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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday[35]: Easy by Tammara Webber

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!

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School has been exhausting, and almost all I’ve been reading lately are manga. It’s getting close to the end of the term, and that is a very stressful thought, plus it means I’ve been getting a lot more homework. I finished one book over the weekend, and am somewhat between books-somewhat into several.
So, here’s what I’m reading today:
Easy by Tammara Webber
Genre: New Adult (NA) Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Penguin (Berkley)
Publish Date: November 6th, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…


He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

Excerpt (a long one, since there’s only one today):

“’He’s staring at you. And I mean staring. That boy is undressing you with his eyes. Can you feel it?’ Her expression was triumphant.
Could I feel his stare? I can now, thanks, I thought. My face heated.
‘Oh my God, you’re blushing,’ she whispered, her dark eyes widening.
‘No shit.’ My teeth gritted, voice tight.” (Paperback, pg. 60)

So, what are you reading right now?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Manga Review: Kodocha: Sana's Stage, Volume 5, by Miho Obana



Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Tokyopop
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: Yes.
Buy it here: Amazon. (Out-of-Print)

Goodreads Synopsis:


Take one young actress used to getting her way, add a handful of ruthless bullies, some humorous twists, and a plastic toy hammer, and you've got the recipe for one crazy story Kodocha follows the antics of Sana, a spoiled 11-year-old TV star, and Hayama, a 6th grade Machiavelli who terrorizes both his teachers and his classmates. In their classroom war of wills, Sana and Hayama find there is more to both of them than meets the eye.


Review:

I was unable to find this volume for a little bit, but now I have read it, and am only missing volume 10. So, it will probably be pretty quick reading until I finish book 9, then I will have to wait and find the last book. I’m super excited, though, now that I have most of the volumes and will actually get to finish this series. And it’s so good, too.
So, in this volume: Sana’s new friend, Fuka, hates Akito, because he kissed her when they were five and ruined her life. And she keeps bringing up things that he did wrong and yelling at him, and I don’t like it. She just needs to get over it already. And apparently her hate is because it ruined her chance with this guy from her old school, but we meet him and she lets him go; and, really, thank god. She needs to just move on already. Also, it seems like she’s starting to grow feelings for Akito, which is just not okay.
We also find out that Sana is questioning whether Akito does actually like her or not, and that ever since the thing with her manager (from volume 1), she’s just been very confused about love and romance, and whether a guy actually likes her or not. Which is why Akito needs to actually tell her up front, but he’s too chicken. Also, Sana gets confessed to by this guy at her school, and she told him she is going out with Naozumi, so she didn’t have to be mean and reject him, which is sure to backfire later
While some of this happens, Sana is gone on location filming her new movie, with Naozumi and Rei and Rei’s secret-girlfriend Asako. I really like the interactions between Rei and Asako; I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those. Also, it nice to see Sana growing up and getting some advice/having conversations with an older woman (including shopping for her first bra), as well as seeing how upset Rei is that Sana is getting older.
It’s surprisingly nice how funny the scenes with Naozumi and Sana are. I don’t like them together in a romantic sense, but seeing them just be friends and joking around is fun. Plus, it’s adorable how embarrassed and determined Naozumi can get. I’m warming up to him rather well, it seems.
While Sana and them are out on location out in the mountains, they have no cell service, and so have very little/no contact with the world back home. Which means that Sana hasn’t gotten to talk much with anyone, including Akito. This spells trouble, and I’m a little unhappy and suspicious. Akito was going to confess to Sana before she left, but kept putting it off, and then decided to tell her when she got back, which is in two months. I’m sure something is going to happen to complicate things, and I’m not looking forward to it.
Anyway, Sana is also having some trouble with Naozumi’s fans, three of which keep showing up and spying on them. They’re super jealous of Sana being Naozumi’s girlfriend, even though she’s not (magazines keep saying they are). And at the end of the volume, they’re all beating Sana up with a piece of wood or something, when Naozumi finds them and gets super pissed. He looks like he’s going to hit them, but I doubt that’ll actually happen. I am excited to see what he’ll do, though, and what the after-effects of their bullying is going to be. Hopefully it won’t result in some sweet, lesson-learning moment with the bullies.
A tiny bit off topic, but some of the characters cursed in this book. I think it was only twice, but I was a little surprised by it (I don’t think they’ve cursed in the previous books, but maybe they have?). I don’t know if it says the same thing in Japanese, or if they translated it differently, but I was kind of unsure on if the cursing really needed to be there or not, and I don’t really think it does. I mean, the characters are in middle school, and I know that some people do curse then, but these characters don’t really seem the type, and it didn’t really add much emphasis or empower the moment. Plus, I’ve always thought of this series as targeted toward the younger ages. It just didn’t seem like the cursing needed to be there, to me, but maybe I’m wrong.
I already have the next volume, and I’m planning to read it now that I’ve written this up.

