For a shounen title, this was a promising start. Yes, it's a bit slap-stick and cliche in parts. Yes, you probably already read a similar storyline. H...moreFor a shounen title, this was a promising start. Yes, it's a bit slap-stick and cliche in parts. Yes, you probably already read a similar storyline. However, the characters are fresh and the main two (Raku and Chitoge) are interesting and funny. Even though they don't get along--for now, obviously--it's an odd chemistry that makes the storyline work and makes me want to read more. If this were a drama, I don't think it would work so well. The comedy elements propel the ridiculous premise into something enjoyable. The alternative love-interest, Onodara, is a little empty yet, but there's a glimmer of a deeper backstory. She's obviously going to be connected to the others, so I'm sure she'll get fleshed out. It may have been more of a three in some parts, but I figure if a manga makes me laugh out loud more than a few times, it deserves a little extra. (less)
Overall a 3.5 (rounded up). A fun collection of stories covering all the Doctors so far (excluding our upcoming Capaldi, though). The overall rating d...moreOverall a 3.5 (rounded up). A fun collection of stories covering all the Doctors so far (excluding our upcoming Capaldi, though). The overall rating does not reflect every story, but I'll break those down in a minute. For someone who is new to the Whovian Universe, this may not be as exciting. I have not seen every episode that ever was, but I have seen a bit of each Doctor. And each author in this bunch does a different service to each of the Doctor's reincarnations. Some better than others.
1st Doctor (by Eoin Colfer) - 1 star. Meh. There were some interesting lines and the story itself had potential, but it really wasn't written like a Doctor Who story. It felt more like someone was given a summary and a small clip and they went from there.
2nd Doctor (by Michael Scott) - 2 stars. Scott was able to capture the attitude of the 2nd Doctor, but the story itself fell a little flat. Not a bad idea, just a little too much "getting there" and then the solution was one paragraph.
3rd Doctor (by Marcus Sedgwick) - 3 stars (there's a pattern setting up, huh?). 3rd Doctor may be my current least favorite version of the Time Lord, but this story was enjoyable. We get the right feel and an active companion and an interesting story. With the Doctor stranded on Earth during this life, there are still plenty of options for adventures. At least he didn't go too kung-fu.
4th Doctor (by Philip Reeve) - 4 stars (yup). For starters, I love Philip Reeve and Tom Baker is my favorite classic Doctor. The combination was great, and I thought the monster being a freakin' tree was creative, and only Reeve could pull that off. He got all the voices right and just the correct amount of action and "chatting. People are less likely to kill you if you stop and have a chat."
5th Doctor (by Patrick Ness) - 4 stars. Also really love Patrick Ness. I only recently found his Chaos Walking series, so I was excited to see his name on the list. 5th Doctor is okay. If you were to transfer this story to television, it would be a "Doctor Lite" episode. He's not in it for much, but we still get a wonderful story and something that would indeed transition well. Great.
6th Doctor (by Richelle Mead) - 3 stars. Richelle Mead in a Doctor Who collection? Really? Okay, um.. it was fine. It's the only story in this collection from the 1st person perspective of the companion (Peri). Even though we don't get a whole lot of Doctor in this story either, I do think she was able to capture 6's signature sass and dryness.
7th Doctor (by Malorie Blackman) - 3 stars. Fun story, and it has Ace! Ace is fun. This story had the more stubborn and darker side of the Doctor. 7 never seemed to have a distinct character like some of the others, so I can't say how accurate Blackman was, but it was a good story. It fit into the rhythm correctly, even if the solution was a tad confusing.
8th Doctor (by Alex Scarrow) - 4 stars. Never heard of Alex Scarrow, but 8 is one of my favorites despite his short tenure, and I think this story did him justice. We are companion-less, but with 8's in-your-face-fast-paced attitude, I can see him not having someone constantly like the others. Dark villain and not afraid to include death. Bit of an easy solution, but enjoyable. Yay 8.
9th Doctor (Charlie Higson) - 3 stars. My First Doctor, so this not being a 5-star quality story made me a bit sad, but it was good. This takes place in that "short" amount of time between the Doctor first leaving Rose and then coming back to add "Did I mention it travels in time?" There has been fan speculation online as to where he went then and how long he was indeed gone, and I think this is a great attempt at answering that. We see 9 getting into an adventure by mistake, as usual, and meeting an unusual one-time companion - who eventually convinces him to go back and ask Rose to join him again.
10th Doctor (by Derek Landy) - 5 STARS! This one was a smash. Landy was able to capture the essence of the show completely, and the voices of both 10 and Martha were absolutely perfect! I know some people may be going "Aww, Martha?" Shut UP. Martha is awesome. Anyway, great story and an interesting world to visit. Simply brilliant. Landy's Skullduggery Pleasant has been on my reading list for a while; thanks to this it has been bumped up.
