T5W | yaoi

This week, we are talking about our favorite M/M couples.

I actually only have ONE couple that came from a book and the only one that is technically canon. No matter how much we pray to Arda to make Legolas/Aragorn canon, it only really exists in fanfiction. Oh and what amazing fanfiction it has!

What I’ll do is I will fill up my list of anime pairing. Yes, some of them are originally manga, therefore, from books. But I fell in love with them through the anime so they will count as such. I did have other bookish pairs but it didn’t feel right to me to just give examples just so I’ll have five when they’re not really my favorites anyway. While I do love Alabaster/Innon from The Fifth Season, I like the threesome even more. 😉

Really, if you’re looking for really good and juicy m/m couples, look to fanfiction. A good chunk of fanfiction writers get it so right. Or watch sports anime. You’ll love it.


Dadchi and Sugamama

Let’s start with the only bookish pairing on the list:

Wesley and Jamie, “Wesmie”, from Him duology by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy.
I don’t know ANYTHING about hockey. But holy crap, this duology made me want to read every hockey romance out there, especially if it’s M/M romance. Wesley and Jamie are childhood friends. They grew up in the opposite parts of the country but they spent summers at hockey camp. Wesley is out while Jamie had no idea… no idea that Wesley is in love with him since forever. These two books talk about their journey from friendship to finding oneself to denial to acceptance. Oh LOVE!

Shino and Yamagi from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-blooded Orphans.
This is the sweetest and most heartbreaking part of this already gut-wrenching show. Shino is one of the Gundam operators of the Tekkadan while Yamagi is one of the engineers. Both of them are war orphans or “human debris”. Yamagi is sort of close to Shino but romantically admired the Gundam pilot from afar. Later, someone tells Yamagi that Shino knows of this affection but was hesitant to act on it because Shino saw Yamagi as family.

Daichi Sawamura and Koushi Sugawara… and absolutely EVERYONE from Haikyuu!!
Even their live action stage actors give me epic Daisuga feelz. With a Z. Daichi and Suga are the captain and vice-captain of the Karasuno Boys Volleyball team. Conveniently, they are Dad and Mom. But they are best at praising and taking care of each other. In the story, there’s a potential canon love interest for Daichi but he’s totally oblivious to it. But he listens to Suga. Suga is the only one who can scold Daichi like a little kid. I love them both so very much and they have the sweetest and hottest fanfiction ever.

Other equally amazing pairings are as follows: Oikawa/Iwaizumi, Kuroo/Kenma, Bokuto/Akaashi, Asahi/Nishinoya, Tsukishima/Yamaguchi… everyone.

Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana from Free!
They’ve been best of friends since they were little babies. They literally grew up together, went to the same schools, swam the same teams. Needless to say, they are like an old married couple. In the live reading at the seiyuu event, Haru was able to take Makoto’s food order without any words exchanged. Makoto knows what Haru is feeling, what Haru is thinking just by looking at him. Makoto takes care of Haru. Haru saves Makoto and in the whole series, Haru shows the most emotion when he thought Makoto drowned. It’s so beautiful.

Viktor Nikiforov and Yuuri Katsuki from Yuri!!! On Ice.
I’m going to cheat and put Yurio and Otabek here too. This is the purest, most innocent and beautiful pairing. Viktor inspired a younger Yuuri to skate. Later in the darkest part of his professional skating career, Yuuri suddenly finds Viktor at his doorstep, offering to be his coach. Viktor helps Yuuri improve. Yuuri helps Viktor find life and love.

As for Yurio and Otabek, Yurio is like a different person when Otabek is around. Otabek was brazen enough to approach Yurio and demand his friendship. I am looking forward to more Otayuri in the movie and season 2!


If anything, I encourage you to check out everything on this list. Read Him and Us. Watch these shows. You’ll thank me later.

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WRAP-UP | JANUARY 2018 + TBR?

2018 still sounds like a fake year! I hope your started off the year with a lot of love and happiness.

I read eight books. Unlike last year, I wasn’t pressuring myself to get a high number. I let myself read on my pace, not being too anal about splitting my time among anime and other stuff. I still watched a fair amount of anime – and anisong concerts – while being able to find time to read (sometimes, at the same time).

