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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Manga Review: Rin-Ne, Volume 24, by Rumiko Takahashi


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Sunday (VIZ Media)
Release Date: July 2017
Volumes: 40.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 22. 25.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Manga legend Rumiko Takahashi’s lighthearted tale of a girl who can see ghosts and a boy from the beyond.

Ever since a strange encounter when she was a child, Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now in high school, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! When her mysterious classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, Sakura finds herself following him into the amazing world between life and death!

Rinne and Sakura’s homeroom teacher starts receiving some very strange messages from her fortune-telling Peeking Ball. Then a ghost scythe attaches itself to Sakura, and she must exorcise seven souls to get rid of it!

Review:

The peeking ball once again causes a strew of misunderstandings and competitions. For a few chapters, they're all fighting to get some money, which causes them to do one thing after another. Quite a bit of hilarity insues.
After that, we get a goofy ghost haunting a tree, a haunted sports uniform, and a haunted elevator. At one point, Sakura gets a scythe and tries learning how to use it.
Lots of crazy antics in this series, not much plot progression, or romance progression. It's a bit all over the place and episodic, and I actually quite enjoy it. Even though I've only read a few volumes of this series, they're fun. It's an easy reprieve.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Manga Review: Golden Kamuy, Volume 2, by Satoru Noda


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 12+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A tale of high adventure and survival on the Japanese frontier!
In the early 20th century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto searches the wilderness of the Japanese frontier of Hokkaido for a hoard of hidden gold. With only a cryptic map and a native Ainu girl to help him, Saichi must also deal with every murderous cutthroat, bandit and rogue who knows about the treasure!

Review:

I missed the first volume, so I really had no idea what I was getting into in this volume.
Sugimoto and Asirpa are in wilderness, hiding. Sugimoto is running from someone, and it appears that Asirpa is helping him, until they get attacked at least. It's a bit violent, but smart in character and in information regarding the area and the people.
We meet Asirpa's village, and we also get to see the people Sugimoto is hiding from, and there's some messy stuff regarding that. There's also a surprising use of cooking and information regarding the land and the animals, I thought. But maybe that's only because I wasn't really expecting it, nor is it much of my interest.
While this isn't usually something I would read, I found this volume quite interesting. It was dark at times, funny at others, and smart in all ways, and the artwork is very nice. I'm a bit intrigued, actually.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaser Tuesday[267]: Hellworld by Tom Leveen

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

--------------------------

Hellworld by Tom Leveen
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: March 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:


Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imagined.

Abby was investigating a possible haunting… she never expected that there could be something worse.

Excerpt:

'It really happened? It really did?'
'Yeah. It really did.'” (Hardback, pg. 69)

What are you reading?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Manga Review: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, Volume 20, by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki, and Yuki Morisaki


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Shonen Jump Advanced (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 2017
Volumes: 27+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 19. 21.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed, saucy food comedy featuring one boy’s determination to be top chef!

Soma Yukihira’s old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town. Aiming to one day surpass his father’s culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school! Can Soma really cut it in a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?!

Soma challenges current Council of Ten first seat Eishi Tsukasa for his seat on the council! Up against Tsukasa’s delicately refined technique, Soma highlights his own creativity with a brand-new take on traditional French cuisine. Will he win that coveted seat or lose big and join Central? Even if he does win, Soma won’t be out of the woods—not when the surviving first-years have just received notice of their biggest challenge yet!

Review:

We get to see how Soma and Tsukasa's shokugeki goes, and it has an anticlimactic ending, though it makes sense.
After that, we get to see that school-wide club shokugeki's are still going on, and that Megumi is still holding her all. She's fallen in the background a little, but she's climbing up that ladder still. There's a point made here that all of the first years seem to be different, better, this year. I'm sure this will lead to trouble.
The main point in this volume, though, is when we get to see more of Erina's past, and she realizes that she doesn't really like food anymore, and has to figure out what her interest and inspiration is. She ends up talking with Soma for a bit here. After that, she has to decide how she's going to finally deal with what her father is doing—acknowledge that she doesn't agree with him, and what to do about that and his strict rules. It is very nice to finally see her make a stand, given how weak she's been so far with him.
It'll be interesting to see what happens next, and I'm quite looking forward to it.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Manga Review: Jackass! by Scarlet Beriko


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 2017
Volumes: 1.
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When the panty hose go on, all bets are off between these best guy friends!

Practical Keisuke’s incredibly handsome best friend Masayuki has always rubbed him just a little bit the wrong way. Maybe it’s because Masayuki is rich, carefree, and so stunningly handsome that he can, and does, have any girl he wants? But one day, when Keisuke accidentally wears his older sister’s panty hose to gym class, it’s suddenly his hot friend who’s doing the rubbing…on Keisuke’s panty hose-clad legs! Has he unwittingly unleashed a secret fetish that will change their relationship forever?

Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect with this volume, other than it sounded fun and looked nice.
Keisuke lives with his aunt, and his childhood friend is gay, and he's never considered himself that. Until suddenly he gets in a situation involving another best friend and some pantyhose...
As the volume started, I wasn't really sure who was who, and it felt a bit like I was missing something. Like there had been a previous series or something. But after things started getting a bit steamy, it got good, and then I didn't want to put it down.
This was definitely a high school story. I appreciated the sense of bromance, the actual male friendships not even including the romance; these were all just guys, even if some of them were in love with another one. It also had quite a bit of conflicted teenage angst; Keisuke didn't know what he wanted, and he was teasing Masayuki in a bit of a childish way at one point, but it felt real and relateable.
I really enjoyed the main romance, how it developed and how it led to more. It was fun and hot, and I liked the use of the fetish. There was also two sub-plot romances, and I really enjoyed them, as well. The childhood friend and his bully had their own plotlines, and I actually liked both a lot. I was a little unsure how it was going to end, but I liked it. I normally wouldn't like the “bully” character, but I think it was handled well here, and obvious to everyone his real feelings.
At the end, it felt like there needed to be more, like some of the minor characters needed more exploring. I might have also just wanted more.
I was surprisingly impressed with this volume, and now I want more.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Manga Review: Don't Be Cruel, Volume 5, by Yonezou Nekota


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 7+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1&2. 3&4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A fan-favorite series by adored author Yonezou Nekota continues in single volumes.

