WHAT? I ALREADY READ THIS? WELL FUCK I READ IT AGAIN.
Toru is my favorite Mary Sue ever. She's perfect, loving, pretty, sees the good in e...moreWHAT? I ALREADY READ THIS? WELL FUCK I READ IT AGAIN.
Toru is my favorite Mary Sue ever. She's perfect, loving, pretty, sees the good in everything, and everyone instantly loves her ---- she is indeed a Mary Sue. But I forgive her for it and accept it because she makes me so happeh.(less)
Have you ever wondered about the story that lies behind a single marriage certificate? An obituary? A seemingly nonsensical painting? Thought of what...moreHave you ever wondered about the story that lies behind a single marriage certificate? An obituary? A seemingly nonsensical painting? Thought of what happened to that person and all of their adventures and mishaps that led to that one item? I have many many times. I walk by people in a store and wonder, What makes them smile? What makes them laugh? What are their hardships? What happened in their past?
Yes, I know I'm fucking weird. But this is the stuff that flies through my mind every second of the day.
Well, this book satisfies that part of my brain perfectly. Instead of the usual page-full-of-boring-words format, this story is told in pictures. Pictures of people, pictures of emails, pictures of report cards, pictures of piano pamphlets. It explains so much more than regular books do, because it gives you just enough information to put the pieces together on your own and figure out what's happening.
When I first opened it, I thought I was going to get confused sooo easily, because my attention span is far too short to follow a single plotline for more than a minute or two. But this book jumps around without being sporadic, so it kept my easily-distracted mind from tapering off and even entertained it.
At first we're introduced to news paper clippings and news broadcasts saying that Gloria "Glory" Fleming has gone missing. Then it skips back to show you Gloria's background. We see her parents' wedding, her infant photo album, pictures from her first piano recitals, etcetra. We're given a good idea of her upbringing and personality. After we know a fair amount about her, we're introduced to Francisco who'd just recently moved to America from Argentina. We learn that he's struggling in school, has a love of art, and some other things that help to get to know him. Then the real story finally begins, where they meet, fall in love, and Glory is taken by her father to perform a year long tour that she doesn't want to do
There's a lot of sweet pictures, small bursts of comedy (especially one scene where we're shown Frank's "Let's Learn English!" worksheet, which had extremely amusing "translations"), and many music references and links to look up for people who like to make stories feel more real.
It was a very entertaining story, a nice read if you have an extra hour or so. I love how it ended. It's not too much of a depressing story, just the usual ups and downs of our lives: deaths, school, careers, talents, love, heartbreak, yada yada yada.
Okay, so now that I have your attention, I would just like to say that you have to go out and buy this book right now. Don't even bother borrowing it from a library, because you're going to want to reread it at least thrice.
Ah, the Green brothers. How I love them. One's a science genius, the other's a glorious writer, and both are fucking hilarious.
When it comes to books about cancer, you know the drill: MCs are depressed, trying to cope, bond out of loss, all that inspirational shiz. Same story, different name,s different portrayals, but that's the main formula.
Then John Green came along and was like, "Hey, you know what? Screw the formula, I'm going to do my own shit and write the BEST fucking book in the UNIVERSE! TROLOLOLOLOL!"
No exaggeration, I have never finished a single book about living with a terminal illness. I don't like reading pages and pages of characters being in pain and tragedy and lost hope, only to have an even more tragic ending. I've witnessed enough tragedies in my life, thank you, I don't want to read about even more. I try to avoid cancer books at all costs. But The Fault in Our Stars? I'd pay to read it again. I cried, threw the book at my mirror (there's a crack in it now, BTW), and left class several times so that I could get a hold of myself ---- yet I still enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. It made my exclusive Top 3 Books in the Universe. It's pretty much impossible to convey how amazing it is.
This book does shit to you. It's so relatable, you can easily mold your brain to that of the characters. You feel everything they feel. You're in as ridiculously much love with Augustus as Hazel is. You want to rewrite the ending just to put your heart back together.
That's not to say the characters are nothing more than empty spaces for you to insert yourself in --- They are totally original and individual in personality. Most characters in books are recycled. We have the personality-less Mary Sue, the unbearably handsome manly-man, older-brother type, kooky best friend type, perverted best friend type, etc. We've seen them all before.
None of these are found in The Fault in Our Stars --- all the characters have their own distinct style that can't be found in any other book.
YOU HEAR THAT, YOUNG ADULT NOVELISTS? ORIGINALITY IS KEY.
Hazel and Augustus have flaws and fears and dreams and faults. They have depth and personality. They're more than words on a page. That's what made it so spectacular --- they think and act like real people, and I could relate to so much of what Hazel thought because she was just such a life-like character.
The plot moved at a great pace. I thought it would take forever to build up, but it moved along quickly without being Insta-Love-esque. I was never bored. I couldn't put it down. And the subplots? Fantabulous.
My thoughts on the ending:
(view spoiler)[IT WAS SO FUCKING SAD AND OH MY GOD I LOVED HIM NOOOOOOOOO!