My Kobo Aura ONE is such a dream. I bring it with me every Friday because after work, I have quite a commute to Little Tokyo. I can also load up manga on that device if I was in the mood for quick reads. It’s so light! It doesn’t weigh down my purse and I can read in bed without my arm getting tired. I know, first world problems. And it has this huge screen that is a delight to read from.

To kick off my 2018 reading, here are the books I read in January:

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 8. Continue reading

T5W | Talking Trash

This week, we are talking about books you disliked but love to discuss.

One of my favorite things to watch on Youtube is “Books I Hate” or “Worst Books” lists. There’s something cathartic talking about books – or anything, really – that you dislike. You get fired up. You get so passionate about it. And honestly, the more intelligent booktube conversations come from these types of videos. Of course, there are those butthurt people lurking in the comments but mostly, I find actual smart conversations about a why so-and-so book was bad or why this other person liked it. The discussions between the two parties are very interesting to me; it shows how people differ in taste. When I participate, I mostly just expound why I didn’t like the book. I haven’t found a book (or movie) that I feel so passionately about that I will defend it to no end.

Then there are some books that people just really enjoy dragging through the mud. Ah, these. These are the 1-star books, the truly garbage books. Oh what fun. XD

The titles on my list today all rated 3 stars and below. Hell, probably 1-star but I’m just too lazy to look up my rating on Goodreads. I will try not to be mean… however, these “negative” topics bring out the best in me. LMAO.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
This will forever be hard for me because I did genuinely like the author when I met her. She’s such a darling. She was so excited about the book and you can tell she was so proud of it. HOWEVER.

“No longer white, the untouched snow at Scarlett’s feet winked up at her with periwinkle sparkles, as if it were in on some private joke.”

What. The. Hell. Is. That? I get purple prose but this is… periwinkle prose? Eh, I don’t even know. Scarlett was irritating; so much that the other characters in the book were calling out her stupidity. This book was so hyped and it fell so flat. It wasn’t unreadable but it wasn’t enjoyable at all. But I do love repeating that absolutely pointless color quotes. This was just awful.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.
I hated this book. I don’t know what possessed me to read this at the first place. I’m not the biggest fan of YA contemporary and this definitely has all the reasons why. I got so angry reading this book. I started off my rating at a 3 but as I thought about it more and I kept seeing it around, it just angered me more and I took it down to 1-star. While I don’t like being reminded of this book, I’m still like talking about it. Particularly about how this didn’t work for me and why I dislike it so much.

The epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling.
Let’s be real here, it was like bad fan fiction. But since JKR wrote it, it’s not fan fiction. Honestly, I’ve read better fan works and that whole thing was such a wet blanket. The story should’ve been left there and let the fans imagine the 19 Years later or whenever that was. I will never touch The Cursed Child with a 10-foot pole so I can’t speak about that. It’s just this epilogue… no.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
I don’t hate this book. I quite liked it. But it’s not as life-changing as many people say it is. At least, not to me. I do like reading and watching reviews about how amazing this is and see if I “get” it, you know? I appreciate the diversity and the representation and all that. It’s a move towards the right direction. But that doesn’t really make the book. This was pitched as being about a home for kids who went through magical doorways and how they cope about being back to the real world. It was there but if you really think about it, the book isn’t really about that. While I do have the 2 sequels waiting to be read, this book is just meh. We can talk about it but convincing me that this book will change my life is not going to work.

Our Fault In Our Stars by John Green.
If you love this book, good on you. I personally did not like one bit of this. I don’t appreciate being told what to feel, especially when I went through a loss much harder than anyone in this book. I don’t like Green’s writing style; as I’m told that all his books have that same vibe of tropes and condescension. I really don’t get why this became such a thing.


What did I say? Fires you up, right? Don’t be butthurt if you love any or all of these books. I don’t know you. It’s not a personal attack. We all have different tastes and that is what makes it beautiful.

TAG | Anything But Books

Let’s take a break from all the book stuff, shall we? I saw this tag on Books and Lala‘s channel. The original video is by Read or Rot. As always, I’m never tagged for any of these things but I found this tag interesting so I’m doing it.

It’s a given that all of us are avid readers. You can probably tell a person’s taste in books based on their reviews or reading picks. We all bond over that. But what if we have more in common than reading choices? I’ve gotten many book recommendations from bloggers, bookstagrammers, and booktubers. Who knows… I might get TV show, movies, hobby recs too.

