WRAP-UP | SEPTEMBER 2017

“Fall is here, fall is here! It’s my favorite time of year.” If you know where that quote is from, you’re pretty cool in my book. 😉

So let’s talk about September. I had a birthday and I blew epic monies on Haikyuu Nendoroid figures. Here I have Hinata and Kageyama, Tsukishima, Sugawara, ordered Nishinoya, and preordered both Daichi and my baby Yamaguchi. On top of all that, my actual birthday gift to myself was tickets to Taeyang‘s LA concert. It was lovely. There were tears, not gonna lie. I also got the Free! Starting Days seiyuu event blu-ray. So yeah, September was pretty much “goodbye monies”. I’m seriously considering a no-buy across all my interests. (The fact that I have a crapton of birthday coupons from last month – to use until the end of this month – does not help. Pfft.)

In bookish news, I met Marie Lu (for the 2nd time) and Tahereh Mafi at the Warcross signing event held by Vroman’s Bookstore Pasadena. It was so much fun. Also, I read 11 books. How the hell did that happen? My September reading started off slow. I was still feeling the slump from August plus being slightly disappointed by a hyped book I was slugging through. Audio books pretty much saved me. And companion novellas. Overall, I enjoyed a lot of my reads this month and I’m super close to 100 books read for 2017! (Oh, idk where to put this tidbit but here goes… I realize that I enjoy reading on my Kindle Fire HD than my Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.)

All signed!

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 11.

  • Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin. The novella in between Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood. It’s about how the “alliance” between Luka and Adele came about. Honestly, I would read anything in Luka’s perspective. He’s my favorite character in the whole series. This novella adds so much to the story but I understand why it had to be separated from the first book. I really love how sassy and witty Luka is in this book and it definitely carried over to Blood for Blood. 5/5 stars.
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. I think I expected too much from this book. Booktube has hyped this up to no end. A princess runs away on the day of her wedding as two men chase after her, one is her betrothed and the other an assassin sent out to kill her. Yes, please. While I did enjoy it, I found that it was rather repetitive. How many times can you talk about a day in one’s life in a small and sleepy town? And then it just ended. I would very much like to continue with the series but I cannot find the rest of the books in my collection. DX 3.5 stars.
  • Malice by Keigo Higashino. Audio book. This was tough. I rated the story 4/5 stars. In true Higashino fashion, the twist in the end totally changed my opinion of the book 180. It as so smart. But the audio narration, goodness. 2/5 stars. It was so confusing and no fun at all. I do own a physical copy of the book so I guess I’ll re-read it to see if my enjoyment will be the same.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Audio book. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Christian Coulson, you might know him as 16-year-old Tom Riddle in the 2nd Harry Potter movie, was the perfect narrator for Monty. I laughed out loud and was at the edge of my seat for most of it. Monty and Percy are so cute. Felicity is an amazing character. I’m actually considering buying a signed copy of this book. That’s how much I loved it. 5/5 stars. Favorite!
  • Arena by Holly Jennings. Half-read, half-audio. I had to read this for Blogging For Books but I ended up enjoying it a lot. I actually have a review for it. 4/5 stars.
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Audio book. WOW. For actual years, I’ve been asking my brother if this was worth reading. I’m now kicking myself… why did it take me so damn long to get to this book?! It was amazing. Iko is hilarious. Still waiting to see if Kaito is book boyfriend material though. I’m waiting for Scarlet to be available on Overdrive and I’m actually bummed that it’s not! I guess I will have to finally go ahead and buy that Lunar Chronicles boxed set from Book Outlet. 5/5 stars.
  • Warcross by Marie Lu. Signed by author at event. Yes, I read this right after Arena and finished it on the same night as Cinder. Yes, it was quite similar to Arena but I enjoyed both in different ways. To be honest, I’m not sure how to rate it yet. I have rated it 5/5 stars but I feel like it’s more 4.5 or 4. I’m pretty sure there was insta-love. Not that it bothers me. (Okay, yes a bit.) But the heavy topics, implications to reality, were a thing of brilliance. So yeah, maybe my rating will change in the future. (But the fact that this book is set in the same universe as Legend and hey, Asher Wing is bae… that alone is 5 stars in my book.)
  • Girls und Panzer, Volume 4. I finally finished this manga series. And this one gets 5/5 stars! The last episodes of the anime are my favorite and this was definitely the source material for those.
  • Warm Up by VE Schwab. A 15-page prequel companion to Vicious. It’s not going to make much sense if you haven’t read Vicious but if you have, this little piece is pretty awesome. 5/5 stars.
  • Life Before Legend by Marie Lu. Day’s first kiss and June’s first day at Drake University. It was meh. I can’t wait for the Champion epilogue in Day’s POV that came free with the Warcross preorder. 3/5 stars.
  • Priest by Sierra Simone. I think I now know why a lot of NA books have exceptionally high ratings on GoodReads. You either love them or hate them. This… I absolutely loved. Forgive me, Father, this book is so sinfully good. It’s about Tyler and Poppy. And you guessed it, Tyler is a Catholic priest. There’s something about taboo topics that make me so damn curious. 4/5 stars! I’ll be reading the follow-up novella very soon.

