The Bookshelf Corner

Book reviews, creative writing, and more!


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Manga Series Review: Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki (combined review)

*this is an overall review*

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Young Adult, Romantic Comedy
Series: Kamisama Kiss
# of Volumes: 25
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When Nanami inherits a shrine, it comes with divine powers and a hot fox spirit!

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 unwittingly taken over his job as a local deity!

 

My Review: I am more in love with Kamisama Kiss than when I started reading this manga. This was such a fantastic series and I’m so sad to have finished it.

Nanami is a kind-hearted but stubborn girl. She really adjusts to all the supernatural happenings very well for a human. There were times I didn’t like her – when she’d act without thinking things through. But I like her and could imagine anyone else for this particular role.

Tomoe I love a lot. He’s so brash but sure of himself. He’s dedicated and mysterious. He’s gone through so much but that doesn’t stop him – maybe stall a bit – from doing what must be done. I enjoyed his character development most of all.

Really all the quirky characters are lovable in their own way! Mizuki is adorable and contributed a lot of comedic moments. Kurama is cool in everything he does. Ami and Kei, Nanami’s best friends, were the perfecting supporting characters and anchor to Nanami’s human side.

The final volume was really emotional for me. Things wrapped up so nicely and with such finality but much hope and happiness for the future. I could not have asked for a more perfect ending. I’m so happy for Nanami and Tomoe! This is a bittersweet goodbye to these characters and series but I can honestly say I am one happy reader.


My Review of Volume 1


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Book Review: By A Thread by Lucy Score

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.

Dominic
I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.

So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.

She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.

Ally
Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

 

My Review: [Warning: Mature content – 18+. Explicit sexual language and scenes. Workplace sexual harassment.]

By A Thread is a sizzling romantic comedy that checked off everything I love about contemporary romances. It’s told in dual POVs between Ally – a dauntless woman determined to do right by her father, working multiple jobs to make end’s meet – and Dominic – the handsome and grumpy ass, resolute to not being anything like his deplorable father.

When the two meet sparks ignite into a fiery attraction. Neither can deny being attracted to the other nor the hate-you banter they secretly enjoy. But fate has other, more comical plans for these two reluctant co-workers.

The cover is so pink and pretty. The premise very compelling that I had to read this book asap. Ally and Dom’s initial meeting was hilarious. I loved all the characters; they’re so funny and quirky in their own ways. You will fall in love with this quick read.

Ally is my favorite. She’s very devoted and head-strong. She lives in a dilapidated work-in-progress house, works several jobs, and rations to the extreme. The financial struggles beat her down and some days her father doesn’t remember her. But Ally keeps moving forward. That’s a rare, admirable quality I respect in a person.

She’s also quick-witted, sassy, and someone who will have your back through thick and thin, especially if you show her the same courtesy and respect. Ally is an incredibly stubborn thought and won’t accept financial help from anyone, even her best friend, Faith.

Dom – poor Dom. He has more than just his father’s egregious mess to clean up. Dom is an ass as he’ll admit. But I think it stems from childhood and the Russo creed of never talking about feelings and the things that are troubling them. Dom tries his best to do the right thing and support his fashion icon mother – the lovely and stern, Dalessandra Russo (I love her name!). However, like Ally, he too won’t accept help and doesn’t want to get close to people.

I appreciate that this book shines a light on workplace sexual harassment, though it was more of a background elephant in that needed to be addressed.. It’s an important, ongoing issue that needs to be addressed and rectified. Although, how this issue is originally “solved” in the book is part of the problem. I think the author does a good job of showing the effects this has on victims and what can and needs to be done to create a safe and trusting work environment for employees.

I’ve never read a contemporary romance so long but I’m glad this was a length read. I feel like I got the whole story and that everything was fleshed out and fully realized. Plus, you’ll hardly notes the page length because you won’t be able to stop reading – you just have to know more! This book is a real page-turner.

By A Thread is a fun-filled, slow-burn, tantalizing romance read. Another new favorite by a newly discovered author that I enjoyed a lot. Highlight recommended. A must-read!


