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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesday[118]: Losing It (Losing It, #1) by Cora Carmack

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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Losing It (Losing It, #1) by Cora Carmack

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)

Release Date: 2012




Goodreads Synopsis:


Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.



Excerpt:

“I pulled the cage door open, and she replied with a guttural growl.
Of course…I would get the scary cat.
Over my shoulder, Cade said, ‘You’re not serious.’” (Paperback, pg. 136)

What are you reading right now?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Manga Review: No. 6, Volume 3, by Atsuko Asano and Hinoki Kino



Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: October 2013
Volumes: 9
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I’M WITH YOU, NO MATTER WHAT.

On the run from No. 6, Shion begins moves in with Rat in West Block. Though life outside the comfort of the city is a trial, Shion learns to survive. Meanwhile, back in Chronos, the elite core of No. 6, Safu begins to look into his disappearance only to find herself under arrest! And what can Shion possibly do from exile to help his lifelong friend?

Review: 

I’m not completely hooked by this series yet, in the “I need the next volume now” way, but I’m definitely interested. I’m very intrigued by where the story is going.
I’m liking Shion. He’s growing closer to both Rat, who’s making it hard, and Dogkeeper, who’s a little uninterested but obviously growing weak against his persistence. Dogkeeper, for instance, gives him a job washing the dogs. Shion is almost adorable at this point. He hasn’t completely won my heart, but his innocence and genuine happiness and do-gooder attitude just about has me. He is really quite cute.
I’m not sure if this series actually goes into yaoi territory, but it’s already seeming right on the edge. There is obviously an attraction between him and Rat. Safu might mess that up, though.
There was a plot twist with Safu in this volume, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I guess I’m just not sold on her yet, though. Still, it left us with a cliffhanger, and is very clearly going to upset Shion.
There’s also some very dangerous things happening behind Shion’s back. Rat has proven that he can be quite the merciless manipulator, in a not-good way. That gives me the feeling that bad things are coming from that side, along with the ones from the government and their bug disease.
I’m enjoying this series so far. The plotlines are getting interesting and dangerous, and I’m also starting to get fond of the characters.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Manga Review: Strawberry Panic, Volume 1, by Sakurako Kimino and Takuminamuchi

The single volume cover
(i.e. my cover)


Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: 2007; omnibus in 2010
Volumes: 2 volumes/1 omnibus
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

For new transfer student Aoi Nagisa, St. Miator Girls’ Academy offers her the chance at a fresh start and a way to redefine herself. But these noble intentions go out the window when she catches her first glimpse of honor student Hanazono Shizuma, whose porcelain white skin and goddess-like beauty leave Nagisa speechless.
It’s puppy love at first sight, but naive Nagisa is unaware that Shizuma is a serial heartbreaker who has set her sights on Nagisa herself. Will Nagisa end up as another notch on Shizuma’s belt, or does fate have other plans in store for the new couple?

Review:

The new omnibus cover
(much prettier)
This review is based on the previously released single volume books; however, it has been re-released in omnibus format as one volume.

This was kind of weird for me to read. I don’t know if that’s bad to say, and I totally have no problem with any kind of relationship. But, weirdly enough, I’ve never read a yuri manga before. I barely see them in stores (and only recently have I even heard of very many being released over here), and I just prefer shojo over yuri (over most kinds, really). It’s just not a preference of mine.
I picked this up by coincidence, as it was in a local book store near me. I’d heard of it, of course, but never really thought about picking it up.
It's about Aoi, who transfers to a new school, where Hanazono is a very popular, wanted girl,  and who very quickly gets interested in Aoi.
Hanazono seems very dominant, almost like a male character would be in a similarly straight manga, but she also seems a little manipulative. Aoi is pretty oblivious to all the undertones, though. We were also introduced to several other characters, some who like Hanazono, some with budding romances of their own.
I don’t know if I’ll be picking up another volume of this series. It just didn’t really keep my attention enough. I might pick up one of the newer yuri series, though. Some of them look interesting, and I’ve heard some good things. It’s just not one of my preferences for books, though.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Manga Review: Voice Over!: Seiyu Academy, Volume 5, by Maki Minami



Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Volumes: 12
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hime Kino's dream is to one day do voice acting like her hero Sakura Aoyama from the Lovely ? Blazers anime, and getting accepted to the prestigious Holly Academy's voice actor department is the first step in the right direction! But Hime's gruff voice has earned her the scorn of teachers and students alike. Hime will not let that stand unchallenged. She'll show everyone that she is too a voice acting princess, whether they like it or not!!

Hime's producer Yamada has decided to let her have some time off for good behavior, so he sets up a trip to a lake for her and the rest of the Stragglers. But will Hime ruin the vacation when her idea of a fun time turns out to be a bust?!

