My Top 10: Worst Reads of 2018

My Boyfriend is a Vampire (Series) by Han Yu Rang

10814410

 

 

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

31180248

 

 

Shuriken and Pleats by Matsuri Hino

25986981

 

 

Green Grow the Lilacs: A Play by Lynn Riggs

3201654

*DNF

 

Honey & Honey Drops by Kanan Minami

8656217

 

 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

77767

 

 

Blue Morning by Shoko Hidaka

8103376

 

 

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

104734

 

 

Red Queen (Series) by Victoria Aveyard

22328546

 

 

Professed by Nicola Rendell

30320682

My Top 10: Best Reads of 2018

Tokyo Ghoul (Series) by Sui Ishida

23353593

 

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

35959740

 

 

Aoharu X Machinegun (Series) by NAOE

29775346

 

 

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

33358438

 

 

Fruits Basket (Series) by Natsuki Takaya

271199

 

 

Becoming by Michelle Obama

38746485

 

 

Noragami (Series) by Adachitoka

20890540

 

 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

25812109

 

 

The Water Dragon's Bride by Rei Toma

31140418

 

 

Giant Days (Series) by John Allison

25785993

My Top 10: Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

36341204

 

Mystic by Jason Denzel

23848422

 

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

32991569

 

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

30037870

 

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzie Lee

29283884

 

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

31855930

 

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

22752127

 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

30653853

 

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

30653843

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824

 

 

My Top 10: Most Surprising Reads of 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

32620332

 

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

18622294

 

Sadie by Courtney Summers

34810320

 

George by Alex Gino

40948486

 

Human Acts by Han Kang

31937963

 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

36199084

 

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

33294200

 

The Backstagers (Series) by James Tynion IV

32898210

 

The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

23546634

 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

22552026

5 Series I’ll Never Review

I’d been thinking about doing some new things on the blog for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to doing much except taking breaks lol. Now that I’m back (again) I’d like to restart doing some original posts as well as try my hand at few lists (a big thanks to fellow bloggers for the suggestions in the past!). 

While I was thinking up things I wanted to review, I kept coming across things I absolutely refused to write a review on. So for these lists I’ll be picking five books, manga, and/or comics that I’ll never write a review on (with varying reasons). Then attempt to say a few words about said book/series. Here goes:

 

5 Books/Manga Series I’ll Never Review…because my words will forever be unable to do them justice:

 

These are 5 (of many) series where a review attempt may begin normally, but would quickly descend into raving madness, ending with incoherent fangirling.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Just the first 2)

Image result for graceling

Image result for the known world graceling

 

A Short Synopsis:

200-64200-34200-14200-3

 

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa

Image result for fullmetal alchemist mangaImage result for fullmetal alchemist manga

fullmetal_alchemist_hd-wallpaper-1366x768

 

A Short Overview:

giphy-4200-79200-58200-41

 

A Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

Image result for a seven realms novel

Related image

 

A Short Summary:

giphy-3200w200-65spongebob-shows-off-his-muscles-in-anger

 

Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue 
Image result for vagabond manga collection  Taken by VIZ Media@ NYCC TwitterImage result for vagabond manga

 

A Few Words on the Series:

200-75200-71200-63200-33

 

The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

Image result for the night angel trilogy

Image result for the way of shadows graphic novel

 

….I Think You Get the Idea:

200-46200-10200-42200-53

 

Now excuse me,

200-7

while I go drown in an ocean of FEELS for a few days…

Monthly Highlights – March

Well…this Wrap-Up style post is going up quite far into the month of April. I didn’t want to miss out on doing one for the month of March, so I decided it’s better late than never! Let’s do this!

So, here are my selections for the four categories I chose for this Monthly Highlights post!

Best Artwork/Illustrations 

ihatefairyland_vol1-1

Title & Author: I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young

Series: I Hate Fairyland

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 8/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis:  “An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND.”  Goodreads

Most Underrated Read 

25205326

 

Title & Author: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

Series: Mysteries of Cove

Genre: Fantasy – Steampunk

Rating: 8/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis:Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.” –Goodreads

 

Most Interesting Powers/Magic System  

zeroes-final-cover-450

 

Title & Author: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Series: Zeroes

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 7/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis: Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.” –Goodreads 

 

Worst Overall Read  

edge of never

 

Title & Author: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

Series: The Edge of Never

Genre: Romance

Rating: 2/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?” –Goodreads

How I Got Into Reading Manga and Watching Anime

anime_wallpaper_attempt__yuno_version__by_randyadr-d8r6nzr.jpg
Art by: randyadr

For the first time I’ve decided to do a purely anime related post! I’ll still be primarily talking and blogging about books and novels, but I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for some time now. I only recently (as in a few years) got into anime so figured I didn’t know enough to comment on anything.

After reading so many enjoyable and insightful posts from fellow bloggers like Michel@ Raistlin0903Zbourie, Karandi@ 100 Word Anime, Anime_girls_NYC, and in different ways by all my supportive followers, I’ve been motivated enough to finally give it a try. P.S. Any words in blue have links attached.