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#currentlyreading | BY A THREAD by Lucy Score

Happy Monday, Bookworms!

It’s the first of June. What are you currently reading?

I’m so happy to be reading By A Thread by Lucy Score. This is just what I needed right now; a light-hearted rom-com that keeps putting a smile on my face. It’s a huge read – almost 600 pages! – but so far I’m liking it.

ABOUT | BY A THREAD

Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.

Dominic
I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.

So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.

She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.

Ally
Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

 

 

Image via Goodreads


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[November 2019] Book of the Month: “The Lightning-Struck Heart” by TJ Klune

Image via Goodreads

Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart
Author: TJ Klune
Series: Tales From Verania #1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ Romance, MM Romance
Recommended?: Yes

Goodreads Summary: Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or so he thinks.

My Reviews:
The Lightning-Struck Heart – book 1
A Destiny of Dragons – book 2
The Consumption of Magic – book 3
A Wish Upon The Stars – book 4

More by TJ Klune:
Wolfsong – Green Creek #1
Ravensong – Green Creek #2


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The Bookshelf Corner’s Completed Series’ Read And Reviewed

Below are links to book reviews I’ve done of complete series, series in progress (meaning to finish completely), and series to be continued (story not over/more to come that I know of) as of June 1, 2019. This list does not include series I DNF or only have the first book read. Series titles are color-coded for your convenience.

I love reading book series because you get to know the characters really well (like book nerdish family). Perhaps you might find your next great read below.



FRUITS BASKET

Natsuki Takaya,
Translated by Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley

Volumes 1-5 (combined review)
Volumes 1-23 (combined review)

 

S●A – SPECIAL A

Maki Minami

Volumes 1-4 (combined review)
Volumes 1-17 (combined review)

 

THE BETRAYAL KNOWS MY NAME

Hotaru Odagiri
Translated by Melissa Tanaka

Volumes 1-8

 

OURON HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB

Bisco Hatori

Volumes 1-18 (combined review)

 

A NARWHAL AND JELLY BOOK

Ben Clanton

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! (book 1)
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (book 2)
Peanut Butter and Jelly (book 3)
Narwhal’s Otter Friend (book 4) (ARC review)

 

ALPHA GIRL

Aileen Erin

Becoming Alpha (book 1)
Avoiding Alpha (book 2)
Alpha Divided (book 3)

 

RANGER’S APPRENTICE: THE EARLY YEARS

John Flanagan

The Tournament at Gorlan (book 1)
The Battle of Hackham Heath (book 2)

 

BROTHERBAND CHRONICLES

John Flanagan

The Outcasts (book 1) ● The Invaders (book 2) ● The Hunters (book 3)
Slaves of Socorro (book 4) ● Scorpion Mountain (book 5) ● The Ghostfaces (book 6) ● The Caldera (book 7)

 

SNOW LIKE ASHES

Sarah Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (book 1)
Ice Like Fire (book 2)
Frost Like Night (book 3)

 

ZODIAC

Romina Russell

Zodiac (book 1)
Wandering Star (book 2)
Black Moon (book 3)
Thirteen Rising (book 4)

 

THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS

Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (book 1)
Linger (book 2)
Forever (book 3)

 

THE KINGMAKER CHRONICLES

Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire (book 1)
Breath of Fire (book 2)
Heart on Fire (book 3)

 

A MISSON NOVEL

Megan Erickson

Blood Guard (book 1) (ARC review)
Blood Veil (book 2) (ARC review)

 

TALES FROM VERANIA

T. J. Klune

The Lightning-Struck Heart (book 1)
A Destiny of Dragons (book 2)
The Consumption of Magic (book 3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (book 4)

 

COUNTING

Kelly Jensen

Counting Fence Posts (book 1)
Counting Down (book 2)
Counting On You (book 3)


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!


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Thank You, Next Book Tag

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Text added in MS Word

Thank you Siobhan @ Novelties for tagging me! I haven’t done a tag in a long while so this is perfect to do. Be sure to check out Siobhan’s blog too! Click here to read her responses to this tag.

