Winter 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

Oh man, I haven’t done one of these in….forever. How do they even work again? lol

Well, even though I haven’t been reading a ton of books in the last two years or so, I’ve been keeping up with webcomics and other things, and so I wanted to talk about the various comics, manga, and books I’ve read this past winter!

So, here’s all the things I read between December-ish/January-March 2020!

Webtoons

A sexy supernatural story about being out on your own, finding your dream apartment and discovering that your new place is haunted by a handsome spectral stranger from another dimension. Sure, HE can’t see you and YOU can’t touch him, but who said every relationship starts out perfectly?

Let’s start off with this lovely gem: Freaking Romance by Snailords. Oh. Man. If you want hilarious content with beautiful artwork and a great story, check this series out! It’s supremely my sense of humor so I was DYING laughing at a lot of the things said, especially by the main female character, Zylith. Hil. Ar. I. Ous. But not only that, it’s a story involving time travel, different kinds of love, toxicity, life, college, and a whole bunch of stuff. Trust me, it’s worth the read. As of right now, it’s completed through season two, with season three on the way for later this year. Plenty of episodes to binge!

★★★★★

Edith is not your typical heroine. She struggles with her confidence, her morals, and life in general by not only holding herself to high standards, but her men as well. Enter two less-than-perfect men: one who may be the Prince Charming she’s been waiting for to deliver a fairy tale ending, the other a brash reality check who does NOT believe in happily-ever-after. What will Edith do? Will she sacrifice her standards? Or keep searching for that mythical white knight who may or may not exist in the first place? Funny, messy and sexy, Edith’s journey is relatable to anyone who’s ever left their heart on the battlefield of the dating world.

Edith by Swansgarden has a unique drawing style, which drew me into the story in the first place. Though I still need to continue it (as of writing this post I’m on episode 29), but what I’ve read so far has an interesting dynamic that I feel a lot of people can relate to. Not only does it explore a toxic and kind of manipulative relationship, but also depression, anxiety, bullying, and other strong topics. If you want an enticing read with sides you don’t know to choose from, check this webtoon out!

★★★☆☆

The Great Prophet Godo has a place for everyone in his perfect society… so long as you aren’t a failure. Itshou is living a diligent and sheltered life when she suddenly finds herself denounced and marked for exile. While her beliefs are shaken to their very core, a chance encounter with a childhood sweetheart derails Itshou’s banishment and puts her on the path to political uprising. Now facing down the same forces she once trusted to protect her, Itshou must untangle the web of lies at the heart of her city and unmask the Shadow Prophet.

As of writing this post, I’ve only read the first two chapters of The Shadow Prophet, BUT the art style and story? VERY gripping so far. It’s like a science fiction dystopia (which, by definition, dystopian stories are usually….science fiction… anyway) with hope sprinkled in it. Even though I’m only two chapters in, something happens at the end of chapter two that I saw coming, BUT I’M STILL MAD ABOUT IT. That’s how you know you have good characters and a good story building, haha! As of writing this post, there’s only 12 episodes out, but check it out!

No rating, as I haven’t read enough to gauge it yet.

What happens when your entire life is ruled by a prophecy – your future foretold by people you’ve never met, who died long before you were born. Such is the story of two young sea creatures. One believed to be a guiding light for his people, a Beacon who will lead them to a bright, prosperous future. The other is a teenage prince for who’s destiny is to KILL the Beacon so that HIS own people might thrive. When both reject the course set for them, it leads to a raucous adventure as big and unpredictable as the ocean itself – and a romance that nobody could have predicted.

LET ME JUST GUSH ABOUT CASTLE SWIMMER, YOU GUYS. This is a boys love series, and it’s just. So. CUTE. But it’s not the story I was expecting either, because though there were plenty of funny moments (some of the queens are literal memes), there was also an undercurrent of a more serious tone that involved the prophecy of the shark clan and just how the prophecy was supposed to go. It was actually really great, and had a few good messages in it to take away from it, so I highly recommend this. The second season just started recently, so go check it out!

★★★★★

Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories — The Taking of Persephone — as it’s never been told before.

