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review 2019-01-06 04:20
Gakuen Prince (manga, vol. 1) by Jun Yuzuki, translated by Harumi Ueno
Gakuen Prince 1 - Jun Yuzuki

I bought this and the next two volumes while bargain bin shopping a while back. The cover made me think it might be some kind of "bad boy + nerdy wallflower" romance. It's not.

Jyoushioka High School used to be an all-girls' school until a few years ago. Although it's now co-ed, the school's girls still vastly outnumber the boys. All the boys are placed in S-class, which only the richest and brightest girls are assigned to.

Azusa Mizutani is the school's newest male transfer student. He has no idea how the school works, and he soon realizes that he'll have to learn fast. Since boys are few and far between, nearly all of the girls are sex crazed. S-class gets first dibs on raping the boys, after which they're fair game for anyone who can get at them. Munechika, the school's most powerful guy, has learned how to make the system work for him, and his advice to Azusa is simple: just accept it and don't get anyone pregnant.

Azusa doesn't have many options. He can take control and actively seduce girls the way Munechika does, keep running until he's finally cornered and raped, or find a girl who's willing to date him and thereby stake her claim on him. When he accidentally comes across Rise Okitsu, a girl who just wants to make it through high school without getting involved in any trouble, he decides to declare her his girlfriend.

I always liked Del Rey's manga releases because they all had pages of useful translator's notes. Those notes are probably the best thing about this pile of garbage.

This series is basically just an excuse for lots of on-page abuse and near-rape. Within the first few pages, Azusa spots a guy in tears because a gang of girls ripped all his clothes off. During his first class, he reads a note being passed around in which all the girls are talking about how hot he is and what it'll be like when they tie him up, take embarrassing pictures of him, and rape him. (I don't recall the word "rape" ever being used in the volume, but it's pretty clear that's what the girls intend to do.) After Azusa forces Rise to help him,

she's bullied and set up to be raped by a lesbian who she initially mistakes for a man.

(spoiler show)

There are a couple instances where girls try to drug Azusa -

in fact, they actually do manage to give him something near the end of the volume, which leads to Azusa almost forcing himself on Rise (she punches him).

(spoiler show)

The brief quiet period after Azusa initially announced that he belonged to Rise bothered me on multiple levels. Both Azusa and Rise started to relax, thinking their fellow students' sudden friendliness was genuine, and all I could think was how gross it would be to smile and laugh with students who were only behaving like decent human beings because of a necktie (students who are dating each other exchange neckties).

There are a few gender-flipped instances of the sorts of things women often encounter. For example, when Azusa first finds out how the girls treat the boys, he tells himself that the boy he saw on his way to his first class must have had a problem (had done something that led to the girls attacking him). That kind of thing wouldn't happen to him because he's different. So we have victim-blaming as a form of self-comfort (which doesn't last long in this case). Then there's the whole "ownership" aspect of dating - guys gaining some measure of protection by declaring that they "belong" to one particular girl. The gender-flipping didn't make any of it less gross, and I have a feeling that, in the end, Yuzuki was aiming more for "titillating rape fantasy" than some sort of commentary on rape culture.

There was also some "not like other girls" crap. Rise was the only girl who wasn't involved in the boy-hunting and the only one who seemed to be even slightly bothered by any of it. There were also multiple instances of her fuming about the "heifers" and "sluts" at her school.

If I continue on, it's because I already own the next couple volumes and it's always hard for me to force myself to offload stuff I haven't read. I can't get the "what if it gets better?" voice to shut up, even in cases like this, where odds are really good that it won't get better and might even get worse.


Four pages of translators notes, a couple pages of honorifics explanations, a few author freetalk sections (including the postscript, in which the author writes "Well, to tell you the truth, I've been drawing manga just by my instincts, so I don't know the basics of building up a story." (175)), and at least one humorous four-panel comic featuring characters from the series.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2019-01-03 19:00
Kein Freifahrtschein für Michael
Lange Beine, kurze Lügen: Michi schenkt euch reinen Wein ein - Michael Buchinger

Informationen zum Buch: 
Das Buch „Lange Beine, kurze Lügen“ aus dem Ullstein Verlag umfasst 240 Seiten und ist seit dem 9. November 2018 als Taschenbuch und E-Book erhältlich. 

