Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5 (Closer to 4 than 3)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse/Pulse It)
Spoilers?: No/Minor

Amazon Synopsis:

 All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….


This was pretty good. Not as good as I'd hoped, but still pretty good.
Chelsea works at Essex Historical Colonial Village during the summer, since her parents work there, and her best friend, Fiona, along with her recent ex-boyfriend, start working there as well for the summer before their senior year.
First of all, I do like what Sales did with the whole past thing. Having Chelsea working at a historical themed place, where she has to pretend to be in that time, while also having a hard time moving on from her ex-boyfriend, Ezra. That was nice. And there are other little tidbits throughout the book, smart things, that made me think; also nice.
But Chelsea, I did not particularly like. She was fun for most of it, but she just would not move on. She was stuck on Ezra, was having a hard time accepting anyone else, and even went so far as to block out some of the bad things that happened with him because she wanted him back so much. I just could not believe that, it irritated me so much.
I did like Dan, the boy she meets who works at the Civil War Reenactmentland across the street. The whole thing with him was pretty messy, though, and could have been avoided had she talked to her best friend. She just made it all worse for herself. But I did like him, and I did like how things turned out. I didn't like how people found out, though, and then pushed her away and how she thought it was all for nothing. Yea, I'm glad that she realized everything isn't about a boy, but it didn't really seem believable. Maybe because of how she acted about Ezra?
Also, the Essex Colonial (that she and her friends work at) and the Reenactmentland across the street (that Dan works at) have a long going War. This was quite awesome. Every summer, when the junior workers come, the war continues. They play pranks and possibly kidnappings, but the adults can not find out about it. It became a little violent, and got dirty, but was pretty fun nonetheless. Chelsea, though, doesn't particularly care about the war, as does her Fiona and Dan, as opposed to everyone else working there.
Now, Chelsea's parents. Mainly, her dad. I kind of could not stand him. He's not a particularly bad parents or anything, but his personality, while completely believable, I did not like. But that is probably just because I don't like people that I actually know who act like that.
The War, the Essex and Reenactmentland, along with Chelsea and Fiona's ice cream connoisseur, were some of my favorite parts. And I liked Dan, and Chelsea with Dan. And I did like Chelsea, when she wasn't thinking about Ezra and wanting him back. It was really easy to read, too, and I didn't want to put it down (or, um, go to a different tab/sleep?), which was nice. And I actually liked the ending, as well.
So, yea, it was pretty good.
[Oh, also, I read this online on Pulse It's website, as they upload about two complete books every month.]

Review: Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5 (Closer to 3 than 4)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse/Pulse It)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.

So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.

It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...

This was not as good as I hoped it would be, but not as bad as it could have been, I guess.
Hudson, the main character, used to be a figure skater, until she (intentionally) blew a competition, making the other people on her team hate her and 'resulting' in her parents divorcing. It's been three years since that happened, but she's still not over it. Her mother owns a restaurant that is going down in business (which bothered me a little, since it seems like they're always busy, but I guess that's not always enough?), and her father lives in another state and seems to always have a different girlfriend. And she's secretly started skating again, along with helping out her high school's hockey team, when she gets a scholarship entry into a skating competition.
I didn't particularly like Hudson. At first I didn't mind her, but then she got annoying later in the book. She got quite self-centered, started not paying attention to her best friend, and was thinking that everything was riding on that competition, when it really... wasn't. She wasn't being very cool to her mother, who also wasn't being very fair or cool back. It really bothered me how she was treating her best friend, though. And she kept blaming herself for the divorce, and would not let that go, which annoyed me. She would just not move on from this stuff.
I did like her relationship with Dani, though (when they weren't fighting), as well as her little brother Bug. But Bug is just adorable. He's too smart for his own good, he doesn't complain about anything, he builds a robot (among other things), and he loves his sister. He's just so sweet.
Oh, and Hudson, aside from her skating abilities, can bake. She makes cupcakes for the restaurant, as well as parties. There are little descriptions at the beginning of each chapter, and they all sound amazing, and immensely tempting.
And the hockey team. The thing that bothered me about them, was that it didn't seem like she really helped them all that much but suddenly they were amazing and winning games. Also, I don't understand how the school let their not really having a coach go on. But aside from that, I really enjoyed the team. I favored Josh over Will, although I didn't see as many bad things about Will as she was warned about. Josh was more fun, and she got along with him better. There was more (happy) chemistry between her and Josh than her and Will.
The climax didn't really get to me, either. I see why she did what she did at the competition, but it just seemed like a waste to me. A lot of that middle-to-end part bothered me, particularly with the way Hudson was acting.
But whatever. It wasn't all bad, and I did enjoy some of it.
[Oh, also, I read this online on Pulse It's website, as they upload about two complete books every month.]

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1) by Colleen Houck

Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (Honestly? Somewhere between 2 and 3.5)
Publisher: Sterling Publishing (Splinter)
Spoilers: Some (That are kind of vague)

Goodreads Synopsis:

The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.


