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Books of 2011

1. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead -- 3 stars

Better than Blood Promise, not as good as the first three. I miss the days when these books weren't the 100% Rose/Dimitri hour. I actually like the guy and I still think there's too much focus on him. Let's get some Rose-Lissa and Rose-Christian up in here okay? (Man I missed Christian in this book, he was barely there). Also apparently there's going to be a new spinoff series in this verse? I can't decide if I'm interested: if I could get a signed guarantee that they'd keep the fun ensembleness of the first three books without getting bogged down in ~epic~ love story then yeah but otherwise probably not. :/ Rapidly approaching romance burnout, may have to read more MG in the future.

2. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer -- 3 stars

I kind of wish Colfer had ended this on the third book like I thought he had. Most of this was pretty dull. :/

3. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst -- 3.5 stars

Finally, a book I actively enjoyed! \o/ Plus I even shipped what the author wanted me to ship! Though I could've done without the soulmate business, she was selling me just fine without Tye busting out that particular gem. Still, I can easily read it as Tye being ridiculous as opposed to it being backed by the story so it's all good.

4. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June -- 3.5 stars

Quibbles first: the romances were cute but could've done with some extra development. I rolled with it because I'm easy, tell me the heroine's happy and throw in some kissing and I'm good but I would've liked a little more explanation for why each pair liked each other. Now to the good! I really liked the depiction of April, May, and June's relationship, they rang very true to life. I don't think there's enough YA out there focusing on sibling relationships and I enjoyed this one. This didn't quite live up to Audrey, Wait! for me but Robin Benway's definitely staying on my list of authors to watch.

5. Naruto Volume 49 by Masashi Kishimoto -- 3 stars

There is such a gap between the story Kishimoto is telling and the one I want him to telling. And it mostly centers around his inability to not be really sexist. :l Look I want to like this series! And there are parts of it I do but I can't close my eyes to the fact that everytime he introduces an older woman with any modicom of power he makes sure to make jokes with regards to her appearance and hotheadedness and she's gotta be half dressed because hey why wouldn't the leader of a village go around dressed like she's going clubbing all the time? :< Just. Stop it Kishimoto. Please stop it. And augh we are nearing the Aborted Awesome of Sakura arc, I cannot say I am looking forward to it.

6. President Dad Volume 6 by Rhim Ju-Yeon -- 4 stars

Mmm, delicious id candy. I love that this manhwa's author basically loves all the things I love. Assassins! Sacrifice! Genderbending! Shapeshifters! X-men style families! AMI WON CRADLING FAHRENHEIT'S FACE IN HER HANDS! ♥_♥ One volume to go, I will be so sad when this story is over.

7. President Dad Volume 7 by Rhim Ju-Yeon -- 3 stars

Not quite the perfect storm of Volume 6 I am sorry to say. What do you mean Ami is Moo-Hyun's sister! Those were not sisterly feelings okay I don't care what she said. I disapprove of ships being definitively being shut down. :l On the other hand there were lulzy things like the fact that Ami's mother was a zombie. (Seriously) So it evens out? =D Actually the primary thought I came away with was that somebody should write this as a Loveless AU. It fits! You have Soubi Fahrenheit as someone who needs to be ordered, Ritsuka Ami being surprised to find herself saddled with a fighter who's decided she's going to be his mistress and Seimei Snow White as the family member who ordered Fahrenheit to go to her! I mean the parallel falls down just a wee bit considering Seimei's some sort of sociopath and Snow White's a zombie but it's pretty close! (If it turns out Seimei actually is a zombie I will lol forever and also say called it!)

8. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender -- 3 stars

I liked this. It didn't really have a plot but it managed very well at sustaining a kind of quiet suspended atmosphere and character -- I don't want to say development because that's not exactly it. Character revelation? You learn more about who they are as the novel goes forward as opposed to seeing them change. I also liked the very light touches of magical realism, it made me think of a more subdued Like Water for Chocolate.

9. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld -- 4 stars

=DDDD I am really really looking forward to the day when Deryn tells Alek she's a girl. It's going to kind of blow his mind! All those sublimated ~feelings~ will come pouring out (who else laughed when he said he was in love with the ship. Lolol Alek oh archduke of obliviousness). I really liked the new characters in this book: Lilit was boss (so was her dad :().

10. Honey and Clover Volume 1 by Chica Umino -- 3 stars

I don't really get why this series is so popular? I didn't hate it or anything, it just wasn't anything special. :/ Also uhh it's kind of creepy that Umino is doing all this love triangle stuff with Hagumi when she keeps drawing her to look about ten years old. But I'm not some dude into moe so I guess I'm just not the audience she's aiming for with her.

11. Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth Volume 3 by Jake T. Forbes and Chris Lie -- 3 stars

Maizula is still my favourite! Also oh my gosh Jareth get out you frigging creep. I hope the author doesn't intend for me to feel sympathetic towards him because he is horrible. Seriously GTFO sir. I don't even with your I will get ~revenge~ on Sarah for daring to have a life and fall in love with a guy even though I kidnapped her brother and stole away a part of her and doesn't she know it was all for love?? stupid. Team Maizula forever! Also Team Mizumi insofar as she doesn't reabsorb Maizula because that would make me sad. :(

12. Ouran High School Host Club Volume 15 by Bisco Hatori -- 4 stars

Have I mentioned recently that Tamaki Suoh is a sublimely ridiculous human being and I love him for it? =D Also I think Mori is under the mistaken impression he's in a shonen manga. He should chat with High School Debut's Haruna, I think they'd find they have some things in common. I really love all these characters, I read this entire volume with a smile on my face.

13. Natsume's Book of Friends by Yuki Midorikawa Volume 1 -- 3 stars

This has a very sweet understated tone that I enjoyed. It also managed to do episodic chapters that were all variations on a theme without feeling repetitive. Good for you Midorikawa! I'll read the next volume if my library gets it.

14. Fables: Witches by Bill Willingham -- 3 stars

Apparently I will keep reading this series to the bitter end so I'm just going to stop saying I quit. Plus this volume wasn't too bad! I'm interested in Frau Totenkinder's plotline. My inability to care about Bigby increases more and more every volume though.

15. Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson -- 2 stars

Yeaaaah. I'm going to have to expand my previous statement to say that none of the Fables writers should attempt to write about the Middle Eastern Fables. None of them appear to have taken How Not To Be a Racist Twit 101 and it kind of messes with my enjoyment of their series! I like Cindy okay though.

16. Yokaiden Volume 1 by Nina Matsumoto -- 3.5 stars

This reminded me of Natsume's Book of Friends in that it's basically an excuse for the artist to introduce the reader to various types of yokai but it feels pretty different tonally. I think it stems from the main character since Hamachi is alot more energetic and actively looking for yokai as opposed to Natsume who's reactive (received the book, has to give back the names). Plus there's some fairly funny moments too!

17. Bleach Volume 33 by Kubo Tite -- 2.5 stars

Blah blah blah, oh the boredom of fight obsessed shonen. I can't even get myself revved up about adult!Nel because I know she gets robbed.

18. Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth Volume 4 by Jake T. Forbes and Chris Lie -- 3 stars

I get the impression that the author doesn't realize how much of a douchenozzle Jareth actually is? But on the other hand both Moppet and Maizula Moulin survived and saved the day together. Therefore my OTP is totally canon. ;P

19. Runaways: Rock Zombies by Terry Moore -- 1.5 stars


20. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen -- 3.5 stars

Pointed parody of the Gothic novel by someone who clearly loves them? EXCELLENT. I had alot of fun with this and it made a handy excuse to put off doing my poli sci readings. It's not procrastination if I'm still doing schoolwork! My only criticism would be with regards to the pacing, it got really rushed towards the end and I don't think the parody aspect is enough to excuse it.

Books: 7
Manga/Comics: 13
50books_poc: 0

21. Awakened by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast -- 2 stars

Cannot fathom why I keep reading this series. Only know that I am under some strange power that compels me to continue despite disliking nearly every single one of the authors' writing choices. Can only warn others not to start for fear of falling under its mysterious sway.

22. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook -- 3.5 stars

There was this one time the heroine talked to the hero about the importance of politics and also knew what she was on about regarding image and why it would be a bad idea for them to be together and I loved her and lo it was good.

23. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers -- 3.5 stars

I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I mean the idea had occurred to me earlier but I dismissed it because I could not possibly understand why Culler would do a thing like that. I still don't really. :/ I still liked the book overall though, it was very absorbing.

24. Dengeki Daisy Volume 2 by Kyousuke Motomi -- 3 stars

You know this manga is pretty good for something that uses a romantic dynamic I'm not generally fond of.

25. Dengeki Daisy Volume 3 by Kyousuke Motomi -- 3.5 stars

One of my favourite things about this series is Teru is consistently written as someone who's intelligent but constantly underestimated. There's a certain kind of satisfaction that comes only from watching a man who thinks he's tricked a naive little girl find out she's been aware of what he's been doing all along.

