Spring Reading Wrap Up

Time for a reading wrap up! Haven’t done one in a while, but I figured I’d talk about all of the things I’ve been reading the last couple of months. I’ve been reading pretty much exclusively manga, and I’ve been loving it because I haven’t read this much manga in a long time. But I’m enjoying pretty much everything I’ve been reading, so here’s what I’ve read so far this year! (I’m not going to talk about some of the books I’ve already done separate reviews for, but rather other series.)

tokyoghoul1noragami1 tencount

Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida, volumes 1-12. Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

There’s a total of 14 volumes in this series, and though the whole series is completed and I could read it all, I’m actually collecting these specific editions of the series. BUT what I’ve read of the series so far? Oh. My. God. It’s so dark and twisted and I love it.

It’s rated for older teens 16+ and with good reason because there’s a lot of blood and violence that happens in this story. Ken Kaneki goes through a lot when he suddenly becomes a ghoul after being attacked by one, and it’s pretty much his journey going through a lot of hardships, almost dying several times, and becoming stronger to save others.

Honestly, it’s one of my favorite series I’ve read and I’m glad I picked it up. It really deserves the hype it has. There’s humans who work for an organization trying to abolish ghouls, and then there are sects of ghouls who try to rise up against them. I recommend this series if you’re looking for something darker and more intense. I’m also currently watching the anime and, hoo boy, it’s intense.

Noragami by Adachitoka, volumes 1-17. Yato is a stray god. He doesn’t even have a shrine, not to mention worshipers! Hoping he’ll eventually raise enough money to build himself the lavish temple of his dreams, Yato accepts all kinds of jobs. Of course, he can’t afford to be picky; from finding lost kittens to helping a student overcome bullies, no job is too small for Yato, the god-for-hire! An eccentric story with a charming cast of characters!

This is probably one of my favorite series ever because it’s so fun but also serious at times, and omg I ship Hiyori and Yato so much like JUST KISS ALREADY, and there are other characters that I’ve grown attached to and I want to know what exactly happens with them because I’ve read up to volume 17 and so much has happened!

Yato is a god who was made through wishes and he is often forgotten if he is ever seen or helps others. And then when Hiyori sees him one day and saves him from being hit by a truck (even though the driver couldn’t see him), she then ends up almost dying and being able to slip out of her body and join Yato – and eventually Yato’s shinki [weapon], Yukine – on their jobs and adventures. It’s such a great story that doesn’t fail to make me laugh and be suspicious of so many characters and their true intentions.

Seriously check this series out. It’s so good and very addicting. Plus the art style is really nice to look at.

Ten Count by Rihito Takarai, volumes 1-6. When the President got into an accident, Shirotani Tadaomi met Kurose. On their very first meeting, Kurose could tell right away that Shirotani is Mysophobic and said that it’s pretty bad while suggesting it would be better to consult a doctor about it. Shirotani was left perturbed by the encounter. Who is Kurose? And how was he able to tell Shirotani’s condition?

This is a yaoi series which means lots of boy/boy love and sex, and I’m really enjoying this series. At least, up until the last few chapters because now I feel like Kurose is really just using Shirotani and it’s not healthy and just… yeah… But anyway, up until that point, it was hot and steamy and it was nice to see Kurose wanting to help Shirotani with his mysophobia, and Shirotani is making progress, but I hope events don’t escalate and he becomes worse than before.

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Koisuru Harinezumi by Nao Hinachi, volumes 1-3. To change from ‘like’ to ‘love’, what strategies must Ozawa use on Kazuki? Kazuki Heiji is the troublemaker. He gets into fights and is very cold to everyone. Ozawa Kii witnesses a fight between a classmate and Kazuki but he unexpectedly says he wants to become friends? And what’s this about ‘like’ and ‘love’.

Ahhhh the cutenessssssssss. This is a shoujo manga, meaning it’s more tailored toward girls with romance and all of that, and I love shoujo manga, so this was right up my alley. The art style is very lovely and the story is a cute one of a scary guy, Kazuki, who is approached one day by a sweet girl, Ozawa, to turn in an assignment, and they soon find themselves in a friendship. But Ozawa slowly starts to fall for him and things just kind of get more complicated from there in ways but sweeter in others.

If you need a light hearted read with cute feels, definitely check out this series. It’s super cute and yeah, the story isn’t original, but who cares? Still so many feels.