Worum geht es: 
Der aus Wien stammende Youtuber Michael Buchinger lügt bei fast jeder sich bietenden Gelegenheit. Er hat dadurch eine Menge Vorteile und hat das Gefühl, weniger Menschen zu verletzen, wenn er ihnen nicht die harte Wahrheit ins Gesicht schlägt. In seinem neuesten Buch legt er das Ganze offen und beschreibt rückblickend große Ereignisse und kleine Situationen aus seinem Leben, bei denen er gelogen hat und erklärt auch warum. Zum Schluss legt er sich selbst auf, eine Woche nicht zu lügen und wird dabei sogar ein klein wenig überrascht. 

Meine Meinung: 
Eines vorweg: Ich kannte Michael Buchinger vor dem Lesen des Buches nur vom Namen her und hatte bis dahin noch keines seiner Videos gesehen. Mittlerweile habe ich mal rein geklickt, da er in dem Buch auch von seinen Anfängen bei Youtube erzählt und auf ein paar Videos sogar näher eingeht. Die Videos sind unterhaltsam, aber ich mag den Wiener Dialekt nicht, der mir im Buch aber erspart geblieben ist. 

Ich hatte deutliche Vorurteile gegenüber dem Buch, da ich eigentlich der Fraktion „Ehrlich währt am längsten“ angehöre und mit Menschen, die schon fast automatisch lügen, eigentlich nichts anfangen kann. Dennoch hat das Buch mein Interesse geweckt. Gerade, weil er hier ja nun reinen Wein einschenken möchte. Der Einstieg fiel mir leicht, da er seine Lügen mit einer großen Portion Humor präsentiert und das Ganze teilweise wirklich so absurd und übertrieben klingt, dass Michael einem schon fast leid tun kann. Lügen ist definitiv nicht immer einfach und man verstrickt sich sehr leicht darin. Er kommt auch nicht so rüber, als fände er das alles einfach nur cool und fair, sondern reflektiert sich sehr oft auch selbst und macht sich Gedanken um andere. Außerdem spricht er auch sehr ernsthafte, persönliche Dinge an und ist auch dort überraschend ehrlich. Man entwickelt im Laufe des Buches tatsächlich Verständnis für seine Lügen und wird sich bewusst, wie oft wir alle eigentlich nicht immer die ganze Wahrheit sagen. Dieses Buch hat mir Michael Buchinger auf jeden Fall ein wenig näher gebracht und ich halte ihn trotz seiner Lügen nicht für einen schlechten Menschen. Trotzdem sind die hier beschriebenen Rechtfertigungen kein Freifahrtschein für‘s Lügen. Auch nicht für jemanden wie Michael Buchinger. 

Das Cover gefällt mir gut. Die relativ einheitlich gehaltenen Farben empfinde ich als angenehm und es wirkt nicht überladen. Der Titel als Heiligenschein über dem unschuldig in Szene gesetzten Autor ist das sprichwörtliche Sahnehäubchen. Toll fand ich auch die inszenierten Zitate von Pinocchio und Donald Trump auf dem Buchrücken. 

Ein unterhaltsamer Roman, mit einer Mischung aus Humor und purer Ernsthaftigkeit, der einem den Autor näher bringt, Vor- und Nachteile des Lügens aufzeigt und in Gedanken noch ein wenig nachhallt, da es gar nicht so leicht ist, immer und jedem die ganze Wahrheit zu sagen.

