This is one the most defining mangas in history. In Japan it forever changed the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre and became enormously popular, and...moreThis is one the most defining mangas in history. In Japan it forever changed the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre and became enormously popular, and in the West this was one of the first mangas ever professionally translated and distributed. For many who grew up in the 90s (including me) there is a fond nostalgia associated with it. However, I hope to not let that deter an honest review with the recent rereading I've done of the series.
Characters: Except for Usagi (and, early on the series, Mamoru) the characters don't strongly stick out. While they have some backstory, they can read as one dimensional--Minako is starstruck, Aimee is smart, Rei is temperamental, etc. I never really felt myself caring about their small subarcs. However, I think this is made up for by Usagi's characterization.
Usagi starts out as a very flaky fourteen-year-old, and at heart she stays that way until the very end of the series. She can be immature, lazy, and unmotivated. However, once she becomes Sailor Moon and is forced to take on responsibility, not only does she step up to the plate but does so admirably. She works very hard to protect her friends and family, and while in the manga she's not always strong, she certainly tries to be. I love the dichotomy between her flakiness and the strength of heart she possesses. To me, she's the perfect "normal" heroine. Or as normal as you can be for a mahou shoujo.
Plot: The first two arcs of the manga, by far, were the best. The first one centers around finding the Princess Serenity and defending her from harm, and then goes on to deal with the issues of reincarnation and having a past life. The second arc deals with Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion's future daughter and her going back to the past to ask Sailor Moon for her help against a future threat that even the Queen couldn't stop. Especially in the second arc, there are a lot of interesting development for side characters and villains that unfortunately is never seen again in the series. The rest of the arcs I personally felt were desperate and contrived plots written solely because the franchise had become so enormously popular.
Art: This is quintessential shoujo manga style art, and as such is is breathtakingly lovely. It's very fine and light in comparison to some of the other great artists out there (such as Kaori Yuki) but it works very well. The manga drawings themselves are lovely, but by far the most breathtaking pictures are the colored ones from the artbooks.
Overall: I think it's an excellent read if you are interested in shoujo manga. The plot could be better and some of the characters could have been developed more. It's certainly not going to be the most awe-inspiring manga of all time, but it is certainly worth reading if nothing else for its classic status. (less)
**spoiler alert** A very cute addition to the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre, this is a quintessential magical idol subtype. However, I personally...more**spoiler alert** A very cute addition to the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre, this is a quintessential magical idol subtype. However, I personally do not consider this manga among my favorites and probably never will. There are some glaring flaws and things that irk me. However, in the middle to the last third of the manga there is some very interesting plot points made and characterization done.
CHARACTERS: To begin with, ugh Mizuki's selfless attitude was so irritating. She basically has no flaws and was only semi-active--a lot of things were done for her. On top of that, the selflessly and perfect terminally ill patient is such a trope that it's enough to make me roll my eyes even in a genre that requires quite a suspension of disbelief. The ill and disabled are people too with flaws and feelings.
However, the characterization of the other characters--especially the shinigamis--are much more in depth and interesting. To become a shinigami you must commit suicide and this theme was handled fairly well.
PLOT: The plot starts out generic, but once you find that Eichi is dead it becomes far more interesting. This finally is the only time in the manga that the heroine shows any sort of spunk or feelings other than "I want to sing" and "I love everybody"
The one thing that really creeped me out about this manga was that the main love interest, Tokuto, is like an adult and Mizuki is twelve. It was far too creepy for words. Then when you find out he was her father's friend and contemporary it becomes creepy on a whole new level.
ART: Ariana Tanemura is one of the great shoujo artists out there. Sometimes her characters seem a bit stylistically odd to me, but she really is excellent. Her colored pieces are also fantastic. (less)
I wonder if I went into this book with too many expectations or if this book was just not for me, because as well written as it was I couldn't really...moreI wonder if I went into this book with too many expectations or if this book was just not for me, because as well written as it was I couldn't really get into it. It was especially hard in the first fifty pages, where it seems like basically nothing happens.
John Greene is obviously a good writer, but maybe his style of writing just doesn't appeal to me. I got emotional over the characters while reading, but once I closed the book I found them (and the story in general) easily forgettable. (less)
**spoiler alert** I admit that I enjoyed this book immensely. I got emotional over several parts in it, and I was rooting for Kate's relationship with...more**spoiler alert** I admit that I enjoyed this book immensely. I got emotional over several parts in it, and I was rooting for Kate's relationship with Henry the whole time. And the ending (which I won't spoil) blew me away. However, I couldn't give this a four stars because of several problems. Do not let my nitpicking deter you from reading this, however, as I'm going to recommend it to my friends.