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WRAP-UP | SUMMER [6/21/17 through 9/21/17]

Check out my SPRING wrap-up here.

Summer is finally over. Thank goodness! We will still have summer-like weather here in SoCal for another week or so but as long as I can wear my scarves and boots, I’m good. I’m not the biggest fan of summer but it looks like my summer reading was pretty good.

I read 25 things in the summer months spread among physical books, ebooks, audio books, and manga. I participated in Tome Topple. I finished three series; read a version of Jane Eyre, and found pretty awesome New Adult favorites. I experienced somewhat of a reading slump after Tome Topple (and found Haikyu!! while at it). Here’s my Top 5 reads during the Summer and some that didn’t impress me much.

In no particular order:

  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. I listened to this. Five hours of brilliance. What an amazing story. The best way I could describe this is a Japanese Tuesdays With Morrie. The story is so beautiful and unassuming.
  • When It’s Real by Erin Watt. Another audio book. And ooh boy, I loved this so damn much. It was this or Us by Sarina Bowen. I love that too but holy shit, this book broke me. The narrators were amazing. It’s actually more YA than hardcore NA and they give it just the perfect amount of tension between the characters. It’s so cute. OMG, I’m thinking of buying my own copy.
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. The second book in the Mistborn trilogy and man, this was awesome. It as funny, sad, exciting… everything! I can’t wait to close out the year with the final book in the trilogy.
  • A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. Oh yeah, another audio book read. This was a surprise. I kept on seeing this on Book Outlet, hearing it on booktube… all signs point to me reading this book. And I liked it a lot. It’s dark and just so atmospheric. I will definitely read this again.
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Guess what, audio. This was read by Christian Coulson aka, 16-year-old Tom Riddle. Holy crap this was hilarious. This was intense. This was oh so sweet. Felicity FTW!

I did read mostly good books in the summer but the last two books of The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski was a bit disappointing. Actually, the whole series didn’t meet my expectations. It was “sold” to me using piano and music, all that. I didn’t get any of that. While I loved the slave/master dynamic, I went in looking for another thing and didn’t find it.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire but it wasn’t life-changing book everyone said it would be but it was a good book. It’s like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children with better writing and the “peculiarity” made more sense. 

Also, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas is officially my favorite of the trilogy. I didn’t care for the first book, the second book was better than that but I didn’t care much for it. The third one though… can we cast Otabek Altin as Azriel already? Please.

Fall is here! Bring out the high fantasy and creepy reads!

WRAP-UP | AUGUST 2017

September is my birthday month! Expect quite a few book hauls (or just one big haul wrap-up at the end of the month).

