Favorite Books, gushes, magical girls, Manga, manga monday, Reviews, Uncategorized, young adult

Manga Monday: Full Moon O Sagashite by Arina Tanemura

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Full Moon O Sagashite by Arina Tanemura is a short shojo series that tackles the dark topics of death, affairs, fame, and suicide. Mitsuki is the main character of the series, a young human girl suffering from throat cancer with the dream of becoming a musician like her departed parents. When two shinigamis (death gods) appear before Mitsuki, they notify her that she has one year left to live. Promising to go quietly when her time is up, Mitsuki convinces one of the shinigami to make her into a teenager so she can audition to become a singer. What follows is a dark, twisty story of a lost love, hope, and finding your own family.

TW FOR SUICIDE, MARTIAL AFFAIRS, DEATH, STALKER BEHAVIORS, CHILD ABUSE, AND DEPRESSION

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I absolutely adore and love this series. As one of the first publications under the new Shojo Beat label by Viz, Full Moon really captures the fagileness of humans and how they can hope even in the darkest of times.

 

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The characters are all different with their own traumas. Young Mitsuki is carrying the sadness of her parents passing, her grandmother’s hatred toward music, and the death of a fellow orphan whom she had fallen in love with before he was adopted.

 

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The shinigamis Meroko and Takuto became death gods because they commited suicide. What I (sorry) love about this is that each character is connected somehow back to Mitsuki (minus shinigami Izumi and other side characters).

 

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If I had to explain why you should read this story, it’s that although the topics are dark and heavy, there’s love, acceptance, and humor to soften the blow. Also, it’s a short series being only 7 books long.

 

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While the shinigamis all deal with their unresolved issues, Mitsuki is there to listen and work through their problems together. My favorite shinigami Izumi is always my favorite platonic relationship with Mitsuki because of how he became a shinigami. (I have a thing for guys like Izumi.)

 

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I am trying not to spoil any of the book, the story is just that interesting and wonderful. I love how everything is connected and the family that Mitsuki finds in the end. Also, the ending is also a killer thing.

 

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This is my Manga Monday choice because Mitsuki was always a light for me, reminding myself that even the most dark, twisted life events gives out rays of light (or something). Also, Mitsuki’s outlook on life is just…wonderful.

 

 

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Happy Manga Monday, and here’s to another great read! You can get Full Moon O Sagashite from RightStuf as well as other book sellers. Also available digitally.

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Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, gushes, LGBTQIA+, magical girls, Middle Grade, new releases, queer books, Uncategorized

Book Review: Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

35098024Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat.

Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse.

Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods.

But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

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Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. 

This quote is seriously the best way to describe this book. I love middle grade, and I really love middle grade that includes a main character in the LGBTIA+ and super really love  middle grade that has a f/f romance. And Drum Roll, Please has all those qualities.

The story is Melly dealing with the inner turmoil of her parents’ pending divorce, her best friend being separated into a different band, and understanding the feelings she has for her bandmate. There’s some lightness, but also a bit of heaviness from the lives of the girls.

The characters are fun, entertaining, and wonderfully diverse. I love the cabin mates because they all play different instruments, come from all over, and have their own interests and lives. And the teachers! I love Melly’s main teacher, she’s awkward but knows her craft. And the camp is so atmospheric that I wish I was at Camp Rockaway.

I really just enjoyed this book. It’s the cutest little contemporary with musical elements and even more topics are discuss outside of sexuality. Honestly, if you want a fast middle grade and don’t mind contemporaries, read this book!

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Obviously, I gave Drum Roll, Please 5 stars (and am really hoping for a sequel!!)!

Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, Graphic Novels, gushes, LGBTQIA+, Lists, Middle Grade, new releases, own voices, POC Author, queer books, Readathons, Reviews, Uncategorized, We Need Diverse Books, young adult

QueerLit Readathon Wrap-Up!

Hey y’all! Another readathon is behind us, this time its the winter round of QueerLit Readathon. I honestly enjoy this readathon, because I find so many different and unique stories, characters, and writers. Last time, I ended the readathon with 2 new faves (Running with Lions by Julian Winters and Peter Darling by Austin Chant). This time is absolutely no exception! Down below, I’m going to recap the 4 books I read, and gushing about each one.

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DRUM ROLL, PLEASE by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Drum Roll, Please is a wholehearted celebration of music, differences, friendship, and finding one’s own noise. I absolutely adored Melly and felt so much for her struggles of the news that her parents are planning to divorce.

