Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday[31]: Break by Hannah Moskowitz

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!


Feels like it’s been a slow week and yet so very long at the same time. I’ve been somewhat avoiding homework till the last minute (because I’m horrible—but, I mean, we all do that, right?), and reading quite a bit. Am tired. School is… tiring. I’m just getting used to it, though. To all the stuff I’m doing right now.
Well. Whatever.
Here’s what I’m reading:
Break by Hannah Moskowitz
Genre: YA Contemporary (I don’t think Romance is high in this book—is it?)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Publish Date: August 25th, 2009

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jonah is on a mission to break every bone in his body. Everyone knows that broken bones grow back stronger than they were before. And Jonah wants to be stronger—needs to be stronger—because everything around him is falling apart. Breaking, and then healing, is Jonah’s only way to cope with the stresses of home, girls, and the world on his shoulders.
When Jonah's self-destructive spiral accelerates and he hits rock bottom, will he find true strength or surrender to his breaking point?


“’How’s everything going, Jonah?’
This question is enough to piss me off.” (Paperback, pg. 98)

“’How’d you break your arm, Jonah?’
‘Fell off my skateboard.’
‘And the black eye?’
‘Fell off my skateboard.’
‘Your jaw?’
I stare at her. ‘You want me to say it again?’” (Paperback, pg. 99)

Well, he sounds feisty and like he’s avoiding something, doesn’t he? So, what are you reading right now?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Manga Review: Natsume's Book of Friends, Volume 13, by Yuki Midorikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Spoilers?: Minor.
Volumes: 15+

Goodreads Synopsis:

Takashi Natsume can see the spirits and demons that hide from the rest of humanity. He has always been set apart from other people because of his gift, drifting from relative to relative, never fitting in. Now he's a troubled high school student who has come to live in the small town where his grandmother grew up. And there he discovers that he has inherited more than just the Sight from the mysterious Reiko.Intrigues abound in the world of professional exorcism, and Natsume wants nothing to do with it. But he has no choice when Matoba, head of a prominent exorcist clan, blackmails him into coming to an exorcist meeting. Is Natsume’s fate sealed when one of his special talents is exposed in front of Matoba?

Available on Amazon.

Something Special:
That I Love:

  • Natsume. Because, c'mon. (Explained more in the review.)


This volume was so good. Overall, every volume of this series is good, but sometimes there’s a slower one, filled with one shots and nothing with his friends or family, but then sometimes there are ones like this one, where you really get to know a characters more, with some kind of development.
The first three chapters of this volume were focused on one story, and it was so good. Natsume runs into some trouble with a yokai, and gets a letter from Matoba (a scary exorcist, who I think we met briefly before, because I didn’t remember him), and decides to go visit Natori.
Previously, I hadn’t had very high thoughts of Natori, but there was some development in this volume. Now, he just seems like he wants to help Natsume if he can, not push him too much or anything. I rather like him more, actually. Also, I hadn’t noticed how attractive Natori was before, but seeing him in casual clothing really brought that to my attention.
After that meeting, Matoba approaches Natsume, and he wants his help. Matoba is somewhat high in the exorcist ring, but nobody likes him very much. Everyone has gathered at his place for some kind of meeting, which is secretly to find out who is spreading information about exorcism. Natsume pretends to be a yokai for this, and he is so freaking cute with a mask and horns. In the chapter covers, we also got to see him in a suit, and that was so cute as well. I just... he is so cute.
Anyway, after that, there are two special chapters, one each for Natsume’s friends from school, who we’ve seen a few times, but who I never really got a good feel for. Now, I hope we get to see more of them, and I want Natsume to tell them about the yokai and why he acts so weird sometimes. The two guys are just so sweet and I really liked them, but I like seeing other people interact with and care about Natsume.
If it isn’t apparent yet, I love Natsume. I’ve said this multiple times, including how cute and sweet I think he is. But he is, and I love him. I just want to love him and be his friend and hug him. He makes me smile, and I’m really looking forward to the next volume (even though I’m going to have to wait till freakinJuly).
Sidenote: Midorikawa mentions in this volume that there are four seasons of the anime now. What? I haven't even watched one episode; I hadn't realized it was so popular. I'm really thinking about starting to watch it now. 