26. Sand Chronicles by Hinako Ashiwara Volume 10 -- 4 stars

Happy endings for everyone! -throws confetti- Also this volume is a great example of how write a ten years later type epilogue that doesn't suck.

27. Seducing an Angel by Mary Balogh -- 3 stars

I wish this was longer. Like the romance was well written and I particularly loved the picnic but. They knew each other five days. I needed more. :l I basically liked it as much as I possibly could for a romance that took place over such a short time period.

28. Among Others by Jo Walton -- 3.5 stars

Thanks for increasing my Books to Read list Jo Walton! =D I liked that this was a book with a protaganist who really loved reading. I feel like there's kind of an odd lack of books like that. I can get why because reading isn't precisely the easiest activity to make sound interesting since it's a bit solitary but I think Jo Walton just successfully proved you can if you try hard enough.

29. Kamisama Kiss Volume 1 by Julietta Suzuki -- 3 stars

This is by the person who wrote Karakuri Odette! I was wondering why the art style felt so familiar. I picked this up because lately I've been in the mood for youkai focused manga. On that front it doesn't disappoint. I'd prefer it if Nanami and Tomoe don't end up in a romantic relationship but this is shoujo and I can read the signs. Still, maybe volume 2 will surprise me!

30. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys -- 3.5 stars

If I had to sum up my experience of this novel in a word I'd say trapped. In a good way, I think this was the feeling Rhys was going for. I'm having difficulty articulating my feelings on this book, I didn't precisely enjoy the experience but I'm glad I read it.

31. Arata: the Legend Volume 4 by Yuu Watase -- 3.5 stars

I'm really enjoying this series but I'm starting to notice a trend of dead girls/women motivating our heroes. :/ I hope the next few sho Arata runs across are women. It'll make this series feel more balanced.

32. Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan -- 3.5 stars

So I was thinking about how this reminded me of Among Others a bit. Because they're both essentially stories about reading and how it shapes your life except this is non-fiction and Among Others isn't. And of course Corrigan isn't interested in SF&F, she prefers mysteries. She's a good writer though, I enjoyed reading her thoughts even though I haven't read half the books she's talking about.

33. NG Life Volume 7 by Mizuho Kusanagi -- 4 stars

ASKAJLKAJALKJSF. Okay. Okay. Well first I will say that I enjoyed all the plot developments with Keidai & co. this volume. Mii's childhood friend is lovely because Mizuho Kusanagi is incapable of creating characters who aren't adorable and likeable always and I love her for it.

That said, OMG. The flashback chapter. Pastlife!OT3 lives on!!! =D It's like Mizuho Kusanagi somehow took a look into my heart and decided to give me a present beyond my wildest dreams. I love that it is basically all about Serena/Loleus and Sirix/Loleus because those are the relationships I've always hoped for expansion on. I enjoy Sirix/Serena but they are foundational to the series, it's the other two sides of the triad that needed a little further building. Also, I think I am starting to develop a hardcore crush on Sirix/Keidai. He just manages to be so wonderfully emotionally intuitive while staying his ridiculous flaily self and hello KRYPTONITE. I understand Loleus/Mii and Serena/Yuuma's feelings completely. How do you not love him? It's impossible! I confess I would be suspicious of the soul of any person who read this series and did not come out loving all three of them.

34. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown -- 4 stars

I'd like to officially declare this the best title of 2010. :D This is fantastic. I remember the huge fuss when Pluto got cut out from the solar system last year and I didn't understand why and generally grump faced and made claims that it would forever be a planet for me. Now that I've read Mike Brown's explanation of how his discoveries in the Kuiper belt led to the overhaul of our definition of planets I am totally on board with this. I still love you Pluto! But you are now downsized to dwarf planet.

I'm really impressed at how accessible this book was. I don't know anything at all about astronomy, my school didn't even bother covering it as part of the ninth grade general science course. I never had any difficulty understanding his explanations though. Mike Brown managed to write a really charming memoir that also taught me some science so immense props to him.

35. Hikaru no Go Volume 22 by Yumi Hotta -- 3 stars

Ko Yong Ha is a dick. >l I hope Hikaru beats him in the next volume.

36. Naruto Volume 50 by Masashi Kishimoto -- 3 stars

I don't have a review but this volume did inspire me to ramble on about Sasuke's motivations here.