But seriously, it was called for. You can't write a heartbreaking story without heartbreak. I knew someone was gonna die, because the book was too happy to just end all nice and sweet. I'm still unbearably sad, though. (hide spoiler)]
Also, can I just say that I love the name of the book? "The Fault in Our Stars." It's simple and pretty, and it's the perfect summary of the book. They were meant to be together, but destiny fucked up. I love it.
I've found that this book reminds me a lot of Death Cab for Cutie, and vice versa. I don't really know why. Maybe because they're both pretty and moving, whilst depressing? Maybe because they're both a wee bit bleak? I dunno. But now I can never hear What Sarah Said ever again without thinking of (view spoiler)[Augustus. *sniffle* (hide spoiler)] But I love them both.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Leigh Bardugo, you fucking liar. You're no human. You're a Grisha with the talent to write like a fucking goddess.
It was 4th of July when I really started reading this. I mean, I'd read like 30 pages the days before, and I'd liked it, but it wasn't until Independence Day that I was hooked. I went to this party at my cousin's house with an in-ground pool, sweets, horror movies, Sparklers, and even a fucking pinata. You know what I did at that party?
I did not swim.
I did not stuff myself.
I did not watch any movies.
I did not light shit on fire.
I did not beat the bloody fuck out of a paper mache Dora the Explorer.
I sat on the floor and read Shadow and Bone the entire night.
I just could not put it down, not even to eat cookie dough (gasp!) or watch The Grudge 2. I was just too far gone in Ravka to escape. It was like Bardugo had me in a cage, saying "Haha, bitch, you're not doing anything until you're done this book."
It was probably the most enjoyable kidnapping I'd ever experienced.
This made my Top 3 Books in The History of Forever shelf. Everything about it was just so ERMAHGERD-I-WERNT-TER-MAHK-LERV-TER-THERS-BERK that I thought my brain would die from so much moe. I was so memorized by the fantab-overload that every time a plot twist came along, no matter how small, it was like on that Mouse Trap ride. You know, that roller coaster that looks all innocent from the ground, but it slams you into 90° corners about a hundred or so times while spinning you drunk.
So it's been established I really liked this book. (view spoiler)[LOL, understatement. (hide spoiler)] But why? Well I could answer that in one short sentence: Because this book is made of fucking rainbows, unicorn blood, Lucky Charms, Nutella, bacon, and baby bunny tails. That's right, Leigh, you bunny-detailer. How could you be so heartless? But for those of you who go through life without a sense of humor you poor, poor, pitiful things I will explain what exactly that recipe means.
It means this book should win every award on the fucking planet. It means the characters were relatable and unique and had each their own flavor. It means the plot was perfectly paced, complex, captivating, and unpredictable. It means the cover looks like it was carefully painted by emo Michelangelo on drugs (that's a good thing). It means the Darkling is ER-MAH-GERD the smexiest literary dude EVAH!
(To be fair, I for some reason pictured him with white-blond hair, alabaster skin, and black and gold embroidered kefta. The blond made him sexier in my eyes.)
One thing I really need to point out: this book was able to trick me so easily. Usually I'm pretty good when it comes to predicting plot twists in books. It's not like it's that hard, with how much bullshit "literature" is published nowadays. But I was totally thrown in Shadow and Bone. Expect the unexpected, be prepared to sew your heart back together, and be prepared to drool. KK? KK.
My overall opinion of this book:
Taste the motherfuckin' rainbow!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I want to send you a basket of cute fluffy kittens with golden ribbons and a tin of Thin Mints. Seriously. I can not conv...moreMiss J.J. Johnson:
I love you.
I want to send you a basket of cute fluffy kittens with golden ribbons and a tin of Thin Mints. Seriously. I can not convey my feeling for this book in words, no matter how many compliments I use, GIFs I add, or tears of joy I spill.
When I was a kid, I was without a doubt very different. I spent my pre-school days taking long walks in the forest with my mom, listening to Enya and other Celtic bands, waterpainting spirals, inventing a new language, getting scrapes and other various injuries while exploring nature, etc. I was not normal. People found (find) me strange and weird, and just kind of walked the other way. But I was happy.
If I had stayed on that comfortable route, and never started going to school to develop my hate for humans, I would be Evensong Sparkling Morningdew. (Yes, that's her name.) I would be a loud social activist, ready to get myself expelled for the sake of ending the invisible but all too real highschool oppression. She is like my alter ego, and I was totally intune with everything she was thinking.
Because. I. relate.
I was far beyond blown away with this book. I wasn't even going to read it. I picked it up and read the description and laughed like, this is going to be another Lilly B. On the Brink of Cool, isn't it? But I checked it out anyway, cause I figured my mom would like how different and interesting the design was. I wasn't actually going to read it.
The night before the book was due back (today) I picked it up and read the first few pages, just curious as to what I was missing. And I did not put it back down for the rest of the night. I was hooked right in, mesmerized by how me she was. The word "heroine" does not do Evie justice. When you see the word heroine, you think of Bella or Luce or Clary---No frikkin way. That was not Evie at all.
