Got to brush up on those Japanese-reading skills. *brings out the Japanese dictionary*
Finally finished this th...moreKinokuniya boxing day sale. :)
Got to brush up on those Japanese-reading skills. *brings out the Japanese dictionary*
Finally finished this thing! Now I can buy the second volume... Not really much to say. Probably that the anime is better, but I can't really say that as I've only watched a few episodes so far. I like the art style, and the themes are light and fun. Just... if I didn't have to bring out the dictionary for every sentence it would be a whole lot better, and some of the meaning was lost on me.(less)
Finally purchased a copy of this book! I also own 'Easter Parade' which I still have not read but I'm pretty convinced that I'll loved that one. Not 1...moreFinally purchased a copy of this book! I also own 'Easter Parade' which I still have not read but I'm pretty convinced that I'll loved that one. Not 100% sure about this one but we'll see. Got for $6.50 AU off AbeBooks (used) which is the cheapest I've seen for this edition in a long time. Hopefully it's in "very good" condition as promised.(less)
* Domestic violence, abusive father * Cancer, illness and death * Weight and self-image issues * Identity * Running awa...moreIssues of note present in LOLA ROSE
* Domestic violence, abusive father * Cancer, illness and death * Weight and self-image issues * Identity * Running away * Fears and facing them * Growing up way faster than you should have to
I still really liked rereading LOLA ROSE. Maybe not as much as when I read it during my younger years, but this story seems to always get to me (although I DO agree it's all a bit too much). For a Jacqueline Wilson novel it's quite a dark and serious read. That's not to say that there aren't moments of great happiness or humour.
I read a review where the reader critiqued the whole eating, weight and self-image issue. Lola Rose (Jayni) eats way too much crap. And complains about it, and being fat. But never once does she actually think to do anything about it. Nope, she just continues to stuff her face with garbage. So in that regard I agree with that reader... Wilson DOES add some positivity in this area however, in the form of Auntie Barbara.
Kenny/Kenneth is pretty damn annoying. Seems like every scene he's either whining, crying, arguing, wanting something stupid or just overall being a pain. I can't remember how old he is, maybe 6/7? It grew tiresome to read his complaints when they all have had to deal with such crap.
Will probably add to this after multiple rereads in the future.(less)
Fingerprints of You is Madonia’s debut novel, but for all the nail-hitting strong points this story has to offer you would hardly be able to tell. I just feel all kinds of love for this book and the characters inside of it right now and for eternity. Madonia beautifully encapsulates what it really means to be home, and what family can truly be.
Lemon has always had Stella, her mum, for better or worse. Every move into a new town/city meant a fresh start, a new boy toy for Stella to sink her nails into. Lemon has always wondered what her father was like, and why he and Stella didn't try and make it work. When Lemon falls pregnant after an encounter with the local tattoo artist Johnny Drinko, she and her best friend Emmy plan a trip... all the way across the continent. From a small town in West Virginia all the way to San Francisco, California. But Lemon has an ulterior motive for the trip. That’s where her father lives. Before the baby is born, she just has to know if she’s going to be okay, raising the kid on her own without a father. She has to lay the blame somewhere: Stella, or her dad.
Lemon felt like a real person to me, not just a character in a novel. On one hand, she is down to earth, cool and—come on, she's a reader! On the other hand, she makes mistakes, and sometimes her decisions aren't the best ones. I could relate to all of that. When you’re young, it’s kind of expected that you’ll make mistakes, but it’s kind of a lottery as to how serious those mistakes will be, as well as what the repercussions will be. Madonia doesn’t try to moralise the situation with Lemon and the baby; rather, the pregnancy never became Lemon’s defining feature, but just another thing about her that one should know about. Something that shifts and changes as she herself changes.
I like Lemon’s voice. I like the blunt tones of the written prose that seemed to flow really well. The voice was consistent and felt modern and genuine to the character Madonia was trying to portray.
