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Monday, June 19, 2017

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher --First DNF in 2017--




I am DNF'ing this book at 229 pages (just shy of halfway)

I had heard so many amazing things about this series. I am currently in Japan for the next three months and I needed a good decently sized fantasy book to get me though a chunk of it....I got about halfway in about a week and couldn't take anymore.

So, I know this series was started with two silly topics, but I think both of them weren't really done that well. I understood the Pokemon references (I mean, there is a mountain (?) called Garados....XD) and I could see the roman legion-ness...but honestly neither of these things made the story any better for me.

I really hate when the author names the characters similar names...I guess that's common in Roman times to have names that honor others and such...but he didn't make them interesting enough for me to remember who was who. And as I'm dyslexic, having indistinguishable characters with similar names name it IMPOSSIBLE for me to keep them straight. Gaius Sextus.....honestly tho. Besides the shitty naming the characters were super boring. I honestly couldn't care less about what happened to any of them. I felt like they had no personality and when bad things happened to them, I didn't really feel myself rooting for them to win. I also felt like things would happen to them just to try and give the story substance...or to move the not so good plot forward. Kinda. I think there was so much action that I didn't know what the plot was....and then once I figured out the plot I felt like it had just been thrown in there randomly so that the story would have a plot. Period.

If you are looking for a rich world, you won't get it here. You are just kind of thrown in. The world history is thrown at you as you go along, almost as if the author is making it up as he wrote the book. And the furies? LAME! I didn't really understand how they worked. I mean, I understood that they chose you based on your skills to furycraft an element (like water or fire), but I had a hard time picturing what they looked like or how they did some of the things they did.

At the point I DNF'ed, I decided I didn't care if I came across any spoilers, so I looked up the book's fan-wiki. I was bored just reading the summary...At no point was anything the wiki said a surprise nor was it something that I thought would be interesting to read. I then read the last few pages and decided it really wasn't worth it to read all the middle bits, so I put it down. Also, I did find the plot points in the other books to be interesting enough for me to continue reading so I decided to sell all the books once I got back to the states.

I do plan on reading his Dresden Files series (as I did enjoy the first few chapters I read as a sampler), so I'm not completely giving up on Jim Butcher. I am just giving up on this series.

2017 Bookish Resolutions --The Better Late Than Never Edition--



So, we are currently half way through 2017 (wow....already?!) and I am now deciding that it's time for me to do a bookish resolution....Like they say, "Better late than never!" right?

I'm going to be trying a few goals that I know, for me personally, are achievable (especially with the amount of time I have left in 2017). They may seem silly or stupidly easy for some of you, but it's not about you. Sorry. 😅😅

 So let's get this party started!!

First of all, let's start off with something super easy. Manga goals. I have been super into manga again this year and I've been taking them out from the library like mad. They know who I am the second I walk in the door. VIP library stats for the win. 



I'm currently 10 volumes into Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi. Ever since I started reading manga and watching anime, this...this has been a constant. It's so nostalgic for me, it hurts. Being such a huge fan of it, I've never finished the manga or the anime. Until now. This year I'm planning on reading the entire series (Yes, all 58 of them). I currently have volumes 11 and 12 out (I'll probably read them after I'm done posting) and plan on taking two volumes out every couple of days or once a week depending on my reading mood...don't want to burn myself out, ya feel me? 


 I am also currently 10 volumes deep into Rin-ne, by the same author.  I didn't even know she had done this series until last summer. What kind of Rumiko Takahashi fan am I?! Apparently a bad one.  So I plan on finishing this series (24 volumes) by the end of this year as well. I have been reading it along with Inuyasha. It's a sweet deal. Rin-ne isn't nearly as deep as Inuyasha, as I believe it's for a younger audience, and it also repeats itself constantly (probably because it was a Shonen Sunday). Still, it's a really cute manga and I would recommend it.


I also have a few other series that I'm almost finished with that I want to get done this year (Kitchen Princess, Assassination Classroom...and a few others I can't remember at the moment...XD)


Now for the novels. This is the real challenge for me. I have been in the worst reading slump which has been going on since last year. This is going to be a struggle for me, but I'm going to try my hardest to get some of these finished!


 First I am 425 pages into A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. I started reading this when I was in Japan (January-April, 2017). I would just like to finish it. That's all. Just before the end of this year. ^^''


I would like to finish the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy by Sarah J. Maas. I am behind and I'm trying desperately to avoid spoilers and such. I really want to read the second book...but with my lack of reading drive, I just haven't.