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review 2018-12-23 22:01
24 Festive Tasks: My Final Books (Doors 16, 17 and 19 -- Human Rights Day, St. Lucia's Day, and Festivus)
A Christmas Guest - Anne Perry,Terrence Hardiman
Skandinavische Weihnachten: Die schönsten Geschichten von Sven Nordqvist, Hans Christian Andersen, Selma Lagerlöf u.a. - Hans Christian Andersen,Selma Lagerlöf,Various Authors,Sven Nordqvist,Josef Tratnik,Dirk Bach,Jens Wawrczeck
A Woman of No Importance - Full Cast,Oscar Wilde
Model Millionaire - David Timson,Oscar Wilde

Anne Perry: A Christmas Guest

The third book in Anne Perry's series of Christmas novellas, each one of which has as their protagonist one of the supporting characters from Perry's main series (William Monk, and Charlotte & Thomas Pitt).  This installment's starring role goes to Charlotte Pitt's vinegar-tongued grandmother, who -- like another remote relative, recently returned to England after having spent most of her adult life living in the Middle East -- finds herself shunted onto Charlotte and her husband Thomas at short notice, because the family with whom she had been planning to spend the holidays have made other plans.  While Grandma pretends to despise her widely-traveled fellow guest, secretly she develops a considerable amount of respect for her, so when the lady is unexpetedly found dead, grandma takes it upon herself to seek out the people who had unloaded her on the Pitt household; convinced that something untoward is afoot.


As Perry's Christmas novellas go, this is one of my favorite installments to date, and i loved seeing it told, for once, not from the point of view of an easily likeable character, but from that of Grandma, who is a major pain in the neck to others (even though you'd have to be blind not to recognize from the word "go" that her acerbic tongue and pretensions are merely part of her personal armour).  I also wondered whether the murder victim's character might have been inspired by pioneering women travelers like Gertrude Bell, even if the story is set a few decades earlier than Bell's actual life.  I had issues with a couple of minor aspects of the plot (and characters / behaviour), but they didn't intrude enough to seriously impinge on my enjoyment of the story.  And since Grandma, for all her overblown pretenses, is certainly a strong woman character -- which she shows, not least, by eventually admitting to her own fallibilities -- I am counting this book towards the Human Rights Day square of 24 Festive Tasks.



Various Authors: Skandinavische Weihnachten

A charming anthology of Christmas short stories and poems from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Finland; chiefly geared towards children, but more than enjoyable by readers and listeners of all ages and generations.  I knew some of the entries (no Scandinavian Christmas anthology without Andersen's Little Match Girl, I suppose), but many of the stories were new to me, and they made for delightful listening on this 4th weekend of Advent. -- Set in Scandinavia, and thus I'm using it as my book for the St. Lucia's Day square.



Oscar Wilde: A Woman of No Importance

Wilde's second play; an acerbic take on the narrowness of fin de siècle English morality; or more particularly, supremely hypocritical perceptions of women's role in society.  Unlike in Wilde's later plays, the beginning comes across as a bit of an over-indulgence in the author's own clever wit, with a veritable fireworks of sparkling onelines and repartees following in quick succession without greatly advancing the plot (which is what earns the piece the subtractions in my star ratings -- it's the perfect example of too much of a good thing); but once the plot and the dialogue centers on the opposing protagonists, it quickly finds its feet. -- As Festivus books go, it's rather on the dark side, but it's a satire nevertheless, so I'm counting it for that square ... and though (unusually for Wilde) the last line is telegraphed a mile and a half in advance, I nevertheless enjoyed saying it along with the play's heroine from all my heart.



Oscar Wilde: Model Millionaire

My encore enjoyment to follow up A Woman of No Importance; a story that couldn't be any more different in tone and intent -- the tale of a gentleman who believes he has done a kindness to a raggedy beggar modelling for his artist friend ... only to find that he could not possibly have been any more mistaken, and that in fact it is he who is ultimately at the receiving end of an unexpected kindness.

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review 2018-12-20 00:04
24 Festive Tasks: Door 23 - Hogswatch, Book
Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett
Hogfather: Discworld, Book 20 - Nigel Planer,Terry Pratchett

... and another yearly Christmas tradition right here, the annual Hogfather reread.  Or relisten (thank Heaven for Nigel Planer's narration).


Much has already been shared (and the whole book is one huge piece of quotable writing, of course), but anyway, this is one of my favorite bits not mentioned by anybody else yet:

     "In the glittering, clattering, chattering atmosphere a head waiter was having a difficult time.  There were a lot of people in, and the staff should have been fully stretched, putting bicarbonate of soda in the white wine to make very expensive bubbles and cutting the vegetables very small to make them cost more.