Novel Review: Mad, Bad and Blonde (West Investigations, #1) by Cathie Linz

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (very light smut, with very little description)
Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Penguin (Berkley Sensation)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 After being jilted at the altar, librarian Faith West goes on her Italian honeymoon solo, but doesn't stay that way too long. And though her sexy rebound man has ulterior motives, feelings surface that neither of them are prepared for.

When a man's too good to be true...

Jilted on her wedding day for being the queen of dullsville, librarian Faith West goes on her Italian honeymoon solo, hoping to leave her pain behind. That could take a miracle, but she's about to discover miracles do happen. His name is Caine Hunter. Smart, spontaneous, hot, and sexy, he has her feeling like a real woman for the first time ever--until the truth surfaces...

A former Force Recon Marine turned PI, Caine was doing what he does best: spying. And his new target was Faith. But falling for the enemy's daughter was never part of his plan. Caine is a man used to winning, but this time his mission is much more personal--and now that he and Faith are both back in Chicago, the rewards could be, too...

Available on Amazon.

Something Specific:
That I liked:
  •  "Yes, but I'm a former librarian, and you know one of our mottos: If we don't know the answer, we know where to find it. So don't worry. I'll find the answer." (Paperback, pg. 152) This was something that was repeated several times, and I'd never heard it before. I thought it was interesting. 


There were a couple of things that seemed to happen too quickly, that were a bit rushed, at the beginning, but that seemed to smooth out later on in the book, and overall this one was just pretty good.
Faith West, the daughter of the owner of West Investigations, gets left at the altar on her wedding day, and decides to go on her planned honeymoon to Italy alone. Where she meets Caine, who works for her father’s rival, and who also has a personal vendetta against her father. Her father worked on a case involving Caine’s father, and Caine doesn’t think the case was handled very well at all, which he is trying to prove. At the same time, he and Faith are trying to ignore the attraction between them, which isn’t working as well as they’d like.
I liked Faith enough, and I liked Caine enough. I liked them together, and enjoyed reading their scenes during the investigation. I liked the scenes with Faith and her family; all of their interactions were entertaining.
I did really like that Faith knew Caine's intentions pretty early on, that it wasn't kept a secret for over half the book, and instead that she took part of it. I also enjoyed reading about Faith's journey to finding herself. I liked that she was a librarian (if only because that's a career I've thought about pursuing and because I love books), but enjoyed her involvement with West Investigations, and liked how she started taking charge of her life.
I don’t really have much to say. This was a very light, nice read, and I enjoyed it. It doesn’t leave as big an impression as I’d like, but it was fun while I was reading it.
I’m looking forward to reading more by Linz, when I can get my hands on another of her books. I want to read the next in this series, about Megan, Faith's best friend and cousin, and there's also some books in a different series that I want to read.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Novel Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Better cover than mine or most of these.

Genre: Classic; Literature; Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Penguin (Pretty much everyone, though; it's a classic)
Spoilers?: Minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Available on Amazon (there are other copies on Amazon, not only this one).


