February Wrap Up! ’21

Happy end of February! My reading month was pretty decent, though I admit my blogging has suffered a bit. I’m hoping to turn it around in March, but we’ll see how it goes.

This is what I read:

Books

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin – I’m very late to this train, but I absolutely loved this book. I did a blabber on it earlier this month, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This story takes place in a world that ends over and over again, and follows the people trying to live there.

5 stars

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – This was another favorite of the month, I absolutely adored it. A review for this one though likely won’t be coming, just because it’s been so long since I finished it. But who knows, maybe I’ll get inspired. But I loved this book just as much as the one above – I couldn’t pick a favorite between the two.

5 stars

The Book of the Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick – Unfortunately this book really disappointed me. I picked it up off a recommendation from one of my buddies so I was hoping to love it, buuuuut I didn’t. I felt the ending was too abrupt, and the characterization was one dimensional. I tried to read this with a mindset knowing it was middle grade or just above but I feel like I would have disliked this even if I had been twelve. Sorry pal.

2 stars

Manga

Ouran High School Host Club vols 8-18 by Bisco Hatori – I finished it! I finished my reread! Well, according to Goodreads it’s my “initial” read, but I did read it back in 2006 or so during high school. This reread though showed that the series holds up over the test of time. There are definitely some jokes in it that haven’t aged well, but overall? it’s pretty good. It was just as funny and sweet as I remember, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3.25 stars – 4.5 stars each

Shaman King vol 9 by Hiroyuki Takei – I’m really trying to catch up with this series. My sister lent it to me back in like April or May, so I’d have something to read during the plague, but I’m a bad sister and haven’t binged it yet like she’d hoped. I’m hoping to get a lot farther into it in March, or even complete it. We shall see.

So far the story is pretty decent. This specific volume wasn’t my favorite but I do like the series overall.

3.25 stars

Fanfiction

No striking ones this month, but I feel like that’s going to change in March. I’ve been eyeing another DBZ fanfic, and was just waiting for the right time to start it.


2021 Reading Goals

  • Read 100 books – 24/100
  • Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – 215
  • Reduce manga tbr to 50 – 147
  • Maintain blog schedule – 
    • January: Good
    • February: Passable
  • Finish my 10 in 2021 list – 1/10

Stats

  • 15 things read this month
    • 3 novels
    • 12 manga
  • 9 things purchased this month
    • 3 novels
    • 6 manga
    • Total money spent: 133.80
  • Genre breakdown:
    • 3 fantasy
    • 11 shojo
    • 1 paranormal

And that’s it! Lemme know how your reading month went!

January Wrap Up ’21

Happy end of January! I swear, this month went so fast. It still feels like March of 2020, but that’s another story.

Anyways, I read nine things this month, most of them manga. This is what I completed:

Books

Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb – I wrote a blabber for this one, if you’re interested. I buddy read this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and found this final book in its trilogy to be… decent. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it either. It was decent. For more in depth thoughts, check out that blabber.

3.75 stars

Manga

Ouran High School Host Club vols 3-7 by Bisco Hatori – This is a such a pleasant, ridiculous series. I originally read this back in high school, but that was before Goodreads, so it’s my first time officially marking it as read. This past summer for my 30th birthday I bought myself the box set of this series, and I’m now making my way through it. There are 18 volumes total, so I’m hoping to finish it by March or so. This series is so outrageous and over the top, it’s fluffy and nice and wholesome. Some of the vocab it uses is outdated though and can be considered offensive, so fair warning. It was made back in the mid 2000s.

But overall? So far I’m really enjoying this series. 3.25-4 stars each.

Kamisama Kiss vol 1 by Julietta Suzuki – This one I picked up last year some time after a recommendation to do so ‘if I want more series like Inuyasha’. So far it’s decent but I feel like I’ll need more volumes to make a full judgement on the thing.

3.75 stars

Yana Toboso Black Butler Artworks vol 2 by Yana Toboso – Technically this isn’t manga but it’s the closest category. This is a book of extra arts by the author of Black Butler. It’s a gorgeous book itself, on top of the art included within, and I really hope I can find the English translation of vol 1 at some point.

