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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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.

#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.

#T5W | Read More

This week, we are talking about Reading Resolutions.

“Read more” is probably in most resolutions list, not just reading or book-related. It could mean quantity or quality. Personally, I want mine to be of quality. I know I can read more than 100 books (hello, manga!). I’ve read diversely, especially in terms of author ethnicity. I patronized many different genres. Reading more is very doable and quite fulfilling.

Also, I’m not even going to consider “reviewing more” because that’s never going to happen. I can’t be bothered sitting down and writing words about a book I just finished or something I read in the past. Of course, there will be exceptions – say, if inspiration strikes hard or if I have raging feelz for such book – but overall, don’t expect it. I’ll stick to what I do best: LISTS.


So what do I want out of my reading in 2018? Here are some things:

Actually sticking to Reading Challenge picks rather than fitting the titles I randomly read to the categories.
We’re all guilty of this. I’m not saying that I will not give my self a pass (or several) but freely replacing titles takes the “challenge” out of reading challenges. I’m the kind of person who custom fits titles to a reading challenge at the start of the year. I’ve done PopSugar one year and Better World Books the next, and while they look rather successful, the only ended up that way because I replaced 80% of the titles with books that I actually read as the year progressed. Like I said, I might still do this but I’ll try to actually commit and be accountable.

I will be posting my picks for the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018 tomorrow.

Barakamon

Reading a manga before watching the anime.
They say the “rule” is read the book before you watch the movie. I’ve never actually done that with manga. I usually find my way to the manga by way of watching the anime first. OrangeRurouni Kenshin, Fullmetal Alchemist, Haikyu, sweetness & lightning, Onepunch Man, My Hero Academia… the list goes on and on. I end up loving the source material as much as the anime adaptation anyway. I do plan to do that this year with Kuroko no Basket.

Read books from hauls past.
Inspired by Books and Lala‘s Closet Unhaul and by Julie from Pages and Pens where they revisit years old hauls and check in to see which ones they’ve read, unhauled, or was still unread. I went through a phase (when I first discovered Book Outlet) where I could complete series before reading them and having 10+ book hauls every couple of weeks. And took pictures of them! I still list them down though so I still know my damage. I don’t know about you but I tend to read newer acquisitions. Especially lately when I think I finally somewhat controlled my book buying urge. I will only buy a book if it’s signed and/or if I’m genuinely excited about it. Then I tend to read those instead of my existing TBR. I would like to change that this year and actively decide to pick up books that either I already own and/or have been waiting for a long time to be read.

Read more tomes.
Books that have 500+ pages. Not just during Tome Topple. That shouldn’t be an excuse to read a huge book. I find that I actually have fun when I hunker down with a big brick of a book. The mental preparation that I put myself through make it so exciting, as if you’re planning a long trip somewhere. And I’m not really intimidated by big books. I do have some ways around it like reading an ebook if I’m out and about or supplementing my reading time with an audio book version. Whatever will get it done, I will do it.

Unhaul.
Ever since becoming a Haikyuu figure and Gunpla monster, space has become a major issue in my room. No way in hell I would I sell back my figures or disassemble my Gunpla so my books will have to take one for the team. I do have a sizable pile of unhauled books already just waiting to be shipped out but I have so much more that I can get rid of. I know, in a sense, that unhauling is throwing away money – regardless if it’s a full priced book or discounted – but let’s be real… you chose to buy that book and now, you come to regret that purchase. We all have different reasons of unhauling. I got rid of my copies of the Grisha Trilogy because I didn’t like it. I know I will unhaul some more books that I simply do not have any interest in anymore. It took me a while to accept it but whatever’s necessary, right? Think of it as your books getting a new home that will love them more than you did.


On my draft, I put in “buy less books” but I already do that. I only bought two books in December. This month, it looks like I will only get another 2 more. (Don’t quote me!) But my other fandom-y expenses are on a slight rise… or it could be just because of Christmas lol. Anyway, here’s a good thought to curb your buying urges…

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE EVERY COUPON YOU RECEIVE.

I know that’s common sense but a certain percentage off, especially on total purchase price, is rather tempting. I know Barnes and Noble got me so many times. Just this past month, Tokyo Otaku Mode destroyed my budget with absolutely wonderful deals and coupons. (Come on, 20% off with free shipping? Yes, please.) Really, you don’t have to use it.  But if you absolutely want to, by all means, do it!

As a blogger, I only have one resolution: to comment more. Not just on my posts but on other blogs. I love reading other people’s posts. It gives me ideas and I just love the conversations and opinions shared. I hope I can do more of that here and around the blogging community.

Let’s all cheer each other on! Three days into 2018 and it’s already looking like it’s going to be fun!

T5W | GIVE THEM A LUMP OF COAL

This week, we are talking about Characters On Our Naughty List.

A day late. I didn’t go to work yesterday and I blog at work. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. 😉

One character entered my mind the moment I read the December topics, specifically for this week. One male character would’ve been my whole list. Then I thought of more characters with similar traits as this person. Then another. Three little bitches. But then I needed girls in my list. So I found 2.

