The Manga Geek

I love manga of any form. I am willing to read any manga that people recommend to me. I have started on several manga and unless I can't find it or it is not finished (and I've caught up) I will NOT start on another manga series. With that said, I will read other books besides manga but during the year while I'm in school I'll stick to manga. When I'm on break from school or on a holiday I will take the time to read more books. I also like several TV shows as well. I belong to the fandoms of House M.D., Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, Sherlock, Supernatural, and The Adventures of Merlin. Think that's all for now. Have a fantastic Day!!! :)

SPOILER ALERT!

How Unfortunate that this book couldn't have been better.

A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I'm definitely too old for this series. This book is seriously an easy read. I'm somewhat of a fast reader and I read this in about two days (only one if I read all day).

 

This book is pretty enjoyable for a children's book. It was entertaining despite how silly it was. But unfortunately there were some problems that kind of just made me cringe while reading this. But before I get to that, let's take a look at the story.


So this book is about three children whose parents have died in a fire and now they have all become orphans with a large fortune that will soon be theirs when Violet becomes of age to inherit the fortune. Because their home burned down and they don't want to live outside of their hometown so they live with one of their relatives named Count Olaf who is the closest relative in town.

 

Everyone has talked about the summary of the book that the author gives us, warning us that the main characters will continue to experience these 'unfortunate events' and that there will be no happy endings. At first, I was satisfied with that. I kind of like books that have situations where things don't always go as planned and bad things do happen. But I think it's safe to say that the ending for this book was definitely a cop out.

 

I'm not saying that it was a happy ending but the book didn't end on a depressing note. If you read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about and if you haven't . . . then I guess you can read the book and find out.

 

The characters are given traits (told to us by the narrator) that distinguish the children from one another. Violet has the mind of an engineer and can build things. Klauss is a reader and is able to absorb the knowledge from the books that he reads. Sunny bites things. Yep, those are the personalities of those characters. Which I guess is fine for a kid's book but those characters don't display those 'personalities' until the climax of the book where they find out Olaf's plan to get their fortune and they try to use their skills to find a way out of his plans. Sunny gets captured as a hostage and Violet and Klauss use their traits to try to rescue Sunny and prevent Violet from marrying Olaf. (By the way, was I the only one who was a little creeped out by Olaf's plan to marry Violet? I also thought that it was stupid of him to announce his marriage to everyone. Seriously? Why would you do that?)  They do outsmart him but then they can't live with the nice neighbor and have to move with another relative. Doesn't seem sad to me, Olaf didn't get the money and the children are together.

 

The villains are also kind of 'meh'. Count Olaf and his men are bad men and do terrible things to the children in a clever plan to prevent the children from outwitting them. One of the things that confused me was the fact that Olaf's troupe kept telling the children of Olaf inheriting their fortune. That is incredibly stupid and just allows the children to become suspicious and try to prevent Olaf from succeeding. Wouldn't it be much more dramatic and tragic if Olaf won the fortune before the children knew it and then this book really would have been sad.

 

Olaf. As soon as the book introduced him, I knew there was something odd about the guy. He doesn't try to hide the fact that he wants the children's money and the sad thing is that the family friend, Mr. Poe, doesn't have second thoughts about leaving the children alone with this creep who couldn't get less subtle.

 

Speaking of creepy, that's another thing about this book that's doesn't seem to add up with this story. For a children's book, there's quite a lot of adult content within these books. There are issues such as coping with death, physical violence & abuse, pedophilia, and who knows how many other adult themes.

 

That isn't the problem. My main problem with this book is that if you're going to write a children's book and give it kind of a dark edge (regardless of the fact that this book is for 4th graders) then don't look down on the audience and take it seriously. I mean no cop outs and no definitions that the book feels the need to define to the readers. This book kept interrupting the story just to inform the readers what the definition of some words were. 

 

I'm sorry. I know some people like that kind of writing. I don't. I found it really distracting and unnecessary. If the book is adding adult-related content in its story, then don't you think that the kids reading it are grown up to figure out the definitions for themselves? Or at the very least, are smart enough to look them up in the dictionary. Seriously, it's not that hard.

 

The writing was a pain and I really don't like it stopping in the middle of a description of something just to tell me what it is. So yeah . . . it was alright. I didn't hate it but I didn't enjoy it a lot either. I'll read the next one and see what happens.

SPOILER ALERT!

Fallen & Torment - How far I've fallen into torture reading

Fallen - Lauren Kate Torment - Lauren Kate

Oh geez . . . where do I begin with this book???????????????

 

I was barely in the prologue, the PROLOGUE mind you, and I could already tell whether or not I would like this book. *sigh* Well I decided to pull through and finish it. Maybe it could change my mind and at least hit a two, possibly a three star rating.

 

Boy was I mistaken.

 

Let me start of the only thing that seemed interesting. The idea. The thought that this girl was reborn several times over and over again would meet the same immortal guy and fall in love with him. Now that would be very clever and interesting if it was done properly. But no, that is NOT what this is. This is just a spoiled whiny girl that does nothing but think about this gorgeous guy who is a complete asshole to her. I mean . . . why??? Just why? WHY???????????????

 

Okay, lets look at the plot step by step and see what is wrong with it. Well, first of all, there would be more tension and suspense in the story if the prologue was gone and removed. Why? Because the prologue just told me most of the story before I even started reading the book. And that is not even the worst part. The rest of the book is Luce 'trying' to juggle between two guys. One is being nice and trying to get her to like him back which she willingly follows but leaves him when convenient for her and thinks of guy #2 - the jerk who flipped her off and tries to avoid her so she stalks him to find more about him and is too dumb enough to understand that HIS VOICE AND ACTIONS INDICATES THAT HE SAYS NO AND MEANS NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is it when someone is attracted to someone else in YA novels and that someone else says no, the person who liked them keeps bothering that person until they give in and say yes? Why? This so-called 'romance' between Luce and Daniel is Luce obsessing over Daniel immediately after he treats her like crap and Daniel keeps pushing her away but the idiot keeps coming back for more.

 

Yes people, this is the plot of basically about . . . 80% of the book. This just cycles throughout the story. No development of the relationship, no progress to the story, and just pure obsession over this asshole just because he's hot (oh, and he seems familiar to her). The rest of the story is rushed and doesn't make any sense. I must be stupid or something because there are some things I don't understand like . . .

 

- I still don't know what happened with Trevor or Todd for that matter, why were Luce and Todd pushed?
- Why these so-called 'shadows' follow Luce around (Seriously? Why do they care about Luce?)
- If Daniel loves her so much then why does he stick around when he knows she can die because of him?
- Why do these fallen angels need Luce? Really? Luce is so dumb that it took her OVER 70% OF THE BOOK TO FIGURE OUT WHAT DANIEL WAS!!!!!!!!
- Why was Daniel cursed? What's so special about Luce? And why is there a war? What's the point of it? To break them up? That can't be it!!!

 

Now on to characters.

 

Luce is one of the most annoying YA novel heroines that I had the misfortune to read about. I would say that she is very bland and boring but she isn't, she is supposed to be very smart because she told us of her achievements, which comes out of nowhere and is angry that Daniel is treating her that she is stupid, and she is. Seriously, I don't have to poke fun or mention it. The book does that for me. Which is really odd. The book outright tells us that her actions are stupid and illogical and yet the book expects its audience to like and support this character.

 

Okay girl, here are some points as to why you are stupid.

 

- First of all, you don't take your education seriously. If you were 'academically' smart then you would pay attention in class and try to keep your grades high. Not worrying about how long your classes are going to take!


- Second, you are obsessing over a guy that flipped you off that you barely met less than a minute ago. And yet she wonders what is wrong with her life. You know girl, if you want a good life and not want people to call you names or think ill of you then going after guys who treat you like crap after the first meeting and keep treating you like that repetitively isn't the best direction to go.


- Third, you have another guy who is treating you nice and you ignore him because "He isn't Daniel."


- Fourth, you do things that you are unsure about and you know you shouldn't do yet you do it anyway. Example: Cam invites her to go talk to him but she knows that he usually doesn't want to 'just talk' yet she goes anyway. And then she turns around and tells Daniel that she didn't mean to go there. Oh honey, YOU KNEW WHAT HE IS CAPABLE OF AND YOU WENT ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!! HE DIDN'T FORCE YOU!

 

- and Fifth, you are suppose to be nice and yet you don't give a damn about anybody else. Example: Todd died in a fire and she suspects that the shadows following her might have something to do with it (which is the logical thing to think because she was pushed down the stairs by a shadow before she passed out) so she tries to ask Gabbe, Arriane, and Penn about what happened to Todd. But she keeps getting interrupted and she just sips a frosty and listens to the girls interrupt her over and over. If she really cared about the guy then she would keep interrupting THEM and demand to know what happened to him. And what is her reaction when she finds out that he's dead??? Go ahead, take a guess. SHE THINKS OF HOW TREVOR'S DEATH AFFECTED HER AND HOW IT WAS A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE FOR HER AND HER ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Girl, the hell is wrong with you? This isn't about you! A classmate has died and all you care about is what people think of you and if they are going to call you a murderer. You don't give a second thought about his family or his friends that will be heartbroken because of his demise (assuming he was mortal, remember at this point she doesn't know yet).