Here are the questions:


1. Name a cartoon(s) that you love.
I don’t know about cartoons but I’m more of an anime person. I watch more anime than real people. I have all-time favorites and current favorites. And I often rewatch favorite episodes, scenes, and whole series all together. It’s easier to rewatch than reread, I realize. My favorites include: Haikyuu!!, Yuri!!! On Ice, Free!, Sound! Euphonium, sweetness & lightning, Shirobako, Orange, Girls und Panzer, Rurouni Kenshin, Voltes V, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Black Butler, Yuyu Hakusho, Kids on the Slope, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Steins;Gate… really, I can go on and on. 😉


2. What is your favorite song right now?
I haven’t listened to English songs in roughly 4-5 years. At least, not voluntarily. And I’ve fallen off the K-pop bandwagon for months. I checked back a bit when WINNER released new songs. So for the past months, I’ve been listening to anisong, songs from anime. As for a favorite anisong, Hikaru Nara by Goose House (Your Lie in April 1st OP) and I just have to include this, Ding! Dong! Ding! Dong! by Sphere. Lately, I’ve been obsessing over The IdolM@ster: Side M songs. “Drive A Live” is my jam. Also Wake Up, Girls! Watching all these Animelo Summer Live and Animax Musix stuff… it’s a pretty awesome black hole to fall into. Two of my surprise favorites are SCREEN mode and Maon Kurosaki.


3. What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?
Erm, watch anime. And I have! It’s either I’m reading books or fanfiction or watching anime. I’m subscribed to Crunchyroll and Funimation and for less than $7 – you get all the anime and NO ADS! And I’ve watched and rewatched whole seasons in one go randomly. I would start one episode rewatch then continue on to the end. Hours.


4. What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?
Crochet. I love working with big blanket yarns. They’re so easy to finish a skein, a project. It can get expensive (huge balls of chenille yarn can be $10 at the cheapest) but it’s so fulfilling. Whenever I go to Michaels, I love perusing the yarn section even though I’m not looking to buy any. I just love the feel of yarn between my fingers.


5. What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?
Card-making using watercolors. I actually bought a crap ton of cheap watercolors to practice, some pads of watercolor and multi-media paper. My brother dabbles in art and I have some paper for calligraphy so there’s no shortage of that. I planned to make cards for Christmas but it just never happened. Now, I have a bagful of unused watercolor supplies. Someday.


6. What is something unusual you know how to do?
Unusual how? I think I’m pretty normal with rather weird interests. I can assemble a Gunpla, no problem. But I don’t think that’s anything special. I’m sure there are a lot of girls who can do it much better than I can.


7. Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can)
Bullet journal spreads? You can peruse my Instagram feed for that. I’m not really crafty or artsy. The most beautiful thing I can do with my hands is my penmanship. I’ve had trouble with brush lettering and the likes because of how similar that style looks like versus my actual handwriting.


8. What is your most recent personal project?
Completing as many Haikyuu Banpresto figures as I can. Especially the Karasuno ones. I’m working on three separate lines: DXF, Creator x Creator, and Ichiban Kuji Gomisuteba no Kessen. I’ve caught up with all the Karasuno Nendoroid figures as well as the Yuri On Ice ones. Yep, I’ve become a figure monster. I also want to own the Haikyuu stage play on DVD/BD. I have the rerun currently on its way to me and a $5 off coupon saved up to buy Karasuno, Revival. Obsessed doesn’t even begin to describe it.


9. Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows)
To be honest, Hiroki Ino. Google him. You’ll thank me later. And also Haikyuu fanfiction plots. Yuri On Ice too.


10. Give us something thats your favorite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favorite food, but like your favorite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.
My favorite anime buzz word or something to that effect is… singing boys in a school setting. If the show has a school setting with boys, music, and singing, I’m all for it. It doesn’t even have to have a school setting. Singing boys are enough for me. That’s because I love me some seiyuu. If they sing, that’s a huge plus.


There you have it. Hopefully, it shows you a peek of my otaku side. Really, once I start, it’s going to take a lot to make it stop. I honestly enjoy talking about anime than books, sorry not sorry. XD

#T5W | Do I Know You?

This week, we are talking about forgettable books.

Raise your hand if you remember each and every book you read.