5 stars

Fanfiction

I’ve been reading a lot of fanfics recently, and some of the more well-known ones have entries in Goodreads. So I’m going to start covering the ones I read on a couple conditions: 1) if they’re popular enough to have a Goodreads entry, therefore count as a book toward my Goodreads goal, or 2) I just really liked it to the point where I want to share what it is. I’m sure there will be a lot I read that aren’t worth mentioning, but the good ones I’ll be sure to link to.

This month I read one notable one, namely You’ll Be the Death of Me by Niteryde, which is a Dragon Ball Z fanfiction that tells the story of the three year gap between future Trunks warning of the imminent android invasion and when they arrive. It focuses mainly on Bulma and Vegeta, and how the two came together, because it’s a canon thing that they did, but it’s never talked about how. So this fanfiction writes the story of their romance, and I really enjoyed it. 4 stars


2021 Reading Goals

  • Read 100 books – 9/100
  • Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – 200
  • Reduce manga tbr to 50 – 152
  • Maintain blog schedule – 
    • January: Good
  • Finish my 10 in 2021 list – 0/10

Stats

  • 9 things read this month
    • 1 novel
    • 7 manga
    • 1 fanfiction
  • 6 things purchased this month
    • 3 novels
    • 3 manga
    • Total money spent: $99.47
  • Genre breakdown:
    • 1 fantasy
    • 1 romance
    • 6 shojo
    • 1 paranormal

And that’s it! Lemme know how your reading month went. Happy reading!

2020: A Reading Year in Review | Goals and Stats

Happy New Year’s!

I don’t know about you but I somehow feel lighter. I know the calendar is a social construct but something about not having a 0 at the end of the year anymore is super nice.

One good thing that did result from this past year though, is that I read way more than I’ve ever read before in a single year.

In 2020, I read 171 books.

Goodreads overview:

Ps: If you’d like to add me on Goodreads, do it!


Reading Goals:

These goals were originally posted on January 2nd, 2020.

  • Read 50 books (later amended to 100) – Success. I read 171.
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule – Success. I was kinda iffy in January, but throughout the rest of the year, I posted at least three times per week, every week.
  • Keep track of reading statistic – Success. They will be below.
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – Success. There is a caveat to this one. I ended up amending this to ‘reduce physical fictional TBR to 200′ because nonfiction is a different thing and I don’t feel like coffee table books and whatnot should be held against me. So it’s basically novels. Manga is also its own list, this is just books. But yes, I hit 200 on the 26th of December!

Look at that! I did all four goals! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before to be honest.


Reading Statistics

So just like last year, I kept track of my reading stats in a spreadsheet and made some charts!

So the beginning of lockdown definitely showed my best reading. I read almost 40 things during April! My lowest reading month was November, which makes sense since I was doing Nanowrimo.

  • 161 books were read for the first time
  • 7 were rereads
  • 3 were DNFs
  • 99 of the books read were purchased in 2020 (mostly manga, tbh)
  • 1 was a gift
  • 34 were on my shelf from a previous year
  • 37 were borrowed either via library or service
  • 115 were manga
  • 11 were hardback
  • 14 were trade paperback
  • 2 were mass market paperback
  • 12 were ebooks
  • 14 were audiobooks
  • 2 were graphic novels
  • 1 was a picture book

Out of the novels:

  • 27 were adult
  • 12 were YA
  • 1 was middle grade
  • 1 was a kid’s book
  • 3 were new adult

Out of the manga:

  • 46 were rated T (Teen)
  • 68 were rated OT (Older teen)
  • 13 were rated M (Mature)

Author info:

  • 140 were female
  • 29 were male
  • 1 was unknown
  • 1 was two authors
  • 123 authors were from Japan
  • 35 were from the US
  • 5 were from the UK
  • 4 were from South Korea
  • 2 were from New Zealand
  • 1 was from France
  • 1 was from Ukraine

Diversity:

  • 28 had no diversity
  • 50 contained a combination of diverse types
  • 6 were LGBT+ diverse
  • 81 were racially diverse
  • 6 had diverse authors