This book was good and bad. A bit worse than I'd thought (hoped) it would be, but not as terrible as it could have been.
So, first: Kelsey. I... did not like her. There wasn't anything special about her, in the first place. And not in a way that she was an ordinary person, but in that she wasn't anything new for me to like. She didn't have anything new to offer. She wasn't particularly strong, but I wouldn't really call her weak. She handled most of the things that happened to her (the physical stuff) pretty well. She did have some common sense. She was very insecure with herself (even though there were times when she would dress up because she knew that Ren would like it). The main thing that bothered me, was that she decided to push Ren away. That part just didn't seem completely honest to me, and it came a little out of nowhere (like they would be talking, and suddenly her mind would go somewhere else, and she would snap at him). It was obvious that she liked him, had admitted it, but she was sure that he would go out and find someone better once he started looking (and near the end, she mixed up what she was saying to that he needed to grow some more, find himself, before deciding how he really felt about her, which is not what she originally said). She kept linking her feelings to the fact that her parents died, and that hurt her and she didn't want to feel that again. But that seemed like a dumb excuse. I just didn't really believe it, or like it. She could have been so much more, especially when considering the fact that I liked other parts of her, like when she's joking around and talking to Ren while he's a tiger.
Now, Ren. Ren is so sweet. He's nice and he listens and remembers thing, and is pretty open about wanting to be with her. He's a nice boy, while still getting upset and a bit angry and protective. Yea, he does need to grow up a bit more, find himself, what with having been only a tiger for hundreds of years. But he's loyal despite that. (Which, realistically, I wouldn't believe. He doesn't know what's out there. But this is a fictional, ya book, so it's obvious that he's going to stay with her, even if he deserves better.) He's a good guy, a bit clueless, and he doesn't know what to think about being pushed away besides that she doesn't like him. He's hurt by it, and it's sad.
Then there's Ren's brother, Kishan. I'm sensing some trouble is going to be caused by him later, with a love triangle or something. Which I don't want to happen. Still, I liked him fairly well. He was fun, even if not as good as Ren. (But maybe better for Kelsey? He might be able to handle her better.) (Although, I guess, she only gets that feeling around Ren.)
The plot seemed interesting, at first. They're supposed to break the tiger curse set on Ren and Kishan, and Kelsey is apparently the chosen one for it. And as they get clues, they set out on journeys with a ton of challenges to overcome, much like Indiana Jones or something (I don't watch nearly enough of these types of things, or read them, to give much of an example). This was alright for some of it, and at some point it was actually pretty exciting, but they did it a couple different times that made me wonder when something new would come. That can only be entertaining for so long.
But I liked that Ren was a tiger (and I liked Ren, in general). His whole story, how he got cursed and his life before it, was interesting. All the Indian culture was neat, as was the mythical and historical things that they were learning about and interacting with.
One thing that bothered me throughout all of this, was that none of them had been in love, or even really had much of a romantic relationship, before. Ren hadn't, Kishan maybe had, and Kelsey hadn't. That didn't help much for the fact that it seemed like they were jumping to being in love so soon.
They were cute together, though. I liked them around each other, and things were going well, and then Kelsey started pushing Ren away for no good reason. And I even found their bickering, in one particular scene, entertaining.
The writing was alright. It's in first person, and I'm not sure if that's the reason, but something about it bothered me. It didn't completely ensnare me at any point in the novel. It started a little slow, but alright. And then it got kind of interesting, to really interesting in the middle. And then it got to alright again near the end. About the first hundred and last hundred pages of the book made it hard for me to read; made me want to pause it. But the middle I really liked. (I would give the really interesting parts about a 3.5, and the other parts a 2.) Which isn't very good, honestly.
And the ending I didn't particularly like. Mostly because I don't like what Kelsey is doing, what she decides. It's dumb, for many reasons. And I'm not really liking her, either. So it's making me hesitate to get the next one, but I might do it just for Ren and Kishan, because I do like them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Manga Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 5, by Yuu Watase

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volumes: 14+

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a mythical world where humans and gods coexist, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a girl from the Hime Clan may take this position, but the lack of females born to this family means that a boy called Arata must pose for the role. Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, a boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren't going to be simple when he discovers a mysterious connection to the first Arata...
Hinohara is surprised to learn that Kotoha no longer believes he’s Arata of the Hime clan. Meanwhile, a group within the Twelve Shinsho sets in motion a diabolical plan to eliminate Hinohara!


This series is just getting better the more I read. I'm liking both of the Arata's, the romance is getting better, the story line is going pretty well. I'm glad that I'm enjoying it more, but not so glad that I'm almost fully caught up.
This volume switches back and forth between Arata and Hinohara quite often, which was nice, and definitely an improvement.
It starts with Hinohara and all of them helping Nagu. Hinohara and Kotoha want to bring him with them, while Kanate disagrees, and Kannagi wants Hinohara to realize that he's going to have to make people submit to him. Hinohara disagrees and tries to convince Nagu that he should join them. Only Nagu seems to know more than they think, and he submits to him. This is rather sad. I don't like that all of them are going to have to submit to him, because I don't like saying goodbye to so many good characters.
Then he slips up a bit and says something untrue to Arata, which makes Kotoha wonder, and so she confronts him. And discovers that he's not Arata. She isn't surprised because she knows that Arata would never look at her like Hinohara does. But she still has a bit of a freak out, (which is hilarious,) before they make an agreement and she decides to call him Arata instead of Master. (They are quite adorable, and I'm loving them together.) And then the four of them continue their journey to the capital, and the next Zokusho and Sho they run into.
Throughout all of this, we see Arata, in the present. He's still fighting with Kadowaki, who we see has a bit of a hard time at home. He's still bullying Suguru and Arata, but we see more of why. His father yells at him, belittles him a bit, and his mother ignores him, and he has no friends. I feel a little bad for him, but he's still a complete jerk. And some stuff happens with him, where everyone starts turning against him and admiring Hinohara, that makes him even worse. He's just full of hate, it's stirring and building inside him.
Arata meets this girl at school, Ori, who knows that he isn't Hinohara. And he talks to her, and is honest with her, and it's nice. (I'm liking her, and am looking forward to learning more about her.) And this makes Kadowaki even more upset. And when he catches Hinohara and Arata talking (through their necklace things) and he freaks out.
The Princess is getting worse, and their necklaces (I'm wondering why they have the necklaces. I know that Kotoha gave them to both of them, and that she got them from the Princess, but why did the Princess give them to her in the first place?) are starting to turn grey. We see that the inner six sinsho are doing something, and find out that they aren't fighting to rule, but don't want the Princess to come back. And they do some big thing, that transports Kadowaki over to their world (and makes one of them take his place in the present, like with what happened to Arata and Hinohara, I think?). And then he gets a Hayagami.
Around this time, Tsukuyo (Hinohara's Hayagami) starts acting weird, but Hinohara doesn't know why. It's warning him, we find out. And then he comes upon Kadowaki, and starts to rather freak out (it's obvious Kadowaki makes Hinohara a little crazy), when something comes from Kadowaki's Hayagami and attacks Hinohara (much like when Hinohara said his Hayagami's name for the first time).
This is a bit of a terrible ending. I want to know what happens next; I'm even a little excited to see what happens next. I'm wondering what being in Amawakuni with Hinohara is going to do to him; if it will soften him up, or make him smarter like it did to Hinohara. He's a little psychotic, so that could be a very good thing. But then again, I don't like him, and I don't like that he was the 'chosen one'.
I'm hoping whatever happens good, and that the story continues to move smoothly. I'm a little afraid that it's going to get drawn out, what with him slowly meeting the other Sho and Zokusho, but I hope it doesn't. It's been good so far, and getting much better from when it started, so I hope it stays that way.

