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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Singin' Saturday: The Summer in Spain-Rainie Yang

Title: The Summer In Spain
Chinese Title: 曬焦的一雙耳朵 
Artist: Rainie Yang (楊丞琳)
Language: Mandarin Chinese
Extra Info: The lyrics are literally translated into "A Pair of Sun-scorched Ears"
TTS: HERE

Wdebo's Notes: This is such a beautiful song by Rainie. It is wonderful to see how much she has grown as a singer throughout her career. There is definitely a bittersweet feel to both this song and music video. You can feel the sadness in her tone and through the lyrics. I also love how the music video looks. Taiwanese MVs have come a long way and look so much higher budget now. Haha.

Listen and Love!

Wdebo :)


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Singin' Saturday: All I Want For Christmas Is You-Divided By Friday

Title: All I Want For Christmas Is You
Artist: Divided By Friday
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: Since Christmas is only three days away, here is a song that will hopefully get all of us in a Christmas-y mood. Oh goodness, this cover. So wonderful. Jose's voice is lovely and it just fills me up with a great desire to jump up, pour myself a tall glass of eggnog and sit in front of the fireplace to watch Christmas specials on the tv.

Listen and Love!



Wdebo :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Singin' Saturday: Last Thing On Your Mind-Lights

Title: Last Thing On Your Mind
Artist: Lights
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I love Lights. I had been having a very rough week and this was one of the songs that helped me get through it. I love it when music can help raise your spirits because that's exactly what music should be there for. Music should be a friend who will accompany you through the good and the bad and would never leave you no matter what.

Listen and Love!

