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Stories to Read While Your Soup Simmers: Princessreadsalot Presents!

Nessa.lair created this hot pot as well and we thought this photo would be perfect for our featured photo.

Did you make a 2021 reading goal? Do you have a plan for completing it? I like to start my year with short books to give myself a head start. January in Minnesota means lots of snow and coldness, and a nice bowl of soup is a regular (almost daily) meal. So I have combined the two activities: you can keep working on your Goodreads goal while also making dinner! Below you will find short books, mangas, poetry, graphic novels, and short story collections (all of which I add to my “read” count!). Check out these awesome pairings and join me as I enjoy my soup and stories. 

Along with Vanessa (@nessas.lair), I made (and ate!) these delicious soups; if you want to know how to make them, check out Vanessa’s blog: https://nessaslair.com/ .

Fangirl, Vol1. Manga

Paired with Potato Bacon Soup

Whether or not you have read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, this manga will introduce you to or reignite your love of Cath, Simon Snow, and Levi. Cath and her twin sister (Wren) head to college, but now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, and a handsome new writing partner. Unfortunately Wren has found her own path that keeps her away from Cath. Cath and Wren are from Nebraska and go to university in the same state; Nebraska is fond of it’s potato soups. So while your potato bacon soup is simmering, make sure you check out Fangirl, vol 1.

Moriarty the Patriot, Vol. 1

Paired with Potato Leek Soup

Moriarty is my all-time favorite villain, and I love that he gets a back-story in this manga. It was recently turned into an anime and because of the hype it was translated to English and published in the United States in October 2020. The manga follows Moriarty before he was Sherlock’s rival. He fights against the unfair class system in London by making sure corrupt nobility get their comeuppance, but even the best-intentioned plans can spin out of control. This favorite soup of the British will be enjoyed with a new twist on a classic villain.

Missing Mike by Shari Green

Paired with Chili

Missing Mike is about Mike, Caera Donovan’s dog, and is told in verse. Usually Mike follows Caera everywhere, but on the day the family first smells smoke in the air, he becomes anxious. Pine Grove is in the path of a wildfire and the family is ordered to evacuate. In the ensuing chaos, Mike runs off. And then the unthinkable happens; there is no time to search for him. They are forced to leave him behind. Once in the city, far from the burn zone, the Donovans are housed with a volunteer host family, but Caera can only think about what she may have lost. As she reflects on what “home” means to her, Caera knows only one thing. She is not going to lose Mike. She will do whatever it takes to find him, even if it means going back to Pine Grove on her own. I promise this sweet book will make you tear up, but you can totally blame it on the onions you chopped for the chili. In the comfort of your home, Mike and Caera’s story and the spicy chili will keep you warm this winter. 

Light Filters In: Poems by Caroline Kaufman

Paired with Butternut Squash Soup

I read this meaningful book of poetry at the beginning of 2020, so I paired it with the soup I made for the beginning of 2021. In Light Filters In, Caroline Kaufman—known on Instagram as @poeticpoison—does what she does best: reflects our own experiences back at us and makes us feel less alone, one exquisite and insightful piece at a time. She writes about giving up too much of yourself to someone else, not fitting in, endlessly Googling “how to be happy,” and ultimately figuring out who you are. I plan to read it again this year because I think it will take on more meaning as we live through COVID-19. This soup pairs well with leftover brie and baguettes. (Ours is from our New Year’s Eve charcuterie board).

 Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Paired with Chicken with Stars soup

I first read Stargirl during the #buzzwordreadathon (word: star), and after finishing it, I proceeded to buy loads of copies and pass it out to my students. It’s a sweet book that adults and students will love. In Stargirl,  Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out–under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes–for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of homeschooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. Pair this book with a delicious chicken noodle soup, but use star-shaped pasta (otherwise called ‘pastina’) to add a little fun to your soup!

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

paired with Gazpacho  

A lot of high school students are required to read this book before they graduate, but you never know what this year could bring you. I recommend this short book about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Start your journey with Gazpacho, a soup that originated in Santiago’s region!  

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Paired with Jenny’s Zuppa Toscana

Why Jenny’s Zuppa Toscana? If you look at the recipe (check out Nessa’s blog), you’ll see that I add more greens (and other things) than most of the typical soup recipes call for. This lovely middle-grade robot story will make you wish you were outside, and maybe some extra greens can do the trick? At the beginning of The Wild Robot, robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time and discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her. Enjoy Jenny’s Zuppa Toscana and let it remind you that you can find friends in unlikely places.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Paired with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Kindred Spirits is a novella about waiting in line in mid-December for the new Star Wars movie. Elena decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new Star Wars movie. She’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke, and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people, to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster, or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. If Elena was my friend, I’d bring her something warm to eat like this Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Rainbow Rowell is one of my all-time favorite authors, so I thought I should pair this book with one of my favorite soups. This cheesy (and sweet) story is perfect!

Primer by Jennifer Munro

Paired with Root Vegetable Soup

Ashley Rayburn is the superhero that I found to be so relatable. She is an upbeat girl but has bounced from foster home to foster home. Her latest set of foster parents are Kitch and Yuka Nolan. Yuka is a geneticist working for a very high-level tech company, one that’s contracted out to work for the government and the military. For the military, she’s developed a set of body paints that, when applied to the wearer, grant them a wide range of special powers. Fearful that this invention will be misused, Yuka sneaks the set of paints home. Ashley, an artist, is excited to see the paints and tries them out before anyone tells her what they’re supposed to be used for. The story is sweet and the art is colorful and bright, so I had to pair it with this bright root vegetable soup! A few beets will add the vibrant color that you’ll see in Primer.

Together, Apart Short Story Collection

Paired with Egg Drop Soup

This is a collection of original contemporary love stories set during life in lockdown. Ok, so you might not finish this entire book in the 15 minutes it takes Egg Drop Soup to simmer, but you should definitely read Jennifer Yen’s story about an unconventional romance that starts with fortune reading and a take-out order (of Egg Drop Soup!). I also loved the stories by Rachael Lippincott, Erin Hahn, and Sajni Patel. This book is romantic, realistic, sweet, and uplifting, with a guaranteed happy ending. And, let’s be honest, a happy ending from this pandemic would be nice! 

Conclusion

I can’t wait to go to a cafe and sit down with a book and a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, but for the foreseeable winter I will be at home making my soup. What are you reading this January? Let us know in the comments how you’re going to meet your goals. 

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Weekly Check-in 1/09/2021

Hey guys how’s it going? This week has been a doozy for sure.

Suffice it to say technology and getting things done this week has been difficult.

However, I did get quite a bit of reading done with one audiobook, four volumes of manga, and three novels. Onto the Media!

Audiobook

Legendborn

I listened to this audiobook because I gave my boyfriend several choices for us to give a try and he was intrigued by this unfortunately I read this way after he did.

Trigger warnings for abuse, both verbal and physical, bigotry, grief, and violence. I can definitely see the hype when it comes to this book/series. However, for me personally the audiobook was difficult for me to get into. I think because there were moments I got confused and not sure who was who. Plus some of the lore went one ear and out the other sometimes (I guess I read better fantasy books im not sure) . Once I got moving though and more action was happening, I was all in especially with the magic. I have to say that’s what was the best part.

I think this has a nice melding of King Arthur lore and Southern United States culture (is that the best word for it? Let me know if you have read this if that sounds weird). Plus there’s a variety of people involved that it didn’t feel one sided or one perspective being presented.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and what it has brought to light as a new release and I have a ton of questions on how the author is going to continue this series (in a fantastic way). Because of these points, I have to give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Manga

Series Starters

Library Wars

I was recommended this by my friend @creativechaotics and I am so glad I finally read it.

I feel the best way to describe this manga is the humor of the military characters from Full Metal Alchemist mixed with the drama of Fahrenheit 451 if that makes sense. I think if you like either of those things you may like this.

One thing I didn’t like with this was how idiotic the leading girl seems sometimes and how the guys make fun of her for it. However, I am curious how this series will end up being like. Because of these points, I have to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Our Precious Conversations

This manga was one that I was unsure what it was going to be like, but I was pleasantly surprised after I finished this volume.

If you’re a person who doesn’t like a lot of dialogue in their manga, you’re probably not going to like this.

This manga helps people understand different perspectives introverted girl vs conceited guy in particular. They also are a slowburn romance so I am really excited to see how this series is going to go. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣

Series Continuations

Sweat and Soap

Ah this series! I never thought I would love it as much as I do. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Ahhhhh this volume is so amazing. I read this volume after reading an emotional book this week and it is a fantastic pick-me-up. This also is a perfect volume for adults getting into a new level of the relationship (i.e. moving in together) and even if you do not have the context of the rest of the series, I think you can still appreciate this volume especially with the advice presented. Also side note: There is a bonus chapter in this story that is very smutty (but in the best way in my personal opinion) but other than that, there are a lot of pure beautiful moments in this series that makes it one of my favorites of all time. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Abe-kun’s Got Me Now

So this particular volume was one that if I didn’t like it, I would move away from this series. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this to continue this series. This has a guy who is in love with one of his classmates but he’s really aggressive about it. I would say this is for 16+ because of a censored part plus a couple of moments of a compromised position. This volume gave a lot more backstory on Abe-kun which I truly appreciated especially with his motivations. Plus the play was Rapunzel which is unexpected because it normally is Snow White or Cinderella which I appreciated also I am truly excited to read the rest of this series. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

Full Tilt

This is a highly recommended romance novel and worth the read if it sounds interesting to you.

I think for me personally, this is an adult version of The Fault in Our Stars but better. As the reader out of the gate, you know that one of the characters have a heart transplant so they have to deal with the consequences of that plus they discover a new person in their lives albeit truly unexpectedly.

There are quite a few trigger warnings with verbal abuse, alcoholism, terminal illness, and child abandonment.

I love these characters in the aspect that they all brought something to the table (even the ones you had to hate because of how awful they are.) plus the guy character oh my gosh he is on my book boyfriend list now because of all the profound words he says and how important the girl is to him. I cried quite a bit with this as well because of how well the writing of both characters hit me so hard in the best way.

One of my favorite parts of this as well was the discussion of all the creative outlets of all the poetic quotes, the songwriting, the glassblowing, and inking all in the same book without feeling like it was thrown into the book just for the sake of being there.

Overall, I loved this book very much and it may beat the fault in our stars for favorite book like this (its possible but I may have to reread that book to be sure). I would definitely recommend this for people who enjoy profound deep contemporaries such as this one. Because of these points, I have to give this a 5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Girl on the Ferris Wheel

Thank you to Netgalley and Xpressotours for the opportunity to read and review this book.

When it comes to this particular book, there are a lot of trigger warnings for depression, verbal abuse, and for an empath, this is a book that you will have issues with. For me personally, this book was something that I was intrigued by throughout the story, however at the end of it, it took a turn for the worse emotionally. But thankfully the lesson presented itself in the sense of romance cannot save you from yourself, you save yourself. There’s Greek and Jewish representation, there’s concerts, there’s a ton of movie and Harry Potter references, and first love. The main issue I had or at least one I haven’t commented on was that the boy was a bit too abrasive. Too rough on the girl in my personal opinion. I know he is a high school boy who was in puppy love, but not taking no for an answer was too much. There was also a ton of miscommunication involved but again high school contemporary. Overall though, it was a book that kept me on my toes, I would recommend it for someone who could relate to either leading character, but to keep in mind that it can be a rough road. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Hate You Give

This was a book that was given to me by @Acourtofbooksandlove for Christmas and for her book club pick for January. Check her out if you haven’t already

Trigger warnings for violence, cursing, and rioting.

When it comes to this book, I think it is one that people who do not know a lot about the African American perspective especially when it comes to how they live, how they stick together with good times and bad and how awful certain aspects of it can be.

I appreciated the perspective that this was written. This is because it gave us a person who is affected by the events in this book that was more peripheral rather than direct which is not something normally seen. Also it gave the lesson on how every voice is important.

Overall, I am grateful that this book is out there for people to learn and understand a perspective that is not necessarily presented in stories. I also do not think it should be banned from places because this story I am sure happens more often than not. I am glad that this book exists and when I am in the mood for learning even more about these characters and more of these stories I will definitely read them. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This next week, I am going to try and watch a little bit more anime and tv this week. However, reading will still be happening but I think I may be cutting back just a little bit. What about you guys what did you read or watch this week? Let’s talk about it.

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Weekly Check-in 1/2/2021

Hey guys how’s it going? Weekly Check-in time with a lot of reading!

Harley reading a bodice ripper my feelings lol 🤣.

I read quite a few manga (7 volumes to be exact), 3 comic trade paperbacks, 3 romance novels and 1 romance novella. Most of these were read before the new year started with three of them being read in the new year. Onto the reading wrapup!!

Manga

Series Starters

BL Metamorphosis

This manga was one I got in a romance lot on ebay and mannn I am so glad I got it!!! 🙂

I loved this so much! The character dynamic, the artstyle, and the plot was spot-on! It definitely presents the perspective of people who are fans of Boys Love and do not have many people to discuss it with. It also gave some beautiful panels of the manga that they were reading as well. I just wish where it ended wasn’t so abrupt I need more. 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Ms.Koizumi loves Ramen Noodles

I posted this picture recently on Instagram and thankfully I have fulfilled my craving for Ramen so I don’t go nuts right now after finishing this manga.

This manga was not what I was expecting. It gives me Komi can’t Communicate vibes mixed with Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family except with just ramen. If you don’t know a lot about ramen/ramen shops, this manga definitely educates you on that. As far as the rest of it is concerned, the main character is a tad mean to another character, the other character was a tad pushy, and it’s an overall slice of life (which isn’t bad but there’s not a set plot/point to it except one character who’s obsessed with ramen.) Overall though, its enjoyable to learn more about ramen and because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi. 🍣🍣🍣

Ex-Enthusiasts

Well this was interesting!! 🤣🤣. These characters are very unlikable, The art is gorgeous, and the premise is very silly. However, because it is silly, I think the series is going to be interesting to continue on. The only issues I really had was that there was a lot more text than I expected plus some insulting commentary. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

My Brother the Shut-in

This is a digital only release that intrigued me and I am really glad that I read it

This is one of those manga that may seem silly, however in this instance, it has dark undertones. Trigger warnings for verbal abuse and agoraphobia. I think this is something that I would love to continue eventually but I need to be in the right headspace. Overall though, I think if you’re interested in a deep sibling relationship you should check it out. 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Series Continuations

Love Massage!

I was recommended this and loved the first volume this one though…

I think this second volume was a disappointment for me because of the lack of cohesion between one volume to another but also because the leading guy is kinda a tad possessive and manipulative for my liking in this sequel. But the massaging is nice, there’s added characters which was good but overall, was not my favorite manga. I hope to read more to make sure this character gets better. 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Perfect World Vol 6 and 7

Although this manga series has moments an ableist point of view, I think this volume proves its worth the read.

When it comes to this series, its up and down in its emotional pull (plus there’s interlopers I am personally not a fan of but thats just me). But this volume is one that solidified for me that I enjoy this series in the sense that it is trying to show what happens to people who are trying to follow their dream along with dealing with realistic disability representation. There are moments of a ableism and putting other people down which I am not a fan of but I understand why they are there. I am hoping for a happy ending in the end but to be honest, either outcome would work for me as long as they both learn moral lessons that are effective no matter what. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Ok I had to read two volumes this week because of that cliffhanger and ahhhhh

So the events of the previous volume have affected this volume and there was a lot of emotions involved which when it comes to that and I am getting towards the end and I’m just like the emotions are real right now and I want to finish the series but at the same time I don’t want it to end. I am glad that I read this though to make sure everyone was ok. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Comics

Reread

Check Please!

This Graphic Novel is a sports comic that takes place during college.

This is very adorable fantastic story about a person who goes to college on a hockey scholarship from being an ice skater and falls in love with the team. I reread this because the last time I read this, It was an e copy that just was difficult to follow. But having the physical copy now, its definitely one I can reread again and again like a lot of other sports themed stories I have experienced. Because of these points, I have to give this comic bindup a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Sequel

Check Please! Sticks and Stones

Of course after rereading the first one I had to read the conclusion and boy I am glad I did.

This conclusion, I have to say had a lot more plot than the previous one in the best way. It brought up a lot more real conversations and obstacles that were realistic. However, there were some moments where there was too much happy-go-lucky involved. But I can’t exactly fault it for that. Overall, though I loved this series and would definitely reread it again and again for a pick me up. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Spider Gwen: Weapon of Choice

I know I haven’t talked much about my fave Marvel Superheros but Spider Gwen is one of my faves for sure

I think in this instance I should’ve read the previous one again. I was so confused but at the same time I felt that there was an appropriate closure of the first story arc to move on to the next one (which i am really worried about Gwen now I hope things get better). But overall, the feeling was still the same as the previous ones. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

Could Be Something Good

This was an unexpected surprise. If you’re looking for a medical small town romance this is perfect along with a minor age gap. I was engaged with the story the characters and everything in between. If I had a small complaint, I could have done without the goofy if they can last 8 weeks before doing something they’re golden subplot but other than that I had a fantastic time reading this. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Nicole

Thank you to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for the opportunity to read and review this book.

So this is what is considered a Christian Romance. This entire series is to be honest but if you’re looking for an adult romantic comedy with some profound words about God and environmental concerns, I would check this out. Trigger warnings for verbal abuse, cancer, body shaming and absent father. I loved the dynamics with everyone especially when it came to the children and the adult dynamic. I think the only issue I really had with this book that I didn’t have with the other book I read in this series was that it just abruptly ended with no true closure. I also would recommend you read the first book Molly before you read this one that way you know what is happening in this book and how everyone is connected. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Love Songs for Skeptics

Thank you to Netgalley and Source Books Landmarks for the opportunity to read and review this book.

So this book was on my radar because of the music representation plus the main character’s skepticism about love. That’s definitely there but there’s also a lot of Alcoholism and Drug use even going to the lengths to have a stomach pumped.This is because this book represents the UK modern music scene.

Theres also grief of a mentor figure as well so keep that in mind.

It also shows the lengths publicists and journalists do to either keep their magazine running or to maintain their clients’ image or make it better.

There’s also a love triangle involved, which to be honest was effective in the sense that I wasn’t sure who she was going to be with and I am really glad that who she picked was who I wanted because it fits so much better to me.

The family dynamic also was awesome especially when its comes to the wedding/family dinners. There’s also Greek/Cyprus representation in this book so if that interests you, check this out.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself when it comes to this novel and if you like/are interested in it check it out 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Novella

Hefty

This was a novella that was recommended to me from booktube from @inloveandwords but this author has been one that I wanted to explore for beginner smut novellas so I am glad I found something to try.

First, this is an adult smut novella not for children although there are 18 year olds having sex in this story if that doesn’t interest you please don’t read this.

Ok to the story itself, the leading guy is one I love because he worships the girl and protects her as much as he can. But the steam is also there as well (although some scenes seemed very unrealistic but thats just the cynic in me moving on) so for that reason its getting stars docked for that. Overall though, it satisfied what I was looking for and I am curious more about this subgenre. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

The Week/Year Ahead

I’ll be honest, in the future, I hope to read one of everything I have once a month. When it comes to the weekly check-ins though, they’re just going to be what they have been but there may be times where I do two weeks instead of one. What about you guys? What did you read or watch this week? What was your first read of the year mine was Perfect World vol 6. Let’s talk about it!

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2021 Goals Personally and Professionally

Hey guys how’s it going? Today’s post is going to be about my 2021 goals both professionally and personally. Professionally is going to include stuff as far blogging and Instagramming but also a little bit with my job although I won’t bore you guys with those details. Personally is going to be alot of self assistance but also moving forward with the future if that makes sense. This list is going to consist with 5 personally and 5 professionally so you don’t have to read everything if you don’t want to. Ok let’s get started!!

