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review 2018-03-17 00:00
Bakuman。, Vol. 3: Debut and Impatience
Bakuman。, Vol. 3: Debut and Impatience -... Bakuman。, Vol. 3: Debut and Impatience - Tsugumi Ohba 4 stars

I am finally gaining some traction with Bakuman. Volume 3 was the best so far, mainly because of Eiji. The genius manga creator is shockingly unique, and I really enjoy his personality. He is so lost in his stories that he doesn’t even notice the real world, taking extended visits into his vivid imagination. While I thought he was going to be conceited jerk, he was far from it in this volume. He’s just a comic geek, magnified by 100, and he doesn’t have the best social graces. Then again, neither do Moritaka and Akito.

Akito and Moritaka are in a funk because they can’t come up with a concept that pleases their editor Hattori. He suggests that they focus on a story that’s not so main-stream, because their strengths are not in producing battle manga. Both Akito and Moritaka are resistant to his advice. If they are ever going to have a #1 series in Jump, it has to be a battle manga. So they crank out story after story, each lacking creative brilliance, and each rejected by Hattori. They finally turn in a story they believe is the best they have written, only to be rejected by the editors of the anthology magazine they submitted it for. Now they are reeling because they just can’t come up with an idea that doesn’t feel tired and boring.

With summer break coming up, Akito decides he needs a break. He isn’t going to go to the studio, but he will come up with a story that they can use during the downtime. Moritaka, spinning his wheels, agrees to work for Eiji as an assistant, hoping he can learn something from the wunderkid. Moritaka does learn something, but not what he was expecting. Instead of Eiji showing him the ropes, Moritaka learns that Eiji is the most scattered, undisciplined artist in the history of artists. Eiji refuses to create storyboards because they are boring. He refuses to go to meetings with his editor because he doesn’t like to think that much about his writing. He is a shoot from the hip kind of creator, and until he had a weekly series, that worked great for him. Now that he’s on a deadline, and competing with the other weekly series, he is fumbling around in the dark.

With advice from Takuro, an assistant with 10 years experience, and Shinta, a contest winner who hasn’t been given a series spot yet, Moritaka begins to understand Hattori’s insistence that they listen to him. He still wants to do a battle manga, but he’s more open to taking the editor’s advice. He also has a great deal of admiration for Takuro. Even though the older man hasn’t found much success working on his own series, he is a stellar assistant and teaches Moritaka a lot about producing a weekly manga. Armed with these new tools, he’s ready to get back in the groove. Too bad Akito isn’t quite as ready.

As Akito and Kaya’s relationship grows closer, Moritaka is forced to confront some jealously. Akito spends the summer break helping Kaya write romance serials, while he flounders away at coming up with a new series for Moritaka to illustrate. As Kaya gains some success with her work, Miho is cast in a small part in a new anime. Now Moritaka has to face that Miho’s dreams are coming true, while his are at a standstill. His unusual relationship with Miho is also the model for Kaya’s romance story, and as he helps her with it, even Akito begins to wonder how about the weird relationship. The Miho/Moritaka romance / whatever it is is the weakest part of the story for me. They are way too young to plan on getting married if they can’t even hold a face to face conversation with each other. It drives me nuts.

Anyway, Volume 3 was a huge improvement over the previous books in the series. Eiji saved it for me. I’m curious to see how Moritaka and Akito can compete with a guy who breathes manga, but has the attention span of a small gnat.

Grade: 4 stars
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text 2018-03-05 00:15
Calling all book bloggers~~
Blind the Eyes Limited Preview Edition: 3 Chapter Preview - K.A. Wiggins

Hey guys! I have a last-minute cover reveal for Blind the Eyes coming up this week because I've got some other exciting news breaking pretty much immediately.

 

If anyone has an opening on their blog or whatever social channel you're rocking and would like to get involved in sharing the news/boosting the signal, please DM!

