Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 21

It’s been literal months since I started doing chapter by chapter reviews of Tyra Banks magnum opus, “Modelland”, and what should have been daily reviews have slowly trickled down to quasi-monthly things that often devolve into long screeds rambling about the unfairness – the unfairness! – of it all.

I don’t know about you guys, but it gets pretty tyring (Get it? Get it?) having to maintain that kind of incredulousness, disbelief, and that itty bitty bit of rage. And if it can get really tiring for me, I don’t know how it feels for you guys. I get to vent; you guys have to bear with my my incessant whining.

So I’ve decided to shake things up a little bit and try something new. It’ll give me a chance to flex my rather flabby writing and creative muscles, and I hope you guys get to read something more entertaining than just long paragraphs of me just being over it. I hope you guys enjoy!

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 21

Book review: Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s “Young Avengers”

Although it may not look like it from most of the books that end up being reviewed on this blog, I was very much a comic book kid. I had my own comic book childhood — cut tragically short by my father — and have just recently tried to rekindle that old love once again.

One great thing about getting back into comics at this point in time is the fact that there are a bit more characters that I can relate to among the current (Marvel) line-up.  If my young gay self only had fierce goddesses like Storm and Phoenix to worship back in the day, there’s a slightly longer list of superheroes that are much more relatable to a gay man such as myself.

PERFECTION. Illustration by Emanuela Lupacchino

There’s Northstar, who’s the first openly gay superhero in American comic books and apparently set to become the first to enter into a gay marriage in the upcoming Astonishing X-Men #51.

There’s Rictor and Shatterstar, who shared the first ever same-sex kiss in a mainstream Marvel title, and whose subtext runs for as long as 20 years. I’d buy X-Force, but I don’t think I can (literally) afford to wade through all of that.

And let’s not forget the fact that most people with brains generally consider the mutants of the Marval universe as a metaphor for how the LGBT community is discriminated against in the real world.

It’s for all of those reasons — as well as the constant squeeing of Wiccan and Hulkling fans — that I happily picked up a copy of the Young Avengers Ultimate Collection. Will the buzz around this title be justified? Or will it just be a big disappointment?

(Edited to add Wiccan/Hulkling fanart!)

Continue reading Book review: Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung’s “Young Avengers”

Book review: Anthony Horowitz’ “The House of Silk”

Even though I read the Sherlock Holmes stories as a young kid, I have to admit that the many adaptations that have been made of it over the years are the ones that really stuck to my memory.

There was that crush I had on Nicholas Rowe because he played the title role in “Young Sherlock Holmes“. I was absolutely enthralled by “The Great Mouse Detective“, and anyone who knows me knows that I love the current BBC version with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Because of all of that, I started reading the latest Sherlock Holmes novel, “The House of Silk”, basically as a blank canvas, probably less able to tell if Horowitz is diverting from the canon either in writing style or characterization. Would this work out to my advantage in the end?

Continue reading Book review: Anthony Horowitz’ “The House of Silk”

Book review: Karyn Bosnak’s “20 Times A Lady”

To be perfectly honest, the only reason I became aware of the existence of Karyn Bosnak was through Chris Evans’ unclothed torso. I pretty much had to watch “What’s Your Number” after being promised naked Chris Evans, and thankfully I wasn’t that disappointed.

Aside from the long stretches of Chris Evans without clothing, “What’s Your Number” was just your pretty typical romantic comedy. Nothing outstanding, but good enough for you to pass the time with, especially if it was on HBO.

However, when I found out that it was based on a book, my interest was immediately piqued. Would the character Chris Evans’ plays in the movie be as charming a rogue in the book? Will there be gratuitous shirtlessness? Will it have shiny inserts with stills from the movie? Perhaps a life-size poster? I’d love one of those. For science.

Continue reading Book review: Karyn Bosnak’s “20 Times A Lady”

Book review: Lauren Oliver’s “Pandemonium”

When I first set out to read Lauren Oliver’s “Delirium” books, I had only meant to give myself some background since it’s just plain embarrassing to interview an author whose work you aren’t familiar with. If it weren’t for the interview, I don’t think I would have picked it on my own.

