I got this pretty awesome 5-star review from Jack Magnus of Readers' Favorite, so I thought I'd share it here:
"While the author gives enough backgrounI got this pretty awesome 5-star review from Jack Magnus of Readers' Favorite, so I thought I'd share it here:
"While the author gives enough background information to allow this book to be read on its own, I would advise that readers begin with the first book in the series, Judge by the Cover, to get the full impact of this engrossing and powerful tale. Haruna was still processing the fact that Ryu was not at all the irresponsible bad boy she had imagined him to be before their joint English project. Ryu, likewise, had had to rethink his preconceived notions about Haruna. The two of them weren't quite sure, however, how to proceed from that point. There was something drawing them together that was more than their shared Japanese ancestry(view spoiler)[, but could it survive the fact that Ryu was in training to be a gangster and could expect a brief and violent life at best? (hide spoiler)]
"Melissa Abigail's young adult coming of age novel Two Halves Whole continues the compelling story of Haruna and Ryu, whose lives seem so different and yet who are drawn so inexorably together. Along the way, Abigail addresses the issue of racism and the differences in attitude toward people of other races as displayed by the students compared with that of their parents, or, in Haruna's case, grandparent. I was entranced by this bittersweet and genuine romance as the two young adults work to find answers to what is binding them together and a solution to what appears to be an insoluble situation. Two Halves Whole is a beautifully written and eloquent literary fiction novel, and it's most highly recommended." - Jack Magnus
Not going to leave a review, even a generic one, as others have left some of their own. But I will clarify some things about the newest edition of JudNot going to leave a review, even a generic one, as others have left some of their own. But I will clarify some things about the newest edition of Judge by the Cover.
[What's New in the Second Edition]
- Some minor name changes, i.e. Devil Hafu changed to Devil Half (for simplicity & flow really); Ryan Jo Szeto is just Jo Szeto. - Some rewriting on some scenes (because, let's be honest. I couldn't help myself) - The library+car+living room scene in Chapter 9 is expanded. There is a bit more nuance for character/plot development. A little tidbit about the kind of music Haruna listens to, minor stuff, really. - The formatting - fun fonts. Fun fonts everywhere. Also, now there is an Asian dragon on the front matter instead of a Western one. That was always a pet-peeve of mine. The font is a tad larger overall, so the page count is longer. - Oh, and THE COVER. Hardly noticeable. :P
There are other things I won't list here, but I'd say if you've already read the original Book 1, you won't be out of the loop for future books. Major plot points remain the same....more
I don't read Seinen (adult male) manga at all, or ever really. I have read shonen in the past. Putting aside the laughably obvious male fantasy perspeI don't read Seinen (adult male) manga at all, or ever really. I have read shonen in the past. Putting aside the laughably obvious male fantasy perspective this manga exhibits, I did find it interesting. I haven't seen the film yet but until then, I think I'll read as much of the manga as I can so I can judge it on its own merits.
(view spoiler)[ And yes, of course it's ridiculous that the guy manages to luck out in every way possible, with the waitress, with the guys he beat up....but this is male manga, and this is how the genre is lol. If you're new to manga, this is probably not the one to start with. (hide spoiler)]...more
Rez Runaway sheds an eye-opening light on the struggles of gay and trans youth and lays out how these kids can and do end up on the streets, very easiRez Runaway sheds an eye-opening light on the struggles of gay and trans youth and lays out how these kids can and do end up on the streets, very easily. Great showcasing of the intersectionalities of being not only Indigenous, but gay or "two-spirit." Wonderfully captures the challenges & abuse that teens often face from family and peers when coming out, but also the kinds of pressures and obstacles associated with being in the closet, too. Deeply moving, this book definitely had me empathizing with the protagonist and rooting for his success although it is a very simply written, and short book.
My biggest problem had to be the ending. It felt a little lacking to me but others might not mind its open-endedness. It was also somewhat unrealistic (esp. considering how real so many other aspects of the book were). Like others said, the Two Spirit thing could have been explained much better and in much more detail. Overall, I am glad the book had a positive message & resolution.
**Bonus points for the way this book realistically captures Toronto as it even mentions key landmarks & intersections (sadly, the Hard Rock Cafe is no more) which made it even better for those who know Toronto and want to support local literature!