I won’t be putting direct antagonists or villains. Thiago from Daughter of Smoke and Bone made my draft but I figured, the was written to be disliked. Sutter Keely of The Spectacular Now is extremely unlikable and I think that was on purpose. I’m not the biggest fan of Katniss from The Hunger Games but I do like her a whole heckuva lot.

But there are some characters that I dislike so much, I’m tempted to skip their chapters if they get a POV. Yup. Some I dislike so damn much, I ended up disliking the book/series. Not sorry. And I swear in this post. Be warned.


MALYEN ORETSEV, The Grishaverse.
Oh Mal. I could state him as my answer five times over and this’ll be the easiest Top 5 Wednesday ever. Mal is a bitch. Froget brooding, he’s a whiny bitch. I never liked him from the get-go. Hell, I ended up disliking the Grisha trilogy because there was too much of him and the canon pairing featured him. He didn’t deserve any good thing that happened to him. I don’t ever want to see him again. LOL.

TAMLIN, A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Here comes another little bitch. A weepy bitch this time. I don’t know about you but my picture of Tamlin in my head is Fabio. You know, a tanned and muscly guy with long wavy hair. That’s Tamlin to me. So imagine that throwing an actual kiddie tantrum, destroying a room, and pounding his fists on the floor crying. Also, I liked him during the first half of ACOTAR. I honestly thought he was OTP. Until it turned out that he’s pretty irrelevant to the whole trilogy after all. Gee thanks, Sarah. But hey, he was an effective Mean Girl character.

Lets round up the little bitches with —

FELIX WOLFE, Wolf by Wolf.
I actually loved Felix at the very start of the story. I felt so sorry for him. He wanted to save his family from ruin and get his sister back. But holy shit, after everything they went through, he didn’t even care for the others who had a hand at saving him. He had a one-track mind that all he needed was Adele and everyone else can die, for all he cares. He didn’t deserve the ending he got and geez, I regret investing emotions on his character.

LAOGHAIRE, Outlander.
“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Yeah, but girl… he ain’t even yours to begin with. She wanted Jamie but Jamie didn’t want her. Jamie will always come back to Claire. I actually do like her character but she’s in my naughty list because Laoghaire acted so entitled to Jamie with no reason at all.

SCARLETT DRAGNA, Caraval.
One of the stupidest characters I’ve ever read all year. Even the other characters were actively calling out her bullshit. She is so frustrating but of course she gets away with it. Everyone in the book was pulling her along and she believed every damn thing. No. Forget you, Scarlett.


That felt good. Very good.

T5W | MISS GRINCH

This week, we are talking about our Bookish Things You’re A Grinch About.

Or bookish pet peeves. What ever floats your boat. But try not to get too-too serious about it. It’s the little nitpicky things. Or it can be huge ground-breaking issues too. Heh.

It’s all in good fun. No need to get hostile or defensive about these lists. I mean, we still read these books anyway whether it has a love triangle or absentee parent, right? It’s our shared dislike or disagreement in opinions that keep up together. And that’s beautiful.

With that said, here’s my list of “little things” that tick me off in the book scene:

MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS.
Yes, people. They’re cute but I don’t like them. There’s this boba magnetic bookmark that I wanted but then I thought… I don’t use those. I have those Harry Potter ones from Target but when I tried using one on a rather large tome, I didn’t like the way it looked and the way it was bulky in between the pages. No. Just… no. There are some adorable Yuri On Ice ones that I wanted off of Etsy but you can’t make me use magnetic bookmarks for any kind of book. On planners and journals, maybe, but not for books.

NO HALF-STARS ON GOODREADS RATING SYSTEM.
At least we have re-reads now. But half-stars is a must. I know you can choose to round up or down your half rating but there’s a huge difference between a 3- and a 4-star rating psychologically. I’d rather gravitate towards a book with a 3.8 star rating than a 3.4 stars. It does force the reader to be firm with his/her rating but still, that half-star is a huge thing.

WHEN BOOKSTORES ONLY HAVE MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS.
My example for this is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Prior to purchasing the 10th anniversary edition last month, all of the bookstores I visited only have mass market paperback copies. Same with the Mistborn trilogy (but I’ve decided to go to Book Depository for my Sanderson fix). I know it’s a space issue but still!

BOOKS WITHOUT BLURBS.
I see this especially with Magical Realism books. It has the author bio on the back and a bunch of quoted reviews. Inside, even more starred reviews. But no summary. What the hell is this book about?! I still do check GoodReads when book shopping but how will you interest your reader if you don’t have a summary of your book when people can read it? Do you want me to judge your book by its cover? Well, better make it an exceptional cover then.

CRAZY NAMES.
Khrysthyne Mharie von Auslesse, Jaxon Vryanth [title of book as character’s last name]. What’s up, New Adult? Nothing wrong with the standard spellings of Kristine or Christine. (Although, I do know someone who actually named their child exactly how that name is spelled above. Poor kid.) I can take it from Fantasy novels, the crazier the better. But these NA authors have the most creative names that it trips me up every time I encounter one on the page. So much that I have to audio book instead.


Well, that was cathartic. XD