Compared to many of the other reviews, I realize a 3 is rather low. This is a difficult book to rate, but I have to stick to my usual system of enjoymCompared to many of the other reviews, I realize a 3 is rather low. This is a difficult book to rate, but I have to stick to my usual system of enjoyment. This book has a very important and heavy theme, and that can drag a reader down. I've given depressing and infuriating titles greater ratings, I'll admit. I think the only thing really holding this volume back was pacing. Still, this is a story that everyone should read. Because bullying is no joke.
I was bullied in elementary school. I'm sure nearly everybody can say that. Personally, I was bullied for my weight. I was heavier than your average girl, and it singled me out. My main opponent was a group of four to five boys. Luckily for me, words were their weapon, and I didn't have to fight. Didn't stop me from kicking them in the shins from time to time, but words can hurt just as much, if not more. That's one of the things in this book that really bothered me and made me super angry. These kids would talk about Nishimiya, not just behind her back, but right in front of her. And she couldn't defend herself because she couldn't hear them. And nobody stood up for her.
EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK IS A GIANT JERK!
Nobody is upstanding. Everybody sucks. Everybody, except Nishimiya, who is wonderfully forgiving and kind, even when the world is just spitting in her face. Even her fucking teacher (excuse me) finds her annoying and laughs occasionally when she's being picked on. For crap's sake, why did you become a teacher if you treat your students like this? The school does little to help Nishimiya, and that confuses me, but I'm not the most familiar with Japanese Public School requirements. They didn't even bother to bring in someone who knows sign language. Plus, her mother! Her own mother thinks her daughter a pain, and makes fun of her disability in front of her "because she can't hear it anyway." She lashes out at people who are trying to help. She's just a horrible person.
Our main bully, Ishida, may not be the worst, but he certainly learns his lesson the slowest. His whole thing is "winning the war against boredom," and teasing the new deaf kid is his new game. King Jerk. So when the bullying escalates to a level that gets the principal's attention, the rest of the jerks throw him under the bus. Welcome to Karma. Now he knows exactly what it feels like to be bullied. And it's not a pretty picture. This, luckily, helps him see his errors. By the end of this first volume, we see that he regrets his actions and wants to make amends. A tiny sliver of redemption.
Bullying everywhere is horrible; but, somehow, in Japan, bullying reaches new levels of despicable. You see it in a lot of their literature. There is such a huge pressure for conformity, that any strangeness or uniqueness tends to be a target to be squashed. And many authority figures turn the other way, because it's also a "lesson" to kids. You are responsible for what happens to you. Asking for help or looking for someone to lean on can be seen as a weakness. And that's why those who suffer have to go it alone so often. It ticks me off to no end, but we need to read stories about it. It needs to lead to a discussion for change.
A Silent Voice is a good manga, but it's hard to read. It may be a trigger for some readers, which will make it even harder. But it holds an important message. It's something young kids should be required to face, especially in a world that makes it easier to bully. I didn't have social media when I was being bullied in elementary school. Thank God. But what about kids today? We need to find a way to show kids the consequences before they go too far. Before Karma comes for them, and it takes way too long to make amends. They can only hope others take the high road and either learn to ignore or learn to forgive. ...more
A little slow to start, considering it was the big Finale, but it eventually sped up to its predecessors. The big, final fight was awesome, and the enA little slow to start, considering it was the big Finale, but it eventually sped up to its predecessors. The big, final fight was awesome, and the ending (while predictable) was adorable. Overall, a very enjoyable series that was light and dark at the same time. Yay. ...more
Once, for a writing class, I couldn't pin down an idea for a short story. I was up the very first week for reviewing, so it n2.5 Stars Overall for me.
Once, for a writing class, I couldn't pin down an idea for a short story. I was up the very first week for reviewing, so it needed to be put together rather quickly. One morning, I woke up with the previous night's dream so fresh in my head, that I had to write it down. It was fun, it was a tad quirky. For the most part, it was believable as a semi-fantastical short story. Until I followed my dream too closely and had the entire sleep-over cast murdered. Needless to say, it threw my classmates off. They liked the first three-quarters of the story, but the ending didn't work.
