Saturday, February 4, 2017

SC prompt

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 6:04 PM 0 comments
The new prompt for Star-Cross'd is up!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Round 14 Results

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 12:00 AM 0 comments
These were the writing prompts for the fourteenth round of SC:



Winner: Accident by Morine

Other Entries

The new prompt for SC will be announced in one week, on January 15 soon. Happy New Year!

 Note: In this round, entries were not judged separately by prompt. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Vicious

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult, Adult
Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars


Rosie Thinks: The blurb for this story was pretty ambitious - it promised me a tale of zeal, jealousy, morality and superpowers, a mix that was almost too good to be true! But V. E. Schwab managed to deliver a novel that was all of this and more.

My favourite quote from the story is this:

"Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."

I feel like this perfectly sums up the grey areas and utterly intriguing characters of this book.

Eli and Victor become fast friends in college, both top of the class, ambitious, and with a dark streak under the surface. When both their thesises collide - the effect of near-death trauma and the creation of ExtraOrdinary humans - they decide to move from theory to experimentation, setting them down a path of betrayal and anger. The book alternates mainly between this time and ten years down the track, when Victor has escaped from prison with his cellmate and takes in a stray girl with an ExtraOrdinary power, and is intent on revenge. The structure of this book - the time jumps every chapter - could've so easily gone wrong, but the author pulled it off masterfully. It gave the story such a rigid structure and allowed Schwab to only reveal a little at a time, keeping me hooked. And I'm not just using that as a turn of phrase - I was honestly hooked in right from the start, and read it all in one sitting without even breaking for the bathroom!

Probably my most favourite aspect of this story was the way it delved into the grey area between good and bad, just as that quote earlier suggests. The quote at the beginning reads: "Life - the way it really is - is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse" (Joseph Brodsky). Talk about that foreshadowing! Neither protganist is truly good, so the story is a facinating look into human behaviour, especially when influenced by power. The superpower aspect was also explored in an interesting way, though the characters are more the focus of the story than their powers are. But the creation of the superpowers, so rooted in science, was intriguing to read about and refreshing in its originality.

Honestly, I can't recommend this book enough. The writing is truly amazing as well, and the way the story was weaved around me left me breathless. I truly loved this story!

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Night Stalker (Robert Hunter #3)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Crime
Rating: 4 stars


Helen Thinks: Unlike the previous two books, The Night Stalker starts with us already at the autopsy of a victim. To the naked eye she is perfectly healthy and bears no visible signs of foul play except for one thing - thick stitches sealing closed her intimate area. During his examination of the area, Medical Examiner Doctor Jonathon Winston notices that something is hidden beyond the stitches and starts the procedure to remove it. What started out as a simple explosion results in an explosive finish as the item inside of the victim detonates - killing the doctor and his intern. Due to the severity of the case, Detective Robert Hunter is called away from a case he is already working and it’s made his main priority because now this killer has also claimed one of their own. It only takes a couple of days before another body arrives in just the same healthy state apart from the thick stitches. It’s not a bomb but it’s just as grotesque and Hunter realises that this serial killer is more of a monster than he could ever being to imagine...

Robert Hunter is back in this third instalment and I hate to be vague but... wow. It’s Carter’s winning style of grisly crime scenes that sells this series of novels to me in the first place but the thought process of this one must have been intense. I don’t want to spoil it too much but from each item placed inside the female victim to the very reason as to why the killer does it was flawlessly written and it was believable. Even more shocking, the killer’s backstory as to why he clicked and went on this psychopathic rage actually has you feeling slightly sorry for him - if he wasn’t a homicidal maniac.

The biggest highlight of this third novel is that finally Carter has finally found his footing with the main characters and they finally start to shine individually while also being able to add in additional minor characters that helps balance out the storyline. Personally, Hunter and Garcia are my new favourite fighting duo and I enjoy reading every instalment as well as re-reading them.
So buckle up and enjoy the ride as Carter takes us back out on the roads of Los Angeles as we chase another twisted mind into the darkness...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Love for the Cold-Blooded, or The Part-Time Evil Minion's Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:59 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult, Adult
Category: Romance, LGBTQIA+, Supernatural
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: When Melissa suggested this book to me to read, she only needed to say two words to get me interested: gay batman. Now that is not literally right, but it was close enough to get me interested! Pat, reluctant son of a supervillain, is happy with his night manager job until a series of misunderstandings ends with him in the bed of his boss. Not only is his boss a reclusive billionaire and the famous superhero Silver Paladin, but he thinks Pat's a prostitute. Soon, the two are falling head over heels for each other, but the return of Pat's mother with a new plan to take over the world doesn't help matters.