 

For everyone else, subscribers get exclusive first looks, breaking news, & previews at http://kaie.space/newsletter

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review 2018-02-17 11:00
The Powerful Heritage of a Woman: The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier
The Loving Spirit - Daphne du Maurier

In spite of its title, the novel The Loving Spirit isn’t just another one of those shallow romances set in the picturesque landscape of Cornwall that swamp the book market. Much rather the English novel from 1931 is a family saga with obvious echoes of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and poetry.

 

Spanning a hundred years, it shows the fate of four generations of the Coombie family starting in 1830 with wild Janet whose boundless love not only marks her own life but also that of her descendants... including that of her unloved son who makes a fortune to gain power and have his revenge to the very last. But he can't destroy the strong seed that Janet planted.

 

Please click here to read my long review on Edith’s Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2018-02-03 11:00
Rebirth of an Orphan Girl: The Encyclopaedia of Good Reasons by Monica Cantieni
The Encyclopaedia of Good Reasons - Monica Cantieni,Donal McLaughlin
Grünschnabel - Monica Cantieni

Here's the sublime debut novel of a - so far - rather unknown Swiss author. As a matter of fact, the book won the most renowned Swiss literary award. The story is simple and yet gripping:

 

Being only six years old and an orphan girl she is a greenhorn in life and in a family, when she arrives at the home of her new parents sometime in the 1970s. They are Swiss, but not particularly well-off so they live in a poor immigrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Zurich with all its problems. The little girl needs to learn an awful lot and not just new words that she stores in all kinds of boxes (following the suggestion of her new father). With the help of her new - senile - grand-father Tat she finds her way.

 

To know more about this Swiss novel, I invite you to click here and read my long review on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany!

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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review 2017-10-07 00:05
If You Knew My Sister
If You Knew My Sister - Michelle Adams

By:  Michelle Adams

ISBN:  9781250126702

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date:  10/3/2017 

Format:  Paperback

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER —British author, Michelle Adams’ riveting dark and spellbinding psychological debut thriller of two broken sisters. 

As dark and sinister as The Sinner, by Petra Hammesfahr (TV-mini-series-which I loved) and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Multi-layered, Complex, Spine-tingling, and Twisty, with an explosive conclusion you do not see coming. 

Narrated by Dr. Irini Harringford, (an anaesthetist at Queen’s College Hospital); the unwanted little girl now a woman living in London —haunted by the scars, unknowns, and mysteries of her past. The missing gaps.

Daughter of Maurice and Cassandra and sister, Elle in Scotland. Only for three years. Then she was sent away. She was the good daughter (age three). Why did they keep the bad daughter Elle (age seven) and send her away?

The years of studying to become a doctor to wear a mask so people would not see the real her. Maybe she does not recall. A life where she had parents. A past with somebody other than Elle.

“Sometimes I think I can remember my mother’s face: like mine, only older, redder, wrinkles like a spider’s web weaving around her lips. Other times I’m not so sure. But I’m sure that she didn’t offer any last-minute advice to be a good girl, no quick kiss on the cheek to tide me over. I would have remembered that, wouldn’t I? She slammed the car door, stepped back, and my aunt and uncle drove me away from her like it was the most normal thing in the world. And even then, I knew something was over. I have been given away, cast out, dumped.”


Elle is her sister. Her only sister from a previous life from which she has kept a few memories. Some are blurry, some are hauntingly real. She is the last remaining connection to a past she has tried desperately to forget. Elle is her destiny. 

She is utterly inescapable. She is back to ruin things. Torment her, and create havoc in every part of her life. She even killed their family dog, Toto, plus so much more . . . (way more than Irini knows)

Irini is living with a man Antonio whom she will not marry. She had no role models. She really would like a family, but it feels too dangerous. She only needs someone to care for her for the last twenty-nine years. 

When Irini was only three-years-old her parents sent her away. They kept one daughter, Ella, and sent her away. She has never discovered why.

