#GetGraphic | Readathon Wrap-up

Armstrong plush from Wee Bit O’Freak @ Etsy

I’m still reeling over how amazing Bitterblue is and its audio book. I finished it today and oh my goodness, it was a perfect decision to listen to it. I tried reading it a few years ago but the name “Death” pronounced so as to rhyme with teeth was throwing me off. I’ll be listening to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor next. I’ve just started with Origin by Dan Brown. I couldn’t pick anything up until I got that book. XD

But my #GetGraphic readathon participation was a success. I was able to cross out all 6 challenges and 2 Instagram challenges. I still haven’t read Maus by Art Spiegelman though. Sorry, I got my hands on the first volume of My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi and that was that. I didn’t even get to Kuroko no Basuke or Black Butler. Sure, I could’ve read more but we also got our wonderful Kiseki Box and we’re working our way through Samurai Flamenco. There’s only so much time in a day!

So what did I read? I read five things.

  • The Creeps by Fran Krause. I got a free copy from Blogging for Books just in time for the readathon. It’s a book of 2-4 comic panels about what scares people. It can be real-life worries, ghosts, actual creepy things, and/or superficial craziness. It was cute.
  • Barakamon Volumes 3 and 4 by Satsuki Yoshino. This satisfies “reading two installments from the same series”. I could read so much more but my manga-reading limit is 2 in one sitting. 😉
  • Gyo by Junji Ito. This is my 300-page read. And wow… it’s so good! I like this more than I did Tomie. It’s about rotting fish with mechanical legs that excrete a very bad smell. Pair that with Junji Ito’s art style, gimme!
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi. This is a new-to-me series.  And I can count this as a friend recommendation since I see this all over. I loved the anime. And I think I’m going to love the manga as well.

All the manga counts to “black and white art”. Overall, I read 1122 pages. Suh-weet. I can’t wait to see my final page count for this month.

(I also got some volumes of Haikyuu during the readathon weekend. I got too excited so I decided not to read them yet. I might blow another paycheck on all the volumes that are currently out in English. Those Nendoroids are bad enough. LMAO.)

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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.

Continue reading

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!

#GetGraphic | Readathon + TBR (10/6 through 10/8)

I haven’t been reading many manga (or any kind of sequential art) these past two months. I usually pad my numbers with manga. After all, a lot of them are long series with many volumes. I have quite a few that I have to catch up with and a lot that I want to start. What better way to finally get to those than a dedicated readathon!

Like my previous comic book/graphic novel readathon, I’m going to exclusively read manga. It’s just my preferred medium for sequential art. And besides, it messes me up when I read a graphic novel… I’m so used to reading right to left.

I first heard about the #GetGraphic readathon from Adriana from Perpetual Pages. There are others hosts and also a twitter page. Click the image on the left and follow for updates and sprints. There are six main challenges and five Instagram/social media challenges leading up to the actual readathon.

It’s going to be from 5PM of October 6 through 11:59PM of October 8, your time zone.

A chill weekend. It’s doable, right? And besides, it usually takes me about 30 minutes to get through a standard manga volume. This way, I won’t feel too guilty padding my GoodReads numbers with very short reads. Hey, it’s to satisfy a readathon. It so counts!

And what’s a readathon without challenges? I’ll be mentioning some titles as both a possible TBR and recommendations. Really, any comic, manga, and/or graphic novel counts. But here are the challenges:

  1. Read from a new-to-you series
  2.  Read two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read a work with black and white art
  5. Read a work picked out by a friend
  6. Read at least five things

Like with other readathons, one book can cover multiple challenges. Most of my choices will have black and white art. I’m planning to read a new-to-me series that is finished with 30 volumes. That is also a recommendation from a friend – although she recommended the anime more than the manga.

Here’s my list of titles that I’m interested in… and some that I’ve already read and recommend (yeah, think of me as your friend, see #5 lol):

  • Orange by Ichigo Takano – I will never stop singing its praises. This comes in a 2-volume collection that is well over 300 pages. Just read it. Fall in love with it.
  • Kuroko no Basuke by Tadatoshi Fujimaki – After falling head over heels obsessed with sports anime such as Yuri!!! On Ice, Free!, and Haikyu!! (exclamation points FTW), I want to check out another one. I’m also planning to watch the anime but with 75 episodes… lemme finish my queue first. (But that seiyuu cast list is a dream.)
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – wow, not a manga but I have both volumes and it’s been sitting on my shelf for years. This time is as good as any.
  • Gyo by Junji Ito – This is going to be my 300-page read. I loved Uzumaki (read it for the previous comic readathon), read Tomie for Tome Toppleand now this.
  • Black Butler by Yana Toboso – I need to catch up! I think I’m on Volume 12 already.
  • Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino – I love the anime but I’ve only read 2 volumes. Catch up!
  • sweetness and lightning by Gido Amagakure – If I can get my hands on the latest volumes translated to English. I love this series. In fact, I’m writing a Yuri On Ice AU loosely based off of it!

That looks like a lot but trust me, it will go by fast. A lot of manga are not wordy… except maybe Black Butler. I also want to read My Hero Academia and Haikyu but I couldn’t find them on my library apps. Oh well. Eventually.