Evie is a hippy tomboy (if you want to put her into labels). She doesn't watch TV, doesn't shave her legs, and spends a lot of her time petting snakes she finds in the forest and drawing them. She has a ton of pride, a lot of willpower, but never lost her human essence. She felt betrayal and sadness and loss, but she did not back down.
I love her. Totally. I want to adopt her as my sister.
Even better, she made mistakes. Things spun out of control and her plans came back to bite her in the butt. A lot of people hated her and she became a menace. But she dealt with it, and did not shrink in a corner and break. She was epic.
Yes. Okay. Enough about the amazing Evie.
This book destroyed several stereotypes, including: Catty cheerleader, hot douchey boyfriends, drugged hippies, etc. Jacinda the cheerleading captain was Evie's best friend, Rajas (how the hell do you pronounce that?) was Evie's non-sullen non-cocky-asshole boyfriend, and Evie's mother was not high.
I IZ SO HAPPY I COULD DIE.
Hopefully not like that.
But anyway, yes. the characters were epic. On to the plot.
(if you haven't already guessed, I suck at writing positive reviews. I am strictly a pessimist.)
It was hilarious. It was grown up (not the childish, "you can change the world if you put your mind to it! :D" crap) and even believable. There were no obvious good or bad guys. You didn't know who to root for, because even the protagonists were making mistakes. It made sense and it didn't, and it was fascinating to see how blind we really are when it comes to justice. The oppression played a big part in this story, which I was all for. Cause lets face it: I'm a total Muse fan. Muse fans love things that dis the government.
Anyway, I demand everyone read this book. Forget "recommend." Everyone has to read this gift from the gods ASAP. Right now. Go.
(Very mild spoilers that you could figure out in the first 50 pages)
This is probably going to turn into a long, rambling review. So for those of you t...more(Very mild spoilers that you could figure out in the first 50 pages)
This is probably going to turn into a long, rambling review. So for those of you that don't have a lot of time or are looking for a just a short concise judgment of this book, let me sum up my feelings: This is the best book I have ever read. It is my absolute favourite story ever. Out of the hundreds of shitty and lovely things I've read, this is on top.
Where do I even begin?
For the past 5 - 6 months, I haven't been able to finish a single book. Even if I was enjoying it, I would have to force myself to read it at all. Maybe it's a lack of inspiration, motivation, depression --- who knows? But I haven't read an entire book in forever, and I thought this was going to be just another one of those books I read 30 pages of and then discard.
Instead, I finished it in just over a day.
I've stayed up till 3 am the last two nights just to read this. Woke up at 10, continued to read. Read it under my desk at school. Carried with me every place I went. Read it during the previews in movie theatres using a glow stick. (Les Miz was great BTW) I pretty much lived with this book attached to my body for the last few days. I've not read a book this addicting since Shadow and Bone (the last book I finished, sometime in early July). It was next to impossible to study for my History test today, because I too busy being completely in love with Kill Me Softly.
Let me start with my favourite character in the book: Blue. Blue was a fucking boss. He was an asshole, but not the cocky perverted asshole type (view spoiler)[*coughcough*PatchCapriano*cough**cough* (hide spoiler)] He was the playful-older-brother asshole type. He was rude and silly and romantic and perfect and yeah. I ship him and Mira more than I ship my lungs and air. (view spoiler)[More than I ship Charlie and Patrick, Hazel and Augustus, Alice and Jasper, Ib and Garry, Jesus and Hitler, myself and Johnny Depp.... (hide spoiler)] And pretty much every time he was mentioned ever my first thought would always be
I first realized he was going to be a keeper on his second appearence around page 60....
"What are you doing here?" Felix said. "I told you to stay away from her." "I told you to kiss my ass," Blue said.
.... And then realized I was absolutely in love with him around page 200....
Blue was still wearing --- and villainously twirling --- the fake skinny mustache. He wore baggy pajama pants that were half soaked from the wet bathing suit underneath, topped off by a jester's cap, and reindeer slippers that fit only halfway on his feet. A black silk necktie hung from his neck. He'd ditched his shirt a long time ago. "I can't believe they left you alone with this sexy miscreant," he said.
.... at which point I was just kind of like....
Yeah. So Blue can join Patrick and Zachary on my Fictional Characters I Need so Badly to be Real list.
Next on my favourites list in descending order was Freddie. While I don't like him as the love interest, he made the perfect best friend/Nice Guy Who Gets Repeatedly Rejected Simply Because Life Hates Him character. I doubt a lot of people liked him, because he wasn't portrayed as being sexy or perfect like most love interests, but he was just too adorable not to pity. He was shy and easily embarrassed, excitable, and little animals followed him around like he was candy. (view spoiler)[
"So tell me something: why are your friends so weird?" Mira asked. "Freddie's not weird," Blue defended. "Um, little animals flock to him like he's made of candy." "That makes the animals weird."