Presently, her sister Ella has found her once again. After six years of absence, she has managed to worm her way back into her life. Ella is a dark monster. One she runs from. One she is indebted to. 

A message, that their mum (Cassandra) has died. Of course, a mother is nothing more to her than an idea. A dream. A childish hope. However, she is curious. Ella needs her. Once again after six years, of keeping her distance, she weakens her. She makes her feel guilty. She owes her. Ella constantly reminds her.

She agrees to return home. Possibly she will use this as an opportunity to find answers to her past. Maybe she will find the truth from her father. The why? Why did she have to leave her home and family to go and live with a woman who did not want her?

The missing part of this puzzle. Why did her aunt continue to move them each time Elle found them. How can she pass up the chance to know why they gave her away and kept Elle?

Elle is everything superficially, Irini is not. Irini has a limp due to her dysplastic hip. She is a cripple. She has deep scars. She is chubby. Elle is beautiful, thin, fit, enigmatic captivating, and has confidence. 

Elle is the one person who never tired of finding her. This knowledge was for Irini, an addiction. The fact no matter how far she runs, Elle will find her. The only thing worse than her absence was her presence. A risky game of cat and mouse. 

But it is too late to ask for answers because all that remains is her mom's grave, the secrets of the past buried with her and out of reach. The little butterfly returning to the nest. The grand Victorian house with all its wealth. One she was not a part of. One giant black hole waiting to suck her in. 

With all their wealth, she had to settle for hand-me-downs. Discarded things for a discarded child. 

The return was not as she expected. She does not belong here. Ella is still manipulative and evil. She was the one they kept. Even after they sent her away, Ella would seek her out and deliver her from the bullies. The late-night trips she would leave Aunt Jemina’s house to meet her sister. She was hoping her father would explain. 

Now, she still has no answers. Irini wants to leave. She feels trapped. Ella drugs her in order to get her to stay. Two broken girls. Mental illness. Dysfunctional families. However, there is much more to the story than Irini can imagine. What is everyone covering up?

Before she can speak to her father. He suddenly dies but not before he redoes his will. Leaving everything to the daughter he gave up. 

Is Elle setting her up for a fall? Now the police are questioning her about the death of her father. How is Antonio mixed up in all of this? What do the strange numbers mean on the will? Then she meets a friend of Elle. Matt. Everyone knows Elle is a sociopath. Reckless. Manipulative. A killer. 
 



Are we our parents? "We are what they make us either by their presence or through their absence." 

Were they really trying to protect her by sending her away? A cover-up? What do suicides in the 1990s at Fair Fields along the Scottish Border have to do with her sister?

Is Elle a scared girl running from her past. Is she a murderer? Who will stop her? Killed to save her sister and to save herself. Will Irini keep her secrets?

I was glued to the pages of this page-turner! Love stories of hidden secrets of families. Elle will give you the spine-tingling chills! (Was dying to find out the mystery. It is a big one and one you do not anticipate.) Unpredictable. 

I am shocked there has not been more "hype" surrounding IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER (prime for the big screen). As I was reading, was strongly reminded of The Sinner, in many ways with the toxic relationship and deep scars of two sisters. The forgotten past. The missing links. The dysfunction, violence, abandonment, and the tug and pull between the two sisters. The dark secrets, drugs, manipulation, evil, and the love/hate relationship. Was one sacrificed for the other? 

Family. The butterfly effect. (many relations to butterflies). Hidden meanings. . . Madame Butterfly. 

The ending left unanswered questions, so wondering if we may get a sequel, or meant to leave us pondering. Would love to learn more about these haunting characters and secrets of Fair Fields and Elle's POV. An ideal choice for books clubs and further discussions. 

Well-written, dark, disturbing, twisty, and unsettling. Looking forward to reading more from the talented author. Fans of Lisa Unger, Ruth Ware, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier will enjoy Adams' debut IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER.

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an early reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Emily Pennant-Rea for an engaging listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/08/09/If-You-Knew-My-Sister
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