Hi all! It’s been such a long time since I’ve done a wrap up. I hope to continue them though, because I love reading them on other blogs. This month, I read 8 novels — which is great considering I was in a big reading slump in late 2021. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!
Novels I Read
(ARC)The Girl Who Ruined Christmas by Cindy Callaghan: (3.75 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was surprisingly good! It was funny and odd in the best ways possible. Review to come!
The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was really sweet. I’ll definitely be checking out more books by the author now.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: (4.25 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I have so many mixed feelings on this book. I loved it, but also disliked it at times. Review to come!
The Double Life of Danny Day by Mike Thayer: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐The narrator of the audiobook really brought the characters to life! I highly recommend listening to it. Review to come!
(ARC) When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ I’m sorry to say that this book was a bit disappointing. You win some you lose some I guess. Review to come!
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book was so magical! Review to come.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden:(4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐I was itching to read a thriller, and this was the perfect read for me! It had a sweet message, but was still very scary. I hope to continue the rest of the series as well. Review to come!
Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐ Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one as much as I had hoped. I think my expectations were too high. The cover is stunning though. Review to come!
Graphic Novels and Manga read
Children of the Whales Volume 5 by Abi Umeda: (4 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐The illustrations are beautifully done. It’s such an interesting series as well.
Shortcake Cake Volume 10 by Suu Morishita: (3.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ The plot was a bit too confusing in this volume. It’s still a fun series though!
The Promised Neverland Volume 20 by Kaiu Shirai and Posuka Demizu: (4.5 out of 5 stars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was the last volume in the series! I loved the earlier volumes, but didn’t particularly like the ending of the story.
Hi everyone! Today I’ll be talking about all the books I read in August. Let’s get right into it!
Novels I Read
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn: 4.25 out of 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐⭐) I absoltely adored this book! It was sweet and fast-paced. (Pun intended.) Review to come!
Sunkissed by Kasie West: 3.5 out of 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐) This was okay. I have a feeling I rated this higher because it has a summer-y vibe to it 😆. Review to come!
The Kids of Cattywampus Street, Written by Lisa Jahn-Clough and Illustrated by Natalie Andrewson: 2.5 out of 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐) I had high expectations for this book, but the writing wasn’t my cup of tea. Review to come.
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa: 3.75 out of 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐⭐) This was one of my most anitciapted releases of 2021. However, I was a bit dissapointed. Review to come!
Graphic Novels and Manga read
I read Go With the Flow by Lily Williams (which I adored!), and then some picure books.
Hiya everyone! Today I will be ‘hosting’ my first ever wrap-up! I’m super excited for this! However, I have no idea what a wrap-up is supposed to look like, so bear with me here. 😂 Anyways, let’s get into it!
Novels I Read (In order)
Journey to the Center of the Earth By Jules Verne: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) I really enjoyed reading this classic! It took me 6 months to finish, so I was really happy that I was FINALLY able to mark it as ‘read’ on goodreads. It is 100% worth the read guys! You can read my review for this book here!
This Train Is Being Held By Ismee Williams: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.75 out of 5 stars) I finished this book relatively fast, and I did enjoy it! It’s a cute YA romance that has an almost all latinx cast, which was super cool to see! You can read my review for This Train Is Being Held here.
(eARC) A Pho Love Story By Loan Le: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (3.8 out of 5 stars) This was my first ARC!! I received an eARC for this novel via Netgalley. Thank you Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of A Pho Love Story! It was good, but too long. Overall, I do recommend you read it! You can read my review here!
A Song Below Water By Bethany C Morrow: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 out of 5 stars) I wanted to love this book so much! However, it was incredibly confusing, and even boring at times. I found myself not liking the characters that much, except for Effie, Wallace, and Tavia, they were the best! I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t get into it. I still think it’s worth the read if you love fantasy though. And it does have some searing social commentary! Review to come!
Graphic Novels and Manga read (I doubt this is in order…oops)
Blue Flag Volume 1 By Kaito: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5 stars) This was an incredibly powerful and stunning manga. I highly recommend you read it if you’re trying to get into reading graphic novels and manga.
Something Is Killing The Children Volume 1 By James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera:⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very intriguing horror story. Although thrillers aren’t necessarily my favorite genre, I still enjoyed reading it!
(eARC) The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging By Hannalora Leavitt and (Illustrator) Belle Wuthrich: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars) This was a very educational and inspiring read, that I highly recommend you take a look at! Thank you Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for an eARC of this book!
Ao Haru Ride Volume 9 By Io Sakisaka: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) The art style is phenomenal, but the storyline in this volume was just okay.
(eARC) Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women By Rebel Girls: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 stars) This is more of a non-fiction educational book with pictures versus a graphic novel. I decided to settle on three stars only because I had previously read the two other books by the same author titled ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’ which were amazing! In this one however, a lot of the art and stories where repeated, so I didn’t necessary learn anything new. If I hadn’t read the other books beforehand, this would have surely been a 5 star read! Thank you Netgalley, Rebel Girls, and Publishers for an eARC of this book!
(eARC) Dryfoot By Jarred Lujan, Orlando Caicedo, and Warnia Sahadewa: ⭐⭐ (2.5 out of 5 stars) Since Dryfoot is an ARC, I won’t say much about it. However, it was simply not my cup of tea. Thank you Netgalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing me with an eARC of Dryfoot!
(eARC) Feelings By Manjit Thapp: ⭐⭐ (2 out of 5 stars) Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy reading Feelings. It was okay. The art was beautiful though! Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with an eARC of Feelings!
And that’s a wrap! Hopefully you enjoyed reading this very long post. Do check out the posts by the other bloggers I listed. Every blogger is unique and amazing in their own way! What was your favorite read of January 2021? Have a wonderful day! 💟
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?