Superhero stories always seem to fall into one of two characters: dark and serious (like the recent Batman movies) or lighthearted and non-serious. This fell into the latter category. I've read several superhero stories in this style, and most of the time I find them ridiculous, overdone, corny, stereotypical . . . overall, I don't enjoy the forced humour. But somehow it really worked in this book. Pat could so easily have become an annoying MC - he's weird, over-the-top, a chatterbox - but I actually did find him hilarious and he was so well-written that it worked. There's an almost satirical edge to this, one that pokes fun at the superhero/villain stereotypes in the funnest way possible. It was silly at times, but in a way that was fun and not absurdly ridiculous.

It is set in a completely different world, but not much information is given on it other than that showdowns between villains and heroes is the norm. The villains aren't truly bad - for example, Sir Toby created a mind control ray to take over the city and make people more happy and understanding of each other. It's situations like this where the satirical side shines through. Plus, the constant reference to the heroes/villains arranging themselves to get the best looking photo for the newspaper possible. It reminded me a bit of The Incredibles - the way it shows the heroics of a supervillain/hero meeting normal, mundane family life.

Pat is the black-sheep of the family. His older sisters are all following in his mum's supervillain footsteps, but he just wants to study Urban Design. He's just a normal university student, except the times when he has to pull 'minion duty' for one of the other villains. Nick, billionaire and Silver Paladin, is utterly adorable because he's characterised as this almost awkward, shy genius with next to no social skills.

This is longer than I would've expected for a story of this type, and I was so glad for it. I enjoyed every second of it and loved how the author wrote every scene to be so interesting. The only down point is the cover - how does a cover that boring match a book as hilarious as this? I don't really know what they were thinking, as it conveys a seriousness and over-romantic-ness that isn't present in the story. Either way, I definitely recommend this to any lover of superhero stories, or just plain slash.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Along for the Ride

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 1 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, romance
Rating: 5 stars


Melissa Thinks: Rereading books is not something I normally do. The most frustrating thing about being a book lover is as I grow older, I find my tastes are always changing. A book I might have read and loved five years ago I might read now and hate. I originally read Along for the Ride six or seven years ago and it wasn't a book that made a large impression on me. On this second read through, I've had an unexpectedly different reaction.

Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite authors for several reasons. First of all, her novels are always so well crafted. The characters have layers of character development that slowly emerge throughout her stories. She knows how to write about teenagers in a way that is not patronizing or stereotypical. Dessen novels are a perfect example of YA novels or "chick lit" books that can transcend their marketed audience. The themes and messages of this book (perseverance, femininity, elitism in academia, family and motherhood, change)

Another of Sarah Dessen’s strengths is the relationships she builds within her novels. Whether it’s familial relationships, friendships, or romantic connections, Dessen always seems to find the best ways to bring her characters together. Take, for instance, Eli and Auden. Their relationship starts off fairly innocently; they bond over coffee, pie, and insomnia. As they become closer, it’s hard not to want them to end up together forever. But like I said, it’s not just about the romance. Auden’s damaged relationship with her mother, father, and stepmother plays a very important role in Along for the Ride. Auden also connects with a group of girls who work in her stepmother’s store, which showcases the importance of strong friendships as opposed to the female rivalry which can often play a big part in YA books.

To conclude: I just really loved this book a lot more than I thought I would. Oftentimes an author’s later books can be crappy in comparison t their earlier works, but Along for the Ride was an amazing read, much like Dessen’s earlier works. So if you’ve not read a book by this author before, I think this is a great one to start with!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hover Car Racer

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 5:25 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, science fiction
Rating: 5 stars


Rosie Thinks: This book is definitely not something I would normally read. I normally don’t touch science-fiction, and especially not a book classified under ‘childrens’ on Goodreads! But this is one of my most favourite authors and I first read this book about eight years ago - and on my third read-through (at 22 years old) this book hasn’t lost any of itsmagic!

We follow Jason Chaser and his brother, the Bug, as they navigate their way through the hover car racing world. The story starts with the two just scraping their way into the International Race School and their uphill battle to the top as they go up against the best racers in the world.

In the same vein as most children’s fiction, this story is fairly black and white. Jason and his friends are good, the bullies are bad. The basic plot (The Underdog) has been done a million times, but that didn’t stop me absolutely adoring this. Jason, the Bug and their mismatched hover car are constantly beset by obstacle after obstacle, but none of it feels overdone or ridiculous. Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite authors because his books always deliver fast-paced action and suspense that keeps me glued to the book, and his usual flair translated well into children’s fiction.

When this book was first released, it was done for free online and in installments. And it says something amazing about the book when Disney picked up the rights to it without all the installments even out! Although that was ten years ago, I’m still hoping for a movie to come of this!

I mentioned earlier that I don’t like reading science-fiction, but this is only set a few years into the future (at an unspecified date). It’s kind of like the exact same world as now, plus hover car technology for everyone. But the entire world and intricate detail Reilly put into this was awesome to read. The details of the racing tournaments were like an amalgamation of several different sports, and I was consistently in awe of Reilly’s imagination in putting it all together.

So please don’t be put off by the age! This is a fantastic book that can be read in a few sittings and leave you with the warm fuzzies.

 

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