*crickets*

If you do, bravo to you.

Sometimes, I come across movies that I’m not entirely sure that I watched before. Same with books, until I look at the cover hard enough or read the blurb. I’m not the kind of reader who memorizes whole passages from the things I read. I don’t have the best memory when it comes to things that matter. But I can tell you each and every single Gunpla I own, what scale and how much I paid for it. XD

And then there are those books that I simply… forgot. Those books that simply didn’t leave any kind of impression on me, content-wise. Sure, I can remember a beautiful cover or a new way of storytelling. I can remember why I picked up that book at the first place. But if you ask me what it was about? I’ll search for it on GoodReads for you.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs.
Yes, the whole trilogy. I read this at the right time — waaaay before that Tim Burton movie (with the same name, totally different plot), way before people were starting to talk about its interesting pictures. I loved it. It was magical and upon the release of the next two books, I devoured them all in one sitting. But now, years later, after all the hype… I have no flippin’ clue what Hollow City and Library of Souls are about. Thanks to the movie, I can still remember the first book — and my memory is very different from what I saw on screen. Really, I draw a blank every time I try to recall the events of the 2nd and 3rd books. Maybe I should rethink my ratings, yeah?

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
Probably my least favorite Dan Brown book. The only thing I remember is the scene where Langdon is lying down on some scaffolding and then the painting above his head finally made sense. I can’t remember specifics. Also, is that the one where there was a kidnapping scene in the Philippines? I can’t be too sure.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers.
The 2nd book in the trilogy about assassin nuns. I vaguely remember the male love interest was this huge beast bear of a man. And that’s about it. I’m not opposed to re-reading this trilogy though.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi.
I feel a bit bad about this because I absolutely loved the second book. And yet, the only things I recall from this book is how much my head hurt from all the flowery writing and that obnoxious talking horse. For the life of me, I cannot remember anything else about this book.

The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh.
The only thing I remember about these books? The cover. Yup.


How bad are you? XD

#T5W + TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Maybe This Year

This week, we are talking about the books you didn’t get to in 2017.

It’s great that Top Ten Tuesdays has the very same topic for this week. So while this is technically a Top 5 Wednesday post, I will include five more items to make it ten. Or who knows… I’ve got more!

We always say that we want to read “all the books!” That includes the many new releases every year that becomes a backlist the following year. Not to mention the existing backlist some authors already have. Like everyone, I have other things to do besides reading. As much as I would like to devote a whole 24 hours to read, I can’t do that. I love anime far too much. 😉

I’m not much for TBRs but I do have quite a list of books I want to read more than others. For some, I haven’t read them yet because I’m waiting for it to go come out on paperback (The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro). Others, the audio book is on hold from the library (Cress by Marissa Meyer). But it’s mostly that I’m in no hurry (Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire).

So here are 5 (10, actually) things that I wish I read in 2017 but didn’t. Who knows… maybe 2018 is the year I finally get to it.


A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
I’m currently reading this beautiful book. And it really is quite beautiful. I preordered this last year, around the time I met her at another author’s signing. I did get the preorder perk but I never got around to reading this. I wonder why. This is way better than the first book, The Star-Touched Queen. Everything about it is so lovely.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Here’s the thing… I wasn’t a fan of the Grishaverse at all. At all. I wanted to read that before getting to this duology but after finishing Ruin and Rising, I kind of got discouraged. (And I met Leigh at the same signing I mentioned above.) However, a lot of people were telling me to still go for it – it’s so much better than the Grishaverse trilogy – so I will do it this year. I have the boxed set of the duology and a signed Post-it note as a book plate. It’s gonna happen!

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett
The whole Divine Cities trilogy, to be honest. I have all 3 and I consciously put this on many TBRs. But I never got the inspiration to pick up such a dense book. Then when I finally got the urge, it was after reading Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente. It was the end of the year and I didn’t think I can read two Russian-inspired books in a row. I will try to at least start this trilogy this year.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
This is out of pure laziness. I read about 3-4 chapters of this book on the train when I bought it. Then I got home. Then my copy of the book got lost in the black hole that the the space between my bed and my brother’s bed. Yay. I still wanted to read it; I mean, I still remember what I read more clearly than the stuff I read last week.  I know it doesn’t have the best reviews but I still am very interested.