Thoughts before reading: I'm curious about this book. I don't know much about the Two Spirit identity but I've heard about it. The author appears to be Metis (Cree & Scottish) so I think it counts as Own Voices. Either way, it's Aboriginal History Month, Pride Month and the oh so controversial, Canada 150. So I want to read more, not just about Rez life but street kids in Toronto.
So we'll see how it goes.
But I agree with another poster. Not a fan of this cover....more
The Rising is a story about a teenaged boy named Ethan Myers. At first he’s just an ordinary guy into playing his guitar, baseball, friends and one giThe Rising is a story about a teenaged boy named Ethan Myers. At first he’s just an ordinary guy into playing his guitar, baseball, friends and one girl particular, Chloe. But the day he gets into a bizarre accident, everything turns on its head. He meets a mysterious “doctor” and begins to discover his hidden powers and the hidden world of others like him.
The story is written from Ethan’s perspective. The character’s voice is both humorous and engaging. I really enjoyed his one-liners and interactions with the people he meets. Chloe annoyed me, especially with her overreaction with the phone number. She tones down over time. I like Ethan’s friends, including Marcus. The mother is sweet, very mom-like, though I feel she put up with A LOT of weirdness for a long time (view spoiler)[like things exploding over and over (hide spoiler)]. James Richards is quite amusing.
The introduction is great and drew me in immediately. Though this is an easy read, I do feel like it is very long when it didn't need to be. I kept wishing for the first set of chapters to hurry along and get to the part where he meets the other “supernaturals." Some of Ethan's headache scenes seemed repetitive, some sensory descriptions and extra details could've been left out and I think it would have greatly improved the flow.
Another issue I had was with originality. (view spoiler)[For example, Raven. My first thought was of Raven from DC-Teen Titans, but her powers were basically Jubilee. So it didn't strike me as particularly creative to name a character with black hair, who could fly, Raven. (hide spoiler)] I went through an X-Men phase so I both liked & disliked the similarities. It was nice to have some familiarity, but I was looking for huge differences to set it apart and was disappointed when I wasn’t finding it where I expected it. I do like Ethan’s abilities, even the “growing pains” that go along with him coming to accept them. This being said, I commend the author for coming up with unique powers for each character--it is NOT easy.
Overall, this is a fun teen adventure, great for those into comics, with a lot of fight sequences and super powers. It'll be interesting to see where the author takes things in the next book....more
Overview:Pepe is a story that wonderfully juxtaposes poverty in the slums, forces of tyranny and finding a sense of purpose in a way that is accessibOverview:Pepe is a story that wonderfully juxtaposes poverty in the slums, forces of tyranny and finding a sense of purpose in a way that is accessible for a young reader. It cleverly infuses classic sci-fi elements (advanced technology, robotics and cyberspace), dystopian-real world-fantasy via the fictional country of Cardovia, mysticism and power struggles calling to mind Macbeth/King Arthur. Pepe dares to ask deep questions, about the search for "Truth" and the willingness to make sacrifices in order to safeguard it.
Thoughts: The writing is good, but a little confusing at times. There were some spelling errors/typos and inconsistencies that I found distracting. Many characters were introduced, some with similar names, a few with indistinct roles, so it was a bit of a challenge to keep up with. One concern I had at the beginning was with Atsuko, whose characterization looked a little too cliché. His overall character development was appreciated but it would have been nice to learn more about him as a person beyond his role (view spoiler)[ as the Prophet (hide spoiler)]. As a minor point, I found that there were a number of unexplained illnesses and premature deaths which struck me as odd for a technologically-advanced society.
The world-building is excellent. I liked the premise of the story, as well as the humorous tagline and thoughtful poems. It's interesting the way the book subverts the common idea of the inherent goodness of democracy. I could empathize well with the struggles of the characters, and the hard decisions they have to make, especially Pepe and Raul who face great responsibility whether they want to or not, the mistakes they've made and the losses of loved ones around them. They both must make decisions in spite of this and learn the value of true leadership and bravery. These are lessons all could learn from.
With some more proofreading and editing, I would rate this book a 4 but 3/3.5 for now....more