 

Which goes back to one of the traits that I listed in one of my updates. Um, which was it?

 

Spoiled? No.

 

Stupid? Not that one.

 

Ignorant? Nope.

 

Selfish? Yes!

 

That's the one! Luce is unbelievably selfish that I'm shocked. I am so speechless that I don't know what to say. She is spoiled, selfish, ignorant, stupid, obsessive, and whiny. Oh geez! So whiny. Whiny about Daniel.

 

Ugh, and speaking of which.

 

Daniel is bland and boring and that's it. He's a jerk who has no common sense whatsoever. Him being near Luce might kill her and what does he do? He treats her like crap to keep her away from him. And when that doesn't work what does he do? He APPROACHES HER AND COMES TOO CLOSE TO HER! If he truly loved her then he would do everything in his power to keep himself away from her. That would work but in the book it says that no matter how far he runs he will always meet her. If he stopped searching for her then she would seek him out unconsciously.

 

Um . . . . . . what?

 

Let me see if I got this straight. So Daniel tries to avoid her so she doesn't die but then they always meet no matter what. Why would you have the book not support the hero in trying to allow his loved one to live by distancing himself from her? Yes it's tragic but it seems logical in what he was doing before. So why have him approach her if it could end her life? This isn't attractive or romantic!!! This is downright creepy and makes him a murderer!

 

The only likable person is the supposed villain. Miss Sophia. She tells Luce exactly what Luce is (the spoiled, selfish, stupid girl etc.). She also says that the fate of the eternal souls rested on two lovesick infants and she is angry. Yeah, I would be pissed too. I wouldn't want my soul to rest with these pathetic lovers. Glad she told the truth. When she was about to kill Luce. I was screaming "That's right girl!!! You can do it!!! Quit dawdling and hurry up!" But of course, Daniel saves Luce and that's the end of that book.

 

 

What a headache. The plot is nonexistent. The characters are bland and insufferable. The romance is just one being obsessive while the other is just a douche. There is no character development at all and there are many questions that haven't been answered. Not to mention that I've counted AT LEAST five chapters that could be removed because there is no point to them whatsoever. Read the second one, not worth it.

 

I'm sorry, I tried to get through it. I really did, but I just couldn't do it.

 

Fallen, I'm pretty much done with you.

SPOILER ALERT!

This book has great chemistry . . . or does it?

Perfect Chemistry - Simone Elkeles

When I first looked at this book I thought that it would be a typical YA novel. You know . . . the first person narrative, the typical bad boy that the heroine instantly falls in love with, the stupid forgettable villain, the drama that has NO significance to the story, and the side characters that are just there and don't matter.

 

BUT many people told me it was different and so I gave it a try. What did I think of it? Well, it was good. The couple in this book is probably one of the very few couples that didn't fall in love immediately and had to start from the beginning to work on their relationship. The characters were also memorable and fun to read. So, with those good qualities I thought that this book would be one of the best romance novels right?

 

 

. . . . Well, there are some problems.

 

One is the story. Its not that its bad, it's just that this story has been done over and over again. This story is just another good girl meets bad boy story. Which is fine if you could do something new with it and that's not at all what this is. And because we've seen this story so many times before, it becomes as predictable and clichéd as you can imagine.

 

That's also another problem with the book, the predictability of the story. Nothing in this story is surprising or shocking to the point where I'm having a difficult time getting invested. I predicted most of the events that happened. I know who lives, who the villain is, who dies, how the relationships turn out, and the ending.

 

Here are some examples of predictions that I found in this book.

 

In the first chapter of Brittany's perspective, her mother wants her to change shirt because she has peaches on it because a girl's reputation is what matters most. But Brittany thinks it's no big deal and covers it up with a scarf and doesn't want anybody from school meet her family because her family is not perfect. Gee, I wonder how Brittany's relationship with her parents will end up?

 

In Alex's first chapter it's a normal morning with Alex, his two younger brothers, and his mother eating breakfast. Gee, I wonder what happened to the father?

 

In their chemistry class, the teacher has them sit in alphabetical order to assign partners. Gee, I wonder who's gonna be partners?

 

We also meet Hector, who seems to be the head of the Latino Blood. Gee, I wonder who the villain is?

 

We also take a look at Colin and Brittany's relationship. He wants a little more than what they have and Brittany is not sure that she's ready. Gee, I wonder if he will push Brittany to have sex and cause her to separate further from him so she can conveniently grow closer to Alex?

 

 

 

See what I mean?

 

There is also a TON of clichés in this story and it does get annoying especially when they're predictable. But let's move on.

 

Ok, so those are pretty much the only things in this book that bother me and they don't destroy the book. I'm with the book enough. So let's talk about the good stuff because there are quite a few.

 

One thing that I really liked about this book is the relationship between the two main characters. Yeah, it's predictable and clichéd but it's not a relationship that had the two characters fall in love with each other immediately. Their relationship developed and had to grow from scratch. I really like how we get two people from two different cultures and two different personalities and we get a good and interesting romance.

 

 

The other thing that is really good in this book are the characters. Let's start with our two main characters.

 

Alex Fuentes is your typical bad boy stereotype and but also has an interesting personality. He's not only a lot of fun to read and follow, he is also supposedly dangerous and sexy. He’s arrogant, tough, intimidating, has good looks (of course), but also has an high level of confidence about him to boost. You knew it and he knew it too. His inner personality that was hidden from everyone else is very interesting to read about. He deeply cares about his family, he enjoys working on cars, he works hard to do well in school, and he decided that he will stay in the Latino Blood in order to prevent his younger brothers from getting involved with the Latino Blood and for them to live normal lives however they want. He’s a caring older brother with interests, hobbies, and goals. That’s a GREAT character. He has flaws, and he has a personality that makes him really likable.

 

Brittany Ellis is a stereotypical good girl. She’s the cheerleader captain, has the top grades, dates the most handsome boys, and always looks good. She’s practically the Barbie idol of her high school. She has parents who want to send her sister Shelly away because they’re apparently having a hard time taking care of her and of course Brittany protests and is willing to do everything she can to keep herself close to her sister Shelly. Even though Brittany is a good character, I just don’t find her as interesting as Alex. I’m sorry, I do like her but I’ve seen this good girl stereotype before. She has the perfect life but it’s only the outside of how her life truly is. But I will say that she’s more interesting than most heroines that I’ve seen in young adult novels. She’s caring in the inside but has her limits and acts like nothing can get to her on the outside, she's also hardworking, a romantic, into cheerleading, actually cares about school, and she has goals; one of which is to get accepted into a university that will allow her to stay close to her sister. And I really like that about her. Brittany’s goal is understandable and achievable, which sets her apart from some heroines in YA books.

 

 

The other characters are a lot of fun too. Paco is an enjoyable character to read. He’s funny, laidback, cares about his friends and sees them as family. The other school characters are ok but the only problem with them is that they are the type of characters that I’ve seen before. Like the douchebag of a boyfriend who wants to have sex with the main female lead which causes their relationship to get strained. The ex-girlfriend of the guy who's jealous of his new girlfriend and acts very angry and mean towards her. The girl's parents who are outraged by her choice of her new boyfriend. The girl's friends who don't like the guy she's dating.

 

It wouldn’t be a big deal if there was something new done with these characters. It’s not bad, it’s just that I’ve seen this before and it would be nice to see something new with these characters.

 

 

 

If I did have one complaint, it would be that the villain is a little weak. But I don’t find that surprising, considering that defeating the villain is not the focus of the book. The focus of the book is where is should be: the development of the relationship between our two main characters, Alex and Brittany. I guess that makes sense since this is a romance between two people with two different lifestyles trying to get through their problems like everyone else in life.

 

But I will say that I really do like the fact that the villain in this book doesn't try to keep the couple apart. That happens A LOT in YA novels and it really gets old. (Not to mention that this book is not paranormal romance so it wouldn't make sense for him to get between them anyway.) He's just doing his business the way he's sees fit and I honestly think that he could care less about who Alex is dating. So I'm really grateful for that.

 

So do I like the book? Yes, I would consider myself a fan of the book. I just have a few issues with it.

SPOILER ALERT!

A Historical Fantasy . . . Dragons Anyone?

His Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. It allows authors to show their creative and limitless imagination through their books. So naturally I picked it up, thought it looked good and read it. Honestly, it didn't disappoint. I thought this book was pretty good. It had likeable characters, interesting relationships, and a nice story to follow. So where to begin . . . ?