Of course, that was no longer the case by the time I was done with “Delirium”. Like I said in my review, Lauren Oliver had me hooked when she finally got the ball rolling with the story, and I couldn’t wait to find out what she had in store for me in “Pandemonium”.

But will these high expectations end up spoiling “Pandemonium” for me? Or will the book live up to it and more?

Spoiler: It did.

Continue reading Book review: Lauren Oliver’s “Pandemonium”

Book review: Lauren Oliver’s “Delirium”

I’d initially meant to put up my reviews of “Delirium” and “Pandemonium” before putting up the transcript of my Lauren Oliver interview, but there was just so many things on my plate that I thought it would be easier to just transcribe interviews rather than have to compose my thoughts on these two books — or my thoughts on anything for that matter.

It’s only now that my head has caught up with my body in terms of taking a vacation that I feel ready to take a shot at “Delirium”, at the very least. I mean, not that they’re groundbreaking thoughts or anything. Basically this is just a long excuse as to why I have not been updating as often as I would like.

ANYWAY. “Delirium”. What did I think of it?

Continue reading Book review: Lauren Oliver’s “Delirium”

Ronreads interview: Lauren Oliver – Part 2

Yes, I know, the updates have been sparse, but it’s mostly because I’m on vacation in Singapore and I thought I’d give myself a few days with which to lounge around and basically vegetate.

It didn’t actually happen — I still ended up doing work stuff even here — but it’s all good. Now that I don’t actually feel any pressure, I’ve relaxed enough to type up my interview with Lauren Oliver and put it up for you guys.

I was a little worried going into this interview as most of the questions I had prepared earlier had gotten asked during the meet and greet with fans at Powerbooks. I had to think up of new question right quick, and was really worried that Lauren would think they’re redundant and pointless.

Thankfully, Lauren didn’t think they were — or she was being extremely polite, ahahahaha — and I got to get out of this interview with my dignity intact. Enjoy the conversation under the cut, which includes: LGBT characters, Manolo Blahniks, and how Lauren Oliver is a pro-non-virgin.

Continue reading Ronreads interview: Lauren Oliver – Part 2

Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 20

For the delicious full story on the picture above, visit the Housing Works Bookstore Tumblr.

Okay, so I spent most of Maundy Thursday asleep because I spent most of Holy Wednesday up and about so early in the morning and the rest of the night working on my day job. Hence the absence of any posts.

And now, still a bit groggy from recovering as much sleep as I can from the weeks I’ve spent burning the candle on both ends, I thought twice about doing something that requires more than a couple of brain cells to do. SO what did I end up doing, you ask?

I read another chapter of “Modelland”.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 20

Ronreads interview: Lauren Oliver – Part 1

The crowd at Lauren Oliver’s book signing.

She’s touring Australia now, but for a few days last week, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver was in the country stumping for her latest book, “Pandemonium”, the sequel to “Delirium”.

While her visit was short and sweet, Lauren Oliver was still able to squeeze in some time for an interview with yours truly, other media outlets, as well as with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store.

While I had my own time to interview Lauren, I also attended her interview with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla. For those who weren’t able to make it that day, I’m posting the full transcript of that interview under the cut. Tomorrow, I’ll put up the complete transcript of the interview I did with her.

Continue reading Ronreads interview: Lauren Oliver – Part 1

Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 19

I’ve spent the whole day trying to come up with a different way to attack this particular chapter. Heck, this particular book even.

I started out just wanting to make fun of it, because let’s be honest, there’s a lot to make fun of. That was still easy to do in the first few chapters — I didn’t know the extent of the craziness that Tyra was going to inflict on me.

I’m only halfway through the damned thing and I am out of ammunition. And even more importantly, I am out of patience. We’re almost 250 pages in and nothing substantial has happened. You know what happened on page 250 of “The Fellowship of the Ring”? Frodo had already been stabbed by the Witch-King of Angmar. And that book isn’t exactly the gold standard when it comes to fast moving plots.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 19