Professionally

Review New Releases as well as Backlist in all Media

So in the middle of 2020, I started getting some Netgalley review books from a friend of mine and by the end of the year, I updated my own and have some new releases coming out in 2021 that I want/need to read to help publishers. However, I also realized I didn’t really watch much new anime in 2020 except for a couple so I want to watch some different kinds of new anime coming up too.

Don’t buy everything you see

This was something I did a lot in 2020; I saw a deal and went for it alot and although I am excited for everything I have now, its definitely going to take me awhile to review and consume it all even rewatch it in some instances. But, my goal for 2021 is to be more selective in my buying. Not bring so much in that I am just intrigued by or blind buy something that just looks cute and fun.

Embrace digital media more

This goal is one that ever since I got my Fire Tablet, I’ve not been embracing as much as I should. However, sometimes I buy both digitally and physical copies of things and never touch the digital things and vice versa. In 2021 I want to balance it out a lot more with as far as reading read something physical and read something digital either everyday or night or at least every week. Also when it comes to watching I hope to watch something I own but also something on a streaming service also every week as well in 2021. This way it can also balance out my new release and backlist goal as well.

Keep up with Reviews on every platform

Yeahhhhhh this is something I need to do very much so especially in 2021 when in 2020 the last six months I got behind on reviews everywhere other than on the blog and Instagram every once in awhile. When it comes to goodreads and Amazon though, I procrastinate. I think its because Amazon and Goodreads reviews are easier to do on the computer (that’s a whole other issue in itself) and I don’t always have access to a desktop 24/7. Anyhow though I am going to find a way to get the review across every platform plus update my Amazon affiliate stuff because there’s a lot of stuff not in there. Wish me luck on that!

Keep up with more variety of posts everywhere

Last thing for my professional goals is to be more creative in my posts. I’m sure all of you love the posts I come up with that are elaborate here on the blog but I also want to create some beautiful posts that can intermingle with all the reviews in the best way. I think I just need to follow through what kind of ideas pop into my head (despite how goofy they can be.) And if they seem impossible to just try it anyway and hope for the best. Take a risk 🤣. Anyhow im excited to see how these goals go.

Personally

Budget Budget Budget

Now this goal is one that trumps my previous ones tenfold. Since starting the job I love six months ago, I liked shopping just as much for every hobby I enjoy along the lines of almost making myself broke (don’t do this) and although it makes me happy, budgeting in the new year will make things better/easier for everyone.

Keep learning about my career plus hobbies

This one is a goal I try to do every year. My mom has always told me you need to always keep learning no matter what you decide to do. Plus as a requirement for my professional license, I have to do some continuing education classes so I want to continue learning more about my profession plus learn more about blogging and photography.

Connect Better with People

Oh my gosh! 😣 does this have to be a thing?? YES it does!! Because me and people can be so difficult at times. That’s something I’ve especially have had trouble with in 2020 especially now.

So what exactly does that mean??? It means that I want to try and comment more on posts both blogs and Instagram but also try to text and talk more on Discord (discord link on my site and Instagram linktree) but also just reconnecting with people in person/IRL that I have lost touch with or just put myself out there to strangers (not too much but just complimenting people etc.) I know with 2020 being more isolating than ever before with 2021 being more unknown its not going to be the ideal time to figure this out but if not now, when? We will see what happens I think.

Keep having fun but also be smart

So this goal seems to be self explanatory but essentially its this: love what I am doing, blogging, reviewing, posting photography, etc. But also be smart;use what I got don’t buy more stuff just for a post, do not overrequest what you can’t review promptly, don’t watch something that you’re not sure you’re going to like, stuff like that. Also I am going to try and not feel pressure to read or watch certain things because of the hype. Do what I like unapologetically.

Plan out everything outside of work

I want to do this but at the same time to plan out all the outside of work stuff.

Now this is the most important goal on my list because this is something I need to do better for the new year especially because of the new job plus I realized that my planning is not the best when it comes to scheduling posts, no procrastinating on domestic stuff, etc. So im hoping using two planners to help (the third in this picture was used this year and it was very helpful). I am also going to try and separate out personal stuff/work and my social media platforms by using a planner assigned to those things.

The Bibliophile Planner is from Bibliophileprints and Go! Calendars is where the other two planners are from.

Conclusion

Overall, I truly hope that these goals are something I am able to do.

Featured

Weekly Check In 12/19/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? With the holidays starting up in my neck of the woods, I was able to do a lot of reading for pleasure not much watching unfortunately (but since last week was a lot of watching, I think things get evened out).

Tangled is my favorite Disney Princess so I am so glad I was able to put her somewhere on the blog stratosphere

I read 6 volumes of manga, 3 novels, and watched 1 concert. Onto the media!

Manga

Series Starters

Can I Kiss You Everyday?

Sigh I am not sure how I feel about this manga 😂 its a bit goofy. Essentially it’s about a childhood friend, a brother with a sister complex and a leading lady who is very soft.

I think though its a little misleading as well with the title versus the actual plot. Plus I don’t see her with either guy. The artstyle is cute though. Because of these points, I have to give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi. 🍣🍣🍣. If you like any of the things I don’t like about it, I would absolutely recommend it to you though. Especially if you need something mindless.

Love Massage!

Mmmmm! This manga was a total 180 from the previous in the best way. The scenes!!! If you need a smutty manga recommendation with soft characters thats graphic read this. The artstyle is also very soft too so its a manga I recommend reading before bed to expand the experience.

My only issue that I have is that there was blurry consent and these characters are truly workaholics that need a ton of breaks. More plot please. Because of these points, I have to give this manga a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi🍣🍣🍣🍣. check this out Adults who need adult manga ❤😝

An Incurable Case of Love

This manga screamed the second half of the Itazura Na Kiss franchise in my opinion with the nurse and doctor dynamic in the best way. The difference is that this is a slowburn romance of two total strangers as opposed to the former who start in high school and move forward with the nurse and doctor dynamic. But I love this as much as that franchise just in a different way. Also I appreciated that it felt realistic as well especially towards the end of this volume. I am excited to see what happens next. Because of these aspects, I have to give this volume a a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family

This is a series that I wanted to try because Fate + cooking?? Sign me up! Featuring Sage the Sushi from @Princessreadsalot on Instagram for Christmas check her out if you haven’t already!

This manga was one I have had on my list for awhile and now that I have read this, I can see why people are fans and why they don’t.

This is for the fans of the main fate/stay night series characters more than the plot. This manga take these characters and bring them to life in a more casual setting with some Japanese cooking (and recipes on top of that). If you don’t know the fate /stay night series, you can read this however, you may be confused by some of the jokes that may be presented in this story. I would definitely recommend this for old anime watchers who have never read manga before because it is pretty straight forward in its paneling.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone but if you love these characters and cooking this series is for you in manga form because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣.

Series Continuations

Sweat and Soap

When I was recommended this manga, I didn’t think I would love it as much as I do!!!

I’ll be honest, when I started this series, I did not expect to love it as much as I do. To me this gives me Wotakoi vibes but with a faster release time and more sexy times (also this one had quite a few nudity scenes so keep that in mind).

I love the communication, the artstyle, and the slowburn relationships and friendships. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Fox’s Kiss

I’ll be honest, I read reviews of this series after I read vol 1 and I anticipated vol 2 to be not as good as vol 1. Unfortunately, I was right but fortunately I was also wrong and this is why.

I still love the characters in this series and adding new ones made it even better, however, I wonder…what was the point of this volume?? History?? Presenting a new conflict and characters and thats it?? I was just so confused. However, the artstyle was beautiful and there were some funny moments like its predecessor. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Novel

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

I had to read this book this year because we recommended it in our winter drinks blog post also love this bookmark?? Check out @bibliophileprints on Instagram

This was my holiday read for this week and I really liked it!

First, like I was told going in it is teen appropriate and if you want someone to enjoy a modern take on the Christmas Carol story by Charles Dickens, I would definitely recommend this.

The twists and turns that occur were very unexpected and to be honest, I would love a prequel story about Project Scrooge. The concept was very fascinating and intriguing and I wanted more from it.

I also loved the characters especially the main character even though she was not my fave at times. I think my only issue was that there were a couple of moments that it felt like Izombie (the campiness plus the deception of death). Plus what happens now? I need a epilogue or something. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣. I am so glad I was recommended this book and I’m excited to read more from this author.

Archer’s Voice

This book is one that I could feel into my heart and soul in more ways than one. The dark moments of physical and verbal abuse, shooting, rape, disability shaming, etc. were difficult to take however, the relationship itself was a beautiful slowburn.

This is one that has two people each recovering from their own sort of trauma helping each other. It’s not something everyone’s going to like in their romance novel, however for me I can tell you right now this is going to be one of my favorite novels of all time. There are a ton of quotes that I laughed and cried over and it will definitely be one I reread again.

My only issue with this, is that I wanted more from the leading guy Archer. I think adding his perspective for as much of the book as the leading lady would make this so much for me. I understand why the pivotal moments were put in his perspective too but I wanted more. Because of these points I have to give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Only When It’s Us

This essentially ticks all of my boxes when it comes to romance. The banter when it comes to the shallow but also deep topics was fantastic, the slowburnness of the relationship with enemies turned friends turned partners was amazing, the representation of a late deaf getting cochlear implants was also spot on. I also appreciated that we got both perspectives as well which is what I needed before with a different novel. Overall, I am truly excited to see what happens next in this series with the other pairings and this will also be a favorite novel of all time. Because of these points, I have to give this a 5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Concert

Trans Siberian Orchestra

My boyfriend and I do our best during the holidays to try and see this performance every year and we were grateful to TSO for creating this concert livestream for these times we are living in.

This week I was able to see this concert livestream with my boyfriend and his family and like previous years it was amazing my only issue I had was with one singer that they hired did not exactly hit the mark but thats a minor nitpick on my part. Because of these points,I have to give the show a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

The week ahead is Christmas so apologies in advance if the weekly check-in is late. Also my consumption of media is up in the air this week since I am not sure what I will read or watch with everyone being around. What about you guys what did you read and watch this week?? Lets talk about it.

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Reviews: Just How Important Are They?

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss something that has been going around social medias and it was about how important book reviews are.

Ehh this sheet could be better 🤣

Well since I do not just review books, I wanted to talk about reviewing in general. Let’s get started!

Reviewing helps people discover new kinds of media

Time to Explore!!

For me personally, I read and listen to reviews around to discover what kinds of new stories are out there. Because although I know quite a bit about certain media, I want to know more. There’s also the saying that is said in reviews: “If you like this, you’ll truly like this and if it’s something that you have never heard before or its brand new, reviews definitely help with that. In addition, reviews help with finding new genres. For instance when it comes to horror, I am squeamish/wimpy and when someone reviews a book or tv show and they say its very gory, I am probably staying away. But! If its labeled horror and it isn’t as gory or is nice for first-time wimpy horror people, I would give it a shot.

Reviewing helps keeps certain media away from people

Run away!!!

There’s an age old discussion about how media can be percheived as bad/deceptive and here’s why

There’s some bias involved when it comes to who’s the audience of the media and whose perspective the media presents. Media can also show awful/traumatic things happening and not warning any people about it (trigger warnings). Reviewing media can help people find out beforehand what to expect especially if they are unsure whether you want to consume them or not. If you’re afraid of something or triggered by something, reviews really help.

Reviewing helps boost underrated media up

You raise me up…..

Now this reason is something I have only learned the last couple of years when I started reviewing books/manga on my Instagram. Underrated books need reviews!! If independent/self published books do not recieve a lot of reviews or ratings, they get pushed under the radar and no one reads them. Hidden Gems just get put under the radar. Reviews can rise them up and make the most underrated story more hyped.

Lastly, Reviewing helps with constructive feedback

This is the most important of all

Reviews are important on all aspects of media. However, the most important is that reviews help with constructive criticism and feedback for the future work whatever that may be. Also with more reviews, people can see what people love or hate and create more media with those positive or negative aspects.

Conclusion

Overall, to me reviews are very important. There are positive and negative things involved but still necessary to keep the media industry alive in my opinion. What do you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Featured

Weekly Check-in 12/05/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This Weekly Check-in has quite a few manga reads this week (with work being crazy plus it is faster to read and fluffy they were fun) Plus I read two books; one fiction and one non-fiction although I learned quite a bit from both. Some of the items I also read are from Netgalley a site that helps people get e-reviews on their books early or right on time in some instances. Onto the Media!

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com Wish I could look this good.

Manga

Standalone

Yuri Life

I recieved this from a Romance Ebay Lot (more detailed blog post about that in the future)

This week, I decided to read this for some fluff and it was not what I expected at all.

First, this is an all color manga which had so many colorful panels and the formatting was a lot like Wotakoi Love is Hard for an Otaku (thankfully there’s no time confusion but I wouldn’t recommend this format for new manga readers nonetheless).

Second, this is an anthology of short stories with all different kinds of Yuri/Girl’s Love stories and couples that were all so cute and fun.

This is an adult manga so I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers, However, I think it was a good one for someone like me who is very new to Yuri and Girl’s Love because of all the different couples and unique stories to find out what you like. For instance, there’s a hilarious Grim Reaper and Woman Yuri story that I found so cute and then there was an age gap student teacher romance that was okay but not my favorite.

Overall I loved this and would definitely reread this over and over again if I want some Yuri short stories. However, I am not a fan of the format and if I had to change one thing it was that (although I loved all the color). Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Series Starters

Sweat and Soap vol 1

This has been recommended by a ton of people of course I had to see what the fuss was about.

After another book I read recently (more on that in a minute), I needed something fluffy and fun. Sweat and Soap filled that void in the best way. I could absolutely relate to the leading lady and the leading man was so adorable trying to make sure the former was happy. This is not for 16+ as the demographic recommends I would definitely make it be more 18+ because of the sexual content presented (although not explicit or else there would have been a warning). For an adult needing to read something fast, fun, and fluffy, I would definitely recommend this manga for a good time. Even after I finished, I wanted to read more. However, I think for me it will be a manga I read when I need a pick-me-up. Because of these points, I have to give this manga a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan

Thank you to Netgalley and Kodansha Comics for the opportunity to read and review this omnibus

I read this to continue on my fluff mood and maybe learn some life lessons. And if you guys want to think about what happened to Steve from Blue’s Clues or the Wiggles outside of the show and how the shows came to be in the most strangest and negative way with dry humor, read this.

I think I wasn’t sure what I was expecting with this slice of life. The artstyle is amazing although I wish it had a bit more direction with the plot and if it didn’t have a direction, I think it would have been easier to navigate as a 4 Koma because of how episodic and isolated the story seemed to be. It also seemed meta in the sense that the characters knew they were in the manga etc.

Overall though, I think I am not going to continue the series and if you’re interested in this check it out. 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣. This comes out December 8th so check it out then if you are interested.

Series Continuations

The Maid at My House vol 2

This series is a digital release that I would love in a physical copy!

I’m so glad I was able to continue on with this manga series.

This is very adorable and fun and the artstyle is very expressive in the best way. This also has a love triangle in it but a very unexpected one. In addition, it has the guy helping the girl feel better which was one of my favorite parts.

My only issue, is the repetitive nature of the beginning of the chapters. I think they are put that way though because the chapters can be bought separately but for people who have the whole manga its a little annoying. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Practice makes Perfect vol 2

This series was one I was recommended on YouTube but I hope there’s a physical release kodansha please!

This is an adult manga series about two Olympic athletes who have a slowburn adult relationship and this started the more intimate parts of a relationship and I truly appreciated it.

There was also an interloper that came in towards the end, but I appreciated that it was nipped in the bud relatively quickly. In addition, both of these characters are very sweet and adorable as well as relatable. If you are 18+ and enjoy pure relationships with more intimate moments check this out 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

Choosing Life

Thank you so much Netgalley and Wicked Whale Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book

Well I accidently read the third book in a series first 🙈…. However, from my experience in reading this whatever I needed to know from the first two books was mentioned and concisely. So I think if you read it as a standalone or first then I think you’ll be ok.

To the content itself, it discusses someone who is recovering from an eating disorder and self harm so know that going in that there may be some restricting of food, suicidal thoughts and overall negativity with bullying involved in this book. There is also grief and cancer triggers as well.

There are however some good points like discussion with a therapist, a lot of fantastic representation on different sexual representation such as someone who is non-binary with also some representation on mental health other than recovery from an eating disorder.

In this particular book, it’s all about recovery and how someone can cope with the past year of their life and how crazy it can be. It truly resonated with me because even though I don’t have an eating disorder, there is something else in my life going on that made me feel for the main character. I think overall though if you don’t feel that way you might find her annoying (but that’s how teens can be you know). I also did appreciate that there was no romance in this novel although I know there were snippets in others.

Overall, enjoying myself would be the wrong thing to say here. Its more like I was enlightened by this book and glad I read it. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣. This series is already out on Nov 10th so if you are interested check this out!

Nonfiction

Thank you to Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book

This book is one I feel everyone should read even if you know quite a bit about disabilities you definitely will know even more by the end of this book.

I think though its more of a textbook/coffee table book that you can read more than once with a ton of resources and history when it comes to disabilities. There are also a ton of real life examples incorporated/facts that may not be common knowledge although more for the visually impaired than anything. There’s also a lot of resources from Canada that are helpful for people there who may need them. The illustrations are wonderful addition to the book as well. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.Would definitely recommend but I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone. This comes out in Early April so check it out when it comes out.

Movie

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

I had some expectations coming into this movie and honestly I feel mixed.

The music was gorgeous and as well as the world that was created. The issues I had though were that there were one too many songs put into obscure spots. I also felt that the plot was not explained very well. Theres tons of holes in my opinion and more like a play than anything else.

Overall though, Its an enjoyable movie with a great cast. Because of these points, I have to give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣

The Week Ahead

With the weeks being the way they are with the holidays I am not sure how the rest of this month is going to be. I will however, keep reading and watching what I can to the best of my ability. What about you guys? What have you read and watched this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Weekly Check-in 11/28/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This week was the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.

So because of that, I read and watched alot. I also revamped my Netgalley (which has been on my list to do for awhile) so I have a couple of those on my list also. I watched four movies and one anime all the way through and I read four volumes of manga, a graphic novel, and finished one book. Onto the media!

Movie

Greater

My dad is a hard-core Arkansas fan because of his father so seeing this movie and remembering those seasons where this movie took place struck a cord with him and because of that, it struck one within me too.

As you can tell, my family and I like to watch some sports biography movies every once in awhile and this one, I have to say was the most emotional one for me personally.

I think that is because this is about a person who worked really hard to get to where he wanted to be but between his family, his faith, and his lack of skill at moments he had some obstacles. This also follows his brother trying to understand how the main person is still continuing his dream and records every fantastic experience that he can for him.

I appreciated that this movie exists in the aspects of working hard to follow dreams and having blind faith no matter what happens. The only aspect I am not a fan of (that may not be the most realistic everywhere), is that there’s a ton of preaching aspects that do not always fit into the conversation. Of course since this is a biographical movie, I don’t know if this always happened in real life, but there were moments there were too much.

Overall, this movie was very profound and I am very glad that I was able to watch this movie to learn about this point in Razorback history. Because of this, I have to give this movie a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Suicide Squad

I’ll be honest I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I think it was because when this movie come out, Harley intrigued me quite a bit. Now that I finished this, I am now curious about everyone else (except Enchantress she was annoying).

I can also see why other people don’t want to watch this or were disappointed by this because plot wise it stunk character wise it was very cool and interesting. Because of these points I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣.

Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn

Continuing on the DC train, I watched this movie. I mean I loved Harley before these movies came out, but I think this went the wrong direction than what I would’ve done (of course I’m no film expert but you know). But overall, it was pretty mindless yet intriguing at the same time. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Christmas Chronicles 2

Well my family has decided to start out the holiday season with this sequel. Last year we watched the first one and had a lot of fun with it. This one was along the same lines as the first one in plot and life lessons. The only things that were different were more history with the world itself and more North Pole characters and it was a nice change of pace yet it was predictable.

Overall, it was very cute and sweet and fantastic for the start of the Christmas season. Because of these points, I have to give this movie a 3-3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣.

Manga

Series Starters

My Girlfriend’s a Geek

Hmmmmmmmmmmm guys this art style is so adorable the premise was interesting. However, the leading girl halfway through this manga was so rough and so mean to the leading guy and doesn’t explain anything about what she likes about Boy’s Love and Yaoi. Luckily, there was a glossary in this manga for any of those terms that the reader may not know (but that doesn’t help the leading guy). Anyhow, everything else was fine except for that. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Whisper Me a Love Song

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Kodansha Comics for the opportunity to read and review this manga!!

This manga ooooooh!!! 🥰😍 I’ll be honest this was my very first Yuri/Girl’s love manga and I am so glad it was.

First off, the artstyle is gorgeous especially the leading ladies. Second off, I would say that this is a combination of feels between Given and K-On so if you liked those, I would definitely recommend this.

Lastly, this relationship also is very soft and interesting although I am sure there are moments of deception, (which is something that I am not a fan of) I am interested to see how volume two resolves that. Overall though, I am truly excited about this series and expanding my horizons in Yuri/Girl’s Love. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Love in Focus

This manga was one that got hyped up as soon as it came out and then it died down but its so cute!

This is about a girl who comes to a new school who becomes a part of the photography club because of her childhood friend and a new boy that is very intriguing.

I would definitely recommend this to people who love love triangles plus photography because there are some minor photography 101 lessons in this.

Overall, this is a really adorable manga for Teen/YA readers and I would absolutely recommend this first volume. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Knight of the Ice

This week there was a teaser trailer about the Yuri on Ice movie so I decided to read this to get in the mood and it definitely fulfilled that mood for me.

I think the characters were very interesting and cute (except for the one coach I hate her so much). It was nice to get the friends to romantic interest aspect, but it was also cool to get the male skaters’ aspect/perspective as well. I wish though, that there was more to this volume in the sense of the background information/more competitions but that could just be because it was the first volume. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Anime

Himouto Umaru-chan

So…….. haha I inhaled this anime series this week. I think I just needed something that I didn’t have to think about, some goofy antics, and sometimes some real thoughts 😅. Along the same lines of Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey, I wanted to see what the fuss was about. The only difference is that I tried watching the first episode of this awhile ago, and I hated the whining and laziness of Umaru…

However, since now I knew what I was getting into after watching the first episode, I had a lot of fun. I know there’s a season 2 but ill wait on it for now. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi. 🍣🍣🍣.

Graphic Novel

Thirsty Mermaids

Thank you so much to Gallery Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this graphic novel

Hmmmm???? Yeah this graphic novel could mean a bunch of different things but I will tell you this right now, not for children or teens, this is an adult graphic novel/comic book about this group of mermaids who wanted to drink booze on land so they changed into humans and caused trouble everywhere. Haha! Sounds like fun right??

First, I live for all the different kinds of people who are represented in this graphic novel. It was amazing seeing that. Second, there were a lot of fun and hilarious moments that I could definitely understand as a young adult. So with those aspects I had a lot of fun.

On the other hand, I was lost in the plot especially when it came to the timing of events. This could have been because this was a pdf graphic novel and not a physical copy but sometimes the panels were confusing but also the jumping back and forth between events. Because of these points, I have to give this graphic novel a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣. I am excited to see how this volume is going turn out physically and love it. This comes out on April 2021 so pick it up when it does!!

Novel

Adorkable

Shoutout to Amanda from Acourtofbooksandlove for Buddy Reading this with me. Bookmark from bibliophileprints.com use Sushi15 for a discount on your order

Hmmmmmmmm this has taken me a while to finish, I think about three or weeks (which if you know me, that’s not the usual speed with something like this usually its inhale done. I tried the audiobook first (annoying as all get out) it probably didn’t help that the beginning of this is also annoying as well. I think its because this kind of book that was presented here was one where it was Disney Channel movie like in all the wrong ways…. overbearing friends and town, random matchmaking, and fake dating because of overbearingness etc. Like my friend told me in this buddyread: “It’s the fun trashy YA read that can help people get out of a slump.” Which she isn’t wrong… but it took me awhile to get into the story.

Once I did though, I felt that the author was just putting things in left and right just to keep the story going(including too many pop culture references yes we get it they’re fun but you could have cut a couple of them except the ones with other characters like the Tombstone one and the Gandalf ones those can stay lol 🤣.) I am sure this happens a lot in teen romance however, I was getting annoyed.

To be honest, the second half saved this for me. If it wasn’t there, I may have given up. Or if it wasn’t in there, expand the first part a bit more and make it more believable. (I know I know ok moving on). I also think if it had more perspectives (we got a bonus chapter of a separate perspective which was nice in the paper copy) However I wanted more from it.

I would definitely recommend this to someone who wants to read something fluffy and fun but doesn’t mind pop culture references and sports quotes. I think also its great for teens of this era in the fact that only kissing is involved here and that its not too complicated. Because of these points plus my overall entertainment, I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

Well with things transitioning from the Thanksgiving Holiday plus Christmas season coming up, I am not quite sure how my reading and watching is going to go. I know I have a buddyread I want to get to, an audiobook I also want to get to, plus random manga ill pick up. But! I’ll let you know now the family is starting to watch Christmas movies so I’ll be listing those out. What about you guys? What did you read or watch this week? Do you read or watch more during the holiday breaks like me? Let’s talk about it!

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Weekly Check-in 11/21/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? Today’s Weekly Check-in was mostly an otaku week.

I read two volumes of manga, watched an anime movie, listened to one podcast episode, and watched two movies with the family. Onto the media!

Manga

Standalone

Cafe Latte Rhapsody

This was a manga recommendation i recieved from one of my fave YouTubers and I liked it but I can definitely see why people don’t.

The artstyle isn’t for everyone for sure but for this couple its very endearing. The characters are also likeable but also unlikable at the same time.

There’s also some smut in this (id say definitely more than I hear the sunspot if you’ve read that) but it’s not so much that its overwhelming so if you don’t want too much smut at once I would definitely recommend this.

Overall, though there are moments that I was not a fan of, I really enjoyed this standalone Yaoi or BL romance. It’s very soft and not too intense which I appreciated. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Series Starters

Practice makes Perfect

Now as you guys know me and sports are pals but not best friends, but this volume of manga ooooo *chef’s kiss* it gave me The ice in our hearts vibes except cuter and more emotion involved. This is also for adult readers so don’t read it if you aren’t. I would definitely recommend it for someone who is looking for a series with two older people, some sports sprinkled in, and attentive love. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Movie

The Congressman

Meh… If that is all I wanted to say I could have just left it at that. There were moments in this that felt unnecessary, creepy, and just plain sad. It is probably because of the characters and one of the actors (Treat Williams cough) made it worse. I also thought it felt like a Disney Channel Original Movie in its plot at times but also in its profound speeches at the end especially with the pledge of allegiance. Overall though, it was an okay movie but I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone. 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣.

61*

This is a movie that my family and I watched this week talking about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s 1961 baseball season. This movie was fun but also interesting especially since I did not know much about this part of baseball history. One thing I will have to tell you guys in advance though, is that there’s a lot of offensive language towards women and cruel language towards some of the players. That’s just how history was in that time and how rude fans of baseball can be. Overall though, I am glad I watched this movie and if you’re interested in this movie check it out 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Podcast

The Yaoi Shelf

I wanted to highlight this podcast today because part of the reason why I have started reading/watching Boy’s Love/Yaoi because of this podcast. This particular episode I listened to this week discussed Fan Works and Doujins. I enjoyed this episode truly because it discussed the beginning of my anime/fandom career with Quizilla and AMVs. I used to love reading and watching them (I also still like watching AMVs to sometimes help me find new series or reliving some of my favorites.) Anyway, I would definitely recommend this podcast if you’re looking at Boys Love and Yaoi and don’t know anything about it but also a discussion to knowledge you already know. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi.

Anime Movie

Fate Stay Night Heaven’s Feel part III

In 2018, my boyfriend started me out in this overall Fate franchise. Then one of my former coworkers actually took me to see this movie this week so shoutout to both of them for giving me the opportunity to watch this movie this week.

The highlight of this week had to be this anime movie. We have waited a year for this anime movie, and as far as the animation goes with the action scenes and the score, it was absolutely worth it. The other aspect I enjoyed about it was that it gave a few characters some redemption arcs that have not happened in the other paths which was fantasic. However, the plot blergh, although enticing and gave a lot of history into the beginnings of the Holy War, was very unsatisfying in the end. Like someone got Kikyoed! (Inuyasha reference for my non anime readers also my coworker and I got a kick out of making that reference) But overall, my coworker and I loved this movie better than the second one but the first one is the best in this particular path/franchise in our personal opinion. Because of these points, I have to give this anime movie a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣. I am definitely going to continue watching through some more Fate franchises in the future.

The Week Ahead

This coming up week is Thanksgiving week in the USA. So I anticipate that I am going to be catching up on some things that I have been meaning to read and watch plus some new things. What about you? Did you read and watch anything fun this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Collaboration with Midwest Kimchi: Korean Culture Facts to be Aware Of

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I wanted to create a post discussing some Korean facts that may not be on everyone’s radar. With this though, I needed some assistance so I asked Midwest Kimchi to help!

Bio for Midwest Kimchi

Over at Midwest Kimchi, we love to talk about Korean culture. We are 4 ladies who live in the midwest but have lived or traveled in South Korea. While we all love to read and occasionally add book reviews, I (Jenny) add the majority to the “books” tab. When Shine by Jessica Jung came out, I knew it was going to be a great fit for our theme. 

Inspiration

Shine by Jessica Jung

The inspiration for this post is this book Shine by Jessica Jung with Midwest Kimchi and upon reading this, I felt that I knew nothing about a lot of the South Korean nuances and cultural terms. There also is no glossary so there were moments where I was not sure what was going on. So because of these, I decided to ask Midwest Kimchi about these terms and if you have read this book and were just as lost as I was, I hope this blog post helps! I am going to be breaking this down by kind of term (family, food etc.) so you can just pick and choose what you want to find out about! Let’s get started!

Food

One of the aspects of Shine that I noticed was that there was a lot of food that I was not able to visualize in my head because there was not a lot of description of them in the book. 

Here are a few that were mentioned throughout Shine:

kimbap, dak-galbi, tteokboki, pojangmacha

Midwest Kimchi what are these??

Midwest Kimchi: When friends ask what I miss most about living in South Korea, I earnestly say that I miss my friends the most. Secondly is the food! Korean food in Seoul is inexpensive, healthy and delicious. In the morning, I stopped at my neighborhood cafe for 2 chamchi kimbap rolls for a total of $5. Order these same rolls at a Korean restaurant in the United States, and it will cost $20-30. A kimbap roll is like sushi- only it doesn’t have raw fish. Chamchi is tuna, so I was ordering a roll with tuna, pickled radish, perilla (sesame) leaves, shredded carrots, rice, and seaweed. Dak-galbi is a spicy chicken stir-fry, and tteokboki is spicy rice cakes. When Rachel and Jason were talking about this food, it was like an American talking about cheeseburgers and milkshakes. They expected everyone else to know those foods because they’re so common. 
A pojangmacha isn’t a word I heard often, but you will see them all over South Korea. Just like Americans love their food trucks, Koreans love their tent restaurants. Imagine the kind of tent that you might rent for a wedding reception. These tents restaurants don’t usually move, but I guess they pay less for the land that they sit on. (If you’ve watched Mystic Pop-Up Bar, you know exactly what a tent restaurant is.) Koreans also love their street vendors. Below is a street vendor in a suburb of Seoul selling a variety of things, roasted chestnuts, boiled fishcakes, and dried squid. Yes, Americans like their jerky, and Koreans like their dried squid.

Whoa that sounds amazing!

Family

Halmoni, Umma, Uni, etc.

Another aspect of this story that I was unsure of in Shine was who was being addressed at certain points of time. There were some people that were addressed that had similar family names like Halmoni(grandmother?) versus Eunji (character first name).

So Midwest Kimchi how does this work? 

Midwest Kimchi: In Korea (and many Asian countries) it’s disrespectful to call someone by their name, especially if they are older than you. For example, Korean students call their teacher seonsaengnim meaning teacher.  My students always wanted to call me “teacher” instead of “Ms. Considine” or “Ms. Jenny”. Before this was explained to me, I thought they were being rude (as they frequently called out “teacher” when I walked down the hall). And, there is a lot of confusion in watching translated Kdramas. Folks wonder why their favorite character is getting called Uni when they know her name is Ko Moon-Young (It’s Okay to Not Be Okay). When I read about Rachel’s Halmoni, Umma, Uni, etc. I knew those were going to be terms that most K-culture uninitiated would not understand. Halmoni means grandma, Umma is a more familiar term for mother, and Uni is older sister. Sushirainbow is younger than me, so in Korea she would call me Uni (never Jenny). So even though she is not my sister, that’s what she would call me out of respect.

Below is a picture of my mom and I eating dinner in Seoul. I can call my mom Umma (which is familiar), and Sushiraibow could call my mom Ummani(m) a more honorific pronoun; she would never call her Laurie or Mrs. Considine like we would do in the United States. If you want to know more about Korean honorific pronouns, you should read this Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_honorifics#Honorific_nouns

Sounds complicated but I can definitely get behind it.

Academics

Seeing Shine’s training school on top of an regular academic school were very confusing to me. Midwest Kimchi can you “shine” some light on the academics that were occurring in Shine? (Yes I made a funny :P)

Midwest Kimchi: It’s hard to know where to start with academics, and I was a teacher there! Ha! In South Korea, most students attend public school 8 A.M. to 4 P.M., but then many parents send their children to private schools (hagwons) for hours at the end of the day. For 2 years, I worked in a public school, and then I spent 2 years working in a hagwon. (In my picture below, you can see my class in a hagwon is very small and individualized as compared to a public classroom where there are nearly 50 students in a classroom.) Students compete to get into a good middle school, which can lead to a good high school, and then a good college. Most high school students spend their entire freetime in these hagwons (sometimes until 1 or 2 A.M.) so that they can pass their high school graduation test. For Rachel to spend her free time as a K-pop trainee (instead of studying in a hagwon), she was essentially giving up on the fact that she would go to college. Since Rachel was Korean American, she probably could go to an American university, but I wondered about the other trainees. If you don’t debut, it would be hard to getting into college after spending all of your time singing and dancing.

Good point!

Privacy/or lack thereof: (Private movie theaters etc.)

So in Shine, there are a ton of times that the characters tend to meet up in private like in a karaoke room, a private movie theater, etc. that are not necessarily something that occurs in the USA very often (unless you are very famous or rich). So Midwest Kimchi, how is this possible in Korea or other Asian countries?

Midwest Kimchi: In the picture below there are signs for a Noraebong (the karaoke room that Rachel meets her mentor) and a PC Bong, a place where you can go and play on high-speed computers (like a really nice computer lab). Korea also has something called a Multibong. In the Multibong, it’s set up like a really nice living room where you can watch new released movies and play video games. Rachel and Jason go to a Multibong to watch Say Anything. Bong means room. Most of these places are inexpensive and open 24 hours. I lived near a PC Bong, and I often went there to print out homework. The use of a computer (for hours), a printer, and snacks never cost me more than $15. Unlike the computer lab atmosphere of a PC bong, a noraebong and a mulitbong have individual rooms that you rent out; they’re private (public won’t come in). I have seen pictures of exclusive and expensive rooms, but usually I went to the normal/average rooms that cost $10/hour or less. 

Wow! If only that worked here in the USA!

Japan: 

 The last part of Shine I want to talk about is that some of our characters go to visit Tokyo like its nothing to go there (perhaps like Disney World I am not sure).  As my username Sushirainbow applies, I have some knowledge of Japanese culture and what the anime and manga shows me, but Harajuku was a tad difficult for me to visualize especially when it comes to fashion.

Midwest Kimchi do you mind talking about your knowledge about Harajuku?

Midwest Kimchi: Sure! Harajuku is a station (and area) in Tokyo, Japan. Rachel, Leah, and Jason visit there to eat a bunch of rainbow and unicorn inspired food. I spent one day (a Saturday) at Harajuku. People go there in their most elaborate outfits. And, the fashion is always changing. When I went there in 2008, the big hats were popular. People usually want their picture taken because it means they have a cool outfit. Even so, I still asked for permission when I saw this group. Do you notice that they have LIVE goldfish swimming in their earrings? Like any popular restaurant, you’re going to want reservations for the elaborate, Instagram-worthy locations. 

It sounds so amazing to see!

Conclusion

Overall, when I found out there was a book coming out that involved K-pop by a legit Korean pop star, I was excited and thrilled that it was coming out because I wanted to see what training for being a K-pop star was like in Korea firsthand. However, when reading Shine with Midwest Kimchi recently, I had a ton of questions about what the author was trying to convey to the reader about Korean as well as Japanese culture that were presented in this book. I have to say though, I learned a lot from Midwest Kimchi what I was missing and am looking forward to reading more books like this in the future. What about you guys? Was this blog post helpful to you if you have read Shine? Do you like blog posts like this one? Let’s talk about it in the comments. Check out Midwest Kimchi’s post on Shine also which is an in-depth review discussion post on both of our thoughts on the book. 


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Weekly Check-in 11/14/2020

Hey guys how’s it going?? This week was a lot about utilizing my tablet this week.

Even though I have attempted watching this anime this mood is so me sometimes

Anyhow I read three volumes of manga, rewatched an anime, watched one movie with the family plus read one romance novel that I have needed to review forever ago. Let’s get started on the media!

Movie

Man of the Year

This is a movie I had never heard from Robin Williams and if you’re still feeling the election feels check this out.

With the election season coming to a close, my family and I decided to watch this movie from Robin Williams. It reminded us of the movie Dave (spoken about a couple weeks ago check it out if you want) but of course with Robin Williams and more verbal comedy than slapstick. Robin Williams is definitely one of my fave actors and did not have a disappointmenting performance (and neither did the other main actors like Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Walken, and Laura Linney to name a few). There are some horror/spooky elements in this movie though so keep that in mind when you watch it. Overall, I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it for this time of year. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi. 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Anime Rewatch

Say I love you

I finished up my rewatch of this series this week and ughhhh my only issue with this is that I needed more from the story it felt like it cut off from the best part. Which means that I of course got the manga. Overall I love this and its one of my favorite high school romances of all time. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Manga

Series Starter

Until the Full Moon

*sound of nails going across a chalkboard* oh dear this was not the best manga series I have ever started but it was truly one of the worst. It shows incest and gives trans gender representation a bad light to me. I liked that it was paranormal and humorous like chibi vampire but otherwise blergh couldn’t stand it. Plus the last chapter felt disconnected and confusing. Because of these points, I have to give this a 2 of 5 stars or 2 sushi 🍣 🍣.