Tsubaki Chou Lonely Planet, chapters 1-33. Ohno Fumi is a poor 2nd year high school student. Because of her father’s debts, she’s kicked out of her own home and has to rely on her own connections to survive. Thus begins her life as a live-in housekeeper for a reclusive writer…

Ahhhh I can’t even with this seriessssss. It’s too cute and I simply love it. When Fumi becomes a housekeeper to a reclusive writer, Akatsuki, she slowly develops feelings for him. And there’s a lot of silly moments and cute moments and then THE CONFESSION. AHHHH dying of the cuuuuuute. Okay, sorry, it’s very fresh in my mind as I just finished reading all of the updated chapters online that I could find. But yeah, another light hearted read for you to check out if you’re interested!

Nanairo Sekai, volume 1 – four short stories. 1) The Glasses Thief
A boy with bad eyesight and the girl who is in love with him.

2) Convenience Store Honey
A boy worries about his quiet boyfriend.

3) Adult-Uniform
A girl wonders why her childhood friend does not speak to her anymore.

4) Refrigerator Chocolate
Satoru is going to have heart surgery with a 50/50 chance of surviving. One day he comes across a girl in a refrigerator…

This manga consisted of four short stories, each with some form of love in it, and it was just so bitter sweet reading them. They all deal with some small hardship that they have to overcome in some way, and I think that that brings the characters closer together. If you’re looking for a feel-good, but still kinda bitter sweet, read then check out this manga.

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Living no Matsunaga-san, chapters 1-2. Miko leaves the house of her parents to live with her uncle who runs a boarding house, but her first meeting with Matsunaga-san isn’t good and then he discovers that she is one of her uncle’s tenants. Even as a secondary student she surrounds herself with university students who have a very different life from her own. Can she fit into her new home?

Whyyyyy are there only two chapters translatedddddd!? I need more nowwwwwwww. Seriously, there’s something about this manga and I just NEED MORE. The art style is a good one, the story seems like it’s going to be fun, the main leads are interesting… Ugh. Give me more! I want to see their relationship grow, please, thanks… Even though there’s only a few chapters out right now, definitely check out this story when you can. Super cute and funny.

Hirunaka no Ryuusei, chapter 115-year-old country girl, Suzume Yosano, has to move to Tokyo to live with her uncle due to her father’s transfer. She bumps into a mysterious man who ends up taking her to her uncle’s place after she gets lost. Turns out, Suzume will be seeing him a lot more often once she starts school because… he’s her homeroom teacher!?

Okay, love stories between teacher and student seem to be popular right now, where the student is 16/17 and the teacher is in their early 20’s and I don’t know what it is about it, BUT I’M DIGGING IT. AHH. And I’ve only read the first chapter of this manga but I can tell I’m already going to be intrigued because it just has a lot of elements that I’m interested in and I know I’ll enjoy. More thoughts will come once I’ve read more.

Smokin’ Paradise by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou, volume 1. Youkou lives in a future where organ transplants are common and available to all, but life’s not as idyllic as it seems–it turns out a nefarious organization is using that technology for their own evil ends! Only the elite squad Jackalope has any chance of stopping them before it’s too late.

Okay, this one is much more intense than the previous ones I’ve talked about because it’s a shonen series, which means it’s geared toward boys, and therefore there’s more explosions and death and gutting and machines…. Anyway, this story has my interest piqued because so many things happen and I have so many questions about the main character and his history and why he is the way he is and what’s going to happen next. As far as I know only the first volume is out, but it’s really good. Violent, but good.

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Mayoke no Darling by Puku Okuyama – chapters 1-4. At the university’s badminton club’s freshmen welcome party, everyone is scared stiff when the scary-looking Tougo introduces himself. The fearless (or maybe just clueless) freshmen Haruka ends up sharing a taxi home with Tougo… and while everyone else trembles in fear before him, Haruka finds him handsome.

SUCH A CUTE YAOI, OMG. I almost forgot to add this to my list but even though there’s only a few chapters out right now, this was still very cute. It’s simple and sweet boy love and cute and makes me happy. Especially since it’s like the “scary looking” dude with the SUPER cute guy who’s all bubbly and kind of airheaded. Commence the warm fuzzies, I clearly can’t coherently write anything about this without squeeing.


So that’s most of what I’ve read so far in the last few months. There is another series or two I started and got a decent way through but I can’t remember their names. #fail

Let’s Chat! ^w^

Anyway, let me know if you’ve read any of these manga and what your thoughts were! Have any recommendations? I’d love to hear them!

The Wrath & the Dawn Short Stories Reviews

thecrownandthearrowTitle: The Arrow and the Crown
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #0.5
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Romance, Fantasy, Short Story
Pages: 9
Format: Free eBook

Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.

That was it? I was expecting more, that’s for sure. It didn’t really add much to the story at all, but we got to see the very beginning from Khalid’s point of view. I mean, it was fine. You could tell he hated what he had to do, and he could see the hate burning in Shazi’s eyes, but it leaves so much that I wish could have been added. Seriously wish there was more.