How was your August reading? I think I went into a slump this month because I kicked off August with Tome Topple and boy, that kind of burnt me out. Although, I did manage to read three books that are over 600 pages. Two of them were within the readathon duration and one was in my TBR but I read it afterwards. I planned to fill the month with manga but… Haikyuu happened. I binge watched all 60 episodes in five days. No regrets.

But it did effectively put me into a reading slump. Also, I realized that I read faster on my Kindle than any other format. It’s that “time remaining” thing on the bottom. My Samsung Nook has a similar option that it counts the pages left in the chapter. Not quite the same but effective nonetheless. I will still have the book on hand so I can annotate it. I just find it easier to read on the tablet.

I wish I have more to show you reading-wise but hey, at least I found new favorite anime characters and Japanese voice actors.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 6.

  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. Wow. Holy crap. What a monster of a book. It started off kind of slow but the plot twists will unknowingly creep up on you. I love all of the characters. I could not help but root for everyone. I will definitely have the 3rd one lined up towards the end of the year. 5/5 stars.
  • Tomie Deluxe Edition by Junji Ito. I expected to like this more than I actually did. The premise is that a girl, Tomie, has the power to allure men so much that they would want to kill her and tear her apart. Then those parts regenerate to more Tomies thus spreading horror. I did like it but after a while, the story got very repetitive. If I read this bit by bit, I think I would have enjoyed it more. 4/5 stars.
  • Black Butler Volume 11 by Yana Toboso. I finally reached the start of the Book of Atlantic arc! The previous volumes reminded me so much of And Then There Were None. I liked it but it was too wordy for my taste. I would love to see that animated though. 3/5 stars.
  • Girls und Panzer Volume 3. Katyusha-sama is my girl! I enjoyed this volume a lot. And I appreciated the anime episode more after reading this. They added so much but kept the a lot of the source material also. So they really did skip the Anzio match even in the manga. Interesting. 4/5 stars.
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. As “trashy” as this trilogy was, I kind of loved this. I think it’s my favorite out of all three books. I don’t know… the writing was still flat and the main characters were still dull. But the side characters, especially my love Azriel Altin, brownie points if you get that reference. I still don’t like Nesta. As for Elain, bless you, my girl. I want both of your potential love interests. I’m not very bothered by the “mate” situation but yes, it was kind of awkward and ridiculous. It was definitely overused. Still, I actually liked this book. 4/5 stars.
  • A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. Audio book. I’ve been meaning to get a copy of this but when I found that the audio book was on Hoopla Digital, I decided to borrow it from there. What a well-written story. I fell in love with the writing. The narration was very good as well. I would still like to read this in the future and revisit this in book format. 5/5 stars.

STATS:

  • 2988 pages
  • 3 manga and 1 audio book

As for book buying, I was very good. I only bought four – two are the same book just different formats.

  • The Hollow Crown by Jeff Wheeler. Audio and Kindle book. The 4th book in the Kingfountain series. I haven’t even started this but I have 4 books in both Kindle edition and audio. I mean, if they’re available for $1.99 for each format, why not?
  • The Thief’s Daughter by Jeff Wheeler. Audio book from Amazon. See above.
  • Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin. Kindle. Read it. Loved it.

So I’m almost done with the first season of My Hero Academia. It’s giving me some Onepunch-Man vibes and I’m liking it a lot. And I’m currently continuing with The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson. I am meeting Marie Lu on the 22nd for the Warcross signing. I would like to start her The Young Elites series this month… maybe finish it even. This will be my 2nd time meeting Marie Lu this year and I’m looking to have my copies of Legend (former library copy) and Prodigy (ARC!) signed also. After that, all my Marie Lu books are signed!

And since we’re on the topic of TBRs, I need to read and review Arena by Holly Jennings. I planned to read this in July when I got it but hey, I wasn’t in the mood. Hopefully, I am now.

