Hiya!! It’s been a while since I’ve done a tag, so I thought why not do one again? For those of you who don’t know, this tag is a bit like a six month bookish wrap up in tag form. I hope you enjoy!
The Best Books You’ve Read so Far
New Releases You Haven’t Read Yet, but WantTo
Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year
There are so many that come to mind! But here are the first three that I thought of. It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi looks so fun! The cover is also stunning as well! The Lady or the Lion by Aamna Qureshi is a YA fantasy with a Pakistani setting. I’ve never read a fantasy inspired by Pakistani culture, so I’m super excited to read it! Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach is another release I’m also very excited for!
I had such high hopes for One Last Stop. However, it unfortunately missed the mark for me.
This is a middle grade retelling of three fairytales but with a desi (South Asian) twist. And I adored it! It was filled with girl power, fun plots, and amazing representation!
Favorite New to You Author
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon was my first book of theirs, and probably won’t be the last!
Favorite Debut Author
Sarah Suk’s debut novel was one of my favorites this year. I didn’t think I’d love it as much as I did, but Made in Korea was so good!
Newest Favorite Characters
I really enjoyed reading about Evie and X from Nicola Yoon’s newest book Instructions for Dancing! They were both funny and charming.
A Book That Made You Cry
Juleah del Rosario’s Turtle Under Ice was incredibly heartbreaking and emotional. It’s about a mother’s death and sisterly love, and was just so beautiful.
A Book That Made You Happy
A Taste For Love by Jennifer Yen was such a fun book on food and familial relationships. It definitely put a smile on my face!
Favorite Post You’ve Done This Year
In January I did a post where I gave recommendations based off of people’s favorite Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra character. Feel free to read the post here!
Books You Need to Read By the End of the Year
I hope you enjoyed the tag! Here are some lovely people I nominate to do this one as well. (This is just for fun, so if you don’t feel like it, than no worries!) Also, if you’ve done this tag before, feel free to link it in the comments so I can read yours as well. 😀
Long ago the four nations lived together in harmony, then everything changed when the fire nation attacked-
Hiya everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Today I’m bringing you some book recs for your favorite Avatar The Last Airbender and Legend Of Korra characters! As a die hard Avatar fan, I just had to make this!
For those of you who don’t know, Avatar The Last Airbender is a series centered around the journey of 12-year-old Aang, the current Avatar and last survivor of the air nation, along with his friends Katara, Sokka, Toph, and many others. The Legend Of Korra is a spin-off of ATLA. PS: Click on the book cover images to add them to goodreads. Anyways, let’s get right to it!
“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”
At number one, we’ve got Aang! I chose Howl’s Moving Castle! I’m sure some of you had no idea there was a book version of the critically acclaimed Studio Ghibli film. I didn’t’ either! The movie was actually based off of this novel, and was written by Diana Wynne Jones. Sophie, the main character, reminds me so much of Aang. They are both soft and kind people who have hearts of gold. (Yes that was cringy don’t come at me.) If Aang is your favorite character, this is the book for you!
“I will never, ever, turn my back on people who need me.”
Up next we have Katara! This feminist water bender fights both the fire nation, and the patriarchy. So what better than to recommend the whimsically political novel; A Song Below Water by Bethany Morrow. I mean come on, this cover just screams waterbender!
“It’s The Quenchiest”
For Sokka, who quite frankly is one of my favorite characters, I decided to go with the witty YA novel; The Field Guide To The North American Teenager by Ben Philippe. No matter the scenario, Sokka can always come up with a snarky remark, even in the hardest of times. Not to get ✨deep ✨ or anything, but Sokka always has a smile on his face, and I really admire that. If I wasn’t a bender in the Avatar world, I’d be pretty bummed out all the time. So kudos to Sokka for always finding a way to fight without fancy powers.
“I Am The Greatest Earth Bender In The World; Don’t You Two Dunderheads Ever Forget It!”
Toph is an incredibly stubborn and blunt character. She’s confident, and powerful. So what better a novel to recommend than the exciting read; Jade City by Fonda Lee! Toph is such a fighter, so I thought this book would be the perfect fit as Jade City gives off such earth bender vibes, and is so action packed! 👊😆
“I don’t need luck, and I don’t want it. I’ve always had to struggle and fight, and that’s what makes me strong. It’s what made me who I am.”