3/5 stars

themothandtheflameTitle: The Moth and the Flame
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25
Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Romance, Fantasy, Short Story
Pages: 37
Format: Purchased eBook

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.

This short story had me holding my breath and my heart racing. I thought that this was such a better short story than the last, and I was not disappointed.

This story follows the handmaiden, Despina, and the Captain of the Royal Guard, Jalal. Both of these individuals have their own tasks with which they have to think about and attend, and then when they run into each other one day, it seems like it just goes from there.

Despina, though I was weary of her in The Wrath and the Dawn, turned out to be a really intelligent young woman with a strong will and a sharp tongue, and this short story definitely continued to show that. I enjoyed reading from Despina’s point of view to see what it was like serving the calipha and her interactions with Jalal. It was funny at first, playful even, and then things became more serious as time progressed.

Even Jalal was likable in this story! I don’t really remember what I felt for him when I read the main book, but in this one we got to see a couple glimpses from his point of view and we got to learn a little bit more about him and his… “reflections.” He’s funny and tries to be charming, and I love how Despina can disarm him with her own retorts.

What made me really enjoy this was the heart racing moments they had together, for sure. There was one scene in particular that I was like, “Yesyesyes!” I also enjoyed reading about Despina’s interactions with the calipha because we got to see a little bit of who this girl was before the things that happened in the main book. I wish that their relationship could have turned into somewhat of a friendship, but it didn’t happen that way.

I just wish that the last chapter could have been a little different? I’m not really sure what I was expecting… Well, I do know what I was expecting, but it didn’t happen the way I hoped, so I’m disappointed only in that aspect, haha! But otherwise I think that seeing the progression of time and feelings was useful. I only wish there could have been one more chapter in between the last two to further dive into Despina’s, and even Jalal’s, feelings of one another.

Overall, I think this short story added to the main one because we got to get more from two of the important side characters. I loved this a lot and highly recommend it if you’ve read The Wrath and the Dawn.

I rate this short story 4.5/5 stars.

December 2015 Wrap-Up

Guys. This year is coming to a close. I seriously can’t believe it. But this year has been a great one for me reading wise, and otherwise, and I can’t wait to see what the new year brings.

So without further ado, December was a spectacular reading month for me! What a way to close out the year after months of being in a reading slump. I’m really happy with how this year ended, and so here are the books, discussion topics, and other things I talked about in December.

What I Read

  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – This is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and it was so amazing. It really took the story to another level and it made me dying to know what happens next. Laini Taylor’s writing is beautiful and I can’t wait to see the conclusion brings. Check out my review!
  • Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – This is the third book in the Kate Daniels series and the books just keep getting better with each installment. This one had a lot of tense moments and a lot more badassery. Check out my review!
  • Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner – The third and final installment in the Starbound trilogy, this book was amazing. It had me wanting to keep flipping the pages right from the get go and though I am sad that it’s over, I am happy to have finished this trilogy. Check out my review!
  • The Selection Novellas by Kiera Cass – These four novellas followed different perspectives from the Selection trilogy, and I enjoyed each of them to varying degrees. I do think that they added their own charm and it was nice to see from other perspectives. Check out my review!
  • Destroy Me & Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi – These two novellas follow the story from the perspectives of Warner and Adam, respectively, and I highly enjoyed them. I thought they really added a bit more to who the characters are and I really enjoyed that. Check out my review!
  • The Future Collection Short Stories by Beth Revis – This group of five short stories were all from different perspectives and told all different stories, each playing with my heart and emotions in ways I wasn’t expecting. I highly enjoyed them and highly recommend them. Check out my review!
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – This first book in the Mistborn trilogy was epic and intense, with a unique magic system and empowering characters, this book is one I highly recommend to anyone. Check out my review!
  • Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews – This is the fourth book in the Kate Daniels series and like I said before, the books get better with each installment. I was really engrossed in the plot of this one and I really enjoyed the romance. Check out my review!
  • Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – This is the first book in the MacKayla Lane series and it was okay, not awesome, but it held a lot of potential and so I’m going to continue with the series. Check out my review!

Discussions

Other

And that’s it! I did a lot this month and I’m really happy and proud of myself for doing so. I think that this was a very fruitful month and I hope you all had a great month to end the year on, too.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

What books did you read this month that were some of your favorites? What discussions did you talk about on your blog? Let me know!

The Future Collection Short Stories Review

thefuturecollectionTitle: The Future Collection
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Scripturient Books
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Genre: Young Adult – Short Stories, Sci-Fi
Pages: 105
Format: Won eBook for nook

This collection of sci fi stories from NY Times Bestselling author Beth Revis features worlds and technology from the future. Featuring three brand new, original tales and three reprints, each story explores a different set of characters in a different world and facing different problems in the future world.

