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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday[261]: Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer


Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Excerpt:

'Are you looking forward to having a new teammate starting today?'
Adrian blinked.” (Hardback, pg. 195)

What are you reading right now?

Monday, November 20, 2017

Manga Review: Black Clover, Volume 8, by Yuki Tabata


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. RightStuf.
Volume: 1. 5. 9.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 In a world of magic, Asta, a boy with anti-magic powers, will do whatever it takes to become the Wizard King!

Asta is a young boy who dreams of becoming the greatest mage in the kingdom. Only one problem—he can't use any magic! Luckily for Asta, he receives the incredibly rare five-leaf clover grimoire that gives him the power of anti-magic. Can someone who can't use magic really become the Wizard King? One thing's for sure—Asta will never give up!

As Asta and the Black Bulls continue their search for the magic stone in the Underwater temple, they are blindsided by Vetto of the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Can the rowdy Black Bulls work together to take down this fearsome foe?


Review:

We're in the middle of a big battle as we start the volume. It actually looks a bit like a massacre. This beast of a man is fighting and killing people, and of course Asta and his team are working to defeat him. They're fighting hard, no matter what is thrown at them.
Asta's unrelentless power, how he never gives up no matter how beat up he gets, is ridiculous. And rather unbelievable, honestly. It reminds me a bit of Ganta from Deadman Wonderland, which is not particularly good. Asta isn't as annoying as him, but he is more unrealistic/unbelievable. Asta should literally be unable to move, and yet he keeps fighting.
This volume was full of fighting, and it was just meh for me. This series is a bit more iffy and weak to me, than others like it.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Manga Review: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Volume 23, by Shinobu Ohtaka


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shonen Sunday (VIZ Media)
Release Date: April 2017
Volumes: 37.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 22. 24.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An epic dungeon-busting adventure inspired by One Thousand and One Nights!

Deep within the desert lie the mysterious Dungeons, vast stores of riches there for the taking by anyone lucky enough to find them and brave enough to venture into the depths from where few have ever returned. Plucky young adventurer Aladdin means to find the Dungeons and their secrets, but Aladdin may be just as mysterious as the treasures he seeks.

Aladdin tells the story of the fallen Alma Tran. In the distant past, in another world, humanity struggled to survive an onslaught of monsters, but once united against them, human sorcerers became as bad as the enemies they once fought. Solomon himself struggled to lead humanity up out of the darkness it had created, but with every victory comes sacrifice…

Review:

We continue the back story of the world in this volume. I'm actually quite surprised by how long this arc is lasting; it goes through this whole volume and ends in a cliffhanger.
There's a lot of fighting in this volume; there are a couple of small fights, then a big one starts between the resistance magicians and between the other species. They still can't seem to agree on being equal between species, but above that, they want a king to follow, and Soloman refuses to be that for a long time. Finally, he's forced to agree to being King Soloman, just before they go into the final battle between the church and the resistance. Though this all leads to the cliffhanger, where they are tricked into thinking they're safe. (Dun-dun-DUN!)
These volumes are actually kind of boring and long to me? I'm sorry, I'm just having a hard time getting into this series. I don't mind it, and I like some of the character development and humor, but a lot of it just doesn't hit me. It's just meh.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Manga Review: Kiss Him, Not Me, Volume 8, by Junko


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: December 2016
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 7. 9.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Kae reporting! After Nanashima makes a shocking move to declare his feelings, I just don't know what to think. He's always been hot-blooded, but where do we stand now?

There's a more important man to worry about, though...my dad! He's been away for a long time, and my new look-and new friends-take him by surprise. He doesn't know what to think now that his little girl is so popular, so he sets out to do some research of his own.

It's also a rocky time with Shinomiya-kun when he finds out his parents are moving back to Norway?! He's our precious friend, but even his feelings for me could grow cold when I'm creeped out by his cold-blooded pet, Thor. I've got to make this right! will the guys and I be able to convince him to stay?

Review:

I took a bit of a break, but this series is still really fun.
In this volume, we get the fall out from when Nana accidentally pushed himself on Kae. It freaks her out, and it's very understandable. I liked seeing how it was handled, by both of them, and seeing Igarashi's acknowledgment of what it meant for progress.
After that, we get to meet Kae's overprotective father, which is mostly just fun.
The latter half of the volume is taken up with Shinomiya. He's always been a bit of loner, he's been bullied, and now he's supposed to be moving away. I did like the interaction about his iguana, and the meaning behind all of that. While I was not surprised by the ending, it did feel a little anticlimactic, to me. After all the build up, his parents were just fine with it, which seemed odd to me.
Igarashi is still my favorite, and I want more of him. But other than that, this was a fun volume.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Manga Review: Don't Rub Yourself Against My Ass by Sakira


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: June Manga/801
Release Date: October 2016
Volumes: 1.
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: June Manga. RightStuf.