(hide spoiler)] I picture him as like Yukimura or Tadase or someone cute and puppy-ish like that, and I just can't help but be endeared by him. Because come one, how can you not love Tadase?
[image error] Yes this is indeed a male This is Freddie to me.
The other characters involved were just as awesome. The fairies reminded me a little bit of those from Theatre Illuminata. Viv and Henly were a hilarious twist on Snow White, as were Rafe and Layla. It was all extremely imaginative and nothing I'd ever be able to come up with myself. Within the span of 336 pages, I went from not knowing any of the characters, to absolutely loving (almost) all of them and wanting so badly they be real.
I am unhealthily attached to this book.
However, despite my never ending adoration for this book, I did have one teensy problem with it.
A recurring problem. And you'll know EXACTLY what I'm talking about if you've read this.
(view spoiler)[Everyone, literally every fucking character in the entire book is telling Mira Felix is dangerous. Like every other page, someone tells her to stay away from him. He has a "secret room" (lolwhat how do u not sense the bullshit). His own brother hates his guts. He keeps a million secrets. He's an experienced seducer. She sees him sentence a man to torture. She feels on the verge of death (literally) when he kisses her.
HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL JUSTIFYING EVERYTHING HE DOES? STAHP IT! (hide spoiler)] Otherwise Mira was an awesome heroine. A little slow and unwise, but entertaining. She was snarky and playful and stubborn. Her outbursts sometimes annoyed me (poor Freddie ;_; constant verbal abuse) but she was overall a very enjoyable POV.
The climax was fucking scary. Like, horror movie scary. I was expecting the usual i liek dont luv u cuz yea (lolno im just doing dis 4 ur safetey) bullshit, but instead, um, I got a gruesome murder scene, a trophy room of corpses, and the most badass Sleeping Beauty retelling ever. It was really fucking suspenseful.
The plot twists really really threw me. Like, I would just sit there staring slack jawed at the page like an idiot, trying to comprehend the total mindfuck it just put me through. There was practically no infodumping --- it was all evenly spread and easy to keep up with, even when you're as bad at keeping track of plotlines as I am.
I plan to reread this many times in the future. It's one of those books that probably works better as a stand-alone, but I still need more anyway, despite the satisfying ending.
(Also, can I just say that this story reminds me a ton of Shadow and Bone? The similarities are many.)
Someone needs to add some words to the English language so that I can accurately express my feelings towards this book. But, alas, I'm stuck with the...moreSomeone needs to add some words to the English language so that I can accurately express my feelings towards this book. But, alas, I'm stuck with the boundaries that this language limits me too, so I will work with this.
There is a certain kind of magnificence that can only be possessed by the darkest of things. While a flower my look pretty, a concert may be exciting, a roller coaster may be thrilling, they don't have the power to change your life and convert your way of thinking like this book does. They're incapable of opening your eyes and showing you the real world, the way Brom does.
This book is twisted and disturbing; it shows the bleak side of humanity and religion that so many people turn a blind eye to to justify themselves. It's brutally honest and painfully relative to the real world; it's impossible not to notice the symbolism that occurs in this book. The Child Thief was not in any way "crazy" or the ravings of a lunatic---it was reality intertwined with a realm of fantasy.
Yes, there's boatloads of blood. Yes, there's death. Yes, there's ghouls and monsters straight out of your most feared horror stories. But Brom manages to weave them with the plot and the characters into an utterly perfect combination which no human being could ever come close to beating. The narrations were wickedly poetic and humorously dry. He was able to convey agony and hopelessness without using 500 words to describe how the characters felt---it was simply known. I bawled my eyes out multiple times through this book, including at school while reading under my desk, and didn't regret a single second of it. Brom knows how to stab the weak points in your heart and armor to make you bleed in the best possible way. He tears you apart and sows you back together, just before ripping you back to shreds---and yet I still came back for more, because the book is like a fucking drug.
Also, I do believe this man shares my brain. If there's anything that can capture the dark essence and torturous atmosphere that echoes within the walls of my mind, it is The Child Thief. There were perfect amounts of pain and humor and hatred to fit me. I wanted to sob into Peter's arms, because I understood exactly what he was feeling and how it felt to be hated and persecuted and tormented and still put on my happy face and play my role. I loved him to death, Peter. I've never related to a chracter more in my entire life.
The other characters were lovable, too: Redbone, Sekeu, Cricket, etc. I was okay with Nick. I wasn't particularly fond of him, but I could see where he was coming from and why he made the decisions he did. I liked that he saw through The Lady's spell and snapped Peter back into reality. Nick was reasonable and more mature than the others, and much less fun, but he was still an important character. Thankfully he wasn't in it as much as the synopsis builds him up to be.
The villains... Oh, god, the villains were spectacular. You can't blame them for being bad, because they all have justifiable reasons. Then there are characters like The Captain that you're not really sure if they're good or evil or a little bit of both---and that another reason this book represents real life so well. No one is ever strictly the hero or strictly the villain---everyone is a mix, and everyone has their reasons. If your villain doesn't have a reason for being a villain, then you have some work to do on your story.
