Sunday, November 30, 2014

Novel Review: Faking It (Dempseys, #2) by Jennifer Crusie

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2002
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet the Goodnights, a respectable family who run a respectable art gallery-and have for generations. There's Gwen, the matriarch who likes to escape reality, Eve the oldest daughter who has a slight identity problem (she has two), Nadine, the granddaughter who's ready to follow in the family footsteps as soon as she can find a set that isn't leading off a cliff. And lastly, Matilda, the youngest daughter, has inherited the secret locked down in the basement of the Goodnight Gallery, the secret she's willing to do almost anything to keep, even break into a house in the dead of night to steal back her past.

Meet the Dempseys, or at least meet Davy, a reformed con man who's just been ripped off for a cool three million by his financial manager, who then gallantly turned it over to Clea Lewis, the most beautiful sociopath Davy ever slept with. Davy wants the money back, but more than that he'll do anything to keep Clea from winning, including break into her house in the dead of night to steal back his future.

One collision in a closet later, Tilda and Davy reluctantly join forces to combat Clea, suspicious art collectors, a disgruntled heir, and an exasperated hitman, all the while coping with a mutant dachshund, a juke box stuck in the sixties, questionable sex, and the growing realization that they can't turn their backs on the people they were meant to be...or the people they were born to love.

The Cover:

This cover is all right. It's simple and not embarrassing, which is nice. But it also looks... I don't know, old fashioned or something. Though maybe that's supposed to represent the art, and if so then it works.


I will say that, since I splurge read several of Crusie’s books in a row, they do start to blend together a little. But I can still confidently say that I enjoyed this book.
There’s art forgery, a family art gallery in debt, breaking and entering, a “frail” dog, two family lines of forgery and deception. Lots of messy goings on. And along the way, there are several couples falling in love, and such smooth witty banter, that this book goes by very fast.
This was a fun book, just like Crusie’s other books have been. She’s such a fun writer, the banter so realistic and easy to read. The ending was nice for everyone, and I especially liked how everyone grew and finally did what they needed to. Some of the very minor characters got a little messy in my head, but that’s all right.
Overall, another good book, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Manga Review: Library Wars: Love & War, Volume 12, by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2014
Volumes: 14+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 11. 13.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces!

Library Forces member Iku Kasahara has plans to go out for tea with her supervisor and secret crush, Dojo, but just figuring out what to wear puts her in a tailspin. When an urgent call comes in about an author seeking protection from the government, Iku realizes that the fight against censorship never takes a break!


I’m just in love with this series. I don’t even know what else to say at this point. I love everything about it.
This volume has the group guarding a writer being pushed to censor his work, and then a problem with Tezuka’s brother, which Shibazaki takes care of very nicely. Shibazaki is brilliant, and so very smartly manipulative. I love how she takes care of things.
The main points in this volume, though, are the “date”s between Dojo and Iku, and the chemistry coming to a head between Shibazaki and Tezuka. Also all of the hilarity, but those are always there. Dojo and Iku seem to possibly be heading somewhere, maybe, but it could still easily be dragged out for several more volumes. Either way, I'm happy. Then Shibazaki, who I love, I think is a perfect fit for Tezuka, and I really enjoy seeing them get closer.
Just thinking about this series makes me smile, and I grin through every volume. I love every bit of this series, and this volume is another blissfully exciting one. I love it.
I can’t wait for the next volume.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Novel Review: The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3) by Kimberly Derting

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Paranormal Thriller/Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the end, all that’s left is an echo.

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....

The Cover:

I like all of the covers in this series. They're simple and eye-catching and very pretty. They give a good feel of the novels, too.


I’ve been meaning to read this book forever, but I finally got to it. And I’m glad I did.
I was a little under enthused with the last book, as it was a bit forgettable. This book was better, I’m happy to say.
The romance was a little downplayed in emotion, though. I still like Jay, but I was definitely feeling the attraction between Violet and Rafe, and surprisingly even seeing the good side of them being together instead. But mostly the romance, the feelings on Violet’s side, just weren’t really coming through for me. I wanted them to, but I wasn’t fully feeling it.
I didn’t remember anything about Rafe or Sara from the previous book. But I liked them. I liked most of the gang, although Gemma’s backstory, Derting’s trying to give her a background and reason, didn’t really work for me. She was still a jerk, and I didn’t really understand why. I definitely saw why Violet would stay with them, though. She related to them in a way that she doesn’t with anyone else, and she needs that.
The mystery in this book, the murderer, was very powerful, though. I saw why he was the way he was, and was still thoroughly creeped out by him. After everything that happened with Violet and him, I understand her decisions. It was intense and violent and scarring. Which makes the ending even more exciting, more interesting.
I believe the next book is the last, and I’m interested to see what happens in it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wishlist Thursday[85]: Yukarism by Chika Shiomi

Yukarism Volume 1 by Chika Shiomi

Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)

Release Date: December 2, 2014

Volumes: 4

Goodreads Synopsis:

Yukari Kobayakawa, an accomplished author at the age of 17, writes with amazingly accurate details about historical Japan. It turns out he has the ability to travel back in his past life as a renowned courtesan in the Edo period! As he goes back and forth between the past and present, he unravels the karmic relationship he has with his beautiful classmate Mahoro Tachibana... 


As always, I generally tend to pick up all Shojo Beat titles. I’ve only missed very few of their series. And this series is by the author of Yurara, which I liked, and Rasetsu, which I loved. It’s mainly Rasetsu that makes me want to pick this up so bad, because that was such a good series. I’m not usually a big historical fan, but it sounds fun, and I’m still excited to get this series.

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 18, by Yana Toboso

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Volumes: 19+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 17. 19.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Their elaborate schoolroom deception at an end, Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his peerless manservant, Sebastian, finally hit upon the truth behind the incident of the vanished students at Weston College. Just what tragic steps did the elites of the school, spurred on by their overwhelming sense of justice, take to stamp out the bullying running rife in the halls of their institution?! What began as a seemingly simple case of missing persons goes round and round, spinning out of control into a great menace, one capable of perplexing even a devil... 


This volume concludes the boarding school storyline, rather fittingly. School boys, you know? Much more violent and devoted than you’d think. Although it does include a decision from Sebastian that was quite sweet. His and Ciel’s relationship is so oddly nice, to me.
There’s a fun chapter in the middle of this volume, where we see Ciel thinking business with Sebastian’s help, as well as some shopping with the servants. These little chapters to break up the seriousness are so nice; the humor is just so excellent in this series.
Then we get started on the next plotline, which seems oddly reminiscent of one I remember in the anime. The group moves to a small town, where a possible werewolf curse is killing cocky villagers. That story is just getting started as the volume ends, so I look forward to seeing what happens next.
I just love this series. These storylines aren’t really getting my blood going, but I still purely enjoy it. I don’t think it’s possible for me to give this series anything less than a four at this point, either. It’s just so good.