Novel Review: Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3) by Patricia Briggs



Genre: Adult Fantasy/Supernatural (Light-Romance)
Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Penguin (Ace)
Spoilers?: Minor.
Buy it here: Amazon.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

Something Specific:
 Quotes:
  • "If there was one thing I'd learned over the past few interesting months, it was that when things started to get dangerous, it was important to have people who knew as much as you did. That way, when I stupidly got myself killed--someone would have  starting place to look for my murderer." (Paperback, pg. 141) I liked this thought. It's something Mercy has followed since, I think, the beginning of the series, and it's something that more characters should do.
  • "...but he was one of those 'everything in its place and a place for everything' kind of people." (Paperback, pg. 109) I just liked the sound of that.
  • "'You need to choose,' he told me intently. 'Adam or Samuel or neither. But you can't keep them dangling.'" (Paperback, pg. 4) I liked that he mentioned the choice of neither, because that thought is often left out. It's not really mentioned later, and it's obviously not a choice for her, because we all know who she really wants, but the thought is usually not even brought up, let alone chosen. 

Review: 

I really enjoy this series. I like every book, always want to start the next one immediately after finishing each book.
This book… this one was a bit of a surprise, in how bad the contents were to the characters. Something very dark and horrible happened in this book.
I don’t want to spoil it, but it was bad, and rather unexpected. I like Mercy, and I feel really bad for her, and am really interested in finding out what’s going to happen to her next. How badly this is going to scar her in the long term. It definitely scarred her in the short term.
While I do understand how horrible what happened was, and I do understand how badly it affected Mercy and the people around her, I feel like the actual events didn’t affect me, as the reader, as much as they could have. And I think part of that is because of how little description there was of the actual events. I think Mercy was trying not to pay too much attention to it, and she was trying to distance herself from it, but I think it distanced the reader and the effect on me because of it. Also, later on, when she was trying to hide and was listening to the conversations the people around her were having, it just didn’t seem like I was inside her head and feeling the pain she was feeling, but instead that I was getting an overhead view of it all. And I just… I wanted to feel more emotion than that.
Even saying that, I did really like this book, and I was interested in what was happening to her, and really want to read the next book.
Aside from the big event, some stuff did happen between Mercy and her two boys. Things between her and Sam come to a conclusion, which I was a little surprised by but did like, and so things with her and Adam are able to fully start. I liked the moments between her and him in this book, and am looking forward to seeing what develops between them in the next book. As well as seeing her and his daughter, Jesse, get closer. Also, how the other wolves will react around her, if they react differently.
There was also some fae business, and a problem with her friend/fellow mechanic Zee, and a problem with Jesse, and we got some insight into who Ben is, some of it entwined with the Big Problem, which was interesting, but wasn't as big of a problem or as attention getting as the Big Problem.
I’m just generally looking forward to the next book.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Novel Review: The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan



Genre: YA Contemporary (Light-Romance)
Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (maybe 3.5)
Publisher: Random House (Delacorte Press)
Spoilers?: Very Minor.
Buy it here: Amazon.

Goodreads Synopsis:

IN MY FAMILY, when anyone rides the wave of their emotions, we say they're chucking a birkett. When the emotion drives out all common sense, we say they're chucking a big one. The telltale signs are: flaming cheeks, shortness of breath, bulging eyes, and a prolonged illogical outburst.

Gemma Stone is convinced that it's always unseemly to chuck a birkett and that it's actually insane to chuck one in front of a complete stranger. But that was before she fell for a boy who barely knows she exists, before she auditioned for the school play, before she met the family of freaks her sister Debbie is marrying into, before the unpredictable Raven De Head took an interest in her, and before she realized that at the right time and for the right reason, a birkett could be a beautiful thing.

Something Specific:
 Quotes:

  •  "Love is more than a 'sit down on your throne while the doves swoon round your head and someone hand-feeds you grapes and chocolates' affair. It's just as much a 'get down on your knees and clean dog poo off a shoe' kind of thing." (Hardback, pg. 243) I just found this thought interesting. It's brought up more than once, and while I wouldn't have minded it being said less crudely, I did like the thought that love's not just butterflies, it's also hard work.