Lore Olympus is an ongoing series that I’ve been keeping up with since it left Canvas and got onto the big scene on Webtoon. I’ve done a review about it before, but let me just say that I still highly enjoy this series, and if you enjoy mythology and different takes on it, then definitely check this comic out! It’s got romance, humor, hardships, and more. The art and story are really good.

And just remember, the author does, in fact, state that she knows it’s not the exact retelling, but her retelling. So some of the characters might act differently than their actual god counterpart (such as Apollo). Tis just another story!

★★★★★

Getting crushed by your crush. Coming out to your parents. Learning that your sister is your biggest dating rival. High school sure does have its share of twists, turns and moments of high drama. To get through it all with your smile and sanity intact, you’re going to need some friends. Really good friends. Friends like Johnny, Mariel, Gaby and Martina who, one way or another, will find a way to get through their teenage years together.

I’ve talked about The Four of Them before, and it’s still one of my favorite long term series I’ve been keeping up with. It’s a great coming-of-age story about four (technically five) teens who are all going through various life things that many teens experience (love, sexual identity, school, etc). There’s supportive side characters and parents, and just a great story so far. Go check it out!

★★★★★

With a dead sister and 25 years to go on her soulmate timer, Anya decides to cryogenically sleep away her problems. Too bad she wakes up to an apocalypse full of them. Now stuck in a burnt out landscape full of killers, Anya must decide which she wants to keep: her heart or her head.

In the Bleak Midwinter is a newer series, and I’m so glad I found it because WOW is it good! Not only does each chapter have music that perfectly fits the scenario that the main character is going through (and just the overall tone of the chapter), but the artwork is also lovely, and the story’s plot seriously just drew me in. It’s science fiction, and like the synopsis saying, she wakes up 25 years later to…well, let’s just say: a difficult situation. Though there are only four chapters out as of the writing of this post, I highly recommend checking it out!

No rating as there’s not enough chapters for me to gauge, but it’s definitely a great read so far!

Ever since her parent’s funeral, Florette seems to only find solace in her flower shop and garden. Her love for nature is tested when she meets a tiny plant prince from a miniature plant world. With the “invaders” threatening his plant kingdom, Florette finds her calling to help save the world and its people. Could it be her botanist skills, or is there a bigger connection between Florette and the Kingdom of Soleil?

I’m not sure if I talked about Soleil before, but it’s SUCH a cute series stylistic-wise, but it also has a good plot that involves the world of plants, and how that world is dying due to the “invaders.” There’s magic in it, and I’m interested to see more of this because even though, at the point I’ve read to (chapter 18), I want to see more and how it not only affects the Kingdom of Soleil, but also how it’s going to affect the outside world. It’s a good series so far, so check it out if you’re interested! (And seriously, the cutest art style uwu)

★★★★☆

Dogged by pain and misfortune from the very beginning, Shin-Ae decides she wants nothing to do with people nor anything to do with romance. Although content with her unsocial, boring, loveless existence, her lifestyle is challenged after she ruins an unsuspecting strangers’ clothes.

I’ve definitely talked about I Love Yoo before, but I’m here to let you know that I’m still reading this series very faithfully. There’s plenty of drama in it (as it is…a drama…) and there’s even soft little moments of romance that have happened since I last talked about this series, as well as a whole slew of other things that have been happening. Oh man. But I’m still glad that the series is going because it was supposed to end at episode 100 originally, but clearly not so much as we’re up to 119 as of writing this post. If you want some drama, pretty boys, a love square(?), and some great funny moments, check out this webtoon!

★★★★★

After hearing the devastating news about her condition, Ayane Konno, 29 y/o who is at the height of her writing career, knew that she was fighting a losing battle for her life. Instead of being struck by sadness, she accepted her fate and decided to live out the remainder of her life doing the things that she loves and the experiences that she wishes to make memories of. She then met someone who would accompany her on her journey and paint the short story of her life with pastel-colored pages.

Pastel-Colored Pages is one I haven’t gotten too far into yet, but I wanted to mention it because the art style very much reads and looks like a manga would! I do think it goes in the comic style format of reading left to right, and not right to left, but the story so far is very good. A writer gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, and a young man who’s beaten up on the street ends up staying with her. I can’t give too much of my thoughts because I’ve only read the first two chapters so far, but check it out!