I also want to read some of the New Adult books that I acquired or already have on my Kindle. They usually go by fast; a lot of them are less than 300 pages and seriously, they’re not that profound anyway LMAO.

Provided I don’t get distracted by anime and anisong concerts again this month… we’ll see. 😉

WRAP-UP | JULY 2017

How is it August already? It’s almost Christmas!

I did quite well in my July reading even with Anime Expo at the start of the month. I did especially well in the audio book department. I discovered that Hoopla has Japanese fiction on audio. I’ve come to realize that they are awesome to listen to and a lot of them are short reads – listens – at less than 6 hours. Most of them anyway. Plus, I lucked out with the narrators. Sure, they’re not perfect Japanese pronunciation when it comes to names but I still enjoyed it.

I finally did a Jane Eyre re-read after not doing it for 2-3 years. I acquired the Manga Classics by Udon Entertainment copy and oh boy, I loved it. I am looking at getting all the other Manga Classics versions. They’re so much easier to read than the dense original text. I also finished a very hyped and beloved YA series and once again, was kind of let down by it. This month’s reading had been filled with most anticipated reads, recommendations, and audio books. Let’s see how I did!

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 11. I hit a total of 80 reads this past month.

  • Sound! Euphonium, Volume 1 by Ayano Takeda. This is the light novel source material of one of my favorite anime shows. This is a story told through Kumiko’s eyes; she is a euphonium player for the Kitauji High School band. She goes through normal high school stuff on top of band club drama. While I definitely prefer the anime (it has actual music and playing of music), I really enjoyed this one as well. My Shuichi x Kumiko heart, especially. But I’m only giving this 4/5 stars because to me, there was a bit (a lot) of queer baiting. Now, it could just be a form of fan service but this was written before the anime was aired.
  • Amazonia by James Rollins. As with every James Rollins book, I listened to this on audio. I did enjoy this. It had a slow start but it built up quite nicely. Of course, make sure your suspension of disbelief is quite strong. As much as Rollins’ books are filled with adventure, they’re not the most believable. 4/5 stars.
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. I listened to this. I also own this book. But when I saw this on Hoopla, under 5 hours, I thought it’s going to be a quick read. It was but it was so good. It reminded me of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. A housekeeper is hired to help out at an elderly professor’s house. After a while, the professor invites the housekeeper’s son with them. They then develop a sort of familial relationship that makes such a differences in all of their lives. The narration by Cassandra Campbell is A+! 5/5 stars, favorite.
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. Book 2 in the trilogy. There were so many things going on but none of it was truly exciting. Then it just ended. Yes, it was full of political intrigue. Think of a chess game but with a lot of misunderstanding. Really, things would’ve ended much faster and cleaner if they only just talked. But then again, we have a 3rd book. 3.5/5 stars. At this point, I almost slumped… I wasn’t enjoying this.
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. I was good. But it wasn’t life changing as everyone says. I actually didn’t get it much. It was a magical realism mystery novella with an asexual main character. Okay. 4/5 stars.
  • Girls und Panzer, Volume 2. I’ve since completed the Nendoroid Petit Collection 1, thanks to Anime Expo. I… didn’t enjoy this volume. They pretty much left out the whole Saunders match. It was merely mentioned but the anime has 1.5 episodes about that. I understand the choice but I would’ve liked to see more of the match on the page. 3/5 stars.
  • When It’s Real by Erin Watt. Holy crap. Holy crap, I loved this. Oh man, this was an awesome audio book read by two narrators, Caitlin Kelly and Teddy Hamilton. This toed the line between YA and NA but there’s no explicit sex scene yet it still managed to be so hot. It touched all my feelz and then some. 5/5 stars, favorite!
  • Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino. Another audio book with A+ narration by David Pittu. I enjoy his mystery novels so much and they are perfect to listen on audio. This is about a husband murdered when his soon-to-be ex-wife is on vacation. Yes, it was predictable in a way that you know who did it. The question is “how.” Amazing. 5/5 stars.
  • Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura. Based on the blurb, I should love this. This is about a journalist interviewing a man on death row after being convicted of killing 2 women by burning them to death. Then it unravels a very complicated web of accomplices, secrets, and deceit. But I had a problem with the narration. The names were badly pronounced, there wasn’t much difference between character voices. I got lost so many times. So I don’t think it’s the novel’s fault. I do own this so I may just have to read it again. 2.5/5 stars.
  • Manga Classics: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, illustrated by SunNeko Lee. You don’t know “cute” until you’ve seen Jane and Rochester in chibi form. I will give this book nothing but a perfect score. 5/5 stars.
  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. I’m filing this under the same umbrella as The Grisha trilogy – hyped series that ended up disappointing me. I wanted to read this book when I heard that this featured a pianist main character and music. Well, so much for that. I did enjoy this too but there was just too much traveling and talking and not much else. I still like Arin. Kestrel’s okay too. Over all, this series is a 3.5/5, just like this book.