The Maid at My House

I’ll be honest, when I first saw this manga, I thought this was so adorable looking and I needed to try this out, after that I read a chapter sample and was like yes I need the rest of this volume. Finally! I was able to read this this week. I loved this in the sense of the writing and art style, but there are some verbal abuse aspects involved plus if you don’t like reading about famous people you will not like this. Overall, I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and I would absolutely recommend this to people who love fluffy and deep shoujo manga. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Series Continuation

Perfect World

Like last week this manga series is one that fits close to my heart and im truly glad I continued this week

This series like stated last week is close to my heart. I liked this particular volume though because it shows a completely different perspective from some side characters than what we have had recently. The person who truly truly wants to help the love of their life versus the one who doesn’t want the help because of the burden it causes. In that particular instance, I was intrigued that it was presented in this volume. When it comes to the main romance itself, I want things to be resolved when they can, but I am glad that there is no rush. The self-discovery is still there (even though dummies keep getting in the way but I digress). Overall, I am glad to be reading more of this series this week. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

The Beat Match

I got this ARC from the Author’s ARC team I apologize for the belated review 😦

I finally got to this romance story the next book in the Showmen series. I loved the previous book Don’t go stealing my heart very much. This one though, took a bit more time to get into for me personally. I think because it mentions gun violence and grief and it was unexpected for me. I think also for a moment in the story, it felt like I knew what exactly what was going to happen, (thankfully it twisted itself before I predicted all of it so that was a win). Once I got over that though, I was able to inhale the story and enjoy the rest of the book. I would love to continue the series! Check it out if you like romances with deep subjects such as these. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This week was a lot involved with the tablet which was good because it had gotten to the point where I haven’t used it in like four months as far as reading. Next week, I hope to read more on the tablet plus a few more physical reads. Also I know im going to a special event next week that I hope to review for you guys. What about you guys? What did you read or watched this week? Do you like any of these let’s talk in the comments!

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Books to Read Based on Your Winter Drink Order: PrincessReadsalot Presents!

Winters in Minnesota start with dark afternoons and freezing cold temperatures and then lead us into feet of snow dropping. Black Friday is usually freezing cold and occasionally dangerous for the folks waiting outside. And, that cute New Year’s Eve outfit usually needs a few extra layers before we head out to celebrate! So, tuck yourselves into your flannel blankets, pick up a steaming or caffeinated drink, and settle in with a sweet story. These books are sure to warm your heart! 

If you’re looking for a holiday or winter gift, this is a great place to start. The *starred* books are 2020 releases. Along with Vanessa (@nessas.lair), I made (and drank!) these fun beverages; if you want to know how to make them, check out Vanessa’s blog:https://nessaslair.com/home/recreating-winter-drinks Let’s get started on the recommendations!

My True Love Gave to Me: 12 Holiday Stories

Pairing with: Toffee Nut Latte

In “Midnights” by Rainbow Rowell, one of the 12 stories, Mags has to protect Noel from eating nuts, but what happens when their first happens after she’s eaten Chex mix? By the way, Toffee Nut Syrup tastes of toffee, but does not contain peanuts or tree nuts. I recommend ordering a drink and reading this sweet novel before New Year’s Eve. 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Pairing with Spicy (Cinnamon) Mocha

Are you looking for an interesting twist on a classic? In The Afterlife of Holly Chase, Holly is visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t, and then she died. Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past. If you didn’t know, my favorite novel of all time is A Christmas Carol, and this adaptation totally does it justice. Try a little spice to your classic mocha and give this book a chance. I loved it!

Pairing: Snow in Love: 4 Stories

and a Snowball Frappuccino

In this sweet book, Kasie West’s story of a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed. Amie Friedman’s tale of a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love. Melissa De La Cruz’s Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents. And, Nic Stone’s scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic. When you’re the snow leaves you stuck inside, this book with its great lineup of authors will keep you company! 

Pairing: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

and Blood Orange Italian Soda

Right before winter break, Griffin tells Sophie that he needs some space. Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. The plot is sweet, the family is adorable, and the food sounds amazing! Grab yourself an Italian soda, and you can pretend you’ve been adopted by these fantastic people.

Pairing:  New Year’s Kiss by Lee Matthews

and a Cocoa Mock-Tini 

Imagine the setting of Dirty Dancing only in the winter: family dinners, holiday activities, a little drama, and, of course, dancing! Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont. When shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone? Toast the New Year with a Cocoa Mock-Tini and this charming book. 

Pairing: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

and the The Duo Cocoa Mocha

Every character has a “darker side” and a secret, but which one is the killer? Agatha Christie is known for her twisty-turny mysteries that throw you through a loop, and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is no different. While the book is set on Christmas Eve and Day, most of the focus is on a very bloody murder. If holiday spirit is not your type, then this book is for you. Add some dark (chocolate) to your coffee and dive into this thriller! 

Pairing: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

and Cranberry Apple-Cider Punch

What do you feed kids after a church pageant? Punch! I grew up reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever in elementary school, and middle school teachers frequently pull out this book in December for homeroom reading. Cranberry Apple-Cider Pinch is a sweet combination to take you through this adorable and charming story

Pairing: *All I Want for Christmas* by Wendy Loggia

and Toasted-Marshmallow Latte

Bailey Briggs lives for holiday music, baking cookies, going on snowy sleigh rides,and wearing her light-up reindeer ears to work at Winslow’s bookstore. When Jacob Marley- athlete, player, and of questionable taste in girlfriends- walks in asking for gifting advice Bailey questions if he’s the one she will kiss this year under the mistletoe. Bailey’s favorite drink is the toasted marshmallow latte at a nearby cafe. After making this drink, we agree that it’s a good one! 

Pairing: *Recommended for You* by Laura Silverman

and a Peppermint Mocha 

Recommended for You is one of my favorite releases of 2020. If you’re looking for a holiday present for a teen, this is the book to get! Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape. When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan. Somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute , and he may be an eligible Jewish single, but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down. When work needs to get done, Shoshanna’s sweet friends bring her a peppermint mocha. If you can’t make it out in the weather or due to the pandemic Nessa has a perfect make-at-home recipe for you!

Pairing: *The Ice in Our Hearts* by BC Powell

and a Decaf Non-Fat Mocha

As much as we love the holiday season, there’s months of winter after New Year’s Eve (well at least in Minnesota there is.) This last book is set at the Winter Olympics, and we recommend reading when you’re crashing hard from the sugar and holiday buzz! Bryce is a snowboarding sensation but keeps his Type 1 diabetes a secret. Daria is a rising star in figure skating, a withdrawn teen from Russia with a tragic past. Primed to overthrow archrivals who dominate their sports, they’re both headed to the Winter Olympics. When two teens from halfway around the world meet, they discover an unlikely but undeniable connection. As they gear up for their final shots at medals, they help each other realize the greatest barrier to the top of the podium might be hiding inside their minds. Detox from the sugar and caffeine and order Daria’s Decaf Non-Fat Mocha.

Conclusion

There are so many different settings and holidays in these recommendations. With 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston being set in Louisiana, and the warm weather with hardly any snow makes me a little jealous. Recommended for You by Laura Silverman, in Georgia, it’s 30 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas day, and they call it freezing. Ha! Cute. No one is getting stuck in the snow or concerned about the temperature and how long they spent outside, like Minnesotans. However, whether you’re from Mexico or Canada, I think we have a great book for you as well as drink pairing! What are you going to read this winter? Are you going to drink something warm and cozy or iced and cold? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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Weekly Check-in 11/07/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This week somehow some way, I was able to read, listen and watch a lot.

I think its probably because of the week I generally had, I needed some mindless entertainment (although some of these were dark just a warning).

I read two novels this week, two volumes of manga, five movies(yes five), and one podcast. Onto the media!

Novels

Shine

Hmmm this is a book that I will be discussing in more detail with Midwest Kimchi (check them out if you want). But my overall thoughts on this is as follows:

There were times when I felt lost with this story just with there are so many tiny conflicts on top of somewhat a romance plot. I mean yes I understand the point is that the main character is trying her best to become a K-pop star and the ins and outs of that. However, there were moments where I was unsure what the point of everything was. I also wanted something a glossary or translation or some explanation on some of the Korean cultural aspects since although I am a K-pop fan, I do not know everything about South Korea. Because of these points and most likely more in the collaboration post with Midwest Kimchi, I have to give this novel a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣. If you are looking for a K-pop star novel that has a lot of knowledge of Seoul check this out.

Impossible Music

This is the unfortunate instance about buying an Advanced readers copy on accident but this cover oooof profound

“When the song is over…what remains?” This book was one that I’ve only heard about in passing, but I am truly glad that I gave it a shot.

First before I continue on with the review there are some suicidal triggers, self harm, and a graphic car accident description that may make some readers uncomfortable. Also this author is not ownvoices in the Australian Deaf representation however, it is clear he did do his research so keep that in mind when you go into this book.

Back to the content itself, I have to say this was pretty refreshing especially since it talks about someone becoming deaf essentially overnight plus trying to figure out how to navigate it for the rest of their life plus their adult future. This kept me on the edge of my seat, I loved the discussions that were presented,etc.

However! I hated the way time worked through half of the story. Although it was labeled, I still got lost. So keep that in mind if that writing style bothers you. Overall though, I loved what the book brought to the table that the combination of music and Australian Deaf community was represented here. 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Manga

Series Starter

Cutie and the Beast

I was recommended this all over the manga romance community and I am truly glad i got a chance to read it.

This manga is one I have seen around that I was worried about getting into but I was pleasantly surprised. The art style in here is definitely one of my favorites now especially with their hilarious expressions and Momoka’s luscious hair. I am glad though at least on the relationship side of things, the age gap aspect of this relationship is discussed and explained thoroughly. In addition, I am truly glad this is going to be a slowburn romance plus a strong but loveable guy because that ticks my personal boxes. Overall, I would recommend this for manga readers like me, who may not care about age gaps and big strong men but know that there are some wrestling scenes as well so if that doesn’t interest you don’t read this. 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Series Continuation

Perfect World

This manga series is one I feel very strongly about so I take it one volume at a time.

This series is one that reminds me of a soap opera in the best way. There’s also a lot of moral lessons that are presented especially in this volume. I feel that it was also about self- discovery along with the romances. Overall, I have enjoyed this series so far and I am excited to continue on. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Movies

Star Trek Beyond

This is a random movie that was on television this week that my dad and I watched. First, we were unsure what this movie was (sequel or otherwise). Essentially though, it was just like an isolated Star Trek episode (for two hours instead of one) so if you like those kind of movies/shows check this out. 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Radioactive

This movie is one that I was looking forward to especially since I was curious about more detail about Marie Curie’s biography. However, this is not just the Marie Curie biography, this is also how radium was born and utilized both negatively and positively. Which is good but also bad at the same time. The instances of the radium parallels were added in it felt like too random. Once put together at the end, it makes more sense but I still felt the randomness. There are also some spooky moments, so you may like it during the spooky season but overall it was a fantastic biopic. 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Judy

This week was mostly the biopic movie week since we also watched Judy. Did you know this movie was based on a musical? I certainly didn’t. I liked this one better than Radioactive because it took the last parts of her life and talks about how she feels plus the negative aspects of becoming a child actress. It made more sense in my opinion, plus Renee Zellweger’s performance truly feels like she did her research. Because of these points, I have to give this movie a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Maleficent and Maleficent:Mistress of Evil

This is a movie that I wasn’t interested in at first but when the hype came to be, I was intrigued.
I enjoyed the first one so much that I watched the second one in one day.

These movies were ones I have had on my list and with the spooky season coming to a close, I thought it was the perfect time.

First, they gave me Wicked by Gregory Macguire vibes (and whenever we get that movie please soon!) I hope its like these movies. The world that was created was amazing! The cinematography was awesome as well. I think though my only issue with these movies was that some of the smaller roles fell flat and that the villains that were used felt the exact same as each other and I need more variety. Because of these points, I have to give both of these movies a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Podcast

Dub Talk

This week I caught up with a few episodes from the Dub Talk Podcast, I listened to a couple of episodes of anime that I have not heard of before (but after listening to the episodes I want to watch now), but also an episode about Tada Never Falls in Love (Which I posted about in this weekly check in if you are interested in my thoughts.) and I love this podcast because they are funny, well informative, and a variety of anime fans so that there is someone’s point of view always appearing to the masses. 5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

The week ahead will probably be similar to this one except maybe less movies lol 😆 (not that I don’t like them!) But I want to try and use my car time and break times to my fullest. What about you guys? What did you read, listen, or watch this week? Let’s talk about this!

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Weekly Check-in 10/31/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This week, I watched quite a bit and read a little. I think its because I am having difficulty sitting down and reading things especially with work. However what I watched was really fascinating and fun. In addition, what I did read was a new reading experience on one of my favorite books of all time. I watched a couple of anime, a TV show, a couple of movies, and listened to an audiobook. Onto the media!

Movie

Dave

My family and I watched this movie this week because of the election season plus its my mom’s favorite presidential movie of all time. I can definitely see why she loves it so much. There’s a mystery/conspiracy aspect, there’s a romantic aspect, but also the political aspects of an ordinary guy trying to become the best president in the USA. I think my only issue with it is that sometimes I got confused and some things finished too quickly. Overall though, I would recommend this as well for the election season and if you are interested in it, you should definitely check it out. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Hocus Pocus

I will be honest, when I first heard of this movie, I was little and still renting movies from Blockbuster. We rented this and I was frightened of the witches. Never even finished this. But, my sister and I decided to go watch this movie at a social distanced movie theater with some of her friends and it was a lot better for me emotionally. I could understand the adult jokes, one of my sister’s friends laughed at all the parts that were supposed to be laughable that weren’t adult so I was able to relax, plus the story made more sense now that I saw it from start to finish without being afraid. However, there were some plot points that didn’t make sense and some ideas that were just there to move things along. Overall though, I can definitely see why this is a Halloween classic and for me anyway, its a lot more fun watching it with a group of people. Also 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Anime

New Series

Gravitation

This week, I started Gravitation. This series is one I’ve heard a lot about especially from AichiYume on YouTube/Amanda.Actually on WordPress. Because of this, I had some expectations but at the same time I was pleasantly surprised.

First, like Amanda has said, the English dub isn’t the best. Its stiff and disjointed at the best of times… But to the story itself, it is very intriguing and surprising how the relationship came to fruition and how it is being maintained. Plus the music is very nice and deep so far. I am curious how this is going to continue but I would like to watch this a little at a time to see how it goes. Thank you for the recommendation Amanda!

Rewatch

Say I love you

To change up from Gravitation, I started to rewatch Say I love you. Its not as “fluffy” as some other high school romance series (in the best way). It presents friendship moral lessons on top of relationship ones with so many different kinds of realistic characters. I also love this dub especially the leads. They all fit together nicely. Highly recommend if you want a school themed romance anime to watch.

TV Show

New Tricks

This is another show I have watched pieces of years ago and then it stopped being shown on TV and now since its on streaming, my family and I are watching it again from the beginning. Its a crime show but it has British humor mixed with old humor so its a more fun crime show than most that I have seen. So if that interests you, check this out!

Reread/Audiobook

Just Listen

This week, because of the music romance recommendations post I wrote last week, I listened to Just Listen on Audio for the first time. I liked it, however, I would have loved if the music was added to the audio to enhance the experience. Anyway, I still love this book. It is a romance, however it truly just starts out as a deep friendship. Plus it presents some moral lessons that are deeply important for high school teens. Still my favorite Sarah Dessen to date. 5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This week I know I have a lot of media that I haven’t finished. I think that this year its just very difficult to finish things…. I wonder if you guys feel the same way. I think that’s my goal this week is to try and finish what I started. What about you guys? What did you read and watch this week? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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Weekly Check-In 10/24/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? Weekly Check-in time with the theme of revisiting.

Totally true.

Most of the media that I consumed this week I either have watched it before or the subject matter is something I know but its been a long time, new media but I semi know the plot, that kind of thing. Because of that, I watched one movie, two anime, and one TV show. I also read one manga volume and listened to one audiobook as well. Onto the media!

Movie Rewatch

Kate and Leopold

It has truly been awhile since I watched this movie. And I love it because it shows how much chivalry can fade over time and space. In addition, it can show that some people just fit in different time periods. Overall though, if you’re looking for a romantic beautiful transcending time romance this movie is wonderful. However, the ending is too ambigious. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

TV Show

West Wing

My family and I just finished the last season of West Wing this week. In a way I wish there was a spinoff but at the same time, I know with the history this is based off the ending took opposing views so its probably better it didn’t happen. I want to rewatch this in the sense I feel like I missed a lot plus I think I will learn even more about politics than I already do. Because of these points, I have to give this series a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣. Very informative and helpful with the current political climate.

Anime

Fruits Basket Season 2 Reboot

This is a series that was one of my first ones I ever watched back in the day. It has been amazing continuing the story with this reboot.

This week I continued watching what was available on Funimation of Fruits Basket Season 2 and I enjoyed it even got me emotional a little bit. I think now that I know a bit more about characters I never exactly knew back in the original anime, I am getting more invested/involved with the other characters. I hope that more comes out soon. It ended at a weird place to me. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Smile down the Runway

This anime! When I first saw that this was coming out, the glam shots and animation were so gorgeous and had to be watched as soon as possible. At first, I was speechless so much so I actually had to watch this a second time all the way to be able to have coherent thoughts because it is so good!! Its about four people trying to achieve their dreams and the struggles it takes to get there. You think at first that it is about one thing but its completely about something else. It also was very emotional for me both times because of the subject matter. If you’re not a fan of how modeling and designing work on top of parental illness, verbal abuse, hostile work environments do not watch this. But if it sounds interesting to you then please check it out. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Audiobook

Ready Player One

My Boyfriend and I watched the movie adaptation for this book first then he read the audiobook so he told me to read it.

Sigh, I have watched this movie a couple of times and it intrigued me (as well as my boyfriend) enough to check out the book. My boyfriend loves it. Me I love it too but at the same time I don’t and here’s why.

First, if you are not a pop culture of essentially everything 80s video game, anime, and overall entertainment there are some stuff you may not understand (I knew quite a bit but even that scratched the surface.) So if that doesn’t interest you along with virtual reality do not read or watch this.

Second, comparing the two items the movie and the book can pretty much stand on their own. The book dives into a lot more tangents and information as well as had a lot more detail which I appreciated when the movie took a lot of shortcuts that made things a bit shorter in time but didn’t make the most sense sometimes…..so I think as far as that’s concerned treat them as standalone items. But overall, I liked the book more in the world building aspect, but the movie was fun to see if I would even like the story (since gaming and some pop culture I know nothing about and kind of get bored on something). So keep that in mind when comparing the book and movie.

This book though did have some problems. Audiobook wise it was a good one to listen to except the narrator mispronounced a couple of words that irritated me to no end. In addition to that, there were a lot of moments that were insulting, pretentious, cruel, and overall disgusting. Of course that could have just been because I haven’t read in a teenage boy’s head in awhile or because of the time I’m not sure but I want everyone who wants to read this to keep those items in mind plus to let you know that the book does this a lot more than the movie does.

Overall though, this didn’t 180 change my perspective on the franchise as a whole, but I would have definitely changed certain aspects for sure. Solid 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Manga

My Pathetic Vampire Life

This was a blind buy that I completely don’t regret plus it’s rated all ages so I want to read the other volume.