I didn't find the progression between Kate and Henry believable, though I rooted for them regardless. She fell for him very quickly, and a lot of her interest in him seemed to develop off screen, which was disappointing. I wish I had seen more of their conversations, particularly when Henry is more open and receptive to her. The book seemed to move very quickly over the weeks, which might be why I found the quickness of their relationship so jarring.
Also, though everyone will hate me for saying this, Kate reminded me of Bella Swan from Twilight--a book reader who moves into a small town and isn't really interested in getting to know anyone, but finds herself drawn into an amazing adventure. And Henry reminded me of Edward, a brooding "young" man with burdens that he doesn't want to have to bear alone but thinks he should. I normally don't make such comparisons--and unlike many readers, I don't have a very strong opinion about the Twilight series--but I couldn't quite help myself from seeing it. Despite that, I admired Kate for her strength in taking care of her sick mother. Kate, as a narrator, sometimes falls a bit flat, and the rest of the characters sometimes very one dimensional. However, this is a series and I have faith that Ms. Carter will be able to give the other characters more depth in time.
In all, I liked the book despite its problems and I will read the next one when I can.
I have very low standards of entertainment and it was popular so I assumed there had to be something remotely interesting about this book. I have seen...moreI have very low standards of entertainment and it was popular so I assumed there had to be something remotely interesting about this book. I have seen a few episodes of the show and I liked them, and I thought maybe the books would be better.
Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong. I barely got through this book and it was terrible. The writing was poor, the overindulgence in brand names was irritating, and the supposedly interesting gossip site just made me snooze. Nate was nothing more than a cardboard cut out that everyone seemed to like for no reason except that he was attractive, Chuck was a slimeball that no one called out for his creepy tendencies, Blair is just the dumpy skidekick, Vanessa and Dan are stereotyped artsy kids, and Serena would have been sympathetic to me if she hadn't been described as completely and utterly perfect.
The glamorization of the sex, alcohol, and drugs was completely unrealistic. If these kids smoked up, drank, and had sex that much in real life they wouldn't ever turn into "successful" adults as they would be washed up from their vices.
Don't pick this book up. It is tedious, completely unrealistic, and everything about the writing falls flat.
I heard a lot of really good things about this book, so I picked it up despite this book not appealing to my usual taste in books. I thought I would a...moreI heard a lot of really good things about this book, so I picked it up despite this book not appealing to my usual taste in books. I thought I would acknowledge that it was well-written while not being interested.
I was dead wrong. This book is excellent, and it deserves all of the five stars I gave it. Well written, endearing characters, and high stakes made this one of the best YA titles I've read in a while.
I really cannot wait to continue this series.(less)
Can I give 6 out of 5 stars? Because I try to be reasonable in my reviews, and yet I know this is going to be one of my favorite books ever and I wish...moreCan I give 6 out of 5 stars? Because I try to be reasonable in my reviews, and yet I know this is going to be one of my favorite books ever and I wish I could give it more than 5.
When I heard about this book, I only heard the first part about her being mismatched, and so I went into this book thinking it just a generic love story. I'm secretly glad I didn't, because I got to be bowled over at the emotional power and beauty of this tale.
The love story between Ky and Cassia is beautiful and heart-wrenching, and is one of the best romances I've seen in YA. More than that, though, I loved the growth Cassia experiences. She becomes so strong and open minded in the course of the novel, and I loved her burning desire to fight.
I like this book so much that I'm not sure if I want the sequels because I'm going to have high standards for them after this beginning of a series. (less)
I recommend this book for an writer, not just screenwriters. The "beat" system Snyder has reminds me a lot of the hero's journey by Joseph Campbell bu...moreI recommend this book for an writer, not just screenwriters. The "beat" system Snyder has reminds me a lot of the hero's journey by Joseph Campbell but in a more general sense. However, the book would have been better with more examples and a in-depth look at the categories he described. (less)
I adored he first book of this series, MATCHED. I liked this book as well, but it was not as good at the first. It was certainly a good book.There was...moreI adored he first book of this series, MATCHED. I liked this book as well, but it was not as good at the first. It was certainly a good book.There was a lot more depth given to the characters, particularly Ky, and their relationship became real with problems and mistrust that was eventually sorted out. It didn't make me feel though, or make me cry as the first book did. I'm hoping maybe this was a lull and the third book will give us some of the intensity of the first.(less)
This was an entertaining read, and the idea of revenants very original. I certainly didn't expect to be so endeared to the characters or the plot. How...moreThis was an entertaining read, and the idea of revenants very original. I certainly didn't expect to be so endeared to the characters or the plot. However, once again I could see strong Twilight influences in this novel, which was disappointing. I know Twilight was a huge hit and thus a model for many, but I just hate seeing the formula over and over again.