Let's take a look at our characters.

 

The book centers around William Laurence, a navy Captain or used to be until he became an aviator, and his dragon Temeraire.

 

Laurence is probably not the most interesting character in this book. He was a navy Captain who his crew looked up to. He's polite, thinks things through, honorable, protective of those he cares about, a strong leader, and that's about it. It's not that he's a bad person, he's good and I like this character, but the problem is that there’s no depth to him. Throughout the entire book the readers follow Laurence around and most of the time it’s just him discovering new things about being an aviator, interacting with his dragon and that’s pretty much it.

 

Laurence is just bland, the only complexity with this character is his relationship concerning his loved ones. His mother cares for him even though he is looked down upon by society because he’s an aviator (I still don’t know why the aviators are frowned upon but I’ll get to that in a bit.) and his father wants nothing to do with him because Laurance’s presence will cause unwanted attention and he has never approved of his son’s choice in his careers. Jeez, talk about disowning your own children. He also says goodbye to his love interest from his past, Edith, because she feels hurt and cheated. Why? Because she waited for him while he was at sea and yet he makes a decision on his own that prevents them from being together because the life of an aviator is not a life that will bring a happy marriage. I found his response, or lack thereof, to be pretty much . . . . . . . . . . . . nothing. Edith says goodbye, walks away, and he just lets her go. What? No last words? No regrets? No ‘Have a nice life?’ or ‘I wish for your happiness?’ type of goodbye? No? I guess not. There are a bunch of thoughts that go into his head but that’s about it. Moving on to the next character.

 

Temeraire is a black dragon with great intelligence who is apparently from a rare breed of dragons called the Chinese Imperials. So naturally everyone makes a big fuss over him because evidently a Chinese Imperial has never been seen outside of China. So what’s likable about Temeraire? Well, he’s intelligent, curious, determined, protective, possessive, obedient (to Laurence anyway, actually he’s both protective and possessive over Laurence too), and cares about what other dragons think of him. Like Laurence, there’s not a lot of depth to Temeraire but that doesn’t make them ’non-likable’ or anything. I really like it when Temeraire grows and asks Laurence questions about his own heritage and the world that he lives in. It really brings his curiosity out and I found myself very fascinated with this character. I really like the bond between Temeraire and Laurence because at first Laurence seems that looking after Temeraire is a chore and a burden but as he gets to know Temeraire their bond grows and it turns out to be a great friendship that develops throughout the course of the book.

 

We also meet other characters who are likable as well. You got John Granby who becomes Laurence’s friend and Temeraire’s first lieutenant, the training master Celeritas who is a dragon, Laurence’s lover Jane Roland and her dragon Exidium, Matthew Berkley and his dragon Maximus, Catherine Harcourt and her dragon Lily, and Jean-Paul Choiseul.

 

Interestingly enough, there’s not a whole lot that happens in this book, the book gives us the development of the relationship between are two main characters and there are a couple of fights here and there but there’s not a whole lot going on. This book has waaaaaaaaaaay too many filler (reason why I subtracted a star) and not enough development or growth on the characters. There is a lot of parts with Laurence and Temeraire but there isn’t enough on the other characters like Granby, Berkley, or Maximus. Now that’s a shame because I really like those guys. They seemed pretty interesting but maybe they will be mentioned more in the next book. I sincerely hope so.

 

Another thing that I was always puzzled was that the aviators are frown upon in society and are a disgrace to their families. But why? Based on the narration following Laurence it doesn't seem like that bad of a life. Granted, it looks like a lot of hard work but that doesn't make it a bad life. I would think that taking care of dragon would be cool not shameful. But this is coming from the perspective of someone who was born and raised in the 1990's and 2000's and not from the early 1800's. So yeah . . . moving on.

 

Now I know that some people find this book to be too long because nothing happens and I will admit that’s true but I found the book very fascinating when it showed the strong bond that Temeraire and Laurence had and it seems very good. It was also very interesting on how Temeraire seems to have a rebellious attitude when considering his purpose for the British but is completely loyal to Laurence. So why did Temeraire choose Laurence? Is it because he is intelligent and seemed to like Laurence’s character better or is it another factor? The only problem that I see is that there are no arguments or conflicts that take place in their relationship and it is kind of bland even though it’s good.

 

Hopefully the next book will be more interesting.

 

Well, either way I thought that this was a good book despite its flaws. Makes me look forward to the next book.

What the heck was this????

Wings - Aprilynne Pike Spells - Aprilynne Pike Illusions - Aprilynne Pike Destined - Aprilynne Pike

I honesty don't know what to make of this book (or the series) its a poor written fairy version of Twilight except the heroine is the inhuman being. Apparently in this fantasy world the fairies flowers-like fairies.

 

WHAT??????

 

O_O

 

Okay . . . .

 

That was a little weird but it was new and I can get used to new.

 

Well anyway . . .

 

This story goes all over the place. The protagonist is given a poor character. Her human love interest is no better either and the fairy boy to complete her love triangle is just there for Laurel to have a difficult time choosing between two boys from her two different worlds.

 

Hmm . . . sound familiar?

 

Also, who is(are) the villain(s)? The trolls? Really? What was their goal again? Cuz I don't even remember what they were after. It had something to do with a fairy gate or something like that. I don't remember and I don't really care. All I know is that it seemed a little more focused on the heroine and her relationships.

 

I know that sometimes if a book is just about the relationship then it can get annoying but for me that wouldn't matter if the relationship that was given between two interesting characters in an interesting story. And that is not what this is. There are just bland characters with little to no personality and to me seemed completely dull.

 

And where is the character development? I don't see any progression with these characters at all. A good character goes through a certain journey and develops because of it (for better of for worse). I don't mean a physical change like in Twilight, I mean a mental or emotional change which can make them them weaker or stronger. Look at Harry Potter. He grows, matures, and develops. Granted he makes mistakes but he grew as a character. Look at Light Yagami from the manga Death Note, he changes because of the journey he has been through.

 

Not only is there NO progression of these characters at all but nothing in these books are interesting. It's just a bore. The main character is boring, her two love interests are boring, the villains are boring, the plot is boring, even the fairy world setting which could have been cool is boring. This book, plus it's sequels, is a snore fest.

 

The thing with this book series is that they are dull and predictable. We already know what the characters are going to do. We already know the result of the climax. We already know who the main character is going to be with. We already know the ending of this series. We already know the message that the books send. Must I say more?

 

The only thing I did find cool was the ranks and differences between the seasonal fairies. The winter fairies are the strongest, with the fall fairies after, and the summer fairies, and then the spring fairies. But that was it. The fairy world was ok, just ok.

 

For an idea that seemed pretty decent. It didn't feel like there was a lot of creativity into this. The fairy culture and world was interesting but it wasn't explored enough because the story just focused on the stupid heroine's relationships that weren't even that interesting to begin with.

 

Yeah, this book was bad guys. Pretty bad.

The Shougo Manga that started it all

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1  - Naoko Takeuchi, William Flanagan Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 2 - Naoko Takeuchi, Naoko Takeuchi, William Flanagan Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 3 - Naoko Takeuchi, William Flanagan

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like this manga. In fact, I was expecting to loathe it. To my surprise, I didn’t. But let me be clear in saying that I didn’t love this manga. I don’t know what it is about this manga but it’s a manga that I would love to bash but at the same time there’s this charm and likability to it that I just can’t hate it.

 

I don’t know why people label this a sci-fi manga. I mean, yeah, the characters came from the moon but the rest of the elements make this manga a fantasy.

 

So, now that I got that out of the way let’s take a look at the story. Sailor Moon is the shojo manga that basically started the magic girl story in manga. It’s very predictable and cheesy. I mean unbelievably cheesy. Like nacho cheese cheesy. Since it is also a romance, it tends to have those romantic clichés like the main couple being total opposites and not getting along.

 

But no matter how many flaws this manga has, I have to admit that there is this charm to it that just makes it kind of likable. Some of the characters are likable and the plot did move surprisingly fast. I’ll probably read the rest of the series, who knows? I might like it more.

I definitely read this at the wrong age.

Dragon Ball, Volume 1 (Dragon Ball Vizbig Editions) - Akira Toriyama

I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this but I was definitely introduced to this series at the wrong age. Or at least the wrong time in my life where I have already read a lot of manga and watched a lot of anime.

 

This series was kinda of a bore for me. The plot is very simplistic and the action is very cheesy. But since this series is most people's childhood favorites I won't bash it too much.

The comedy is just a little too overdone and I wasn't sure if I should take it seriously or not. Some of it is really perverted humor and I sometimes wonder if a few kids will get it. The characters have their own personalities but for the most part, they were just really goofy. I mean really silly.

 

The only character I cared for was the main character Goku. He was innocent and he's the typical hero whose strong but not very bright. He's willing to help his friends because he has a strong will that brings out his powers. I can see a lot of main character from several manga series based off this guy. Like Luffy from One Piece, Naruto from Naruto, Ichigo from Bleach, Rin from Blue Exorcist, and a ton of others.