“I remembered our shitty house with the stained carpet and the worn-out couch waiting for us on the other side of town, and I realised I’d spent most of my childhood being angry at her for making us live like that, and for refusing to pick a place to settle down in. I looked at Stella’s face, the wrinkles and tired eyes camouflaged by the darkness of the room, and I wondered if she would go back if she could, wondered what she would change and how things would go the second time around if she had the chance to fix the choices she regretted. (38)
Stella. I think our perception of Lemon's mum shifts as Lemon learns more and more about her past. And I liked that; she became a 3D character, something dynamic that has more than one layer to it. Stella isn't perfect, we know that, but she's not the bad guy here. She just is who she is. I think it’s a great lesson in YA lit when the teen protagonist comes to the realisation that his/her parent may have tried their hardest despite their many shortcomings. Stella also presents herself as kind of a reflection on Lemon and her life in the future. They are different and yet similar in so many ways. I find that you don’t really find this level of character development for parents in other genres, which is a shame, but Madonia addresses Stella and all her layers perfectly.
What can’t be ignored in a good YA book is the protagonist’s best friend. Emmy is a great best friend character, and together, she and Lemon complement and complete each other. She has her own issues going on, and they have an impact on how Lemon views her own situation with her father. Their friendship is so beautiful and realistic. They are there for one another, and they won't hesitate to punch the other in the face (verbally) if they disagree with what the other is doing/thinking. It's an authentic portrayal of a true friendship.
Now I admit I haven’t read that many books that involve road trips or travelling (though I do have many on my TBR!). In Fingerprints of You, it's not even exactly about the landscapes or landmarks that they pass through, or the things that they see in San Francisco. Rather, I loved how the road trip changes THEM, and how things change during that road trip. This book involves not only a physical journey, but an emotional one, too.
Coming of age... it's kind of my favourite thing to read about. In this book Lemon and all those around her change and learn so much throughout the story. Madonia addresses some important issues that young people face as they grow up: who they are, where they are going, what does the future hold, making mistakes and learning from them, coping with loss + grief, sexuality and love. I felt that she gave each a decent amount of attention, and the subject content was handled well overall.
One last thing. Tattoos. They are intricately symbolic and hold great significance in this book. They can represent change (or opportunity to get with the tattoo artist), in the case of Stella. They can represent permanence and remembrance—Lemon’s entire life changes when she steps into that tattoo parlour. The experience of the pregnancy and the trip to San Francisco will never be forgotten, emotionally permanent, similar to the physically permanent nature of a pen-ink tattoo. The cover for Fingerprints of You is brilliant. It is so fitting for the story and the tattoo style of the cover is what drew me to the story in the first place. I eagerly await Madonia’s next book, especially if it holds similar themes: family, love, loss, grief, pain, change, home, friendship, life, learning from mistakes and learning to let go.(less)
Wow. This manga is INTENSE. I don't think I was emotionally prepared for all of this. Rape, exile, political warfare, familial disputes, incest, l...more4/5?
Wow. This manga is INTENSE. I don't think I was emotionally prepared for all of this. Rape, exile, political warfare, familial disputes, incest, la la la... the list goes on. It's a very heavy read, but very well written and drawn. I can't say I enjoyed this, but this story is so interesting I'm glad I bought this massive bind-up.
'Ayako', at its heart, is a family drama set in WWII rural Japan. The family's crookedness corrupts and ruins the young and innocent Ayako (at the beginning, four years old)... the after-effects of all of their disastrous doings is heartbreaking. Ayako physically becomes an adult with a woman's body, but she knows nothing about how to be an adult, knows nothing about love and sex; other people scare her...
Anyway yeah, definitely recommend reading this. As expected there is quite a lot of mature content (including naked women and butts) but it's all necessary I felt to the overall development of the story. The one nitpick I have is WHY do all of these men fall in love with Ayako? She has absolutely no personality and she's extremely strange (due to her past). Is it because of her past, the fact that she's the result of the family's corruption, through no fault of her own? That she still has innocence?(less)
#1- "It's a pulp-fable about grunge girls, the occult, and slightly sinister talking rabbits."