 

Name a book you said “thank u, next” to (a book you did not finish)

I could not finish “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. Just couldn’t. It’s the only book I can think of that I gave a DNF to. I’ll leave it at that for now.

Image via Goodreads

Name a book that taught you love (a book you loved)

Books that taught me love that I loved? That’d be too long of a list. Most of the books I’ve read with romance in them have taught me about love. Then again I am a hopeless romantic. Here are three examples off of the top of my head:

 

Name a book that taught you patience

N/A ….at least that I can think of.

 

Name a book that taught you pain

Ugh! Those would be THE FEELS books where you can’t function after the story is over. I’m going to throwback this answer and pick a duology. I read this series over ten years ago and it is still one of m favorite book series.

 

Name a book that you loved at the time of reading, but in hindsight, you don’t like as much, though you still learned something from it

Not really sure. Those kinds of books it’s more that it’s been so long that I don’t remember enough of whether I liked it or not. I learn a little something from every book I read. They’re the type of lessons you never forget. Here are some examples:

 

Name a book you are currently talking to (have the hots for)

None now. But my past crush was T. J. Klune’s Tales From Verania series.

 

Name the book that gon’ last (the book that helped you love yourself a little bit more)

Hard to say but I think it would be “Turtles All The Down” by John Green.

Image via Goodreads


If you enjoyed this post, be sure to leave a like. Did you find this tag interesting? Feel free to try it out on your own blog.

And, as always, Happy Reading and Happy Writing!


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Book Review: A Wish Upon the Stars by T. J. Klune

WARNING: For MATURE readers only. This book contains explicit language and sexual content. Reader discretion strongly advised.

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy, MM Romance, LGBTQ Ficiton, RomCom
Series: Tales From Verania, book 4
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: YES

Summary (via Goodreads):
Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.

The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne. 

But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.

~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
A Wish Upon the Stars concludes the Tales From Verania series with everything you know, love, admire, and expect from Sam and company. There were surprises. There were feels. There were laughs. There were tears.

Sam’s big entrance out of the Dark Woods was everything you would expect of someone like Sam. It was hilarious!

The biggest lessons I left with post-read are 1) you are in part who you surround yourself with, 2) destiny is not carved in stone as stone crumbles, and 3) choice is important. Admits all the humor and lovablenss, T. J. Klune presents profound lessons that strike you to the core when you least expect it. And through Sam’s POV, we witness the effects of these lessons on his exponential growth.

Sam is probably one of the most purest, amazing, one-of-a-kind main characters it has ever been my pleasure to know. Tiggy I love like no other. Gary is classy and sassy. Ryan for all his awkwardness is kind, loyal, and brave. Justin is everybody’s Best Friend 5eva. Kevin is gross but wonderful. The dragons are amaze-balls. And even Myrin, the villain of our story, I have a fondness for.

Throughout the story (masterfully told), you don’t know how it’ll end. Although Sam has managed to defy others expectations of him over and over again, there is still no telling if the destiny (Sam’s least favorite word) will come to fruition. In a battle like this, there will be winners and there will be losers. There will joy and there will be heartbreak. Nevertheless, I am 100% certain everyone will enjoy this fourth installment and how the story ends.

I am sad to see this series end and look forward to a triumphant return to this world (according to the author). I am forever thankful to this book and series that has changed me forevermore.


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Book Review: The Consumption of Magic by T. J. Klune

WARNING: For MATURE readers only. This book contains explicit language and sexual content. Reader discretion strongly advised.

 

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy, MM Romance, LGBTQ Ficiton, RomCom
Series: Tales From Verania, book 3
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quotes: “Stone crumbles.”

“I promise. I promise. I promise, because when I look upon these stars, there is nothing I wish for more than you.”

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.

It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.

Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.

With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.

A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.

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

My Review:
I am devastated. This third installment has left me devastated in a good and bad way. I am a melting pot of emotions that I don’t know what to do with.