 

I'm not much of a fan but I give big praise for most of you that enjoyed this series

The Book Thief: Why did I not enjoy this?

The Book Thief - Trudy White, Markus Zusak

This is definitely a book that I had a hard time rating. It was one of those books where I had to place it in the 'what-the-heck-do-I-rate-this' shelf. Needless to say, this book is definitely one of those books where I didn't like it but everyone around me adored it. (this situation was very similar to when I read The Fault in Our Stars)

 

So why didn't I like this book while everybody else loved it? Well part of my problem was that it just wasn't really interesting and, surprisingly, it was very difficult to keep reading. I just didn't find myself that invested in this book. The pacing was incredibly slow and I really didn't understand Death following around the main character. She wasn't interesting, nothing really special happened, and I was really puzzled on why Death was really interested in 'the book thief'.

 

I mean the writing was beautiful but I had mixed feelings about Death's narration throughout the whole book. It was both interesting and annoying. I really liked Death's inability to feel when taking people's souls and carrying them into the after life but that was about it. The rest of him was pretty annoying. I felt like I should be fascinated by his narration, I mean it's Death for crying out loud! But no, he wasn't that impressive. Which was a shame because that was the big thing I kept hearing about this book.

 

Death kept saying that this person died or so-and-so died like this and then he would go back and continue the narration like it was nothing. Now I don't mind his detachment towards people dying, what I do mind is how he just tells us that certain characters die and he goes back to telling us how that person died and just continues the story. That probably didn't bother most people but to me that just ruined any emotional connection that I might have had with any of these characters. It also didn't help that the majority of the characters really weren't that interesting. The only ones that were memorable to me were the Liesel's foster parents. I kinda liked them. The foster father (Hans) was kind and very giving towards her and the mother (Rosa) was stern but also very likeable.

 

The others? I don't remember them. Rudy was boring and dull. I tried to like Max but he had nothing going for him besides him loathing Hitler and him feeling that he's not worthy of Hans and Rosa to care for him. Both parts understandable and predictable. But that's it and not very complex or interesting.

 

There wasn't even a plot to this book. It just followed Liesel around but nothing happened except for the 'shocking ending' that Death just so happened to spoil for us.

 

I wish there was more that I could say but there isn't much more. This book was just a difficult book to get through. It took me over a month to finish it. I would read around 100 pages or so before I had to put it down but then I wouldn't pick it up for about a week until I read another 100-150 pages.

 

So in conclusion, I didn't like it. For those of you that did, I'm glad. Maybe you found something good in it that I didn't.

A Story of Vengeance: Lady Snowblood

Lady Snowblood, Vol. 1: Kind der Rache - Kazuo Koike, Kazuo Kamimura Lady Snowblood, Vol. 2: The Deep-Seated Grudge, Part 2 - Kazuo Koike, Kazuo Kamimura Lady Snowblood, Vol. 3: Retribution, Part 1 - Kazuo Koike, Kazuo Kamimura Lady Snowblood, Vol. 4: Retribution, Part 2 - Kazuo Koike, Kazuo Kamimura

I have to admit that I'm not one to read stories on assassins but I've been reading a few of them lately and I have to say that I kinda like this one. Now that doesn't mean that this manga is a masterpiece or anything but this manga is more like one of my guilty pleasures like Dragon Knights.

 

The story is about a woman named Oyuki who is on a path of vengeance towards the ones who raped her mother and killed her family. Oyuki's skills as an assassin are unbelievable. She uses her resources to find the ones she's after and then uses her assassin skills to kill them. While her skills are pretty badass, her character is pretty bland. She's not really interesting. Seeing as this is a manga about an assassin with no emotion there's no surprise that the main character has no outward emotional responses except when she is with people that she gets to know well like her aunt and this gentleman who she sees as her father figure. As sweet as that is, there is not much interaction between these characters and so it doesn't seem believable that they would have a relationship.

 

The story is okay but not really that complex but it's interesting enough. The story follows Yuki as she goes to find the ones her mother wants revenge on and sets out to kill them. It's not that interesting but when she goes after the people she's been training to kill, it gets intense and it does give good action scenes.

 

A bit of warning though. It is a josei yuri manga so there are some sexual content between women. It's not porn but the scenes are still there so if that makes you uncomfortable then don't read.

 

There is also not much else to talk about because there are only four volumes to this manga. So you guys have an awesome day. :)

SPOILER ALERT!

My First Manga: Dragon Knights - A Fantasy Adventure

Dragon Knights, Volume 13 - Mineko Ohkami Dragon Knights, Volume 6 - M. Ohkami Dragon Knights (Dragon Knights (Sagebrush)) - M. Ohkami Dragon Knights: Volume 12 (Dragon Knights (Sagebrush)) - M. Ohkami Dragon Knights 24 - Mineko Ohkami Dragon Knights 25 - Ohkami Mineko Dragon Knights, Volume 4 - Mineko Ohkami Dragon Knights, Volume 1 - Mineko Ohkami Dragon Knights, Volume 2 - Mineko Ohkami Dragon Knights, Volume 3 - Mineko Ohkami

What is really weird with my history concerning manga was that this manga series was the first manga series that I read (well, technically InuYasha was) and it introduced me to many other series that I read that were available in the small town that I grew up in. After Dragon Knights I read other sereis like Fruits Basket, Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, and Planet Ladder.

 

While Dragon Knights was nothing spectacular I still enjoyed it and the art, that is not very common was interesting for me to look at. It has the typical 'good vs. evil' type story and I thought it was good. The characters are a lot of fun and I love the change in the tone of the series. I'm talking about how it goes from humorous to more action and making the series a little bit more dramatic.

 

If I did have any complaints of the series, it would be Rath & Cesia's pasts which isn't explained a whole lot. Cesia's past is not clearly explained because Nadil mentions that she was created from his wind magic, which makes sense because she is a powerful wind demon, but then Rath tells her that she has real parents because Zoma was going to find them. And then Nadil mentions that Rath's previous identity was the Demon King of the East and that the alchemist Kharl tried to recreate him. Even to this day, I'm still confused about Rath's past (if they would go into more detail with that or do some sort of flashback that showed him as the Demon King of the East, that would be cool) and his connection with Nohiro. Why does Nohiro get a headache when he thinks of Rath's name? What is their connection? It is never revealed because the last time we see Nohiro is when he freed the Eastern King (I think that's who he is) and the Eastern King goes and assists Kitchel.

 

This series is not that great or spectacular but my reason for giving it a five star rating is that this series is one of my guilty pleasures. It's nothing fantastic but I still do like it. But let's get to the story.

 

Dragon Knights is a fantasy adventure and it knows that but it doesn't quite follow all the way through. I'm mostly talking about the modern-day talk which is mostly used for the comedy of the series. The story is nothing new and very simple: keep the villain from being reborn but of course he does and the heroes have to stop him.

 

Ok, so the story is nothing new but what makes the series stand out are the characters. They are all fun, incredibly likable, have their own personality, and there are different variety of species with the side characters (not surprising since this is a fantasy world). You have humans (the witches, fortune tellers, etc) demons, fairies, elves, dragons, and citizens of Draqueen (the dragon kingdom) which are the Dragon Knights or Dragon Officers. (By the way, what are they? Are they actually dragon people or some nonhuman people that work with dragons? They aren't elves so are they dragons? I don't know but they are different from other species that are in the series.) But anyway, back to the characters.

 

The main characters, Rath and Cesia, are entertaining and likable. Rath is an obsessed demon fighter who hates being in the dragon palace but is also keeping a dark secret from his comrades. He feels that he shouldn't be allowed to live and he is a demon that was given the blood of the Dragon Lord to make him the heir to Lord Lykoulen. Rath has this complexity towards him because of his inner struggle with himself. He hates himself and doesn't think he deserves to live because of the horrible actions he's committed in his past even though it wasn't entirely his fault. In later volumes, it appears that he holds some sort of grudge towards the royals and officers of Draqueen. Even after I finished this series, I'm still confused on why Rath feels any anger towards them. It is because he feels he needs to die and they won't let him or is it that they care about him and he doesn't want them to? Well ok then, moving on.

 

Cesia is also a demon, who was given a dragon amulet to keep her dark side sealed within her. Cesia is one of the most interesting characters because both her character and past is a little complex. She is a wind demon that was raised as a witch's apprentice and took a human disguise to conceal her identity. She is smart, kind, powerful (psychologically as well as physically), logical, and stands up for those she cares about. I really like her inner struggle with her inner demon because it creates complexity and depth towards her character. She has her demon side that sides with Nadil not for the sake of being his ally but just for the sake of doing evil. In particular to those who sealed her away (mostly the Dragon Tribe).