37. NG Life Volume 8 by Mizuho Kusanagi -- 3.5 stars

THE VOLUME OF TEARS AND HEARTBREAK. Oh my God Yuuma you need to not say things about not being good enough for Mii. Yes you are. You are perfectly wonderful for Mii and Keidai both and you are breaking my heart here. ;_; I am so glad he has Reina around to take care of him. And Keidai! He was so young when he decided to keep all his past life memories because he couldn't let the tragedy of Sirix and co. go unremembered. TRAGIC MEMORIES OF RUIN ARE NOT APPROPRIATE FOR SMALL CHILDREN BRB NEED TO GO SOB IN A CORNER. ;_; These characters are killing me here. They love each other so much and everything went so wrong last time and I need it to go well for them now.

38. Bakuman Volume 3 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata -- 2.5 stars

I'm honestly stunned at the level of blatant unchecked misogyny in this series. I know shonen as a genre isn't generally the most women friendly place but this is ridiculous. There should be a warning included on the back cover: 'this is a story about creating a manga and also about how the author thinks women aren't worth ish'.

39. Sugarholic Volume 1 by Gong GooGoo -- 3 stars

I am very displeased by the ship turn the end of this volume seemed to be signaling. :l Let me posit a question to you dear reader. Suppose you were the heroine of a girls manhwa with the inevitable love triangle of romantic options. Would you choose: a) the cute musician guy who's been crushing on you for ages, or b) the jerk who physically intimidated your friend and currently dislikes you intently. I don't want to unfairly influence your choice or anything but the correct answer is A. >( Why do I always end up invested in the side of the triangle that is destined to lose? Authors everywhere should be more accomodating of my tastes!

40. Sugarholic Volume 2 by Gong GooGoo -- 3 stars

So uhh. This volume kind of gave me a complete and total opinion changes? I'm over Jae-Gyu/Hee-Do. Whatever dude. Stop it with the wrist grabbing thing, tell her you like her and then just chill back for a bit while she decides on an answer. You aren't actually together yet so just calm down.

On the other hand I am liking Whie-Hwan alot better now! =D I love how he clearly has a type. Whie-Hwan crushes on all the teachers. Look he just wants someone to be tough and not put up with his bullshit okay? He likes competence! It gets him all starry eyed! Still not shipping him with Jae-Gyu yet though. I'd like it if they just became friends really.

41. Sugarholic Volume 3 by Gong GooGoo -- 2.5 stars

Man, I was hoping this wouldn't happen! I'm sorry but I just cannot buy Whie-Hwan falling for Jae-Gyu so quickly. He's only known her for a few days! On the other hand, it is does mean I got to see how hilariously terrible Whie-Hwan is at dating so I guess every cloud has a silver lining. Also I vote Hee-Do ends up with Kevin! Clearly Jae-Gyu/Hee-Do isn't going to happen and I get the impression Kevin would be more than happy to console him. :D

42. Black Bird Volume 7 by Kanoko Sakurakoji -- 2.5 stars

What kind of conflict is this? Maybe I'm bloodthirsty or whatever but I think it is totally okay to kill someone who's determined to kill you. SELF-DEFENSE, IT'S A VALID EXCUSE. If Raikoh doesn't want to die he could just not try to kill a guy who hasn't done anything to him! Simple, yeah?

43. Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 24 by Hiromu Arakawa -- 4 stars

I may have said something in the past about shonen being boring because of the proliferation of fight scenes? Whoops, my mistake, only bad shonen does boring fight scenes. FMA's fights are totally awesome and I appreciate them deeply. I mean an Armstrong/Curtis team up? AMAZING THINGS THAT IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME TO WANT. I need to wiki the previous chapters though, I can't remember who the guy who showed up and saw Maria Ross is.

44. Otomen Volume 9 by Aya Kanno -- 3 stars

I really want fanfiction on all the little ways the students at Asuka's school rebel against the new gender conformity rules. Like maybe there's this quiet studious girl who starts reading shojo manga all through home ec because she's irritated that her education's been hijacked to promote this 'ideal' Japanese woman and whenever Otowa tried to say anything she tells her she's educating herself on how to be more feminine. Or there's this guy who starts wearing pink t-shirts and tells anyone who bothers him about he's secure enough in his masculinity to pull it off and hey, why are they so threatened? Or a girl who starts coming in with hoodies and sports jackets and pretends they're from her boyfriend because wearing your boy's clothes is very femme okay. Or a guy who notices some moral committee guys hassling his friend about cell phone charms and tells them the next person who tries that will get a broken arm. Real men stand up for their friends. I'm certain Asuka, Ryo, and Juta can't possibly be the only ones objecting to these new rules and it'd be fun to read about student ~rebellion~.

