Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Manga Review: Crimson Spell, Volume 2, by Ayano Yamane

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: SuBLime (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February, 2014
Volumes: 5+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A curse is a difficult thing to break. Vald, prince of Alsvieth upon taking up arms to defend his country was beset with a curse that transforms him into a ravenous cannibalistic beast.


I wasn’t expecting this series to be so… intense. Or plot driven. I’m surprised by it, but enjoying it. This series is turning out to be much better done than I thought it would be.
First, I love the attraction between Havi and Vald. It’s intense. And very smutty. And I love the smut, I must admit. (It also includes some tentacle-like things, once both in this volume and the first one. It was a surprise, and a little intense, but also a little humorous when the author mentions it in her notes.) But I’m just plain enjoying seeing their attraction build, Vald being confused and conflicted, and Havi feeling a little possessive.
I like both of them on their own, too. Havi is fun, and is given most comedic opportunities, which I like. Vald is a good guy, very sweet, and I’m looking forward to seeing his feelings for Havi really develop.
The plot took some surprising turns in this volume, including some kidnappings. Vald got to take advantage of his curse, though, and that should lead to some good things. I’m not going to spoil any of who’s behind it, also because we’re just starting to get a glimpse of it. I’m intrigued to see where it all leads next. 
I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying this series, but I really am. I will be reading the next volume soon, and kind of dread the long waiting period that is to come.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday[96]: In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

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!


In The Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: April 29th, 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.


“It was the first time Thom had ever heard his father use the word please.
It terrified him.” (Hardback, pg. 56)

What are you reading right now?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Manga Review: Mad Love Chase, Volume 5, by Kazusa Takashima

Rating (Out of 5): ~2
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: 2011
Volumes: 5
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 1.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It's all fun and games until someone gets arrested and charged with treason! Word finally leaks out to the Demon World that Prince Kaito is missing, and the king is forced to play his trump card! He summons Taiki and Co. back under penalty of death, charged with obstructing the search for the lost Prince. The three aren't about to take the situation lying down, but with demon forces invading the school, they may not have much of a choice... and Yamato is forced to make a decision between his freedom and his friends. Stay tuned for the heart-wrenching, pulse-pounding conclusion of Mad Love Chase!

What Will I Miss?:

  • The possibility of development, character and plot-wise, I guess? Particularly for Kaga and Taiki.


This series was a bit disappointing, honestly, and sadly.
I thought it would be fun, interesting, maybe cute, exciting. Fun. Instead it was overly exaggerated, filler plot lines leading up to a climax and a disappointing ending.
I didn’t really care much for Yamato, as he was mostly portrayed as dumb and oblivious, which was mostly annoying. We got glimpses of him actually serious and thinking, but they were so small and insignificant. He actually stepped up a little at the end, and got his happy ending, which was nice, I guess. I did like Kaga a little, and Taiki, but there just wasn’t enough development to satisfy me or make me grow close to them. Not to mention the hinted romance that never happened.
It was mainly the exaggerated humor that bothered me and that I didn’t care for, which is pretty much what the whole series consisted of. And the stringing along of the plot with major holes, like how they were constantly going after Yamato with no reason to know it was him they were looking for, which also bothered me. And then for there to be all this hassle, only for it to be concluded to easily in the end. It made it hard for me to care too much, or enjoy the books. There were too many things hinted at, like the people after Yamato and the budding romance and character development for all of them but especially Taiki, that made it seem like a waste of time in the end when nothing came of it. When, instead, the series dragged on with Yamato being chased over and over again and very narrowly escaping being captured, in a 'humorous' way.
And then the art, which could be really pretty and well-done in certain parts, only made it bother me more how Yamato’s face was always drawn to stupidly. The ending was good for all of the characters, though, which was nice, I suppose. 
Mostly I’m disappointed, though, and glad that it’s over.