Let me know if you’re participating. What’s your #GetGraphic TBR?

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. 😉

#TomeTopple Round 4 | Readathon Wrap-up

I would have you know that I did absolutely ZERO reading over the weekend. Instead, I binge watched Haikyu!! I polished off half the season 1, all of season 2, and almost half of season 3. I have no regrets… other than why haven’t I watched it sooner. I’m such a sucker for good sports anime and this is definitely one of them. My seiyuu otaku self is the happiest it has been. I love my some voice actors.

But I did finish my main goals for Tome Topple Round 4. There were 4 books in my TBR, 2 priority reads and 2 backups. My priority titles satisfied 4 of the 5 challenges. I skipped “Buddy Reading a Tome” because I just don’t buddy read. I don’t like it and I don’t have time for it, realistically.

I completed 5 out of the 14 Instagram challenges. I could’ve done more but my Instagram account is not specifically a Bookstagram so I didn’t want 5 posts in a row to be about books. And some categories either didn’t apply to me or didn’t appeal to me at all. But I did have fun finding creative ways to take pictures of my books with the most minimal preparation and props.

My bookmark for the whole weekend said — “I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie” — which I thought was appropriate for the readathon. I quite prefer those bookmarks with the tassel on top. I tried those magnetic bookmarks I didn’t like the way the closed book looked with a large bump on top. The magnetic bookmark was just too big.

But I digress.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson was my first read of the fortnight. I read it both as a book and as an ebook. I had to go out of the house during that first weekend and I did realize that I read slightly faster on my Kindle. My copy of the book, albeit pretty, acts like a mass market paperback. And it’s huge so I didn’t want to risk breaking the spine.

Needless to say, I loved it. I loved the many twists, the political intrigue, the war planning… and the characters! I love them all. This is marketed as an adult fantasy fiction but it is so easy to read and it’s so much fun. The Mistborn trilogy is a very good gateway to adult fantasy if you’re coming from YA. I had so much fun with this. I even was dream casting the characters with anime characters instead of real-life people. There was no way I’m giving this less than 5 out of 5 stars.

At 781 pages, this is my longest read to date. The Final Empire is my 1st read of 2017. And by the looks of things, The Hero of Ages could close out the year. This satisfies 2 challenges: “Read a tome that is part of a series” and “Read an adult novel”.

My next read was Tomie by Junji Ito. This is the deluxe collection where all the chapters are collected into a 752-page tome. I finished this in a few hours. I loved Uzumaki and I had high hopes for this. But I wasn’t all that impressed. I did give it 4 stars but I’m kind of leaning towards a 3 to 3.5 to be honest. While the premise was good, it became a bit repetitive as it went on. I was thinking that if I didn’t consume this in one go, I would have a better experience with it.

It’s a story about a girl named Tomie who is so beautiful, she enchants every male that lays eyes on her so much that they are driven to kill and and cut her to pieces. Those pieces then grow and become more Tomie and then spread the “virus” to the rest of Japan. You can imagine how many times that main story line can be recycled before it becomes redundant. The art style is pretty creepy; that much you can expect from Junji Ito. I still prefer Uzumaki but Tomie isn’t so bad.

This satisfies two more challenges: “Read a graphic novel” and “Read more than 1 tome”. If I call it right here, then I read 1533 pages between two books.

But I started reading another book on the final days of the readathon. A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I figured this was an easier read than Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. I clocked in about 172 pages by August 17th. I wasn’t forcing to finish it but at least I was able to get 25% of the way through.

With that, it brings my total to 1705 pages across 2.25 books. Not bad for my first showing!

I don’t have a TBR for the next round yet but I’m definitely taking part as well. I learned a lot of things during this readathon. It might have “readathon” in name – such as a marathon, a race to accomplish something. But Tome Topple is not about finishing as many books as possible. A 700-page book can have you reading the whole two weeks. Reading 200 pages in one sitting means nothing if you’re reading a 1200-page tome. Reading a big book does take time.

Pacing is key. No one is actually chasing you. Do not compare yourself to others participating with you. We all have different activities in life outside reading. Maybe you’re just unlucky that things went to shit during those two weeks and you couldn’t do as well as you hoped. Or maybe you’re not as fast a reader than the next person. THAT. IS. PERFECTLY. OKAY. If by the end of the readathon you’ve only read one book, pat yourself on the back. You did it! That’s one less tome, one less intimidating read on your TBR.

Although… it kind of sent me to a sort of slump. When I finished both priority books, I was so ready to read a trashy NA novel. But then I never got to it. I thought of pushing myself for one more book, thus ACOWAR but I was just a bit burnt out in the end that I did things other than reading. (Or maybe it’s Tomie‘s fault… Hmmm.) Now that I started ACOWAR, I’m stuck with it. I need to finish that before I can move on to other books. And so far, I’ve only completed 3 books this month. THREE. I might pad that number with manga. 😉

Overall, I enjoyed this readathon. I wasn’t able to participate in any sprints because I’m at work or asleep whenever they are on. By the time I get home and start reading, no one’s holding one. But I did answer Twitter questions as I saw them on my timeline. The hashtag #tometopple on social media was fun to check out too. Congrats to all the hosts and participants and see you all next round!

 

 

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.

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