But, I need to talk about the most atmospheric setting of Camp Rockaway, and all about Adeline. There are few upbeat, happy falling-in-love stories of ladies falling for other ladies. And DR,P did not let me down! Adeline and Melly are so different in personalities, and I also fell for all the girls, including Melly’s BFF, Olivia.

The way this story goes, with Melly fighting to lift herself up while also branching out to other people outside of Olivia, that speaks. So often are we comfortable in the safe cocoon of normalcy. Melly is given challenge after challenge with her bandmates, Olivia, and Adeline. And the way the story ends, with all the open questions about Adeline and Melly’s future friendship and possible relationship? I need a sequel/novella/companion/ANYTHING.

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GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan

TW FOR SEXUAL ABUSE AND VIOLENCE

If you haven’t already heard, Girls of Paper and Fire is being praised up and down the book-net. It’s the story of a young girl sent to be the concubine of the Demon King, with 7 other girls. Lei, a young girl whose village was ravished during a raid, struggles with falling into the comforts of being a Paper Girl. There’s a lot of unpack, and best to go into this story blind.

I love the relationship between Lei and Wren. No, it does not feel insta-love. Instead, it feels like two people that connect in the right ways. The magic isn’t the center-point and I love how each of the girls are different in some way.  My only gripe about this book is there are some slow parts, but also how fast-pace and messy the ending was. The stakes go up in flames real fast, within the last 5 chapters does the story hit the climax. However, I dare say I love this book. The ending freaked me out, and I cannot wait to see how the story evolves outside of the court. (Also politics are fun, too!)

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BINGO LOVE: JACKPOT EDITION by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San, with various authors

TW FOR HOMOPHOBIA

I already read Bingo Love before, when it didn’t have all these amazing extras! Reading it again, physical copy, and enjoying the short stories, I’m super happy I did!

Elle and Mari are couple-dreams. I love their relationship, and can see this graphic novel empowering other people to accept themselves and others and believe in true love.

The short stories after the comic though? And one ends on a CLIFFHANGER? Say it isn’t so! I cannot wait to see what other artists and authors bring to the lovely world that Tee Franklin has created. Seriously, I need a novelization of these gals, stat!

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HEARTSTOPPER by Alice Oseman

Again, being in the gay community, esp online, you cannot turn a full blind-eye to Alice Oseman’s webcomic, Heartstopper. Charlie is a out-gay and Nick is the Rugby player. After being placed in class together, the two slowly start to fall in love.

I love this series, and follow it online. When Oseman announced the kickstarter for a physical copy of Heartstopper? I WAS READY. (Also, this is being published by Harper Collins next year in the UK, too!)

Charlie is my little fragile guy falling hard for someone he thinks is straight. Nick is a loving, I’ll-deck-you-in-the-face-if-you-talk-bad-about-Charlie kinda guy. I just love their interactions, friendship and their eventual love. (Also this dang book ends on a heartbreak!) Also, the art is fun and different~

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Yes, I’m done wrapping up the amazing books I read this week! Have any of y’all participated in QueerLit Readathon? Or, perhaps, read any amazing Queer books? Please share, because I’m always looking for new books!

That’s all for today, and happy reading!

Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, gushes, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, mental illness, new releases, own voices, POC Author, Reviews, Uncategorized, ya contemporary, young adult

Book Review: Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro (No Spoilers)

36142487A story of resilience and loss, love and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

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I was so hesitant to read this book. Contemporaries are rarely large books, and when I saw that Anger is a Gift was 464 pages, I balked. Thus, this poor book has been sitting on my shelf for months before I picked it up for the Tome Topple Readathon.

Damn, I’m so happy I did.

Moss is the male character I have been wanting since forever. He’s sensitive, has doubts about himself, is self-conscious about his body, and falls hard and fast for the devilishly handsome Javier.

A book that tackles the PTSD of a child of a political movement, a child that loss a father and continues to try and capture those happy moments. A book that shows loving, supporting parents of all different kinds (adoption, queer, religion, and races). A book that takes a love so fast, hard, and wonderful and crushes it so, so much. And finally, a book that tackles real issues that teens face today without watering down the words, scenery, or sacrificing the internal drama. That is what Anger is a Gift is for me.

I really love reading Moss, and the more I think of it, the more I want to read, read, and read. My only biggest regret in this story is the way the climax is handled. Of whom the tragedy befalls. Because, honestly, I’m hating that Moss suffered so much, and of course it needed to be done for this character.  :,<

Am I getting my feelings of love? Probably not, because these feelings are too much to condense in a review!

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I gave Anger is a Gift 5 stars.