Books: 8
Manga/Comics: 16
50books_poc: 0


45. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri and Randy DuBurke -- 3 stars (50books_poc: Book 1)

SAD NATION. =( Seriously, this book made me cry. What kind of world is it where an eleven year old is killing people as a gangbanger?

46. Marvel's Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, Adapted by Nancy Butler & Sonny Liew -- 3 stars

Enjoyable though the pacing got too rushed towards the end. I wonder if that was a flaw of the original book or because they only had five issues to tell the story? I'm leaning to the first because Northanger Abbey had the same problem with wrapping everything up too abruptly at the end. And I have to say Elinor is a far more charitable person then I will ever be. I think it speaks very ill of Edward to have led Elinor on the way he did, I don't buy the idea that he was too unobservant to notice developing feelings.

47. When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer -- 4 stars (50books_poc: Book 2)

Umm why do I read so much paranormal YA again? Clearly all the best authors are writing contemporaries. I am in love with this book. I meant to just read the first chapter in the book store to see if I liked the writing and I ended up sitting down and reading through the whole thing in a few hours.

This came along at a good time for me. Lately I’ve been really frustrated with the state of YA romance. Why does so much of it suck? There are very few YA relationships that haven’t pinged me as unrealistic or unlikely to last or considerably more unhealthy than the author was willing to acknowledge. This book? Did not do that. I don’t want to spoil you for what happens but I’ll just say that I am extremely satisfied with all of Ferrer’s choices with regards to how she portrayed Soladad’s relationships. I’m also very fond of Soladad herself, she’s a great character and I enjoyed getting to be in her POV for awhile. Ferrer did a fantastic job conveying physicality through the page, I got a strong sense of how much Soladad lived in her body. Which sounds stupid but I don’t know how to put this properly. Suffice to say I really believed in Soladad’s love for dance and how much being a dancer meant to her. This is a fabulous book, I recommend it without any caveats.

48. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa -- 3 stars (50books_poc: Book 3)

Man, it's getting harder and harder to make myself actually say something about these books instead of just posting the title and rolling out. I IS A LAZY PERSON. Anyways this is the final book in Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey trilogy. Apparently she's planning to continue the series with some books in Ash's POV but seeing as I have always thought he makes no sense as a character I really cannot be bothered. The series ends here for me. I reserve the right to change my mind if the cover's pretty or if I do that thing where I am magnetically attracted to books in series that I don't think are very good.

ANYWAYS THOUGHTS. Idk, idk, it's really not much different from the first two books in the trilogy. Still has entirely too many dudes and leans towards the predictable side of the plot spectrum but it's pretty readable nonetheless. The covers are the best part of this trilogy honestly. I doubt I would've plowed through my boredom in the first book if it wasn't so pretty.

49. kimi ni todoke Volume 7 by Karuho Shiina -- 3.5 stars

Why Sawako whyyyyy. D= This is why she needs her friends to stay with her all the time! No one on earth other than Sawako would've believed Kurumi when she told her lie about the chocolates! D= Sawako you are an adorable and lovable human being but I need you to start losing some of your naivete soon.

50. The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families by Stephanie Coontz -- 4 stars

This is a really useful book. For me the major thing I got out of it was how much social programs and government choices about where to allocate funds affect families. I mean I never really believed that divorce and unmarried couples were the biggest cause of family problems today? But that was kind of because I didn't think about family problems in general. I was thinking as I read this that alot of what Coontz said tied in really well with some of what my poli sci prof was saying in his lecture about taxes. He was talking about how much coroporate taxes have been reduced over the past few decades and how it results in cuts to important social programs. And Stephanie Coontz was saying the same thing and tying it concrete issues facing families today. I don't know, suddenly I'm starting to realize that stuff I always kind of slotted under politics -- things like budgets and taxation -- have real concrete effects on people. This is stuff I should be paying attention to. I guess what I'm saying is that this book was an eye-opener to me. I think it'd be even more relevant to parents attempting to raise their families since that's not an issue for me just yet.

51. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason -- 4 stars

This is the review that got me interested in reading this book. I find that I agree with both of her conclusions. The lack of agency given to non-evil women bothered me alot less since I was warned for it. While I was reading the thought that kept springing to my mind was I'd love to read another author's attempt to write the same kind of book focused on Helen. You only get scattered glimpses of her throughout this one but I always wanted to know more about her every time. I'd like to read the story where Helen goes off to marry death. I'd like to read the one where every man sees her as his desire and no one sees her true face. Mason had some really interesting ideas about Helen here but they were always through the viewpoint of Odysseus and I found at frustrating at times to be hearing about her through the wrong headspace. And I think Helen would be a fantastic character to try this kind of project through because she's so often been written about instead of written of. Does that make any sense? I just think that the Helen of Greek myth has tons of potential for interesting stories but I've very rarely seen this potential utilized in a story through her point of view.

52. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White -- 4 stars

I told you paranormal YA could be awesome! I told you! /selective memory I really enjoyed this. The heroine Evie was really likeable and her voice kept everything fun and fairly light. Plus her love interest Lend was awesome. \o/ I like this trend of love interests I can actually buy the heroine falling for, I hope the next few YA books I read keep it up. I also want to state right now that this book does not contain a love triangle. Based on the blurb she wrote I can only conclude Aprilynne Pike read a completely different, probably less awesome book than I did. Because in the one I read all I remember is one actual boyfriend and one creeper ex Evie was very firm about wanting to get away from her. So y'know. Maybe she read a really different ARC! Who knows!

According to google there are two sequels coming out and I am extremely happy about this. Paranomalcy actually manages very well as a standalone novel but I enjoyed it enough that I wanted more as soon as I'd finished. Also there are certain antagonists who I ended up feeling mildly fond of and I'm a bit worried about their condition at the end of the story so. Glad to hear there'll be more!

53. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce -- 3 stars

I kind of wish Tamora Pierce would try writing contemporary work more often? Because out of this collection my two favourite stories were Huntress and Testing and they were both set in the present day. The other stories were just too heavyhanded in their moralizing for me to really enjoy them. :/ Animals are awesome and should be treated well. Men shouldn't oppress women. I agree but did the stories really have to be so didactic about it? I'm wondering if this is a problem with this particular book or if it's been a trend in her work that I just never noticed before.

54. Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje -- 3 stars (50books_poc: Book 4)

I have nothing to say about this book, I am all opinioned out. This is the hazard of reading and discussing a book for two English tutorials.

55. Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr -- 3.5 stars

You know what Melissa Marr is really talented at? Writing relationships. I am seriously invested in all the ships she writes about regardless of the characters. Like I'm pretty sure I actually dislike Irial but that doesn't stop me from having some very strong feelings on Niall/Irial/(Leslie). And Seth is still not super interesting to me as a character but oh man do I ever ship Aislinn/Seth like burning. That scene where she came for him burning with Summer is probably one of my favourite moments in everything ever. And last but not least, Keenan/Donia. THIS SHIP. I started off this series firmly on the Get Out Keenan, Donia Is Too Good For Your Ish Train and now I love everything they choose to be. I really like that they book-ended both the beginning and end of the series. It started with Donia accepting winter's chill and it ended with Keenan doing the same. I approve of narrative symmetry!

56. Tegami Bachi Volume 4 by Hiroyuki Asada -- 2.5 stars

What is up with the mangaka's obsession with Niche's underwear? It's starting to hit creepy fetish territory. :/ Idk, I will reserve judgement. The plot is starting to get a bit more interesting this volume, I'm curious as to where all this government conspiracy theorizing will go.

57. Children of the Sea Volume 4 by Daisuke Igarashi -- 4 stars

I am really interested as to where the author's going in this manga. I don't mean this in a plot way, more in a philosophical viewpoint? There's a ton of ideas about language and mythology and nature in here and I just find it all super fascinating. This is a story where I think the slow pace of the plot is actually an asset because it leaves time for the reader to spend chewing over all the ideas the characters are expressing.

58. Bokurano: Ours Volume 1 by Mohiro Kitoh -- 3.5 stars

I first thought this series was going to be alot like Ender's Game. Children tricked into killing aliens/monsters while being told they're only playing a game? Familiar premise. The storyline didn't end up playing out that way though, by the end of the volume all the kids were aware that their actions were real with actual consequences. It's actually reminding me more of Battle Royale or Lord of the Flies now. It's a different premise but the idea of children being given the power to kill and the subsequent revelation that some of these kids are kind of psychopaths raised the association for me. I'm interested enough to keep going so I'd say this volume did its job.

59. The Playbook by Barney Stinson and Matt Kuhn -- 2.5 stars

I had an hour free and didn't feel like reading anything that'd challenge my brain. This worked fine for that! It also confirmed my long standing belief that How I Met Your Mother's strength comes from it's ensemble cast. Barney Stinson definitely stands out but on his own without anyone to play off he really isn't all that funny.

60. Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading by Lizzie Skurnick -- 4 stars

Nostalgia trip! One of the benefits of spending your childhood in an area with a rather poorly stocked library is you read quite alot of YA that was written 10-20 years ago. Which meant I'd actually read a fairly high percentage of all the books the author wrote about in this memoir. This was alot of fun to read, it felt like a trip down memory lane. I do have a few minor issues: the first being that quite a few of the books she discussed were what I'd call children's classics, not teen. Still, I'm sure I'm not the only person who reread some of my childhood favorites as a teenager so I'm perfectly fine with letting it go on that technicality. The second bigger issue is that this book really could've done with a better editor. :/ There was a few points where I was a bit confused as to what happened in the books she discussed because of some problems with typos and sentence structure. For example, I've never read Jane-Emily and thanks to a mistake in one of her sentences it took me a bit to actually grasp who was who in the story. Otherwise though I really enjoyed reading her thoughts.

61. Pink by Lili Wilkinson -- 4 stars

I AM ON A ROLL PEOPLE. =D See I picked this up because reading Shelf Discovery put me in the mood to read a teen romance? And you know, girlfriend, boys, identity, sounded like the general YA key words for this book has some ~kissing~. Which it did but also it had friendship! And self-discovery! And a school musical! Basically, it was full of amazing excellent things. =D Also it did that YA thing where it set up the dichotomy of the Nice Freaks/Geeks and the ~Evil~ Preps only to knock it down because come on people, you know people don't slot all that easily into categories don't you? A+++ Lili Wilkinson, would read again.

62. Monster Volume 3 by Naoki Urasawa -- 3.5 stars

This is so good. ♥_♥ Sometimes this series manages to do really excellent suspense thriller stuff! And sometimes it doesn't and it's equally awesome because then it does character building and questions of morality and also Tenma adops kids and everything is wonderful.

63. Monster Volume 4 by Naoki Urasawa -- 3.5 stars

Still amazing! I love all the commentary on killing going on with Nina. I especially love the subtle genderswapping going on with her and Tenma. It is nice to to have it be the woman who's trying to protect the man from sullying his hands with killing! I also appreciate how consistent this manga is with its argument that compassion should always be extended to everybody.

64. Monster Volume 5 by Naoki Urasawa -- 3.5 stars

I AM RUNNING OUT OF WORDS FOR MONSTER. Look, the thing is this series is basically a novel split into eighteen parts. All the volumes are consistently excellent and they develop the same themes and characters. So what am I supposed to say bros? It's good and now I want to get off the computer so I can read volume 6. Peace out.

65. The Unwritten: Inside Man by Mike Carey and Peter Gross -- 3 stars

Idk what to say about this. On the plus side it metas like a boss on storytelling which I always like. On the downside the author describes to the view where 'adult' = people naturally suck. Me, I like a kinder view of the world. I believe most people are pretty okay usually!

66. Monster Volume 6 by Naoki Urasawa -- 4 stars

I am really fond of Eva. At first glance she seems really shallow -- just the rich daddy's girl who dumped Tenma after he lost his prestige. But she's not really. She's bitter and she wants her old life back and I think at any given moment she's not sure whether she hates Tenma or loves him. And she is super compelling to read about always. I'm glad she got so much focus in the first half of this volume. I'm also intrigued by whatever complex plot it is Johan seems to currently be cooking up.

67. Monster Volume 7 by Naoki Urasawa -- 3.5 stars

People in this series die with a depressing regularity. =( But what do you expect in a story following a serial killer? I'm undecided on whether Tenma should kill Johan or not. Because the thing is Johan is really dangerous. I'm sorry about how he grew up and I like that Urusawa constantly emphasizes the question of whose fault it is he turned out how he did. But that doesn't change the fact that he's a serial killer who seems to be almost completely without empathy. I really think he'll keep going as long as he's alive. On the other hand though I don't know how well Tenma would be able to handle murdering someone. :/ All I know is I am interested in reading more and finding out if he'll go through with it.

