Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (42)

 Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
There were so many passages that I could've used for a teaser from The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima, but I liked this one best. I hope y'all enjoy it.
You can also see my thoughts on the Exiled Queen HERE.
"You pick a battle you can win, and choose the time and place of it. Don't let the enemy choose." page 154-155.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Exiled Queen

If you haven't read The Demon King, don't read this review. I'm afraid there are some SPOILERS! Just know that I absolutely LOVED The Exiled Queen!

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, 2) by Cinda Williams Chima, 2010; 586 pages. Published by Hyperion Books for Children. Source: From publisher for review.
You can't always run from danger...
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
First Sentence:
Lieutentant Mac Gillen of the Queen's Guard of the Fells hunched his shoulders against the witch wind that howled out of the frozen wastelands to the north and west.
So The Exiled Queen has been sitting on my TBR for quite sometime. Mainly because it took me awhile to get my hands on the first book, The Demon King, which was awesome (see me gush about it HERE). I'll try not to ramble on too much. :)

I'm always a bit nervous when it comes to reading sequels to books that I absolutely love. Because there's always the chance that I won't enjoy it nearly as much as the first one, but The Exiled Queen was just as good and epic as its predecessor (even though it took me a little longer to read it since I had less time to read this week).

For me there is one thing that will always make or break a fantasy series for me, and that is characters. Which is why I love The Seven Realms series so much because the characters are just some of the best I have read. The MCs, Han and Raisa, are two of my absolute favorite characters to read about because I love how fully you are drawn into the emotional turmoil that they both struggle with.

Another reason I loved The Exiled Queen would have to be that in the span of just two books, both Han and Raisa have grown as characters. You see them learning how to deal with the new roles in which they find themselves after the conclusion of The Demon King.

While The Demon King seemed to have focused more upon Han and his story, The Exiled Queen was more about Raisa and the aftermath of her mother trying to marry her off to wizard in the first book. I loved how this book reaffirmed the strength of character that Raisa has, it was also interesting to see she copes when pushed to the limit of her abilities.

Even though there was slightly less action in The Exiled Queen, I think that the intersecting of Han and Raisa's path helped to move the story along. That being said, The Exiled Queen is still fraught with tension and mystery that totally left me wanting to both read faster (so I could find out what would happen next) and to slow down and savor the book (now I have months to wait for the third book).
With just about every book I read, there's always one thing that I liked best about it (usually a scene), and The Exiled Queen is no exception to that. What I loved most in this book would have to be Ms. Chima's ability to create this amazingly multi-layered world filled with such strong characters.

There is NOT a single thing I would change about The Exiled Queen...well except for the cliff-hanger ending! Gah! What am I going to do while I wait for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out.

Final Verdict: The Exiled Queen is fantasy at its best and Ms. Chima's writing is phenomenal. The Seven Realms is one series that I just cannot recommend enough.
I'm not sure how I'll survive waiting for The Gray Wolf Throne to come out in September.

The Exiled Queen earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.
Seven Realms:
The Demon King
The Exiled Queen
The Gray Wolf Thron

Dear FTC, This book was received for an honest review. All views expressed are mine and were in no way influenced by outside forces.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (91) I Am So Ready for a Read-a-Thon + News