Pages:

  • 2 were under 100 pages
  • 84 were between 100-199 pages
  • 45 were between 200-299 pages
  • 19 between 300-399 pages
  • 11 between 400-499 pages
  • 4 between 500-599 pages
  • 2 between 700-799 pages
  • 1 between 800-899 pages
  • 1 between 900-999 pages
  • 2 were over 1000 pages

Publication year:

  • 3 were published during the 1920s or earlier
  • 1 in the 40s
  • 3 in the 70s
  • 42 in the 2000s
  • 13 in 2010
  • 9 in 2011
  • 7 in 2012
  • 5 in 2013
  • 7 in 2014
  • 13 in 2015
  • 13 in 2016
  • 16 in 2017
  • 10 in 2018
  • 23 in 2019
  • 6 in 2020

Rating:

Finally, the ratings! It’s a bell-ish curve? I guess?

  • 3 were 1 star (the DNFs)
  • 2 were 2 stars
  • 2 were 2.5 stars
  • 1 was 2.75 stars
  • 11 were 3 stars
  • 36 were 3.5 stars
  • 18 were 3.75 stars
  • 54 were 4 stars
  • 5 were 4.25 stars
  • 24 were 4.5 stars
  • 1 was 4.75 stars
  • 14 were 5 stars!

It’s been a while since I had this many five star books, I’m pretty excited about it! I’ll go over them in more detail later in the week during my top books of the year post!

~~~

And that is it. A year’s worth of books and now I need a nap I think. Here’s hoping 2021 is bright and shining and hopeful and full of good books.

Happy reading.

December Wrap Up! ’20

Happy New Year’s Eve! Less than a day, and this damned year will be over. We’re not out of the woods yet though – 2021 will be rough for a bit but we can get through it! But this year being over will still be so welcoming. It’s the mental line we’ll get to draw, boxing off the year and allowing us to progress.

Augh.

Anyways, this is what I read:

Books

Hunted by Meagan Spooner – This is a young adult fantasy with a tinge of romance. Honestly, I was expecting the romance to be a lot more heavy handed as it’s a beauty and the beast retelling, but it wasn’t as in my face as I thought. Sure it was there, but the author focused a lot more on magic and tone, and I really enjoyed it. – 4 stars

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw – This was probably my favorite book of the month, and it was also read via audio book. The narrator was Croshaw himself, so it had that nice deadpan delivery. This book is about a magic school student that is killed, but then he ends up being revived to be an evil minion of a villain and he’s really grumpy about it. This book is laugh out loud funny and I adored it. The only issue I had with it was its use of an ableist slur, so if that’s a hard line for you, you might wanna pass on this one. – 4.5 stars

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – Unfortunately this was a DNF for me. I stopped about a hundred pages in. This isn’t super shocking, as the first book in the series was about a three stars for me. This one was just… awkward. – 1 star

Ouran High School Host Club vols 1-2 by Bisco Hatori – I’ve finally started this series. I read it in its entirety about fifteen years ago, so my memory is a bit fuzzy about the details, so it’s like reading it for the first time. This series follows a young woman who accidentally breaks an expense vase, and to pay her debts, ends up in her school’s host club, posing as a man and acting as a host. This has many comedic elements and if I remember correctly, an eventual romance or two. – 4 stars each

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – This is a reread, and I read it on Christmas Day! It’s a middle grade chapter book about a children’s pageant and Christmas magic and yada yada. I enjoyed it as much as I did last time, though I didn’t care for the gender stereotypes it portrayed. Without that though, it’s super wholesome. – 4 stars

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This is a YA romance between a witch and a witch hunter, and takes place in France! It was a buddy read and honestly I feel like I’m missing something. The book was ok. I didn’t hate it but there were several themes within it that were a bit uh, yikesy.

But yeah, it was ok. I guess I just didn’t see what everyone else saw. – 3 stars

Other Stuff

  • I’m doing Blogmas! (duh) and I will be for the next week or so.
  • I’m on vacation and I’m seriously enjoying it.

Reading Goals

  • You’ll find out tomorrow!