Continue reading

WRAP-UP | JUNE 2017

I apologize for the delay. I blame Anime Expo for that. I’m still on a post-con high. It was the best show so far and I’m so happy to have experienced it. It did get in the way of my reading towards the end of June but I still managed to have a good reading month. I discovered a new favorite and I may have found my preferred NA subgenre. *wink*

Now that the first half of the year has passed (really guys, JUNE is still a part of the first half of the year), I’m looking forward to reading more of what’s on my shelf, getting through more series, and making a dent on my ebook collection. See I didn’t put “buy less books” on there. I realized that I’m okay with buying books. I only buy when I really truly want something and then the other books are just there for free shipping. I feel another unhaul coming up so we’ll see how that goes.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 10.

  • Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I finally got to this book. And I have to say, it’s my least favorite Dan Brown to date. I thought it was just because it was on audio and I wasn’t giving my full attention to it. But I got lost so many times even though I was focused. I questioned a lot of their motives and a lot of it didn’t make sense. At least now, with the exception of the YA re-release of The Da Vinci Code, I can say that I have read all of Dan Brown’s published books. 3/5 stars.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. More Azriel. Absolutely no Tamlin. I must say, this is not a “good book” but it is a good read. A guilty pleasure read. I don’t line SJM’s bland writing and her plot lines are so convoluted. But her characters have a life of their own. I love the Inner Circle and Azriel is Otabek Altin in my head. The sex scenes are like reading some Explicit fanfiction off Archive Of Our Own. Just… wow. Take that as you want – positively or negatively. 3.5/5 stars.
  • Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji. This is a companion novel to Another. It’s basically a conversation between Mei and Sakakibara about an incident that Mei experienced that linked to the strange events of the first book. It’s rather slow and I was ready to give it less than 5 stars but the ending happened. And yes, it deserved all the stars. 5/5 stars.
  • Black Butler, Volume 10 by Yana Toboso. I just realized why this arc was so familiar. It’s basically following And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Our characters are trapped in the Phantomhive manor while a storm rages outside. Then one by one, a killer picks off the people in the manor. I loved this arc. Especially Finny’s tribute to Sebastian. My  heart! 4/5 stars.
  • Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. New favorite alert! I breezed through this book in 24 hours. I loved it so much. Jamie and Wesley are hot and adorable and I was rooting for them so hard. And I realized that I love m/m romances – of course when done right. And this was done so right. 5/5 stars. More, if possible.
  • Girls und Panzer: Little Army, Volumes 1 &2 illustrated by Tsuchii. This is a prequel about how Miho got into Tankery and how she met her first in Middle School also through Tankery. I actually own all the Girls und Panzer manga. I love this anime. This prequel, not so much. I gave both 3 stars each. Although, I wouldn’t mind to see an anime for this.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I finally read something by this author. On audio. I think I may need to re-read this in book form. The writing is great but it didn’t grip me. I kept waiting for the race to happen and… it didn’t. Sort of. I’m not quite sure. The pair of narrators did a good job but like I said, my mind wasn’t there. It’s the writing that kept me going. Yeah, I’ll get a copy of this and re-read it eventually. 4/5 stars.
  • Girls und PanzerVolume 1. I was so excited to read this. Girls und Panzer is now one of my favorite anime. I have almost all of the Petit Nendoroid figures from my extraordinary luck at grab boxes. I’m surprised to see that this is told in Yukari’s POV. I can’t wait to get to the rest. 4/5 stars.
  • Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. I had to. Oh god, this was so cute. All the new characters are so precious. Jamie is a darling. I felt so many feelz. All of them are 5 stars.