Review: the Alchemy of Forever (Incarnations, #1) by Avery Williams

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Pulse It)
Spoilers?: Yes. (Full of 'em.)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seraphina has been alive since the Middle Ages, when her boyfriend, Cyrus, managed to perfect a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. Sera ran away from Cyrus years ago, when she realized that what they were doing--taking the lives of innocent people--was wrong. She doesn't want to die, so she finds young people who are on the brink of death, and inhabits their bodies.


This was... a little better and a little not as good as I thought it would be.
It's about Seraphina, who can take over other peoples bodies, but they don't last too long, and has done so for hundreds of years, along with Cyrus, the alchemist's son who made her that way, and the coven that they've made. At the beginning, it was nice, Cyrus was sweet, but then he changed. And their coven expanded. And Cyrus got mean, controlling. And now Sera wants out. And in the midst of getting out, letting her soul go to whatever is after this, she accidentally takes over a girl while trying to save her.
I liked the subject matter; it sounded really interesting. It reminded m of the Immortals series, only a little different. Also, Sera's situation (what with her knowing she's not going to around long) reminded me a little like the one from A Need So Beautiful, only not as good (but, to be fair, I rather loved A Need So Beautiful). But then Sera kind of ruined it, just a little.
My main problem with this was that she took over the girls body, got stuck in her life, and then pretended to go along with everything. But she had no idea who the girl was or who her friends were or anything. And she took her over after the girl was in a car accident, so why didn't she just feign amnesia or something along those lines? I guess that would have caused more of a scene, though, huh? It just bothered me.
And I didn't like that Sera didn't try to put up much of a fight. She should have fought with Cyrus, stood up for herself, instead of running away. That was dumb of her. And if she wanted to end it, she should have just killed herself, like she was going to originally, instead of hiding out for the rest of her given life or whatever. One thing I did like about her is that she was a bit damaged after what happened with Cyrus, but that's always a deal-maker for me.
I'm interested in finding out what happens with Kailey's (the girl that Sera took over) friends and family. Although some of it seemed a bit dramatic for drama's sake. Also, what happened with the rest of the coven after she left? I'm assuming that we'll find out in the next one, because it's obvious that something happened between them all and Cyrus. And Cyrus, is a jerk.
And I liked Noah. He was sweet, and he liked her, and he has a bit of a broken home life, and I want to know more about him (like just about everyone else in the book). And the ending. Oh my god, the ending. That's a huge cliffhanger! Please tell me that that only means that Cyrus got to him, not that he took him over. Because I will not be okay if he took him over. Not okay, at all.
Also, a little off topic: what is up with people that have been alive for hundreds of years being so much like teenagers? They should act older than that. (And, yes, I see the symbolic meaning there.) They should be smarter than that. Although, I guess Sera is in a bit of a different situation, given what Cyrus put her through. Still, it bothers me.
Anyway. This was pretty good, even with the things that bothered me about it. I really want to know what happens next, especially with Noah. And I hope that Sera gets stronger, and better, in the next one. (Also, how many are there? Is this a two-shot, or a trilogy? Or more?)
[Oh, also, I read this online on Pulse It's website, as they upload about two complete books every month.]

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Random House (Knopf)
Spoilers: Very, very minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I'd heard about this book before, but never what it was about. I'd heard that it starts weird, and that it was dark, or something. But I didn't know until we started it in book club what it was actually about. And that the only reason it was weird is because it's narrated by Death. Which I don't really think is all that weird.
It's set during World War 2, which made me a little wary. I've only read and seen a few things set during that time, and I'm usually not a big fan of war or historical novels. But this one was different. What with them being Germans, and secretly not liking how things are going. Not actively fighting (for the most part), just living their lives. And hiding a Jew in their basement. The main thing that caught my attention, though, is that it's told by Death.
Death is one of my favorite things about this story, and how well he was done. Writing this book from Death's point-of-view was kind of a brilliant idea on Zusak's part. He's his own character, cynical and haunted but also unconditionally interested in humans, and he knows everything. I really liked how he was written, and how he would go forward, and warn you about things or tell you how things with certain characters would turn out, and then go back to the present with Liesel. Death is a person, just like everyone else in this story, and he doesn't kill anyone, just carries them to wherever they go after. The way it was told reminded me a bit of Mary & Max, a claymation movie that I saw recently that was also really good (I would suggest it).
And all of the characters were really well done. There's Liesel, the mostly main character, who's somewhat innocent but fun, and who loves to read and kind of 'steals' books (only not how you would think), and who cares and is smart and tough and a little impulsive. And there's Rudy, who is adventurous and impulsive and athletic and loves Liesel, and who I also kind of love. And Liesel's Papa, who's so sweet to Liesel and genuine and nice and not a Nazi. And then there's Liesel's Mama, who is crude and curses at everyone but still loves them and cares. Oh, and Max, who is Jewish and so has to hide, and is afraid but gets close to Liesel and makes her these sweet books, with perfectly amateurish artwork. There are so many different characters, and they all have their own story and personality, and they are all great. And I just love them all.
And the end, particularly the scenes between Liesel and her Papa, and Liesel and Rudy, are so sweet and overwhelmingly sad. I felt like crying at them (and I am not a crier). But I guess I should have suspected that, what with the subject matter and all. I still didn't want them to happen, though.
There is so much to this book. It's not a small book, or in any way a quick read, especially because of the length, but also because there is just so much to it. It's a little subtle, and cynical, and you know that nothing really good is going to happen, but it's not a depressing book. It's...yea, sad, but also realistic, and honest, and imaginative, creative. So many things. And it's so good.
It's just a great book, in many ways. And I see why other people think it's amazing, because it is.
(Sidenote: Also, my copy of the book, that I got used, someone had spilt some kind of liquid on, making the first quarter of the pages crinkly and colored. And, while however sad and terrible that is, I felt it was a little fitting.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5 (maybe 5)
Publisher: Penguin (Dutton Juvenile)
Spoilers: Very, very minor, and vague.