The Reverend was by far the most intimidating antagonist I've ever come across. This character sent chills down my spine like no other; he seriously scared the fuck out of me. There's nothing more terrifying than a sadistic religious man with the power of a god over your city. If that was the case where I lived, I definitely would've been flayed alive by now, simply for being me.
I was far beyond impressed by the concept of religion driving people to utter insanity, where they forget their own morals and abandon their conscience in hope of finding God. I believe nothing better portrays it than the Flesh-eaters and Reverend---all abunch of diabolical creatures claiming to be followers of God. This metaphor makes me smile. This entire book makes me smile. It's like a slap in the face to blind faith hypocrites that make up most of the church. I thoroughly enjoyed that. And it's something that's been a common themes in stories I've written, too: Religion driving people to madness.
The descriptions and wording in this book are lovely, as well. Brom paints the picture in your head perfectly even without all the amazingly illustrated pictures at the chapter marks. It's impossible to be bored when your mind is dancing in the fantasy world of Avalon.
Lastly, I'd just like to say that the art in this book is absolutely phenomenal. There's no way to describe the art in this book other than supreme. I adore these pictures, I actually kind of wish I had them in poster version. Just look at this!
And so I leave you with this, mi amigos: Read this book. I don't care if you rent it from a library, buy it online, steal it from your neighbor, pray for it from the gods. Just get your hands on this book somehow and read it like your life was foretold in the very pages, as it definitely is. I know you've all heard me fangirl over books before, but this, this is something else entirely. This is brilliance on paper. If I believed in God, I would say something stupid like "This is on God's bookshelf, it's that good." But for the love of all that's unholy, READ. IT.(less)
(Just a note, this is my review for Volumes 2 and 3. I accidentally merged them.)
Oh god dammit. I am losing my edge. I need to go zombie slaying or sk...more(Just a note, this is my review for Volumes 2 and 3. I accidentally merged them.)
Oh god dammit. I am losing my edge. I need to go zombie slaying or sky diving or something. Maybe then it'll make up for my reaction to this manga.
Just to let you know, I'm extremely critical when it comes to any kind of romance in books---it's next to impossible to find any pairings that I don't have a problem with.
But this... This was so far beyond my expectations. I'm used to manga having long drawn out blind love and or awful love triangles or whatever---But guess what? Cocoa Fujiwara did not torture me with that shit. She did not create any such triangle, she did not make the heroin oblivious as fuck, and she did not make her characters fall in insta-love or holy-shit-would-you-please-just-kiss-already love.
I really, really like this author.
No, somehow Fujiwara made me grin and make stupid aw that is so fucking adorable! squeals and want to plead for mercy when I was told that chapter 11 was not out yet. I totally lost it when Ririchiyo said,"Oh. He hates himself. I understand... because I hate myself, too." Emotional. Breakdown. I did not expect to love any manga this much ever again after Ouran and Fruits Basket. (<---the two other mangas with romance I didn't hate.) But I do
After hearing Soushi's background, I adore him even more. His past made him seem like a sinister person, but he wasn't---he just did what needed to be done. He was clever and deceiving, and good at lying. And that sculpted into his loneliness to create this super-amazing person he is now.
We're also introduced to this guy Zange, who was a wonderful addition to the series. After all, what's not to love about a crazy slightly-masochistic bunny-ears wearing possibly-gay psychic? NOTHING! Not once did he stop grinning like a psychopath! Not once!
Plus, he kind of reminds me of Mizuki from Kamisama Hajimemashita:
This is a perfect combination of comedy and romance and drama. Three things that I usually don't think go together well, rolled up perfectly. This mangaka has my respect.(less)
Okay, so this is the basic plot summary: Ririchiyo is a recluse, snarky, independent girl who wants to live away from h...moreTHIS.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.
Okay, so this is the basic plot summary: Ririchiyo is a recluse, snarky, independent girl who wants to live away from her parents. So she moves to the Ayakashi Mansion---An exclusive residence, where the guests are all assigned their own Secret Service agent. Or so the public thinks. Ririchiyo, like everyone else in Ayakashi, is actually a special being. Instead of living alone as she had planned, she gets stuck with an agent---Soushi Miketsukami, a loyal servant kitsune who adores Ririchiyo after she saved him when she was little. Wanting only to be helpful to her in any possible way he can, he constantly follows her awaiting any command like an obedient dog. Ririchiyo's bothered by this---why is he so awed by her? Why her? But she can't help but to be persuaded by his optimistic personality, and agrees to let him be her SS guard. The story mainly revolves around the random misadventures of Ririchiyo and Miketsukami, as well as unlocking Ririchiyo's past and all of the characters' wacky personalities.
Oh, and it started airing as an anime show on January 12, 2012.
I am in love. This manga totally destroyed my expectations. Like, annihilated.