Review:

This book was not quite what I expected. I thought it would be much more cutesy and light, when it actually had some darker elements to it. And now I’m just not sure if I actually enjoyed it or not.
This book is about Gemma, who, despite always being terrified of speaking in front of people, tries out for the play and turns out to actually be pretty good at acting. She likes this boy Nick, only to start actually growing feelings for a boy who has always gotten on her nerves, Raven. Plus, her sister is getting married, and is forcing her to be the flower girl and wear this hideous swan-like outfit.
Gemma was alright. Her sister, Debbie, was very dramatic. I didn’t mind her parents.
I even kind of enjoyed the interactions between them all and Debbie’s fiance’s family. They’re all military crazy, and it was entertaining.
I did like Raven and his family. Especially his younger brothers. I was a bit surprised by this one violent scene between them, and thought that something more serious should have happened in conclusion because of it, and am a little confused as to why nothing did. And then there was something very sad that happened to one of them at the end, and I didn’t like that very much.
So, even though I did like Raven and Gemma together, there was a romantic element between her sister and her sister’s fiancĂ©, that was related to Gemma and Raven, and even her parents, that made it seem like they were all just settling, and I didn’t like that. I don’t like the thought of settling, though. But, I mean, maybe I’m wrong.
But, in particular, during the wedding scene, Debbie pauses before saying ‘I do’, and it just seemed like she was considering whether she was making the right choice, and when she finally chose to say yes, it seemed like she’d decided that she did want to settle with him, and I just didn’t like that. It probably doesn't help that I didn't think they were going to last, that some things hinted at them breaking up, and yet they stayed together anyway, without actually showing us why. Another thing about it that bothered me, I think, is the fact that it seemed like only the women were settling; we didn't get to see much on the men's side of it. Maybe it’s just me, though.
Then, while I think the title is actually kind of cute, it’s trying to hint and cause anticipation to when Gemma finally explodes and makes a big deal of something, and that moment was just horrible. I thought it would be great, maybe fist-pump worthy, but it was actually wince-worthy and made me embarrassed for her. I didn’t like it, and that disappointed me.
Other than that, though, I kind of enjoyed the book. I liked the way in which she got over Nick, and I liked the darker elements of the story, and all the scenes with Raven and his family. The writing wasn’t too bad, and it was especially Australian, and at points the humor was really good.
Overall, I think this was just a bit over average, and there were some things that I especially liked.

Manga Review: A Devil and Her Love Song, Volume 6, by Miyoshi Tomori



Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 13
Spoilers?: Some/Yes.
Buy it here:  Amazon.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Is this girl a devil in disguise or a misunderstooReads R to L (Japanese Style).

Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace...

Review:

Like with my last Dengeki Daisy review, it has been a while since I read this volume (although not nearly as long), and now I do have the next volume, but I still want to say something about this one.
(Somewhat sidenote/funny story: I actually thought I'd read this volume and reviewed it already, and was all set to read the next volume, so when I decided to check that I'd reviewed it and it didn't come up, I freaked out. It didn't help that I also couldn't find the book; it wasn't on my review pile or book shelf [where I put all the books I've already read]. I was starting to think I hadn't even read this volume, but I'd rated it on Goodreads, so I thought I must have. Yea, I found it under my bed. Sigh.)
I really like this series. I always look forward to the next volume, and they’re always so good. And they always leave me hanging.
The fight between Maria and Anna continues in this volume. I still don’t like Anna. I just… don’t trust her, and I don’t like what she’s doing. She gives me a bad feeling.
Plus, I’m fully on Maria’s side, so I’m not happy with anyone who tries to bring her down.
Mixed in with the Maria-Anna drama is some serious love drama. First, Yusuke confesses to Maria, only to back out at the last minute. Ugh, Yusuke…
Then Maria confesses to Shin. Which is just horrible, because Anna interferes, and I kind of really hate her. Then Anna tells Shin something about Maria’s past, which is maybe true, maybe partly true, and he’s not supposed to tell her. But it looks like he’s doing some behind the scenes searching, and then he might tell her the truth, which would be great.
I particularly like that part of the plot line, in that it’s rather different from most. Maria confessed rather early in the series, got rejected because someone interfered (but not quite in the way you’d expect), then when the reason comes to light, it seems like everyone isn’t going to just keep her in the dark the whole time. I hope not, at least.
Anyway, then Maria and Anna have a face-to-face fight, unlike the passive-aggressive, avoiding, silent fights they’ve mostly been having so far. Mostly, it’s Maria being purposely mean, and Anna getting upset and hitting her. (And Anna hits her with some kind of pole, too. I hate just hate her, okay?)
I understand why Maria would be upset about kind of ruining Anna’s life, but Anna could have done something about it. You know, actually wrote something useful with her pad of paper. Or hit someone and stood up for herself. It’s totally not Maria’s fault that Anna didn’t realize she was being bullied. I don’t blame Maria for stopping it.
I just don’t like Anna. That’s pretty much all this is coming to. I don’t like Anna and I want Maria and Shin to be together.
I’m excited for the next volume. That’s all.