No rating as I haven’t read enough to gauge it yet.

In school, Tooru is known as “The Prince”. He’s smart, popular, and can have anyone he wants. So why is it that he can’t think of anyone but Yamamoto, the plainest, dullest guy in the entire school?

I’ve definitely talked about Plain Boy & Prince before, but it’s a boys love story with a lot of cheesy jokes and classic tropes that just make me chuckle a lot. I’m really enjoying it, though, as it brings me a lot of happiness. If you’re looking for some light-heartedness in these trying times, check it out!

★★★★☆

The King is back. With the defeat of his father, Wolfgang Goldenleonard has achieved all that he’s sought — the love of Shin Soohyuk, the power of the throne, and vengeance over the kingdom’s tyrannical ruler. But, Soohyuk, a “possession” of the former king, views their rocky relationship as one of war trophy and victor, despite Wolfgang showering him with affection. As uncertainty grows in the royal courts, forces beyond their control are preparing a second coup d’etat. Will these two be able to keep a grasp on the throne and on each other?

YA’LL. Do you KNOW how EXCITED I was when I discovered that my favorite comic series from a couple years ago is CONTINUING!? Pumped. Stoked. Hyped. King’s Maker: Triple Crown is the sequel to the first season of this comic in which we continue to follow Wolfgang and Shin, and now that Wolfgang is king, all of the troubles that come along with that.

This second season so far (which is on a different website than it used to be, by the way), has had a lot of dangers for the main protagonists, as well as some laughs with the side characters. I’m excited to continue and see what happens because there’s a lot of different sides to keep track of and try to figure out, and I love iiiiiit.

If you want to check out the first season of King’s Maker, here’s the link!

★★★★★

I THINK… those are all of the webcomics I want to talk about that I’ve been keeping up with. Whew. That was more than I thought, haha!

Manga

The meeting between Takane and Hana ends in an explosive manner, and Hana is convinced that she’ll never have to see that awful Takane again. But Takane actually seems interested in Hana! Exasperated by Takane’s immature attitude, yet amused and intrigued despite herself, Hana wonders if her hilarious rivalry with Takane just might lead to love!

Takane & Hana by Yuki Shiwasu is a story that involves an age-gap romance, so if you’re uncomfortable with that at all, then probably skip this one, but it’s a comedy romance that has a sassy main female protagonist, and a rough-cut rich male protagonist, and let me tell you, their dynamic? Perfectly hilarious. I read the first three volumes at the behest of my best friend, and I really enjoyed them. They’re very funny and I find myself wanting to continue the series eventually!

★★★★☆

“I’ve met you and my world changed in a heartbeat.” The pure love story of a hearing-impaired woman and a man who travels the world.

Yubisaki and Renren by Suu Morishita is a sweet comic with lovely artwork of a hearing-impaired woman who’s going to college, and of a stranger she meets one day on the train – who also goes to the same college. There’s a lot of sweet moments between them so far, as I’ve only read the first volume, but it’s very enjoyable. I can’t wait for more because I want to see where it goes. I’m not sure if I trust the male protagonist yet, and it looks like there will be a childhood romance aspect, as well as a side romance, but I’m interested to see what happens. AND the story include Japanese Sign Language, which is cool to see in manga form! I’m even learning a few signs for things like “eat” and “cute.” It’s very neat!

★★★★☆

That’s it for the manga! Not a lot, but that’s okay. More shall be read this year, I’m sure.

Books

I’ve done a full review of this book, but Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor was one I started many months ago, put it down, and picked back up and knew what was happening after not having read it for so long. It was such a great story with romance, fantasy elements, heartache and heartbreak, death, revenge and vengeance, hope, sorrow, and more. I love Laini Taylor’s writing so much, and I’m so glad I read this. I’m going to have to pick up the sequel sometime this year because that ending!

★★★★★

I’ve done a full review of this book, but once again, Elle Kennedy did a fantastic job with this steamy new adult book. It’s the third standalone in the Briar U arc, and we follow two new characters, Hunter and Demi, as they go through college, play hockey, deal with some relationship and rebound things, as well as a darker matter all together. An overall good story that I enjoyed.