Manga Review: Wild Act, Volume 10, by Rie Takada

Rating (Out of 5): ~3 (maybe 3.5)
Publisher: Tokyopop
Release Date: 2005
Volumes: 10
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ryu and Yuniko’s life in La-La Land has been an emotional roller coaster, but nothing can prepare them for a shocking revelation that might separate the two lovebirds forever! When they run into Goldie, a powerful movie producer, Ryu and Yuniko learn that Hollywood dreams sometimes turn out to be nightmares.

What Will I Miss?:

  • I'll miss the way Takada crafts a story, with the characters progression, and chemistry growth, particularly since I know she gets better at it later.


This series was not nearly as good as I thought it would be. It wasn’t disappointing, per se, and I liked the ending, it just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.
This was a fun series, I liked the characters and somewhat plot twists. I think I mainly didn’t connect very well with the characters, or grow as attached to them as I would have liked. However, I did really like the ending. I liked what happened with Yuniko’s mother and her dog. What happened with Yuniko and Ryu was not particularly a surprise (although, at points, I did have some doubts), but I did like their outcome. The ending was good, very satisfying.
I’m glad I read this series. And I have read the other series by Takada that have been released over here and enjoyed them, so I would definitely pick up another by her, were another to be released. 
Also, sidenote: the image on the back of volume 9 and 10 are the same. Did anyone else notice that? It really bothers me that they didn’t use a different picture. Was there a reason for that? Was it a misprint and they changed it later or something?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Novel Review: Public Displays of Affection by Susan Donovan

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: 2004
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Charlotte Tasker has always been a good girl, so she married the most decent, reliable man she could find even though their love life was a bit on the predictable side. Thirteen years later, she's a widowed mom who runs her company, prepares three vegetarian meals a day for her children, and volunteers for just about every good deed in town. But no one knows that Charlotte has a secret weakness for squirt cheese, erotic poetry-and the mystery man she lost her virginity to in a reckless roadside tryst, moments before she got engaged. They never exchanged names, and even now, Charlotte can't stop fantasizing about that spectacular stranger...

DEA agent Joe Bellacera isn't crazy about having to hide out in Minton, Ohio before testifying at the trial of a notorious drug lord. But he's handling it just fine...until he lays eyes on a fiery redhead and a hot little body he'd recognize anywhere. Joe's never had another woman like Charlotte since that day thirteen years ago. Now she's his neighbor-and strictly off-limits...

Amid the balmy, honeysuckle-scented breezes of a Midwestern summer, sense and sensibility are about to be subverted by an ice cream-loving dog, conspiring kids, and nosy neighbors. And when the Widow Tasker's fantasies meet the rock-hard reality of Agent Bellacera, let the fireworks begin...

The Cover:

This cover's not too bad. It's not super flashy or eye-catching, but that's not a bad thing, and it fits. The lipstick, and the title, along with the font of it, do relatively fit the book. It's cute, not really embarrassing, which is nice.


  • "Charlotte read an article in a women’s magazine that said if your partner didn’t satisfy you, it was your own damn fault. You needed to speak up. Spell things out. Draw diagrams on a chalkboard like John Madden football plays if you had to—but it was up to you to teach the man what he needed to know.” (Mass Market Paperback, pg. 18)
  • "He’d always believed there was a reason for the way things happened in life, even though he may not know that reason for many years, if ever. He believed the big picture was sometimes just too big for mortals to see.” (Pg. 112)


This one was pretty good. It was good at parts, it was interesting and fun to read, I did like the characters. Although it didn’t get me real worked up or anything.
I did like Charlotte and Joe’s attraction, their relationship growing. Their feelings were believable to me, and they were good for each other and to each other. I particularly liked Charlotte’s sexual troubles from her previous relationship and how Joe helped her with that. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often in books, and I liked reading it. I also liked how Joe was honest with her, at least as far as he could be, as soon as he could be.
I liked Charlotte’s kids and her friends/neighbors, a couple that has been together a long time and who keep an eye out on her. They were really nice, a couple who’ve been together a long time and still love each other deeply, and I liked seeing that.
The ending was really nice, I liked how Charlotte and her kids loved Joe so much that they went with him, and how it wrapped up in the end. 
Overall I did rather enjoy this book, and I do intend to pick up another of Donovan’s books in the future.