So because of the Halloween season, I wanted to read about some vampires. This is about a vampire who goes to the same year of high school (in this volume for the 134th time) and feels like his life is very mundane. But this year seems very different for some reason. I think when it comes to vampire anime/manga series I love the ones that are more fun than serious more slice of life. This reminds me of the series Chibi Vampire in that aspect. However, it was a lot more fun in the fact that it was not an issue that there are vampires in this world a lot like Warm bodies (except with vampires and not zombies) and less conflict in this manga than the book. My only issue was that there was a lot of repetition involved which there were moments I wasn’t sure what chapter I was on. Overall though, I enjoyed my time with this volume. Because of these points, I have to give this manga volume a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This next week is the week of Halloween so I am sure there will be some spooky stories but I am definitely going to go for a lot of spookiness and fluff. What about you guys? What did you read and watch this week? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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“I want to find someone who makes me feel like music does.” Music Romance recommendations

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss one of my favorite types of stories. Music Romance! I have always enjoyed watched as well as read the aspect of being in a band and either a fan falling in love with a band member or two people falling in love with each other because of music. Ahhhh its awesome! Here are some recommendations that hit at my heartstrings(yes pun intended). To narrow down this list, I am doing three books, three anime/manga, and three movies. Hope this helps you pick out your next musical romance needs!

Movies

BANDSLAM

This is my favorite movie of all time!!

This movie is one that not a lot of people know about. It first presents this teenager who writes letters to David Bowie on the daily who doesn’t really have many friends and is bullied because of something that is discussed more thoroughly in the later half of the movie. All of a sudden, his mom says they are moving somewhere else and at his new high school he discovers a battle of the bands contest called Bandslam. Where the romance comes in allows it to be a bonus feature of this entire movie and you are not quite sure who the ending love interest is until the end of the movie. The music to me is also beautiful as well as unique so that’s the reason why I recommend it to people. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Yesterday

This is the newest music romance that I have watched on this list. This discusses the concept of “What if the Beatles were erased from existence and only one person knew about them before?” I know I know it sounds crazy and where does the romance come in? Its interesting. The one person that knew about the Beatles used their songs to get famous and the reliable manager that supported the person before they became famous. (I think you can figure out the rest…) It is one that I was surprised how much I enjoyed and how mundane the romance was (in the best way though). Check it out if you haven’t already.

Raise Your Voice

There are quite a few movies that fit this sort of music romance but I picked Raise Your Voice because 1: Hilary Duff 2: Musical conservatory, and 3: There’s intense drama on top of the romance with family not supporting the leading girl for wanting to become a professional singer plus the grief of losing a sibling who was like a best friend. So yes this one is more of a tearjerker than the other movies. However, it also explores music romance with a deeper meaning than the others I have listed. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Books

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

This is a book I have read several times and is quite different from the movies I have listed so far. This discusses a relationship that is built on developing unexpected tastes and not lying just listening to your heart. This discusses a former model who makes an unexpected friend at her high school who listens to all kinds of music from classic rock to water dripping and presents them on a radio show. There’s also some familial struggles that occur such as one having an eating disorder and another in deep depression along with some bullying so if those are something that you are not interested in reading do not read this. I love this book because it presents a bunch of life lessons and shows a more music listening connoisseur than a player himself. There’s more to it than that but I will try not to spoil the story. If this interests you, please check this out.

Dating an Alien Popstar

Modern day music connoisseur falling in love with an alien pop star….need I say more??? Ha! Truly if you love fun supernatural/light sci fi romance as well as music romance titles check this book series out!

Boy Band by Jacqueline E Smith

This Figure from Uta No Prince-sama which is a boy band anime that’s not on this list because there’s no set romance but if you love that anime check this book out!

This book series is a lot more surface dramatic than any other I have listed thus far. I think its because more about the relationship slowly building up but then a whole bunch of unnecessary drama gets in their way (like miscommunication, other characters getting in the way, etc….). But its really fun nonetheless. Anyhow, I would say if you are interested in teenage boyband romance drama check out this underrated series.

Manga/Anime

La Corda d’oro Primo Passo

This anime is one of beauty. This is an adaptation of an otome game (video games that allow you to choose your own adventure with romances most of the time) but you would not know about that going in. This is about a magical fairy who enchants a violin and a girl who had no musical talent finds it and enters a classical music contest with several cute boys. Yes that probably sounds very vague but the music and the show is dramatic as well as beautiful. Check it out.

Given

This anime is one that at least for me is dark and dramatic but also is refreshing in the sense that it has all of the feels of a young adult romance but it is with two similarly aged high school aged boys and not a boy and girl and the plot isn’t why are two boys not getting together because they are in fact two boys but the fact that one is trying to get over a previous relationship and the other is still trying to figure out his life as a professional guitar player in a band. I love this also because there are more relationships/romantic moments in this anime than expected and I enjoy all but one (if you know you know). If this interests you, check this out.

Full moon wo sagashite

I want to say when it comes to anime, this was my very first music romance. Looking back on it, it was an unexpected one. This talks about a girl who has sarcoma, a disorder that affects her breathing. She loves to sing though and wants to become a professional. She achieves this in some form or fashion by the help of two Shinigami (helpers of the afterlife in Japanese culture to put it lightly). The romance is one though I didn’t think would happen. Its one I definitely want to revisit. If this interests you, check it out.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as you can tell, Music Romance is one of those genres that can spread across mediums. There are some that are very dramatic like Just Listen and Raise Your Voice, and others that are very fun like Dating an Alien Pop Star and La Corda d’oro Primo Passo. Have you read or watched any of these? There are also so many out there that I haven’t read or watched so tell me in the comments your recommendations.

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Weekly Check-in 10/17/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This Weekly Check-in involves a lot of reading (in a good way of course). It also involved watching some shows that I have enjoyed recently. This week I read two audiobooks, I read one volume of manga, I watched a TV show Special and rewatched an anime I love and enjoy. Onto the media!

It was a great week of media!!!

TV Show Special

West Wing Reunion Episode

This is definitely a show I need to watch again recommended by my parents.

This week I watched the West Wing Reunion special with my parents. You don’t have to watch the entire show to get the context but some of it helps. Its definitely something right now that needs to be watched if you can. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Graphic Novel/Audiobook

Nimona

This book is in its own unique area because I read the audiobook of this graphic novel: I know that’s strange but it was only two hours with a full cast and sound effects etc. (Highly recommend if you do not own the graphic novel). To the content itself, its hilarious, fascinating, but also an overall fun romp of a story. One thing I have to say about it though is that they say damn quite a bit in this so I don’t recommend it for the really young kiddos but every one else I would highly highly recommend 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Novel/Audiobook

To Be Honest

Ooh this book has a lot both dark and light. Trigger warnings for verbal abuse, disordered eating, miscommunication out the wazoo. The audio book itself was a good one however the sister character was too butchsounding for my liking (too much like a man to distinguish when there’s another man in the room).

To the content itself, it was profound, had some adorable content, there were even some jazz band, college, and journalism items and family comparisons throughout the story too.

I think overall though, there was just too much all packed into this that could’ve been solved with a couple of well rounded conversations or could have gotten divided into two books. This is just me though and I enjoyed it regardless. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Manga

Series Continuation

So Cute it Hurts vol 3

Thank you to LitaKinoAnimeCorner for this manga recommendation

Ahhhhhh 🥰🥰😍😍😍 I love this series still. There were love confessions in this volume things are going very well with some twists. I think the leading guy with the eye patch is so adorable and the chibi artstyle is cute as well so I am eager to read another volume of this series especially since its very fluffy and fun yet dramatic all at the same time. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣. Check out this series if you haven’t already.

Anime Rewatch

Run with the Wind

Run with the Wind is a show that shows individual as well as group strength very well. Running can be a physical thing but also a metaphor for moving forward with everything you can. There’s so many layers involved with this anime as well both emotionally and physically. There are other animes that may do this just as well but if you’re looking for a college level male camraderie who are striving for one big event check this out 4.5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This week, I have a couple of challenges I was presented by some of my favorite people. So I may do that. I also think I may just do some random watching or reading that I love doing. However, we will see what happens. What about you guys? What did you read or watch this week? Lets talk about it!

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I just reread one of my favorite books for the first time in 18 years….. and I have thoughts..

Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian…….. When I was in middle school, I reread this book over and over on trips. There are quite a few reasons why I did which will be discussed but there are reasons why it had been awhile since I reread it. I appreciate anyone who reads this and if you’re interested in this book check it out if you’d like. My overall thoughts are this; this is an entertaining read but based on its age plus my added life experience, I do have issues with this book I would love to discuss. These are as follows, hope you enjoy please comment if you want to see more of these or if you want to join the discussion of this book.

Pros

This book helps with learning moral lessons about friendships and boys

When I first read this book, a girl going to live with several boys who wants to help others with how boys operate was important to me in the sense of I didn’t know how guys operate and how they live because of my home life. However, I can take into account that these lessons are not always absolute and not all guys act the way the McGowan boys are.

Beginnings of representation other than typical were presented in this novel

This book was one of the few that came out in the 2000s that I read that had a variety of people involved with appearance as well as disability representation. Even though it was not the best (stated why later), it still paved the way for future writers to be more bold with their writing and more publishers to sell better representation present day.

Cons

Main Character is a Fickle Protagonist

I know I know “Christina, this is how young adult contemporaries usually are, teenagers are fickle why didn’t you like Megan this time around?” I think because although she is a notorious goody-two-shoes army brat at the start showing off her girl next door attitude etc., the time she took attempting to get with one of the brothers and it biting her in the back, plus the girl hate drama that occurred at the high school because of the soccer team and the brothers yet again., and the way things turned ambigious at the end (which will be discussed later!) that she should have just got to know everyone platonically, she should have communicated with everyone better and the conflict should have had a more internal conflict than several mini external conflicts.

The Miscommunication and Lying Drama was in Full Force

Ahhhh! I had forgotten how much girl hate and high school drama plus miscommunication was in this book 😣. Yet I still ate it up!! I truly think its because I had forgotten there were so many kernels of it sprinkled into the story mostly between three of the characters; Megan, Evan McGowan, and Hailey Farmer; Evan’s Girlfriend and the best player on the high school’s soccer team. I really despised that storyline before and it increased after reading it now. I think its because I felt that one, Evan never redeemed himself at least not truly by the end of the story, and two, Hailey redeemed herself but I really wanted more building of friendship between her and Megan. The other miscommunications and lying that occurred in this novel particularly with the adults presented, were also irritating but again occur a lot with the genre of Young Adult Contemporary so its not the book’s fault in that aspect but more with the character of Megan as a whole pushing things down and taking them internally until she exploded which is not ok and she needed to communicate better earlier before the end of the book.

The Asperger’s/Autism Spectrum Disorder Rep needed to be better or at least different

One of the reasons that this is one of my most favorite/reread books is because it was the first time in my life that I saw a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder on the page of a story. This is in the form of Miller McGowan lover of the Yankees in the Boston Red Sox filled household and always insists on everything being rearranged in height order. People who know me know that this holds a special place in my heart with my sister and I being diagnosed. With this book being published in 2005, it was ahead of its time in the sense there were not characters with physical or mental health representation outside of the norms in young adult contemporaries. In addition, with the knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders changing a lot more by 2013, there’s a lot more that the author could do with the character who had this disorder than what she did if this was republished or published later. I also do keep in mind that there’s no one person with the same symptoms but I think the main character having too easy of a time being able to communicate with him after googling what to do is a tad inaccurate and difficult to fathom its realism unless his disorder is one of the most minor out there. If I was able to rewrite this to better interpret the representation, I would have added a bit more depth on how this affected Miller’s daily life outside of the home and school and more interactions with him and Megan’s friends particularly with Aimee. Again, since when it was written, there was not a lot of knowledge for the author to build from I cannot exactly fault her for lack of depth, but if it was put into more detail, more realistic, I would have enjoyed it a lot more than I did now.

The Ambiguity of the Ending

There’s a reason people created some fanfiction about this book. There’s no solid ending except for the leading lady getting along with all of the brothers one she’s in a slow relationship with (and one she’s seeing that he’s showing attraction of her ) and it ends there!!! 🙄 it’s like can’t we just have her be happy in the slow relationship (His name is Finn and he was always my favorite McGowan between him and Miller if I ever make an updated Book Boyfriend list he needs to be on it note to self). Anyway, if the author does that, can’t we have a follow-up or at least a proper epilogue!! Too ambiguous for my liking and I think I have always had that issue which is why I have reread it so much. Thankfully most of the Fanfiction has always gone my way with Finn marrying Megan but I have always wondered if there would have been a follow-up book what that had looked like. Oh well.

Conclusion

Overall, as an older young adult novel it was very entertaining while presenting some ideas and moral lessons that were in their infancy in writing young adult fiction in the 2000s. This also was a fantastic book for me personally to get out of my reading slump. Because of these points, I have to give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣. Have you guys read this book before? If not, what book do you reread that is around this publishing period that sticks with you? Lets talk about it!

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Weekly Check in 10/10/2020

Hey guy’s how’s it going? Weekly Check-in time that has gone all over the place. My friends and I (Sydneys_shelves and Acourtofbooksandlove on Instagram). challenged ourselves to go through our Manga To Be Read and I have read four volumes this week three were series starters and one was a continuation.

I also finished one anime that I was rewatching and listened to one audio book (which I hope to do more of we shall see). Overall though it was a fun week. Onto the media!

Manga

Series Starters

Negima!

This was a Giveaway manga I recieved from the YouTuber Lohali

Blergh!!!! My apologies you guys but I thoroughly disliked this. I think its because there were way too much ecchi and “convenient nudity”. This is the same creator as love hina so there’s also a harem trope in it which is fine but I just -.- was getting very annoyed by the entire 1st volume. There was 5 volumes of this in this giveaway but I just don’t think I can continue. However, if those things don’t bother you plus you enjoy magic check this out 2-2.5 out of 5 stars or 2 sushi 🍣 🍣.

Princess Jellyfish

This is an anime series I watched with my college friends and I was truly excited to read the manga for new content

This first volume was like coming home. As far as transition from the anime to the manga, it was amazing. I would definitely recommend it for first time teen readers/anime watchers but I think you would appreciate the story more if you are in your 20s or up. This also reminds me of a tame soap opera in the best way. Because of these points, I have to give this manga a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Kakuriyo:Bed and Breakfast for Spirits

I loved this anime when I watched this last year and was excited for what the manga had in store.

I love this series as a whole with the yokai complex plot plus the food element is delicious (both visually and its description). The art style in this manga is gorgeous although compared to the animation of the anime it can be a tad funky in parts especially when it comes to the character design. Overall though, I want the rest (even with the slow publishing Viz why!!!!) and I want to rewatch the anime again and again and again. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Series Continuations

Complex Age Vol 2

This is a series that was recommended to me by one of my favorite manga reviewers Laethas on YouTube check him out if you haven’t already.

This volume took a fun yet dark turn at the same time. I really enjoy it though because along with giving cosplay tips in between chapters, it shows the dark as well as light parts of it. I also was pleased that I got something different from it rather than it keep the same elements from otaku stories in the past. I hope that things get better in the next volume for our characters but until then, I’ve enjoyed what I read. A solid 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Anime Rewatch

My Love Story

This was recommended by one of my dear college friends and it was fun completing this series again

This series!!!!!! It presents moral lessons, romance obstacles, and how everyone can fall in love differently and in different paces. (I’m sure that probably sounds weird but if you watch it you’d understand) I love this so much because of the characters as well as the lessons presented. I also would recommend this especially to a teen navigating through new relationships. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣. I definitely need to read the manga now.

Novel/Audiobook

Well Played

I read the audiobook of this in a day that’s how good these are on audio for me check them out from your library if you can.

With the opening weekend of the Texas Renaissance Festival occurring last week, plus my hold from the library came through, I felt like I was in Ren faire mode once again with this series. Last year around this time, I listened to the audiobook of Well Met and loved it!!!! With this book, I also loved it but in a different way.

There is a lot of time smashed into this story that isn’t at the Renaissance Festival, however, it was made up of a ton of fantastic character development in the side characters plus a ren wedding sweet!!

I think the best part about this series though is that the men although there some miscommunications, they are gentle when it comes to women they love.

Overall, I cannot wait for the opportunity to read the third (and possibly last??) one. We’ll see what happens next 4.5-5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

The week ahead, I have a lot of ideas I think I want to continue the challenge for the rest of the month plus try an audio book once a week to help get more reading done. Also I want to rewatch/continue another anime as well. We will see what happens. What about you guys? What did you read or watch this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Rereading/Rewatching: How Helpful is it for Slumps

Slumps…

Slumps… happens to everyone in some part of your life whether is for fun or required aspects of your life.

But how can you get out of it? For some it is as simple as picking up a simple genre the fluffiest romantic-comedy.

For others, it is rereading or rewatching something they really love and want to revisit it again and again.

But Why? Why is this so helpful when you are in a slump. This post is going to tell you why personally, I reread and rewatch media when I get in a slump especially since these last few months, I have done that as well as read and watch new things. If you do this too, comment below and tell me why you do it. Lets talk about it!

It has stuck with you and now you want to watch more of it.

When it comes to reading and watching some media, there are moments to me that I just think about a certain series and I want to reread and rewatch it alot and sometimes more than once. A prime example for me is with the sports anime franchises I’ve recently watched. I think about the feelings of camraderie and mindless anime plot so those aspects make them rewatchable to me personally.

Using a new medium for a different experience.

When I discover a new medium i.e. reading a physical book and then rereading said book through audio or vice versa and I missed a tiny detail or some quotes made me feel more being spoken rather than read. Or with an ebook rather than a physical book being able to highlight without ruining a book (different discussion not the point). Theres so much you can experience when you change the mediums.

Adaptations bring a new perspective

The adaptation of one of my books or one of my favorite movies is getting a novelization, I definitely want to reread or watch to revisit why I love it so much and wonder how anyone could adapt it or once it comes out to understand what they were thinking etc. Prime example being movies cutting items out or changing the order of things.

Lastly because I love the item so much and I want to be happy again

Lastly, and possibly the most important reason why I reread or rewatch things is because I love them, I want to go back to their world and have fun laughing at my favorite characters or learn a moral lesson once again that I may have missed. Plus, when I like something, I want to find more of it.

Overall, I believe that rewatching and rereading media can help someone get out of slumps and these are why. What about you? Lets talk about it!

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Weekly Check-in 10/03/2020

Factandfictiondesigns created this amazing cup and completely summarizes this week for us.

Hey guys how’s it going? This week has been really tough personally. I won’t divulge in the details but I had to read and watch all the fluffy things. I read three volumes of manga and rewatched an anime. Onto the media!

Manga

Series Continuations

I Hear the Sunspot Volume 2:Theory of Happiness

Ahh you see my face in this pic!!! 😅 but I was intensely reading this this week thank you Creativechaotics for the recommendation of vol 1

This manga was oooof a tad dramatic, However, I looved this book in the sense of moving forward in a grown up relationship with also some disability discussion. It also was wonderful in its character development and art style!!! My only issue I had was its dependence on the miscommunication trope made me a little annoyed because it depended on it heavily this plot. Because of these points. I have to give this manga a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣

So Cute It Hurts!!! Vol 2

This manga is adorable!! (emphasis on the exclamation point) I think there is going to be an unexpected relationship that is going to be explored in the next volume plus some people know the ultimate secret of this series now. This particular volume was amazing because it developed the new relationships from the previous volume plus, it showed some Japanese Sign Language in a nice sweet way (as opposed to previous series that makes it very dramatic which is not bad but it takes away from the story). Anyhow, that was a tangent but I truly enjoyed this volume and very excited to continue the series more especially to see how the love stories (as well as friendships) turn out!~ 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Series Starters

Kiss Him Not Me Vol 1

This manga volume was essentially the first few episodes of the anime (in the best way) plus the artstyle is gorgeous. Warning: there are some negative connotations with otaku culture plus being plus-sized but thankfully they are discussed and turn more positive (at least at this point in time). The boys are also very adorable in different ways and that the friendships and relationships are fascinating to read/watch. This also clearly has the best guy have the best lines (no spoilers here but if you’ve read and watched this you know) but everyone is fun in their own way. Because of these points, I have to give this a solid 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Anime

Rewatch

My Love Story

I was recommended this by one of my dearest college friends and have thought of her through this rewatch.