I would also like to make some progress with Elantris by Brandon Sanderson...but it's not a priority. It's kind of slow going, so I don't know if I'll be up to it. 

Lastly I want to try and make TBRs every month. At least on here. I really want to try and set a monthly goal of some sort. At least one novel a month...even if it's just middle grade.


And that's it! Nothing too exciting....but yeah! That's all I have to say.......Haha! I know this is late and people are doing mid year "How I'm doing" updates...but meh. Whatever!

Until next time! Tootles!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Everything, Everying by Nicola Yoon -- A Review




Summary: A girl is allergic to everything and lives in a vacuum sealed house that she hasn't ever left. A "hawt" boy moves in next door and she decides to do some crazy stuff.

 2.5/5 Stars

I did NOT like this book. I was so disappointed by it...I hadn't heard anything bad about this book since it came out in 2015.  

Things I didn't like about this book

I didn't care about the characters. I don't know....I just felt like I didn't know them. I don't really know why I felt this way. Maybe I felt they were underdeveloped? Maybe they were just kind of shallow? I felt like they were just kind of there. 

Insta-love. This book was so insta-love I couldn't even handle it. I hoped beyond all hope that it wouldn't be...but everything happened so fast. I don't even think I was 15% in? Maybe even less? Who knows. It was like, "boy moves in....we saw each other and we are now in love." I didn't think it was necessary.  Insta-love is rarely necessary. And it wasn't even cute love. Like sometimes you read about couples and it makes you squee and feel all warm and fuzzy inside...like "God....I want that too." I didn't feel anything. If you are going to do something poopy like insta-love, make it squee-worthy.  

Shitty family dynamic...standard, "abusive drunk dad beats my mom and it wasn't always like that..." kind of thing. But I don't think that was necessary either. Like...it didn't really do anything for Olly's character. He didn't have any issues with love or relationships...it didn't do anything...Only one time did it do something, but I think the events could have happened with out the whole shitty family background idea.

The ending and the pacing. Though the book was a quick read, (about two days of non-committed reading) everything happened too quickly and the really good stuff didn't happen until about 60% into the story.  Which, in my opinion, is kinda poopy.  I also didn't really like how it ended. Like the last page or so.  I felt like things weren't really resolved and everything was a bit convenient.

Things I did like about this book

It was a really fast read. The chapters were super short and there were some neat illustrations and some charts and such. I appreciated that.

The writing was decent. It was descriptive and painted pictures when it needed to. Sometimes, it was a bit flat, but all in all it was enjoyable.

I liked the last 100 pages. It was a good ending (minus the above mentioned problems) and that helped with the rating.

This book was pretty typical YA for me. I liked bits of it, but it just wasn't for me. I am glad I didn't buy this book and I am also glad that I had a chance to try it out. YA contemporary is really hit or miss for me. This was a huge miss...



So hello again....long time no update. I just got back from three months in Nagasaki, Japan and I hadn't been reading too much.  I have been 30% into A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin for the past two months and not reading much else. Now that I am home again and have full access to my library and the local library, I'm starting to read again. Hopefully these will be more frequent...but I always say that....Hahaha!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch -- Another DNF in the year of the great DNFing





So I made it through 149 pages of this book and I officially decided to DNF this book. It breaks my heart...but I couldn't do it anymore. *sigh*
 
When I am reading a book that I'm not really feeling, I usually scroll through the reviews (on Goodreads) and see what the general consensus is. All I could see were stars for days. Everyone LOVED this book: A 4 star review over here, a 5 star review over there....boy did I feel like a complete ass. How could I have these feelings when everyone was so in love with this book...So when I found some 3 star and DNF ratings, I clicked on them. As you do. That is the moment I decided that I needed to just put the book down and call it quits. I felt like the DNF/low star reviews understood my soul. Kindred spirits. Though, unfortunately, their reviews were quite harsh and maybe a bit mean and degrading at times, I completely understood where they were coming from. So I'm going to stop my blabbering and get to the heart of the matter.