Zuko started off as such a jerk. He’d always whine and say the very iconic line “I MuSt CaptURE ThE AvaTAR To ReGaiN My HoNor.” However, Zuko’s redemption arc changed him. He was able to empathize with others and realized that his honor wasn’t something his father could give him. Grief and guilt are things Zuko had to overcome in order to truly be happy with himself. So what better than the coming of age novel; Patron Saints Of Nothing by Randy Ribay. The novel is very character and emotionally driven, much like Zuko. (Also, doesn’t this cover just scream Prince Zuko of The Fire Nation 😂)
“Maybe You Should Worry Less About The Tides, Who’ve Already Made Up Their Mind About Killing You, And More About Me, Who’s Still Mulling It Over.”
How could I not list the book Vicious when the title is literally her primary character trait. Azula is my favorite character, but sometimes, I just don’t understand her. Much like how I had literally no idea as to what was going on in Vicious when I was reading it. I still don’t know what went down in that book. (I haven’t finished it so please no spoilers 😆) The grit and determination of the characters reminded me so much of Azula. I knew I just had to include it!
“Wait a second! There’s no way a bunch of girls took us down!” -Sokka “A bunch of girls huh? The Unagi’s going the eat well tonight.” -Suki
Suki is a Kyoshi warrior, and an incredible fighter. Like Katara, she was often underestimated by her male counterparts. Nevertheless, she always finds a way to prove them wrong! That’s why I chose the novel; Fight Like A Girl by Sheema Kamal. The novel focuses on a teenage girl who’s a Muay Thai fighter, and is struggling to keep her family from hurting any longer. Fight Like A Girl is a powerful read that carries almost as much passion as Suki does.
“I Needed To Understand What Real Suffering Was, So I Could Become More Compassionate To Others.”
Korra is my all time favorite fictional character. People hate on her too much. 😦 I must say that choosing simply one book to represent Korra was really difficult. She’s compassionate, but also stubborn. In the end, I decided to go with Throne of Glass and The Poppy War!
9. Mako and Bolin
“We Were Orphans Out On The Street. I Did What I Had To Do To Survive And To Protect My Little Brother.” -Mako
The books I chose to represent Mako and Bolin represent their relationship. (I know that people might not agree with these, but then again, it’s just for fun!)
“People Usually Assume That I’m Daddy’s Helpless Little Girl But I Can Handle Myself.”
Asami is known to be glamorous, intelligent, and an excellent fighter. Much like Sokka, she didn’t let her non-benderness get the best of her. Her constant persistence and grit reminds me of; The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid!
Bonus; Zuko and Azula’s Dysfunctional Family
It’s no secret that Zuko has quite the dysfunctional family. From a power hungry sister, to a downright evil dad, his family is dysfunctional galore. *Flashback to The Last Agni Kai* To top it all off, his mother abandoned them when he was a kid. So what better a novel than; The Dutch House by Ann Patchett!
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you found a book or two to read. If I missed your favorite characters, I’m sorry. (Please forgive me for not doing May or Ty lee. 😆) Who’s your favorite Avatar Universe character?
I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!
This quarantine had been quite a blessing for my reading habits. I downloaded the app Libby, and thus read 40+ comics. So today I compiled ten of my favorite graphic novels and manga of 2020! (By the way, I only included series that I am either finished, or are up to date with to make the judging process more fair.) Without further ado, here is the list!
1. The Promised Neverland
It’s a manga series (volumes 1 through 17 available in English as of now.) Where do I even start with this one?! The Promised Neverland plot description made me think it was going to be a fun go lucky series about orphaned kids….BUT BOY WAS I WRONG! Here is the very brief synopsis that goodreads provides.
Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. Good food, clean clothes and the perfect environment to learn—what more could an orphan ask for? One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing.
Reading this series has just been a wild ride full of tears, and joy…but mostly tears. The art is extremely expressive, and the characters are extremely unique. The antagonists, (which I will not spoil because I want you to experience the same shock I did) are evil, but for some reason I just can’t hate them. This series completely changed my perception of the world…and the food chain. You have to give this one a read!
