Book Review: Blazed by Jason Myers

18668474Blazed by Jason Myers

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Pages: 528 (Hardcover)

good good

 Jamie uncovers life-changing secrets from his past when he’s sent to live with a father he’s never met in this gritty novel from the author of Exit Here. and Run the Game.

Jamie is invincible when he is high. His anger, his isolation, his mom’s manic mood swings—nothing can shatter his glass castle. But one brutal night upends everything, leaving his mom broken and Jamie betrayed.

Sent to live with a father he’s never met, Jamie is determined to hate the man he blames for his mother’s ruin. And he blocks out the pain with drugs, fierce music, and sweet, sweet Dominique. Except the more time Jamie spends at his dad’s, the more his mother’s scathing stories start to unravel. Who is he supposed to believe? And how much will he have to sacrifice to uncover the truth?

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

opinion

If you take away the shitty parents, all of the drugs, the romance and made the protagonist older, have siblings, less talented, and changed the setting, Blazed would pretty much be The Catcher in the Rye. Jaime is told to be this insanely smart and talented person and while he is mostly talented, I don’t think he’s that intelligent. If anything, he’s judgemental and a complete douchebag despite his circumstances. He calls everyone who doesn’t listen to indie bands and alternative rock, ‘phonies’ and ‘fakes’ (sound familiar?). He discriminates against women, saying that ‘we’re all just the same. stupid bitches that are out to destroy everything. Cold hearted whores, all of them’ (I’m paraphrasing but he says something along the lines.”   I’m sorry, but I can’t believe this book. It’s annoying in almost every way and half the book is completely useless.

First off, the writing style is choppy and confusing with nothing properly explained. There aren’t enough flashbacks to make the relationship between Jaime and his mother seem realistic and caring. Another problem are the characters and how lacking they are. Sure, they have some cool traits sometimes but for the most part, they’re underdeveloped and forgettable with close to no redeeming qualities just like the book itself. Everyone listens only to rap and indie bands, do a shit ton of drugs and then complain about how phony the world is. What’s even worse is how Myers sets the world up. San Francisco is a huge place, it’s not possible for every character to know and love every single band and every single book that’s mentioned here. It’s just not.

There is very little that I liked about this book. I spent so much time reading it, I had to find something that made up for the many days that I had lost. The chapters are very short. I also liked the bands that are mentioned, I have found a few new bands that I like. That’s all. Nothing else makes this novel a good read.

Blazed was such a wild card for me. I went in excited, the setting is wild and confusing. I would have been fine if it was only the writing that was that way. Unfortunately, it’s the whole book and I had very little patience for it but I somehow finished it. I hated it and I don’t recommend this book to anyone.

1.5 Odd Clouds

1.5 Odd Clouds

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Album Review: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! by Panic! at the Disco

Too_Weird_to_Live,_Too_Rare_to_Die!

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! by Panic! at the Disco

Record Label: Fueled by Ramen

Genre: Pop

Release Date: October 4, 2013

Songs: 10
good good

Panic! At The Disco are an American pop band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004. Since then, the band has released four albums-A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, Pretty. Odd.,Vices and Virtues, and Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!. Current band members are: Spencer Smith (drums, percussion), Brendon Urie (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, piano), and Dallon Weekes (bass guitar, synth, backing vocals).

opinion

Panic! at the Disco is that odd band that I will forever love because they’re so odd. But honestly, what the hell is this album? Did I click on some demo’s or parodies because this cannot be the same band that I know and love! Honestly, I grew up with this band and I have been listening to them ever since their music video for I Write Sings, Not Tragedies came out so believe me when I say that I am extremely disappointed with this. Extremely disappointed.

Starting off with the first two tracks on the album, This is Gospel and Miss Jackson are bad choices to start this album off with. Not only are the electronic vocals destroying these songs but there seems to be no direction with them. Add in some “oh oh oh’s” and you have some mindless crap that doesn’t even make sense. This album is nothing like their older stuff, in fact, I’m a bit shocked that this is even the same band because there aren’t any trumpet parts nor is there that fun tone that reminds you of a circus. With that being said, these songs are forgettable and repetitive and oh so very boring. Nothing about them stand out and caught my attention.

