The Bookshelf Corner

Book reviews, creative writing, and more!


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Book Review: “Kamisama Kiss” (Vol. 1) by Julietta Suzuki

Review of Volume 1 only

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Kamisama Kiss
# of Volumes: 25
Rating: 4 out of 5

 

ABOUT: Nanami Momozono is alone and homeless after her dad skips town to evade his gambling debts and the debt collectors kick her out of her apartment. So when a man she’s just saved from a dog offers her his home, she jumps at the opportunity. But it turns out that his place is a shrine, and Nanami has unwillingly taken over his job as a local deity!

Nanami has all kinds of new responsibilities she doesn’t understand, dangers she’s unaware of, and a cranky ex-familiar who’s… actually pretty hot. What’s a new-fledged godling to do?

 

My Review: This was a great start to the story. I’ve only watched the anime so this was a nice re-introduction to the story. Reading was a nostalgic experience.

Nanami is alot different than I remember. She is an eh character as of this first volume but I’m sure I’ll grow to like her character more. She’s vocal when she needs to me. She doesn’t allow Tomoe to walk all over her or scare her.

Tomoe is like any other of my favorite white-haired main character. You can tell how deeply the betrayal has affected him. He doesn’t think much of Nanami because she’s human. But I also think he’s projecting his anger onto her. I like his character the most because of his cool attitude.

I can’t wait for more characters to appear. I think they will add a lot of color and humor to the rest of the story.


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The Best Stories I’ve Ever Read/Watched

Having a wild and very active imagination combined with the incredible effects of reading books have inspired me to become an author. While I owe every story credit for my writing passion, there are few select stories across entertainment mediums whose stories hold a special place in my heart and inspire me to no ends. These stories have outstanding characters, intricately compelling plots, and wholly original worlds. They take my breath away.

Here are the best stories I’ve ever read/watched that have been influential in my life:

 

Attack on Titan
Anime Series

Beka Cooper
Young Adult Fantasy (trilogy) Book Series
by Tamora Pierce

Circle of Magic
Young Adult Fantasy (quartet) Book Series
by Tamora Pierce

Daughter of the Lioness
Young Adult Fantasy (duology) Book Series
by Tamora Pierce

Full Metal Alchemist
Anime Series

Naruto
Anime Series

Ranger’s Apprentice
Young Adult/Middle Grade Fantasy Book Series
by John Flanagan

Sevenwaters
Fantasy Book Series
by Juliet Marillier

Song of the Lioness
Young Adult Fantasy (quartet) Book Series
by Tamora Pierce

Soul Screamers
Young Adult Fantasy Book Series
by Rachel Vincent

Study
Young Adult Fantasy Book Series
by Maria V. Snyder

Tales From Verania
Fantasy Romance / LGBTQ Fiction (quartet) Book Series
by T.J. Klune

Wicked Lovely
Young Adult Fantasy Book Series
by Melissa Marr


What are some of the best stories you’ve ever read/watched/heard? Let me know in the comments below.

And, as always, happy reading!!!


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Reading 2018: Best of Manga

Today’s the final day spotlighting my favorite books of 2018.

A large portion of the books I read this year were of this genre. But the titles below have had a big impact on me and my reading experience. I feel like the world of books just got ten times bigger.

It behooved me to pick just one as the best. I loved them all so I picked them all as the best.


 

BLACK BUTLER (Volumes 1-26) by Yana Toboso
Series Review (so far)

FRUITS BASKET (Volumes 1-23) by Natsuki Takaya
Series Review

S●A – SPECIAL A (Volumes 1-17) by Maki Minami
Series Review

THE BETRAYAL KNOWS MY NAME (Volumes 1-8) by Hotaru Odagiri
Series Review

 


See Which Books Took Home The Gold Last Year In 2017

Reading 2017: Best of Picture Books
Reading 2017: Best of Young Adult & Young Adult Fantasy
Reading 2017: Best of Fantasy
Reading 2017: Best of Romance
Reading 2017: Best of Middle Grade & My Favorite Book of the Year


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Book Series Review: The Betrayal Knows My Name by Hotaru Odagiri, Translated by Melissa Tanaka (English Vol. 1-8)

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, Romance, Comedy
# of Volumes: 8 (in English)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

Volume 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
Abandoned as a baby and raised in an orphanage, the kind-hearted high-schooler Yuki Sakuragi is driven by a need to find the reason for his existence. Plagued by mysterious dreams, Yuki also possesses the strange ability to read the deepest, darkest thoughts of anyone he touches. As both the dreams and his powers intensify, there appears before him a beautiful young man named “Zess,” whose face tugs on Yuki’s memory. He warns Yuki not to venture outside on Walpurgis Night, the eve of the blood-red moon, which invites death. But when Yuki’s compassion leads him to disobey Zess’s order, has Yuki carelessly thrown his life away before he’s even given himself the chance to find out the very reason for it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
So many feels! So much happiness! The Betrayal Knows My Name was awesome to read!