Amazon Synopsis:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


So, I'm feeling a little unsure about this book. And so I'm not totally sure what to say about it. I feel like I kind of don't think it was amazing, but it was amazing. And there is no reason for me to not think it was amazing. Maybe it was just so much, and I'm overwhelmed and very unsure or something. Also, I feel a little biased and pressured, and like I should only say amazing things about it. But I also don't feel like there's really anything not amazing about it in the first place. And I don't really know what rating to give it. I feel like, maybe, it doesn't really deserve a 4.5, and yet it also deserves nothing less?
I'm just all kinds of conflicted. (And, I promise, I'm not going to spoil anything big in this besides general plot. So, Spoiler Free!)
Anyway: Hazel. Ahh, Hazel Grace. First of all, I want to say how well John did at creating a real girl. Especially because, as a (you know, mostly) normal teenage(-ish) girl, I related to her in a lot of ways. She's a bit cynical, and not all that sure of herself, and she says 'um' quite a bit and ends a lot of what she says in a question. And I love how she thinks about boys, and just living in general. And she's smart, and in college even though she's sixteen (with a completely understandable and logical reason), and she's honest (at least to herself). She's a teenager, even if she does have cancer.
And, ohhh, Augustus Waters. (Also, I want to mention that I love the names John Green came up with. They are brilliant.) I don't even... But I do, I do know what to say about him. He is simply amazing. He wants to mean something, and he's fun, and he likes Hazel and doesn't see why she shouldn't know this. He's just... full of swoon. He is all swoon. There is so much swoon with him that I don't even know what to tell you besides that you have to read it to fully understand the amazing-ness that is him and Hazel, when they are together and not. And I like that the drama wasn't pumped up very much or anything. Even when they have problems (that would usually cause a big scene or something), it isn't too tense, it's not dramatic. It just is what it is.
And I wasn't expecting what... happened to him, to happen to him. Especially not before her. The situation was different from what I'd expected when I started the book, and I'm glad. It turned out different, in a  very good way. Well, not very, but, you know...
Also, you guys. I'd read several reviews and seen lots of people talking about it, and how it was full of all these emotions. And, since I'm not the type of person that cries at things, I was like, 'yea, okay', but my interest was piqued. And you guys, they were all kind of right. A lot of the book is just fun and more fun, and there are a ton of cute moments between Hazel Grace and Augustus. It's much more funny than I thought it would be, like with moments of the them just joking around, which I really enjoyed. And, yea, there are several moments in the book where Hazel is by herself and thinking about things, and I enjoyed them, but I didn't think they were overwhelmingly upsetting or anything. But then. But then, you guys. A scene came up. And I was completely caught off guard.
I knew it was coming; it was obvious that it was coming. And even when it started, I was like 'aww, sad', but then, and I think I might have just put myself in Hazel's mind and imagined it for myself, but then I thought 'oh, there are tears in my eyes'. I'm not even kidding. This book brought me so close to crying, closer than anything I've read before. And it was amazing. Sad, but amazing.
And then there's Isaac. He's one of their friends, who goes blind. But him and Augustus play violent video games together, and then him and Hazel play vocal video games, and he has a moment of denial and hard realization that's a bit sad (and honest, and I genuinely enjoyed it), and he's just generally awesome.
We didn't see too much of anyone else's parents (although what we did see was usually pretty humorous or sad) besides Hazel's, who we saw often. She's close to both of them, and they were pretty awesome. Her dad, in particular, was so sweet, and very sensitive (and cried often). And she jokes around easily with her mom; for instance, when they take a trip with Augustus. Near the end, they got a bit pushy, but otherwise were pretty cool.
Also, the subject matter. It made me a little wary, but it didn't put me off from reading it or anything, because I was much too excited for that. And I haven't even read much about people with cancer, or many novels with sick people. But he did it really well. It was (I'm assuming this, because I haven't, nor have I ever been around someone who has, experienced this,) realistic. And I'm pretty sure he knew what he was talking about, as there were several technical words and stuff thrown around, and I know that he did a lot of research (not that that he couldn't have been making it all up, though). He wasn't afraid of showing the ugly parts of it. It seemed very honest, with the way everyone reacted to it, and thought about living and dying, and how they're all treated because they're sick, like with the Perks and Support Group. (And I liked the, “depression is a side effect of dying” thing, in particular. There were several parts of the book that made me think, “That's a nice/interesting way of looking at things”. There are just so many little things that matter so much in this book.)
And whole thing with Van Houten and An Imperial Affliction. That's just... hm. (Kind of messy? And a bit sad?) There's the big similarities. With the endings, for example. And it is a bit frustrating, but I get it. So, fine. Fine.
The book has John Green's general way of writing. It's his style. He's a bit subtle and honest and a little dark; just him. This book included text messages and letters and little things like that. They added more character to the story, more personality to the characters. I liked it.
It was good. It was amazing. It wasn't amazing. It was all of the things and not, all at the same time. But aside from all that, I really enjoyed it, maybe even loved it, and I would suggest it.