A Natsuo Kirino book
I own 4 books by her and haven’t read any of them. I even have a signed copy of Grotesque. Like, actual kanji signature! I wanted to read Out but the synopsis was a bit similar to The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. I might pick up Grotesque some time this year. Sooner rather than later.

That’s the Top 5 Wednesday part of this post. Here’s some more to satisfy Top Ten Tuesdays!

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
My copy of this book is twice signed. I bought it signed. Then I met Tahereh Mafi at Marie Lu‘s Warcross signing and she signed and personalized it there. I had every intention of reading this book last year to complete a challenge. I actually started it but put it down for whatever reason. I’m interested in the companion book so yeah, this is going to be read this year.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
I was in between books last year around October or November and I saw this book on my shelf. I picked it up, readying myself to read it but for some reason, I never even opened up the book. I moved on to other stuff. I haven’t read Our Dark Duet yet either but that’s just me choosing not to read it yet. I’ve own The Archived for quite a while and I am determined to read every VE Schwab book in existence.

United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas
I don’t know, I’ve always wanted to read this. I’m so intrigued by the premise of this book. It’s video games, war, mecha… all the stuff that I’m very much into at the moment. I still am interested. We’ll see. 🙂

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Another signed book, signed trilogy. I guess this will be my trilogy of 2018. Two years ago, it was Legend. Last year, it was Mistborn. I really wanted to read this last year before Warcross came out but I never got around to it. I did read Warcross though.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I’m on the fence about this. I am beginning to see more and more people say that they dislike this book so much for may different and valid reasons. I bought it because of some glowing reviews from people I trust. Then, another group of people whose opinions I listen to seem to not only dislike, but hate this book. What do you think?


Of course, those aren’t the only ones. I have more. I do mean to continue on with both the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith and Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry. I keep saying I want to read Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman and Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven at every single TBR, every single season. I put Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake on top of my actual book pile so that I will pick it up but never did.

There is just so little time to read all the books. But we’ll get there. Eventually.

WRAP-UP | AUTUMN [9/22/17 through 12/21/17]

Check out my Summer wrap-up here. 

I know it’s late. Very late. It got away from me. The holidays were my time to destress where I, strangely enough, don’t panic and worry about gifts and decorations and stuff like that. I did do a lot of buying but mostly for myself. I don’t really get that many gifts and this time around, I was in the position to actually spoil myself a little bit. So I did that. My wallet wasn’t happy but I definitely was very happy.

I read 33 things in Autumn. Looking at my list, it’s mostly manga and a good chunk of audio books. It was in the Fall that I finally got Overdrive working for me and there was no turning back from there. I still am using Hoopla Digital but for more selections, I hope the my library has it on Overdrive.

I finished off 6 series: Girls und Panzer manga, The Graceling Realm trilogy by Kristin CashoreRing series by Koji SuzukiThe Remnant Chronicles trilogy by Mary E. PearsonDaughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor, and the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. All but the Ring series and The Graceling Realm were started in 2017. I started The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and The Broken Earth trilogy by NK Jemisin.

But looking at my list of 33 books, I don’t think I have a clear favorite. Nothing jumps up at me as a favorite. I did like all of them just okay, almost equally. It’s strange. I can’t explain it. Meh. I’m not the most critical reader. All I need is to enjoy the book for me to like it. So I guess that’s why I don’t have a favorite this season. I will try to at least try to mention some that stuck with me. Here goes…

  • Who am I kidding, I do have what you can call “favorites” – the manga originals of My Hero Academia and Haikyuu. I read up until the 3rd volumes for both and I love each and everyone of them. The anime adaptations are two of my favorites and I can’t believe how faithful they are to the source material manga. In fact, they’re even funnier.
  • I also enjoyed Birthday, especially the third short story in the collection, Happy Birthday.
  • Not really the books but Laini Taylor’s writing is definitely one of my new favorites.
  • Priest was a pleasant surprise. It was so sinfully good.
  • The Hero of Ages was a perfect way to end things. It was long, yes, but it needed to be that length to tie everything together.

And that’s about it. I’m definitely continuing on with all the series I started this season.

 

Also, I won’t pressure myself with numbers. I will still read my share of manga but I will not rely solely on that for numbers. I’m taking it one book at a time, or two if I’m listening to an audio book. 😉