 Wdebo :)

~~~

Other songs by Lights:

Ice
Toes
Siberia
Second Go

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Girl Unmoored By: Jennifer Gooch Hummer

"'Sometimes things get broken and people make mistakes. It's just what happens. And then, if you're lucky, they get fixed again, before it's too late'" (317).

Title: Girl Unmoored
Author: Jennifer Gooch Hummer
PAPERBACK
Amount of Pages: 325
Publisher: Fiction Std
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Geared Towards: Older Readers
From: Books Sparks (Review Copy)
Extra Notes: This is her debut novel
I was not paid for this review. 


Summary (From B.O.B): Apron Bramhall has come unmoored. Fortunately, she's about to be saved by Jesus. Not that Jesus-the actor who plays him in Jesus Christ Superstar. Apron is desperate to avoid the look-alike Mike, who's suddenly everywehre, until she's stuck in church with him one day. Then something happens-Apron's broken heart blinks on for the first time since she's been adrift.

Mike and his boyfriend, Chad, offer her a summer job in their flower store, and Apron's world seems to calm. But when she uncovers Chad's secret, story seas return. Apron starts to see things the adults around her fail to-like what love really means, and who is paying too much for it.

Apron has come unmoored, but now she'll need to take the helm if she's to get herself and those she loves to safe harbor. 

Wdebo's Review: I received this book to review back in March of this year but with college and other books, I just never got around to reading it. I sort of forgot it on my bookshelf and let it collect dust. Also, apart from time restraints, the other reason I never thought about it was that I personally did not find the cover all that appealing and as most people know (and I'm sure most people are guilty of) I totally judge books by their covers and this cover just did not fulfill my superficial desires at all. On a whim, I picked it up again a couple of days ago and finished it that very same day. Everything about this story was just so wonderful and the only regret it gave me was that I did not read it sooner.

The writing was wonderful which makes it all the more surprising when you factor in the fact that this is Hummer's debut novel. It possessed a honest simplicity to it that made it very easy to get into and be lulled into a reading frenzy by its calming arms. Through her writing, Hummer was able to create a narrator who was both innocent in her age but mature in her insight, the things that she has witnessed and lived through. Though her grasp on love can at times be seen as childlike, there is a certain knowing quality about her. Even though she phrases her thoughts in a child-like manner her words possess a truth to them that not many people are able to understand even at much greater ages. Apron was a great narrator and I loved reading from her point of view. I loved to see her grow and mature and understanding her surroundings. I especially enjoyed seeing her growth in regards to Mike and Chad for though she grew up in an area that was not very hospitable to homosexuals so grew to truly love them and hold them as one of the most important friends she ever had. This work really allows you to understand the importance of friendship and love and how affection can come in all shapes and forms and from the most unlikely sources. However, though all love can be different, there is one unifying factor to it, that it will always be there for you, to hold you and carry you through the good and bad. And though you will laugh and cry together it will be the thing you hold most dear.

I also loved how Hummer presented the characters of Chad and Mike. I hold both of them and Apron very dear to me as I went through the story. Their relationship, which was presented with a bittersweet, heart-warming love, was also very magnificent and held tightly onto my heart.

The writing itself was very well done and was able to make me laugh one minute and cry the next. The whole story flowed together nicely and had very few sections in which I found it lagged or did not hold my attention  as much as I hoped for. This is one of the few novels which I could have given a 5 stars to it without even reading till the last page. The ending itself was also very well done, it did not disappoint. Once I finished the novel, I was left was a feeling of satisfication but also one in which I would not have minded if I could get another glimpse of the future. I would have liked to see what happens to all of the characters, but even if I was not given the opportunity, I would not have minded one bit because I know that they will be ok no matter where or how they live their lives. I also liked how the story did not end with perfect endings for everyone because the story had a realistic element to it and life just does not work perfectly like that with all of the loose strings being tied up together with neat bows.

Cafe Cover Chat: As stated above, I am definitely not a big fan of the cover, but I do love the blue and the imaginative sailboat/cloud. (B-)

All in all, a wonderful debut novel from Jennifer Gooch Hummer that everyone should pick it. I am sure I will be recommending to lots of people throughout next term. This work allows us to understand the importance of love and how it can come in all shapes and forms and be there to comfort us when we most need it.

Grade: A+

Wdebo :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday's Taiwanese Superstar: Kimberley Chen

Whoa, I haven't done a TTS in about two years so let's see how this goes~ Haha.

Chinese Name: 陳芳語
English: Kimberley Chen
Birthday: May 23, 1994
Age: 18
Birthplace: Melbourne Australia
What She Does: Singer/Dancer

Background Info: Kimberley released her debut earlier this year (April 27, 2012) but her musical career has spanned for much longer than that.

Kimberley has been coached by many impressive people including her father, Maestro Vladamir Vais, Gordon Chambers, etc. She has been singing publicly since she was 4 and at the age of 11 she played the role of Young Nala in the Melbourne production of the Lion King and at 13 she also sang the National Anthem at the Australian Football League NAB Cup. She then moved to New York to study. In 2010, she also competed on the Taiwanese Singing Show and gained much Taiwanese recognition there. With her debut album, she released the song " 愛你 (Ai Ni)" [Love You] this April which has over 6 million hits which is one of the two songs of hers that are featured in the drama Fondant Garden.

I love this music video because it is sad/cute and the song is adorable. I also like how Xiao Jie from JPM is in here. Haha.



Other Songs You Should Check Out By Kimberley:

Star Trek (ft. Ailing Tai)
Satellite
Never Change

Wdebo :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review: Ask the Passengers By: A.S. King

"I stare at the first plane that's cutting the sky in two. I stare and I send my love. I send it to the woman in seat 5A who is worried about something. I send it to the man in first class who's not feeling well. I focus on the stars, and I send love to the aliens flying millions of miles from me in outer space. My brain people like to think that one of these days, they'll be coming for me" (45)

Title: Ask the Passengers
Author: A.S. King
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 293