I knew right from the beginning that things were about to change for Sam of Wilds and friends. I just didn’t know that it would but such a dramatic change or how wrong I wished I was. Strength, love and bonds are tested like I’ve never seen before in fiction.

The story is part journey, part unburdening, part cats out of the bag for about 3/4 of the novel. It’s more emotions reacting to emotions than the high levels of action seen in previous books. Meaning I got bored a lot. Things happen, don’t get me wrong. And there are moments you can’t look away from (I mean, why would you because it’s Sam). But there are moments that run on too long – as seems to be an unfortunate trend in this series.

My love for this cast of whimsical, colorful characters stays about the same (but not in a bad way). My opinion/feelings for Same change and grow by the end. I am even more forever in love with Tiggy, my favorite half-giant. And Lady De Silva has too become my most mortal of enemies by my extension for my love of Sam. Also, dragons are the best and most infuriating of magic creatures.

I can’t begin to fathom what will happen in the final book. “Stone crumbles” after all. But I know it’ll be a conclusion of epic proportions.


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Book Review: A Destiny of Dragons by T. J. Klune

WARNING: For MATURE readers only. This book contains explicit language and sexual content. Reader discretion strongly advised.

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Fantasy, MM Romance, LGBTQ Ficiton, RomCom
Series: Tales From Verania, book 2
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “There are things more important in this world than where I come from. And that’s where I’m going.”

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
Once upon a time, the wizard’s apprentice Sam of Wilds got his happily ever after in the arms of his cornerstone, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. A year has passed, and while Sam’s been captured five or six more times since then, things are pretty great. His parents are happy, Gary and Tiggy still eat sass for breakfast, Randall is somehow alive despite being older than the gods, the King rules with a gentle hand, Kevin the dragon is as gross as ever, Morgan sighs a lot, Ryan continues to be dashing and immaculate, and Sam is close to convincing Prince Justin they will be best friends forever.

Life is good.

Until it’s not.

Because Vadoma, the leader of the Gypsy clan and Sam’s grandmother, has come to the City of Lockes with a dire prophecy written in the stars: a man of shadows is rising and will consume the world unless Sam faces his destiny and gathers the five dragons of Verania at his side.

And she brings along her second-in-command, a man named Ruv.

Ruv, who Vadoma says is Sam’s true cornerstone.

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

My Review:
Book 2 of this epic fantasy adventure series was all sass, tons of laughs, and, of course, feelings. The story continues with our adorable wizard apprentice, Sam of Wilds, the beautiful hornless unicorn, Gary, the huggable Tiggy, the awkward but dashing knight, Ryan, the doting mentor and wizard, Morgan, and more. We are introduced to a few new faces whom you will either love or hate. I was more in the middle with the new characters.

I love how T. J. Klune turns the cliche story of destiny on its head, subtly mocking. Sam will tell you in no uncertain terms how much destinies “suck.”

My favorite part will always be the very first scene of a blind date gone horribly wrong. My least favorite part was the allusions to happenings from years ago in American politics. I also “didn’t enjoy” how embarrassingly awkward a lot of Ryan’s actions and dialogues were (very cringe-worthy but kind of in a good way?). Things get really deep as we delve deeper into the true meaning of a cornerstone and all its consequences.

And, of course, there were many quotable – and quite wise – lines of dialogue:

“My malt brings all the boys to the vestibule.”

“It’s been said by many people that I look like I know what I’m doing.”

“You can’t hide your head in the sand without expecting your ass to get burned.”

I am so excited to read book 3 because this adventure is undoubtedly about to get wild.


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TBR At A Glance – 2/20/19

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Edited in Paint

CURRENTLY READING

  • Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

 

READING NEXT

  • Ungifted by Gordan Korman

  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

  • The Consumption of Magic by T. J. Klune (Tales From Verania, book 3)

 

RECENT REVIEWS

 

REVIEWS COMING SOON

  • March 4 – A Destiny of Dragons by T. J. Klune