My Overall Rating: 9/10
Age Rating: 14+
TW: Violence, gore, blood
2. The Children Of The Whales
(The above cover is the second volume in the manga series.) Can we talk about the gorgeous cover! I will admit that I first started reading The Children Of The Whales because of how aesthetic it was. What can I say, I’m a sucker for pretty book covers. 😆
In a world covered by an endless sea of sand, there sails an island known as the Mud Whale. In its interior lies an ancient town, where the majority of its inhabitants are said to be “Marked,” a double-edged trait that grants them supernatural abilities at the cost of an untimely death. Chakuro is the village archivist; young and curious, he spends his time documenting the discovery of newfound islands. But each one is like the rest—abandoned save for the remnants of those who lived there long ago. For the first time in six months, another island crosses the horizon, so Chakuro and his friends join the scouting group. During the expedition, they find vestiges of an archaic civilization. And inside one of its crumbling remains, Chakuro discovers a girl who will change his destiny and the world inside the Mud Whale as he knows it.
The storyline is extremely creative, and is executed very well! The art is stunning, and is sort of a mix between Studio Ghibli and Card Captor Sakura. The characters are unique, and the antagonists aren’t your basic ‘I am evil,’ villains if that makes sense. Overall, if you’re looking for an adventurous and dreamy read, this one’s for you!
Overall Review: 7.5/10
Age Rating: 14+
TW: violence, death, blood
3. Ao Haru Ride
Futaba Yoshioka used to be an attractive and popular middle-schooler—but ostracized by the girls. However, the only opinion that truly mattered to her was that of Kou Tanaka, a classmate with whom she shared a shelter from rain once, followed by quite a few other precious and significant memories. She even succeeded at making plans to meet with the quiet and innocent boy at the summer festival, but a simple misunderstanding, and Tanaka’s subsequent disappearance, left her walking the halls of her school friendless. Fast forward to high school, and Futaba’s world is soon turned upside down when the only boy she ever liked unexpectedly comes into her life once again—except he goes by the name of Kou Mabuchi now, and it is not his name alone that has gone through a sea change.
This series gave me early 2000s manga vibes and I am 100% here for it! The art is absolutely stunning, and very clean. With a lot of comic series, overtime the art quality begins to decrease. However, with Ao Haru Ride, that is surely not the case! The only con I have for this story is that the main character Futaba starts off as likable, but soon acts as though the world revolves around her. (Which to be fair, she is the 🌟 Main Character 🌟 so that is fairly reasonable.)
My Overall Review: 8/10
Age Rating: 12+
4. The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire
(For those of you who don’t know, the Legend Of Korra is a TV series that aired on nickelodeon, and is a continuation, or rather a spinoff of Avatar The Last Airbender. The comics take place right after the end of the show. The Ruins of the Empire Trilogy are issues 4 through 6 in comics.)
On the eve of its first elections, the Earth Kingdom finds its future endangered by its past. Even as Kuvira stands trial for her crimes, vestiges of her imperial ambitions threaten to undermine the nation’s democratic hopes. But when Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin don’t all see eye-to-eye as to the solution, drastic measures will be taken to halt a new march to war!
This trilogy was far better than its predecessor; Turf wars. The plot is very intriguing. It deals with brainwash, politics, and is overall very action packed! The art certainly did improve in this trilogy, which is always a plus side when reading comics. There’s nothing worse then seeing art quality heavily decrease. The story is a bit more serious then the ATLA comics, but I feel like it’s not fair to compare the two as they are quite different. Overall this was a quick, cool comic series that you should read if you are familiar with the Avatar Universe!
My Overall Rating: 9/10
Age Rating: 11+
Now although I only gave this one 3/5 stars on goodreads, it was just so incredibly impactful in the most disturbing way possible. That probably doesn’t make sense, so let me explain my reasoning a bit more…
An outbreak at a small American college causes an entire dorm to be quarantined with the students inside, which leads to a violent new social hierarchy within.