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Gered Towards: Teens
From: Publisher (Review Copy)
I was not paid for this review.


Summary (From Front Flap):

How do you give your love away when no one seems to want it?

You send it up into the sky.

And you hope the right person catches it.

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people wo won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions...like what it means that she's falling love with a girl. 

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the poeple at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even realize she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives-and her own-for the better.

Wdebo's Review: I remember reading The Dust of 100 Dogs three or so years ago and being completely in love with it; therefore, when I was given a chance to review Ask the Passengers I pounced at the chance. 

Compared to The Dust of 100 Dogs, Ask the Passengers does not seem to contain anything truly remarkable or throught-provoking. However, there was just something about the novel that I found truly touching. Though the storyline itself is nothing too exciting and goes along the same path that many other high school coming of age stories do there was something about Astrid that made her someone truly magical in her averageness and through King's simple, honest writing. Astrid is a character that is very relatable to the readers. I'm sure all of us have felt, at one point in our lives, that we were unloved or unnecessary  (For some of us, this feeling has progressed throughout half or all of our entire existence.) Therefore, through this simple similarity Astrid was a very remarkable character. She is the awkward, shy person that we feel like inside. That person that feels unloved, ignored and just needs some love sent her way.

The book is divided into the actual story and little snippets of the lives of the passengers and how Astrid's love affects each of them different way. I loved that. I love reading about other people's life that even though we are all different and going our own separate way we can be connected in some unknown way. The book shows the effect that a little bit of love can create. Even if you are just giving your love arbitrarily to the skies it will be able to find the right person and just help them through their lives. I think that's where the magic part of this story comes from. We never truly get to stop and think that we should just pause and love more that life should be focused on our relationships and not just what we are superficially to others.

Those were the two main things that truly stuck with me in this book, the love that could be felt in the pages and Astrid's character. However, I found the plot to be disappointingly lacking the same sort of charm that the other two elements possessed. It went down the same path that every other book about the same topic delved into and the relationship strains were tied up too quickly towards the ending. Though they did not end up in a "happily-ever-after" way it was still not the ending I was searching for in a book like this one.

Cafe Cover Chat: I really love this cover there is something this cover possesses that represents my thoughts of the book. The warmth and the comfort that it gives off. (A-)

All in all, though the storyline was not phenomenal but the writing and character of Astrid make up for it. I found myself reading this book, not to see where the story would go but mainly for Astrid's love-giving because every time she parted with a little bit of love I felt like some of it was reaching me and it just made me feel a bit more comforted and warmed.

Grade: B+/A-

Wdebo :)

"I stare out the window and smile because just dreaming it is nice...even if it doesn't happen. Just dreaming it is nice" (216)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Singin' Saturday: West Coast Christmas-Anarbor

Title: West Coast Christmas
Artist: Anarbor
Language: English
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I know I've been completely ignoring my blog lately but it is officially the first day of Winter Break for me so I'll be blogging a LOT over this month ^_^ (I'm currently reading Ask the Passengers and it is ah-mah-zin). To celebrate this fact, here is "West Coast Christmas" to just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty that comes from the weeks before the holidays. I love how this song makes me feel, all warm and comforted. Hope everyone has a great holiday!

Listen and Love!


Wdebo :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blog Tour: Book Review + Guest Post + Giveaway: Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

Title: Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
Edited By: E. Kristen Anderson and Miranda Kenneally
PAPERBACK
Amount of Pages: 192
Publisher: Zest Books
Release Date: October 31, 2012
Geared Towards: All Readers
From: Publisher (ARC Copy)
Extra Info: This is an anthology of letters written by authors. It is in full color



Summary (From B.O.B): Growing pains are an essential part of teenage life, for better and for worse. Some "mistakes"turn into positive, life-changing experiences, and some apparent triumphs seem in retrospect, like low points. Some first kisses leave you feeling on top of the world, and others can mae you want to hide undre a rock. In DEAR TEEN ME, your favorite YA authors-including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, Tom Angleberger, and Carrie Jones-revisit critical moments from their young lives and offer advice and guidance to their teeange selves. So pick a page, and find out...


*Who found true love at 18?
*Who wishes she'd had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard?
*And who skipped prom to go to a Grateful Dead concert, only to wind up stranded?

The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So whether you're a theatre kid, a band geek, a bad boy, a good girl, a loner, a stoner, a nerd or a jock, you'll find friends-and a lot of familiar faces-in DEAR TEEN ME.

Wdebo's Review: Once I saw the summary of DEAR TEEN ME, I was instantly intrigued and knew I just had to read it and I am so happy I did. This book is filled with letters from all kinds of authors so reading it, I saw a lot of familiar (and not so familiar faces) and will definitely help you to relive all of your good (and not so pleasent) teenage years. And for readers that are not yet teens it will give them something to look forward to (or dread) later in their lives.

The topics of the letters span to all sorts of different topics. They range from very funny, lighthearted warnings to deep issues. No matter what stage of life you are currently in, there will definitely be at least one story which you will be able to identify with. I especially liked the letters about being weird with "weird friends" because that was totally how my friends and I were like in high school. We were the nerds the holed up in the library and talked books and other things (like dramas) 24/7.

I also liked the fact that is was in full color, it just made it look cooler and was much more fun to read.

Cafe Cover Chat: The cover is pretty good but not the best. I like the postal theme. (B-)

All in all, a great anthology that is sure to keep you busy for a couple of fun, nostalgic hours.

Grade: B+