Review:

Sadly, this volume had a lack of Senri Kudo, but it was still its usual hilarious, crazy goodness. Given how much Senri was in the last couple volumes, it makes sense. We needed to see the other characters again. Still, I missed him.
I mean, the extras at the end focused on him, but that wasn’t enough for me.
The first chapter we saw Hime with her school group, on a small vacation. It was a sweet chapter, showing Hime that her friends enjoy spending time with her just as much as she does with them.
Then the rest of the volume had Hime dressed as Shiro to work on the television show. There was a lot of Mizuki, who is clearly starting to feel strongly for Hime, as well as Fujimori, who hates Mizuki. Hime/Shiro had to play the go-between for them, given that their characters in the show like each other, and Fujimori has a hard time acting that.
Fujimori is now starting to like Shiro, who he thinks is actually a boy. He’s reluctant, but he’s also not completely denying that to himself. That’s one part that I think is well done—the stereotype of Hime pretending to be a boy isn’t really a thing for her. She doesn’t worry about actually acting like a boy, or changing her voice. She’s still na├»ve, touching people and holding hands to support the others, smiling and laughing. She doesn’t even think about acting manly or whatever. She’s just herself, whether she’s a girl or a boy. And Fujimori is falling for her, even if he thinks she’s a boy. I appreciate that.
There was also a bonus chapter at the end focusing on Ume and Takanagi. Takanagi has decided to help Ume find her prince. It hasn’t gone very well so far, but I’m enjoying seeing their relationship develop. It’s going slowly, but I’m looking forward to it going even farther.
This is a great series. It’s definitely hilarious, I'm loving it,and I’m excited for the next volume.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Novel Review: The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter



Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 2010
Spoilers?: Not really.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Powells.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lainey Pike can tell you everything you need to know about the people in her family just by letting you know how they died. Her reckless stepfather drove his motorcycle off the highway and caused the biggest traffic jam in years. Her long-suffering grandmother lived through cancer and a heart attack before finally succumbing to a stroke. And Lainey's mother; well, Lainey's mother hanged herself in the basement just days after Lainey's high school graduation. Now Lainey's five-year-old brother is an orphan and her estranged older sister is moving back home to be his guardian. Meanwhile, Lainey's boyfriend is thinking about having a family of their own, and her best friends are always asking the wrong sorts of questions and giving advice Lainey doesn't want to hear. As she tries to pull away from everything familiar, Lainey meets an intriguing new guy who, through a series of Slurpees, burgers, and snowballs, helps her to make peace with a parent she never understood.

The Cover:

This cove is all right. The image isn't too bad, I actually kind of like it--the colors work, and the image of the cups stacked and falling is nice--but I'm just not too sure how well the whole picture (or the title) represents the book. It also looks a little unfinished to me, a little not-as-professionally, including the font and placement of the title and author's name.

Quotes:

  • "When someone wants to talk to you in person instead of over the phone, your mind immediately goes to the worst possible scenario. I guess it’s some sort of coping mechanism—if you’re expecting the worst possible thing, then whatever it really is won’t seem that bad.” (ARC, pg. 2)
  • "Some people expected an infinite number of chances to disappoint you, and it just wasn’t fair.” (Pg. 61)
  • "And in that moment I realized that nothing that mattered to me meant anything to either of them.” (Pg. 109)
  • "'If everything turns out right in the end, then everything that happened until then was leading up to that point in time. Therefore everything that happened had to happen.’” (Pg. 228)
  • "But how was I supposed to know what I really felt about something, when my feelings changed every time I thought about it?” […] “My feelings didn’t change on a day-to-day basis. They changed hourly. They changed every minute.” (Pg. 229)

Review:

I was warned when I started this that it was heavy on the grief. And honestly, I didn’t quite feel that.
Grief, and dealing with it, was definitely a main focus in the book. But it wasn’t really that Lainey was depressed, or even that she felt numb. I mean, I think she felt a little numb, but she mostly seemed to focus that into anger. And, honestly, I wasn’t convinced that she didn’t act like that on a normal basis, although maybe it was worse with grief.
Lainey was very bitchy. She bitches about everything, she bitches to her boyfriend, she doesn’t want to have to take care of her little brother. She just doesn’t want to do anything, at this point. Her life is messed up now that her mother killed herself, and now she doesn’t want to do anything.
I enjoyed this book, don’t get me wrong. The humor was dark, but pretty good. I found the story, and even the characters, pretty interesting. But at the end of the book, I wasn’t really satisfied.
I thought that by the end of the book, Lainey would have picked herself up from what had happened, of the way she’d been acting, and finally make a choice about what she wanted to do. But it felt like, instead, she just went back with Riley because she thought that she should. It didn’t really feel like she felt any differently about anything. And while I do think that Riley is the way she should have chosen, I’m not convinced that she felt that way.
The book left me feeling like she was in pretty much the same position as at the beginning of the book, and like she never really chose that because she wanted it or felt that it was right. She just did it.
I enjoyed this book, but it’s left me a little unsatisfied.