Currently Reading, Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, LGBTQIA+, new releases, own voices, POC Author, WWW Wednesday, young adult

WWW Wednesday 11/28/2018

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words! All you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

I’m puffing along with the Tome Topple readathon with Muse of Nightmares and Archenemies (Might only finish one at this point @@). I’m reading Drum Roll, Please for fun, a break from the tomes, and am listening to Michelle Obama’s Becoming on audio (which is wonderfully light and fun).

What did you recently finish reading?

Last weekend, I finished 2 tomes, Anger is A Gift by Mark Oshiro, and Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds. Also, break in pace, I read the newest volume of Blue Exorcist (Ao No Exorcist), and the newest available issue of Fence (#11).

What do you think you’ll read next?

With Queer Lit Readathon starting Sunday, I’m going to read Girls of Paper and Fire, I want to enjoy Jasmine Guillory’s newest novel, and my buy-everything butt wants to read the Bingo Love Jackpot Edition too.


 

Read any of these? Have some nice, light-hearted recs? Please share T_T

Bookish Updates, Currently Reading, Diverse Reads, LGBTQIA+, Readathons, Uncategorized

Queer Lit Read-a-thon – December 2nd to December 8th

Hey y’all, coming at you with a second edition of the Queer Lit Read-a-thon! Time to share my TBR, now that were less than a week away!

What’d you have to accomplish in this read-a-thon? Read exclusively QUEER BOOKS! That’s it! And you can tackle the bingo board below if you want, but the main focus is to get those Queer books out there and read.

 

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As I said, there’s a bingo board full of challenges that you can use to help pick out your TBR. You can mix and match and stack up any and all challenges to see how many diverse books you can read!

The ??? square is a free space! Make up your own challenge c:

The Group book is going to be Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper & Fire!

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TBR!

My TBR is so small and lame because I’m running around trying to figure out what books I want to read. And since this read-a-thon is this weekend, I gotta hustle and make a more concrete goal.

Two of my TBR books are re-reads, because I need to end the year on a good note! I’m hoping to finally read Girls of Paper and Fire!

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Please, please, and please check out https://lgbtqreads.com/ for books if you’re stuck without inspiration! And if you need recs that meet the challenges, check out Adriana (perpetualpages)! Also, check out Rogan Shannon, one of the co-host’s blog post and the other co-host Kathy Trithardt’s video tbr for more recommendations and look into the readathon!

Are you planning on adding some Queer titles to your December TBRs? Let me know!!

fantasy, Favorite Books, LGBTQIA+, Manga, manga monday, Monthly Updates, Uncategorized, young adult

Manga Monday: Bloody Mary by Akaza Samamiya (10 volumes)

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“Bloody” Mary, a vampire with a death wish, has spent the past 400 years chasing down a modern-day exorcist named Maria who is thought to have inherited “The Blood of Maria” and is the only one who can kill Mary. To Mary’s dismay, Maria doesn’t know how to kill vampires. Desperate to die, Mary agrees to become Maria’s bodyguard until Maria can find a way to kill him.

 

 

 

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Happy Manga Monday! It’s a little late to be posting this for Halloween, but I recently finished this and had to share my feelings about Maria and Mary!

First, I love the relationship between Mary and Maria. They both don’t show attachment to each other until later in the volumes, as Maria is confronted with his regrets and Mary as he continues a torturous journey into remembering why he forgot everything.

For a shojo manga series, it’s relatively short. Only 10 volumes long, each volume is a different hue and always pairs Maria with Mary. So there’s a little shonen-ai (boy’s love), going on in the context without it being explicitly shown.

I am not doing this justice, because the characters, from the priests to the vampires, are all so different and entertaining in their own way. I only hope y’all will try this series and give the vampire-boy some love that he needs!

(Spoiler: If you love seeing pretty boys cry, this is your book because Mary CRIES)

Asian MC, black mc, Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, LGBTQIA+, magical girls, mental health books, mental illness, new releases, POC Author, Reviews, Uncategorized, ya contemporary, young adult

Book Review: The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

TW for death, depression, alcohol abuse, and cancer death.

29736467Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

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I’m starting this review off with tons of love, because this book was a pleasant surprise! The Beauty that Remains has been on my radar since last Yallfest, when the arcs were being given away. I went into this sorta blind, only knowing some parts of the story but not much. And I recommend that y’all do that, too!

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The Writing (Plot, Pacing, etc)

I love Ashley Woodfolk’s writing. She writes pain, happiness, and relief so well, that the characters emotions felt like my own. The worst of that was with Dante. He wasn’t one of the perspectives (Autumn, Shay, or Logan), but damn if every interaction with Autumn kill me. Seriously, all these emotions was a white-water rafting ride of the century.