~~~

For a "guest post," I asked a few of my friends to create their own "Dear Teen Me"s and this is what they came up with. Enjoy!

Dear Teen Me,


Don't be afraid of trying new things. You'll never know what you are capable of until you actually try it. Have fun and be surprised!

Pricilla

Dear Teen Me,
You'll fall in love...and out of love many times before you find Mr. Right, so don't obsess over the first or even fifth. Don't be stupid just to prove a point. Lastly, Miss Congeniality taught me to S.I.N.G, and you should learn it well!
Always Yours,

Liz

Dear Teen Me,
There are some pretty huge changes coming in your life, so just go with it! Never forget who you are, don't worry too much about the future because everything will work out, and most importantly, you'll get freckles from too much sun exposure so stop trying to get tan.
Lots of love, 

Lisa

Dear Teen Me,
Forever cherish the good times and learn from the bad. Always stay true to yourself and have faith that life is on your side. Listen to others but remember to think critically about what they say and let curiosity be your guiding light. Oh and don't forgot about that thing you left that time in the room of your best friend's boyfriend's cousin's house.You'll need it back.
Your Number One Fan,Steph



Dear Teen Me,
Remember: "Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can"~Danny Kaye. That red streak of anger you slap on when your close friends betray you...it will be covered by a multitude of blue dots that represent all your newly formed friendships.
The black paint that drenches the entire canvas will be washed away by a fiery orange-yellow. And along the way, you'll add playful purple swirls and splatters of lime green. 
In the end, through the good ties and the bad, you'll turn out to be a wonderful masterpiece. 
Take this piece of advice and start painting.
Yours truly,
Older me

Dear Teen Me,
Eat the damn food. Keep it down.
Sincerely,

Someone who cares.


Dear Teen Me,

Your teens will be over before you know it, so stop moping because the past is over, and jump head first into the adventures of everyday life. Cherish time spent with loved ones RIGHT NOW and don't forget to live in the moment. Take it from me: your life will work out how it's supposed to. So don't sweat the small stuff, don't sell yourself short, and keep that head up, kid.
Yours truly,
Older Rissa

Dear Teen Me,
I want to promise you right here, right now that everything turns out okay. There are some storms ahead but you know what? You will never be alone.
Hannah

Dear Teen Me,
Every day is a new chance for you to ensure that the future isn't like the past. Lighten up!
I love you,
Eva

Dear Teen Me,
Sweet girl, don’t be so shy or so scared. You will see, honey, everything (and I mean everything) in this world happens for a reason. Hold on to those sweet moments at home and at school because you will miss them dearly. Love and accept yourself.

