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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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Book Review: “Backstage Prince” by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
# of Volumes: 2
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT (Vol. 1): Drawn into the exciting world of kabuki theatre, young Akari spends her time after school assisting the internationally famous actor, Shonosuke Ichimura. In the real world, however, this prince of kabuki is actually a high school cutie by the name of Ryusei.

Akari is totally clueless about kabuki–and boys–but she’s eager to learn about both. Her first encounter with Ryusei doesn’t go very well, but with the help of a cat named Mr. Ken, the two teenagers quickly become prince AND princesses of kabuki. Love was never so dramatic!

ABOUT (Vol. 2): There’s trouble brewing behind the kabuki curtain. Ryusei’s dad doesn’t want anything–or anyone!–distracting his son from his chosen profession. It’s no secret that he disapproves of Ryusei’s romance with Akari. Now he’s determined to sabotage their relationship anyway he can!

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My Review:
Backstage Prince was an interesting read. Being only two volumes long, the story couldn’t help but feel rushed

The story begins with an inciting incident that gets right to the overall plot of the story. Akari is a nice girl, pleasantly ordinary but flat in character. She doesn’t grow or change much throughout the story. Ryusei is every bit the dashing prince but is extremely antisocial so often comes across as rude and brutish. I get that he’s not good with feelings and expressing himself but sometimes he did not treat Akari well. At least you can see he does regret his behavior at times and makes some effort to change.

I wish that we could see more of the reaction Akari’s classmate have after learning who she is dating and whether they treat her differently or not. The reactions are 99% focused on the industry, media, and fan reactions.

I liked both volumes equally and the stakes do raise as the story progresses. It’s a nice story; a bit different from my usual reads which was a nice change.


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Book Review: Otomen (Volume 1) by Aya Kanno

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Otomen
Rating: 2 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Maybe

 

ABOUT: Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things – sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can’t sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he’s falling for?

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My Review:
Otomen was one of my most anticipated end of the year reads. Perhaps I read this at the wrong time but I did not enjoy this first volume.

I expected more from this story. The premise caught my attention immediately. And I’m always up for a story about characters who learn to won who they are and what makes them special. But the three principal characters you first meet are pretty flat in design. They’re nice but I couldn’t bring myself to care about what was going on. The disjointed writing and transitions between scenes didn’t help either.

I’m still interested enough to give volume 2 a chance. I liked the artist’s style and there were a few laugh out loud moments. But that probably wouldn’t be for many more months.


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Book Review: Library Wars: Love & War by KiiroYumi

Story & Art by Kiiro Yumi, Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa

 

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Library Wars: Love & War
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

Vol. 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves–the Library Forces!

Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!

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My Review:
I liked Library Wars more than I thought I would, which is good because I am definitely aimed to read the entire series.

The title peaked my curiosity first. With a word like “library” in the title, how could I resist? I read the summary and became more curious but still wary. I was sold on the idea but not completely sold, so I only took out volume 1.

Kasahara is very head-strong and sometimes doesn’t look before she leaps. But all her actions are always in good faith. She is also a fellow bookworm so that makes her okay in my book (no pun intended). She’s kind of an air-head with a heart of gold. I expect she’ll do many great and surprising things in this series.

I liked that the conflict, though in the background at the moment, is censorship of books (and by extension any typed of media deemed “harmful”). But censorship is on a whole different level and I really like that aspect of the story. That the world has come to military actions to protect books is intriguing.

In the foreground at the moment is Kasahara and her place in basic training for the Library Forces and the introduction of other main and secondary characters.

Also, there is heavy romance in the air clearly between Kasahara and her instructor, Sergeant Atsushi Dojo. It’s so obvious they like each just as it’s obvious to all the other characters.

Still, I enjoyed volume 1 a lot and will continue with this series. The writing is pretty solid and the story captivates me. Plus, I have to know if Kashara’s dreams come true.


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[OFFICIAL] Fall 2019 TBR List + Top 10 Tuesday

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

Here it is: my Fall 2019 TBR List! Today’s post actually coincided with the weekly meme Top 10 Tuesday, which works out great!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but is now run by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today’s prompt is: Books On My Fall TBR List

 

MANGA
The Demon Prince of Momochi House (Volumes 8-12) by Aya Shouoto
Vampire Knight (Volumes 15-19) by Matsuri Hino, Translated by Tomo Kimura
Library Wars: Love & War (Volumes 7-15) by Kiiro Yumi, Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa
Dreamin’ Sun (Volumes 2 & 3 of 10) by Ichigo Takano

 