First off, this book is quite non-linear. We start off at various stages of Lamora's life and for the first chunk of the book I had no idea how old he was or where we were. I don't mind a flash back here or there, but when you can't tell which is past or present, it gets a bit tricky for me to follow. It took me forever to realize that even in the present time he wasn't a child. As the main story started to progress, I thought he was still a kid.....I was like, "DAMN! This Don Lorenzo is getting played by a child!!" Maybe I missed the part where Scott Lynch mentioned that he wasn't a kid...I mean...there was so much going on, I'm not surprised I did miss it. I would have liked to have just started Locke Lamora's life from the beginning. I would have liked to know more about his time with chains and how he got to be this amazing thief, but it was scattered through all of the boring bits. I thought that maybe Lynch thought his childhood wasn't important, but he kept revisiting it at weird points, so it must have been.

I also felt nothing for the characters...I mean, I had no reason to. I knew next to nothing about them. This is a thing that authors do that sometimes really bothers me. I'm very excited to learn about your characters and have strong emotions for them, but I need to know them first. There was a scene where the Gentlemen Bastards were arguing at the dinner table and it got quite heated...but I didn't really even know why it was a thing. I didn't know the characters. Just meh.

The world. This is a love/hate for me. I hate nothing more than being thrown into a world and then expected to know things. I don't understand your world or your government or how things work, so I can't be expected to understand why certain things are happening. The world was rich and I feel like I could see Camorr and smell it and feel it. One thing Lynch does is describe very well. I was definitely there with the characters...but I was so totally lost.

Speaking of descriptions...There was so much describing going on that I often felt like I was pulled out of the story to be shown something or told about something. I wanted things to move forward, but the descriptions kind of got in the way. Like I said before, all of my senses were engaged. I could feel the fabric of Locke Lamora's coat and see the glowing glass towers...but it was too much.

Scott Lynch is quite a funny guy though. There were a lot of chuckles along the way and I appreciated that. And like I said, he is very descriptive. But this book wasn't for me. Even as I write this review and all of the frustrating thoughts get puked out, I still can't help but feel sad that I didn't finish this book and that I didn't enjoy it. The reviews were great and he's a fellow Wisconsinite (yay Wisconsin authors!) but that being said, I don't really regret DNF'ing this book. I know so many people out there enjoy it and I know many more will enjoy it as well.






Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Absolute Boyfriend by Yuu Watase - A Series Review (Spoiler Free)


Shy high school student Riko Izawa aches for a boyfriend but guys just won't look her way. Then one day she signs up for a three-day trial of a mysterious "lover figurine," and the next thing she knows, a cute naked guy is delivered to her doorstep--and he wants to be her boyfriend!
Has Riko died and gone to heaven? The cute naked guy turns out to be smart, super nice, stylish and a gourmet chef. Plus, he looks like a million bucks.... Trouble is, that's about what he's going to cost Riko because she didn't return him in time! (From Goodreads.com)
I rated this series about a 4.5 out of 5 stars (There are 6 volumes and it is a complete series)
This series is pretty cute. I was really craving a light shoujo series that doesn't take much thought and had a squee-worthy romance.  This delivered just that. For starters...I have been a huge fan of Watase Yuu's work for a long time. I think she writes amazing stories and her art style is perfection.  Her characters are adorable and her men are perfection.  I had started this series a long time ago, and recently decided to pick up the last three issues and binge read it. I have read bits of her other series and have enjoyed them as well, but this is the only one that I've finished.
I really enjoyed all of the characters. Riiko is your typical derpy, flat chested girl who feels like she needs a boyfriend and always gets rejected. You know, your standard shoujo female. I could see that she might annoy a lot of people, but I found her to be ok. For the most part. She definitely had her moments when I wanted to hit her (like her indecision over who she loved more).  The love interests were fantastic, and added a lot to the series.  This was the kind of series where you kind of wanted to cheer for both of the guys.
I was annoyed by the indecision that was the driving point of this series (I'm glad that it was short for that reason). I also like that the story wasn't all about sex. Yes, it was important, but a lot of the story is Riiko saying she isn't interested in sex until she falls in love (not lust). 
I think the best part was the ending though. It was a super bittersweet ending but I think it was well done.  And like I said, it ended at a good time. Any longer and I think I would have become disinterested.  All in all, I really enjoyed this series. It's nice and easy to read and full of good feels. Would highly recommend for lovers of shoujo manga!
I hope you pick it up at some point!
Until next time!~ Tschüss!~

Ai Ore Volume 1 by Mayu Shinjo - A Review



Ai Ore by Mayu Shinjo (Volume 1)

Mizuki is the female “prince” of her all-girls school and the lead guitarist in an all-girl rock band. Akira is the male “princess” of his all-boys school and wants to join her band. Love may be on his mind, but romance is difficult when everyone keeps mistaking Mizuki for a boy and Akira for a girl!