Dear Teen Me,

Focus on the important stuff in life, more precisely, the important people, like true friends and above all your mom. She did everything and gave everything she had for you, so don't disrespect her to be "cool." The people you are trying to be cool for will move on it life and forget about you as you will them. Your mom will love you and care about you forever (as will your aunt and other family members/true friends).
Much love,
Mariam 
PS-Don't watch Gossip Girl or other teen crap-it does you no good!

~~~

And now for a giveaway!

Just fill out the form below...best of luck to you!

Giveaway ends:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wdebo :)

I was not paid for this post.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Singin' Saturday + Lyric Translation: The Next Page of Me-Cyndi Wang

-ENGLISH TRANSLATED-


Song: The Next Page of Me
Chinese Title: 下一頁的我
Artist: Cydni Wang
TTS: None

Wdebo's Notes: I really love this song and was reminded of it while reading the DEAR TEEN ME anthology. I was too lazy to actually find a video that had the english subs and so I decided to translate something after about a year long hiatus. I love the little breaks Cyndi places in the song so that's why there are random fragments throughout the english translation. I was trying to accentuate that for the non-Chinese speakers. I got the Chinese lyrics from this site! All credits go to them ~Also, sorry each line doesn't match up exactly. Basically each line of the english translation (Until the "enter") corresponds to one line of the Chinese lyric!

Now onto the talk of the actual song~

I love it (As stated above). It's a beautifully hopeful yet bittersweet look into the future. This is how I see my future. I want to be strong as I work towards my dreams but I hope for support and strength and I cannot wait to see where I will go. I am also pleasantly surprised to see how Cyndi's voice has improved, though it still has retained its cuteness which is prevalent in her older songs it has a maturity to it. (Kind of like Rainie's vocal growth but not as drastic).

Listen and Love!



Chinese Lyrics:
Credits to mojim.com

就要出發 是嗎 這問題困擾著我
是個可能吧 或許想太多
有的夢不去做好可惜
我害怕嗎 有點 孤單很痛的對不對
我得放下 翻開這一頁 沒時間想過去

心中會怕才問自己 那些曾經的話語
謝謝是你讓我有天空和明天 學會獨立
站在未知的泥土裡 看我勇敢的深呼吸
黑的夜 我不怕 天空很大 像在說 不能哭

下一頁的我 會去哪裡 用多大的勇氣
所有夢裡面的風雨 我不怕那是我的試題
下一頁的我 希望能擁有 美麗的明天
所以這次我送走從前 因為我 看的見

擔心什麼 去吧 愛讓人哭真對不起
之前的回憶 握在掌心裡
它讓我 再苦也肯努力
耳邊的風 吹吧 讓我聽見新消息
在旅途上 愛是氧氣 讓我越來越肯定

心中會怕才問自己 那些曾經的話語
謝謝是你讓我有天空和明天 學會獨立
站在未知的泥土裡 看我勇敢的深呼吸
黑的夜 我不怕 天空很大 像在說 不能哭

下一頁的我 會去哪裡 用多大的勇氣
所有夢裡面的風雨 我不怕那是我的試題
下一頁的我 希望能擁有 美麗的明天
所以這次我送走從前 因為我 看的見

寓言藏在我心中 相信它吧 往前衝
我的路 我就一定讓它走成幸福
那些作了的夢忘了嗎 那些萬分之一的也許
不用說 我還是我 約定怎樣寂寞也不能哭
看吧 下大雨也不認輸 請讓我 學長大

下一頁的我 會去哪裡 用多大的勇氣
所有夢裡面的風雨 我不怕那是我的試題
下一頁的我 希望能擁有 美麗的明天
所以這次我送走從前 因為我 看的見
所有夢裡面的風雨 我不怕那是我的試題
下一頁的我 希望能擁有 美麗的明天
所以這次我送走從前 因為我 看的見


English Translation:
Please credit me (Wdebo5487)


About to depart. Really? This question is puzzling me.
It’s a possibility or else I’m thinking too much.
It’s a big waste not to work towards a dream
Am I scared? A bit. Being alone is painful, isn’t?
I have to let go. Flip over this page. No time to dwell on the past.

My heart is frightened that’s why I ask myself those past words.
Thank you for letting me have a sky and tomorrow. Learning independence.
Standing in the mud of the unknown. Watching me bravely take a deep inhale.
The darkened night. I’m not scared. The sky is so grand as if it’s telling me not to cry.

Where will the next page of me go? How much courage will be used?
I’m not scared of all of the storms inside my dreams. They’re all my tests.
The next page of me, wishes to have a beautiful tomorrow.
So this time I bid farewell to the past because I can see (clearly).   

What am I worried about? Just go. I’m so sorry for loving to make people cry.
The past memories are gripped in the palm of my hands.
They let me to work hard no matter how difficult.
Blow by, winds next to my ear. Let me hear the news.
On the journey. Love is oxygen. It lets me feel more and more certain.

My heart is frightened that’s why I ask myself those past words.
Thank you for letting me have the sky and tomorrow. Learning independence.
Standing in the mud of the unknown. Watching me bravely take a deep inhale.
The darkened night. I’m not scared. The sky is so grand as if it’s telling me not to cry.

Where will the next page of me go? How much courage will be used?
I’m not scared of all of the storms inside my dreams. They’re all my tests.
The next page of me, wishes to have a beautiful tomorrow
So this time I bid farewell to the past because I can see (clearly).   

The language is hidden in my heart. Believe it and rush forward.
My road. I will definitely let it bring me to happiness
Just forgot those dreams I’ve already had. Those ten thousandth, maybe.
Don’t need to speak. I am still me, deciding no matter how lonely I will never cry.
Just watch. Even in the giant rain. I will not lose. Please let me learn to mature.

Where will the next page of me go? How much courage will be used?