“Doctor-Patient Confidentiality”: A girl wakes up in a cryomed unit and must recall why she’s there and what’s she’s lost.

“The Most Precious Memory”: In a world where memories are sold and consumed like drugs, one deal has a weird twist.

“The Girl & the Machine”: A time traveller meets someone who claims she’s met his future self and that they’ll change the world together.

“Lag”: A reporter has found the story of a lifetime–but a malfunctioning teleportation has made her forget it…

“The Turing Test”: A college student must determine which test subject is human and which is an android with A.I.

“As They Slip Away”: A novella set in the world of Across the Universe, exploring the fate of a side character.

So I really love the science fiction genre, and Beth Revis really showed me just why I love it so.

Not only are these short stories a unique spin into the world of sci-fi, but they’re also just imaginative, heartfelt, creepy, and held the hint of possibility in them. Though, as you’ll see, I have a hard time talking about these stories without giving too much away, so I’m sorry for being kind of vague.

The first short story, Doctor-Patient Confidentiality, told the story from the perspective of a young woman who had just woken from hyper sleep to discover that she had died – or come close to it. She has an internal struggle as to losing her friends, losing time, unsure of whether or not it was her husband’s fault, etc. This story had me questioning just why she continually blamed the husband when, really, it was her fault that she had gotten sick.

And then you find out who the doctor is and it hits you in the feels. Oy.

The second short story, The Most Precious Memory, tells the story from a perspective of a young man who doesn’t remember anything – he’s sold his memories, or drank them, to the point in which he doesn’t know his name. One day when someone offers to sell him the most precious memory, he can’t pass up the opportunity.

And when he does he really starts to try to want to hold onto those memories.

This one hit me right in the feels. It had so much heart because of just who the memory that he was buying belonged to and it really just made me want to cry.

The third short story, The Girl & the Machine, is about a teen who can time travel, but he can only time travel within his own direct timeline. He can’t go into the future, and he can’t go too far into the past. But he does change some things and does things to become the young man he is today, and that’s when he meets the girl.

The girl knows him from his future self and how she was told that together, they could change the world. So the boy, being naturally curious, follows her to a lab where they learn a little more about each other.

And that’s when my emotional attachment and curiosity for the boy halt and I want to slap him. The subject of rape does come up, so tread lightly if this is a trigger warning for you, but it’s not so detailed that it’ll make you cringe. It did make me angry, though.

And then the girl told him who she was and just what she was planning to do, and though I was horrified just from everything that was going on, I was kind of impressed with how she handled it.

The fourth story, Lag, is about teleportation and how one woman is teleported and forgets everything over the last two weeks. She has no recollection whatsoever, and the last time she updated her memories at the Memory Bank, it was two weeks ago. So what had happened?

Being a reporter, she has a natural knack for getting information, and she quickly discovers just what that information will cost her – and has cost her. This story was engaging and very descriptive of some gruesome details, but the reasons why she couldn’t remember anything for two weeks will shock you. I was shocked, anyway, though I kind of got it a little bit before reading about why.

The fifth story, The Turing Test, is probably my second favorite. This one is about a girl who is majoring in artificial intelligence and she is asked to be put to the test to determine if two computers she’s talking to are AI’s or humans – or neither or one or the other. As she asks them questions, she quickly picks who is who because of the discussions being held, but then things turn on their head and new mysteries and revelations are discovered.

This one has a lot of possibility of happening in the future, so it’s creepy in that aspect, but it was extremely fascinating to read about. I’d definitely want a continuation on this short story.

The sixth and final story, As They Slip Away, was the longest story, but it was also told in about four parts, all from the same perspective of a girl who lives at the Hospital aboard the ship, Godspeed. She, along with others, are called “loons” and they are all the crazy people on board, but one of the other girls has a theory that the pills they take aren’t because they’re crazy, but it keeps them continuing to see realty.

As the story progresses, it focuses on six individuals who are adept at the arts, and who each have talents and assignments to complete in a month. But there is one guy who is just kind of too creepy, though he finds the main protagonist beautiful.

Then things just spiral downward after a shared moment with a friend.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this story. It was creepy, but entertaining, but mostly creepy and kind of sad. She gave up her humanity because of a guy. It’s tragic, really.

Overall, I loved each of these stories. I think each had their own special quirks to make them unique and that ultimately interested me and had me wanting more. But there were also a lot of typos that I spotted, so that was really the only downfall. And I wished there had been more.

I rate this collection 4/5 stars and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a quick sci-fi fix.