 

Now to the side characters, let's first look that the Dragon Lord and Lady.

 

Well I can't talk about one without talking about the other. Lord Lykoulen and Lady Raseleane are the king and queen of Draqueen. Lykoulen is a kind leader who is sympathetic and able to see good qualities in people that others or the person themselves are not able to see. He is not allowed to leave the palace by his dragon officers because he is the only heir left to Draqueen and his safety is important. Raseleane is similar to her husband. She's kind and is a mother figure to most of the remnants of the palace in Draqueen. They both love each other very much and are very devoted to one another. The only thing is that Raseleane gets kidnapped twice in the series and Lykoulen always has to rescue her while also having other problems to deal with in Draqueen. It is later revealed that Lykoulen was the previous Light Dragon Knight and wielded the dragon sword. But Lady Raseleane's only power is her dragon eyes and nothing else. I know that she's not one of the more important side characters but can't she have powers of some sort that gives her enough responsibility and power in the palace so she can be on the same level as her husband? No? No awesome dragon power? Ok then.

 

The other two Dragon Knights, Rune and Thatz, are not exactly side characters but are secondary main characters. Rune is very logical focused, places his mission above other tasks, and is very close to the main hero Rath. He is an elf prince that eventually regains his elfin powers after he looses them once he became a dragon knight. Thatz was a human thief who tried to steal the earth dragon, while it was in its seal, but was possessed by a demon in order to kill the Dragon Lord but became a Dragon Knight with the help of the Dragon Lord and the earth dragon. I found these guys pretty interesting, Thatz was the laid back one who cared about treasure and food while Rune was uptight and rational to had to yell at Rath and Thatz about the importance of their missions. Together they were hilarious, separately they were funny and fascinating.

 

The other characters are also a lot of fun to read. The dragon officers are pretty cool. There's Alfeegi who is smart, resourceful, always uptight, like Rune, and is always looking for someone, doing paper work, or lecturing the Dragon Lord or Kaistern. Ruwalk is childish and helps those he cares about even though he gets in trouble for it. Kaistern is an adventurer who was a teacher to Rath and always goes on missions even though he gets lectured for it. He is very close to Rath and would do anything in his power to save Rath even if Rath might hate him for it. Tetheus is the more serious one as he's in charge of the security of the Dragon palace and apparently he has a secret. He is the brother of Shydeman and Shyrendora which makes him a demon as well.

 

The other side characters are pretty cool. Kitche's funny, Tintlet's kind, Zoma is hilarious which leaves us the villains.

 

Let me tell you, I absolutely like LOVE these villains. They are just pure evil, killing people carrying out their evil plans and enjoying being evil. The main villain is Nadil. His plans are not completely clear but his motive is pretty clear: he wants to rule all three lands. So basically he wants power. While his motive is not that strong, it's his means to reach his goals is what makes him diabolical. At first, it's not clear on the relationship between him and the Dragon Lord that started this fight between each other until in later volumes. Nadil was the Wind Dragon Knight serving under the dragon lord but betrayed him by apparently eating the Wind Dragon (which is the most powerful dragon out of all the others) and building a demonic army. His second in commands are Shydeman and Shyrendora.

 

Shydeman and Shyrendora are twin demons who share the same soul as a result of joining Nadil's army and being saved when close to death. Although they like manipulating people and look similar, they have two different personalities. Shydeman is calm and intelligent while Shyrendora is easily agitated and has a short temper. They both work together very well and are just AWESOME villains.

 

What else can I say? The story and the journey of the characters were really good and the ending was pretty good because some people that were originally villains (they were more like side villains than main villains) ended up becoming allies to our main characters and some characters and some characters that I liked died. I was so sad when they died. *sniffs & sighs* A very satisfactory ending.

 

Other than the little nitpicks that I mentioned, I have no problems with this series. It's creative, fun, adventurous, the characters are likeable, and the action is pretty good too. I really enjoyed this series to the end with its flaws.

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SPOILER ALERT!

What brought Teenagers into the Vampire Genre

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer, Stephenie Meyer New Moon - Stephenie Meyer Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) - Stephenie Meyer Breaking Dawn  - Stephenie Meyer

When the first Twilight book came out my sister read it, thought it was okay and suggested it to me. I read it, didn't find it interesting and moved on. You read the books, you've seen the movies, so now we're going to talk about them. (actually I'm going to be ranting while you read my review mwa ha ha ha ha! :P)

 

I'm probably going to be one of the very few who hates the books but still manages to find the good stuff. So . . . . . . .

 

Ok, before I go into detail about what I hate about the books let's talk about the good stuff. (Even though there aren't that many)

 

The idea behind the books was a decent idea. By idea, I mean the story. I know that some people hate the idea of having a vampire (or vampires) being a non-'blood-sucking monsters' and try to live peacefully among humans. For me, I just glanced over this fact because this is a small detail and isn't the only reason to hate the books. I thought it was interesting for a vampire story. I talked with my mother and a couple of older women who liked the books and they said this:

 

"It is so nice to finally see a vampire who is not a monster but a person who doesn't want to be a monster." (It wasn't exactly in these words but close enough)

 

*me thinking* Well, ok, but aren't vampires supposed to be blood suckers? I mean, they have to do that in order to survive right? I don't know what the big deal is. This idea of the Twilight vampires trying to live peacefully because they don't want to be monsters is nothing new. We've seen this story before.

 

Oh, and that leads me to another point that most Twilight-haters seem to hate about the vampires in the books. Vampires don't sparkle. I think it’s really stupid but I could care less because there are some bigger problems with these books.

 

What should have been done was this: make the vampires die in the sunlight. That would allow more drama and would bring much more tension into the relationship. If Bella had to only see her vampire boyfriend during the night, it would allow good drama and growth for the relationship because this would lead to creative ideas about Bella and Edward trying to get their relationship to work even though they can only see each other at night.

 

But you could make the argument that this situation would only cause Bella to sneak out of the house just to see her boyfriend and that would cause a lot of uproar. And I would be lying if I said I didn't see that.

 

There is also the different powers that they have, which I had to admit was pretty cool, but it made the vampires too perfect. Weren't there limits to what they can do with their powers? (Alice obviously had limitations because she only saw the future when it was convenient for the plot) But I guess there was a slight balance when the werewolves were added to create other powerful creatures but guess what? They don't get any special powers at all. They just transform and that's it. (Which was totally disappointing)

 

Another thing I thought would have been cool but was a little disappointed about was the Volturi. The way they were built up was making these characters sound cool and awesome. But they are forgettable did nothing impressive.

 

When I finally saw them in the story I was like . . . WHAT?????? THAT'S IT???? Well, that was lame. Yeah they did kill people but they are the most boring villains I ever read in YA novels so far. Not that the other villains were that good but COME ON!!!! This is a GREAT opportunity to get some really cool villains in here but they are pitiful. Why? Because I don't remember one thing about these guys. I thought their powers were pretty cool but they don't do much. I mean the vampire society was pretty cool but they are just so boring. Their powers are not shown much so they become boring. What they say is boring. What they do is boring. These characters are just boring for villains.

 

If they don't use their powers much because they didn't feel like it or something, that's fine. But can’t they at least be more interesting? I know they're evil but I'm sorry, I find Disney villains more memorable than the Volturi. If I can't even remember their names, let alone their powers, then that's not a good sign. Like I said, I don't remember a thing about these guys.

 

 

Wait a minute . . . didn't I say I'd be talking about the good stuff?

 

Right then. Let me just talk about what I did like about the book(s). Well, I'll go back to my first point. The idea. When I saw Edward's struggle, I thought it would be good to see Edward's inner struggle with his blood thirst and love for Bella but I was also terrified and I didn't like the relationship between the two. But I like the idea the author was trying to get across, or what I thought it was trying to get across. I really like the idea of the 'one who tames the beast' idea. If there would be more detail, or better detail, on how Bella would somehow calm Edward into not wanting her blood then I would find that doable. But nope, that is not at all what this is. It’s just Bella following Edward around while he just tosses her around as he pleases. Now moving on to our villain.

 

James is a horrible villain, the plot goes from the developing of the relationship to Bella needing to be rescued by a boring villain. The story should have done one of two things: either build up the villain earlier in the story and make him more interesting, or keep out the villain and just focus on the development of the relationship. That would have been good. That would have been going in the right direction. But this is what I would have liked to see/read instead of accepting what is actually there.

 

Most people hate the characters and yeah they should. But to be fair, the only characters that actually seemed like, oh I don't know, CHARACTERS are a few people.

 

Charlie was pretty decent, the only thing that bothered me was when he finds out about vampires and werewolves and he doesn't react a whole lot. Which is the opposite of how a normal person should act! He just says he doesn't want to know anymore then moves on. WHAT? Why? You're the parent! Why aren't you asking questions? He just lets it go???? Just like that? *shakes head* Ok then. Moving on.