One thing that made me uncomfortable was the stalkerish behavior that Vincent and his "family" generally engaged in and was seen as not only normal but perfectly acceptable. I'm really disturbed that this trend came over in the Twilight formula as well and is becoming commonplace, and I was sad that this otherwise endearing novel displayed this.
Once again, the supernatural hero falls for the rather normal girl without really knowing her or having any logical reason to do so, but I still rooted for Vincent and Kate.
I'll recommend this as a fun read, but the Twilight influences in pretty much every paranormal romance book I'm picking up is getting old fast.(less)
At first I had a hard time getting into this book. Juliette seemed just a bit too broken for me to understand, but this changed roughly 35 pages in fo...moreAt first I had a hard time getting into this book. Juliette seemed just a bit too broken for me to understand, but this changed roughly 35 pages in for me. I'm glad I continued, because this book was fantastic!
Juliette was such an interesting mix of traumatized and strong, which I felt worked well with how life had been for her so far. Warner was such a disturbing and broken character, clearly viewing Juliette as an image of himself that he desires rather than for herself. Kenji was one of the most amusing characters I've read in a while. Adam is a genuinely caring person (even if I found him a tad boring for some reason).
The prose is also just fantastic and beautiful without being overwhelming or taking away from the plot.
Honestly, this book has two flaws, and those is that the main characters believe themselves to be in love so quickly. Honestly, they barely know each other. They interacted in childhood but never actually spoke to one another. I just don't buy it. The second is that Juliette is found completely and utterly sexy by everyone around her, but she doesn't know it. It was a tad frustrating to see that trite characteristic written yet again.(less)
**spoiler alert** I read this book for the first time around four or five years ago, and while I didn't love it I didn't necessarily hate it either. I...more**spoiler alert** I read this book for the first time around four or five years ago, and while I didn't love it I didn't necessarily hate it either. I was in the middle about the overall experience. Honestly, in that very broad opinion not much has changed in my rereading years later. I don't hate it as much as other people seem to, and I've seen much worse books.
One of the reasons I decided to reread it again was to see for myself the abusive and controlling things everyone said Edward did but I didn't remember from reading it at seventeen. So I read it slowly and tried to absorb it. The prose wasn't awful, Bella was kind of bland and selfish but not completely useless, and I liked a few of the scenes.
However, overall, Twilight suffers from grave issues. As I mentioned above, I didn't remember Edward being controlling--looking at it now, though, it's so disturbing to see how he treats Bella. He did everything from stripping her of her autonomy (forcing her to let him drive, picking her up and carrying her downstairs) to stalking her (watching her sleep unawares, knowing how to get into her house, etc). I feel like Meyers did not intend the book to have such an obviously disturbing message--judging by Bella mentioning that she's writing a book about Shakespeare and misogyny, she probably thought she wasn't writing such a blatantly sexist and disturbing tale. However, it is there and has been devoured by young girls for nearly ten years now and I can't help but be frustrated by them taking in that such behavior is not only okay but romantic.
Secondly, the plot structure of Twilight is pretty awful. It's like it has two separate plots--Bella finding out and accepting that Edward is a vampire and then James hunting Bella. It isn't set up well and thus the pacing is just very weird. It's like going to see a romance movie and then the second half becomes an action film--all with the same characters.
That's it for my review. Overall, I give the book 2.5 stars.(less)
I am a very easy to please reader. Very little keeps me from enjoying a book as long as it's interesting. I've read several books lacking in certain q...moreI am a very easy to please reader. Very little keeps me from enjoying a book as long as it's interesting. I've read several books lacking in certain qualities--good writing, characterization, plot issues, etc--and enjoyed them because they held my interest. Overall, I consider myself a pretty lax reviewer and reader.
However, I literally could not make myself finish this book. Terrible writing, boring characters, and such a dank setting made me unable to enjoy this book even in the slightest.
How in the world did this become a bestseller, let alone a NYT bestseller for as long as it did? (less)