STATS:

  • 3235 pages
  • 4 manga and 2 audio books

Yes, I bought them both. And the Funko Pop Draco Malfoy pen topper. I saw this marked as a “Hot Topic exclusive” but I bought this at Target way before I saw it at Hot Topic. *shrugs* Unfortunately, I haven’t re-read this yet. I know I said I would but I don’t know what it is about me and re-reading. I suddenly remember everything about that book once I start reading it. Eh, someday maybe. Hopefully.

I thought I was doing good with my book buying. Until I wrote everything down. Oh dear. Continue reading

2017 MID-YEAR BOOK FREAKOUT TAG

I wanted to post this when June officially is over – when it is truly midway through the year – but looking at my current reads and upcoming schedule, it’s not going to make a difference whether I do it now or later. I’m almost done with a light novel and an audio book and neither are to write home about. Also, starting tomorrow – June 30 – I’ll be in Anime Expo mode until the 4th of July. I am excite!

Here is my last year’s post – 2016 Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. I definitely read more this year with better diversity in genre and media. I’ve also made better book-buying choices. I’ve missed a couple of good sales even with the new free shipping option from Book Outlet and crazy deals from Better World Books and Thriftbooks. I became more excited about author events. Overall, this is shaping up to be a better reading year than the last.

As of this posting, I’ve read a total of 69 books and “currently reading” 3.

1. Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2017
I’ve seen many bloggers and booktubers give multiple answers to this so I’m giving two: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. They’re brilliant in their own way. One has such a rich world that sucks you in from page one. The other has so much action that rivals even the goriest movies. I

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016
Spiral by Koji Suzuki, hands down. It’s my favorite out of the Ring series even though I rated it a star lower than the first one. I think it’s more twisted than Ring in a more psychological way vs actual ghost horror.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To
I pre-ordered a signed copy of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab but I somehow got sort of spoiled for the ending so I’m not leaping through fire to read it right away. I don’t mind… at least I’m ready LOL. Also, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I’m not the biggest fan of this series but it became sort of a guilty pleasure. I’m not really on top of new releases.

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
I have two: Warcross by Marie Lu. I am waiting for her tour schedule so I can either go (if they include Vroman’s Pasadena) or pre-order a signed copy. And Origin by Dan Brown. At this point, I’ve read all of his published work and he’s definitely one of my auto-buy authors, especially his Robert Langdon series.

5. Biggest Disappointment
No, it’s not Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Frankly, I never expected much from it based on the reviews from people I trust. The “honor” goes to The Grisha trilogy – or whatever it’s called now – by Leigh Bardugo. And this was tough. I met her at a book signing and I had a sort of signed bookplate (a Post-It, really) from her for Six of Crows. She was nice. The Grisha trilogy was so very hyped even years after the series ended. It almost sent me to a reading slump. I would put down the second book and have absolutely no desire to pick it back up. I didn’t like any of the main characters, especially Mal. I’ve been told that the Six of Crows duology is way better and I’m hoping it is. I also want to read her Wonder Woman book so I haven’t given up on her work.