One thing that I can say with much joy is that vocals are a lot stronger this time around. I guess since this album is mindless party music, the band has finally relaxed more than they used to and are having fun with it.

I’m not one that enjoys listening to dance music unless I’m in a club. TWTL,TRTD is an album that will be famous in clubs because that seems to be the direction that the band wants to go in. Unfortunately, for their older fans, this album is going to be a huge let down with almost nothing of their older selves weaved in with the new. What happened to all of the creepy clowns and awesome festivals that they were so known for? The greatly executed trumpet parts that made me want to dance along? Because Miss Jackson is definitely not leaving me in a dancing, “happy, so happy” type of mood.

Two Boring Treble Clefs

Two Boring Treble Clefs

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

1. This is Gospel-3:11

2. Miss Jackson Ft. Lolo-4:19

3. Vegas Lights-3:10

4. Girls That you Love-3:08

5. Nicotine-3:07

6. Girls/Girls/Boys-3:28

7. Casual Affair-3:32

8. Far Too Young to Die-3:18

9. Collar Full-3:19

10. The End of All Things-3:31

Book Review: Clean by Amy Reed

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Clean by Amy Reed

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Pages: 304 (Paperback)

good good

You’re probably wondering how I ended up here. I’m still wondering the same thing.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have one thing in common: They’re addicts. Addicts who have hit rock bottom and been stuck together in rehab to face their problems, face sobriety, and face themselves. None of them wants to be there. None of them wants to confront the truths about their pasts. And they certainly don’t want to share their darkest secrets and most desperate fears with a room of strangers. But they’ll all have to deal with themselves—and one another—if they want to learn how to live. Because when you get that high, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, down.

opinion

 

Sometimes, shit happens and depending on it, it can really mess a person up. I love how Amy Reed has shown this with all of her characters. They all have their different personalities, families, and preferred drugs. Their lives are intriguing and exciting yet sad and vulnerable at the same time. The road to recovery is one of the hardest ones there is because it has to do with self recover and self discovery.

Jason is by far my favourite character in this novel so of course I wanted a lot more from him than what I received. And this is partly because actual chapters are only told from Christopher and Kelly’s perspective. I love poetic writing but I have ADD so the constant writing for Eva lost my attention more often than not. I appreciate the creative style and how her story is told from a little girl’s perspective rather than in first person but sometimes a little bit of simplicity goes a long way for me.

Clean has short chapters between the actual chapters. These sort chapters are mostly with the group and I love these chapters because they’re simple and realistic, like an actual group of teenagers speaking their minds of a certain thing and explaining their thoughts. The characters are all realistic with their problems, I found it easy to relate to them all in some way because I’ve been or know how it feels to be in their situations.

Amy Reed is an author that I feel like understands the amount of crap that teenagers face in life. I recommend this novel to everyone because it’s not just a novel for teens but for adults as well and I think everyone can learn a few things from it.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

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 Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: May 14, 2013

Pages: 272 (Hardcover)

good good

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Catcher in the Rye.

A fifteen-year-old boy from an abusive home desperately seeking his older brother’s love and approval starts pushing drugs for him and suffers the consequences.

opinion

I was really rooting for this one. I loved the beginning, it’s very strong and exciting. It starts with a flashback and then we learn about where it sort of began.But after awhile, James’s story starts to get boring and at many times, he feels like a brick wall, only relying on books and other people to build his character up.

There are many book references in this novel! Too many for my taste. I can deal with one or two but Kindness for Weakness has around four book references which I found too confusing to remember at times. I also dislike that the story ruins one of the best books ever–The Outsiders– I mean, you just cannot do that. I’ll let one book slide, you can tell me the ending of a Jack London book because I most likely will never read another book of his again but not The Outsiders!

Not cool, man. Not cool.