Edit 8/16/12: Now, a while after reading it, I've kind of changed my mind on a few things. I'm not conflicted about how I feel. This book was all of the things, but it's definitely amazing, awesome; one of my favorite books now, one that I would recommend to just about anyone.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Meridian (Meridian/Fenestra, #1) by Amber Kizer

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Random House (Delacorte Press)
Spoilers: None! (Or, again, very, very minor.)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Half-human, half-angel, Meridian Sozu has a dark responsibility.
Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

I read this a while ago, and I enjoyed it a bit more than I thought I would. It didn't seem like it would be all that different from the other ones like it, but it was.
Meridian finds out that she's a Fenestra (half-human/half-angel), and her parents move her to stay with her Great Aunt, who's also one. She doesn't know what to do about it, and her Great-Aunt helps her accept it and learn how to be one, what she's supposed to do. A Fenestra, for instance, helps people move on after they die, and anyone around her is highly in danger of dying. She doesn't mope about it, or try to deny it much, which was nice. And then some stuff happens in the town that they live in, with some church people. Also, something with her Aunt that's upsetting, but which I won't spoil.
And then there's Tens. He's her sworn protector, and the person she's destined to love. She doesn't know this at first, and he doesn't help for the fact that he's pretty distant and a bit hard edged, but he warms up to her. I actually really liked him, and am interested to see their relationship develop. There's already an obvious attraction, and I like that she doesn't really fight it, just accepts it.
This book introduced us to most things. It explained what she is, what she's fighting against. It introduced us to the characters. And we know that she's supposed to find and help others like her, which is what they're setting off to do at the end of the book. I felt that it was actually done rather well, and I like (or don't mind) the characters that we've met so far, like Meridian and especially Tens. I am interested to read the next one, and the only reason I haven't is probably because it's about double the size of this one (and, you know, I don't have it yet. But that's besides the point).

Review: Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Publisher: Hyperion
Spoilers: None! (Or, very, very minor?)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Cyril Bartholomew isn't exactly everyone's idea of a dream date he's a little on the heavy side. Not that he gets pushed around or anything, but it does cause him to keep one very important secret from everyone: he loves to cook. The only person who knows this secret is Cyril's best friend, Chris. Chris is just about the opposite of Cyril-a track star and really attractive in a cool, rebellious way. Cyril isn't at all jealous of Chris, though...until the day that Chris decides he is interested in Rose Mulligan, Cyril's lab partner. Flavor of the Week is a classic love triangle between three very unclassic teens, with lots of delicious food courses in between.


This is simply a sweet, cute, short story.
It's about Cyril, not the cutest boy around (supposedly), but one who has a heart of gold. He can cook, love cooking, but is embarrassed about it. He doesn't want anyone to know, including Rose, the girl that he's crushing on. And then his old best friend, Nick (I swear, it's Nick! Even if the synopsis says Chris), moves back to town, and decides to try to win Rose over, by making Cyril make food and pretend he did it.
Cyril is a sweet boy, who needs some serious ego-boosting, and who shouldn't have gone along with what Nick wanted. It's a bad idea, and it obviously isn't going to turn out too well. (Also, Rose has a thing for guys that can cook. All the cards were in place just for him.) Nick isn't a complete jerk, which is good, but he shouldn't have done it. They both should have been more honest. And Rose should have noticed things earlier, (should have noticed Cyril earlier,) but I don't really blame her for any of it.
Most of the book seemed a little mediocre, honestly. There could have been a bit more to the characters, as well as the writing. But it was overall a cute, sugary-sweet story with a happy ending, which is what I was expecting.
Also, there are recipes at the end of each chapter, and a lot of food is mentioned. If you're a food person, it's quite possible to make your mouth water, or tempt you, or whatever. I am not much of a food person, so it didn't really bother me, only intrigued me.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Manga Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 4, by Yuu Watase

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volumes: 13+

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for T audiences. Hinohara becomes more resolved in his mission now that he knows he is the rightful wielder of the powerful Hayagami called "Tsukuyo." However, Kannagi comes after Hinohara, intent on taking Tsukuyo for himself!