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Bought (Used Bookstore):
Invincible (The Chronicles of Nick, 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, 2011. Published by St Martin's Griffin.
A BIG thank you goes out to Ren of All By MySHELF (go check out her lovely blog and tell her I said hi) for pointing this out to me when we were at the used bookstore. Usually I just go straight for where they keep they manga, and then go and see what YA titles they have. To say I am extremely excited about getting Invincible would be an understatement (I loved Infinity and read it in about 3 hours). 
Library (Local & Base):
Angelic Layer 2 by Clamp, 2002. Published by Tokyopop.
I really enjoyed the first volume of Angelic Layer (I thought it was a cute read). Since my library had the second volume I decided why not.
Alice 19th volume 1: The Lotis Master by Yu Watase, 2003. Published by Viz Media.
I've actually heard of this one, but have never had the chance to read it, so I'll let you know what I think when I do.
MeruPuri: The Marchen Prince 1 by Matsuri Hino, 2005. Published by Viz Media.
I've already and reviewed this one, but really want to re-read it, especially since I have the 3&4 volumes (I'll just cheat and go online to see what happened in the second one). See my review of it HERE.
Amazing Agent Luna 4 by Nunzio DeFilippis, 2007. Published by Seven Seas.
I really, really enjoyed the first three volumes and had to know what would happen next. You can see my thoughts on the omnibus of the first three volumes HERE as part of Manga Thursday.
Death Note 3: Hard Run by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obta, 2004. Published by Viz Media.
So far, Death Note is one of the few anime shows that I have seen from beginning to end, and it was one I really enjoyed. Which is why I'm slowly making my way through the manga volume (which are good).
Tail of the Moon 1 by Rinko Ueda, 2006. Published by Viz Media.
This one is completely new to me, so I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it.
Peach Girl 1 by Miwa Ueda, 1998. Published by Tokyopop.
I just picked this one up on a whim, so we'll see if it's a kepper or a dud. But I honestly haven't had to good of luck with manga that started in the 90s.
Skip Beat 2 by Yoshiki Nakamura, 2002. Published by Viz Media.
Did I tell you how much I enjoyed volume 1 of Skip Beat...I think I did HERE. I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of crazy Kiyoko has in store in this volume.
Yurara 1 by Chika Shiomi, 2003. Published by Viz Media.
This is another one I haven't heard about, it sounds interesting, but the verdict's still out on it.
Black Butler 1 by Yana Tobosco, 2007. Published by Yen Press.
Itunes had the first episode for free a while back and so I got got it (you know since it was free). I thought it was good, so when I saw it at the library I just went ahead and got it.

I am going to try and read every book in this week's IMM during the read-a-thon on June 4th. I am really looking forward to each and every one of these titles, and it has been so hard to resist reading them right this minute.
If you're interested in joining in go HERE.
Hope ya'll have had an awesome week in books! I'm hoping to spend tomorrow reading at the beach. *keeps fingers crossed that it doesn't rain*

This week my blog has hit a big milestone (for it at least) with the rolling of 300 AWEOSOME followers. So a big thank you to everyone (old & new followers) for dropping by my humble blog. Ya'll rock, and have made me so happy!

Other news on the blog:
You still have till the 30th to enter to win a copy of Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan (see post for details and to enter).
Check out author K.C. Blake's guest post on how her book Vampires Rule came to be, and you can also enter to win an ecopy of her book (ends June 9 open to everyone).
There's also still time to get your vote in on what I will read next month on Vintage Reads. Next month's theme is Spies/Mysteries (vote HERE).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday II

I really enjoyed participating in Follow Friday last week, and I found some pretty amazing new blogs/bloggers to follower. So I here I am again this week. :)

This week's question is....How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

I had to go back and look, but if I don't have anything pressing to do I can read about four books and ten manga in a week. No ebooks for me and I still haven't tried audiobooks.
I'm currently hosting two contests right now, one for Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan (ends May 30) and the other is for an ecopy of Vampires Rule by K.C. Blake (ends June 9).

You can also vote for what I'll read next month on Vintage Reads. This month's theme is Spies/Mysteries, vote HERE.

Guest Post: K.C. Blake (author of Vampires Rule) + Giveaway

Today I would like to introduce K.C. Blake to everyone. She has graciously stopped by to share with everyone how her book Vampires Rule came to be. She is also offering one lucky reader the chance to win an ecopy of her book.  
As a child, books were my constant companion. I've always loved to read, but I didn't start writing until I was twelve. I've had two books published with Harlequin under the name Kasi Blake, but YA books are my favorites. I never outgrew them. (Bio taken from Smashwords)
I teach kindergarten thru 2nd grade at a private school, and I reside in Missouri with my two cats, Blanca and Gracie Bear.
Birth of a Vampire
About six years ago I was watching a vampire movie and a thought occurred to me. What if a vampire could go back to being mortal again? Could he return to his old life? Would his remaining family welcome him home? These are the questions I so desperately wanted to answer.