★★★★☆

I’ve done a full review of this book, but Rick Riordan’s sequel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series continued to exceed my expectations with the series, for sure! This is really the only middle grade series I’ve picked up (as of writing this post), and it’s my first read through of the series in general, so I’m absolutely loving it! It’s fun, action-packed, and I love seeing the characters grow older and the different struggles they have to face – not just by outside sources, but also within themselves. A great sequel and I can’t wait to continue!

★★★★☆


That’s it! That should be everything I’ve been reading and keeping up with these last few months. It’s crazy to think I’ve been reading as much as I have, and also how I’m picking up newer reads, too. I’ve missed this, truly. Webcomics are great (especially when you’re dealing with a lot of emotional and mental things and just need visual stimulation to help ease it), but I miss reading a book and allowing my imagination to take over.

I enjoy doing these quarterly wrap-ups, too, so expect more of these in the future!

Have you read any of these webcomics? Do any of the ones I listed interest you? What about the books, have you read any of them? What are your thoughts? What was your favorite story you read this winter? Let me know in the comments!

20 Facts About Me

Oh hi, you lovely people! It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, so I thought, “why not do an updated ‘facts about me’ post?” So that’s what I’m going to do today!

I’m not going to talk about the ones that were in my Top Ten Tuesday post, or my 25 Bookish Facts About Me post, but instead talk about ten new bookish facts and ten non-bookish facts. Why not?

Here we go~!

Bookish

1. Since I started blogging, I’ve been to the following author signings: Jodi Meadows & Erica Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, Maggie Steifvater, and Leigh Bardugo. Each of the events were super fun and I highly recommend going to one if you’re able to!

2. I’ve been super into webcomics the last few years, hence my lack of book reviews and content. They’re easy to dive into and where I’m a visual person, the illustrations help me to escape into those worlds. You can check out my most recent recommendations here!

3. I’ve been listening to Brandon Sanderson’s audiobook for The Way of Kings for months now… it’s 45+ hours long… It’s fine… But my fact is that, because of this audiobook and The Kiss of Deception, I’ve definitely warmed up to audiobooks as a medium for myself much more and have since bought more books to read in this form!

4. So before we moved, my workplace was throwing away this hutch that was in an office, and I said I’d take it home and turn it into a bookshelf. Lo and behold, when I got home, my husband surprised me with another bookshelf that same day… so… I told my dad he can sell the hutch or keep it if he wants to because I didn’t have a use for it anymore lol

5. My reading tastes are changing, bit by bit. I’ve been noticing this for a while now, that I’m gravitating toward more adult reads than YA reads. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course! I believe I’m looking for more relatable content, but I’m not going to stop reading YA – or MG now that I’m into the Percy Jackson series! – anytime soon.

6. I’ve started a reading/bookish bullet journal! August will be my second month using it, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve tried – and failed – two or three times to use an actual bullet journal, but my life is not that exciting so as to really need one, you know? So I started this bookish bullet journal and I love it! I’m playing around with the format and what I want to include in it and such, but there’s still plenty of flexibility with it. I’ll do a post about it soon.

7. I’m trying to get back into reading novels. Like I said earlier, I’ve been into reading webcomics like nobody’s business the last few years, and that’s due to life circumstances and depression that caused me to stop reading novels. But I’m trying to reintroduce myself to them bit by bit. I think the readathons I’m participating in are helping a bit.

8. Speaking of readathons, I love how many are popping up, but I realized that I need to focus on one readathon at a time. I’m amazed at how I see people participating in three or more at the same time, and I’m just like, “Are ya a wizard or something!?” I get overwhelmed easily, so for August I’ll only be participating in one readathon – the Disney-a-thon!

9. I’ve unhauled and donated soooo many books over the last two years. I didn’t realize just how many books I bought purely for the hype or because I was super interested at the time, but then grew out of it as time went on. And yet I still have no room on my shelves…

10. I’ve been buying a lot more ebooks lately so I can 1) put my kindle to good use and get my money’s worth lol, and 2) they’re cheaper and more convenient.

Non-Bookish

1. My husband and I moved! We moved to North Carolina at the beginning of July, and my dudes, it’s hot af here. Like. Why is it so humid all the time? Whyyyyyyy I miss my cooler Massachusetts weather. *cry* We moved because he got a job with a company that’s widespread so he’ll be an electrician’s apprentice.