     Instead they were standing in a dejected group in the kitchen.

     Where did it all go?' screamed the manager. Someone's been through the cellar, too!'

     'William said he felt a cold wind,' said the waiter.  He'd been backed up against a hot plate, and now knew why it was called a hot plate in a way he hadn't fully comprehended before.

     'I'll give him a cold wind!  Haven't we got anything?'

     'There's odds and ends ... '

     'You don't  mean odds and ends, you mean des curieux et des bouts', corrected the manager.

     'Yeah, right, yeah.  And, er, and, er ...'

     'There's nothing else?'

     'Er ... old boots.  Muddy old boots.'

     'Old -- ?'

     'Boots.  Lots of 'em,' said the waiter.  He felt he was beginning to singe.

     'How come we've got ... vintage footwear?'

     'Dunno.  They just turned up, sir.  The oven's full of old boots.  So's the pantry.'

     'There's a hundred poeple booked in!  All the shops'll be shut!  Where's Chef?'

     'William's trying to get him to come out of the privy, sir.  He's locked himself in and is having one of his Moments.'

     'Something's cooking.  What's that I can smell?'

     'Me, sir.'

     'Old boots ...' muttered the manager.  'Old boots ... old boots ... Leather, are they?  Not clogs or rubber or anything?'

     'Looks like ... just boots.  And lots of mud, sir.'

     The manager took off his jacket.  'All right.  Got any cream , have we?  Onions?  Garlic?  Butter?  Some old beef bones?  A bit of pastry?'

     ' Er, yes ...'

     The manager rubbed his hands together.  'Right,' he said, taking an apron off a hook.  'You there, get some water boiling!  Lots of water!  And find a really large hammer!  And you, chop some onions!  The rest of you, start sorting out the boots.  I want the tongues out and the soles off.  We'll do them ... let's see ... Mousse de la Boue dans un Panier de la Pâte de Chaussures ...'

     'Where're we going to get that from, sir?'

     'Mud mousse in a basket of shoe pastry.  Get the idea?  It's not our fault if even Quirmians don't understand restaurant Quirmian.  It's not like lying, after all.'

     'Well, it's a bit like --' the waiter began.  He'd been cursed with honesty at an early stage.

     'Then there's Brodequin rôti Façon Ombres ...'

     The manager sighed at the head waiter's panicky expression.  'Soldier's boot done in the Shades fashion,' he translated.

     'Er ... Shades fashion?'

     'In mud.  But if we cook the tongues separately we can put on Languette braisée, too.'

     'There's some ladies' shoes, sir,' said an under-chef.

     'Right.  Add to the menu ... Let's see now ... Sole d'une Bonne Femme ... and ... yes ... Servis dans un Coulis de Terre en l'Eau.  That's mud, to you.'

     'What about the laces, sir?' said another under-chef.

     'Good thinking.  Dig out the reicpe for Spaghetti Carbonara.'"

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text 2018-12-15 11:05
Book Tour & Giveaway with Author Interview! SAPD SWAT (Books #1 & 2) Nikki Mays!





HELLO! It’s the weekend and I hope everyone is having a great one. Thank you for taking time out of your day to join me here today. You will be glad that you did, since I have Nikki Mays here to tell us all about her SAPD SWAT series & I’ll be interviewing Nikki so readers can get to know her better! Let’s get started & don’t forget to enter the giveaway!





Addicted to You
SAPD SWAT Series Book 2
by Nikki Mays
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Comedy


Michelle is my addiction. She’s sweetness and light wrapped up in a delicious package. Almost as delicious as the confections she makes. Until now, I’ve kept my distance to make sure my darkness doesn’t taint her.

She’s better than a killer who sits behind a scope.


I watch her from afar. Getting dragged under her spell a little further with every sweet smile and mischievous grin. I know I’ll cave one day, give into the craving to be near her. Being in her presence is a feeling like no other, one I can’t seem to resist.