~~~

And that’s it! I’ll see you all in 2021!

November Wrap Up! ’20

Well hi!

Today’s post is a little (a lot) late – I’m not even sure if WordPress will count it as ‘being posted Nov 30th’ because their servers are 5 hours ahead of me. But know this is going up around 9pm on Nov 30, my time. I haven’t messed up Blogmas yet.

So November wrap up! I gotta warn ya: Nanowrimo was this month, so I barely read. So this should be short and sweet:

Books

Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko – Honestly this is probably my favorite book of the year so far. It’s just so weird. It follows a young girl as she’s whisked off to a school that teaches… something. It’s not really clear what, and for the majority of the book, I was totally confused. I finished the book and I’m still not sure I understand what I read.

But it was awesome. 5 stars.

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie – This was an audio book for me this month, though I do physically own a copy. This was also my first Agatha Christie book! I realized in retrospect it was one of a series but luckily they’re standalone enough that I was able to perfectly follow. I did like this – it was charming.

4 stars.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Unfortunately I didn’t quite like this. I didn’t really dislike it either tho. It was very meh? I feel like I read this book ten years too late. I have the box set of the three but honestly I don’t know if I want to continue. If you’ve read this series – lemme know, does it get better? Worse? Stay the same?

2.75 stars.

Other Stuff

  • I won Nanowrimo!

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 164/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
    July – Pass
    August – Pass
    September – Pass
    October – Pass
    November – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 209 – close!

And that’s it! I’ll see you tomorrow!

October Wrap Up! ’20

Happy end of October! This month my reading did slow down a bit, but I also read all novels and graphic novels, no manga, which is the first time in a long time that happened.

This is what I read:

Books

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – I picked this up as part of my end-of-year-MUST-REACH-TBR-GOAL frenzy. It was short so I figured I could get through it quickly. Well I did. It was ok.

3 stars

Forest Mage by Robin Hobb – I buddy ready this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and I really liked it! This was the second book in Hobb’s soldier son trilogy and man was it gritty. Killed me. But overall, liked it. Wrote a blabber, if you’re interested!

4.25 stars

Armada by Ernest Cline – Unfortunately this one was a DNF. I tried. I tried. Augh I tried. This book felt like a teenage boy’s wet dream. And to be fair, that’s probably intentional. And I’m sure there are a large number of people who would love this.

It’s just not me.

1 star

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – I picked this up for the same reason I picked up Go Ask Alice: it’s short.

I gotta tell ya though, I was not expecting to love this. But color me surprised, it was by far my favorite read of the month. It was eerie and spooky and heart breaking and dramatic and it was perfect. I. loved. it.

5 stars

Fence vol 3 by C. S. Pacat – Again, a short one! This is my one and only graphic novel of the month and it was pretty decent. I was able to pick it up after not having read vol 2 for literally a year and figure out where I was, so it’s got that going for it.

I’m still waiting to love this, it hasn’t happened yet, but it could potentially get there. I like it, though.

3 stars

Other Stuff

  • I’m super full right now. I had ice cream! Not really news but I enjoyed it, man.
  • Yeah I got nothin’. October was uneventful, at least to the extent that I’m comfortable sharing on the internet.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 161/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
    July – Pass
    August – Pass
    September – Pass
    October – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 214

And that’s it! Lemme know if you’ve read any of the above. Happy reading!

September Wrap Up! ’20

Happy October! It’s officially ‘Emily can use all her spooky banners’ season (which… will start with the post after this :p)

I read a decent amount this month, both books and manga.

Books

1776 by David McCullough – This is a nonfiction read, which I picked up on audio book. It follows – well, the year 1776, in America. It goes over the battles and reads from diary entries of those alive during those times. I learned a lot that I don’t remember learning in school at all. I rather enjoyed this.

4 stars

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – I did it, I finished my Hunger Games reread! I wrote a full post about my thoughts on this, if you’re interested but long story short: I liked it more this time than I did ten years ago.

4 stars

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – So I picked this one up on audio and buzzed through it in one day. Honestly despite it being a classic, I knew basically nothing about it aside from what pop culture has told me.