Goodreads Synopsis:

DON'T RUB YOURSELF AGAINST MY ASS GN
Ten years ago, Detective Jin saved Anri from a kidnapping. Anri has grown up and wants to show his gratitude to the one person who's ever cared about him in an ass loving way. Featuring heated sexual tensions aroused from a dominating young master and a bara uke detective with some fun time sex toys.
In My Ass Is In Love, Kenji enjoys solo anal masturbation and can't cum without it. One day he's caught by his brother's best friend, Yuta who wants to join in while sporting a massive hard-on. In the Last Trap comes Liz, the innocent flower with a charismatic secret side to him. He may look like a fragile uke but is actually a devilish seme with some hardcore S&M tendencies!

Review:

I was not super impressed with this.
I got it by backing the kickstarter, and I'm glad I did that. The quality of the book is good, and I like that there's a dust cover and a color page. But yaoi books seem very hit or miss with me, so I'm not too surprised.
There's a lot of sexy times, some force and tying up and toys. One of the characters is a bit whiny. I didn't really care for any of the characters, or the plot line, honestly.
It was an okay read, and the artwork was nice. Most of the sex was all right, too, but some of the forcefulness of it seemed a little iffy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Manga Review: So Cute It Hurts!!, Volume 14, by Go Ikeyamada


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 15.
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 13. 15.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Kobayashi twins discover that cross-dressing as each other leads to trouble and true love!

The Kobayashi twins, Megumu and Mitsuru, were named after historical figures, but only Megumu has grown up with a taste for history. So when Mitsuru is in danger of losing his weekends to extra history classes, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! After all, how hard can it be for them to play each other?

The earthquake is over, but the aftermath is still devastating the region. Mitsuru and Azusa try to put the power of the Tokugawa Group to good use while others, including Megumu and her mom, rush to Sendai to look for their missing loved ones. Megumu wants to hold on to hope, but Aoi still isn’t picking up his phone…

Review:

All but the last chapter is focused on Megumu and Aoi. The reunion happens pretty fast, and then we get to see what actually happened during the tsunami. After that, Aoi gets to meet his little half-brother, and accept what happened with his mother and what she did. It's very emotional for all of them. It is nice to see Aoi's family grow, though.
At one point, there's this super cheesy moment where Mitsuru and Azusa take control at Azusa's father's business, because he flounders a moment. Just bleh.
After that, we see Mitsuru and Azusa helping out with the wreckage. I do admit that I like seeing the realistic aspect of the aftermath, with people helping with all the horror. Mitsuru and Azusa get to help an older lady clean up her home. Mitsuru and Megumu's dad is also away while helping with everything, getting people to safety and helping clean up. It's a sweet scene when he gets to return home to their mother.
Megumu and Aoi also get officially married, though they're waiting to do the actual ceremony. This is not surprising to anyone, I'm sure. By the end of the volume it seems like everything is almost done wrapping up. The next and final one will probably be all over-done happy endings.


 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Manga Review: Bleach, Volume 68, by Tite Kubo


Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: November 2016
Volumes: 74.
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1-2-3. 66. 69.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Ordinary Peace
The Quincy invaders, led by Yhwach, continue their march through the Soul Society's royal palace. Yhwach's goal is to take down the Soul King and destroy the Soul Society once and for all. But Ichigo and his allies have a secret weapon that could turn the battle in their favor.

Review:

I have clearly not been following this series. I don't know about 90% of the characters that we see here, and I have no idea what it going on with the plot line.
So, Ichigo and his group are fighting Yhwach, who is connected to Ichigo and controlling him, without Ichigo even being aware. At the same time, there's a group, I believe on Ichigo's side, who are being affected by this fight with resulting earthquakes. Then there's another group, who is releasing some guy that Ichigo previously fought and locked up. And in the midst, I think we figure out where Uryu has been for however long he's been missing?
It's very complicated, and messy, and constantly going back and forth. And while I have very little idea what all of this is really about, or who any of these people are, it was a little interesting to read. Or at least, it wasn't boring to follow.
I'm definitely lost on this series, though, overall.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 13, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: July 2017
Volumes: 28+
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 12. 14.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as "the Little Giant" compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Karasuno fights their way through the preliminaries and wins, earning them a spot in the October Qualifier Rounds of the Spring Tournmanet. Their first opponent is a team of partiers from Johzenji whose motto is “play hard”! They're a highly unorthodox team that improvises crazy attacks on the fly, leaving Karasuno baffled on how to counter them!