This week, I decided to rewatch My Love Story. This is because its one of those shows that is timeless plus its a fluffy and comfort show with fantastic friendships and relationships to boot. It also shows people that you can be yourself and fall in love no matter what you look and sound like. 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This entire month I am going to read manga instead of books because of everything happening at home plus they’re fast and fun. The other thing I may do next week is watch something fun for me like My Love Story this week.

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Anime ABC’s

Thank you so much at LitaKinoAnimeCorner for tagging me in this tag. The creator of this tag is Railgunfan75 so thank you so much for this opportunity.

😅 not my fave but hey gets the job done right?? Lol
  1. Pick a favorite series/movie for each letter of the alphabet. For titles starting with “a” “an” or “the” use the first letter of the next word of the title.
  2. Since many titles have multiple names based on the language that you are using please pick one language for the entire list (Use all English titles or all Japanese titles) and let the readers know which language you will be using. If a title has the same name regardless of the language then it can be used in any list.
  3. If you don’t have a title that fits under a particular letter, you can name another favorite from a different letter in it’s place, just indicate which letter spot you are using for that series. This can be done up to three times. If you can’t fill a spot then you can leave it blank. No more than 26 total series are allowed.
  4. Including a picture for each series is encouraged.
  5. Share who tagged you for this challenge and nominate 3 more to try it themselves and include links to their blogs.
  6. Just have fun with this challenge. I wanted to get everyone to share some favorite series and to spread the word about awesome blogs!

I am going to use English Titles and I have multiple of some letter recommendations but others I have none at the moment if you don’t mind you can recommend that letter in the comments for anime I may like. I hope you guys enjoy these recommendations.

A is for Aggretsuko

This is something that is truly relatable for the 20s anime watcher.

This is an adult anime in the sense that it talks about an office worker in her 20s having real life problems and experiences with rage karoke scenes. Whenever a new season comes along, I inhale it check it out if you haven’t already.

B is for Beyond the Boundary

I watched this in college and the animation style *Chef’s Kiss* I think I also was turned to this series because of the song interlude in the middle of the series but also the leading lady character is also unique.

The poster of this anime is very deceptive in the sense of its unclear what this series is about at first. It’s essentially yokai slaying in a contemporary setting combined with a love story. And guys towards the end,  I was speechless. Its a fascinating anime that leaves you on the edge of your seat but also allows you to get attached to all the characters then the world gets all twisty and confusing then you burst into tears. It was amazing. I haven’t watched the sequel movie yet though so I do not know the overall end but check it out if it interests you.

C is for Cells at Work

At this moment in time, I think this is the most educational anime I have ever watched in the best way. I definitely recommend it to science teachers everywhere. Also I recommend it for a new anime watcher as well.

D is for D.N. Angel

An oldie but one I remember because of the premise.

Even though there is a lot of annoying romance in this anime, the premise is one I really enjoyed when I was younger. Stealing art, two personalities in one body and mysterious familal magic. The manga seems like it is easier to consume but the anime is more difficult from my knowledge but please check it out if you can.

E Needs some recommendations. (Thank you everyone)

F is For Fairy Tail

This is my favorite anime of all time.

Fairy Tail holds a special place in my heart in the best way. I’ve watched it several times, I love most of the characters, and I love the twists and turns that it presents. Yes to some it isn’t the best, but! It’s one that I love for forever and ever. Check it out if you love magic especially a variety of it, emotional roller coasters,familial/friendship, and character shenanigans.

G is For Given!

There’s a lot of hype with this series with good reason!

Like with Beyond the Boundary, this anime has some emotions but its in a contemporary setting with music and falling in love (one of my favorite tropes). I also appreciated that it was a genuine first love story that just happens to be one with male/male relationships. Check this out if you haven’t already.

H is for Haikyuu

Oya? Oyaoya oyaoyaoya! (Inside anime joke 🤣)

My first sports anime that I’ve watched three times this past year. It was recommended to me among the instagram and ultimately LitaKinoAnimeCorner was the one who ultimately convinced me to watch it. And its fun, bingeable, mindless once you watch it through one time and the ultimate reason I keep coming back is because all of the characters are so relatable in some way.

I is for Inuyasha

This ticked all of my boxes back in the day and would love to rewatch one day.

Before Fairy Tail, I was obsessed with Inuyasha. It has everything and most of the characters were very fascinating. I think my only issue with it nowadays there was a lot more filler than Fairy Tail or some items didn’t really make sense. Anyhow though I want to watch it again and miss it dearly. Check it out if you have not already!

Just Because!

Just Because is an original anime that discusses romance as well as the end of high school discussion. I also enjoyed the artstyle. If you’re interested in this show check it out on HiDive!

K is for Karin

I watched this when I was younger

Karin (manga called Chibi Vampire) is a series that made me love vampire lore and comedic love. If a guy is a total Usui during a bad day he’s a keeper lol! check it out if you are interested vampires and comedy.

L is for Land of the Lustrous

Land of the Lustrous is one that is very hyped lately and although the animation is a tad strange (at first), its a beautiful series with discussion of toughness and non-binary characters (no set gender).

M is for Midori Days

Midori days is just one of those anime that was like huh?? but hilarious all at once. I have to say out of all of these, this one has one of the weirdest premises, but its still fun. Check out this anime if you haven’t already.

N is for NANA

You know me and musical anime this is one of the darker ones but enjoyable nonetheless.

The most soap opera like anime I’ve ever watched needs a rewatch eventually. However, this is not for younger audiences please don’t watch if you’re young.

O is for Ouran High School Host Club

This anime is one I have watched several times and was the first contemporary I rewatched in my anime career

This series is very hilarious and goofy yet it is in a contemporary setting check this out if you just want a good time with a ton of guys lol 😆.

P is for Princess Jellyfish

This anime holds a special place in my heart because it was the first young adult anime I enjoyed and also this was a show I watched with my college BFFs (love them to bits).

This is a show that discusses jellyfish, fashion, drama, and otaku culture. There’s also some goof shenanigans and interesting characters. If that interests you, check it out.

Q needs some recommendations (if you have any let me know in the comments)

R is for Run with the Wind

I know I know I keep recommending this series on here but I have to say as of now its my favorite college themed anime right now. If you like running, College themed men, and what it means to become a part of something bigger than you check this out.

S is for Story of Saiunkoku

One of the most underrated shoujo feudal era anime/manga of all time to me.

This anime series is totally underrated when it comes to the anime asian fantasy genre. It also shows a woman becoming a civil servant journey and definitely makes things better with some slowburn romance as well. Check it out if you have not already.

T is for Tada Never Falls in Love

This is a newer anime I have discovered that has a contemporary romance feel but also a ton of great photography content plus some interesting touristy Japan items. I would definitely recommend this anime for fluffiness and fun times 😁.

U is for Uta no Princesama

I’ll be honest I still haven’t finished this series but! I think if you’re in the mood for it its cool.

This anime is fascinating if you love boy idols and music. Not much plot though just a warning. If you are fans of boy bands as well as otome games check this out.

V is for Violet Evergarden

This animation style oooooo love it!!!

One of the most emotional animes I’ve ever watched. If you love historical fantasy and deep stories check this anime out.

W is for Wotakoi: Love is hard for an otaku

The anime that turned me back into the otaku world in the best way.

Well if any of you are from my bookstagram and the blog post that involves implementing fandom in every day life, you know that Wotakoi: Love is hard for Otaku is very important to me. I love this series. If you love romance and otaku culture and are of adult age (although the anime is pretty tame but I love this check it out if you haven’t already watched it).

X needs some recommendations (other than X by Clamp)

Y is for Yumeiro Patisserie

Food plus magic school??? Sign me up. I love cooking shows in the sense that they are so fascinating to watch (of course that can be not good when your stomach is empty) anyway I would recommend this anime if you love magic, cooking/baking, and romance!

Z needs some recommendations (let me know in the comments)

Conclusion

As you guys can tell my anime tastes are a tad all over the place (although you can guess some of my buzz words) I hope you guys can check out these anime if you haven’t already and if you have any more recommendations please comment down below and let me know. Thank you Lita for this opportunity again.

Nominations

Manda the Bibleo

We be bloggin’

A Girl and her Anime

Check these guys for more fun anime content among other concepts 🙂.

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Weekly Check-in 09/26/2020

Hey guys how’s it going Weekly Check in day! Because of storms (again yes I know) there wasn’t a lot I read or watched but I have enjoyed all of what I consumed this week. I read a novel, I watched a movie, and started an anime. Onto the media!

I’m sorry this is hilarious 🤣

Movie

The Greatest Showman

This movie/musical has been on my list since I heard a million dreams on Instagram and this was what I wanted Hamilton to be, more story, more music that is impactful yet fun. There were only a couple songs I was meh on in this case and it was a fantastic biopic with plot along with music that was seamlessly done. Also both of my parents enjoyed it as well which means for us it was fantastic for the whole family. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

The Ice in our Hearts

Thank you to Xpressotours for the opportunity to read and review this book

This book was one I inhaled. I think its because of the time of year plus because of how different it was. Its a young adult novel about two teenagers (sixteen and seventeen respectfully) who are world renowned Winter Olympic athletes. Yes you read that correctly. You’d think its just fluff. No actually with the athletic aspects of things plus Type 1 diabetes as well as hyperhidrosis representation there was a lot of jargon as well as explanation involved without feeling dumbed down or too excessive.

I really enjoyed this story and how magical it was especially with the family and friendship side of things.I also could feel the emotions that the characters presented in their respective roles in the Olympics but also falling in love with someone who truly understands you.

However, I had a couple of gripes minor though compared to what it could have been. For one, the writing style. When I wanted to be with the athlete in the competition there were some side points that would be awesome in a screenplay, but awful when it came to the book itself. Other than that, I loved what the book was able to show us about the world and what it would and could be like in an Olympic athletes Winter Games this coming year (pre covid of course).

The other gripe I had and this is of course could be a me thing(as it usually is in these situations) was that the ending was more ambigious than I wanted… I know the Olympics wrapped up and everything but what about after…… did they go the distance? Did the other side characters get what they wanted in the future as far as moving forward what?? I think I just wanted a epilogue I’m always a sucker for those (except for when some things don’t make sense).

Overall though, this book was a fascinating story and if you are looking for a winter fix check it out. Because of these points, I have to give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣

Anime

His and Her Circumstances

This one gives me Special A and Maidsama vibes but in a different way (maybe its because its funnier we shall see)

I started this anime on YouTube because I used to watch some AMVs with this anime involved. Even though its older and very bland looking at first, so far its emotions and subject matter that it presents is deeper and more adorable than the other classic high school romances I have watched in the past. I also have liked that it shows both sides of the relationship in more depth as opposed to some others at least in the anime side of things. I am excited to continue on a little at a time.

The Week Ahead

I’ll be honest, this entire next month is going to be more unpredictable than this past one. One thing’s for sure though that I’ll try to do as much as I can to read or watch something. I am glad though that this week as opposed to last week I had a lot more positive experiences than meh ones so I hope to do more of that next week. What about you guys? What have you read or watched this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Weekly Check-in 09/12/2020-9/19/2020

I’ll be honest guys these last couple of weeks have been hectic because of work. But I watched a lot with my mom. I watched an anime and romance movie, a volume of manga, started a show, ended an anime, and watched a Broadway Opera. Onto the Media!

These past two weeks my mom and I spent some free time together

Romance Movie

Set it Up

I got into the hype with this movie and my mom and I decided to try it out.

Sigh, I liked this movie in the sense it was unexpected but I totally hated the guys in it because most of them were total jerks. Plus it just seemed like some of the jokes didn’t land….. at least not with my particular sense of humor. The other thing that was really annoying was that the soundtrack felt like every other rom com out there which is excellent for new rom com watchers but for more experienced ones like me it wasn’t the best. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Anime Movie

Flavors of Youth International version

This has been on my list for awhile and finally on a whim just went for it.

This was a movie I decided to watch with my mom on a whim thinking it was something related to food and to some extent it was and to some extent it wasn’t.

First, know this when you watch, it’s essentially an anthology of stories that revolve around food in some way . So especially eat before you watch.

Second, I am not exactly sure what the point of this movie was, the only thing I can say is that food and others bring happiness to the world. So take it with a grain of salt.

Trigger warnings for verbal abuse, bulimic tendencies, violence, and death of a family member.

Overall, the animation was gorgeous and pretty much the only reason I watched all the way through. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3

Anime Series

Run With The Wind

I have enjoyed this show so much that I put it in my Sports Anime for Athletic Newbies post before I even finished it. Check this out Guys.

What I love about this anime the most is that although this is a team with individual times etc., it takes the time to give most of the boys background information and presents all of their motivations for running. In addition, you are able to get invested in the aspects of running and working together to run a complex course.

The last couple of episodes seem a little unrealistic in the animation aspect however, I am not a runner so I don’t know how runner’s high works. AND THE ENDING OF THE LAST EPISODE!!!!!! (Sorry for the Caps it was necessary) emotional yet satisfying yet unsatisfying all at the same time. Also the animation is gorgeous yet rough at the same time when it comes to the people. This is definitely one I am going to rewatch over and over again. Becuase of these points, I have to give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars or 5 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣🍣

Manga

Mixed Vegetables vol 4

I was recommended this by Lindsey Tut on YouTube and Instagram check her out if you haven’t already.

This series is one I want to binge read essentially because there are some continuous plots but also the art is amazing. When it came to this particular volume though, it was good but also lacked the balance of plot because of the subplot that was involved in this volume.

However, I can continue this series and finish it to the end because of the food, because of the angst that happens between the two main characters, and because of the overall entertainment of working hard on something you love and mastering it but also the understanding of the obstacles that may come your way.

Overall though, this manga gives me the anime Yumeiro Pattiessire vibes but in a more contemporary setting and I am excited to continue in the future. Because of these points, I have to give this volume a 3-3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Broadway Opera

Hamilton

My goodness this was something that has been on my mom and I’s list for awhile so when I showed her Disney Plus (somewhat of a game changer for our house) we wanted to watch it. Apparently, in agreement we said it probably would have been very disappointing if we had paid for this in the theater and this is why:

1. The first half was just non-investing to us lots of operatic/rap content and items involving Hamilton and the Revolutionary War that doesn’t exactly have a cohesive plot (at least not to us.)

2. The women stole the show for us. The main women characters that were presented in this helped with the plot quite a bit plus their songs were beautiful. But they weren’t in the show as much as we wanted.

3. The second half like I said earlier was fantastic but I feel it would have had more attention grabbing if there was more dialogue. Not sung or rapped but spoken.

Overall, I can see exactly what the show was trying to do. I love how it helps learning about the Revolution/Constitutional era. However, there wasn’t a lot of investment for me because of these points, I have to give this a 3-3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

TV Show

Girlfriends

I watched this show a bit out of order when I was a teenager (hey no cable/not much streaming made teenagers need to find something on television back in the day and watching it now has been really fascinating.

The issues that are presented in this show are ones that are still relevant today in addition it is semi educational for people to understand the black women. Because of these points, I have to say its a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

This week ahead, I am not quite sure what I’m going to watch or read. But I am hoping the media is better this week. What about you guys? What did you guys read or watch this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Stories with Health representation: How Important It is and Recommendations

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss how important health representation is needed in fiction and I want to recommend you guys some stories that I have enjoyed with decent representation. Hope you enjoy!

Sometimes People Need to See Themselves in Fiction

When people read or watch something, its important sometimes to show a character that has something or lives with something that someone else does too and cannot talk about it with anyone in their world.

In addition, for especially children it can show that having physical or mental health representation is really cool or its not a burden to the other people in their life. Of course having the correct representation is also something that can be an issue also and can be harmful for these people also but sometimes it’s better than nothing.

The other aspect that falls under these lines is that when someone reads or watches media with representation can also help them understand that there are ranges of severity out there and a variety of symptoms out there that allows people to be unique theres no stereotypes. When they are stereotyping though, they’re helpful for education (which I’ll discuss more in the next section) but they can also be harmful. So keep that in mind for when you consume these kind of media.

People Use it to Educate Themselves

Another aspect is education. People can use the consumption of media to educate themselves. There are some people out there that see or even live with people in their life that have a disability that have no idea what is involved. The other aspect is to expand the knowledge that they are already have in severity level, different symptoms, and other aspects of the disorder. Media can show that not everyone is the same in their disorder and that everyone reacts to disorders differently.

Because They are a Part of our Reality

And Finally, whether we like it or not, people with a mental and/or physical disorder are a part of our reality. I am truly surprised that media does not include them more often. During the early 2000s, more physical disabilities were represented in television but nowadays, it ebbs and flows when it comes to physical as well as mental disabilities. However, since the beginning of human existence, there are people like this that exist everywhere and anywhere. Sometimes they are hidden away or sent away other times they are embraced and taken care of in the best way. The sad part is, media is very torn on the subject. Plus there isn’t a law that dictates media needs to equalize other people. To me though, it should be embraced more often and I appreciate that nowadays it is growing to be more prevalent in books, movies, and television which some I am going to recommend now in the next section.

Recommendations

Now that I am off my soapbox (sorry about that 😥) but thankfully we live in a time where equal representation is something a lot of people are looking for in media and I want to recommend some fiction to you guys that people have recommended to me that I love. These are manga, novels, anime/tv and a movie or two. There are also quite a few of disorders represented that I hope you either look further into or try to find more media with this representation. Ok onto the media!

Novels

Finding Me by Kelly Gunderman

Reading and Reviewing this book I’ll be honest was the catalyst to this blog post. First off, The cover shows exactly what this story is about in the instance that it involves someone in a wheelchair who is embracing that she is even alive and falling in love for the first time. There is also other factors at play of course but overall a fantastic story.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

This is a book that also comes to mind whenever I think of fantastic mental disability representation in particular with bipolar disorder and how to tell others what bipolar disorder is and the implications that is represented. There can be ways where aspects of the story could have gotten construed and uncomfortable for anyone in the story as well as the reader and it was not in my personal opinion. Check out this story if you haven’t already.

Television

Sue Thomas F.B.Eye

This show was a show I watched in high school in my American Sign Language class. I wish it was on a streaming service or if not a more common place to get home videos because I miss it every once in awhile. This has a main character who is deaf and helps to solve crimes.

Atypical

This show could have gone one of two ways for me personally; it could have made the main character who has Autism Spectrum Disorder too stereotypical in the symptoms and the way they navigate the world, and they could have made him the butt of everyone’s jokes along with his family. Thankfully though, that did not happen although there are some jokes that are sprinkled in that some people might find offensive but otherwise I love this series and how the characters deepen throughout the series. It is one that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their lives may enjoy as well as ones that have no idea what it’s like will enjoy.

Japanese Media

Anime and Manga

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas The Movie and the Manga/Light Novel

This has some pancreatic cancer representation in it. However, it is not as prevalent as in other stories and occurs in the last half of the story. Because of this, I am not going to say anything more than that but it hits at the heartstrings and made me cry along with friendship lessons. There is a minor joke in here that may be triggering so please keep that in mind when you read/watch.

A Silent Voice The Movie and Manga Series

This series is one with Japanese Deaf representation but in a negative sense. This has bullying both verbally and physically and suicidal thoughts. I know these triggers may make it seem like its awful… but its eye-opening and profound all at the same time.

I Hear The Sunspot Drama/Manga

Last recommendation was my first manga that had male male representation. This is a more adult perspective on how being hard of hearing can affect the college everyday life. With an added romance of course ;). Check this out if you haven’t already.