Although I had a rough idea of what the plot would be, I started by building the main character. There were a few things I knew about him right off. Jack would be seventeen (he's been seventeen for ten years), a good looking kid with a strong inner strength and a mile-wide loyal streak. Family and friends are important to him. He doesn't have a death wish, but he would risk his life to save someone in trouble. I didn't want him to have parents to lean on, but I did want him to have somebody, a close relative from his past. This would force him to try to reconnect with this person. A younger brother, now his older brother seemed like the perfect idea.

While Jack was living as a vampire, he traveled the country with three friends. Those friends had given up their old lives long ago. They'd moved on, but Jack couldn't. He missed his family so much, he visited his childhood home every year and toyed with the idea of contacting his brother. A decade slid by, but Jack didn't lose his humanity.

Next, I had to give Jack someone to fall in love with, someone as strong as him. For the longest time I couldn't picture this girl clearly. I had a character named Silver in another book I'd been working on. Should I take her from that book or make someone else up? I had no idea what to do. Then a friend clear on the other side of the country had a dream about my book and told me about it. She'd had no idea that I was considering using Silver. In her dream there were werewolves attacking a small town and a girl hunter with a silver bullet necklace was fighting them. She heard a deep voice saying, "This is the book I want Kasi to write."

Of course at this point my book was still missing a vital part: a bad guy. Once again I borrowed a character from another book I'd written long ago and hadn't published. Jersey Clifford made the perfect opponent for Jack. Charismatic, smart, and well-read, Jersey could share his love of literature with Jack. It was the perfect way for them to bond... and I wanted them to like each other, at least at first.

Once the characters were aligned like stars in a well-known constellation, each in synch with the others, the plot was easy to work out. In fact I wrote the book in two weeks. Of course it took me months to rewrite and edit, but the story itself flowed out a chapter a day. And that is how a vampire was born.

Thanks K.C. for the great post.

You can Haunt K.C. Blake by checking out her blog Ghost Writer.

Vampires Rule by K.C. Blake, 2011. Published by Smashwords.
They don't call him Jackpot for nothing.

Jack has always beat the odds... at least until now. When he was attacked by a werewolf, vampires saved him. When he got tired of living the vampire life, another werewolf attack freed him, making him human again. Now Jack just wants to live a normal life, but what's normal about a hunter girlfriend, a brother who wants to stake him to be on the safe side, and a head werewolf building an army to rule the world?
Jack gets caught between his old friends and new, hunters and vampires. He wants to stay loyal to both, wants to protect everyone. Unfortunately, both sides are determined to kill the other. In the end, he'll have to make a choice.
International (must have a reliable email address)
Ends June 9th at 11:59 pm
Must be 13 or older
Following not required, but is always appreciated.
Fill out the form
Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

Even if you don't win, you can purchase Vampires Rule from either Amazon or Smashwords.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amazing Agent Luna (Omnibus) volumes 1-3

Amazing Agent Luna (Omnibus, volumes 1-3) by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir, 2008. 496 pages. Published by Seven Seas. Source: Library. Reason for Reading: Manga Thursday.
Amazing Agent Luna is the story of Luna, the perfect secret agent. A girl grown in a lab from the finest genetic material, she has been trained since her birth fifteen years ago to be the U.S. government’s ultimate espionage weapon. But now she is given an assignment that will test her abilities to the utmost — high school.

In order to uncover an evil plot, the government sends Luna to a prominent high school to pose as a student. Luna’s training has left her completely unprepared to handle the stresses and strains of ordinary teenage relationships — making friends, creating rivals, and having her first big crush on bad boy Jonah, the son of her arch-nemesis, Count Von Brucken! Making matters worse, Luna’s "father" is the overly warm-and-fuzzy Dr. Andy and her "mother" is the always business-like, unemotional Control.
Amazing Agent Luna was so good (I'm so glad that it was the first three volumes)!

Since the first three volume were bound together, I have decided to review it in one shot.
I really liked how well the story flowed from one volume to the next in Amazing Agent Luna, it was such a quick paced three volumes that leave you kinda shocked when you finally realize that your very nearly done.

I loved the contrast between Luna the spy who could do anything, to when she has to go undercover at high school and how unprepared (or should I say clueless) she was for that situation. It definitely made the character seem more real with her lack of understanding as to how things are when dealing with normal people/situations.

While I really liked the scenes where Luna was being a kick butt spy, I enjoyed the character interactions between her and the friends she made at school more.