Review:

We start the next round of the tournament, and now Karasuno is up against Johzenji.
Johnzenji has only recently started doing well with their new coach. They have a good team manager, who wants them to do well and will push them in the right direction. I like that their main player also just wants to have fun. I also liked that they were willing to try anything, and they tried a couple new moves just because they saw the other team do them. They held nothing back and were really carefree about it. I think that was something that Karasuno needed to be reminded of.
Given all of that, the result was not surprising, though it was a good fight.
After that, we get to start a new game against Wakunan. It looks like it should be a good fight for Shoyo, but then there's that cliffhanger! I really need to read the next one, I have to know what happens next.
Man, I love this series. It's just so fun and cute and exciting! I love it.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Manga Review: Queen's Quality, Volume 1, by Kyousuke Motomi


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 4+
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The adventures of mind Sweepers continue in this supernatural romance!
Fumi Nishioka lives with Kyutaro Horikita and his family of Sweepers, people who specialize in cleaning the minds of those overcome by negative energy and harmful spirits. Fumi has always displayed mysterious abilities, but will those powers be used for evil when she begins to truly awake as a Queen?
Fumi has never shown much romantic interest in Kyutaro, the quiet but formidable Sweeper who may be the only one who can keep Fumi's power under control. But when Kyutaro tells her that he'll never leave his side, she unexpectedly starts to fall for him!"

Review:

This volume starts fresh after the previous series' conclusion. Fumi is continuing to work for the sweepers, and trying to figure out and accept who she is. Kyutaro has decided that he's going to be there for her and help her and protect her, no matter what it takes.
We meet a new character in this volume who tests Fumi, and then later we see more of the enemies and what they're planning to do. We've learned that Fumi is the queen, and each side is trying to form her into what they want.
I will admit that the bad queen inside of Fumi can be awful in its violence; but I also have to admit that I love the intensity in her. She gets angry and intense—there's a complete change in her demeanor, and I kind of love it. I hope the good queen in her can be just as intense.
I also really like the romance in this series. Kyutaro and Fumi are so sweet together, and Kyutaro is so good to her. I'm hoping that we don't have to wait too long for him to be honest with her, especially since the consequences have pretty much happened already. I think it would be good for her.
This series is fun and intense. I'm excited to see what happens next in it.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Manga Review: Haikyu!!, Volume 12, by Haruichi Furudate


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: June 2017
Volumes: 28+
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 11. 13.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Shoyo Hinata is out to prove that in volleyball you don't need to be tall to fly!

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as "the Little Giant" compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to—and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

Thanks to their practice games with Tokyo’s powerhouse teams, Karasuno now has a whole new arsenal of weapons at their disposal. Hinata and Kageyama’s new quick set is also starting to come together! When the Spring Tournament preliminaries begin, Karasuno has high hopes of turning all their past frustrations and losses into victories!

Review:

I love how the rivalry is played out in this series. When they first meet a new team, some of them just instantly turn into thugs, and I love it. Shoyo gets super intense sometimes, and it's intimidating. But then, on the other hand, they also form such close camaraderie and friendships through the rivalry; even as they work hard to win, they also appreciate the other team and understand them.
In this volume, the prelims start. The first round is rather easy for Karasuno, but it's nice to see a smaller team attempt to get their enthusiasm back and try until the very end. Even when it's a short game, there's inspiration to be had there.
Next, they go up against a team featuring a giant, a guy who is 6'7”. This team puts up a bit more of a fight, but Karasuno works hard to make it even. And after that, there's an interlude for more practice. More practice games and more technique refining. The next volume will be the start of the real spring tourney, and it should be good.
I can't wait.


 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Manga Review: Kigurumi Guardians, Volume 1, by Lily Hoshino


Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 2017
Volumes: 3 (Hiatus)
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

THE CHOSEN ONE
Hakka Sasakura's life is about to turn upside-down. She comes home from a day of admiring her student body president to discover that a mysterious creature resembling a man in an animal suit has taken up residence her home. What's more, she has been chosen to work with this strange being to fight off invaders from another dimension and save the world...and she has to kiss him to do so?! Lily Hoshino, the beloved artist behind Mawaru Penguindrum, offers her cute and twisted take on the magical girl genre. You probably never thought Sailor Moon needed more hot older guys in full-body mascot costumes, but Kigurumi Guardians will bring you around!