Conclusion

Overall, as you can see I am passionate in this subject and hope that this was helpful. Check out any of the media I recommended and if yo

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Weekly Check-in 09/05/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? Delayed post on my Weekly Check-In just because I was trying to make sure I had enough to talk about. Turns out I had a lot of fluff (intentionally trust me). I read four mangas this week, I finished up a TV show, and rewatched an anime. I’ve also started a book but hopefully I’ll talk about that more next week. Onto the media!!

Phantom Dream

When it comes to this manga, its not something that I would recommend for someone who enjoys fluffy manga. This is also something I wouldn’t recommend for people expecting Fruits Basket that has a balance of light and dark. The trigger warnings I found in this manga were one uncensored nudity scene, exorcism (if you don’t like exorcisms don’t read this at all), suicide/suicidal thoughts, parental verbal abuse, and overall grief.

The one manga series that I can compare this to so far is Millienum Snow by Bisco Hatori because of the lore, the leading lady, and the overall episodic feel. Unfortunately, I didn’t like that series very much but if you do, I would recommend this.

Overall though, it was dark, emotional, yet intriguing all at the same time. I think I want to read a couple more in the series before I drop it and I need to be in the right head space before I continue. Because of these points I have to give this a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Complex Age

I was recommended this by a few people in particular Laethas on YouTube as an underrated manga recommendation and this definitely fluffed up my mood up to a certain point.

I was feeling the Wotakoi Love is Hard for an otaku mood and I didn’t want to reread/watch that right now so I was able to fulfill that void with this volume. It took me awhile to finish because of life but I was able to enjoy it regardless.

I loved the discussion it presents with the detail about cosplay and photography with the pros and cons of it and it didn’t talk down when they are explaining things.

This is an adult manga because of some minor fanservice shots and the discussion matter (not sex or anything just may be too adult for younger readers read at your descretion).

The art is beautiful and I loved how it again gave me the wotakoi feels but it definitely is formatted alot better for new adult manga readers.

There’s a bonus short story that the mangaka presents that discusses what this manga plot could have been instead of what it was and whoever picks this manga up needs to read it because it made this even better to me.

Overall, This volume was a definitely a nice fluffy read with some darker elements as well. I recommend this for all the otakus in the world and it is definitely underrated. Because of these points, I have to give this manga a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Waiting for Spring Vol 4

My friend Heather over at Creativechaotics on Instagram bought me the first volume of this series and im so glad I continued

I am glad that I was able to read this manga volume this week because out of the three this series is the definition of fluffy. This volume in particular I liked because I think the uncomfortable aspects for me have settled in at this point.

At the start of the series, I was contemplating dropping this series because of the uncomfortable aspects that were presented. Now I might not immediately read the next volume but I am really glad I continued.

I appreciate how the sports and the romance tropes balance cohesively and that there’s a conflict both on and off the court. It also ended on them celebrating summer vacation and the art throughout that is my fave in this series so far. Because of these points plus the overall entertainment value, I have to give this volume a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

RWBY Manga Anthology vol 3 Blake Belladona

I think when it comes to this series it’s one you can read out of order you can read them as a standalone etc which is one of its pros. The con is they’re essentially short stories that pretty much occur in between everything of the main show and helps present more character backgrounds and backstory. This was a reread because the first time I really couldn’t understand how to rate and review this. Because of this, I have to say this manga volume in this series was my least favorite. It was a lot of the usual plots and tropes that were already presented in the show that I felt weren’t really necessary to rehash. Because of these points, I have to give this manga a 3 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣.

TV Show

Tough as Nails

On Wednesday, the finale of this show came out and as a family we were up and down but the one who won was one I wanted to win (well essentially I only didn’t want one guy to win and thankfully he didn’t so yay).

As a family, the only thing that we didn’t like about it was that it was a tad bit more preachy than what we wanted but we loved the skill based challenges and how the people were eliminated was fair and just in our opinion. Overall, though its very enjoyable and fair in our opinion there are some things we’d change because of these points I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Rewatch Anime

Haikyuu

I think I like rewatching this show because of how mindless it can be but also how exciting it can be too.

Yes yes yes I know I’ve already talked about this this past week with my Sports anime recommendation but this is my third watch this 2020. I think its just because its something I can put it on that’s not necessarily predictable but it’s exciting too. Part of this also is because I am preparing for the next season of this anime to come out next month. Unfortunately though, the dub is so much easier for me personally to consume it so it may be awhile before I watch both to the top seasons.

The Week Ahead

Um… I’m not quite sure what I’ll end up doing this week. Like I said earlier I started a book but I know I want to keep on the fluff/manga into the next week. We shall see 🙂. What about you guys? What did you read or watch this week? Lets talk about it!

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Sports Anime for the Athletic Newbie

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss sports animes. These past few months, I have enjoyed watching sports anime of all kinds lately.

When you are not sure what’s on and just want to be a part of something…..

However, I don’t have an athletic bone in my body(except I used to do marching band when is someone going to do a marching band anime?)

SpongeBob is the closest I know for a Marching Band being animated if I’m wrong please let me know

Anyway, so I want to discuss a couple of sports anime that I have enjoyed and why I like them. Onto the anime!

Haikyuu

Haikyuu is where it began for me in the anime world like a lot of people. I enjoy this anime because it shows the team camaraderie of volleyball without being boring. In addition, it shows one person attempting to follow their dream with no skill at all and working their way up the ranks of skill.

All of Haikyuu’s openings are motivational and allow you to feel the emotion of being a part of a team

The most amazing part of this anime that you can always relate to someone no matter who they are. I would recommend it to any person as a fantastic starting point if you like watching sports particularly volleyball.

Chihiyafuru

This is an anime I would recommend for someone who wants to learn a brand new sport with some added romantic tension involved. Its individual as well as a group sport and although complex, fascinating to watch.

This is one I also can recommend for the camaraderie and the individual journey as well the only difference is that there’s a lot more repetition throughout the anime than others so that may deter some people just a warning.

Ah Chihayfuru’s entire score is beautiful in its own way since the game itself combines literature with a sport they needed to make it appealable and it certainly is in my opinion

Theres also a love triangle involved also so if you love romance in conjunction with your media check this anime out.

Run with the Wind

This is about a group of college guys who are “roped into” running for the university track team by their captain/cook of their apt complex.

What I love about this anime the most is that although this is a team with individual times etc., it takes the time to give most of the boys background information and presents all of their motivations for running.

For me personally, since it presents a variety of skill level in its characters, I could relate to it in the sense of trying their best and not really succeeding at the start. And like the rest I have listed here, the camraderie and emotions presented in this anime is amazing.

Like Haikyuu, I feel that Run with the Wind’s score is motivational and appealable for someone who wants to listen to music while running for its openings and its endings hit you in the heartstrings. Its definitely one of the reasons that I have kept watching.
I had to add this ending song so you could listen: In the ending animation itself there is a line of the entire team running in sync and that reminded me of being in time with my comrades in marching band if you have had that feeling before oooo listen to this song if you can.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I want to say that these sports animes have shown me that although I am not as athletically inclined as the characters in them, there is something that can be conveyed for pretty much everyone. Of course when watching all three of these, I feel I can get something different out of them every rewatch in the future. I hope also if someone stumbles upon this blog post, they can give these anime a shot if they haven’t already. Leave me a comment if you want to try them or any recommendations I am missing. Let’s talk about it!

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Weekly Check-In 08/29/2020

Hey guys how’s it going this week was a roller coaster with a hurricane threatening to pass through.

With Laura and Marco threatening to make landfall, there was a lot of prep needing to happen. Thankfully though we ended up being safe prayers go out to the ones they did affect though.

Because of this, I was a tad slumpy when it came to my media consumption with continuing a tv show with my family, watching a season of anime that just came out, and rereading one of my favorite books. Onto the discussion!

TV Show

West Wing

I’ve continued watching this with my family and the dynamic shift that occurs in these episodes this week 😯. It was intense but at the same time I feel essential with wrapping the series up. Again I’ll watch the series over again especially since there’s a lot missed.

Anime

Aggretsuko

This week Aggretsuko season 3 came out and it came at the right time. It discusses Retsuko getting into debt because of a Virtual Reality Game and helps out an idol group in the process plus a lot of the other characters work on other projects in addition to Retsuko’s. I enjoyed the comedy and the characters as a whole and there are several moral lessons represented in this entire series for adults. I did want to watch more though and it was too short in my opinion. Because of these points, i have to give this 4 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

Novel

Megan Meade’s guide to the McGowan Boys

This was a book I actually reread recently. I read this back in middle school and loved it so much that I reread it at least 8 times. This was the first time I read it as an adult and phew I have a lot of thoughts that I am actually going to more in depth in a future blog post. But it was still entertaining and although I disliked some of the characters more than I did before, I still was wanting to read it and I think it got me out of my reading slump. Because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

Well for sure I hope that this coming week is better than last in the sense of more fun media needs to be consumed. I know I said this last week but I think between all the serious subject matter I consumed last week and the small amount I did this week, I may be increasing the fluff. What about you guys? What did you guys read and watch this week? Let’s talk about it!

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Books to Read Based on Your Fall Drink Order: Princessreadsalot Presents!

What does fall mean to you? The beginning of a new school year? Mystery thrillers? Ghosts, witches, and zombies? Pumpkins? I love fall, coffee, and mystery thrillers – making this blog my favorite thing to discuss. Along with Vanessa (@nessas.lair), I made (and drank!) these fun beverages; if you want to know how to make them, check out Vanessa’s blog: https://nessaslair.com/

So, maybe I have some expertise based on the numerous drinks and mysteries I have consumed?

Pairing: Maple Cold Brew

& Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

In Friends with Boys, Maggie is starting public high school after years of being homeschooled. She’s worried about going back to school, missing her mom, and making friends. And, she is haunted! Going back to school and ghosts make this a fantastic fall read, and Faith Erin Hicks, a Canadian author, makes the addition of maple a delicious choice.

Pairing: Cinnamon Spiced Tea

& The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 

If you haven’t read this book yet, grab your nearest cup of tea for haunted graveyards, walking dead, and reading tea leaves. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. 

Pairing: Pumpkin Spiced Latte

& Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

Pumpkinheads is such a sweet read full of delicious fall treats. Deja and Josiah have worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world all through high school. They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1. But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. They turn their last shift together into an adventure that is going to have you wanting every pumpkin flavored food and drink that you can imagine! 

Pairing: Caramel Apple Spiced Cider

& The Blue Witch by Alane Adams

Everyone loves a good witchy story in autumn. In The Witches of Orkney series, Abigail is a sweet, young witch. When I asked Alane Adams what kind of drink she would order, we agreed that nine-year-old Abigail Tarkana  would definitely not be drinking caffeine but something warm and sugary.  Abigail deals with low scores in her Spectacular Spells class because her witch magic hasn’t come in yet. Even worse, her nemesis, Endera, is making life miserable by trying to get her kicked out. Sneevils, spells, and soul mates make this series a super fall read. 

Pairing: S’Mores Latte

& One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

I love to read a good murder mystery when the leaves change colors. Karen McManus’s stories are twisty-turny back-to-school mysteries that are perfect with a s’mores latte. In One of Us is Lying, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon is dead. Who killed him and why? 

Pairing: Earl Grey

& Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

I am obsessed with back-to-school/boarding school murder mysteries and Truly Devious is right up my alley.  Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists, but shortly after the school opened, there was a kidnapping. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” 

Now Stevie Bell, a tea drinking student, is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers while meeting and interviewing suspects (often while drinking tea at the local café!).

Pairing: Witch’s Brew Frappuccino

& How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. This is Mean Girls meets Salem Witch trials (with a little history tied in), and I believe these characters are all drinking frappuccinos! 

Pairing: Butterscotch Caramel Frappuccino

&Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

This is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery, and a parody of Harry Potter. So I chose a parody of Butterbeer. Carry On  has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters. Order yourself a butterscotch caramel frappuccino and read the book!

Pairing :’Oh Snap!’

& Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Skyhunter is so twisty-turny that you might literally be saying “oh snap!” to yourself. And, Marie Lu’s version of ghosts makes this a perfect fall read. The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death―transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara. The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop these monsters. As the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable. I read an early copy of this book, and I am obsessed. If I can get you to read one book on this list, it’s Skyhunter

Pairing: Orange Spiced Iced Coffee

& “The Five Orange Pips” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The Five Orange Pips” is a Sherlock Holmes story and alluded to in the Sherlock special: “The Abominable Bride”. What is a pip? A seed. Literally, this mystery is about 5 orange seeds. Enjoy these delightful mysteries (the show and the short story) with your orange spiced coffee. 

Conclusion

Every August, I try to set up my to-be-read pile with upcoming mystery thrillers and my favorite drinks. Usually a pumpkin spice scone makes it into my snacks, too. While I look forward to reading new releases, the books I have listed above are all worthy of a re-read. So pick a drink and enjoy a mysterious (and thrilling) adventure! Tell me in the comments are there any of these drinks you want to try or any other Fall Drink recommendations? Happy Reading and Drinking this fall!

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Weekly Check-in 08/22/2020

Hey guys how’s it going? This week has been a long one with a lot of serious watching with some fluffy things sprinkled in.

I watched two TV shows, one miniseries, and read two manga. Onto the media!

TV Shows

Love on the Spectrum

This is no ordinary show and its reality but there’s not a lot drama involved which is appreciated.

I tried this because of the trailer and I stayed because of the moral lessons it presented. If you’re looking for real-life understanding of how Autism Spectrum Disorder can affect dating but also how it can not affect it at the same time.

I loved the variety of situations that the show presented and that there was not just people just starting to date but also some that getting engaged or living together. I think my only issue with this show was that there was a lot more jumping around from person to person than what I wanted. Overall, though I enjoyed this show and what it represents, its not an end all be all. I do want to watch more though because of these points, I have to give this show a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

West Wing

I know I know you’d think with everything going on that this would be the last thing I would watch but……

I remember watching this as a child passively and thinking that being a part of the White House could be fun, it would be a fulfilling job. Watching this now with my improved political knowledge plus history, I am really glad I chose another career. The way that certain events happen globally and in the White House plus so many secrets that I wouldn’t be able to keep things straight. I think it is very intriguing and important for people to watch and take notes of the past and establish thoughts from the future. This is one I may watch again to get more information in the future. 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Movie

Spotlight

This movie left my family and I very unsettled because of the subject matter.

First, I would not recommend this if you do not want to hear about grotesque sexual molestation stories or how the Catholic Church covers it all up globally from the perspectives of this elite team of columnists at the Boston Globe.

Second, I would recommend this movie for aspiring journalists to watch to help them understand the process on gathering and interviewing effectively to uncover a story of this magnitude.

Overall though, I can’t say I enjoyed this movie but it was definitely an enlightening watch. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣🍣.

Mini-Series

Waco

My dad started this mini-series because of how the subject matter impacted history and I kept watching because I wanted to know how the event ended up.

Man I think I wanted to watch sad things this past weekend. Or maybe I just wanted to learn more about history.

This mini series discusses a standoff that occurred in 1993 between the FBI and a small religious community in Waco, TX and similarly to the Spotlight movie it comes from the perspectives of one of the FBI negotiators involved in the conflict along with one of the survivors. It also small like covers an earlier standoff that happened in history called the Ruby Ridge incident so that was also an interesting tidbit.

I was fascinated by both perspectives but if you’re not interested in the subject matter, do not watch this. The emotion with this helped me understand all sides and I empathized with some characters (not everyone though). There are some issues but that’s understandable because of these points, I have to give this a 3.5 out of 5 stars or 3 sushi 🍣 🍣🍣.

Manga

Dragon Drive

This manga was one I wanted to start because I wanted something fun, adventurous, but also not too complicated. This is definitely that in the best way. As far as a comparison to other manga/anime I would definitely say it compares most with Angelic layer but with Dragons that are really fascinating and cute looking in the Chibi sense (the dragon on the cover). There’s also stats on every dragon you come across which was awesome.

I think this also compares bookwise to Warcross by Marie Lu in the virtual reality sense plus this is a big game like Warcross.


As far as who can read this, I would definitely recommend this for middle school boys (at least this current volume)as well anyone that age and older because as stated earlier this is something that I think as a series I will read a little at a time when I need something adventurous and fun.

Overall though, I really enjoyed this particular volume and I am going to continue with this series in the future although personally ill probably not binge it just because some of the boy humor and repetition of the games. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣. Thank you so much Lohali for the giveaway to receive this series i truly appreciate it.

So Cute It Hurts

I was highly recommended this by one of my dear friends and it really was so cute it hurts!!! Sorry I just had to!!

The switching places trope is one that needs to be done right in order for me to enjoy it and this instance, I was surprised on how much I enjoyed both perspectives and that there was such opposition in the main characters that I was able to enjoy.

The friendships that are present so far are amazing (if you enjoy reading about nerdy friendships you need to pick this up) Trigger warnings for physical fighting and bullying. But if you also don’t like douche guys (or notorious flirts) don’t read this series.
There is also a Deaf side character in this series that I am eager to find out more about.

Overall, this seems like a cute series I would love to continue. Based on the ending, I am curious to see more backstory on some of the side characters and how it continues but as stated earlier, there are some things that can turn people off. Because of these points, I have to give this a 4-4.5 out of 5 stars or 4 sushi 🍣🍣🍣🍣.

The Week Ahead

2I believe I just need to watch and read some fluff. If you guys have any recommendations please comment down below. What about you guys? What have you watched or read today? Let’s talk about it!

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Anime…Where do I start?

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss how to get into anime. I know a lot of people who enjoy TV shows and movies and see anime and think “I want to try it but where do I start?” or they see an anime section on Netflix and think “this is so overwhelming and a lot of these are explicit so what do I pick?”

Its amazing how much anime is out there to consume.

This can happen often with new watchers but also with seasoned ones as well so today I want to give some tips on how to start watching anime. I hope these are helpful when you are having difficulty on what to watch plus starting anime for the first time. Onto the tips!

Start Small: Watch a movie or a short series

A little can go a long way

When it comes to anime there are long series (I mean the series one piece has at least 1000 episodes) and short ones (13 episodes are typically the shortest with some having less) and lastly there are anime movies (Studio Ghibli films etc.) So I recommend for a new anime watcher to watch a movie or a short series to start that way in case you’re not a fan of animation or you don’t have a lot of time on your hands you can watch something short and sweet

These two are two movies I would recommend for new anime. My neighbor totoro would also be great for young children to watch too.

Give in to the Hype!: Watch something everyone talks about

Hype it up up up!

When it comes to anime, there are some that nearly every anime watcher has watched; Pokémon, Ouran High School Host Club, Fruits Basket Maid-sama,Soul Eater Blue Exorcist, Inuyasha, Dragonball Z to name a few. Because of the hypedness, you may be able to watch one that you can research a lot about the plot plus reviews that have already been published to figure out whether you will like it based on key words or not. Plus the hype may make you more excited to watch it.

I tried this particular series because I saw a lot of hype surrounding it and it was fantastic. You never know what people hype up.

Go in Blind: Watch something that has cool character designs or a sweet title.

Now this one is one I did often when I started watching anime. Most of the time though it was by titles. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of places where I could look up plot synopsis so I just watched random series because the title was cool and sometimes I stayed in a series because it kept me engaged and the animation was beautiful. Most of the time there were some great series and some that I still remember years after watching them for the first time. Sometimes you can find some hidden treasures when you go in with no expectations and can help test your tastes when you are a new watcher.

This is a series also can be a movie I think I watched both I do not remember but I saw the title and was intrigued and towards the end I cried my eyes out.

Read the Source material? Watch the adaptation.