I think I’m going to try and keep this review short, just for the fact that I don’t have as high, or much, of an opinion as most people do. But I might have more to say than I think.
This is my first Jane Austen book, and, while I’d wanted to read it for a while, the main reason I finally got around to it, was because of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Which, if you aren’t watching those, whether you’ve read the book or not, you should. It’s… simply amazing. I love it.
But I’m talking about the book, so let me get back to that.
When I started the book, I was afraid it was going to be long and droning and boring, given the time period it was written, and it kind of was, in parts. There were a lot of dry parts in this book, a lot of slow points, and the language was rather boring at some points. There were long sentences, huge paragraphs, not nearly as much dialogue, and sometimes it was a bit hard for me to follow. There were, though, some scenes, some chapters or plots, that I really enjoyed, and those went by really fast, whereas other ones took way too long to get through.
My main annoyance with the writing was how tell and not show it was. There were countless times that the reader would be told about something that had happened, some scene we didn’t get to see, and sometimes even some kind of characteristic that a character had. And the one reason I’m even a little okay with those things is that, with the characters, it was made apparent in their attitude that what we were told was true, and with the scenes, if we were shown them, the book would have been longer, and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed that. It still annoyed me, though; is probably the thing I least liked about this book.
Next, the characters. I liked Elizabeth enough, I suppose, but didn’t really care too much about her either way. The same with most of the characters, actually. I liked Mr. Bennet. I liked the romantic relationships. I wasn’t too big a fan of Bingley, most of the time, because he just seemed too prideful and full of himself (which I will talk about again in a minute). I didn’t think I got to know Lydia very well. Jane seemed alright. I didn’t like Caroline, because she was… not a nice person.
I liked Darcy at first, but then later on was kind of iffy about him. I knew what was going to happen with him and Lizzy, but somewhere in the middle, his attitude bothered me. I think it just seemed like too big a jump, from him being standoffish to really nice to her. But, thinking back on it, it wasn’t too bad, actually. I did like their relationship, so there’s that.
Now, the pride thing. After reading the book, I understand what the title means, and I’m kind of okay with it. I don’t mind the prejudiced thing. But the pride part just annoyed me so much. All of the characters were prideful about one thing or another. Bingley was rather full of himself. As was Darcy. And I just… I guess I feel like some development should have been done there, instead of it just continuing to be that way. They aren’t the only characters that were prideful, a lot of them were, but they just made the biggest impression on me.
I think that’s all I have to say, really. The book wasn’t horrible, even if it was droning and boring at times, and had way too much telling. The rating is really so high because of the story line. The plot was good, what with what happened with Lydia, and Jane’s change in attitude halfway through, and the ending, and even how some of the characters acted. There were some parts that I really enjoyed.
I don’t plan on reading any of Austen’s other books, though. I do plan on watching some of the Pride and Prejudice movies, and am at the moment watching the miniseries, but that might take a while. They’re just so long, and kind of boring to me. I know that most people love this book, though, so don’t take my word on it all.
I would suggest watching the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, though, because it is amazing, and I honestly think it’s better than the book.

Manga Review: Alice in the Country of Hearts, Omnibus Volume 3 (#5-6), by QuinRose and Soumei Hoshino

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Yen Press (Previously, up to volume 5 [not omnibus], Tokyopop)
Volumes: 6; Omnibus: 3
Spoilers?: Some, including the person she chooses.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kidnapped by a handsome man with rabbit ears, Alice Liddell finds herself abandoned in an odd place called Wonderland and thrust into a "game," the rules of which she has yet to learn. Alice, ever the plucky tomboy, sets off to explore and get the lay of this strange land, intent on finding her rude kidnapper and giving him a piece of her mind (and her fist). But little does she know that she's wandered right into the middle of a dangerous power struggle involving just about all of Wonderland's attractive, weapon-happy denizens. And the only way for Alice to return home is to get acquainted with the lot of them?! How in the world will she manage that and still manage to stay alive?!

Available on Amazon.


I’m a little unsure what to think of this volume. Overall, I really like this series, but the ending…
There was the ball, and Alice danced with several people, and she had a fight with Blood, and a talk with Vivaldi. And then there was a fight, and people talking with Nightmare, and talk of how Alice’s glass is almost filled up, and Alice wanting to go home but also going to miss everyone in Wonderland, and then it was time for her to go home, and there were some mediocre goodbyes and some sweet goodbyes and some nonexistent goodbyes. And then she went home, and then she was brought back to Wonderland and her memory was, I think, erased or pushed back, including how she apparently knows everyone, especially Peter, from some other time but Nightmare won’t let her remember.
I want to know how she knows them, what happened, and why Nightmare won’t let her remember. I’m not happy with that being a cliffhanger.
I’m also not sure how I feel about Alice’s going back to Wonderland. I mean, it kind of makes sense, but that can only last so long, and why didn’t she have to choose to go back, and instead just seemed resigned and waited for it to happen, and wasn’t she supposed to bring someone back with her? (Did I just imagine that?) I think I mostly feel uneasy because that’s not how it’s supposed to happen, and that doesn’t seem like a complete ending, and I still have questions left unanswered.
Then there’s the fact that Alice chose Blood, which I had been expecting but am not very happy about. He just… never won me over. I don’t totally trust him, and there were other characters that I liked more.
I’m a little unsatisfied, but I still enjoyed the books. Now I have to think about which spin-off I want to read, or which one I want to start first, given that the answer to which one is: all of them. I’m especially looking forward to the one focused on Boris, and Julius, and I want one to focus on Peter. All three of them have won me over as candidates, with Boris at top and Peter at the bottom. The one to do with the Blood Twins looks good. There's also one with Elliot, and Ace, and a Joker story, but I'm not as excited for those ones.
Now, I guess I’m just looking forward to finding out what happens next in the spin-offs.