lundi 24 novembre 2014

Taylor Swift's Blank Space "performance" for the AMAs

To watch said performance, click here:

Well,  I sure had trouble finding a good quality video to the performance, but here it is, finally.
Now before I launch in this criticism of yesterday's performance, I think it's important to let all of you readers know that I have been a Taylor Swift fan (or swiftie) for now four years. Why I mention this is because I was either objective to start with, or more likely to make a positive review, being a fan and all. Sometimes, it's hard to know who's serious and who just likes to be a hater (gonna hate, hate, hate), but I am a lover.

Except that this "performance" if it can even be called that, well it just didn't cut it.
For about the minute and a half , I do not consider that there is anything clear to be judged. The signing sounds exactly like the recording on the album, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything, considering that Taylor always was the kind to sign just as good in live, if not better. Except that ats she nears  the two minute mark, it gets different. A little like if she was signing in double...Her voice, live, and the cd. But the real problem, the thing that really upset me is this: if you look closely in the video, at about 2:05/2:12 face stops in one of her famous expressions, and she has her mouth wide open, lips not moving at all, for at the very least three whole seconds...While the signing continues (and we're talking words here, not some "ohhhhh" "ahhhh" that could be made without moving the lips). And she does this in a very noticeable way at least 2 other times in the video. If you look closely, you'll see it.

The whorst part is, it looks like the former country superstar is not even trying to make good lipsync, almost like she desires a scandal. "Talk about it in good, talk about it in bad, but talk about it" right?
I find this very insulting to the audiance, as if we are all a bunch of fools who won't realise what she is doing.

I'll also make a little side note on the fact that Miss Swift, who talks about herself like a feminist, did something really ironic at the AMAs. While she says she is for woman and man equality, she once again proves the women cannot sell music without showing A LOT of skin, where men actually can.(as Justin Timberlake is found sexy in a suit & tie and would be said to look ridiculous in shorts, it's pretty much the opposite for womens, who end up performing almost naked.) If you watch the video from the start, you'll think I went mad. She has a long, appropriate dress, and is showing a very reasonable amount of skin, right? Just wait till she tears her dress aparts to end up basically naked later on, with what is a very short dress, not even a hand of tissue down the waist.

I'd like to finish by reminding that I am a swiftie, and would've been inclined to do a positive review. So this is just my opinion as someone who sees the society and how artists like this make it whorst. I am not a conservative, nor an extreme religious, and so, I consider that I am in no way biased.

lundi 17 novembre 2014

Wolf Moon: A Grazi Kelly Novel, by C.D. Gorri- Review

*I received a free copy of this book from the author to do an honest review*

There is a lot of different aspects from this book that I would like to approach.
First off, the storyline.
On that, I'd definetly give good points to the author, for succeeding on making a werewolf book original. That's not an easy thing to do, with all the books out there about that particular subject. However, the way C.D Gorri approached the mythical creature was definetly original and interresting, without falling into the completly absurd like, say, by making a vampire shine in the sun. She did not stray to far from the actual "definition" of werewolves, but she did bring new aspects and made the whole thing original and different. I won't go into details as I don't want to ruin it for you.
On a more negative aspect, there is a love triangle in this book, which most of us, young adults reader, are tired of seeing, as it has been done and done again. It is not that the love triangle here is not interresting or well done, it simply is that it's getting old. But if you are not tired of those love triangles and are looking for Peeta/Katniss/Gale stories, then this sure will make you happy.

Now, the characters.
The characters are too cliché. This is really the only way to put it. While of course, the characters could be interresting, it feels like all their traits have been exagerated and intensified to much so we could learn to know them even in a small novel.
In example, the character of her aunt. While it would have been interresting to have this character that despises the main character and makes her life harder, this is to exagerated. It is best to keep some realism, and that character had none, has no one would be that directly awful. A more subtle way to approach her despicable character would have been best.
It also feels like the author tries to force pity on us for the main character, between being an orphan, having a terrible aunt and two terrible cousins (cenderella, much?) and being bullied at school by none else that her terrible cousin Julianna.

The setting of the story is actually quite interresting, for it is one that has not been explored much. Grazi Kelly grew up in a small Catholic town, with her Catholic family. She goes to a religious school, and church is very important, even though the time is ours. It is not exagerated enough to be unreal, but since it is not frequent, it makes a great twist in what we are now used to read, which makes the story more original.