My one complaint about the first three volumes would have to be that the villain, Count Von Brucken, was a bit weak. I felt that he could have been more nefarious.

On a whole Amazing Agent Luna is a cute and actioned packed read with a character that you just can't help but like.
I really liked Luna and how innocent and naive she was. She totally cracked me up with how unaware she was when it come to interacting with those her age.

As for her "parents" Dr. Andy and Control, I thought that they made quite an interesting duo, especially with the fact that they were always arguing about what was best for Luna.

Ah, the baddie, Count Von Brucken. To me, he was more like the bumbling villain who has these "marvelous" plans to take over the world, yet is always falling short due to being stopped by a child (remind you of any *coughDisneycough* show).

So the art for Amazing Agent Luna was very...simple. Yet, it totally worked for the story because (to me) it was like the the art matched the characters personality traits (as an amazing spy and naive teenager).
That being said, I really enjoyed the style and how easy it was to see what was going on.

Final Verdict: Amazing Agent Luna was a thrilling yet cute read.
I've even gone ahead and checked out the fourth volume, which is speaks volumes for how much I enjoyed reading the first three.

Amazing Agent Luna earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (48)

Monkey High, volume 1 by Shouko Akira, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
It's hard enough fitting in at a new school while dealing with family problems... Will Haruna remain jaded and distance herself from everyone around her? Or will Masaru win her over with his monkey magic?
 Why: I love lighthearted shoujo titles, and Monkey High sounds so good (I read the first few pages at the bookstore and now I NEED to know what will ahppen next).
Here's my best reason for why I want it, I have yet to read a Shojo Beat title that hasn't amused/entertained me (they rock). :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA Day 2: 2011's Best of (So Far)

I signed up a bit late, *coughdayofcough*, and as I was perusing Armchair BEA's website and numerous blogs I saw that todays topic was best of. So how could I resist.

Here are some books I've read this year that are the best in my book.

The Demon King & The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima. Seriously, these are two books that you MUST read. They are made of awesome! I cannot wait for The Gray Wolf Throne.  My review of The Demon King.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I may be a bit late in reading it, but this is one powerful book that everyone should read at least once in their life.

Crusader by Edward Bloor. One of my absolute favorites. My review of Crusader.

They Never Came Back by Caroline B. Cooney. This book was so good that I was unable to sleep until I had read the very last page, and even then I laid in bed just thinking about it.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. This has to be one of my favorite 2011 debuts. I loved Ellie and Will and all the action scenes. My review of Angelfire.

Last one...I promise.

Chalice by Robin McKinley. Ms. McKinley is one of the BEST, and I mean best fantasy writers I have ever read and Chalice is her at her finest.

Teaser Tuesday: ARC Edition (41)

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
To participate, simply do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Y'all know the drill, ARCs are subject to changes before printing, but I'm going to include a teaser anyway. Hope y'all enjoy the teaser from my ARC of Beauty Queens (see what I thought about it HERE).
"Yes, Ladybird. You have to put your heart, soul, and sparkle into it. It is a total commitment to the sparkle." page 218.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Myriad of Books: Vampire Extravaganza Giveaway

A Myriad of Books: Vampire Extravaganza Giveaway: "Yep, after six years and who knows how many screenings of The Lost Boys, I finally seemed to have kicked my vampire habit. For the most pa..."

ARC Review: Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, May 24, 2011. 400 pages. Published by Scholastic Press. Source: Won.
From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.

Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.
First Sentence (ARC edition):
This book begins with a plane crash.
This is the hardest review I've had to write in awhile. Why, because Beauty Queens (in my book) was a total miss by an amazing author. I wanted to love it, but found myself unable to.
Don't get me wrong, I love Libba Bray's writing (especially the Gemma Doyle series), but I had so many problems with her latest book that I very nearly didn't get past page 50. Now that you know what your in for in this review, I'll try to be as precise (yet nice) as possible on what I didn't like about Beauty Queens.

I think part of the reason I had trouble getting into Beauty Queens was that I CANNOT stand pageant people, reality TV, and many other things that popped up in the novel.
The reason I almost didn't get past the fiftieth pages was that the mystery aspect to the story presented no challenge to me; it was (at least to me) very obvious who was behind everything and basically how the story would play out.