Playboy Maya catches studious Nemugasa cheating on a test and to ensure his silence blackmails him into doing whatever Maya wants!

After nearly breaking up, Maya and Nemugasa finally go on their hot springs vacation, where their passions reignite! In fact, Maya becomes so besotted with Nemugasa that he gives him a couple’s ring to “ward off any poachers.” But after their return, Maya is approached by the mysterious Ruka, leaving Nemugasa as the jealous one. Is the shoe finally on the other foot?

Review:

In this volume, Maya meets an older guy on campus, who he at first brushes off and has no interest in, but soon enough is pushing Maya and urging him to find out what he actually likes and is good at. While it causes some drama between Maya and Nemugasa, it works out good for Maya in other matters. It also causes some fun in the later half of the volume.
This volume also fills in the holes from Akira's separate book, and we get to see the drama between Maya and Nemu regarding the kiss. This ended up being a push for them that they needed, and it was actually super sweet and fun to read.
I love this series, seriously so much. It was nice seeing some relationships resolve some things, and it was good seeing Maya and Nemu get to push their potential careers forward.
There's drama and steamy and fluffy goodness in these volumes, and I cannot get enough.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Manga Review: Waiting For Spring, Volume 2, by Anashin


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A sweet shojo story of a soft-spoken high school freshman and her quest to make friends, Waiting for Spring will delight fans of earnest, fun, and dramatic shojo like Kimi ni Todoke and Say I Love You.
Mizuki is a shy girl who's about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys' basketball team weren't exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the cafe where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she's been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include... love?

Review:

So we find out that Mitsuki's old childhood friend is actually a boy. This is a surprise to everyone, commences in some teasing, and results in Mitsuki freaking out a bit. Everything she remembers is suddenly in a different light.
Mitsuki is also growing quite close to Towa. They've formed a close friendship, which is clearly leaning toward more, but they haven't quite figured that out yet. At least, Mitsuki hasn't.
I'm surprised by how fun this series is—the humor gets me pretty good, and I really enjoy the guys just goofing around. I also like Mitsuki. She's relateable and not at all annoying. I really enjoy the forming romance, how sweet and budding it is so far.
This is fun, and I'm hooked. Can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Teaser Tuesday[266]: Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

-----------------------------------

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: December 26, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

This is the first in a set of three standalone books with crossover characters.

Excerpt:

'That's probably not true, but it's good you know your weaknesses.'” (Hardback, pg. 112)

What are you reading right now?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Manga Review: Don't Be Cruel: Plus+ by Yonezou Nekota


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 2017
Volumes: 7 + side stories
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1&2. 3&4. Akira's Story.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Playboy Maya catches studious Nemugasa cheating on a test and to ensure his silence blackmails him into doing whatever Maya wants!

This Don’t Be Cruel volume is a collection of the best side and short stories the series has to offer!

Maya and Nemugasa’s relationship had a rocky start. Maya, the playboy slacker, and Nemugasa, the diligent student, have two very different personalities and live two very different lives. These differences have led to some crazy misunderstandings between them. Their relationship certainly is a rough one, but it makes the good times that much sweeter. Read on for a collection of never-before-seen Don’t Be Cruel side and bonus stories!

Review:

This little book of short stories actually takes place after the first omnibus. It very clearly states when the stories take place, separating them between volumes. I like that, and it makes me want more for the later volumes. (It was kind of weird seeing Maya with his old haircut, to be honest.)
This was mostly filled with more cute and sexiness between Maya and Nemugasa. There's quite a bit of sexiness in this volume, which I like. There's some angsty stuff, which is just what these characters do, but during that, there's several cute moments. Since this is mostly during the beginning of their relationship, there's more angst than later, but it was still full of fluff and cuteness.
I'm a huge fan of this series, and this was a very nice reprieve. I can't wait for more.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Manga Review: Everyone's Getting Married, Volume 6, by Izumi Miyazono


Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 5. 7.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Opposites attract—but should they get married?!

Successful career woman Asuka Takanashi has an old-fashioned dream of getting married and becoming a housewife. After her long-term boyfriend breaks up with her to pursue his own career goals, she encounters popular newscaster Ryu Nanami. Asuka and Ryu get along well, but the last thing he wants is to ever get married. This levelheaded pair who want the opposite things in life should never get involved, except…


Review:

I enjoyed the first half of this volume quite a lot. There was some more drama regarding them as a couple, and their living situations, and their differing wants and how someone else wants to fulfill Asuka's.
Though I am enjoying all of this, and I do really like the mature relationship in this series, some of this drama is starting to feel very repetitive and a bit annoying.
While this series has mostly felt more mature in how it handles things, some of that has seemed to waver a bit lately. When Asuka starts worrying a bit about her family finding out about Ryu, and what happens when her brother meets him. Mostly I'm annoy that Asuka is an adult and can do whatever she wants with her life.
Aside from that one point, I liked the progress in their relationship in this volume. They took a few steps forward, I think, and did their best to prove and decide what they want with each other, and why they're good together. Even if I didn't care for the brother plot line, I do think it made them think about some of these things, or acknowledge them at least.
This volume was a bit weak, but otherwise I liked it.