All of the storms inside my dreams. I’m not scared, they’re all my tests.
The next page of me, wishes to have a beautiful tomorrow.
So today I bid farewell to the past because I can see (clearly). 
All of the storms inside my dreams. I’m not scared, they’re all my tests.
The next page of me, wishes to have a beautiful tomorrow
So this time I bid farewell to the past because I can see (clearly).
Wdebo :)

P.S. If you see any translation errors feel free to comment below and I will look them over and make the necessary changes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Book Review + Cafe Chit Chat: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father By: Jessica Brody

"My father's face remains a blank page but he leans in closer to me-close enough that I can feel his breath on my forehead. The proximity is making my stomach flip so I take an instinctive step back. 'You'll do it,' he promises ominously. 'Or you'll lose everything'" (51)

Title: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
HARDBACK
Amount of Pages: 335
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Geared Towards: Teens/Light Reads
From: Author (Hardback Copy)



Summary (From Front Flap):
BEING AMERICA'S FAVORITE
HEIRESS IS A DIRTY JOB...
BUT SOMEONE'S GOTTA DO IT.

Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. After all, she's the heiress to the mutlibillion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they're not supposed to crash brand-new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi's eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. but if there's anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it's dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious "comedy of heiress" about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and, best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have fifty-two reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

Wdebo's Review: I greatly enjoy reading stories in which heriesses/rich ungrateful people are taken down a notch and taught a lesson. That is the main reason why I decided to pick up this novel. I've never read any books by Jessica Brody before so I wasn't sure what to expect from her style and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

I liked the writing a lot. It was a lot of fun and was surprisingly easy to get into. Brody created a very convincing teenage voice which is not always an easy feat to manage. It was nice to see Lexi mature not only through actions but also her voice. In the novel, she also has to do "status updates" to her "babysitter," Luke, and I greatly enjoyed . They were funny and were another way to see her gradual maturity.

Now, on the subject of Luke. I really liked him and the inevitable connection/chemistry that formed between him and Lexi. Though I was not particularly found of the fact that their relationship at the end was pretty ambiguous seeing as how I like a defined love story in YA novels but it didn't bother me too much. I felt like it ended very well. Lexi, on the other hand, was an ok character. I did not connect with her as I would have liked with other protagonists. However, compared to other stories about rich, spoiled girls I surprisingly did not hate her at first sight. I harbored fairly indifferent feelings towards her. Which can be both a good and bad thing.

I was hoping that the stories would go into my depth about the jobs, but they didn't. At least they talked about them briefly in the status updates, but that was one of my main concerns about the book.

Cafe Cover Chat: The front cover is pretty good; however, all of the other random (Stock?) images on the flaps and back cover were pretty childish and not as good as the front cover. (B-)

All in all, this book is heaps of fun and for a big book it sure went by fast. Though it may not be the most insightful YA novel out there, it will definitely accompany you through a few enjoyable hours.

Grade: B+

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And now for a little author interview with Jessica Brody. Jessica has written quite a few YA novels (7) as well as a couple of adult novels. She also happens to be the awesome founder of Free Book Friday.

Enjoy!

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Wdebo: Please describe yourself in three adjectives. 
Jessica Brody: Sensitive. Motivated. Tech-savvy.

W: Please describe a typical day. 
JB: Get up. Get dressed. Drive to coffee shop (because I can’t write at home!). Order same pastry and coffee as I do every single morning. Write 1500 words (usually takes me about 2-3 hours). Drive home. Gripe to husband about latest story crisis. Listen to husband suggest ideas about how to solve latest story crisis. Shoot down everything husband has to say because it’s stupid and he doesn’t understand anything! Wait two hours. Realize husband is actually quite brilliant and his solution fixes everything. Apologize to husband for being a difficult, moody writer (and praise him for his brilliance). Eat dinner. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat. 