MIDDLE GRADE
Awkward by Svetlana Chmahora
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm, Illustrated by Matthew Holm (Sunny, book 1)

 

YOUNG ADULT FANTASY
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (Empirium, book 1)
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff (The Aurora Cycle, book 1)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Angelbound by Christina Bauer (Angelbound Origins, book 1)
The Werewolf Queen by Brandi Elledge (Wheel of Crowns, book 1)
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Seafire by Natalie C. Parker (Seafire, book 1)
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy, book 1)

 

Young Adult Contemporary Romance
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (The Kiss Quotient, book 1)

 

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Puppy Love by Lucy Gilmore (Forever Home, book 1)
Their Ranch Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus (Rocky Mountain Heroes, book 1)
The Doctor’s Family Reunion by Mindy Obenhaus

 

PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Hot Blooded by Donna Grant (A Dark Kings Novel, book 4)
Firestorm by Donna Grant (A Dark Kings Novel, book 10)
Blaze by Donna Grant (A Dark Kings Novel, book 11)

 

FANTASY
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (The Band, book 1)
Dragon Mount by Jennifer M. Eaton

 

Fiction
Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble


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Manga Series Review: Dawn of the Arcana by Rei Toma

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, YA Fantasy
Series: Dawn of the Arcana
# of Volumes: 13
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Sumamry (via Goodreads):
Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat, tantamount to becoming a hostage. While Caesar is pleasing to the eye, he is also selfish and possessive, telling Nakaba outright: “You are my property.” With only her attendant Loki at her side, Nakaba must find a way to cope with her hostile surroundings, her fake marriage…and a mysterious power!

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My Review:
I really enjoyed reading Dawn of the Arcana. It was funny and sweet, but sad and depressing.

I actually liked the love triangle between Nakaba, Caesar, and Loki; it’s one of the better one’s I’ve seen. Love isn’t so instantaneous in this series, which is good. It grows organically albeit quickly.

There’s so much going on and so much action. The series touches greatly upon the race relations between humans and Ajin. Humans are seen as higher beings than Ajin. Ajin are treated as slaves. These moments were hard to read because this theme echoes so loudly and powerfully within actual history. All the royal families (except a very select few) are just horrible people and it’s no wonder the children ended up just as hateful and spiteful as their ancestors. It’s all just sad.

But I grew to like Caesar rather quickly – one of those few royal lights with the dark. He’s rather sweet and amusingly awkward where Nakaba is involved. He is open to change and rather thoughtful when he tries to be.

Nakaba I liked but there were times when she was just so winy. She’d complain and hesitate every time the “mysterious power” was used or going to be used. And I get it. The power is not easy to wield and rather complex. It’s almost soul-crushing. But I feel if she just stopped and really thought about things she wouldn’t stress so much.

Loki I loved so much in the beginning but my feelings for him began to wane as the story went on. I’m not sure why. Probably because of the conflicting ways he treated Nakaba. In the end, I just had indifferent feelings about him. I feel like there were better choices he could have made.

It’s a lovely story told beautifully but with a few jarring transitions and jumps in time between scenes. The ending felt rushed as if there could have been more pages to make it truly satisfying. Regardless, I was still happy with how things turned out overall.

I loved this series and devoured each volume rather quickly. I’m so glad I found this series.


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Book Review: The Water Dragon’s Bride by Rei Toma (Volume 1)

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, YA Fantasy
Series: The Water Dragon’s Bride, Volume 1
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
A modern-day girl gets whisked away to a strange land where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god! 

In the blink of an eye, a modern-day girl named Asahi is whisked away from her warm and happy home and stranded in a strange and mysterious world where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god! What plans are in store for her, and what will happen when she comes face to face with this god?

A young boy named Subaru comes to Asahi’s aid, but despite his help, Asahi must endure a test of survival! Will she be able to make it out alive, or will she end up being sacrificed?

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My Review:
Great start to what I’m sure is going to be a fantastic series. It has a nice The Little Mermaid vibes to it but a more sinister reversal effect.

Asahi is so cute and funny. I just love her character. It’s sad what she’s going through but I strongly believe things will work out for her in the end.

The water dragon god is very cruel to Asahi. However, Subaru’s mother comes across as more wicked than the water dragon god in this first volume. There’s so much you don’t know about the water dragon god. He is beguiling and stoic. Uninterested in humans who to him are greedy and lower than dirt. I like him as the antagonist. As flat of a character as he is, he’s certainly giving off some powerful vibes.

The story is really interesting and quickly captured my attention. I’m looking forward to reading more volumes. I anticipate unexpected twists and turns unlike anything I’ve every seen.


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And, As Always, Happy Reading!!!