68. The Fledgling Handbook 101 by P. C. Cast and Kim Doner -- 3 stars

I am not writing fic for this series. I am not writing fic for this series! D= Ugh this dumb book! It managed to fill in the worldbuilding of HoN just enough to make me intrigued by all the possibilities the books refuse to address. Like how do teenagers devoted to their particular faiths deal with being marked? I'm sure not everyone is like Zoey, willing to immediately accept Nyx as a goddess. Or how about the theological debate on Nyx and the nature of free will? I bet there's a ton of newborns angry about the fact that they had no choice about being chosen. The teachers all say Nyx is a proponent of free will, but there's not alot of real choice involved in being marked and told you'll die unless you physically improve yourself and attempt to increase your devotion to the goddess. Or what about all those scientists attempting to find out what exactly is it that triggers the change into a vampyre? And the debate in the vampyre community about allowing the research because if they understand how the change occurs then there'll be people who see vampyrism as a curable disease and treat it as such? Or how about that debate in the vampyre community about religious gender roles? The men who want to be priests and the women who want to be guardians? This universe could be so interesting if the Casts would just think about it for awhile! And now I am going to stop thinking about it because seriously, I refuse to fic the House of Night series. NO.

69. Monster Volume 8 by Naoki Urasawa -- 3.5 stars

The tension is ~building~. I'm actually not sure what's going to happen next because at this point it really seems like everything should be getting wrapped up within a few volumes. But I know I'm not even halfway through the series so idk. How will Johan escape all the people circling in on him? Profound questions to be answered in Monster Volume 9!

70. Being Muslim: a Groundword Guide by Harron Siddiqui -- 4 stars (50books_poc: Book 5)

This was a really good starter guide to Muslims and related issues. Alot of it I was fairly familiar with already but I enjoyed reading it anyways just because his style was so smooth and understandable. I think it'd be useful for anyone wanting to give themselves some basic information to understand the whole Muslim world-Western world discourse going on the media. There's a short bibliography at the book which would work well for the same. If you are Muslim and familiar with your faith/community you probably won't learn anything here but I don't think that's the audience he was aiming for so it's fine.

71. The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko Volume 1 by Ririko Tsujita -- 3 stars

It's like Veronica Mars! Except the main character isn't a detective, there's no murder mystery, and the story isn't concerned with offering class commentary. So umm maybe not much like VMars at all. But the protaganist is a cynical highly observant teenage girl with a secret marshmallow centre so you can maybe see where I was going with this. Or maybe I just enjoy referencing Veronica Mars at any opportunity.

I really liked this, Kanoko is a refreshing change from your usual wide eyed shoujo heroine. She reminds me a little bit of Sae in her deviation from the norm though I think Kanoko would have absolutely no patience for Sae. Kanoko does not truck with posers! I think the second volume just came out so I'm looking forward to picking it up at Chapters.

72. Kamisama Kiss Volume 2 by Julietta Suzuki -- 3 stars

I'm fond of the art style of this manga. It's not particularly elaborate but it still manages to be very cute and pretty which is what the story calls for.

73. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves -- 3 stars (50books_poc: Book 6)

This didn't work for me as much as I hoped it would. I still enjoy Reeves' worldbuilding and focus on family relationships but I couldn't really relate to the protaganist. I think she was going for something similar to what Sarah Rees Brennan did in The Demon's Lexicon -- write a sociopath killer character gradually learning to connect to humanity -- but by the end of the book I wasn't convinced Fancy had made much progress with connecting to people at all. Like I think Ilan and maybe Gabriel are now included with Kit and Madda in the limited group Fancy actually considers people but the rest of the world is still stuck outside. It's very difficult to care about a character who cares so little for others. :/

74. Glee: Foreign Exchange by Sophia Lowell -- 2 stars

Blaaaagh. I don't know why I pick up books I know will suck, I really don't. Why is this fandom so much more talented than everything the franchise offers?

75. Library Wars Volume 3 by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa -- 3 stars

You know what is evil? Censorship! Know what's not evil? Adorable kids fighting for their right to read action stories! Also the trials and tribulation of Tezuka, Secretly Childish Wonderboy. Look, he'd just like it if Dojo would call out his name in concern too! How is he supposed to win his contest with Iku for Dojo's attention when she has the advantage of True Shoujo Love on her side? It's an injustice!

76. Library Wars Volume 4 by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa -- 3 stars

Funniest moment in this volume: the author's side note about revealing the identity of Iku's prince in chapter 16. Wait that was supposed to be a secret? I thought it was one of those established facts from the very first chapter!

77. Bleach Volume 34 by Tite Kubo -- 1.5 stars

Hey remember that one time in Naruto when Hinata was going to fight Pain only Kishimoto was an idjit and didn't even let her get a blow in and everyone was like the hell was that?? Tite Kubo thought that was an example of good storytelling and imitated it! So basically this volume is some bullshit.

Books: 15
Manga/Comics: 18
50books_poc: 6

Click here for Part Two


girl, gabriella

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