Now on to the post! I’d like to start with:

What is anime?

anime_motivation_by_animalunleashed.jpg
Art by Animalunleashed

I have come across various definitions that get into “anime” needing to fit a certain criteria in order to be “real anime”, but I’m not even going to pretend to understand all that well enough to get into any of it. I’m just going with the most basic definition. Anime, from what I understand, is short for “animation”, but when used in this context it exclusively refers to animated material originating from Japan. 

How/Why Did I Start Anime?

I grew up watching many of the same anime shows as other 90’s kids: Dragon Ball Z , Pokémon, Digimon, Sailor Moon, and Cardcaptor Sakura. But had no idea what anime was. In fact I spent years thinking anime was…it pains me to admit this… “some weird thing to be scoffed at”, and had no interest in.

200-11Gify

I sincerely apologize to all anime lovers/watchers and of course to Anime!

I was thankfully educated by an old friend and closet anime lover, and learned the truth: I had unknowingly been interested in anime all along lol. Now I’ll do something I generally opt to avoid like the plague, I’ll get a little bit personal:

635844400031298031-2010225925_spongebob-1Gify

I’ve always been into reading (like that scene from Matilda I was that kid that would be carting home a wagon full of books from the library). I had some other hobbies/interests, but spent most of my free time between books and binge watching the latest TV show. With the exception of when I went off to school this remained true until around mid-March in 2014.

I won’t get too into it, but unfortunately I got sick. I had a bunch of inexplicable symptoms and did a ton of tests, but for about a year doctors couldn’t figure it out. For one, I had a lot of trouble focusing on anything, and worst of all I couldn’t write or read more than a few sentences without getting really dizzy. If I pushed things (which considering my love of books I did quite a bit of at first lol), I lost the ability to make sense of any of the words, along with getting a horrible migraine. At first doctors thought it was stress, then possibly MS, then about a year later they thought they found a brain aneurysm. Of course saying this was not the best of times for me is an understatement.

19814547Gify

But lucky for me I remembered the old conversation I had with Closet-anime-fan. So I decided, with nothing better to do since I wasn’t actively going to school and could barely handle most tasks, I’d start on some of the most popular anime series; shows I’d caught glimpses of as a kid, but hadn’t gotten the chance to watch them: Naruto, InuYasha, and Bleach, in that order

To be honest it was a bit of a rough start. I couldn’t understand why Naruto was so popular, but desperately needed something to take my mind off of everything (regular TV shows/movies just weren’t doing it anymore) so kept going. An entire 20-something episodes in my eyes were open. Once I finished those three I immediately went on to other top shonen (young male) shows:

shonen_rocks__by_axelvera96-d7hoht2.jpg
Art byAxelVera96

Needless to say, I was awed. Similar to how I was when I’d come across a mind blowing book series, I found myself wondering, “how did I not know about such amazingness before!? I quickly fell in lust, and moved on to shojo/shoujo (young girl) anime shows:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ouran Host Club: art by mixed-blessing; The Wallflower: washue; Fruits Basket: kuro-mai; Skip Beat!: alexielart

I watched a bunch of random shows before getting a bit tired of the young adult atmosphere, and eventually coming across something called seinen and josei (adult male/female) anime shows: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Samurai Shamploo: drodilla; Darker Than Black: talesvf; Black Lagoon: Hallucination-Walker; NANA: Alicechan

I was shocked to learn anime had so many different genres/stories, and could be so dark/psychological and thought-provoking. I pretty much became an addict for the first year, haha. 

What is Manga and How/Why Did I Start Reading It?

Manga, again in the most basic terms from my understanding, is basically Japanese comics. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but they differ from North American comics in both how they are published, and in the fact that they are always (with the exception of special editions/pages) published without colour in black and white.

manga_collage_by_amuntquart-d5p10e0.jpgby amuntquart

Of course, it was anime that had gotten me into manga in the first place. It ended up much like when I had started anime and had yet another shameful thought (it seems I’ve had many of these): “I’ll never watch subbed!” Then I ran out of most of the dubbed shows I had a high interest in watching, tentatively switched to subbed, and once again had my eyes opened. For manga, despite my early reservations, I ran out of patience for waiting on so many anime shows that had been dropped to possibly be picked up again by another company. So to start I went on Bookoutlet, found a couple cheap manga and bought them, because of course it never crossed my mind to just go to the library. 

9781421532011_manga-Beast-Master-Graphic-Novel-1.jpg    download.jpg

I wasn’t a big fan of either, namely Your & My Secret, but more importantly not only did the big difference in how to read it go well, but I found I could actually get through it without feeling sick. At this time my mysterious illness had been really improving, but I still couldn’t get through half a book before feeling too sick to continue so I was really hesitate to start. Thankfully my first attempts went well, and I found I could get through a few volumes before I had to call it quits. Soon enough, just like with the anime, I became a manga reading addict for almost a year lol.

I notice I’ve been kinda/pretty vague on details, but will say I eventually I got the good news of the brain aneurysm being a misdiagnosis! Yeah! As things got better I gradually started reading more and more manga at a time. Then slowly and gradually got back into reading regular novels. As you could probably tell from all the novel reviews and posts, I’ve been much better since and will be going back to school later this year or next!

So that is my story on how I started manga/anime, and ultimately how they both helped me deal with all that crazy life stuff. I’ll eventually get around to doing a post on my top favorite anime shows and movies. Thanks for reading! Now on to more anime!

200-8Gify