 

Alice was ok. Except she only saw the future when it was convenient for the plot. She had the most interesting personality out of all the Cullens.

 

Jacob seem like the only decent character except that he's the other idiot that's in love with Bella. (Given that the first idiot is Edward) He appears to be a little smarter than Edward and supports the decisions of those he cares about even though he might not agree with them. I felt bad for him because as soon as he began a relationship with Bella I was thinking "Oh, here's a guy who is just going to be used as a replacement for Edward because, let's face it guys, we all know that Bella is going to choose Edward." I don't know why people wanted him with Bella, the poor idiot fell in love with a man-dependent manipulator like her. I was shaking my head thinking 'Run away, idiot! Run!' Poor sucker. As for the other characters, I don’t much care for them and found them completely forgettable.

 

One of the major things I hate about these poor books is the unhealthy relationship that the two main characters have. The way Edward treats Bella makes me grit my teeth and is insulting not just to me but to women in general. He's controlling, abusive, and a stalker. I fail to see how people find this acceptable. It just . . . doesn't make any sense to me! This is a wish-fulfillment right? And because of that, I don't want to find a character that we are suppose to love and support to be with this loser. This is just horrible and practically SCREAMS signs of an abusive relationship. The fact that this main character sees her boyfriend as her whole world and dwells on no one but him and doesn't give a second thought about her friends and family, even though they worry and care about her, is just awful and makes the relationship seem unhealthy.

 

And even though Bella is dumb enough to get herself killed it's still insulting to see that she has to depend on him constantly! I also don't get when Edward leaves her because he thinks he's "protecting" her. (Does this idiot not realize that this girl has been a danger magnet before he met her?) This was just to have a stupid love triangle (that is not needed) because we all know that these two idiots are going to get together in the end. What I also can't STAND is when girls try to persuade me that a guy watching a girl sleep BEFORE SHE KNOWS HIM is romantic. That is very repulsive and what made me so ANGRY was that someone tried to persuade me by saying this: "It's like a protector watching over you. Think about how your parents watched you when you slept when you were little."

 

My mind was screaming HOLD IT! HOLD IT! HOLD IT!!!!!!!!!! There are so many things wrong with this picture that I have to stop and make bullet points. Ok,

 

• first of all, parents raising their children have nothing to do with stalkers, people you don't even know that well, watching you when you sleep

 

• second, my parents NEVER watched me while I slept (not even when I was a little kid) because they were sleeping at the same time I was

Why?

Because taking care of a baby is exhausting, when they sleep, you sleep. Babies don't sleep all night for 24 hrs. My mother would know, she told me and she raised THREE babies at the same time!

 

• third, if Edward wanted to protect her why would he watch her sleep? What is he going to protect her from? Her nightmares? Also, he enters into her home THROUGH HER WINDOW AND WITHOUT HER PERMISSION!!!!!! I would have called the cops in a heartbeat and put a restraining order on the creep! If you want him to protect her, that's fine. But could you find a better way of telling it?

 

And that leads me to another point. The heroine.

 

I was watching Nostalgia Critic not too long ago and he mentioned Bella’s horrible character and I quote “This heroine has to be the most selfish, man-dependent, uncaring, manipulative, self-centered, idiotic, whiny little girl I have ever read about!!!!!

 

Honestly, that wouldn't be too bad of a character, that would be an interesting character to read IF SHE WAS WRITTEN LIKE THAT INTENTIONALLY! But she isn't, she is suppose to represent the everyday teenage girl that the readers are suppose to identify with and relate to."

 

So true. Bella is such a boring and horrible character that I don't even know where to start with her. She is completely stupid. I'm talking about the parts where Bella does life threatening activities because she has hallucinations of Edward. SHE RIDES ON MOTORCYCLES AND JUMPS OFF CLIFFS JUST SO HE CAN NOTICE HER!

 

Girl, YOU ARE STUPID!!!!!!

 

So teens, if your boyfriend dumps you, do exactly this. I'm pretty sure it won't backfire in the slightest. You could DIE but I'm sure that will teach your boyfriend a lesson. Could you imagine if she did die? "Well, way to go moron! Bet ya can't freakin do it again!"

 

And now my hatred shall move on from the horrible Bella to creepy Edward.

 

I just hate this guy. Edward is a vampire that has lived for a hundred years (this is just an estimation) and not grown a personality. Which makes sense because he falls in love with little-to-no personality Bella. Edward is just a jerk!!! He stalks Bella, doesn't treat her very well, and even wrecks her truck so she won't see her friend Jacob. How many times does Bella have to prove to this idiot that she loves him? Especially when she finds out that he's going to get himself killed because he thinks that she's dead, and you know what she does? SHE LEAVES JACOB AND HER FATHER TO GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND LET HIM KNOW THAT SHE'S STILL ALIVE TO SAVE HIS ASS! She went to another country to save him! And another thing, he says he is very protective of her.

 

Ok, but why act all creepy and stalkerish? Why does he feel protective over her? Did he somehow decide her as his future mate and wants nothing to happen to her? If so, how did he know that she was the one? Come on, I need more than 'she smells good.' Did Alice sort of tell him because she can see the future? If this was mentioned in the book, I don't remember and I apologize.

                                                 

These books are just wish-fulfillment. Unfortunately, that is what is marketable in today's society. That's why Bella never does anything and has to be rescued all the time. She is basically a skin for young teenage girls to wear that allows them to enter a fantasy world for them to attract hot males and for men to solve all their problems.

 

What is even worse is when the heroine becomes pregnant, (which pops the hell out of nowhere) and actually grows as a character because she takes responsibility and decides to do what she thinks is best for her baby and sacrifice her life for it, and NOBODY SUPPORTS HER. It also doesn't help when Edward is thinking of getting rid of the "ABOMINATION" (a child that he created with her, mind you) and then he wants to kill it.

 

Seriously? You are going to bring an issue of abortion into the fourth book? Really? That wouldn't be too bad if it was handled well, you know, the couple talks about the issue and treat it like adults right?

 

NO!!!!!!!! That is NOT what happens. Edward acts like a little child and even considers his wife, HIS OWN SPOUSE MIND YOU!!!!!!!!, to sleep with Jacob so she can be a mother. Not only that, but he also treats her like crap and acts like it’s her fault. What’s up with that? I was just shocked and disgusted that I threw the book across the room and wanted to use the book for fuel for the fireplace.

 

Stupid vampire, SHE IS YOUR WIFE!!!!!! GO TALK TO HER LIKE AN ADULT SHOULD!!!!!

 

This pissed me off so much that I can't form words to describe my feelings for this. Here in these books is a BIG issue that is still being debated to this day and the book treats it like a joke. If you are going to bring a HUGE issue like abortion into books then know what you are talking about. And if you are going to do that then DON'T put it in a vampire book. Yes, the pregnancy might kill her and if Edward disagrees with her about keeping it then we should have a BIG discussion between two adults. Right?

 

We have our heroine doing something that she believes is right (which I admit I like that's she's growing as a character) and we're supposedly supposed to support her right? That's fine; if a woman decides to risk her life for her baby even though she might die because it is what she feels is right, then I'm all for it. What I'm NOT for is how the whole book goes against her in her decision. EVEN IN THE MOVIES!!!! No one except the blonde vampire is on her side supporting her. Until, that is, they find out that there IS a way to save her and the baby. NOW EVERYONE supports her. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And the most stupid thing about this scenario is that they treat this situation as if it's the first time its ever happened. Um, guys . . . I'm pretty sure Bella and Edward weren't the first human/vampire couple in history to have sex and create a child.)

 

And you know the rest, the birth, the transformation, the buildup to an absolutely NONEXISTENT battle. (Well technically, it was a mental battle of their mental powers or something like that) I think that the ending should have went like this: IF deciding to impregnate her then leave her as a human and let her die because it would have allowed Edward to accept his daughter and raise her, telling her about her mother who was a human that accepted and loved a vampire for what he was. That would have been fantastic. That would have been a more powerful ending. I could have enjoyed that. But it wouldn't be a happy ending and everyone would have been pissed. Oh well.

 

There's also the weird imprinting that Jacob has on Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee. (Which is an weird name by the way) Yeah, um . . . . . . . . what? According to the Twilight fans, imprinting means that a werewolf marks someone as his mate and then that would make Jacob a pedophile wolf? I don't even exactly know what this imprinting is. It's made up, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, it sounds stupid, and it wasn't explained very well.

 

But then when Bella finds out she throws a hissy fit because Jacob loves her daughter and not her. Oh please, you have Edward. Why should you care about Jacob's feelings? You can't have them both, you are married to Edward. MOVE THE HELL ON! (even though it is a bit odd and disgusting that Jacob sees this little girl as his future partner) But THEN Bella throws ANOTHER fit when she finds out that Jacob named her daughter Nessie, which is a nickname after the Loch Ness Monster. Yeah well . . .  It's not like the name you gave your daughter was any better. *sighs* Oy vey.