Beauty Queens is told from the perspective of many narrators, from some of the beauty queens, a former beauty queen, with snatches from and about the Corporation. While it was interesting to see the story from so many points of view, the characters lacked personality (they all come off as huge cliches to me).
   While I didn't care for the characters, I am surprised (with myself that is) that I liked Taylor the most out of all the girls. I felt that she was by far the most interesting/complicated of all the beauty queens. She made me laugh with how gung-ho on pageants she was, and even when she went a bit mental I still enjoyed when she popped up.

Why did I stick with this book and complete it, well that would be because I enjoyed seeing how the girls proved to themselves that they were capable of surviving on their own and that they could do/be whatever they wanted.

So, here's what really got under my skin while reading. I know that Beauty Queens is supposed to be a satire, but I felt like Ms. Bray used way too many stereotypical cliches when she created the characters (if I listed all of them, we would be here for an eternity).

Final Verdict: Beauty Queens was not for me, even though the writing was brilliant the story and characters made me unable to be pulled into the world that was created. While it may not have been for me, I am in no way discouraging you from trying it for yourself.

Beauty Queens earns 2 1/2 pineapples.

All views expressed in the review are mine.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (90) Some Squee Worthy Titles + News

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. Sadly the only books I order are those that are hard to find. The following books are from the library and bookstores.

Blackveil (Green Rider, 4) by Kristin Britain, 2011. Published by DAW.
Oh my gosh!!! I have been waiting for Blackveil to come out since I finished The High King's Tomb in 2007. I cannot wait to read it, but it will have to wait until I get a chance to re-read the first three books. When it came in a pretty much squeed with delight. :)

A big thanks to Kathy of Ms. Martin Teaches Media.
Flip by Martyn Bedford, 2011. Published by Wendy Lamb Books.
I won Flip from one of RandomBuzzers many giveaways. I was quite surprised when it came in because I was expecting ti to be an ARC, so you can imagine my surprise when it was a finished copy. Can't wait to read it.
Amazing Agent Luna (Omnibus volume 1-3) by Nunzio DeFilippis, 2008. Published by Seven Seas.
I've already had a chance to read Amazing Agent Luna and it was so good. Look for my review as part of Manga Thursday this week.

Kitchen Princess 3 by Natsumi Ando, 2007. Published by Del Rey.
Kitchen Princess has to be one of my favorite mangas. I'm really bummed that my library doesn't have the fourth volume (I NEED the rest of this series).

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, 1) by Rick Riordan, 2010. Published by Hyperion Books for Children.
I am very nearly done with reading The Red Pyramid and so far I am really enjoying it. I'm hoping to be done with it by time this goes up.

The Christie Caper (Death on Demand, 7) by Carolyn Hart, 1991. Published by Crimeline.
This was the first book of Carolyn Hart's that I have ever read and it was brilliant. I admit, the only reason I picked it up was because of the title (I love Agatha Christie's books).
Beauty Pop 8 by Kiyoko Arai, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
Beauty Pop 9 by Kiyoko Arai, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
I've already finished both the 8&9 volumes and they were amazing.Although I'm kinda sad that there's only one volume left (whatever shall I do once it ends!)

The Gentlemen's Alliance †, Vol. 8 by Arina Tanemura, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
The Gentlemen's Alliance †, Vol. 9 by Arina Tanemura, 2008. Published by Viz Media.
Yep, I already read these also. This series has completely blown me away as well (and it too is almost over. I think it has two volumes).

Bought (via RandomBuzzers):
Gimme a Call *signed* by Sarah Mylnowski, 2010. Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
Okay, it took me about two months to earn enough buzz bucks to be able to get Gimme a Call. I'm pretty sure it will be well worth the time it took because I meant to only read the first page and ended up reading like twenty pages.

I do believe that this is all for me this week.
I pretty much zoomed through the majority of the books I got this week.

Other News:
I mentioned this on Twitter the other day, but I'll go ahead and add it here. Since I love reading manga, I have decided that every Thursday I will feature a manga review on my blog. Officially, I am calling it Manga Thursday. I hope ya'll will enjoy seeing my thoughts on the manga that I read (latest one can be seen HERE).

