Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Sleeper And The Spindle

Picked this one up to read with my 5 yr old daughter and we were both pleasantly surprised by this unique story. Gaiman does an incredible job of reshaping the tale of sleeping beauty by firstly continuing the tale here, but also twisting the nature of the spell that has been placed upon not only a young princess but eventually on the people in the lands surrounding her kingdom. The Queen of a nearby kingdom, who once slept under a similar curse for a year in a glass coffin, travels with three dwarves to discover the origin of the spell and fix things. Such a wonderfully singular tale that speaks once more to Gaiman's gift of changing everything he touches to something better. Add in the stunning artwork of Chris Riddell and this is a book that holds its audience captive!

I loved this one, would love to add it to my own shelves in the future, and encourage everyone to give it a try. It is short, and worth the read!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Jane Austen Project

Take two people from our current timeline, give them a crash course in 1815, and toss them back into the past to have them get close to one of the most prolific writers in history. What could possibly go wrong? Well for Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane it starts with a climbing boy. Can they hope to alter the past as little as possible while trying to become friends with the Austens and get close enough to get their hands on some very personal letters and a manuscript always though unfinished? Or will they change things too much and alter the world they came from?

This was a very interesting read, guys! Flynn tells the story of two people getting to do what a lot of us avid readers wished we could do, go back and meet the writer of some of our favorite stories, get the chance to know her, try to understand her more. But we all know that playing with time travel is a dangerous game. Something Katzman and Finucane learn as soon as they arrive in 1815 and nearly have the whole thing blown over a surly inn keeper and their lack of luggage. Yet they persist.

What follows was a bit of a roller coaster for our characters as they try to balance themselves carefully into a world they really can't fully fit into while trying not to alter the course of history too much. After all they were only sent back to observe, get copies of a few letters and a manuscript, and make it home to tell their superiors what they learned. But Rachel in particular has a very hard time keeping to the mission plan.

I enjoyed the novel, despite how easily it all ended when things did go south for our travelers. It was fun to read of Rachel trying to hold back the fangirl when interacting with Jane. Watching events unfold at the end of Jane's life in a different way. And seeing that world from the eyes of someone from our own time. It all made for a great story told with a wonderful voice. Because while Rachel sometimes annoyed me enough to have me groaning and rolling my eyes, I did like the way Flynn wrote her. The book was fun! I would recommend it to anyone unable to get enough of Jane Austen of Regency era novels!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Attack On Titan vol. 23

So this post is not going to really be a review of the newest edition in the Attack On Titan series. I want to say that the story is getting much more in-depth, the characters are becoming more complex, and well, whose side am I supposed to be on exactly?! Because it is all a convoluted mess. And isn't that exactly what WAR is? Amazing job with the series Hajime Isayama. I am thoroughly entrenched in it and loving every minute.
But that is all I can say about this one without ruining bits of the series from before this. So go pick up the manga if you have not already, and then we can talk more about it.

Instead I want to take a minute to use this post to point out that I finished a book! Ok, so maybe it is already a week into February and my first finished book is actually a manga, and none of that is saying much. But, you know what? We went to the library and I gave up the two books that seemed so darn interesting but I haven't had the commitment to actually read them and instead picked up the next in a series I have been reading for a while and two other books that have caught my eye off and on recently. This is my jumping on the wagon! I'mma read me some books!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Reading Challange

Yeah, I should be hiding my face in shame for the lack of books I have been reading lately. I ended the year 9 books short of my goal and I haven't finished a book in about two months. That being said, I have been reading a lot of stories, just nothing socially acceptable, and I did manage to kick ass with NaNoWriMo this year that had been beyond exciting. Still, seeing my failure with the challenge for 2017, I am going to set a lighter goal for the new year and I plan on really going for it this year!

I am going to meekly claim 24 books for my goal this year. And I am setting no parameters for which books I will read, although I think I will be focusing on books currently on my small shelf in my bedroom, books I have easy access to.

What are you planning to read this year? Let me know if you pick up any real good ones, so I can add them to my list! Hope you have a very bookish new year!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Silent Voice vol. 7

This is it. This is the final volume in the series. Oh all the feels. Let me try and capture how awesome this series was.