So, in this volume, we get more of Hinohara. Him, Kanate, and Kotoha are traveling around together still. And he has a little moment with Kotoha, while she's mostly undressed and he's blushing, and she tells him that she wants to keep going with him. He agrees, and he's starting to have feelings for her, but he's sure that she only has feelings for the other Arata and so doesn't want to pursue the relationship. He even talks to Arata, who tells him that he only sees her as a sister.
Then Kannagi shows up and him and Hinohara fight some, and there's a fire. And then Kannagi starts having flashbacks or whatever, and we see what the grave stone (or whatever) is that he keeps visiting. It belongs to Emisu, a girl that he cared for and that died. He's scarred from it, and that's apparently what he's been fighting for and why he wants his Hayagami back as bad as he does. But hopefully there's another reason for why he killed the Princess? Because that doesn't explain it.
Kannagi is hurt, and not trying to fight Hinohara for his Hayagami (at the moment), so he gets invited to travel with them. They're making their way, on foot, to find Akachi, and more Sho and Zokusho on their way. They find a trail of islands, and get attacked by a monster on their way, until they get to a closed off village, which they find is full of children (who are all just adorable).
They discover that there are only children on the island, and Kotoha and Hinohara get taken in as their kind of parents. They stay when they find out that a Sho is on the island, hiding, and Hinohara doesn't want to leave the children by themselves. Hinohara gets close to one of the twins, Nagu, who's experiencing things a bit like he did several years ago when he was bullied. They then have a run in with the 'grown-ups' before they discover that Nagu is the Sho. And that his Hayagami can make his drawings come to life, which is what he did with the big monster, the grown-ups, the other kids, and even his sister Naru. The volume ends with Hinohara telling Naru that he will take care of Nagu.
It's sad, and a bit sweet, and I feel bad for Nagu and just want to give him a hug.
Somewhere in this scene, Hinohara and Kotoha also have a talk, about the scene at the beginning, but they don't really resolve anything. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens between them, and hopefully Hinohara will tell her about him and Arata.
Also, in the middle of the volume, we get a little bit of Arata in the present time (which I guess is why there wasn't comic strips of him at the end of the volume). He's apparently been suspended, and Hinohara's family are having trouble dealing with him. Specifically his mom, because he's been pulling away from them, not calling her mom, and getting in trouble. Suguru, the boy that was kind of and kind of not Hinohara's friend, brings him notes, trying to be nice, but is too afraid to stop Kadowaki from messing with them. He tells this to Arata, though, when he catches him. And then Arata decides to sneak out and find Kadowaki with Suguru's help.
They find him at a bar, where he's with some 'friends' of his, who I don't think are all that close with him. I'm feeling like maybe he doesn't have any actual close friends? But does that mean that him and Arata are going to get close or something? (I kind of hope not.) Anyway, Arata saves him, and he gets all upset about it, because he thinks that Arata is always looking down on him or whatever. Which is complete crap, and doesn't mean he should be a total jerk to him. Also, Hinohara's mom, who's been freaking out because she doesn't know where he went, finds him and freaks out a bit but then Arata tries to be sweet, which works. And Kadowaki also threatens Suguru at the end.
This series is getting better, more interesting, and making me a bit excited to read the next one. The story lines are getting better, as are the characters. I still really like Arata, and Hinohara is getting quite cute (around Kotoha, especially). And I still think Kanate is adorable, and I really like Kotoha. I'm looking forward to meeting more Sho's, as well as seeing what happens next with Arata and Kadowaki. Also, I'm still loving the clothes. They are just so pretty (particularly the ones on the back cover/cover of chapter 30).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #4) by E. Lockhart

Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Publisher: Random House (Delacorte Press)
Spoilers: Very Minor

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Ruby Oliver, the neurotic, hyperverbal heroine of the The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, and The Treasure Map of Boys, is back!

Ruby Oliver is in love. Or it would be love, if Noel, her real live boyfriend, would call her back. But Noel seems to have turned into a pod-robot lobotomy patient, and Ruby can’t figure out why.

Not only is her romantic life a shambles:
Her dad is eating nothing but Cheetos,
Her mother’s got a piglet head in the refrigerator,
Hutch has gone to Paris to play baguette air guitar,
Gideon shows up shirtless,
And the pygmy goat Robespierre is no help whatsoever.

Will Ruby ever control her panic attacks?
Will she ever understand boys?
Will she ever stop making lists?
(No to that last one.)

Roo has lost most of her friends. She’s lost her true love, more than once. She’s lost her grandmother, her job, her reputation, and possibly her mind. But she’s never lost her sense of humor. The Ruby Oliver books are the record of her survival.


This was pretty good. It's been a while since I read the last one, so I was thinking I should re-read them, but it sums things up pretty easily within the book, so it wasn't hard to remember what had previously happened.
This series is, pretty shamelessly, a drama-filled, teenager-y, girl read. It's fun, and pretty light, and easy. And it's just generally good.
Ruby (or Roo, as her friends call her) is witty and over-thinks everything, and is boy-obsessed, even though she has terrible luck with them, and has a special love for sweets and girl-y lingo and giving people fun notes. She has panic attacks and sees a therapist because of it. And she tends to try to ignore things and be subtle about them instead of face them and be blunt, which is what she should be (this was a bit frustrating at times, actually). Her mother is always trying something new and becoming obsessed with it and never listens to anything Roo or her father says. At times, it's funny, but it's ridiculous how much she doesn't seem to care how her daughter or husband feels. And then her father gets depressed in this book, which is understandable but a little crazy (and, yea, funny).
In this book, Roo continues having problems with her friends and boys. I think that her friends are a little lame. Or, her old friends are lame. Meghan is pretty cool, even if she's a little oblivious, especially when it comes to love. Although, her outlook on it is also a little uplifting. I really like Finn, he's the sweet, good-boy type, and they are cute together. Hutch, with his music obsession and general odd-ness, is awesome, even if we didn't get to see much of him in this book since he's away in Paris.
Nora redeemed herself a little, but what she did before, and her timing, was very not cool of her. And Kim and Cricket, her old friends, made me dislike them even more. But I don't think what happened at the beginning of the series was all Roo's fault, and it's just totally lame that they all ruined their friendship over a boy. The whole situation was messy and immature.
That's one problem that I had with this book. They all seemed a little too immature for seniors. They might not be too far off, but still just a little. They acted a little more like freshmen or sophomore's or something. (But I could be wrong, since the immaturity of high schoolers astounds me sometimes.) Also, they 'fall in love' way too easily. All of them do.
The one part of the book that shows that they are all seniors, is that they are thinking about college. Roo doesn't dwell on it much, as she already has an idea of what she likes and where she wants to go. (Although I wondered how exactly she was supposed to pay for the schools that she mentioned, since they are out of state for her, expensive, and she's on scholarship. I guess that part of how? It doesn't really expand on this, explain it, but I guess that wasn't really a big part of this book. But still.) She does work on the video she wants to send to the colleges though, since she wants to be a filmmaker. This part of the book was fun, as I liked reading the little conversations as she taped them and questioned them about certain things. Like those, I also like Roo's lists (which don't always seem to have a list-like feel to them, but are still fun) and notes at the bottom of the page (especially these. They are actually, possibly my favorite part of this series).
The boy that Roo is having some problems with in this book (not really unlike the previous ones), is Noel. Noel has asthma that he ignores (which I totally relate to), and he's baked her cookies, and he obviously likes her, and he wants all of her updates. He's supposedly her Real Live Boyfriend (which she explains in the book), only then he starts not really acting the part, which makes her insecure and wonder and panic. And then some stuff happens with Gideon (who is Nora's older brother). Gideon is nice and in college, and I actually like him, but Roo keeps thinking about Noel, and her and Gideon just don't seem to connect the way they should. And then we find some stuff out about Noel, which explains the way he's been acting. (And [Spoiler!] the ending was pretty good, which was nice.)
This was pretty good. I believe it's the last in the series, which I didn't know until I read a review of it, and I guess I'm glad it is. If it was much, or any, longer, then it would seem even more dragged out with drama than it already is. It was good, but, you know... drama can seem to go on way too long. This series wasn't too bad with that, though, which is good. It was mostly a fun and easy book to read, which is what I needed at the time.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Manga Review: Arata: The Legend, Volume 3, by Yuu Watase