Short chapters help the books that I dislike a lot solely because I am more committed to finishing them which is the case with this one. Chapters are about three or four pages that literally fly by. Moreover, I liked that I got both sides of the story, not just the good and not just the bad. It starts at the beginning with one of the biggest mistakes in his life and how he came to realize many things about the people around him. The world building is pretty decently done, the Morton facility feels realistic and mysterious, a feeling that I think the author was trying to go for.

Kindness for Weakness starts off great and had my attention from the very beginning but it quickly went downhill and lost it. Still, maybe I just the fact that I have extremely high expectations for novels that are me-novels and I’m very picky about everything with them. Nonetheless I recommend this to anyone who enjoys novels about messed-up teenagers like I do and don’t mind all the spoilers on some great books *coughs* The Outsiders *coughs* and are not very picky about the characters either. I’m hoping that Shawn Goodman’s other novel, Something Like Hope is much better than Kindness for Weakness. 

2.5 Clouds

2.5 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes of the Week#33

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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!

Clean by Amy Reed

9491739Favourite quotes:

1. How is feeling like a failure supposed to help me? The way I see it, they should invent some pill that just makes you forget whatever you want, some pill that makes you numb and functional.

2. Everybody has fucked-up families, even normal kids, even the ones who aren’t in here. There’s no magic math equation that makes us addicts, nothing that separates us from everyone else.

3. She had no idea there were so many different kinds of lonely. But she does not want your pity. She just wants you to understand what can happen when you’re a million kinds of lonely at once, when you find yourself among identical strangers you do not want to get to know.

4. Normal people can keep promises they make to themselves.

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential#1) by Kara Taylor

13411546Favourite quote: Being brave isn’t the same as not being scared, though, it means going through with something even if it totally terrifies you.

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

15752340Favourite quotes:

1. “But even lambs have to be lions sometimes.”

2. If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to do what’s necessary to help them learn and grow, even if it’s painful for the both of you.

3. Pain’s not bad. It teaches you things. I understand that. (Charles Manson)

4. If a sky this dark can still be peppered with so much light, maybe this world can be too.

Album Review: Burnout by Anarbor

images (3)Burnout by Anarbor

Record Label: Hopeless Records

Genre: Pop/Rock

Release Date: June 4, 2013

Songs: 17
Burnout (Deluxe Version) - Anarbor

Anarbor is an American alternative rock band from Phoenix, Arizona that was formed in 2003. They have released four EPs: The Natural Way, Free You mind, The Mixtape, and Let The Games Begin as well as two albums: The Words You Don’t Swallow and Burnout. Current member are: Slade Echeverria (lead vocals, bass guitar) Dave Melillo (lead guitar, backing vocals).

opinion

Darker and edgier, Anarbor has brought back music that is known and well-loved, only a step further. Burnout is honestly like a powerful high. It starts off extremely strong with beats and heavy tunes that reel you in right away but the middle is the weak part with a sense of sameness and repetition that falters and a less than stellar ending that leaves you wanting more but then making you think maybe you’ve had enough.

The album starts off very dark and edgy, it’s definitely darker than their old stuff and then shifts over to their pop side that explains their relationship with their record label. For some songs, the strong beginning and then pop chorus works like in Damage I’ve Done and Who Can Save Me Now but for others they fall a bit flat and lose my interest. The back-up vocals in just about every song really ruins it. Especially in Whiskey in Hell which is all around, a bad-ass song but the too high back-up vocals tarnishes it and makes the song a lot less cool. Same thing with the lyrics, unmistakably, the lyrics are fun and dirty but they’re all about the same thing–booze, drugs, and sex. And after a while, those things don’t sound as cool as they once did during the beginning.

What I do like about Burnout is that everything they’ve done has progressed by a lot. It’s evident in their solos in Every High Has A Come Down, 18, and I Hate You So Much just to name a few. The guitar riffs are a lot smoother and better put together as well as for the bass because the bass and guitar are on the same page as the drummer. I was really surprised with the drumming, I wasn’t expecting it to be so powerful and demanding in Every High Has A Come Down, Whiskey in Hell, and I Don’t Love You Anymore it’s wild and I love it. The vocals are stronger and rougher which is shown in many of the songs. I’m really happy with how much these guys have grown!