First let's talk about our main heroin, Ririchiyo:
Ririchiyo is my most favorite heroin since Rahzel. She was snarky and proud and self confident, she hated having people do things for her (one of the reasons she was irritated with Soushi) and she beat the crap out of giant snake monsters.
Beat the crap out giant demon snake monsters.
Just let that sink in for a second.
She tells off people, she laughs in the face of death, knows how to use good scare tactics, and is quite possibly the most epic girl ever. She wasn't stubborn or arrogant, just iron-willed and determined. I could not believe this being of amazingness I'd stumbled across.
And then there's Soushi. Oh my God. Look at this.
Look at that adorable face and tell me you didn't just fall in love instantly. It's impossible. Totally impossible.
He sparkles too. He fucking sparkles. And not in the Edward Cullen kind of way. In the I iz special! kind of way. I repeat, he fucking sparkles.
Besides being adorable enough to bring angels to tears, he also has an amusing personality. We don't get to see much besides his total devotion to Ririchiyo, but it's there. He's funny and patient and tries his best at ever job he does. He's not afraid of humiliation. He's kind to people who hate him. He's like, like, like...
*searching my mental thesaurus for a good word*
We also have the side characters. I forget all of their names, so I'll go by description. The girl with the ponytails is quiet and hardly active, but yet somehow so funny. She's always nibbling on a random type of food in the background, and so no one really knows about her. And then all of the sudden she turns into a 50 foot skeleton demon monster, and I'm just like, Holy crap, where did that come from?! She looks so tiny and innocent, and then that happens...
Then there's that chick who's always hitting on Ririchiyo. While she does reinforce the lesbian stereotype, I just can't hate her. I found her too comedic. She was just random and weird and silly and somehow hilarious.
And that guy with the tattoo-type-thing on his face, the ittan-momen. He was like the older brother (despite his lack of screen/page-time.) I wish he was in it more, but he was there enough to see his humor and care-free attitude.
Yeah. So anyway, I've been reading this manga for about three days straight, and could not be happier if I tried. I have a sore throat from laughing so hard and bags under my eyes from staying up so late to finish it.
Seriously people, just read it. It is such a lovely manga.(less)
There's a reason why I hate/love really amazing love triangles/diamonds.
It's like being stabbed in the heart, and every time...moreHoly....Holy....Holy shit.
There's a reason why I hate/love really amazing love triangles/diamonds.
It's like being stabbed in the heart, and every time something progressively terrible happens it's like the knife twists a bit. It fucking hurts. I just broke down reading a book. I am so fucking torn up over this. I love Kaoru and Tamakun and Hikaru. I DON'T WANT TO CHOOSE, DAMMIT.
And then the thing with Tamaki's ill mother and being forced away to France never to be seen again...
I'm going to be an emotional wreck for the rest of the week after reading this.(less)
Has anyone else noticed how the characters grew up over the path of the series? Namely Kyo, Yuki, and Momiji. They look almost completely different by...moreHas anyone else noticed how the characters grew up over the path of the series? Namely Kyo, Yuki, and Momiji. They look almost completely different by the end of the series compared to how they did in the beginning. Especially Kyo (who looks alarmingly like Tohru's dad). I mean look at this:
Kyo in the beginning:
Kyo towards the end:
Yuki in the beginning:
(he kind of looks like a female alien)
Yuki towards the end:
Momiji in the beginning:
MOMIJI NOW OMG WHAT THE FUCK:
Touru in the beginning:
Touru towards the end:
I really love the way the art developed. It was a combination of Natsuki's drawing skills getting better with time and the characters themselves changing as they got older. I love how Yuki evolved from an odd-jawline alien thing (yet still somehow attractive) into a really attractive pretty boy. I like younger Kyo better but the newer isn't bad. I thought Tohru was pretty throughout the whole series, moreso at the end. And Momiji...
Okay, there's something about this book that, so far, has held pretty true: Either you love it, or you don't.
As I'm scrolling down, reading random rev...moreOkay, there's something about this book that, so far, has held pretty true: Either you love it, or you don't.
As I'm scrolling down, reading random reviews and rants, I have come across three types of people: 1. This book is so godly, beautiful, exquisite, a masterpiece, etc... 2. This series was a fun read, I honestly don't get what's so great about it but okay, and 3. This was boring as hell, Grace and Sam are too dull, etc etc etc.
Really, I think it just depends on your interpretations. What one person may consider boring and dull, another may think of as a poetically formed creation only manageable by gods. What someone may decide is the best thing that ever happened to humanity, someone else might hate with a fiery passion.
Opinions. All opinions.
See, usually I'm perfectly fine with opinions (as long as they're not trolling---then I get annoyed). That's the whole point of Goodreads, anyway. To express what you thought of the book so other people can determine whether they should get it or not based on your points. Awesome.
What I'm not okay with, is this book constantly being compared with Twilight.
Firstly, what the hell? The plot is different. The creatures are different. The characters are different. The setting is different. HOW DO THESE TWO POSSIBLY RELATE?!?!