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shonen Sunday)
Volumes: 13+

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hinohara manages to escape his captors, and now he must make his way back to the Amawakuni capital. In order to get there, however, he has to first cross the region ruled by the treacherous Kannagi!


So, the volume started by showing us Arata getting ready and then going to school. He's still confused by things, which is still awesome. He doesn't know a lot of things, and he doesn't know what's going on, and it's great. And he even, a little, beats up the jerks that were mean to Hinohara. It's fantastic, and I want more. Seeing that made me all excited, but it was just a trick. Because we get one chapter of him (and these are short chapters), before it goes back to Hinohara. Which is uncool. (Also, it's mentioned that the people just see them as the person who originally lived there. Is that how it actually works? Because it still kind of bothers me, but that's the best explanation I can come up with.)
The next chapter one continues with Hinohara (I keep wanting to call him Arata, but I have to differentiate them somehow). He's traveling with Kotoha, Ginchi, and Kanate. Their ships quickly breaks apart, though, and they come to an island. Where they meet some traveling villagers, which includes Ginchi's mother, who he was separated from when he was younger. Kanate, at least I first thought, felt that he shouldn't stay with Ginchi anymore, and so he forces them to separate. But we find out that he did it more because he was part of the gang that killed Ginchi's father, and that's part of the reason he's been doing all those things for him. This is all kinds of sad, and I hope that they come upon each other again, because they shouldn't be apart.
And then they travel some more, and some stuff happens, before they meet Ohika, who is one of Kannagi's zokusho, meaning he's a hayagami wielder below him. This seems bad, but he's a very nice guys. He takes them in after Hinohara passes out, and we meet Honi, a girl who works for him, and his wife who's with child. There's a bit of this where some explanations are given, like how everything works, and the whole submitting/entrusting thing that happened with Tsutsuga, which are nice, and we see Kannagi is traveling around, and he's going to places only to find everyone dead. And there are some fun parts between all of the characters.
But then a new Shinsho comes, Akachi, who we find out has been making everyone under Kannagi submit to him, and he does so to Ohika as well. (And when someone submits, and I believe entrusts as well, they are giving their hayagami and soul to them, and dying in the process. It's uncool.) And then he proceeds to kill everyone else in the area. That's when Kannagi shows up, outraged, and they fight. He's almost made to submit after he gets his hayagami taken away (which I'm now unsure if that would be a good or bad thing, because apparently he has some motive we're unaware of for doing all this. But it's still bad, right?), but Hinohara comes out and helps him. There's some more fighting, before they are interrupted by some boulders or something falling. (Some of the fighting scenes are kind of confusing, honestly. There's lots of swirling things and stuff, and sometimes I wasn't totally sure what was happening until it had ended.) Akachi disappears. Hinohara yells at Kannagi, and states that he doesn't care about being king and taking the Princess' place, but he's going to fight. And Honi, who liked Ohika and his family a lot, mourns with Kannagi over them a bit.
Then in the second-to-last chapter, Hinohara is wondering what to do with himself after all of this has happened. A guy that he met at Gatoya appears, who's apparently a teacher for the Hime clan, talks to him and gives some advice. And the name of his weapon is revealed, making it activate completely. We also find out that his weapon is apparently the first, and the one that spawned the others, and it has apparently been waiting forever for another wielder. Everyone on the island sees the light, 'cause it's huge, and Kannagi understands what it means, but he doesn't do anything just yet.
In the last part, Hinohara decides that he's going to leave them all behind, because he doesn't want them to get hurt, so he sneaks off while they're all 'asleep'. (Usually this kind of plot point bothers me, and it still kind of does, but it makes a little sense with his problems, and since it's resolved quickly, I didn't mind too much.) Only Honi hears him go, and she tells Kotoha when she wakes, who goes after him. And we see that Kanate is awake as well. Kotoha catches up to him easily, and he tells her what he was doing, but then she kisses him, and kind of confesses to him. But then Kanate comes up and interrupts them. This was actually a little cute. It doesn't show, so I'm wondering if Honi followed them? I wouldn't think they would leave her behind. And it ends by us seeing Kannagi state that he's going to get the hayagami from Hinohara.
Oh, and there's the little strips of Arata in present time, this one including him wanting muru, an animal we were introduced to in his original time that apparently resembles polar bears, which I am still loving and want more of.
This series is actually getting better the more I read, which is good. Hinohara is getting better and making me like him more, and I already like Kotoha and Kanate. I want more of Arata, but I know that he isn't the main character. I also couldn't help but take notice of the clothes in this volume. All of their outfits, including Kotoha and Ohika's, are very detailed and just neat to look at. And several of the characters just look really cool, like Kanate and Akachi, for example, and all the hayagami are also different and well done.
So, I am kind of looking forward to reading the next one, and a review will probably be coming up, since I already have it.