Most of the time this is true but it still doesn’t hurt to give it a shot

Now I saved this for last because it is the most simple tip I can give you: If you have read the manga, you can watch the anime or vice versa. It is like with reading the books and watching the movie; you semi know the plot already plus adaptations can be interpreted. Plus for new watchers you have somewhere to try first and go from there.

For my personal story, I heard about the Tokyo Mew Mew manga through my friend group but my family did not let me read it but they let me watch the anime and I’ve never looked back.

Conclusion

Overall, although these are fantastic ways to get started in anime, there are a ton more ways to do so. These can be helpful for new watchers as well as people who can be overwhelmed with how much anime is out there at times. I hope these are helpful with your next watch. Do you have any thoughts on these tips? Do you have any new recommendations for anime for me? Let’s talk about it!

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Not Your Mama’s Romance: 10 Romances Your Middle School Student Will Love: Princessreadsalot Presents!

I’m a sucker for a good ADULT rom-com. I regularly recommend The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


I am also currently internet stalking Lyssa Kay Adams to get the 3rd book in the Bromance Book Club series -Crazy Stupid Bromance.

If you’re an adult and haven’t read those, yet, head to your nearest bookstore ASAP!

This list is NOT adult. As a middle school English teacher, I frequently have students who want cool adult looking covers and resort to what their parents are reading. For that reason, I like to have extra copies of these
books and is a list that I recommend to all 6th through 8th grade students asking for a romance or rom-com!

Lucky in Love by Kasie West


Who doesn’t dream of winning the lottery? In Lucky in Love, Maddie’s excitement of winning the lottery
is overshadowed by the unexpected and conflicting relationships in her life. I have read almost every
Kasie West’s books, and so far they have all been middle school appropriate. It was hard to pick just
one of her books, so I recommend grabbing a few.
Summary: Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a
whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment — She wins!
In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships.
Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors
start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust. Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem
aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if
he learns her secret?

When Dimple Met Rishi By Sandhya Menon

The front cover for When Dimple Met Rishi has a picture of Dimple drinking an iced coffee, and the
back is of her throwing said drink at Rishi. That cover alone was enough to get me to pre-order the
book. The story is adorable. Since then I have pre-ordered all of the other books to quickly read before sending them to my classroom.
Summary: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a
break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian
Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly
believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program
for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be
attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board.
Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the
power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement”
so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer
program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love
works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo


Do you have a teen that loves Kpop or KDramas? This is the book for them! In I Believe in a Thing
Called Love, Desi Lee decides to plan her love story by causing incidents from KDramas that she watches with her father. It’s a little cringe-worthy, but doesn’t every KDrama have that?

I love Maurene Goo’s other books, so if your teen likes this one, they should also check out The Way You Make Me Feel (which isn’t quite a romance, so I left it off my list).

Summary: Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student
body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a

boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose
botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human
specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with

the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her
father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in
the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with
her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat
rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels,
Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han


Lara Jean is sweet and adorable, and her sisters rival the Marches in Little Women. Since the first two
books have been made into Netflix shows (with the third one on the way), my students rushed my
shelves, and I haven’t been able to keep the whole series stocked since. You’ll enjoy watching these
movies along with your child, and the books are a great segway to motivating them to read!
Summary: This is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed,
causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.
As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen


This story includes restaurant food, a sweet teen who is learning how to deal with her parents’ divorce,
and a guy next door. Sarah Dessen is the queen of teen romances. While this book is perfect for a 6th
grade student, Dessen also has books for more mature audiences that will take your romance-loving
child into high school. So, if you’re looking for a younger audience, make sure you do a quick
reading-level check. (I am a huge fan of http://www.commonsensemedia.org. )
Summary: Since her parents’ bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother’s new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try
out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a
desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins


An American sent to Paris for her senior year? Sign me up! This entire series is swoon-worthy and
cute!
Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best
friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being
shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful,
Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses
end with their long-awaited French kiss?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


I am a sucker for sweet and adorable, and Jennifer E. Smith delivers every time. I have read most of
her books, and, like Kasie West, have no problem recommending this author to any 6th grade student.
Summary: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything? Today should be one
of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at
JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a
soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s
cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each
other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

The Selection series by Kiera Cass


Are you and your teen Bachelor/Bachelorette TV viewers? This series takes place in a dystopian
America where there are castes, and one girl from each caste is selected to come to the palace to win
the heart of the prince. This has all of the competition of the TV show without the mature rating!
Summary: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the
life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels
. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret

love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never
imagined.

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma


While this book is my first of Nisha Sharma’s teen books, it’s not my first romance. (If you’re an adult check out The Takeover Effect- The Singh Family Trilogy.) After reading this book, I went down a long (and fun!) road of Bollywood viewing, which could be a great family bonding experience.
Summary: Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was
written in the stars. Literally, a pundit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her
summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is
crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is
scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her
reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart, charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her
horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her
prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will
need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson


Cute dogs, mysterious friends, and an unexpected romance make this the perfect summer read. I own 10 copies of this book and there are rarely more than 5 left in my classroom at any one time.
Summary: Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised
yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important

internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

Bonus: Cinder (and the Lunar Chronicles series) by Marissa Meyer


A few years ago, I started a book club for students interested in reading the Lunar Chronicles with just as many boys and girls. After one session, a male student came to me and said, “Mrs. Schneider is it true that this is a Cinderella love story?” When I replied in the affirmative, the student looked dejected. I quickly responded with “But there’s definitely more action and adventure!” That student and many more
continued through and finished the action-packed princess re-tellings. So I haven’t had a male student(or his parents) ask for a romance for their son, but with awesome cover art and fantastic stories, this is
a series for them.
Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages
the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows
that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past,
reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined
with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle,

and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover
secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is
at once classic and strikingly original.

Conclusion

As a teacher and a mom, I believe in sharing the love of reading, and I know your children want to read
what it’s in your hands. (It’s a fantastic way to motivate them to read!) But if you’re not ready to share
some steamy love scenes with your teen, you should try one of these! These authors will have you
loving (pun-intended!) their characters and sweet stories. If you have any more recommendations, Let’s talk about them in the comments!

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Implementing Fandom into Daily Life: Easy or Difficult?

Hey guys how’s it going? Today I want to discuss implementing Fandom into daily life and whether it is easy or difficult. This is something I have thought about for awhile especially becoming an adult where it is often not recommended to show that you love certain fandoms. Throughout my particular life though, I think I have effectively implemented fandom in my life pretty easily but there have been moments where it has been difficult to navigate.

Inspiration for this blog post

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and read the manga in local booksellers

The main inspiration for this post is the manga/anime is Wotakoi love is hard for an otaku where the main leading lady (Narumi) hides so much when it comes to her otakuness at work and thinking she cannot fall in love without hiding her true self. Her childhood friend(Hirotaka) who works with her embraces his otakuness (and is in love with her I may add) and tells her in the beginning of the series (so it’s not spoilerly) that you don’t have to hide anything when it comes to the hobbies/fandom in her life with me so they end up dating. I think watching this anime/reading this manga helps people who think they need to hide fandom all the time to find someone like Hirotaka who embraces what he loves and never lets anyone/anything bother him.

Ways to implement fandom into your life

Merch

This post represents all the merch and interests I particularly have what about you guys? Let’s talk about it!

This is probably the most easy way that people can implement fandom in their life all the stuff essentially. Nowadays, there is fan merch for practically everything anime book music the works. I know for me personally I have so much merch for a variety of fandoms that I like there isn’t room for it all sometimes. These can also be great conversation starters to introduce people to the fandom that is represented. My personal favorite is the kind that is most useful such as wearables and home decor.

Pure Exploration of Media

Fun fact: When I first recieved a laptop in middle school was the first time I went down a fandom rabbit hole particularly with Anime.

This can be pretty easy or difficult depending on the person. For a person who has a ton of interests such as myself, I can explore all different kinds of youtubers, blogs, Instagrammers, etc. and find something to my taste. For some people, they want to find their fandom somewhere no matter where it is. Nowadays there are a ton of recommendations out there for if you like this you’ll like this for a lot of media. When you follow these, you are implementing fandom in your daily life.

Educating yourself

This is something that people may not think about when they think fandom.

This can go hand in hand with pure exploration but I’ll add that there is so much a person may not know about the fandom they love that educating themselves would be a great idea for implementing fandom into your life. For example, I did not know until recently that the manga industry produced their chapters of a series in Japan in magazines before compiling them into a full manga book with those magazines they determine the demographics we know. (I am sure the veteran manga readers knew this but that’s not the point). Educating yourself is important and you become more of an expert on your fandom because of it.

Finding your people

I think part of the reason that I am into fandoms is because of the people

I guess one of the easiest ways especially with the internet being what it is to implement fandom into your life is finding your people; people who have similar tastes to you, or who do not but convince you to try something different. Take Hirotaka from Wotakoi again; he loves video games and he and Narumi play the same game together and once the middle of the series starts, hes playing another video game with the other characters too as well as Narumi. But he can also respect that the other characters like other things too like cosplay or manga. Finding your people can be the one thing that makes the difficulty of implementing fandom easy or hard because there could be people in your life who are like “anime or manga what’s that?” Or “k-pop? That’s strange music why do you like that?” and you need the people who know and understand these things to talk to about them. But be wary of the extremities that can occur with this phenomenon. There are some fans that can be too much for some people and vice versa.

Conclusion

Overall, the ways listed above are ways you can implement fandom in your daily life. Are these things you guys already do? What did I miss? Let’s talk about it!!!

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Combining Books and Anime: Looking into a Lens of a 2000s era Otaku

Hey guys today’s post is inspired by a book that is on all ebook platforms Diary of a Late Bloomer by L.M.L.Gil. Thank you to Xpressotours for sending me a copy to review.

Synopsis: Lo is a sheltered 20-year-old who loves baking, manga/anime, and octopi. When she spots her college swim team’s tryout flyer sporting her favorite sea creature, an octopus, she knows it’s a sign that she must join. The only things standing her way are her socially awkward nature and that she just learned to swim.

As I was reading this book, there were kernels of manga and anime references from the 2000s era and I was surprised with how many I knew and watched and loved. So today I’m going to present the anime references and how the main character was influenced by them. Additionally, I’m going to discuss how I feel about these particular anime and plots and how the cohesion works in my personal opinion. Also one disclaimer: I reread the book to make sure the anime and feelings were correct but if I am mistaken I apologize in advance. Onto the discussion!!

Fruits Basket 2001

One of my first animes I have ever watched

Synopsis: Tohru a newly orphaned girl, discovers the Sohma family’s secret (her classmate Yuki’s family in particular); thirteen members of the Sohma family are possessed by the vengeful spirits of the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and they transform into said animals if embraced by the opposite gender.

Connection to Diary of A Late Bloomer

The first mention of an anime at all in this book was 8% through was Fruits Basket 2001. When I first read this, I was thinking oh no are we going to hit all the major animes ever in this book? This anime the character watches after being confused about friendship but it isn’t mentioned again. I can understand that in the sense there is a lot of darkness in Fruits Basket but in this particular rendition of it there was a lot more lightness up until the end (no spoilers here). But overall, this was a fantastic opportunity to present this anime in a book such as this.

Honey x Clover 2005

I haven’t watched this anime yet but after reading this book, I am more intrigued by it

Synopsis: Yuuta Takemoto is a poor college student who lives in a dilapidated apartment building with his two friends, Shinobu Morita and Takumi Mayama. The series chronicles the students’ story as they struggle through life and love.

Connection to Diary of a Late Bloomer 

When it comes to this anime, I’ve heard of it but I havent watched it yet. From what the main character of this book discusses from it 15% through the book, it discusses love and art even inspiring her to draw. In addition at about 18% through she discusses relating to the main character Hagu because of her social awkwardness (which frankly I am too so good to know) and says it’s her favorite anime ever so far which for not ever watching it before has made me even more intrigued. In addition, the main character uses the term Honey x clover a solution if all else fails which was hilarious 41% through the book and 81% she compares herself to the characters Yamada and Hagumi which I can understand her feelings because of the feeling of not being the best at something like fictional characters (but unfortunately we are three dimensional not two). These particular examples plus the synopsis are probably evidence to one of the most relatable animes to this story.

Kaliedo Star 2003

Fun fact: This was my first anime I found completed at a half price books to start my anime collection. Definitely underrated

Synopsis: This follows Sora Naegino, a young Japanese girl, who travels to the United States to fulfill her dream of performing at the world-famous Kaleido Stage.

Connection to Diary of a Late Bloomer 

The last anime although only briefly mentioned 81% through the book. was this anime. Although this was mentioned as a bootleg (please don’t do this in the current times folks we are talking about the 2000s so it happened), it became a turning point in the story and helped the main character go back to her newfound family and following her dreams. I think this particular case although it was brief it’s the one that was the most explained when it comes to the correlation between the main character’s real life and the Kaliedo Star anime. I think in this particular instance, it rounded out what type of anime the main character loved watching and her thoughts on subbed vs dubbed (which was very interesting lol 😂). I also liked that the author picked this to be given to her by her family about her swim team because in some ways she and the main character of the anime are alike. Plus to me it felt that it was the tipping point to help the main character to understand the pros of camaraderie and to realize the toxicity of some people versus others. 

Conclusion

Overall, reading this novel was a fun ride and examining the anime that were mentioned was fascinating.  Check out this book and anime if you haven’t already. 

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5 New Middle Grade Books Even Adults Will Like: PrincessReadsalot Presents!

Hi, I’m Jennifer Schneider – @princessreadsalot on Instagram. After graduating with a B.A. in English, I taught abroad in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. 10 years ago, I got my M.A. in Education, and I have been teaching middle school English in Minnesota ever since. I love to read middle-grade and teen books so that I can encourage my students to find something they love to read. 

I start each 7th grade school year with the book Where the Red Fern Grows. When parents arrive for the Open House, they frequently reminisce about how they loved reading it. Then, the school year starts, and numerous students tell me that their parents are reading Where the Red Fern Grows with them. Whether parents are doing it to help their student or looking to reread a favorite book, I don’t know, but it’s sweet. Below are 2020 releases that adults will love. So, whether you have a teen in your life to buddy read with OR a Goodreads goal to meet (yes, these are nice and short!) OR are in a reading slump (these fast-paced books will surely get you out) OR just need a lovely book check out this list!

When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller

I am a bi-weekly KDrama viewer, so when I heard this book was about a Korean folktale, I picked it up immediately. And, I found this book to be such a nice surprise:  sweet characters, mysterious happenings, and a plot that will have you crying by the end.

Don’t read the summary of this book- just go read the book!! But, here’s the summary, just in case: When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now, the tigers want it back. And when one of those tigers offers Lily a deal–return what Halmoni stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to accept. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice… and the courage to face a tiger.

96 Miles by J.L. Esplin

This is an action-packed survival story. If you loved Hatchet or the movie The Martian, you’ll enjoy 96 Miles

Summary: The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore survivalist, has stockpiled enough food and water on their isolated Nevada ranch to last for months. But when they are robbed at gunpoint during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help–and they have only 3 days before their time runs out.

Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders

Did you grow up on Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew? Are you a regular viewer of Masterpiece Mystery? (Why, yes, I am!!) You’ll highly enjoy Coop Knows the Scoop

Summary: Windy Bottom, Georgia is usually a peaceful place. Coop helps his mom at her café and bookstore, hangs out with his grandpa, and bikes around with his friends Justice and Liberty. The town is full of all kinds of interesting people, but no one has ever caused a problem. Until now. And somehow, Gramps is taking all the blame! It seems like there are a lot of secrets that were buried in their small town after all…Will Coop and his friends get to the bottom of the mystery and clear Gramps’s name before it’s too late?

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Have you or someone you know devoured the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? Do you love road trip stories, like National Lampoon’s Vacation? Clean Getaway is Nic Stone’s foray into middle grade, and you will love it.

Summary: Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem–his G’ma included.

Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

I recommend this book for spooky-loving readers. If you watched Stranger Things or Ghostbusters, you’ll enjoy Scritch Scratch.

Summary: Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone. Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her. Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.

Overall, these 5 books contain short, fast-paced chapters that will intrigue a middle grade student. Yet, they also contain loveable characters that will make any adult cry, hope, or sit on the edge of their seat wanting to know more. This is my first book review blog that I’ve written, and I hope to write more. Let me know if you’d like to hear about more middle grade books. Thanks to Christina for letting me post and test the waters on this blogging thing!

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Introduction Post/Weekly Check in 5/2/2020

Hello, My name is Sushirainbow. I am a person who likes a variety of things; books, anime, manga, music, unique items, beautiful art, and helping people as much as I can. This post is going to summarize what I posted on Instagram recently, What I am currently watching, and What I am currently reading.

Instagram Post

Today on my Instagram I posted a photo about my Caramel Frappuccino and Bibliophileprints’ Art print about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and it made me think of Fall. Living in a place where it is typically warm, I get cool drinks every moment I can to make myself think of fall https://www.bibliophileprints.com/?sca_ref=73221.4qz30FKG4e <—- use this link if you are interested in this print and more from this shop.

Currently Watching

Lately, I am currently rewatching anime that I watched when I was in middle school (over ten years ago that is all I will say) and trying to see whether they hold up for me or not. So far its been an interesting week. Currently though I am watching Angelic Layer.https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=400

The synopsis that the Anime News Network has is as follows:

“12-year-old Misaki Suzuhara has just gotten involved in Angelic Layer, a battling game using electronic dolls called angels. Even as a newbie, Misaki shows advanced skills as she meets new friends and enters Angelic Layer tournaments to fight the greatest Angelic Layer champions of the nation.” This anime came out in 2001 with its source material from the author CLAMP originally coming out in Japan in 1999. So far so good but we shall see when I finish.

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Currently Reading

Manga

I started reading the manga called I want to eat your Pancreas story by Yoru Sumino and art by Idumi Kirihara. The title sounds weird right? I know that is why no one I know wanted to see the movie with me. I picked up this manga because I wanted to revisit this movie and I heard there are discrepancies between the manga and light novel respectively. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07LGG9H2Q/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Here’s the synopsis:

“In this deeply moving first-person story, an introverted high school boy finds his classmate’s diary — and learns her biggest secret. Yamauchi Sakura is dying from a pancreatic disease and now he is the only one person outside her family to know the truth. The last thing the boy wants is to be her friend, but Sakura’s cheerful demeanor and their shared secret draw them together in this heartrending tale of friendship and mortality.”

I am not that far into it yet but its exactly what I remember from the movie so far.

Novel

Today’s novel I am currently reading is called Private Lessons by Cynthia Salaysay

This is an ARC or Advanced Reader’s Copy I received from a dear friend of mine because it involves music and hard-hitting topics.

Here is the synopsis: “After seventeen-year-old Claire Alalay’s father’s death, only music has helped her channel her grief. Claire likes herself best when she plays his old piano, a welcome escape from the sadness — and her traditional Filipino mother’s prayer groups. In the hopes of earning a college scholarship, Claire auditions for Paul Avon, a prominent piano teacher, who agrees to take Claire as a pupil. Soon Claire loses herself in Paul’s world and his way of digging into a composition’s emotional core. She practices constantly, foregoing a social life, but no matter how hard she works or how well she plays, it seems impossible to gain Paul’s approval, let alone his affection.”

It is not something that I typically read but I am curious about it nonetheless.

Upcoming Posts

On this blog and my Instagram, I am going to review anime and manga on top of my books. In addition, I may expand on some topics that I post extra on my Instagram or just how I am feeling that day. I hope that this blog is something that can be used to practice my writing and expand my creativity. I hope that everyone enjoys and thank you for reading.