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!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Geek Lust


How could I not pick up a book that not only gets so close to my own blog's title, but is literally about the driving force behind everything I am interested in? I saw this on the Local Author shelf and that was just an even better reason to pick it up, because you guys know I love reading things written by people close by. So I picked it up and while I didn't absolutely love this book, it was fun to read.

Alex Langley binds together in these pages everything that makes a geek a geek. Covering everything from the original geeks, scientist that started things, to all the mediums that geeks revel in, including but not limited to books, shows, movies, podcasts, and games. While the book is divided in a pretty clear manor, moving from one subject to the next in a cohesive manor that ties it all together, Langley's lists and frequent content jumping does make this book a bit more chaotic to read than I would have liked.

But it was fun! I mean, a whole book listing the many reasons people mark me as weird, yeah I enjoyed seeing in print that there are whole groups that love the things I love. It was also a lot of fun to pick out which of the many names in each medium I have enjoyed over the years. Who doesn't love it when someone acknowledges their love of that one book series you thought you were alone in reading!

I had fun with this book and recommend it to anyone with the willingness to basically read a book of lists. After all, it helped me discover a lot more shows, books, and games I should be partaking in!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Elfstones Of Shannara


Setting out to reread the Shannara series with a friend, I was thrilled at the chance to return to the world that not only drew me into the world of fantasy, but that awakened within me a desperate need to tell my own stories of fantastic nature. However, I was a little worried that upon rereading some of them I would find that I was no longer as in love with Terry Brook's early writing style, after all my tastes have changed a lot since I was 10. I need not have feared. Elfstone of Shannara was the first book that left me crying long after I put it down (a sad spoiler I won't detail), and when I watched the show it came as no real surprise that I was curled up in my husband's lap for an hour as I cried more tears for that plot point. Yes, today I cried again. I love this book so much, and even after all this time the story still touches every part of my heart!

Elfstones follows the story of Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil as they try and safe the magical tree, the Elcrys, from death which would result in the failing of a magical barrier that keeps hordes of demons at bay. Wil and Amberle's journey takes them across half the FourLands, introduces them to numerous characters that both hinder and help their cause, and twists and turns in ways that are truly captivating.

Even though this was the third time I read this book I loved it just as much as the first. However, since I read it after watching the show, I found that there were so many details that I had forgotten, details that were left out of the show. Does this upset me? Well, a little since some of my favorite characters were left out of the show (*cough* Stee Jans *cough*). But as Terry Brooks has been heard saying lately, the show is a beast in and of itself. Things had to be changed to keep audiences interested, to keep things new and exciting. So if you are going to read this book because you loved the show, keep in mind that the book was here first, and it's its own story.

I look forward to the next time I am able to sit down and reread the whole series once more in the future. This is a story I love to revisit from time to time. So tell me, how did you discover Shannara? What do you think of both the book and the show? Let me know!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 2


Hikage's story continues in this second volume right where the first I Am Here! book ends. So in this one we find out who Black Rabbit really is along with a new twist in Hikage's growing world. We also get to see more of Hinata and Teru outside of Hikage, like a flashback to when they first became friends.

This story is a very short one, only spanning the two books containing a total of 19 chapters. But everything I needed was in those 19 little tales! Hikage grows just enough over the course of this story to make it real and give us hope for her future, even becoming a voice of encouragement to others as Hinata and Black Rabbit did for her. And even though there was no real settling of things between Hikage and her two suitors, there was enough of a decision that it gives the reader hope for what her future is going to hold.

I really enjoyed this one! I think I will definitely be keeping an eye out for Toyama's other stories! And encouraging all my other manga lovers to pick this one up.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Am Here! Omnibus 1


This is the story of Hikage Sumino, an eighth-grader with incredibly low self-esteem because she has spent her whole life never being noticed. Outside of the two strangers that constantly comment on her blog, she never talks to anyone other than to hear them say they hadn't noticed her there, right after they get her name wrong. But one day, one of the most popular boys in her class takes notice, speaks to her, helps her out, and turns her whole world upside down.

Ok, so I stumbled onto this one because I just finished the newest Attack On Titan and Bunny Drop and you guys know I can't go very long without picking up a new manga! This one is combined into 2 omnibuses so it will be a short read, which I am sure I will regret when I want so much more to the story at the end. However, it might be perfect, because in this first volume alone so much of the story was covered, Hikage grew just like the sunflower she wanted to be and the story is looking so hopeful!

And let me point out right now, this was only partially because of Hinata, the boy that paid attention to her. This isn't a story where the female lead starts dating the popular guy and suddenly gets friends. No, Hikage goes through her share of bullying, by herself. She resolves to be someone worthy of even being friends with a guy like HInata, who is so outgoing. And she makes it a point to work on her people skills and stand up for herself alone. That's why I like this story. Hikage is a very stubborn protagonist who refuses to give up on finding the sunlight, and I love her for that!

As the author notes, there are no really humorous scenes in this one. It is meant to be a more serious story, and I think that not only does it manage to do that with beautiful skill, Toyama does an excellent job of making it real without it being too sad without comedic relief. I really enjoyed this one! If you like manga, don't overlook this one!