For me, that is The Weirdness.
I am all for weirdness in a book. Usually, weirdness goes hand-in-hand with creativity and unique ideas. All for that, too. But The Weirdness eventually took a turn in its plot that really lost me. For spoilers sake, I won't say what it was. I personally feel the author may have stretched his boundaries into a realm that didn't make sense with the rest of the whole. That being said for a book about a boy being hired by the Devil to retrieve a magical beckoning Neko. Yeah.
What I did enjoy about this book, was the actual writing. Kudos. It flows very nicely; and sometimes, such fluidity can be childish. Not here, though. It was super easy to read and had some nice descriptive language, and had some light comedy. (I think the comedy was supposed to be higher, but it wasn't the comedy that jives with me). Because of this particular voice, I was reminded of many of the Simon Pegg movies. Very Shaun of the Dead. So, even if this took place in Manhattan, it was reading British in my head. And Billy and Anil were this:
I know the physical description doesn't add up, but my brain didn't care.
As for plot, it starts off rather solid. I could see this playing out very similarly in a Christopher Moore book, or perhaps if Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher had a lovechild. This will appeal to many readers. It looks at the dark side of things and adds comedy and "real people." If you care to look deeply enough, it had some insights on humanity and important choices. In that category, I think it failed to reach its potential. Even though Simon Pegg's movies are silly and sometimes gruesome, they still manage to have heart. And I couldn't find the heart in The Weirdness. So the enjoyment factor went down. It kind of tried in some spots, but I didn't feel terribly connected.
So, it was a little below average for me. A fun, quick trip, but nothing too memorable. I think Bushnell has a talent for writing. I simply am not a fan of this story. 4 for quality, 2 for enjoyment.
I was hooked from page one. One might think a book called Phoebe and her Unicorn would be super pink and fluffy and ultra-girls-have-to-be-girls. NotI was hooked from page one. One might think a book called Phoebe and her Unicorn would be super pink and fluffy and ultra-girls-have-to-be-girls. Not so. Phoebe is excellent and modern, and far from your girly-girl. She definitely wants to braid that mane, but the story is not about dreams coming true and being a "princess". It's about having fun with glitter, Crisco, copious amounts of wordplay, subtle revenge on that snotty popular girl, and maybe making a new friend or two. It is compared to Calvin and Hobbes, which I've never read. I can hear the shocked gasps. However, if that is a true comparison, I am eager to backtrack and read some C&H. Now there are more smart choices for kids who want smart comics, and Simpson's book fits right in. It has a grown-up sense of humor while also staying in the kids-realm, and Phoebe is always true to her age.
4th grade would have been soooo much better if I had a unicorn companion......more
It has been a shoujo desert for me lately. All the contemporary rom-coms (or just plain romances) have all fallen into the dud cat4.5 Suprising Stars!
It has been a shoujo desert for me lately. All the contemporary rom-coms (or just plain romances) have all fallen into the dud category, and I was often the odd-one out. (Case in point, Strobe Edge. Guh). So my hopes weren't terribly high for this one. Honestly, I was turned off by the title and the two exclamation points. I know, I shouldn't be bothered by that small thing, but I was. However, I'm glad I took a chance on this title, because it was super cute, super refreshing, and I will gladly admit to smiling like an idiot for at least 75% of it. I love a good underdog story. And this one is special in that the underdog (Takeo) truly thinks of himself as such. He doesn't even consider that Yamato might like him. Of course she's after his gorgeous and "boy-band-stock-model" friend. And that fact that she's not, and his reaction when he finds out, makes him that much more lovable. Yamato is a girl I can get on board with. She's not the feathery-airhead I tend to see as heroines in shoujo titles. She may be a little clumsy at times, but she's genuine, honest (once she gets over some initial shyness), and did I mention cute? Them as a couple is just "Squee." So, Yay for a shoujo that redeems the genre. Yay for "friendship is magic" moments between guys. Yay for non-shallow characters! I'll see you in volume 2. ...more