People call this a werewolf book, yet it is not based on werewolves. The wolves are only part of the plot setup. But no, Sam is not shedding or howling or tearing through his clothes like you see in all of those stupid horror movies and crap.
And then comparing Grace to Bella and Sam to Edward just....
**spoiler alert** *dramatic TV narrator voice* In this episode of Summer...
•Belly gets married •Jeremiah shows us what an asshole he can be •Conrad i...more**spoiler alert** *dramatic TV narrator voice* In this episode of Summer...
•Belly gets married •Jeremiah shows us what an asshole he can be •Conrad is suddenly awesome •Taylor is suddenly awesome •Belly is in denial •Conrad cries. Alot. •Jeremiah is being a douche and is suddenly not awesome •FIST FIGHT! •Laurel is the only sane one anymore •It becomes painfully obvious who Belly should be with •Has a mystery ending that leaves you not only pissed off but also wondering what the hell just happened!
Sigh. I had been so sure that Jeremiah was the one. He was sweet and funny and awesome in both the other books, and then as soon as he gets together with Belly, BAM! ASSHOLE MODE!
And I was wrong about Conrad, too. For the last two books, He annoyed the chiz out of me. He was just arrogant and selfish and a stick in the mud. But in this book, Conrad gets his own Point of View. In reading this POV, we find out that Conrad actually had a reason for being a mega-jerk! And when we see how mean Jeremiah is, it makes Conrad look even better! So Connie really shone in this one, despite the fact that Belly nearly ripped his heart to shreds and left him in the dust.
The ending came out of nowhere. I was expecting some big thing, like, Belly professing her never-ending love to Conrad (again) and those two having a surprise wedding. Or like, Jeremiah telling Belly to go be happy. But no, instead Jeremiah runs the frick away and then suddenly we see Conrad and Belly getting married.
I mean like, she says he comes to the wedding with a date, but that doesn't mean anything. Whatever.
As long as it's a happy ending, I'm cool with it...(less)
I owe Jenny Han big for this one. She created my dream summer vacations and wrote them down so I could live them vicariously through these books, and...moreI owe Jenny Han big for this one. She created my dream summer vacations and wrote them down so I could live them vicariously through these books, and I'm so grateful. I don't think I could have ever come up with Cousins Beach myself, so thankfully Han did.
Oh, Cousins. I wish I could live there, I really do. I wish I had two awesome guy friends and an obnoxious older brother and a spoiling "aunt" to take my side when I didn't get my way. I wish my mom was perfectly comfortable cursing the right people out at the right time and then deny she ever did it later. I wish I had loving friends who forcefully tossed me into a pool by my wrists and ankles so that I nearly drown when I crack up under water. And damn it, I wish I could be there in Cousins with Belly. So, so badly.
But instead, I get to pretend I'm Belly, which is almost as awesome.
I'm completely in love with Jeremiah and Conrad. In the friendship kind of way, though. I do like Jeremiah better than Conrad, but still. They were so awesome. Jeremiah was entertaining and hilarious (that was meant to be pronounced as hil-ah-rious). Conrad threw the best bitch-out temper tantrums ever. Despite Conrad acting like a complete jackass for a full section of the book, he was pretty likable.
Belly was so... so... human! I have never met anyone who acts as human-ish as Belly.(Wow that sounded weird.) She was impulsive but looked out for people. Short tempered but understanding. Happy but wanting. She acted like a person, and not some stoic YA heroine or girly spoiled rich chick or lonely goth. Belly was a combination of qualities and faults, and that made her perfect.
The plot didn't make a lot of sense to me at first, but after a while it did. You have to wait for it to explained before you can form opinions. Conrad seems all douchey, but then when you find out his intentions, you just have that feeling of mentally facepalming and going oh!
And Jeremiah---my sweet, sweet Jeremiah---he get's his own point of view in this book? Isn't that just the most omigod-I'm-going-to-pass-out fantabulous thing ever?! *happy sigh*
Belly is not allowed to leave Cousins Beach. Forget it. I want to live there with her, and to do that, she has to have ownership of it, otherwise my fantasy dies.(less)
Note: Before we begin, I'd like to just like to say that no, I'm not an arrogant twelve year old groupie just because I love this series. So that ment...moreNote: Before we begin, I'd like to just like to say that no, I'm not an arrogant twelve year old groupie just because I love this series. So that mental image in your mind of me right now, I rather it not be Annoying Facebook Girl in a bright pink I ♥ VAMPZ shirt.
For the duration of this review, I need you to totally disregard the movie. Forget every stupid expression Kristen Stewart had on her face, every poor acting moment, every terrible slaughter of what could have been a good scene. The movie is nothing like the book. The movie shames the book. Right now, all that matters of what you know about this plot is, "Girl meets unsociable boy, boy happens to be vampire, girl and vampire boy fall in love, the end."
That is all.