There's still time to enter to win a copy of Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan (enter HERE).
Voting for June's Vintage Reads book is now open and can be found HERE.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Follow Friday I

I usually don't have time to join in on these, but thought I'd make time this week because the question amused me. :)
I'm looking forward to seeing every one's answers.

Q. It's circle time. Time for us to open up and share. Can you tell us FIVE quirky habits or things about you? We all have them...

5. Odd things end up in my room (things that aren't mine).

4. I always put my left shoe on first. It doesn't matter what type of shoe, be it cleat, heel, or sneaker the left one always goes on first.

3. On my shelf, books within a series have to be placed with the first book on the left with the others to the right of it.

2. This drives everyone in my family crazy (my parents & sisters), I have been known to go and reload the dishwasher after they just finished because they didn't do it right.

1. I can name a lot of songs just by listening to the first couple of notes, and can usally sing along with them after only hearing it once. .

Also, stop by and vote for what I'll read next month for Vintage Reads -> HERE (the theme is Spies/Mysteries).
You can also enter to win a copy of Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan-> HERE

Skip Beat volume 1

Skip Beat! 1 by Yoshiki Nakamura, 2004. 184 pages. Published by Viz Media. Source: Library. 
Kyoko always thought that Sho, whose family took her in when she was small, was her prince charming. However, when Sho heads for Tokyo to make it big as a musician, Kyoko goes with him and has to quit high school to support his dream. But soon, being in the big city makes Kyoko realize that she has show business ambitions of her own!
Skip Beat is just one of the mangas that I had heard about and wanted to read, but had never had the opportunity to.

My first impression of Skip Beat wasn't all to favorable because the MC was a pushover who let her scumy friend (who she was in love with) just walk all over her. While that nearly made me throw it in disgust (just kidding, I would NEVER ever throw a book...maybe bop someone over the head with one, but never throw one) I'm glad that I didn't because otherwise I would have missed out on a great read.

Skip Beat! was a unique manga read for me because in all the ones I've read I have never come across a character quite like Kiyoko. The transformation that she went through in just a matter of pages was so dramatic that it was almost hard to believe that they same character you started the book out with was the same one in the end. She also puts new meaning into the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
I loved how easily the author made the transition for Kiyoko's character, it was brilliant.

Kiyoko starts off as one of those characters were you would like nothing better than to knock some sense into them because they are being complete idiots. Luckily,
While Kiyoko starts off as a pushover, and not a character I would like, I found her to be QUITE interesting when she snapped. I loved seeing the lengths in which she would go to exact her revenge upon Sho, it had me laughing so hard.

You so don't want to get me started on what a piece of work Sho was, grr, I just wanted to cause him some pain for the way that he treated Kiyoko. He was such a scummy, untalented spoiled rich brat (as you can  probably tell, he was the perfect unlikable character that the book needed).

For the first bit of the book I wasn't too impressed with the artwork, especially with the depiction of Kyoko (although it did fit in with how timid she was). But I did enjoy how everything looked after Kiyoko decided to spend her hard earned money on herself (much better than before).

I think that the artwork in Skip Beat! definitely improved about half-way through the first volume, especially for the characters.
Final Verdict: Skip Beat! will definitely keep you on your toes as you try to guess what Kiyoko will do next in her quest for vengeance.

I want NEED the rest of this series (so wishing I had the entire series) so I can know what will happen next! :)

Skip Beat! volume 1 earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wish List Wednesday (47)

Ouran High School Host Club volume 11 by Bisco Hatori, 2007. Published by Viz Media.
In this screwball romantic comedy, Haruhi, a poor girl at a rich kids' school, is forced to repay an $80,000 debt by working for the school's swankiest, all--male club--as a boy! There, she discovers just how wealthy the six members are and how different the rich are from everybody else....

With the host club members on opposite sides, the sports festival at Ouran High School has become an all-out war! Can the bonds of friendship withstand the strain of competition?
Why: Because I NEED to know what happens next, plus volume 10 kind of ended right in the middle of an arc. OHHC has become my go to read when I'm looking for something light that will make me laugh.
Besides OHHC is one of the funniest mangas I have ever read, and I absolutely love all the crazy characters. I like reading about them so much that I keep re-reading the first ten volumes (which I own) just because I can.