So, if you saw my first review of volume 1 (only posted days ago because I couldn't put these manga down!) then you got the bare bones of how the story starts. Let me give you a little more of a recap. Shoya was the middle school daredevil, the kid that jumped off bridges to prove his worth to the other boys he considered his friends. He hated boredom. So when they get a transfer student who happens to be deaf, Shoya makes it his purpose in life to torment Shoko and pit the other classmates against her. Even though it works, all the other students, even the teacher, bully poor Shoko, it all backfires terribly when Shoko's mother demands recompense for the numerous hearing aides Shoya has destroyed. Suddenly Shoya finds himself on the other end of the stick as the others in his class begin bullying him. Unable to take it, Skoya lashes out at Shoko one final time that causes her to finally leave the school.

The meat of the tale begins when Shoya, having had enough of the loneliness he has had to endure over the years since his actions, decides to take his own life. Getting his affairs in order, Shoya realizes there is one last thing he must do before he ends it all: apologize to Shoko for what he did. But when he goes to confront her she is understandably upset, and when he "speaks" to her (because he actually learned sign language to get his message across) he realizes that he wasn't the only one just done. Deciding to try and right the wrongs he caused this girl, Shoya resolves to push on, resulting in one of the most incredible pictures in manga that I fell in love with.

The rest of the series is about their growing friendship. That's not to say everything is rainbows and unicorns from there on out, oh no! Shoko and Shoya both have a lot of pain that lies just beneath the surface, and sometimes it rises up and people get hurt. They also have a lot of people they have effected over the course of time they have known each other, and not everyone is as forgiving as Shoko or as determined to make amends as Shoya. The ride is bumpy and incredible.

To say I loved this series would be an understatement! The story was so real, from the bullying to the difficulty in making things right; the characters were real, from Shoya's complicated feelings about Shoko to the mothers who are trying to raise difficult children alone; the plot was real, and all of it came together to form a story that will stick with me for some time. This is a series I plan on buying to reread in the future and recommend to everyone who reads manga. This one was just amazing! So if you haven't read it yet, go find it, now! And if you have, tell me what you think. I would love to talk about this one all day!

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Silent Voice vol. 1

Last year I saw a trailer for an anime that looked really interesting, but I have been unable to find it. So imagine my surprise and excitement when I stumbled upon the manga at the library! I am so eager to read this series!

A Silent Voice is the story of Shoya, a middle school boy that hates to be bored. So when the new transfer student turns out to be just another girl, he is disappointed because girls never want to have fun like the boys do. Only, Shoko, the new student, is deaf! This leads to Shoya deciding that the newest way he is going to keep himself entertained is by tormenting Shoko. Until karma strikes and Shoya looses everything.

In this first volume we hate Shoya, that's exactly how the creator wanted it. You need someone just horrible to suffer for what he has done, otherwise it seems unnecessary. But in this story we cheer karma on after Shoya becomes the target for all the bullying in the school in retaliation for all he put young Shoko through. Yet, I still feel a bit of sympathy for Shoya at the end of this one, and can't wait to see where the story takes him and Shoko!

Seriously, this is a great story already, and I encourage all my manga fans to pick this one up! And if you have seen the anime, please, tell me where I can find it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Confessions of a Middle School Nerd

Ok, so I found this one on the local authors shelf as well, and I picked it up for my 10 yr old son who is now part of the middle school in our small town school system. But he has a long to read list of his own, so I decided to go ahead and read it by myself. A very interesting choice.

Confessions of a Middle School Nerd is a very short read, only 81 pages with the text taking up only a small block of each page. But it was a fun and quick read for that reason. Written in the first person by a narrator who is quirky and funny, this book is almost like a journal for the writer. The narrator starts off by saying that she wrote most of this down to work through a few things, mostly days in her life that she feels should be highlighted to help her come to a conclusion she can only catch glimpses of. So we get little tidbits of this middle schooler's days. The stories are all focused around one main point, the narrator is awkward. But in the end she comes to the realization that not only is she ok with this fact about herself, she can revel in it, because she likes who she is.

Like I said, the book was short and sweet. I enjoyed taking a little time to read it, especially since I could so relate to some of these moments in the narrator's time in middle school. So I encourage anyone to pick it up. Have a laugh or a knowing nod of the head, and pass it on to a middle schooler that might need a little reinforcement that they are not the only ones out there being awkward, and it's perfectly fine to be so. Let me know if you have read this one!