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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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Favorite Books In Yellow

Feather by Olivia Wildenstein
Before Midnight: A Retelling of Cinderella by Cameron Dokey
Daja’s Book by Tamora Pierce
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton (review link)
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
River Secrets by Shannon Hale
The Unteachable by Gordon Korman (review link)
The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce
With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent


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2020 TBR List

(*) = recently added titles

ARCs
Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith (Jan 28)
Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde (Jan 14)
Feather by Olivia Wildenstein (Jan 16)

 

MANGA
Yona of the Dawn (Volumes 1-3) by Mizuho Kusanagi*
The Demon Prince of Momochi House (Volumes 8-12) by Aya Shouoto
Vampire Knight (Volumes 15-19) by Matsuri Hino, Translated by Tomo Kimura
Kamisama Kiss (Volumes 1-25) by Julietta Suzuki
Seraph of the End (Volumes 1-15 of 19) by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto, Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya
Snow White with the Red Hair (Volumes 3-5)
The Royal Tutor (Volume 12)
Black Butler (Volume 28)
Days by Tsuyoshi Yasuda (Volumes 1-15)*
The Genius Prince’s Guide to Raising a Nation Out of Debt (Hey, How About Treason?) by Toru Toba (Volume 1)*
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town by Toshio Satou (Volume 1)
86—EIGHTY-SIX by Asato Asato (Volume 1)*

 

MIDDLE GRADE
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst
After Zero by Christina Collins
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez*
OCDaniel by Wesley King*
Escape To The Mesa by StacyPlays*
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia*
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

 

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett*
Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons*
The Sword and the Dagger by Robert Cochran*
Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare*
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin*
Storm Siren by Mary Weber*
Fireborne by Rosaria Munda*
Ship of Smoke and Steel by Django Wexler*
The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano*
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco
The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
Return of the Temujai by John Flanagan
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater*
Angel Mage by Garth Nix*
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Angelbound by Christina Bauer
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Starling by Lesley Livingston
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

 

Young Adult Contemporary Romance
The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey
If I Stay by Gayle Forman*
Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman*

 

YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION
LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff
Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell
The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Christmas Cowboy Hero by Donna Grant*
Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant*
The Bridal Suite by Donna Grant*

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Hot Blooded by Donna Grant
Firestorm by Donna Grant
Blaze by Donna Grant
The Demon Lover Juliet Dark

 

FANTASY
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Dragon Mount by Jennifer M. Eaton
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Starless Sea by Eric Morgenstern*

 

LGBTQ YA/Adult – Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Brothersong by TJ Klune
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
I’m A Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni*
Sebastian by Sam Argent*
The Doctor’s Secret by Heidi Cullinan*
The Wolf At The Door by Charlie Adhara*
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller*
Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller*

 

FICTION
Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo*

 

SCIENCE FICTION
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff
All Systems Red by Martha Wells*

 

ROMANCE THRILLER
The Cost of Honor by Diana Muñoz Stewart*

 

NONFICTION
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty


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Post-Christmas Book Haul

If you give a bookworm money, they will spend it all on books without shame or regret. Houston, we do not have a problem.


I received Barnes & Nobel gift cards, so of course I had to use it for another book haul – 10 books totals with 1 not pictured. Never mind I wasn’t supposed to be buying more books right now.
So because I gave myself the gift of books this season I’m going to try my hardest not to buy anymore books until I read what I just bought and at least 10 books from my 2020 TBR List.

Here’s what a got (with synopsis via Goodreads):

*images via Goodreads

 

Snow White with the Red Hair (Volumes 3-5) by Sorata Akiduki
A romantic retelling of a classic fairy tale about a beautiful herbalist and a lovestruck prince.

Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself! Unwilling to become the prince’s possession, she seeks shelter in the woods of the neighboring kingdom, where she gains an unlikely ally—the prince of that kingdom! He rescues her from her plight, and thus begins the love story between a lovestruck prince and an unusual herbalist.

 

Yona of the Dawn (Volumes 1-3) by Mizuho Kusanagi
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father’s murder!

Yona reels from the shock of witnessing a loved one’s murder and having to fight for her life. With Hak’s help, she flees the palace and struggles to survive while evading her enemy’s forces. But where will this displaced princess go when all the paths before her are uncertain?

 

Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman
Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: She needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal—even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life—and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special-edition Yoda Snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses, and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (Serpent & Dove #1)
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

 

Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller (Mask of Shadows #2)
As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.

But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.

 

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Two girls use forbidden magic to fly and fight–for their country and for themselves–in this riveting debut that’s part Shadow and Bone, part Code Name Verity.

Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

We Rule the Night is a powerful story about sacrifice, complicated friendships, and survival despite impossible odds.


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As Always, HAPPY READING!!!


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Reading 2019: Best of Middle Grade, Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Manga, ARCs

 

 

 

 


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Book Review: “Bloom” by Kevin Panetta, Illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+ Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Graphic Novel
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band—if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.

 

My Review
This story was so cute! I loved every page so much I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) stop reading. The sketch style art is great and I love that everything is in shades of blue , black and white.

Ari is a very relatable character: youthful and dreaming; quirky and unsure. He comes off as winy sometimes but I get where he’s coming from, especially when his dad is so dismissive of his plans.

Hector is a nice, caring person and very sure of himself. But it seems like he doesn’t undergo any change within the story even as his relationship with Ari grows. There wasn’t any conflict for him to overcome. I do love seeing his passion and devotion to baking though. And his friend Meg is so wild and funny and very supportive.

Ari and Hector’s relationship was so beautiful to watch. I adored watching them together, enjoying the moment. But my favorite part of the story were all the full double pages of art. A montage of scenes sweeps across the pages in stunning clarity. And it’s all done in my favorite color – blue!

What a wonderful story that takes place at one of my favorite places – a bakery. This would make a great summer read. Bloom is a sweetly, romantic story. I would read more books with Panetta and Ganucheau at the helm.


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Book Review: “The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ+ Fiction, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUTParis, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

 

My Review:
What took me so long to read this book?! It’s so good! The Prince and the Dressmaker is a stunningly painful representation of gender identity, familial pressure, and self-love. Add in the romantic fairy tale atmosphere and charming illustrations and you have one powerful and incredible story.

I have no personal experience with what Sebastian is going through but his feelings – the horror-struck, panicked facial expressions at being exposed, the profound sadness of feeling out of place in his own skin – felt intensely real. The pressure to find a wife and become king and live up to society’s expectation gives him anxiety. He doesn’t want to fail his parents but can’t full commit to someone who may not be okay with the real Sebastian.

I could feel Sebastian’s emotions through the illustrations. I could somewhat understand that feeling of bottling up one’s emotions. The fear of failure. These are real things real people are experiencing.

Frances is a dreamer. She wants her work recognized but isn’t able to being the secret designer behind the secret Lady Crystallia. I connected with France on some level Frances doesn’t want to live in the shadows anymore. She’s got real talent and wants to share her passion with the world.

I loved how kind and accepting Frances was about Sebastian’s secret. Some aren’t as fortunate to have someone like Frances in their life, which is sad.

While I loved the art I couldn’t stop thinking about how everyone looked like they were flushed or had a fever or were sleep deprived. It was very distracting.

I can’t say enough good things about The Prince and the Dressmaker. It’s one of the best books I read this year. I highly recommend this delightful and honest book.