I ended up really enjoying this. It was so morbid in a classic horror kind of way.

 4 stars

A Dance with Fate by Juliet Marillier – I picked this book up with my buddy on release day, after finishing Harp of Kings last month! I ended up really enjoying this too – the character development in it was awesome. I really can’t wait til the third one comes out… a year from now. Cry.

4 stars

Manga

Hotel Africa vol 1 by Hee Jung Park – This was a reread for me, in prep to read volume 2, which I’m currently in the middle of. The first time I read this, I loved it. I gave it a 4 point something. Upon reread, I liked it even more!

5 stars

act-age vols 1-2 by Tatsuya Matsuki – Shortly after getting this series, I heard that the author was arrested for being a terrible human. So we’ll see if the rest of this gets translated or not, though honestly I don’t know if I’d pick up anymore.

For what this was though, it was pretty good. It follows a young girl, trying to get into acting. She’s a method actor though, and has issues with emotions during her roles. It was a really fascinating read.

4 stars and 3.5 stars, respectively

Hands Off! vols 3-4 by Kasane Katsumoto – Continuing this series from last month, I’m still enjoying it. I can’t tell what this series is trying to be, though. Parts of it are light fluff and other parts are pretty morbid. Parts of funny and others are super dramatic. I have no idea! I’m enjoying it though. It’s cute.

3.75 and 3.5 stars respectively

Graineliers vol 1 by Rihito Takarai – I picked this one up because this is the author that wrote Ten Count, which I really liked. This however is totally different, and definitely one of the weirdest manga I’ve read. It’s a weird… dystopian series about seeds with fantastical powers on the black market. It’s neat!  – 4 stars

Shaman King vol 8 by Hiroyuki Takei – Sloooowly reading through this series. It follows a boy trying to become the king of Shamans in late 90s Japan. It’s funny and entertaining, and one of my sister’s favorite series, which is why I’m reading it. This one was pretty good! – 4 stars

And that’s it! My goal this coming month is to cut down on my tbr is quickly as I can. That might mean more DNFs, which I rarely do, so don’t be surprised if those pop up in October’s wrap up. Happy reading!

August Wrap Up! ’20

Wrap Up

Happy September! August was a pretty good month – nothing insane happened for once (well, nothing that wasn’t already happening). So I took the brief reprieve to read some books. This is what I read:

Books

Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier – This author has quickly become an auto-buy for me. There’s just something so whimsical about her writing that almost makes me feel… homesick? It’s weird, but I love it. Speaking of, the second book in this series comes out today and I am gonna go get it after work!

This book follows a small cast of characters, trained warriors going undercover has bards to discover who took the missing Harp of Kings, an ancient artifact given to humankind by the fae. While the beginning of his book was a tad slow, it really picked up towards the end, and it and had some great character development. One of the characters I kinda hated at the beginning of the book, and by the end he was my favorite.

4.5 stars

Reamde by Neal Stephenson – This book I picked up on audio because it was a chunker. Coming in at over 1000 pages, the audiobook was something like 38 hours long. I gotta say though, it was pretty decent. I did definitely have my issues with it, which I might get into if I decide to write a full review on it. But story-wise it was pretty good. I can’t say I’ve ever read a 1000 page thriller and was actually thrilled the whole time. This didn’t seem to lag at all, which really surprised me. So yes, it was good, but fair warning: some of the terms used to describe people are dated.

3.75 stars

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – This was also an audiobook pick up. This is a romance focused around Chloe, the woman on the cover, and Red, the man on the cover. It was a very neat read – it had really good representation as far as race, sexuality, and chronic illness. And the characters were actually like… nice to each other. I realize that shouldn’t be the bar, but I don’t know what to tell you. The ending ‘conflict’ fell a bit flat for me, as it teetered a bit into the miscommunication trope, but overall this was a sweet, nice read.

3.75 stars

Manga

Shaman King vol 7 by Hiroyuki Takei – I finally picked up manga again! Albeit I did it on like August 29th, but it counts. This series is getting more interesting, and I’m liking it more now that we’re getting some character development on ‘the villains’.