 

Remember how I ranted on how the heroine was a terrible character? I know that people mentioned that she's a horrible role model and that many teenage girls want to follow her. Well, that may be true but I honestly think that teenage girls are smarter than society gives them credit for. Yes, Twilight's dumb. Yes, it’s popular even though it’s not that good but you know what? These books are just entertainment (granted, it’s STUPID entertainment) and nothing more. Teenagers know that and they take it for what it is, whether it be good or bad. Most teenagers are not dumb enough to do stupid things like jump off cliffs or do life threatening activities because the person they were dating left them.

 

Why?

 

Because we move on. If someone breaks our heart, we get up, dust ourselves off and keep moving forward. Is it hard to move on? Definitely. Is it easy to forget about someone you cared about who broke up with you? Of course not. But people are adaptable and grow up. Especially teenagers. Yes, teenagers make mistakes and do stupid things. Yes, teenagers sometimes think they know better and don't want to listen but they eventually grow out of that stage. Teenagers (as well as people of all ages) learn, adapt, improvise, and overcome. They're smart, they have goals, they try to find what they want out of life and work to achieve it. When we go to school, work, or anywhere else where life takes us, reality hits us in the face pretty hard and we realize that the fantasy worlds that we want to be in don't exist. But we learn, grow up, and move on. Yes, it's hard. Yes, sometimes we might be so overwhelmed that we just want to quit. Yes, bad things happen in life. So yeah, Bella is a horrible model and Twilight doesn't have good messages but it's just stupid entertainment and the vampire stage is done and over with (at least where I live) and won’t stick around for a long time, unlike Harry Potter, which is GOOD.

 

I don't think that Twilight itself is what makes people angry but its people’s reactions to it that bothers them the most. Especially how the openings and premiers and advertisements were EVERYWHERE and BIG. I mean the fans and media made it a big hit and portrayed it as good.

 

And we wonder what that says about us as a society.

 

Any who . . . . . . .

 

This is just a fantasy world for teenager's to put the heroine's skin on and just be swooned over by hot guys. This is a poor excuse for readers like me who want good stories, with good messages, with interesting characters, and an awesome villain. Sorry about that long rant, that's just how I felt.

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James Bond Manga Style!!! Or is it?

Golgo 13, Vol. 1: Supergun (Golgo 13) - Takao Saito

Golgo 13. What to say about this manga . . . Well, it was okay at best. It wasn’t horrible or anything like that but it wasn’t interesting enough for me to be to want to finish this manga series.

 

In a nutshell, this is basically James Bond but manga style. The main character is mysterious, a powerful assassin, a ladies man, and a kickass strategist. There’s not much to this guy really. He’s badass and there’s little known about him . . . and that’s about it.

 

The other characters, they’re not interesting either. I’m not sure you can even all them characters really. They just appear, serve their purpose and that’s it. So as you can see, the character cast is very tiny.

 

There’s not much to the story either. It’s just the main character taking jobs while also having this mysterious past that no one seems to know. But I do admit that he’s very creative and resourceful on how he gets his job done. Just looking at the strategies he uses is always fun and I do enjoy those parts. The other scenes, not so much.

 

I can’t find anything else to say about it. It wasn’t bad, you either find it enjoyable or you don’t. For me, I just didn’t find it that interesting.

SPOILER ALERT!

The Commonly used YA Fomula Started Here

The Awakening and The Struggle - L.J. Smith

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So here we are, The Vampire Diaries. Let me tell you people something.

 

THIS BOOK IS AWFUL!!!

 

I can’t begin to understand why this was popular. When it comes to YA novels, there is a formula that goes into the story and brings millions of fans to buy the book and keep coming back for the sequels. With that said, let’s take a look at the formula that is so overused yet keeps bringing fans to read more. The formula, as I can figure out, is as such:

 

 • Girl sees a new hot guy and instantly obsesses over him without knowing him at all.

 

 • Guy tries to avoid girl because he thinks he’s protecting her and he’s “too dangerous” to be around

 

 • Girl stalks guy until guy can no longer resist her and they hook up

 

 • Nothing happens for the rest of the book until the “villain” appears and goes after the girl because . . .

 

   a) He wants her cuz she’s hot

 

 Or

 

   b) He’s a complete asshole with nothing better to do

 

 Or

 

   c) He wants revenge or has a personal grudge against the guy

 

This right here is basically the plot of the Vampire Diaries. It could’ve been a lot shorter but the problem here is that most of the book follows Elena and Stefan around just living their normal lives while trying to cope with “loving” each other. (As you can guess, this is insta-love.)

 

  

 

There is absolutely no plot here in this book (or the first two books in this case) whatsoever. The two characters obsess over each other but it doesn’t even work because the book rarely shows any interactions between the two of them. In fact, they don’t spend much time together as a couple for most of the second book. The second book mostly focuses on Elena being drawn to Damon while trying to convince him and herself that she and Stefan are an item and that they belong together.

 

The problem with this is that the book is just telling us what is happening to these characters instead of just showing us. I just can’t possibly comprehend what the book is trying say about their relationship, if there even is one. All of the boring school life that is not important takes up most of the book while the important scenes, that should be lengthened a little bit and nicely flowed, are rushed and don’t allow the characters to breathe in their environment. It’s just not showing any relationship development or characterization. There are even scenes where we see Elena’s diary. We don’t SEE her love and feelings towards Stefan. The diary tells us for her. I’m just boggled why these two characters “love” each other. There is little-to-no interaction between them. If anything, it shifts more towards Elena and Damon being a couple. (I didn’t bother finishing the book so if this is the ending than I’m sorry.)

 

Moving on, there’s no way we can tell if the two of them (or any characters for that matter) are developing a relationship. They hardly have any conversations and they don’t talk about their problems or try to get to know each other. The only conversation they had is when Elena finds out that Stefan is a vampire and he talks about his past and how terrible it was that this stupid delusional woman, who was two-timing on him, couldn’t choose which brother she wanted to be with! For some reason, this little bimbo (I think her name is Katherine) was under the impression that she could live happily with two men at the same time. What did she think would happen if they both found out? That they would just happily live together while they both knew the other was seeing the person they were suitors too? Girl, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??????

 

That’s another thing that’s terrible; the characters. These characters are just so terrible that I don’t know where to start with them.

 

Well, no time like the present.

 

 

 

Elena’s just determined to have Stefan even if it kills her. She’s the queen of the school. Miss Popular with the boys and basically can have any guy she wants, until Stefan turns her down flat and she stomps her feet and DEMANDS to have him. She even gets her friends to stalk him and devise a plan to make Stefan belong to her. (Seriously? He’s not a puppy! He’s a human being (technically a vampire) person and NOT a piece of property that she can claim!) She also tells Stefan that she’s in love with him, although really she’s just attracted to him and barely knows him. But to her credit, she does have a personality. Not one that I much care for, but she wasn’t as annoying as she could’ve been. Her character was intentional but that still doesn’t make her interesting. She’s determined and obsessed with Stefan and that’s it.

 

MOVING ON!

 

Stefan’s character boils down to the most forgettable YA hero ever. He’s the handsome, mysterious guy who doesn’t want to get involved with anybody because he’s too dangerous to be around. There’s nothing to him except that he’s a vampire that’s doesn’t want to drink human blood and prefers the blood of animals. Gee, I wonder when we see that again? Throughout the second book there really isn’t a lot of focus on this guy. He almost just disappears very slowly while Damon comes into picture.

 

In fact, I sorta like Damon. He actually embraces his life as a vampire and he does it pretty well. He’s seen as sexy, confident, dark, seductive, creepy, and filled with such anger. What’s even more is that he’s got power to boost. Why doesn’t the book make him the main character? He seems to be way more interesting than Elena or Stefan. He’s built up his powers and actually traveled the world! That sounds cool, I wanna know more about that. Not some boring high school drama clichés.

 

In closing…

 

I just hate this book, Damon could’ve turn out okay if he didn’t have the stupid cliché of wanting Elena just because she’s with his younger brother Stefan. I would continue on hating and saying other stuff, but I’m getting drained from just trying to remember what happened in the book that I’m supposed to remember. It’s just forgettable with little-to-no impact.

SPOILER ALERT!

Books from My Childhood: Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 1

The Capture - Kathryn Lasky

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A book about owls that I thought was going to be pretty stupid but as soon as I began reading . . . man, was I blown away.

 

Not only did I find this book to be truly fun and investing but it's just so beautifully done. What do I mean by that? Well, let's take a look.

 

 

 

First, the characters.

 

I guess since it's a children's book, the characters are not really that complex and aren't the most interesting characters out there, I should point out that they are likable and have a bit of character to them.

 

Soren is a nice, calm, collected owl. There's not much depth to him accept the fact that he is surprisingly calm and doesn't flip out when he's in danger. He is scared but he doesn't cry or freak out until the end when he looks for his parents.