Random House Australia | June 2013
#2- I MUST read this!...more#1- "It's a pulp-fable about grunge girls, the occult, and slightly sinister talking rabbits."
Random House Australia | June 2013
#2- I MUST read this! Look at the cover! The synopsis, the book-within-a-book, the gothic-ness, the title, the quote, and hello-- Aussie author!
Thanks, Allyse, for following my reviews and I hope to one day have the pleasure of reviewing it. ;)
#3- Aw, I preordered a copy a week or two ago. A review copy just arrived for me today. Giveaway! :D It is *SO* pretty. (I'll be posting an AU-only giveaway with my review, whenever that is. Further details to come...)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls is described as a "deliciously dark bubblegum-gothic fairytale". In just one word I’d say that this book is, quite simply, magic.
Allyse Near’s debut novel follows the somewhat twisted and macabre everyday life of peculiar Isola Wilde. She converses with brother-princes that no one else can see; and death seems to follow her. She and her estranged father and manic-depressive mother live on the outskirts of society, right by Vivien’s Wood, where they have quite the reputation. New neighbours move in across the street who will each move Isola in their own way—but none more-so than “Edgar Allen Poe”, an unconventionally charming guy who is instantly taken by Isola’s unusual behaviour and wild locks. Isola’s newest haunt will not leave her alone, and the Woods are dying. She will have to trust her new friend, and rely on the loyalty of her seven brother-princes, if she wishes to have any hope of helping the ghost to move on.
I loved this book. And I wish I could just end my review there, but I won’t let myself because that would serve an injustice to Near. Fairytales for Wilde Girls is spectacularly bold in its delivery. There is not one dull moment. The writing is lush and descriptive, and it created such great mood to the story, adding tension and mystery throughout. Every sentence is just wonderfully constructed; Near is a mix tape, her lyrical prose simultaneously captivates and destroys.
Perhaps a part of why this novel continued to captivate me was the pacing. It was just perfect. The first 150 pages: uniquely innovative; an introduction of the best kind. Near allows the reader to dip their toes in and gradually immerse themself into this world so removed from reality. The middle: a dizzying series of episodes that reveal more, while also somehow unearthing more mysteries along the way. The end: glorious and fantastical, wonderful, beautiful, heart-breaking, raw and true.
When I say “uniquely innovative”, I mean that Near actually presents her story and characters by implementing elements found in scripts for plays and fairytale books. It’s actually very fitting for the feel that she was trying to achieve. It’s also a pleasant surprise when you find that the novel you’re reading has ILLUSTRATIONS in it! (Extra points!)
I went into this book and didn’t expect such depth to the story. It was a real treat to get to the end and feel completely satisfied—the story felt like it had gone full-circle.
Another aspect that I really enjoyed was all the references and allusions to gothic stories and storytellers, as well as fairytales. I’m not a massive fairytale geek by any stretch, but reading this book made me want to explore and discover more of the origins and influence of every single tale that was mentioned in some way. This is definitely a must-read for fans of fairytales.
I didn’t even touch on the characters. We’re presented with a vast cast of characters that move in and out of the story—kind of like in a play—each providing their own quirks. I enjoyed getting to learn more about these characters and being introduced to more as the story progressed. No details here, but let’s just say there are mermaids, fairies, furies, ghosts, a regular guy whose (mis)fortune is his namesake, a surfer boyfriend and a rebellious Catholic school best friend. The actual characterisation and development of these characters felt lacking, but I got the notion that it was a very conscious decision by the author. When you take into consideration that this is a very fairytale-ish story, it seems justified.
If this is just the beginning of what Near has to offer, I cannot wait to read more!(less)
Finally bought a copy of this book! Catriona from LittleBookOwl (Aussie Booktuber) RAVED about this series. I know a few people from my nursing degree...moreFinally bought a copy of this book! Catriona from LittleBookOwl (Aussie Booktuber) RAVED about this series. I know a few people from my nursing degree also loved them, and it looks like lots of people here loved it too. :D Can't wait to get into this someday... maybe in January.(less)