So far I’m not smitten with this series like my sister is – she’s the one who wanted me to read it – but I’m enjoying it and I can see myself getting smitten if it keeps going the way it is.

3.5 stars

Hands Off! vols 1-2 by Kasane Katsumoto – The last time I was at an anime con in February, there was a stall selling manga for three bucks each. They had this entire series, and since I remembered reading it in high school and liking it, I picked it up – all eight volumes and the two sequel series volumes.

So far, reading it again for the first time in fifteen years, it’s actually pretty decent. It’s funny, and the plot it’s hinting at is interesting. So far though it’s been rather episodic with hints of character development so I’m hoping it enters an arc of some kind. But overall, not bad!

Other Stuff

  • I turned 30 in August! I’m old now
  • I had my third wedding anniversary in August! We’re old now

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 145/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
    July – Pass
    August – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 235

And that’s it! Lemme know if you’ve read any of the above. Happy reading!

July Wrap Up! ’20

Wrap Up

Happy August! Today is my three year wedding anniversary! So that’s pretty neat. We’re gonna order steak or something for dinner, I think.

Anyways, I read five books this month – I didn’t pick up a manga all month which was weird. It’s been literal years since I’ve done that. Who knows why.

Books

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Vol. 1 (Light Novel)

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime vol 1 by Fuze – This was a 10 in 2020 book, so progress, yay! This is the light novel the anime was based on and while I thought the anime, particularly the beginning, was decent, my feelings unfortunately didn’t transfer to this novel. I didn’t enjoy being in the main character’s head – he’s a bit of a skeeve and after getting more than fifty percent through the book he showed no signs of improvement. In fact he got worse, and the things he thought and did were written as if to be funny instead of a problem. So I dumped it. The anime, while having hints of this, didn’t really get into as much detail, which is why I was able to finish it. But this man, no thanks. DNF at 58%. – 1 star

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – This was a reread for me, which I’m doing in prep of picking up the sequel. I wrote a coffee time post about it, along with one for The Hunger Games if you’re interested. But overall, I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time I read it in 2011. 4.5 stars

Shaman's Crossing (Soldier Son, #1)

Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb – This is the first book in Hobb’s Soldier Son trilogy and I ended up really enjoying this. This series follows a young man, Nevare, born to be a soldier and living on the frontier of his country. The empire he lives in is trying to expand east, into lands inhabited by the Plainspeople, various groups of people with various shamanic-like magical abilities. Nevare himself is destined to be a soldier in this expansion and is sent to a military academy for training. This book tackles a lot of topics such as an over-bearing patriarchy, prejudice, sexism, fatphobia, spiritualism, and learning to admit to oneself when one is being an asshole. I really like the characterization in this book and the more that I think about it I think I want to write a full review for this. So, that’ll be to come, I guess. 4.25 stars

Inspection

Inspection by Josh Malerman – This is probably my favorite read of the month, just beating out the Hobb book but a little, itty bitty bit. This book is by the same author that wrote Bird Box, which I read a couple years ago and loved. This one follows a young boy named J, who lives in a tower with 23 other boys, all named B through Y. The tower they live in is surrounded by pines, and none of them have ever left. None of them know what the outside world is like, and none of them have ever met a woman, let alone know that they exist. This book was really good. 4.5 stars

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1)

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa – This was a 10 in 2020 book, so progress, yay! This book is a romance and follows a woman named Sara after she tries to kill Pestilence, one of the four horsemen in the flesh who appeared on Earth to end the world. Obviously this book is apocalyptic, as there’s a plague sweeping the land (sound familiar) and has a 100% kill rate.