11th Doctor (by Neil Gaiman) - 4 stars. Neil Gaiman! What's not to like! He could have botched it and I would have given it 4. But, of course, he didn't. Imaginative plot and villain, I got to have Amy again (no Rory :( sad face). The writing was terrific and a clever conclusion. Neil Gaiman pretty much is the 11th Doctor.(less)
What. An. Airhead. I was so excited that the library finally purchased this series, because I heard about it long ago and it sounded pretty awesome for...moreWhat. An. Airhead. I was so excited that the library finally purchased this series, because I heard about it long ago and it sounded pretty awesome for a Shoujo title. I was sorely disappointed pretty early on with how completely empty the main character is and some of the plot devices that have become unfortunately a mainstay in this genre. And I'm a Shoujo fan! I expect the over-the-top storylines and sappy speeches and the over-abundance of blushing. But this story just was a little too flat for me. It did not live up to its premise. It's supposed to teach you about "what love really feels like?" She's confusing every action from this Ren guy. It's the modern tragedy of mistaking CURTOSY for FLIRTING. He can help you because he's a nice guy, not because he secretly loves you. Well, it could be both, but not in this scenario. And yes, "love" is the "best kind of pain" and such, but she's quite quick to come to the conclusion that she's in love when only a handful of words have passed between them. Not saying she should have gone for the guy-friend who has already tried to date her. Frankly don't know enough about him to judge, but he's also full of cliches (You helped me through this rough time in my life and so I love you, pretty much because I have to be grateful and that's the only way I can figure how). Still, I am going to continue to see how deep she manages to dig this hole she started, and if she will somehow crawl out of it. It's going to be like watching a dog trying to get peanut butter off the roof of its mouth.(less)
I'd give this a 1.5 if I could, but I simply can't find a reason to round up for this one. Gilded, you get the round down for your falling short. The...moreI'd give this a 1.5 if I could, but I simply can't find a reason to round up for this one. Gilded, you get the round down for your falling short. The ideas were all there, but the execution was a little too messy for me to forgive. Honestly, this sounded like a great story, and something you don't find very often on Teen Shelves. An adventure through Korean Mythology with the soul of the first born on the line, a wise and mysterious grandfather, a potentially hot sidekick. But it all ended up being a big pile of MEH. The biggest issue with this story is the heroine, Jae Hwa. She had the potential to be awesome. In fact, the first couple chapters were good! I was all, "Yay, this is a nice set-up." A girl who's good at archery (but not Katniss-like), seems to like history and art, sturdiness from martial arts. And then she went all Bella Swan on me. She's a slightly better Bella than the actual Bella; I'll give her that. But it wasn't by much. Okay, so she's all upset over being uprooted from LA to move to Korea, and yet how her mind is interpreting things doesn't seem completely on board with that. She seems quite immersed in her new surroundings despite mentioning a slight homesickness for the states. She has friends, a really nice house, a potential boyfriend, and she's moping about how her life sucks. You're creating your own issues, and before all the demi-god stuff goes down, you had nothing wrong. Plus, I'm pretty sure not everything in Seoul smells like kimchi. There are other things about Korea than kimchi. She also is horrible about decisions. I lost count for how many times she gets upset about how things are turning out when it could have all been avoided IF SHE JUST LISTENED TO WHAT PEOPLE WERE TELLING HER. I know the plot wouldn't have progressed if she didn't make some of those mistakes, but come on. Grandfather tells you not to go into this special shrine, he leaves for two seconds, and she says screw-it-I'm-exlporing. Look what you did. Aunt tells you not to let demi-god touch you at all, the next day you reach out and take his hand willingly. Look what you did. Just STAHP. And when you chide yourself and admit to doing something stupid, Jae, I was agreeing with you. I did not feel sorry for you in the least. I give you slight kudos for being trained in martial arts and stuff, but that doesn't make you Wonder Woman. And I'd seriously like to see a sixteen-year-old girl do 100 push-ups and 200 sit-ups in a row. Yeah, right. Don't care how fit you are; not happening. The one thing that I can think of that would make it better would be a split narrative between Jae Hwa and Marc--boy interest. He seemed interesting, and despite his unexplained attraction to her, he saw things like a sane person (for the most part. He did plan a museum break-in). He was from the outside of all this "family curse" business and came from a family that studied myths. He didn't even believe in them until he was confronted with it. Let's hear what's going on with him. Perhaps just a break from Jae would have made me happier. Her girlfriends were plaster shells, so that didn't help either. One last complaint. Jae dubbed girl-rival she didn't like Min of the Long Legs. You don't need to repeat that every time she's in the scene. We get it! Well, it's done. I stuck through it hoping for a good ending to make up for the things that irked me. Snake eyes. Indeed, she did fight. Good girl for being brave; Bella would have sat there and cried. But seriously, it just didn't jive with me. If I find myself thinking "Duh" too many times in a book, it's not a good sign.(less)
This will be one of the few circumstances in which you will find my saying the following phrase: Although this book was good, I liked the movie better...moreThis will be one of the few circumstances in which you will find my saying the following phrase: Although this book was good, I liked the movie better. The recent version of The Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe is so good (love it); it is one of the best ghost stories I have seen in a long time. Now, I did not know the story was originally a novel until after I saw the movie. Of course, that automatically earns it a spot on my to-read list. If this movie was awesome, I bet the book is just as awesome! What I forgot was this: the movie to book equilibrium is often skewed. Most of the time, it's in the book's favor. With this story, however, I'm giving the points to the movie. Both deal with the mysterious specter that is The Woman in Black - a shrouded woman who stays on the edge of the scene and just gives you the creeps. Arthur Kipps is in charge of setting Mrs. Drablow's estate when he encounters this ghost, and we are brought through his interactions and conclusions. The Woman in Black's motives are very much the same in the book as they are in the movie. The movie brings up the consequences much sooner, though (the book deals with it in the last twenty minutes). Arthur Kipp's character, outside of him working for a law firm, is actually quite different. He still has the "I'm not giving this up" mentality, which was great. But the whole back story of his family is different; his relationships with people in the town are different; without giving away anything... the ENDING is different. None of those things are in a bad way. Things just didn't match up, and I was so hoping the movie equaled the book. The feel, however, is right where it should be. This spit of a town is holding a secret and nobody wants to talk about it, and they feel there's nothing they can do. In many ways, they are right. But at least Arthur Kipp tried. The book is very grey and damp. The aura of the marshes seeps through the words and the telling of this tale. I think Susan Hill did an excellent job of crafting something that will make you fear shadows and the random sounds on the wind. I also think it made an excellent movie, and perhaps was improved upon. So, do both and decide for yourself. Either way, The Woman in Black is a character I do not wish to meet. (less)