My Giveaway + Announcements

*My first foray into an Author Interview with Andrew Xia Fukuda is up! (Should I do more?)
*My first manga review for Natsume Yuujinchou V.1 - please let me know what you think

Thursday, July 29, 2010


A thousand apologies for being so very absent from the online stage. I guess you could say I was feeling a sort of fatigue? Not just from blogging, but even my reading seems to be affected. While I was not posting reviews I was still making my way through plenty of novels, but lately I haven't been able to concentrate on reading the written word. My eyes glaze over, and I'd drop said book to make way for eating or TV or something. (Like, I couldn't even focus on a Cynthia Kadohata book! *sobs*)

You might be thinking, but Yuan! You claim to have read a bunch of books before you hit this recent reader's block development! Why don't you just spend this time during your reading slump to like, type up your reviews?

Which... I would, but I've also been hit with a reviewing slump too (hence my shame in not posting). No, seriously, I'd type a review, and it'd be like this:

'This book reminds me of a mecha anime series, with delicious star-crossed romance and time-loop amazing-ness and a whole lot more swearing than your typical mecha fare but sadly no melodramatic music accompaniment to go with it. Still, AWESOME' (see: All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka)

Which... 1) No one but people who know about anime or gundam stuff will understand and 2) it's like, a sentence long.

The only time I managed to write more than one paragraph about a novel I read was when I'm talking about them in the context trying desperately to convert someone to reading a novel mixed in with fangirl screaming through caplocks. (In other words, my version of a book recommendation)

For example, Standing in the Wind by Traci L. Jones. (Note: this was literally copy+paste from an email I sent to a friend)

omg okay so there's this book called Standing Against the Wind by Traci L. Jones AND YOU HAVE TO HAVE TO READ IT. SO ADORABLE LIKE I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN OMG.

Okay so it's middle grade school and Patrice is like this super nerdy girl who moved to this deadbeat school for lalalla family reasons that involve her mom being in jail and having to stay with her aunt who lived in a poor neighbourhood. She's like super quiet and stuff and has puffy hair so everyone makes fun of her at school but there's this one guy who lives in her neighbourhood who's popular that treats her okay, and tells people to knock it off if he catches ppl teasing her to the point of tears. ANYHOW, so one day popular guy approaches her and asks her to help tutor his little brother who's struggling in school and then they meet up at each other's place or at the library and BOND OVER HOMEWORKING AND SIBLINGS AND GAHHHHHHHHHH SO CUTE YOU HAVE TO READ IT!!!

And it's so so adorable because clearly the guy is interested and uses his brother as a pretext to hang out with her, and is such a joker and very nice, and she's all like 'guh, why does he want to hang out with me in the library instead of going to the park with friends?!' and it's so obvious that the guy thinks the world of her (he is always like 'you're the smartest person I know!' with a kind of awe and is just really proud of her and stuff) and he starts working at schoolwork and stuff just so he can have an excuse to hang out with her, and even if Patrice had no confidence in her looks the guy thinks she's totally fine and he does everything he knows how to make her happy and I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH LIKE YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE OMG.


Also! I dont' put much stock in the whole awards winning thing, but this book won the same award that Angela Johnson (author of The First Part Last) so you know it has to be at least halfway awesome.


... wait readers! DON'T RUN AWAY. I will never inflict this kind of madness on the public again, I swear!

*coughs* But anyways, I seem to have momentarily lost my ability to think critically about the books I've read and enjoyed lately. And on the complete opposite side I'm also developing even less patience than before with books that tick me off and end up not finishing them, thus not leaving reviews for y'all about the atrocious-ness I suffered through.

Sooooooo, I've been thinking about ways in which I can still maintain this blog even if I have this review and reading slump, and then it hit me: MANGA REVIEWS. See, I might not be able to sift through text these days, but my abilities to wade my way through manga and reading visual text haven't been hindered in the slightest. This is perhaps a little bit problematic since I suspect my readers here are more into the whole novel thing, and not many visitors here are familiar with the sequential art reading ways. But whatever. It's what I feel capable of discussing these days, so I guess I'll just go forward with it.

(But I do promise a book review for Siobhan Dowd's Solace on the Road sometime very soon, as I got it for a review copy and I will FORCE WORDS OUT OF MY FINGERS to write it if I have to! =D)

And don't anyone think I forgot about the whole Asians-on-Covers matter. I have been working on this one post and it should be up within the coming week. I'll also try to promote more meta-like discussions here as well. A soapbox post on critiquing reviews is probably coming up soon as well.

So basically, I'M NOT DEAD, I SWEAR. AND I WILL MAKE A COMEBACK. *pumps fist in air*


Missy B. said...

I am going through the same situation...I haven't felt like posting anything. I have been reading really good books lately, but when it comes time to write the reviews, my heart just hasn't been into it.

Diana Dang said...

I'm in the same situation too, with reading and reviewing for the past month. It has been so difficult trying to read or review! I just got back into the reading but reviewing is still blah. DX

Btw, are you happening to go downtown Toronto in August or September? Since I will be going to school there, I can give you your prize if you go to Eaton's or something :3

Helen's Book Blog said...

Good luck getting back in the groove. Don't sweat it, just ride it out and we'll be here when you're ready!

Jodie said...

Very good to hear you're not dead! I've been in and out of a similar sate over the last month, but starting to get back into the pattern and now rememebr why I like reviewing books again. So good luck sorting out a system that brings you back to reviewing and yay manga, because I totally need a new thing to be convinced to be obsessed about ;)

Emma said...

I am glad you're not dead. I was starting to worry. One of my favourite bloggers CANNOT DIE. IT IS NOT ALLOWED.

This sounds like a good idea! I'll be reading.

Doret said...

Sometimes its nice to take time away. Simply read (or don't) and not have to worry about reviewing it.

I loved Standing Against the Wind.

Now I am picturing pumping your fist in the air like Judd Nelson did at the end of the Breakfast Club.

And like that final song, we haven't forgotten about you.