Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Attention All Authors/Writers!

Are you a published or self-published author trying to gain a larger audience? Then you won't want to miss this deal! As of today, I will now be accepting any requests to do a review of your novel.

Q: What are the terms?

A: YOU will send an email to You will give a paragraph summary of your written work, its genre, a few paragraphs excerpt, and why you think your novel is worthy to be reviewed on my blog. ;) If I accept your request, you will then send me the manuscript of your novel in either a Word document or a PDF. Reason? I don't have time to be sitting on my computer all day so I need to be able to transfer the file to my Kobo, iPod, or whatever.

I will read your novel and when I am done, post an honest and thoughtful review on this blog.

Q: What types of written works are you accepting? Will you accept anything besides novels?

A: Here is a complete list of all the written works I will accept:

- published novels (such as the ones that can be found on the shelf of a bookstore)
- self-published novels (e.g. on Amazon)
- novels published to a website (such as Figment, Quibblo, or whatever)
- and in certain cases, I may accept plays, fanfiction, books of poetry, etc.

I will NOT accept short stories or a collection of just a few pieces of poetry.

Q: How long will it take you to review my novel?

A: It depends. During the school year, I will be slower. And the more interesting I find your novel, the faster I'll finish it. Makes sense? Good. :)

So, what are you waiting for?

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To the rest of my audience, don't worry - more reviews are coming in soon. I haven't been able to post for a long time because of my first set of diploma exams. But now that those are out of the way...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Far - Regina Spektor Album Review

I came across one of Regina Spektor's songs - "Laughing With". I was impressed so much that I decided to give Regina Spektor a try again. I had listened to one of her CDs a year ago after I was so impressed by her song for the movie Prince Caspian, "The Call". After listening to her CD, I thought her songs were a mixed-up bunch of nonsical words and I wasn't too impressed overall with her music.

It just turns out that the CD I chose to listen to was the same CD I listened to a year ago (or perhaps it was two?). This time, I have more positive comments to make.

The music is definitely good - Regina's music is indie pop. Some of the songs, "Folding Chair", "Machine", and "Dance Anthem of the 80's", specifically, have a little bit of a feel as if it were your best friend singing a song for you and made some funny noises to make you laugh. This gives Regina's CD a "homey" feel. "The Wallet" is a really cute and simple song about Regina finding a guy's wallet and what she does with it. I don't really care for her song "The Calculation" (the first track on this album), though.

Then we come to "Laughing With". This song is just AMAZING and is so true! The message of this song is that people scoff at God when they are having a good time...but when bad times come - an accident, a sickness, a fire, etc. - THEN they no longer scoff at God. They invoke His Name, asking Him to help them out of their difficulty.

Now for about the appropriateness in the material...

I like the song "Two Birds", but it is about a couple that get frustrated with each other and finally divorce. Then, we have "Dance Theme of the 80's", in which the lyrics go "The boys and the girls watch each other eat/When they really just wanna watch each other sleep". You know what that means...

Then, while the song "Genius Next Door" is pretty, I have a feeling that there's something wrong with this song. I'm not very good at understanding most of the lyrics of her songs, but I get these few impressions: the kids in the town like to go into this enchanted lake, in which they get "high", the song is a story of a boy, who leads a meaningless life, but at night, he would go into the lake naked, and later on, he commits suicide.

The rest of the songs are probably fine. :)

Alyianna's reviews: 8.5 out of 10

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Lost Hero Book Review

Jason wakes up in a bus on the way to a school field trip, and he can't remember anything of his past or who he is. He has a girlfriend, Piper, and a best friend, Leo, but he can't even remember them. And when the field trip is taking place, strange things begin to happen...

When I got this book for Christmas, I though, "Oh, cool! Another book by Rick Riordan! But it's not in the Percy Jackson series...oh, well, it's still Rick Riordan." Then I started reading this book...and like when I read the Percy Jackson books, I. CAN'T. STOP.

I realized when I was farther into the book that the Heroes of Olympus series actually comes after the Percy Jackson books and is a continuation of the series (and I've only read 2 out of 5 of the Percy Jackson books), but I still enjoyed it. The book did explain some things, enough so that you understand what is going on, but not enough to spoil any future reading of the Percy Jackson books (not really, at least).

I'm not going to say too much more about this book. It's amazing, maybe even better than the two Percy Jackson books I read (*gasp*). There are three main characters (Jason, Piper, and Leo), which was pretty cool because Rick Riordan kept switching between their viewpoints (the chapters are titled with whose viewpoint it is), which enhanced the story, in my opinion. One thing about the three different characters, though - at the beginning I liked Jason, but as the story went on, he became more distant and I couldn't relate to him very well. There's a pointer about that later on. So I ended up with Piper as (probably) my favourite character, and Leo taking second (he's pretty cool!).

Of course, there was more about mythology to learn intertwined in the story, which I always like.

Alyianna's rating: 10 out 10

 After the break, find one very positive and one very negative review.