Overall, Burnout isn’t a bad album. It’s good, it has some killer solos and duets that keep the album fun. There are a few notable songs that everyone will love and enjoy because of the bad-ass attitude they have. But somewhere along the way, the songs start to merge together and lose my attention. However, I like this album and my favourite songs are: Every High Has A Come Down, 18, Whiskey in Hell, and Take My Pain Away. I recommend this to long time Anarbor fans as well as anyone looking for some fun songs about getting high and drunk without minding the hangover that might come with it.

Three Sexy Treble Clefs

Three Sexy Treble Clefs

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

1. Every High Has a Come Down-3:18

2. Damage I’ve Done-3:58

3. 18-2:38

4. Whiskey in Hell-2:55

5.Who Can Save Me Now-3:15

6. I Hate You So Much-3:10

7. Take My Pain Away-3:34

8. It’s A Fact-3:18

9. I Don’t Love You Anymore-3:15

10. Freaks-2:52

11. Rock To My Roll-2:48

12. Before The World Ends-3:32

13. What He Don’t Know-3:21

14.Every High Has a Come Down (Acoustic)-3:14

15. 18 (Acoustic)-2:43

16.  Take My Pain Away (Acoustic)-3:34

17. Whiskey In Hell (Acoustic)-3:05

 34 Pieces Of You by Carmen Rodrigues

Publisher: Simon&Schuster

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: September 4 2012

Pages: 336 (hard cover)

There was something about Ellie… Something dangerous. Charismatic. Broken. Jake looked out for her. Sarah followed her lead. And Jess kept her distance, and kept watch.

Now Ellie’s dead, and Jake, Sarah, and Jess are left to pick up the pieces. All they have are 34 clues she left behind. 34 strips of paper hidden in a box beneath her bed. 34 secrets of a brief and painful life.

Jake, Sarah, and Jess all feel responsible for what happened to Ellie, and all three have secrets of their own. As they begin to confront the darkest truths about themselves, they will also find out what Ellie herself had been hiding all along….

(My Opinion)

A story about pain and getting over a big part of your life when all you want to do is let go. In this story, there are three different perspectives—Jake’s, Jess’, and Sarah’s. They are told before and after the incident. Each of them go through different phases on Ellie’s death and how it effected them. I like the idea for this story because it’s simple yet pretty complex. The characters are okay and easy to swallow  some of them are typical and boring while others are so interesting and full of life. Out of the three of them, Jake is my favourite because he plays a very huge role in this book and he’s the only one I feel for. Also, the ending isn’t anything special, it’s typical and I didn’t feel for it at all.

The notes that Carmen Rodrigues puts at the beginning of each chapter is really cool but also really confusing. Instead of making it obvious which character Ellie is talking about, most of the notes could be about more than one and I didn’t know who or what was happening between Ellie or what she felt. I also don’t like that there isn’t a clear line to what had happened to Ellie. I wish that what happened to her was actually put in the story because after finishing the book, I’m still left with unanswered questions. The characters of Jess and Sarah are not very interesting. I don’t like Sarah because she felt like words on paper, not much about her stands out and I didn’t feel sad for her when I probably should have. Jess didn’t feel relevant to the story until somewhere in the middle. Nothing about her told me she belonged when the story first starts. I wish Carmen Rodrigues made Jess stronger from the beginning instead of putting the important parts near the ending.

34 Pieces Of You has really short chapters. I could finish about fifty pages without even realizing it because the chapters are short and easy to swallow. I love the writing style, the words aren’t choppy or awkward. For the most part, they fit and make sense. The cover art is amazing! It really pulls me in. The cover goes well with the description the book gives of Ellie which makes me happy too.

Overall, this book is an okay read. There isn’t very many funny moments because it’s a serious topic, but the chapters are short and the writing is well written. I would recommend this to anyone who likes books about serious topics and getting over the past that are told from different perspectives.
 3.5 Dreamy Clouds