 

Gylfie is incredibly fun and really likable. She's small and smart, but she's also determined. She's polite and kind but can be bold at times. She too doesn't have a lot of depth but she's still interesting even though she doesn't have much of a backstory.

 

The other side characters are also a lot of fun.

 

You've got an owl who can't fly named Hortense who gives eggs to bald eagles in order to rescue them. There's also an adult owl who is a hostage to protect his family named Grimble. There are also two characters towards the end who become main characters, Twilight is a large owl that's tough and had to learn to live on his own, and Digger is a paranoid owl who lives in the ground.

 

The villains are not really given a lot of time in this book but they are memorable enough. Jatt and Jutt are twin owls who are despicable. Skench and Spoorn are also evil owls as well. They use this weird thing called "moon blinking" in order to brainwash the owlets they capture and take control of the kingdom.

 

Now that's really interesting for a kid's book. Instead of a traditional villain that just wants to take over the world, we have a couple of leaders who fear intelligence and those who have more intelligence than they do. In their 'orphanage' they cause the owls to lose their individuality and don't allow them to think for themselves like having no questions at all just to keep them from learning and discovering any knowledge that would give them power over the leaders of St. Aegolius Academy.

 

For a children's book, that's really clever. It also keeps the story interesting and very flowing.

 

And speaking of story, let's move on to the plot. It mostly focuses on Soren and Gylfie trying to escape this orphanage for owls that appears to be more than just an orphanage. It's actually a plot to control the minds of the owls in order to take over the kingdoms.

 

Not only is the story good but the way the chapters are set up is also really interesting and nicely done in a children's book. You see, each chapter is written in a way that it almost stands out on its own. What I mean by that is, each chapter focuses on one element in the story and can almost be a short story that gives information on the world of the owls and what's going on without having it to feel forced.

 

For example, one chapter near the end focuses on Gylfie and Soren trying to learn how to fly. This chapter puts its focus on the instinct of flying and that in order for an owl to fly they need to believe, given that they have the wings they need. Another chapter focuses on things in the camp and what their purpose is. Like the moon blinking, the pelletorium, the eggorium, and the hatchery.

 

 

 

If I had any complaints in the book, it would be the dialogue. Now, the dialogue isn't bad but it's very inconsistent. There's one scene where the Soren tells Gylfie about his family reading Psalms and owls can't read and then a couple of chapters later Gylfie mentions the world "pun". Uh . . . what?

 

That doesn't make any sense at all, if owls can't read or don't know what a library is then how do they know what puns are? It's like if someone didn't know what a poem was but they are able to do a sonnet. But this is just a nitpick for me and it only happens once in a while.

 

If that's the only complaint I have then I'm all set. I have no problems with this book at all. It's fun, it's clever, and it's really entertaining. I want to watch the movie and read the sequel.

 

No seriously, I'm actually looking forward to it.

The Manga that Inspired the Shounen Genre

Astro Boy, Vols. 1 & 2 - Osamu Tezuka, Frederik L. Schodt

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I can honestly say that I have no idea how the heck this book was the manga that ‘started’ the shounen manga or inspired manga artists with their successful shounen series such as Dragon Ball. This manga is just kinda out there that I have absolutely no idea how I was going to rate this.

 

First off, this manga was made in the 60’s 50’s so the art and the story really has an old fashion type story structure that we’ve seen in old comics before. Especially in the sci-fi and the action genre. The hero lives life normally (or sometimes discovers new powers about himself). A villain appears and causes chaos.

 

There’s nothing much to say about this book except for the fact that some of the scenes in this manga don’t make any sense and just pop out of nowhere. For example, in the beginning of the manga there is this young boy driving a car. Mind you that this kid is no older than 12 years old and yet he recklessly drives the car and ends up getting into an accident. There’s also the police cars that are shaped like dog heads and there are some sort of diamonds on the moon (or some sort of crystals with an abandoned city, I can’t remember).

 

The plot is just series of events that happen to our protagonist, Astro Boy and they are kind of boring and lame. They’re predictable and the villains are not really that interesting and can sometimes be kind of stupid. Astro Boy is the only thing about this manga I actually enjoyed. He’s nice, wants to do the right thing, stands up for his friends and is basically your typical superhero. He’s not that interesting or complex but they do give him a good backstory that makes you feel sympathy for him.

 

If you like the story of robots coexisting with human then this’ll be a cute manga to check out. Just keep in mind that it was made in the 50’s so the plot and the characters are kind of old fashioned and not that complex.

SPOILER ALERT!

REVIEW: Planet Ladder

Planet Ladder, Volume 1 - Yuri Narushima, Gabi Blumberg Planet Ladder, Volume 2 - Yuri Narushima, Gabi Blumberg Planet Ladder, Volume 3 - Yuri Narushima, Gabi Blumberg Planet Ladder, Volume 4 - Yuri Narushima, Nan Rymer Planet Ladder, Volume 5 - Yuri Narushima, Nan Rymer Planet Ladder, Volume 6 - Yuri Narushima, Brian Dunn Planet Ladder, Volume 7 - Yuri Narushima, Katherine Shilling

Planet Ladder is one of the first manga series I read and I have to say that when I first read it, I was impressed about how interesting this series was. It was short, simple, and good. The idea of a girl carrying a burden of choosing which world will survive was new, fresh and interesting story for me to read about. This manga being one of the series that introduced me to manga, I'd say that this was pretty good. It isn’t fantastic or great but it’s a decently entertaining manga.

 

There's not much to talk about this series except that it was generic. The main character was likable, and so were a few characters as well. But I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let me talk a little bit about the story.

 

The plot was pretty interesting because to me, at the time, it was something new and a story that I haven't seen before. The main character, Kaguya Haruyama, is taken into this parallel world and soon discovers that she is the "Girl of Ananai", the one “destined to save only one of the nine parallel worlds from collision”. As far as I remember there were nine worlds.

 

Ancient, the first civilized world that was “mysteriously” destroyed (yeah, don’t know how that happened since we come back to it later)

 

Asu, Seeu's broken world

 

Eden, present-day Earth

 

Telene, a small world (allies with Geo)

 

Fifth World, a politically neutral world

 

Geus, a peaceful world (under Geo’s control)

 

Geo, the most powerful of the worlds (or so the manga claims)

 

Asuraitsu, Geo's “rival”

 

Ninth World, deceased (destroyed before the beginning of the manga)

 

 

Kaguya travels with Seeu’s robot. Meets a few characters and tries to figure out her destiny along the journey. So not too bad right?

 

Well . . .

 

If I did have one complaint, it would be that the ending seemed a little rushed and confusing. If I remember correctly, it goes something like this: (PS: IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THIS SERIES THEN DON’T READ THIS PARAGRAPH!!! The villain Kura sends Shiina to kidnap our heroine, Kaguya so he can save his world. Naturally, Kaguya refuses to help him. Kura gets mad (of course) and he claims that he and Kagami made up the legend of the "Girl of Ananai" and says it’s a myth. Seeu fights Shiina to get Kaguya back and we find out that she’s in love with him. (Ok, this is weird because I don’t remember anything in the manga that allows those two characters to grow close and fall in love. But that rant will come later.) Seeu’s Kagami robot (Gold is his name apparently) takes everyone to Ancient. (which should be impossible because that world was ‘mysteriously’ destroyed) Somehow Idou, Seeu, Kura, and Shiina are convinced (or persuaded if you can call it that) to combine their magical weapons with Gold to fix the rift in the universe, the cause of the eventual collision between the worlds. I obviously don’t remember the manga but if that was all it took so ‘save the worlds’ then why didn’t they do this in the first place?

 

Another thing that bothered me was Kaguya's past with her brother and why she was chosen. There probably is an explanation but I just don't remember. Don’t forget the relationships with the characters. Kaguya spends some time with Seeu and learns of his tragic past and then takes care of him. But my problem is that these two don’t take time to develop a relationship. I understand that they do spend time together but when Kaguya and Seeu are identified as a couple I’m scratching my head thinking ‘where the heck did THAT come from?’

 

The characters in this manga are not that interesting or complex. Kaguya is nice, stands up for herself and others, and is your generic heroine in shojo manga that often deal with travelling of different worlds. Seeu is quiet and doesn’t do much. Kagami is a robot and doesn’t say much either. Kuru is your typical villain. He says mean things but really, he’s just an ass trying to save his planet. Idou is barely there, or at least I don’t remember him much. Shiima is pretty awesome. She’s tough, independent, and a great fighter. Waseda was okay except for the fact that the only thing memorable about this guy was that he was a student in the body of a giant rooster.

 

Yeah . . . I didn’t get that at all.

 

It's not the best series I ever read and not everyone will like it but I can at least say that it wasn't predictable and I did enjoy it. If you want, feel free to give it a try and see what you think.