When the lead singer of Blaue Rosen announces she is moving overseas, Akira does all he can to convince Mizuki and her bandmates to let him join. But will a resistant Mizuki allow him into her band, much less her heart? (from Goodreads.com)

I rated this book 1 out of 5 stars...


Boy was this manga disappointing on SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many different levels. 

Let us start out with a positive or two:

First of all, I liked the art. The cover art is pretty cute and the character designs and their outfits are fantastic...it was pretty hard to tell who was who though. I also really liked that this artist dressed up her characters in popular goth/punk/lolita brand names.  She mentioned h. naoto a couple of times and a lot of the girls who were going to the concert were wearing lolita clothing. Which I really enjoyed, and it initially got me interested in this manga.

Now for the negatives...

I thought this manga was going to be about the band. It was a main focus of the first part of manga but once Akira joins the band and they see the former leader off, the band doesn't really isn't a thing anymore.  I thought it was going to be Mizuki and Akira working to try and make the band good again, but it was insta-love and just really weird. I felt really awkward. 

The characters were also very wishy washy.  Akira flipped his character as soon as he joined the band and Mizuki was an odd character. Yes, she was tsundre, but I don't think she was a convincing one. But maybe that's just me. 

The thing that REALLY pissed me off was the amount of rape in this book.  Rape is never ok. I realize that Japan has some...interesting...views on rape. The whole, "we act like we don't want it, but we actually do," that's one thing..and it happens in this manga...but there are scenes in this manga where Mizuki is drugged and almost rapped by one of her female upperclassmen and then a male upperclassmen attempts to join in. After the attempted rape is stopped, Akira decides to get back at the woman who tried to rape Mizuki by having one of his guy "friends" rape her as revenge. His dad is a member of the yakuza so it's ok, right? No.  He didn't want to do it, but Akira promised him that if he raped her, he could touch him...ok....so I thought maybe he'd go to a certain point, prove that attempting to rape someone is bad and then leave. Well no. They didn't show it, but it was implied and it wasn't ok. Rape is bad, and it DEFINITELY shouldn't be used as a way to exact revenge or teach someone a lesson.  NOT OK.

Needless to say, I will not be continuing this series, nor will I be supporting the author or offering it as a suggestion for someone who wants to read manga. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Night Film by Marisha Pessl--DNF Review




On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more. (Taken from Goodreads.com)


I DNF'd this book at about 230 pages.

I was so hyped up for this book and was bored. What kind of murder mystery thriller is boring? I get that it's slow going and it's very character driven...but the characters were so flat and uninteresting. I didn't care what happened to any of them to be perfectly honest.

I think the premise is really good...I love most of the things this book was about. Murder, crazy cult films, curses and possibly witchcraft, multimedia story telling and all that jazz. But for me, it was done in a way that when we found new clues and met new people with information, I was like...."Wooo?" I had nothing to get excited about. I didn't even care about trying to solve the mystery on my own either. I just wanted something interesting. ANYTHING. I couldn't even find the book app so that I could find the hidden messages in the ravens (or were they crows? Whatever). I don't know if it was because I was using an android (though they said there was an app for android) or because no one used it, but I couldn't find it anywhere and it was a huge disappointment...

I also thought that the writing was a bit much. Yes, it was really poetic and lovely to read, but sometimes I felt like it was trying to hard to be poignant and evoke feelings. It just ended up being wordy to me and taking me out of the story. She found ways to describe anything and everything, even if it didn't need a Film-noir-esque description. It felt like an old detective drama.

I tried so many times to read this book, and I just don't think it's going to happen. At first it was curiosity that kept me reading. I was bored, but I hoped that it would pick up. I mean, I DID want to know what happened to Ashley and meet her crazy family. But then I realized that I don't even really care what happened to her and I didn't want to meet her dad and his crazy followers. Maybe it's just not my genre or maybe it's just me (because again I'm in the minority). Maybe I have become too over critical of the things I've been reading? I don't know, but either way, I do not regret my choice to DNF this.