose to whine a lot and for her to say things that the characters thought were really mean and bad but actually aren’t. But don’t get me wrong, all of this is still in Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend but there’s also more. There’s more anger, more fights, more pain, more heartache. I was really shocked upon finishing this to realize that I liked this. A freaking lot.

Unfortunately, most of the book revolves around Jamie Forta who is, one of my least favourite characters. Albeit he’s a caring character who puts the people he cares about before himself, I hate how the author has built him up as a ‘tragic hero’ with a huge flaw that is meant to be overlooked because all of the characters need him. I found this bit really annoying for me and I just could not bring myself to like him. Another thing I don’t like is how much Rose whines throughout the story. It’s one thing for her to start whining in her head for only us, the readers to know but she complains to Jamie about everything–him talking to Regina and what it was all about, how all of her friends are prettier than her, and how jealous she is of the Deladdo family. It’s just annoying.

As usual I love the writing. Louise Rozett has a lot of talent making even the simplest things seem complex and important. The second part of the novel is when everything starts to get good with everything coming at Rose all at once rather than one at a time. And she explodes! I especially love Christmas Eve because this is when her bitchy side comes out of nowhere. She reacts to everything on impulse rather than planing out what she wants to say which is the reason why I love it so much. Most of the characters are a lot more developed, we get to know bits and pieces of why Regina and the rest of the Deladdo family are so cruel towards Rose and other people which helps readers sympathize with them a lot more than I did in the first  book. And the ending. What an ending! Even though I had a sense that it was going to happen I was not expecting it to affect me as much as it did with the fighting and the heartbreak. This series is really moving their way up in my books!

All in all, I really liked this book. It’s funny, has a bunch of action, and it has suspense, something that a lot of YA books are missing nowadays. The first half of the book is quite annoying which forced me to bring the rating down but the second half is so unexpected and exciting, I couldn’t help but want Rose to pull on top and get what she wants. I recommend this to everyone who has read the first book and to anyone who’s looking for a new series to read. If you get through the first book, I promise hope that you’ll like the second one much better.

3.5 Cool Clouds

3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click, here.