W: What is your favorite color? 
JB: Purple!

W: In the "About the Author" section of the novel, it says that you researched the book by doing minimum-wage jobs. What kinds of jobs did you do? How long did you do each job? what was your experience with different jobs? How did those experiences factor in with the novel itself? 
JB: I had many jobs growing up and my parents owned a restaurant for most of my teen and young adult years. I did every single job in that restaurant. So I guess you could say I’ve been researching this book for years! But one place that I’d never worked at was a fast food restaurant. My friend happened to own one in Denver so I asked if I could “under cover” for a day and train as an employee. I especially wanted to research this location because a few really important scenes take place there in the book and I wanted it to be as accurate as possible. Plus, I wanted to know what it would feel like to come into a new restaurant/job and have no idea what you were doing and have to learn it all on the job. I have to say I was very overwhelmed. The job wasn't as easy as I thought it would be! And I put some of that emotion into Lexi when she worked there.

W: What is something that you want your readers to get out of your novel? 
JB: First and foremost, I always want my readers to laugh. I write these contemporary stories to be a source of entertainment and fun. After that, if my readers walk away with a little insight about life, family, and love, then that’s a bonus!


W: Who is your favorite character in 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER? How about your favorite character out of all of your books? 
JB: I know it’s going to sound strange but I’m going to have to go with Horatio, the butler. He was one of those characters that I didn’t expect to be very significant and then ended up having a much bigger role than I anticipated. I know, he’s not the most fun character in the book but he was interesting to me as the author. He really does love Lexi but he’s also always the consummate professional. He’s constantly torn between fulfilling his duty to the family as an employee, and his duty to Lexi as kind of a father figure, and that made for a fun dynamic in his personality. It was entertaining for me to be able to hide his affection for her in little subtle actions that some people may miss.

W: I also heard that 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER has been optioned for film. Can you tell your readers the status on that? 
JB: Yes! It’s very exciting! The status is that it was optioned for film by a wonderful producer named Jane Startz whose credits include The Indian in the Cupboard, Ella Enchanted, The Babysitters Club Movie, and Tuck Everlasting (A bunch of really great book adaptations!) She’s chosen a writer to adapt the book into a screenplay and now she’s currently looking for a studio to attach to the film. Still a pretty long way to go but I’ve got my finger tightly crossed!

W: If you were stranded on an island what are five items you would want to bring?
JB:
1) A copy of “How to Survive on a Deserted Island.” (I’m sure that book must exist somewhere!)
2) My laptop (so I can write)
3) One of my dogs (to keep me company)
4) My collection of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER dvds. I will NEVER get sick of that show!
5) An airplane to get me off the island? Or is that cheating? Okay, I’ll go with my Magic Bullet so I can make yummy island smoothies.

W: Are you working on any projects right now? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
JB: Last year, I sold a sci-fi/suspense trilogy to my publisher and the first installment releases in March, 2013! The first book is called UNREMEMBERED and it’s about a sixteen-year-old girl who wakes up among the wreckage of a devastating plane crash. She’s the only survivor but she has no memories and identity. The only clue to her past is a mysterious boy who claims they were in love and that he helped her escape from a top secret science experiment. It’s kind of like a Bourne Identity for teens. I’m really excited about it because the genre is totally new to me and writing the first book was so much fun! Plus, it’s my first crack at writing a series so that presents a whole new set of fun challenges. The second book, which I’m currently writing now, is called UNFORGOTTEN and it will release in early 2014. 

W: Who are some of your favorite authors? 
JB: In no particular order:
1)   Sophie Kinsella
2)   Suzanne Collins
3)   Emily Giffin
4)   J.K. Rowling
5)   Alyson Noël
6)   Jennifer Bosworth

W: Do you have anything else you would like to add?
JB: Thank you SO much for featuring me and my book! I hope you and your readers enjoy the interview! XO – Jessica
W: Thank you for agreeing to do the interview! It was awesome to have you on TEBC~
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Wdebo :)

I have not been paid for my review or interview of the author.