2. I got two more tattoos! They’re both on my left forearm and done on the same day. The one at the top is the four elements (from the top going clockwise): air, water, fire, earth, and the center is spirit, and the lines that connect everything together. And then my constellation of Leo!

3. My husband and I have been together for 11 years this year, and married for five of them this year, too. CRAZY.

4. I’ve been getting more into spirituality lately again, and so I’ve been picking up tarot and oracle cards and learning to read them. I’ve gotten a lot of conversations from them for myself and a lot of guidance, so that’s been nice.

5. I went to Anime Boston earlier this year and cosplayed as casual Uraraka Ochako! (She’s a character from the hit manga/anime My Hero Academia.) It was super fun and I wish I could go again next year, but I don’t see that happening. I went by myself, too, which wasn’t as fun because it’s great going to conventions with others for the experience and fun times with one another, but I still had a good time. We also got to see MIYAVI live again (we had seen him in early 2018) and he was SO GREAT! He played a bunch of new songs off of his album that hadn’t been released yet and it was just so good!

6. Speaking of concerts, my husband and I also went to the Love Yourself tour for BTS last year in September in CANADA! We met up with some friends up there and it was such a blast! The boys were great and we had a great time. We also got to go to the Jingle Ball concert and see artists like Camilla Cabello, Sean Mendes, and Monsta X! Both concerts were great.

7. I’ve written a bunch of fanfiction of one of my all time favorite couples (non-canon): Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako from My Hero Academia. I fell hard into this fandom and this ship, and I just had to write (and draw) my own stories about them. If you want to check out my works, here’s my AO3 for you to peruse. I’m pretty proud of them as I’ve gone on, to be honest. I’ve even been part of a zine and wrote a story for it, and so I have some of my work out there in the world! It’s cool!

8. I have a RedBubble shop now. I’ve got a few different anime prints available of fan art I’ve done, so check it out! I hope to do more in the future. It was a big leap for me, and I’ve had a few sales, which is nice! But yeah, you can see some of my favorite ships and characters. I’ll definitely draw some more as time goes on! Not strictly related to anime, but other things, too.

9. I fell in love with the online show Critical Role. It’s a DnD show where “a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” (to quote Matthew Mercer). I had never had much interest in DnD before. I had joined a campaign with some close friends, but we quickly stopped because it just wasn’t fun at the time (the campaign got revamped a year later but then, you know, life happened so we stopped again). And my husband had tried to show me this show before, but I was determined at the time to not like it. Don’t ask me why lol

And then, one day, I was sitting around last summer and was like, “Oh, they started a second campaign? They’re not too far into it… Okay, I’ll give this a chance.” And so I started watching campaign two, episode one, and I was hooked. I’ve caught up with the current campaign and have been watching the liveshows for months now (hello 10PM start time and 1:30AM end time lol), every week on Thursdays (unless cancelled or moved).

I fell in love with not only the characters that are being played, but also the voice actors themselves, and also with the game that is Dungeons & Dragons. It’s crazy! I haven’t had much opportunity to play, but I’ve got dice, I’ve got some characters, and I’m ready to go!

(I also got these beautiful posters – with one of them signed by the cast – and I love them so much! *cries forever*)

Sorry for the crappy lighting. The other light was reflecting off of the glass a lot more. But the one of the Might Nein on the right is signed by the cast!

You can check out Critical Role on either YouTube (click here to catch up with campaign one, which is what I’m doing, or click here to catch up with campaign two) or on Twitch (which is where they do their livestreams each week). Mind you, each episode is usually over 3 hours long, so keep that in mind when watching them!

10. I started to get into wearing wigs! Let me tell you, they’re so fun to wear! As of this post, I have a total of seven wigs. Here’s some pics to show them off because I love them. I just find them fun, and they don’t damage your hair like regular dye and bleach does, so if you want to wear one one day, and then have different color the next, you can!


Aaaaaannndddd… that’s it! I had a hard time trying to figure out what to say about myself, let me tell you lol But I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!

Let’s Chat!

Tell me one bookish fact about yourself and one non-bookish fact that you’re comfortable sharing! I want to learn more about you guys, so tell me about yourselves! ^^