I had… a love hate relationship with this book. I liked the premise and some of the execution, but it kinda fell flat at the end and honestly made me kinda peeved. I’m tempted to do a spoilerly blabber on this one to get my points out, because it’s rare I read a book that gets a middle of the road rating and makes me so happy and mad at the same time. We’ll see we’ll see. 2.5 stars

~~~

And that’s it! I really need to hop back into manga, I miss it! I made a big manga order for my coming bday (the 7th), which should ship soon-ish I hope, so I’m hoping to read most of not all of that order this coming month.

If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know! Happy reading!

June Wrap Up! ’20

Wrap Up

All the months are blending together, this month was a bit hotter than the last, but that’s all I can give ya about it. These are all the books I’ve read in the past thirty or so days:

Books

The Inheritance & Other Stories

The Inheritance & Other Stories by Robin Hobb & Megan Lindholm – This is a short story collection containing works by the same woman under different pen names. She one of my favorite authors of all-time, and over the past few years I’ve absorbed her Hobb Realm of the Elderlings series into my psyche. This short story collection contains a few stories set in that world, and were the last in-world materials I had yet to read, so I picked it up with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks, because we’ve been buddy reading almost the entire over-arching world together at this point! After this we’re gonna have to find another huge series to lose ourselves in, will need something to fill the void.

The three Hobb stories in this I rather liked – They were between four and three stars each, which considering my track record with short story collections is pretty good. The Lindholm stories though were unfortunately not as palatable to me. There were a couple I liked, but most of them were either just ok or I actively disliked them. Emily-reads-short-stories-syndrome strikes again, I guess.

Overall though, this was a decent collection. The Hobbs stories were definitely my favorite bits. 3.5 stars

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – This is a bit outside my typical genre, as I’m not a huge literary fiction reader. It follows an elderly man after he passes away and meets five people in heaven. Kinda self-explanatory. I feel like this story was written to pull at the heartstrings throughout, but personally it didn’t really pull me in. I could see the elements that were to be really striking, but I don’t know, I wasn’t really affected, except for when the main character was talking to one specific person. I feel like I wasn’t the target audience for this. But regardless, I did overall enjoy it. I’m glad I read it, both because it’s so well-known and now I’m in the know, and because my mother in law loves this book and now we have one more thing to talk about together. 3.5 stars

Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White and & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – I picked this book up on audio this month! This follows the first son of the United States and a prince of Wales in a hate-to-love romance. I thought it was cute. The hype for this one definitely affected my judgement though. This book was listed in many people’s favorites from last year and I can totally see why, but because of that I guess I had my expectations a bit too high. Regardless though, I did rather enjoy it for what it was. 3.75 stars

If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio – Again, an audio book! This book follows a group of college students attending a prestigious arts college, studying Shakespeare, and a murder. The narration of this was fantastic, I really liked the way Shakespearean verse was interjected throughout the book, and the way it paralleled Shakespeare’s writing at times. This book really pulled me in, and I found myself wanting to reread all the plays that I read back in high school, convinced I’d appreciate them more this time around. This is again a bit outside my usual genre, but man, that did not stop me from really loving this. The only reason I’m knocking a half star is I was able to see the plot twists coming, so some of the wow factor was dissipated for me. But even so, I seriously recommend this book, it was fantastic. Definitely my favorite of the month. I don’t have a physical copy of this as I listened to it on Scribd, but I gotta get one, man. I can definitely see myself rereading this. 4.5 stars

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I picked this up because I recently purchased the prequel, as seen in this month’s haul. I haven’t actually read these books since I originally read them back in 2010 or so, when they had first come out. I’ve watched the movies multiple times but never actually reread the books. So with this new one coming out I wanted to refresh myself on the source material. When I originally read this at around 20 years old-ish, I gave it a five star rating. I remember loving it. This time around, it got a four. I think it’s just from 1, being a decade older and 2, having read more and more books and being able to better define what I’m looking for in a five star book. So I definitely enjoyed this reread, but I feel like I was able to give it a more realistic rating for my opinion of it. Catching Fire is next, hopefully this coming month. 4 stars