Yuki is so kind and emphatic. He’s just adorable and I love everything about him and his interactions with others. Luka (aka Zess) is my dark knight in shining armor (well, more like Yuki’s knight). He’s one of those dark, mysterious characters you can’t help but love. Everyone character in this series has something wonderful about them.

The premise is just the kind of story I love reading, which is what enticed me to watch the anime. It’s the dark, romantic, fantasy story that compelling you to pay attention to every minute detail, devour every polished line, and count yourself lucky you get to spend so much time with these characters in their amazing world.

When I found that the complete series in English on Amazon I knew I had to buy them all. There was no buy volume 1 first to make sure you like it. This I knew I was going to enjoy more than I could ever imagine.

Big beautiful books arrived at my door, dazzling with stunning gothic art. Eight treasure chest I couldn’t wait to open. I read all the books within four days.

The last three volumes are way shorter than the others and the ending was rushing. Given what the author writes concerning this matter, it’s completely understandable. A reader couldn’t ask for more from an author they admire. A lot of meticulously painstaking work goes into producing manga – and, of course, any work of fiction. I believe Hotaru Odagiri did what was best for herself and her readers.


Image Links via Goodreads:
Volume 1 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9414170-the-betrayal-knows-my-name-volume-01
Volume 4 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13035035-the-betrayal-knows-my-name-volume-04
Volume 8 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36205213-the-betrayal-knows-my-name-vol-8


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Book Series Review: S●A – Special A by Maki Minami (Vol. 1-17)

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, Romance, Comedy
# of Volumes: 17
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Volume 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
Her whole life, Hikari Hanazono has been consumed with the desire to win against her school rival, Kei Takishima–at anything. He always comes out on top no matter what he does, and Hikari is determined to do whatever it takes to beat this guy…somehow!

At age 6 Hikari lost to Kei in an impromptu wrestling match. Now, at 15, Hikari joins “Special A,” a group of the top seven students at a private academy, for the opportunity to trounce the guy who made her suffer her first defeat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
S●A is certainly a spectacularly amazing manga. It was everything I thought it would be after watching the anime so many times. The members of S●A wind up in so many wacky situations but it’s all great.

I’ve fallen in love with the characters all over again. They’re so quirky, endearing and adorable people. Their close friendship is goals because they’re always there for each other through good times and bad. They make each other (and the reader) laugh and smile all the time. There’s a lot of depth and history to them.

I was laughing and awe-ing throughout the whole series. Maki Minami really knows how to weave humor in any and all situations the characters find themselves in. Both the narrative and the artwork is hilarious. I always giggle at the drawings of shocked characters.

Hikari is probably my favorite character because of her personality. She is for sure very dense but unbelievably kind, optimistic, supportive, and physically strong. I would be so happy to have her as a friend.

S●A is a rom-com I would recommend to everyone. I’m so happy to have read this manga.


My Review of Volumes 1-4


Image Links:

Volume 1 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1649592.Special_A_Vol_01

Volume 17 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8230480-special-a-vol-17


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Book Series Review: Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya, Translated by Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley (Vol. 1-23)

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, Romance, Comedy
# of Volumes: 23
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?:  Yes

 

Volume 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
A family with an ancient curse…

And the girl who will change their lives forever…

Tohru Honda was an orphan with no place to go until the mysterious Sohma family offered her a place to call home. Now her ordinary high school life is turned upside down as she’s introduced to the Sohma’s world of magical curses and family secrets.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
Fruits Basket was awesome to read. There’s so much to love about this series. I’ve watched the anime a few times (which was good too) before reading the manga. Natsuki Takaya is a talented storyteller and artist.

Natsuki Takaya’s characters are so dynamic and real. Each has a distinct personality and their growth throughout the story is unique to themselves. Tohru is such a catalyst of change for the members of the zodiac who were already so closely bonded. Her genuine demeanor is something each character needed to come to the realizations they do. It’s a hard road to get to those realizations.

After a certain point in the story, things get heavy, the plot thickens, and your attention is super-glued to anything and everything going on. Of course there are still light-hearted moments to love. But I think it’s during the internal and external conflicts that each character’s inner most human desires are exposed. You come to really love all of the characters. It’s surprising, it’s sad, it’s everything you want from well-crafted characters.

The ending was emotional but satisfying. All great stories must come to an end I guess. And I can only wish each character the best in the paths they’ve chosen for themselves.


My Review of Volumes 1- 5


Image Links

Vol 1 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/555428.Fruits_Basket_Vol_1

Vol 15 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46906.Fruits_Basket_Vol_15

Vol 23 – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5322056-fruits-basket-vol-23