The Actual Review
Reading this book takes skill. You have to be able to be extremely open-minded, forgetting all preconceived opinions of the Saga. You need to be capable of weighing flaws and qualities and not just focusing on one or the other. But most importantly you have reasonable.
Bella Swan, quiet 17 year old Arizonian moving to Forks to spend time with her dad. That's all awesome and chiz until a coven of goddamn VAMPIRES comes and ruins her plans. Though technically it's all her fault for being Edward's cantante. But still.
So yeah, her life went totally out of control, as most things vampire-related do. Suddenly she's being hunted by sadistic nomad that's bent on ripping her throat out on video for her unofficial-hubby to see (psycho, isn't he?). She's pretty much screwed.
I didn't find Bella to be as Mary-Sue-ish as everyone's been saying. She falls for a vampire. So what? It's not like it's out of the ordinary for the YA world. If anything, it's an improvement. At least this story has a plot, a climax, violence, believable characters, actual references, and real legends (i.e. Quileutes tying their boat to treetops to survive a flood). Bella Swan doesn't run crying when she finds out Edward's a vampire, but still has some reservation for her own life in her list of priorities. She wasn't in denial for the first three hundred and some pages. I was able to stand her.
As for Edward, I can kind of see why he is the way he is. I mean, if I had killed hundreds of people, I think I'd be angsty and racked with guilt, too! Add the fact that he's had to repeat high school for a hundred freakin years, eternal loneliness, no real purpose in life, and bam. You have the perfect excuse, as far as I'm concerned.
The other characters weren't flat at all. For everyone one of them, I could think of at least one descriptive adjective to describe their personality. Even ones as minor as Ben Cheney and Laurent. They managed to have a mind of their own without falling into common stereotypes. Jessica was catty and friendly, Alice was sarcastic and bubbly, Jacob was boyish but not immature. They were like, you know, PEOPLE! What a tragedy!
Oh, and I'm tired of people giving me shit about vampires being sparkly. I don't care. So the vampires glitter in the sun. You know what else glistens when it hits light? KNIVES.
Yeah, I went there. Macabre is always called for when it comes to being me.
May I just add that I absolutely love these book covers? (I especially like the Korean one) Yes, I know that the apple's supposed to represent Edward being the forbidden fruit and blah blah blah---whatever. I'm just admiring the simplicity of it. A dude holding an apple. It's such a small, insignificant picture for such a giant complex story. And yet it's so mysterious that it's compelling to read the back and see what it's about. Or maybe that's just me. *shrugs*
So anyways, I loved this book. Edward and Bella actually loved each other in stead of just stupid lusty romance. They were so believable that they were unbelievable (if that makes sense) and I'm not sorry for reading about them. Not to mention that it is through this author that I found some of the best bands of all time (i.e. Muse).
I'm not really sure why I liked this book---whether it was because of the actual story or because of the setting and background. Probably the latter.
I...moreI'm not really sure why I liked this book---whether it was because of the actual story or because of the setting and background. Probably the latter.
Isabel's (I refuse to call her "Belly") summers are spent with her Mom's best friend, Susanna, and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad, down the shore. The way their summers are described are so painfully realistic. My friends always talk about going down the shore during the summer, and the one time I went with them, this book reminded me of that time.
I spent my summer reading and listening to radio to see if I won a sweepstakes to meat MCR. That's it. Meanwhile, Isabel's here making muffins and messing around with Jeremiah and Conrad and swimming and tanning and--- As if my summer didn't feel boring enough.
Anyway, aside from the jealousy, I did sort of kind of maybe liked this book. Isabel reminded me of a few people I knew---she was able to be like a teenage girl without being insultingly stupid or overly-mature, like most novels. Jeremiah was cool. And Conrad was.... Oh, Conrad. I have no fucking clue what his problem was, but the dude has a major chip on his shoulder.
I think my biggest problem with this book was the constant flashbacks to her younger years. It felt like she was rubbing it in how awesome her vacations are irrelative to what was really going on in the book. I mean, does eating Twizzlers when you're nine have anything to do with your love life? No. So why is it there?!
I mean, I'm totally cool with background stories. I love finding out about how characters came to be who they are now --- whether they were pampered or had to work for what they have. It's all great. But this was like every. other. chapter. And just come on.
And then there was the love rhombus, which I'm not going to get into, because you all know how I feel about love rhombi.
Oh, and my third and last problem I feel like stating for the night: Why does, like, Belly always, like, say, like, "like" every other, like, page? And sometimes she, like, says "I mean." In the, like, narration, I mean.
Maybe I'm, like, overreacting. To Belly's dialect, I mean. But it was annoying.
Anyway! Despite a few flaws, the story was enjoyable. I loved the atmosphere. The pages just breathe summer. *happy sigh*
Oh, to add as an after thought---The girl on the cover looks just like Isabel. Exactly what I imagined. And the guy that's on the right side of the cover with the long brown hair looks like Jeremiah, except for the eyes. That other dude, he looks nothing like Conrad. He looks more like Levi from My Soul to Save.