The story is more character driven, with the hidden wave of music being important to each of the characters. Shay worked on a music review blog with her sister; Logan was the vocals and songwriter of Unraveling Lovely; and Autumn and her best friend were fans of UL.

I love the idea that music is both a comfort and a stresser for the trio. They each have songs that trigger their emotions, and have been disillusion to the idea that music can take away all the pain.

AND I love how therapy is not used as a crazy crutch in this book. Each character have their own way of finding help after the lost of their closest person (therapy, group therapy, and connections). So few YA books deal with the concept of therapy and mental illness well, in most cases (of the books I read five-ten years ago) the characters either harm themselves greatly, the parents/adults in their lives are not involved, or something scandalous happens with the therapist. I’m so full of relief that TBTR gave these characters these resources and flaws. Woodfolk gave these characters a real fighting chance in a world that stigmatizes, isolates, and demonizes mental health.

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Characters

Autumn, Logan, and Shay are all equally different, wonderful, and (hate me later!) diverse.

Autumn and her sister Willow are Asian sisters adopted by a white family. Her best friend, Octavia (Tavia, Dante’s sister), is Latinx (iirc) with two loving parents. Autumn spends most of her time surrounded by Tavia’s family, and with Dante. These two broken souls fill me up because THEY’RE SO AWKWARD AND YET…I LOVE THAT??! Autumn’s family is only mentioned briefly, never as much as Tavia’s. Autumn has friends before Tavia, but feels herself drifting away after the death. She doesn’t know how interact with her constant limb. I love her ending, because it gave her the love she wanted/needed while also showing her as a person that can stand on her own.

Logan is a red-hair singer with parents that are kind of always away. His mother is the one that gets him to therapy after catching him in the act of alcohol abuse. Logan is struggling throughout the book with his guilt over the death of his ex-boyfriend, reconnecting with the people that were in his life before the death, and trying to commit to a new relationship that becomes more like a coping strategy than a true relationship. I love that Logan is this guy that is true to his feelings, is super awkward but also not afraid to admit he needs help. The ending really gave me all the love.

Shay is a tricky character. Her mother is a single parent, dealing with the death of a child she knew was going to possibly die. She Black, outspoken, and deals with issues that a lot of people do not talk about. She is beaten down by the death of her sister, has constant panic attacks, and is worried about forming too much a close connection to Jerome. I like Shay’s characters because she’s impulsive but also doesn’t realize that she created the distance between her and her friends after the death. Music helps Shay feel alive, but it also reminds her of the one thing she and her sister shared. I like her ending because the ones that she pushed away come back to pull her up and help her float.

What is truly fascinating about these characters is they are all interconnected. Each one is related to the band Unraveling Lovely and I love the little mentions here and there.

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This gushy review is why I need to just do reviews in emojis! I absolutely enjoyed this book and hope y’all give it a chance too!

I recommend this book over All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. At least the mental health isn’t glorified.

Bookish Events, Bookish Updates, Currently Reading, Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, new releases, own voices, POC Author, Readathons, TBR, TBR Thursday, Uncategorized, young adult

TBR Thursday – Tome Topple Round 7 TBR – November 16 – 29

Tomorrow is the beginning of the seventh round of Tome Topple! Tome Topple is a 2 week long read-a-thon with the objective to tackle those books longer than 500 pages!

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My goals are pretty lax since I don’t really have any major tomes I wanna read. (I read the Broken Earth trilogy for the last round of Tome Topple.) Some of the books I want to read are ones I have been meaning to get to, and one is a new arc I got at Yallfest.

Now, not all of these are strictly 500+ pages. And that’s okay, because to me these are tomes. And there’s no tome police 😀

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Challenges!

1. Read more than 1 tome
2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Buddy read a tome
5. Read an adult novel

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Are y’all going to do Tome Topple? I hope great success for everyone! c:

Bookish Updates, Currently Reading, Diverse Reads, Favorite Books, LGBTQIA+, Uncategorized, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday 11/14/2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words! All you have to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

I want everyone to know that The Beauty That Remains is killing all my feelings. A Very Large Expanse of Sea is equally feels-killing.

What did you recently finish reading?

My review for Pride is up! And my review for The Poppy War will be up soon!!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Yallfest was this weekend, and I got an ARC of Opposite of Always by Justin A Reynolds! And my library got The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory recently. And I bought Girls of Paper and Fire (I can read this for Queer Lit Readathon!!). I’m pumped for next weeks reading!


 

How was your weekend reads? I hope y’all got to some good books!