6. Biggest Surprise
Not so much a book but a book format. Audio books. I’ve resisted for the longest time but I think I’ve found my niche. I love listening to mystery thrillers on audio. I’ve gone through most of James Rollins‘ back list through audio and loved it. I’m getting my audio books through Hoopla Digital. I mean, it still takes me ages to decide which book to listen to but I think I am getting the hang of listening to spoken word. After all, I love me some podcasts. It works for me because I do actually walk to work and that’s a little under an hour. Then I can just have it playing while I work. It’s not as immersive as reading words off a page but with the right narrator, it can be.

I could also say Him and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy but I already know that I have a soft spot for m/m fiction… if my intake of yaoi fan fiction is any indication. 😉 Continue reading

WRAP-UP | SPRING [3/21/17 through 6/20/17]

Check out my WINTER wrap-up here. 

I read 38 things during the Spring season. I don’t know but that felt entirely too short. We had crazy weather here; one day it’s in the 90s then the next day, it’s 30 degrees colder. We had rainy days then incredibly humid ones with 0% precipitation. I never wore my spring cardigans or boots because the day would start out cold then would end super warm. It was unpredictable. Just like my reading.

I read a lot of manga. As of today’s count, I’ve read 35 sequential art books vs 31 actual novels. Not sorry. I just got the whole collection of Girls und Panzer manga yesterday and I have the rest of Black Butler to read. Not a lot of audio books this time. I started/continued some well-loved YA series and dipped my feet into New Adult. I thought it would be easy to narrow down the list to five favorite titles but strangely, I found it easier to list down the books that I did not like. But most of these, I’m just okay.

So here’s a list of 5 titles that I liked this season and 3 that were disappointing.

  • Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I have the deluxe edition so I read all three volumes in one sitting. And oh boy, it was so intense. It got better as it went along and the art style is yet another aspect that made it so horrific. It scared me so much that I think I am now terrified of snails. Yup. I will definitely pick up his other works in the future. For sure.
  • Train Man by Hitori Nakano. An otaku meets a pretty girl on the train and decides to let his online buddies know about his progress with her. The book is told in message board format… think Reddit. It is just so cute! I was rooting for Train Man since his first post and I was just so happy with the events. There’s a live action adaptation of this that I have yet to watch but I will.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I literally finished this yesterday but I’m putting it here not just because the book was very good, the writing is spectacular. It’s so lyrical and magical. This is my first Stiefvater read and if The Raven Cycle also has these writing aspects, gimme it!
  • The Kill Switch and War Hawk by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood. I’m putting these together because I’m loving this series as a whole. Tucker and Kain is an awesome team. And I enjoyed listening to this. The narrator uses a different voice for those in the dog’s point of view. And I have a rather hot image of Tucker in my head, just sayin’. I hope they write more about these two. And Jane. 🙂
  • Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I read this in cumulatively 24 hours. Oh boy, yes please. This was a surprise. Well, not really. I enjoy slash and yaoi fiction and this book is an m/m New Adult and it was so hot. Wes and Jamie are so adorable. I want more of them.

Now for the three that were disappointing. It’s sad because two of these are in my most anticipated reads list.

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This was painful. Oh so painful. And that sucks because I was excited for this book. I met the author and she is so darling! I received a swag bag. But I didn’t like it one bit.
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki. My least favorite from the Ring series. I mean, it’s not bad but I wasn’t into the storyline as much as I was in the first two. This sort of rewrote and disregarded the sequence of events from Ring and Spiral. But it cemented the fact that Sadako is really not the main character of this series. It’s just scarier to portray a girl with long black hair than an older and fatter office worker man.
  • The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I binge read this and it almost put me into a reading slump. I wanted to DNF Siege and Storm so bad but I wanted to get to the final one. I did not enjoy this trilogy at all. I didn’t care for Alina and Mal (geez step aside, boy). I wanted more Nikolai, David, and Genya. I now feel a bit apprehensive but I’m still moving forward with my Six of Crows marathon.

So it’s summer now. Happy Summer Solstice!