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 8, by Yana Toboso

Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
Publisher: Yen Press
Volumes: 13+

Amazon Synopsis:

When one curtain falls upon the big top stage, another rises behind the scenes, as young Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his virtuoso butler, Sebastian, face off against the villain absconding with the missing children. But as Sebastian, under orders from his master, single-handedly draws the gruesome tale to its sad conclusion on one front, battle lines are drawn on another! With the masterless Phantomhive Manor under attack from the Noah's Ark Circus and Sebastian nowhere nearby to protect its inhabitants, is Ciel's home once again headed for the same tragedy that took the lives of the young earl's parents?


I was a little afraid, after all of my excitement from the last volume, that this one wouldn't live up to it. I'm glad to say that I was wrong, because this one was just as fantastic, if not more. Also, I'm pretty sure this is going to contain some major spoilers, so if you haven't read this volume yet, then I would suggest not reading this until you have. Unless you don't mind spoilers, of course.
So the first chapter focuses completely on the Phantomhive mansion, and their servants. And, you guys, I totally didn't see this coming. Because Finn is throwing things around, and apparently Ciel saved him from something, and he has numbers on his neck, and I really want to know what happened to him prior to all of this. (Also, Finn is kind of my favorite of the three, which I haven't stated before. But, there it is.) And Mey-Rin has perfect vision and a bunch of rifles and is shooting them. And Bardroy has some huge special weapon, which makes the most sense, right before Finn. And Tanaka covers for them with Elizabeth, which makes sense. Apparently they're all some kind of warriors. This was kind of amazing, and super exciting, to see. It's very violent and they make a huge mess of the house, even blowing up a part of it.
The one part about this and the next couple chapters, is that all of the circus ends up dead (except for maybe one?). I actually liked several of them (especially Freckle Face/Doll!), so I'm a bit upset to see all of them go.
And then, you guys, I did not see the next bit coming. I knew that they were doing something with the kids, and I was sure I wasn't going to like it, but I wasn't really expecting this. And I don't really even want to imagine what they did. It's just... Just, no. No. It's not okay. This is probably the one time that I kind of wished everything had turned out good, with no one dying. But that isn't the kind of series this is, and a bigger part of me is glad for that. It's part of what makes this so fantastic.
Okay, so, the circus doctor comes. And I hadn't even thought about him, much less thought he had a huge part of the story, which he does. He seemed okay at first, and I was all 'what?', and then he started talking about the children. And what he does to them. [SPOILER! You guys, he uses them to make the artificial limbs.] And when he explains this to them, with some detail, he even takes one of the kids out of the cages they're in and starts cutting him up. Joker gets sick at the thought, as does Ciel. And, I don't even want to think about this, but apparently this is what happened to Ciel before Sebastian saved him. He has flashbacks of someone cutting the kids up, of being locked up, and of wishing someone would save them. Ciel is getting sick from it all, and Sebastian holds him (which, a bit off topic, but he did this in the last volume as well. It's quite adorable.) and then Ciel tells him, and then commands him, to burn the place down. With everyone inside it. I didn't like that he wasn't saving the children, (and a little bit, Joker,) but him and Sebastian are talking later, and he mentions that they wouldn't be able to move past that. The only reason that Ciel was, was because he had Sebastian, and then he states that Sebastian is his and, since he was the only demon there, none of them could have him. (Isn't that sweet? I'm loving their relationship the more I see of it.)
In the next chapter, we get another snippet of how the circus lived before and after they were taken in. It makes me feel even more bad about them all dying. And then we see William, and new reaper named Ronald Knox, and they talk some before they (I guess?) take the souls of the people in the burning mansion. I'm wondering what's going to happen with them, since I'm assuming something more is going to happen. We also get to see the Undertaker and three new people that work for the Queen, which leads me to believe even more that Ciel wasn't supposed to burn the building down, and perhaps the Queen is going to be mad about it. I'm hoping we get to see the Queen soon, see what's up with her, why all these people work for her.
And then Ciel 'talks' to Freckle Face (I liked her!), and then we see Snake walking, all by himself. Is something more going to happen with him, are they going after him, or is that all we'll get from him? I'm curious, because now everyone else is gone.
And then Ciel and Sebastian are heading to the circus people's old house, or something, where there are supposedly more of their 'family'. Only they find it empty and torn apart. There's some nice talking done between Ciel and Sebastian (and, really, I love them.) and it's all kind of sad.
In the last chapter, Ciel gets home. Sebastian is upset to see the house torn apart, including Ciel's room. Also, Elizabeth is still staying with them. They get a tailor they know to come measure him and Elizabeth and make him some more clothes and her a matching outfit for some Easter thing. This is mostly just a fun chapter. For example, Elizabeth doesn't know anything about the underground things Ciel does, or the mark on his back proving his demon thing, which he has a hard time hiding from Elizabeth, which was just really fun. And then Prince Soma and Elizabeth meet. And there's a cute part at the end where Ciel, who has been having a hard time concentrating all day, falls asleep, and Elizabeth (and, okay, everyone else) smiles at him.
I'm hoping that Elizabeth finds out about everything with Ciel, because she has potential, and that could be awesome. And I like her, too, so I hope she shows up more.
This series kind of reminds me of Godchild by Kaori Yuki, which I enjoyed but was a bit confusing at times (but maybe I just need to re-read it). But this one has more supernatural elements, and is longer and probably more in depth. I'm enjoying it more than Godchild, though, I think.
So, I am still really enjoying this series, kind of loving it, even. And I'm really excited to read the next one, to see what's going to happen, and I hope it's just as good as this one was, or better. Also, should I watch the anime? I've thought about it, and I've seen a couple of episodes, but I'm afraid of watching too much and then putting the manga on hold. And I really don't want to do that.