Unfortunately, I’m not the only one living under her influence. While I was watching her, someone else was watching too. But she belongs with me, no matter what anyone else wants.


Now I need to make sure she gives me my next fix of her, even if she’s too stubborn to admit she wants to. She’s my addiction, cure and redemption all rolled into one. Her soul calls out to my own. I’ll make sure she’s as addicted to me as I am to her. She’ll crave me - if it’s the last thing I do.



Book Trailer – https://youtu.be/ZxGOuMBy8Pc




Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42196260-addicted-to-you


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/addicted-to-you-book-2-sapd-swat-series-by-nikki-mays


Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1030463



Surrender to You
SAPD SWAT Series Book 1





Mellie has been hypnotized by a pair of gorgeous green eyes, attached to a very yummy package for months now. Unfortunately for her, her brain goes on hiatus anytime Morris Jackson is around. Looking like a bobble head whenever he asks her anything isn't the best way to go about getting a man like him interested. Not like ruggedly handsome men go for quirky, accident prone introverts like her. Plus, even if she did have a snowballs chance in hell with him, him being her brothers SWAT teammate doesn't bode well for her. A girl can dream though!




Those blue eyes sucker punched him the minute he looked into them. It felt like the ground had literally gone out from under him. Mellie is everything that he could ever want and everything that he shouldn't have. Even if he didn't know that she's too good for a guy like him, her brother would never be okay with it. He is over protective and proud of it. But at some point you have to say screw the consequences and go after what you know is meant to be yours.



Too bad someone wasn't happy for them when they found their way to one another. Someone will make sure they don't stay together by any means necessary. They'll even kill to get what they want.


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40724232-surrender-to-you


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/surrender-to-you-sapd-swat-series-book-1-by-nikki-mays


Riffle - https://www.rifflebooks.com/books/1030464





Both books are available in print or ebook

~ Addicted To You ~


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J23W7JN


~ Surrender To You ~

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Surrender-You-SAPD-SWAT-Book-ebook/dp/B07F8FVHNQ






What is something unique/quirky about you?


I count steps whenever I take the stairs. I can still tell you how many stairs are at my parents house from counting them so many times while I was growing up.



What are some of your pet peeves?


I can't standing having the radio volume at an uneven number. My husband purposely does it when he wants to annoy me.




Where were you born/grew up at?


I grew up in a small town in New Jersey. It's literally 1 square mile.




If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?


With my kids. I wouldn't leave the house. I would spend the entire day cuddled up with them.




Who is your hero and why?


I would have to say my parents. They have always been amazing and showed me what a loving relationship should be.




What kind of world ruler would you be?


If you ask my husband and kids, probably a dictator. In my defense though, I usually have to fix or clean up after everyone. It's easier if everything is done my way.




What are you passionate about these days?


Baking! I absolutely love it. I even make all of my family's birthday cakes, decorated with homemade buttercream and fondant.




What do you do to unwind and relax?


Lay in bed with a book. That's my "ME" time.



How to find time to write as a parent?


I tend to write when my kids are napping or after they've gone to bed for the night.




Describe yourself in 5 words or less!


I'm a total introvert




When did you first consider yourself a writer?


I don't think that there was any defining moment. I've always liked to write, but I never really shared that with anyone.





$5 Amazon


Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!







Nikki Mays is a pen name that was created from her maiden name. She is a wife and mother, who lives in a small town in New Jersey. She has been with her husband for a decade and is surprised that he's still alive. She began writing as a creative outlet after becoming a stay at home mom. She decided that she needed something exclusively for herself, not just being mommy. She has two crazy boxers that love to keep that "Evil" mailman out of the yard. Besides writing and spending time with her little hellions, she enjoys cooking & baking. She has recently taken up gardening and made her loving husband plant her a mini fruit tree orchard, as well as a garden taking up half an acre. Nikki loves to be stalked by her readers and encourages all interaction.



Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NikkiMaysRomance


Twitter - https://twitter.com/nikkimaysauthor


InstaGram - https://www.instagram.com/nikkimaysauthor


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/nikki-mays


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Mays/e/B071F5GPNQ


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16906251.Nikki_Mays














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