…never was this confusing as it is portrayed in Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. That is if love is just the spitting of words on the page and no actual course of where it is going throughout the timeline. For lack of a better phrase, this love triangle explores a world that really can only happen in the past with strange gender roles and political arguments that mark the time that it occurs within. Don’t go outside of your class. Outside of your husband, you really don’t have anything. You better marry before the age of 21, even though you are still immature and really shouldn’t be getting into a serious relationship with someone significantly older than you. You know, the usual.
While this book is a mental roller coaster with many things going on at once, it is a good read, as long as you don’t overthink it. There are racist themes that you can miss if you don’t look up what some words mean, some very strange views on sex and sexual assault from both male and female characters that can be pretty mind-boggling, and too much talk about what occurs in the bathroom. Honestly, a “romance” novel should not spend as much time in the bathroom as this one does. That might have been the strangest part of all of this. Overall, it was a good book if you like period pieces, although I do not know how accurate it is to the setting. A very absorbing story that is hard to put down.
I think a lot of people have their niche in which they may or may not feel that you fit in with the outside world, but it’s your world. For me, that world included anime, manga, and books, which eventually lead to the blog that I’ve had for a couple of years. I’ve even been judged for not being “girl” enough, whatever that means. I then found The Wallflower by Tomoko Hayakawa that felt too close to home in so many ways. I am in fact protagonist Sunako Nakahara without having my privacy invaded by a bunch of dudes.
This manga, in so many ways, is a crazy rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. We follow four, super-attractive guys, as they move in with the expectation of turning Sunako into a “lady,” filled with all the stereotypes imaginable while Sunako is just trying to live her life watching horror movies and true-crime documentaries: something that everybody is doing nowadays.
Also, for everyone’s well-being, the characters are all eighteen. I don’t care if it says everyone is in their first year of high school. That was a mistake, and we are not questioning it. Just remember 18, mainly for this one character who can’t keep it in his pants. You’ll know who I’m talking about.
Heartwarming is what I would like to call this book. At the same time, this book was heartbreaking. Throughout reading the book Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, I was pulled in different directions concerning my feelings toward June and her unconventional family. The dialogue was realistic, and the family dynamics were so natural. Brunt did a fantastic job creating the characters for this story.
This book takes place in the late 1980s and surrounds the AIDS epidemic as June must confront that her uncle, whom she loves dearly, dies from the disease. She must learn to confront the world without the one person who understood her while discovering more about him along the way, making unconventional friendships. I think that anyone would love this beautifully written work of art.
Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau was the exciting conclusion to The Testing trilogy. I was completely and utterly unprepared for the twists and turns that the story took me down. I don’t know how Charbonneau does it, but as soon as you feel as if you know about something, you need to forget about everything you thought you knew.
In this exciting edition, we are working to dismantle an entire system with the help of friends we’ve made along the way against the enemies we’ve made along the way. I think this was the perfect ending. It answered questions while at the same time leaving things open-ended with all the possibilities that our protagonist could do. Also, leaving society to go either way at the end of the conflict is a theme that appears continuously in the story. It was a great way to close the loop. There is a prequel, but I will not be covering it here. As it was written, the trilogy was beautiful on its own, and I’m totally okay with not knowing what happened before.
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau was an exciting continuation of The Testing trilogy. Instead of university entrance exams, there are program entrance exams. And of course, I’m using exams loosely. While there is a standardized test, there is more than passing classes to survive. There is the lovely ritual of messing with all the new kids. That thing that everyone just loves and in no way will go wrong.
This book does a fantastic job of flipping expectations. It was also interesting that you know more than our protagonist at many points during the book. It also fills in a hole that you were wondering about from the last book. The closure to the issue was well handled, and something that I have a feeling will come up again. Now, I need to prepare myself for the last book. Maybe this time, I will be ready for the twists and turns. (Probably not)
Some have nostalgia over their experiences in high school. I am not one of them. In fact, this book encapsulates everything I hated existing for those four years that I had second-hand dread reading from each character’s point of view. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus is one of the most exciting mystery stories I have read in a while.
The premise of this book is that a student is killed in detention one day, and there are four suspects. You, as the reader, aren’t too sure about what’s going on. You do know that everyone is lying. You follow all four suspects throughout the book that lying about something, but you’re never too sure of the extent of it. I do love this because not knowing what’s being lied about allows your mind to wander. To be fair, my thoughts wandered to some really dark places trying to figure out the lies. There is a second book, but I don’t know how it will stack up, especially since the setting is exactly the same. In my opinion, so far, the author is going to have to come up with a couple more lies different from those found in this book.
Apparently, I was on a dystopian kick because I am discussing another dystopian novel, but with characteristics that you are probably well versed with. A brunette teenage girl trying to find her way through society with some weird side romances that don’t make any sense and really don’t add anything to the story other than being really weird. I’m not talking about the Hunger Games, but it’s close enough.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau is very reminiscent of The Hunger Games, but there is a slight twist to everything. Instead of a competition where the young kill each other, they see who gets to go to university, a privilege allowed by a select few across the war-torn United States. To get to university, you must take part in The Testing. The only difference is that it’s not the typical standardized testing that we are used to.
I really enjoyed the flip of expectations that was introduced in the story. As soon as you think you know what’s going on, something happens to twist your thoughts on everything. What is really chill becomes explosive in an instant. I would definitely recommend this book, even though I do not know where the rest of the series goes. I guess I’ll find out soon.
It is somewhat interesting having a romance novel in which that main characters barely interact, yet somehow it was a love story. Add in a mix of magic and creativity, creating a circus like no other. Add in a competition and you truly get things are out of this world. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern throws you into a world with vivid imagery that makes you want to jump right into the page.
My favorite part about this book was the author’s writing, hands down. I love the descriptions that just made everything come to life in my mind. One thing I did not enjoy was the hopping back in forth within the story. Although, once you get to the end, it all makes sense, I would get confused somewhat about the timeline of events. I also would not mind if Morgenstern went further into the universe she created. I would love to learn more about the magic systems in the book, but maybe that’s just me being a giant geek. You tell me.
After finishing the first series, as soon as I found out there was a sequel, I had to read it. Unfortunately, Modotte! Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta, the sequel to Mamotte! Lollipop, fell into the trap that many sequels do. It would have been an exciting continuation of the story. All the characters being older had it not been the same story. And I mean exact—all of the plot points were the same. The only difference was that the characters weren’t gradually introduced. Since there are not any new characters, they all start at the same time.
Overall, it is a simple read and quick to go through. There’s just the added romance element that doesn’t really add to anything since the love-triangle has been resolved. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t add anything to the story.
It’s been a while since I read a cutesy manga. It’s been too long if I’m honest, but I think this was the best one to get me started again. Mamotte! Lollipop by Michiyo Kikuta was way cuter than it had any right to be. It’s a mixture of shoujo, magic, romance, and friendship that was just really cohesive and came together nicely. A high schooler named Nina accidentally gets involved with a magic contest from another world, and hijinks ensue. One thing I did love was that there was a well-written love triangle. In lots of media, it can become super obvious who the protagonist will get with because one of their options is trash. In this story, although I did prefer one of the boys over the other, I would have been happy no matter who she would have ended up with. They both were fully fleshed out and intriguing. If you like the cutesy stuff as well, I would definitely suggest reading this. There’s also a squeal that I need to get into as well. I just hope it’s a fair sequel worth reading.