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks – I FINALLY FINISHED IT. I’ve been reading this book for literally years. Why? I don’t know. This book was basically always on the back-burner. I really liked it, mind you, but it always took a back seat, perhaps unfairly. Out of the four books I’ve read in this series, this is probably the one I liked the least. And by ‘least’ I mean it got a 4.25 when all the others got a 5, so take that as you will.

This series follows a slew of characters and involved a magic system based on the visible light spectrum. Users of this system are able to convert light into physical matter, forming it into whatever their heart desires, but the more the user does the magic, the closer it brings them to death. This series also has politics and war and religious factions and all sorts of things. I love it. And it’s funny! 4.25 stars

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Manga

Shaman King, Vol. 5: The Abominable Dr. Faust

Shaman King vols 5-6 by Hiroyuki Takei – Continued this series a bit this month, I really need to pick up the pace. Some new characters were introduced in these volumes, one of them being an necromancer that was way more intense than I remember in the filtered anime that came out a while ago. So I’m rather enjoying this, the plot is getting more and more involved with each volume. 4 and 3.75 stars

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits, Vol. 3 (Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits, #3)

Kakuriyo vol 3 by Waco Ioka – This was just as good as the first two volumes, and I’m solidly invested at this point. This series is very Spirited Away-y, only a bit darker and more involved. It follows the main character, who gets pulled into the spirit world and is made to be an ogre spirit’s wife. She isn’t having it though, and strives to be independent within the world she’s found herself. I really like it, and wrote a blabber on vols 1 and 2, in case you’re interested. 4 stars

Takane & Hana, Vol. 3

Takane & Hana vol 3 by Yuki Shiwasu – Continued this series a bit too! I’m still luke warm on this one but so far it’s still sweet and innocent, which is what I’m after. There’s a sizeable age gap in this, so it could potentially go weird. For now though, it’s pretty good, and I plan to continue it. 3.75 stars

Ajin: Demi-Human, Vol. 1 (Ajin: Demi-Human, #1)

Ajin vol 1 by Tsuina Miura – This is definitely an interesting manga. I’m only one volume in so far and I’m rather intrigued. It takes place in a world where occasionally, someone doesn’t die when they’re supposed to. They find out they can’t die, and therefore that they’re an Ajin. In this world, Ajin are seen as not human, as a different species slowly infiltrating the human race. And thing is, until someone dies… and then doesn’t, nobody knows if they’re one of them or not. It’s really fascinating, and deals with some heavy topics. 3.5 stars

5 Centimeters per Second (5 Centimeters per Second, #1-2)

5 Centimeters per Second by Makoto Shinkai – This is a one shot manga, following a pair of childhood friends as they grow up and grow apart. It had a sort of melancholy feel to it, and the author did a really good job at showing how the characters subtly pined for each other as they lost contact. I really enjoyed the emotional elements to this. The plot though was a bit sedated. Nothing really happened except the passage of time, and the ending was ultimately unsatisfying to me, but then again maybe that was the point. This manga was based on the animated movie I believe which I haven’t seen yet but I would like to. 3 stars

Blue Exorcist, Vol. 3

Blue Exorcist vol 3 by Kazue Kato – This series is definitely getting more interesting with each volume. It follows a young man who discovers he’s the son of satan in a world where demons are routinely exorcised. The main character decides to take control of his situation and join the exorcism academy, set on defeating satan. It has a lot of action elements, some good character development, and even a bit of humor here and there. I really like it. 3.75 stars

Absolute Boyfriend, Vol. 2

Absolute Boyfriend vols 1-6 by Yuu Watase – This is essentially a quintessential shojo manga. I read the whole series this month, and it was a blast from the past and so, so very entertaining. This series follows a teenage girl who orders a robot boyfriend on a free trial, and then doesn’t return him quickly enough and is then stuck trying to pay him off. The AI in this is very life-like and without knowing he’s a robot, you’d never be able to tell.

I gotta tell ya, this series is like, absolutely insane. It’s completely over the top absurd and funny and really, don’t go into this expecting an actual serious plot. Just go with the flow and take each plot development with humor and you’ll love it. It’s. Nuts. 3.5-4.5 stars each


Other Stuff

  • I went to the bookstore this month! Like three times! Though I have a feeling it’s a luxury that’ll go away again. Spikes are a thing because nobody feels like taking preventative measures, apparently.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 134/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 235

And that’s it! I actually read books this month (and bought books too, which hasn’t happened in a while). I’m glad I’m actually in the mood for novels again, I missed them.

Happy reading!