Now unto the writing. This is actually the thing that lost the author and this book some major points, sadly. While I truthfully appreciated the story here, there was way too many mistakes to make the novel enjoyable to read. However, this is very sad as I feel the novel should not be neglected for this reason, as it is actually a very good story, and to be honest, a part of me wants to read the sequel. A giant part of me. While I don't want to go and read another novel full of mistakes, let alone pay for one, I must say that C.D. Gorri knew how to captivate me enough with her story that I probably won't have a choice than to go and read her second instalment in the series, Hunter's Moon.
That being said, here are the major problems in the writing of the book:
1) A lot of words in Italian and Latin are used. This is actually a big problem, as it is very annoying to receive words all the time, at random, that you have no idea what they mean, and honestly, Italian and Latin are simply not the most known languages. Particularly with Italian, it's just words here and there, and it feels like the author is just trying to remember the reader that Grazi is Italian on her mother's side. However, the reader, not being an idiot, probably understood that by now.
2) The verb time. In her book, C.D Gorri passes from past to present and present to past in her verb time without any explanation as of why, nor any good reason to do it. The verb time is not employed the way it should actually be.
3) Comas. Another problem here is that the famous comas are never where they are supposed to be, not because there is some where they are not supposed to be, but because where there should be a coma, there is most likely none to be found, which is quite annoying.
4) Missing words and letters. Another aspect is that it feels like this book as never been corrected or read by the author. Maybe that is the case, but it shouldn't be. Living with a writer myself, I know my sister spent ten years correcting her novel, and reading it again and again, to then re-write it again and again. It's a lot of hard work, but it just has to be done. Therefore, as this was probably not done, a lot of small words are missing here and there, making sentence that don't make sense. Sometimes, it's letters that are missing, mostly at the beggining of words, which transforms the actual word into another one that do not have it's place there.
5) SMS vocabulary. That, to me, might very well be the whorst, simply because it would have been easy and obvious not to use any. On internet,  via chat rooms or sms, it's okay to use abbreviations and chat language. When I am on my computer, I expect to have to use the Internet Slang Dictionary.
When I am reading a novel, not so much. Personally, I think it's not okay to use those in a book, except of course if they are used to represent an sms exchange or an email or something like that. Here, we get at any unexpected time "words" like LOL, WTH, Idk, OMG, u, ttyl, tlc. It's a novel, not an sms, complete words should be used, in my humble opinion.

And so, the final score is...

To finish, I really would like to insist on the fact that with more work and revision, this novel would have scored a very higher score, has the story was quite interresting.

lundi 10 novembre 2014

Book Review- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I have been waiting for quite a while to read this book. I don't know why I was waiting, but I should not have. Don't wait to read it. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver will change the way you see the world-will make you want to change the way you see the world, the way you act, the way you everything. It won't end like you think it will. No matter how you think it'll end, this is not how it ends. But when you turn the very last page, the characters won't leave you. You won't be done with them, as they will stay with you for a very long time, changing the way you see the world. You'll understand that the world is not black or white, it is a place of bursting and burning colors. If you like books like Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, you want to read this one. While it may make you think of the movie Groundhog Day or of other books like Elsewhere or even in some ways 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, this book will still offer you a very unique reading experience.
Don't miss out.
Final rate: 4 stars out of 5

mardi 4 novembre 2014

Book review- Salem's Lot by Stephen King

I have no words to say how much I hated this book. Or maybe hate is precisely the right word since I only ever used this for 2 books, including this one. It's not a word I use lightly. First off, the book is presented as a haunted house story, which is not what this is- at all. Kind of dissapointing to find out you are reading a vampire book when you wanted ghosts and creaking floor boards. But that's not the biggest problem, the biggest problem is that it's long and endless. The story drags on forever and ever. Of course, I am not saying that this book's problem is it's lenght. Some books can be very long in terms of pages but still very good. No...The problem is when there is a lot of pages for something that could've been a 150 pages short story or novella, which is precisely the case here. Another thing is the scare factor. This is Stephen King. This is an horror novel. If you pick this up in a library or a book store, chances are you are looking for something that will scare you, at least a tiny bit. Sadly, I doubt this book will scare you. It's all, of course, a question of point of view and of what scares you, but let me tell you that this book did not scared me at all. Not the tiniest bit. I wish it had, but it didn't, and this book just confirmed my opinion that Stephen King is a very overrated horror. I am of course, not saying that none of his work his good, as I can't say this without reading all of his books, which  Salem's Lot did not make me want to do. Nope. But, when you ask people which scary book they should read, they will tend to answer something by Stephen King, and my opinion, as an horror fan, is that there is a lot of scarier books out there that deserve some light. Another low point is that there is way too much characters in this book. When there is so many characters that the reader gets losts and can't remember who M.Thing is, there is a problem, and that is the case here. However, this book had some higher points that are worth taking note of. First off, there is something interresting about how the story stretches through different times. Also, some little adventures that happen to a couple of the characters are very good, and will stay with the reader.

Finally, I would like to insist on the fact that the book cover is a total misrepresentation, as it really makes this book look like one about haunted houses. But if you are looking for a haunted house story, this is not what you are in for.

Book review- Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Before I Die by Jenny Downham is a very touching book. When I say very touching book, I mean to say that this book has touched me more than any book ever did, before or after (as of now anyway). If you read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, you might think I didn't read it to say such a thing...But I did. Before I Die as left me more scarred than TFIOS. This book touched me like an arrow through the heart, and I get intensly emotional each time I talk about it. Just telling the story transforms me into an incontrollable puddle of tears. Honestly. It's very well written, and it will change the way you see the world.There is not much else to be said, except that YOU.HAVE.TO.READ.IT. You just do. Don't pass on this one.

One last thing... If it's not too late, read the book before you see the movie.

Book review- You Against Me by Jenny Downham

You Against Me is a very good book that will make you learn important things about life. Nothing is ever black or white, and this book will remind you of all the shades of gray in between. While this book is not a small and easy to read book for kids, it is in a way, a very fast book to read, as you will not be able to put it down. The characters are very loveable, and there is something very pleasant about how the story alternates from the boy and the girl's point of view. Alternate stories like this aren't always the best thing, in my opinion, but in this case, it serves the story and the book very well. Also, this book is very well written.A story of forbidden love, justice and contrasts, You Against Me by Jenny Downham is NOT a book you want to miss.