When an American college quarantines an entire dorm of young adults, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! I felt like I re-read lord of the flies in grade school! The way the story and the art corelated was absolutely phenomenal. The art is messy, but so was the story. The twists and aggressive goriness were so surprising, (considering the fact that BOOM BOX! typically produces ‘cuter’ stories.) Overall, it was gory, intense, and definitely a realistic approach at what happens when there is a pandemic/epidemic. The only reason I put it at number 5 was because of the lasting impact it gave me. But maybe don’t read this one during quarantine like I did. 😆
My Overall Rating: 6/10
Age Rating: 15+
TW: Death, suicide, violence, gore, blood
Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Cox is an outsider to the competitive fencing world. Filled with raw talent but lacking proper training, he signs up for a competition that puts him head-to-head with fencing prodigy Seiji Katayama…and on the road to the elite all-boys school Kings Row. A chance at a real team and a place to belong awaits him—if he can make the cut!
Everyone in the comic is absolutely stunningly gorgeous!! The art is impeccable, the plot however, is relatively average. Now although the plot isn’t anything special, the execution was done really well! I found myself laughing out loud at times, and being incredibly intrigued by the sport. I’ve read a lot of sports manga and comics, but never one about fencing! There is also an incredibly diverse cast! Overall, Fence was a refreshing change of pace from regular sports comics, and totally lives up to the hype!
My Overall Review: 8/10
Age Rating: 13+
TW: Violence (I put a TW because it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.)
7. The Way Of The House Husband
The Way Of The House Husband was absolutely hilarious! The series currently has three volumes out in English. I love this manga series so much, and here’s why…
Tatsu, an infamous and feared yakuza boss nicknamed “the Immortal Dragon”, retires from crime to become househusband so that he can support Miku, his ‘career woman’ wife.
Firstly, everything Tatsu does is so unexpected as he looks so intimidating. From teaching other Yakuzas how to cook, to taking aerobics classes with retired women, he does it all! The only thing I didn’t like was how after a while, the storyline started to get a bit repetitive. Nevertheless, it was really cool to see a househusband. This was definitely a unique and funny read that you should totally check out!
My Overall Rating: 8/10
Age Rating: 14+
8. The Witch Boy
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.
The Witch Boy was so unique and cute! It’s filled with diverse characters, and the storyline is just so interesting. (There are three volumes in the entire series as of now.) You will definitely find yourself rooting for Aster, and the friends he makes along the way. The characters are complex, which, in my opinion is hard to find in middle grade novels. The art is on the simpler side, but is done really nicely. And can we talk about a male witch, how cool is that?! The Witch Boy is a sweet coming of age story that is 100% worth the read for all ages!
My Overall Rating: 8/10
Age Rating: 9+
TW: Some scary images that might not be suitable for a younger audience
Yet another BOOM BOX! Studios comic makes it to my top ten list!
At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!
Lumberjanes was so adorable. It’s fast paced, adventurous, and filled with unique and diverse characters! (Which seems to be a reoccurring theme in the books I review, not that I’m complaining.😆) The people and creatures they discover are so interesting and the way the kids handle things is hilarious. The only downside to the series is that the art isn’t that good, and the art style changes quite frequently. However, the series is great for elementary and middle school kids looking for a fun adventure to delve into!
My Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Age Rating: 7+
10. Heavy Vinyl
What really drew me to this comic was the cover. I will admit, I am a sucker for nice covers. The art style is gorgeous! The story however, failed to deliver. The essential concept of the story? Beautiful! The execution? Eh it was alright.
When Chris joins the staff at her local record store, she’s surprised to find out that her co-workers share a secret: they’re all members of a secret fight club that take on the patriarchy and fight crime!
At times I felt as though the whole fight club thing didn’t make sense. How was it created? Why don’t they just call the police? But since it’s really all in good fun, I brushed those factors off and just tried to enjoy the adventure. It’s thrilling, and overall just a super fun read! I mean, who doesn’t want to see women kicking butt and fighting the patriarchy?
My Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Age Rating: 12+
TW: Some fighting
Please note that most of the synopsis came from goodreads, others came from myanimelist, and some I made myself.
That’s a wrap!! Thank you so much for reading! What are your favorite comics/manga series?