Review:

I wasn't too sure what to expect with this volume, but I was surprised with how fun it was.
Sasakura is starting a new school, and she's surprised to arrive home one day and find a weird costumed person there. He can't speak and communicates with little white boards, and she doesn't know what to do with him. The next day, she finds out that her and two other classmates have been chosen to be guardians, and they have to kiss these creatures to release them to fight.
The people/creatures that they're fighting are a little odd, but I don't think we know much about them yet. It was a little farfetched of a story, but I think it works given the odd plot to begin with. It's cheesy, but done in a comedic way, and not too serious about it. Though there is something deeper going on, we only got a couple hints here.
Sasakura and her penguin-guy are cute, and already starting a fun dynamic. The other girl chosen is a prissy popular girl, and I think they'll form an odd friendship, which should be fun. Her boy partner is also quite adorable and sweet, and I like him. One part I really appreciate, though, is that the other student chosen is a boy, and his creature is also male. I don't think too much will be made of it, but they're cute, and I like how nonchalant the boy is about it. I also liked that it was pointed out that they're chosen as partners because they're supposed to be together, destined to like each other in one way or another.
This was a really fun volume, and I'm quite excited to get the next one.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Teaser Tuesday[260]: All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

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!

------------------------------------------

All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
 
Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

Excerpt:

The box truck, he thought, had to be the answer.” (Hardback, pg. 111)

What are you reading?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Manga Review: The Ancient Magus' Bride, Volume 5, by Kore Yamazaki


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: July 2016
Volumes: 8+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A Fairy In Need

Chise has taken great strides in overcoming her dark past, and is ready for a brighter future by Elias' side. As for the magus himself, he is finally able to put a name to the strange emotion he's been feeling for Chise. Meanwhile, a deadly threat looms. When a panicked fairy appears at Chise's bedside, begging for help, is there anything the young, novice mage can do...?

Review:

We are once again shown the mortality of our heroine. Chise wants to help a sidhe, and she decides to make a risky concoction to help her and the man she's loved from afar. It's a really sweet plot, but we see the consequences for Chise.
I really like seeing Chise and Elias' relationship here. While we don't get a lot of development in this volume, we do get bits and pieces of them working together and trying to understand each other.
We get to meet a few new creatures, and we get to see the beginnings of Yule, which should lead to something, I'm sure. In the middle of the volume, we also got to see Silky's backstory. I wasn't expecting this, but I really like her, and it was nice to see how she came upon Elias and Chise, and how attached she is. It's sweet.
This was a slow and sweet volume. There's always a bit of quirkiness to these volumes, but this one was a bit slow in plot progression. Still enjoying it, though.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Manga Review: Anonymous Noise, Volume 4, by Ryoko Fukuyama


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: September 2017
Volumes: 13+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Music and longing collide in this ballad of unrequited love!
Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino befriends Yuzu, a music composer, she experiences another sad parting! With music as their common ground and only outlet, how will everyone's unrequited loves play out?
Yuzu thought he'd resigned himself to just being friends with Nino, his "Alice." But now that he's faced with the prospect of losing her voice to Momo, he's having second thoughts--and has resolved to take them to Momo directly! Meanwhile, the feelings that Momo has been hiding for so long seem to have reached a breaking point!

Review:

For a while there, Nino is struggling between Momo and Yuzu. Thakfully Yuzu talks his way out of what he did. In this volume, we pretty much find out that everyone is lying about their true feelings.
Nino gets to hear about the story of In No Hurry's creation. How they all met as kids, and how they started the band. It connects with Nino herself, of course, which is a surprise to no one but Nino herself. I did like seeing how Haruyoshi grows into himself, too, and his side of everything. We get to know Kuro and Miou a little more, too, which is nice. I feel like I know them better than I did, as well as can see their relationship with each other better now.
I'm still wondering what is up with Yuzu's mother, though.
Aside from that, Nino gets to accept what is going on between her and Momo. She's struggling to find out why she sings anymore, and has to come to terms with what happened and how to move on from it. The competition between the two bands is definitely heating up now, though. They're all trying to prove something to each other and themselves.
It'll be interesting to see what happens in the concert in the next one.


 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!