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review 2018-06-10 00:45
Inuyashiki (manga, vol. 1) by Hiroya Oku, translated by Stephen Paul
Inuyashiki, Vol. 1 - Hiroya Oku,Stephen Paul

Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old man who is unloved by everyone in his life. When he moves his family to a new home, all everyone does is gripe about it - how small the place is, how cheap he is, etc. He has a young son and teen daughter, both of whom are embarrassed by how old he is. They also don't respect him and don't bother to hide this fact. When Inuyashiki proposes that the family get a dog, no one will come with him, so he ends up selecting a Shiba, Hanako, on his own. It seems that Hanako is the only being in the world that Inuyashiki has to live for, until one fateful evening, when he and a teenage boy end up forever changed.

I picked up the first couple volumes of this in a Humble Bundle a while back. There's Humble Bundle with more volumes of this and other series up right now, and I'm still debating whether to get it.

 

This first volume of Inuyashiki didn't leave me wishing I had more in my collection. The characters were, for the most part, horrible. I doubt any of the people in Inuyashiki's family ever genuinely loved each other, and the world of this series seemed to be entirely populated with bullies. The only character I even vaguely liked was the dog, and something about this series makes me suspect that the dog isn't going to make it through the whole thing.

The artwork definitely wasn't to my taste. There was something slightly unsettling and repulsive about it, even before Inuyashiki discovered that there was something strange going on with his body. Maybe this was intentional, but the result was that I didn't really want to spend more time than necessary looking at pages and panels.

The sci-fi aspects were weird and a little hand-wavy. The goals of the beings Inuyashiki and Shishigami, the teenage boy, encountered were never stated outright, but they seemed to want to avoid causing a stir, or perhaps to avoid affecting humans with their appearance too much. Either way, they failed miserably, and their failure seems likely to grow more pronounced in later volumes.

I'm really not impressed with this series so far.

Extras: 

Two pages of translation notes.

 

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

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text 2017-01-01 17:55
"You belong."
Azumanga Daioh Omnibus - Kiyohiko Azuma,Stephen Paul

I'm not on Booklikes much anymore, since the site still isn't working properly for me and I'm just not up to dealing with that level of frustration anymore. However, I liked these images and thought it'd be worth putting a post together. The manga itself is pretty good - lots of humor, and not much happens, but there's an overall warmth to it that just sort of creeps up on you.

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-06-05 07:40
The Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P. T. Jones
Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly - Paul Tremblay,Stephen Graham Jones

The Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly by P. T. Jones is a cleverly written book for children ages twelve & up.  The dialogue has just the right amount of snarkiness.

It is well done for the time when teens are not always comfortable with their peers & environment. It has touches of crush/romance as well as science fiction.

"She laughs, thinking she can embarrass me more than I can her.  Oh, Mother."

It's a fun story to read & moves fast.  Because it kept my interest, I gave it four stars.

"The kids form a circle around the tree.  They're full of righteous sugar & corn syrup, & they jump & throw their arms in the air like they're about to kill Piggy.  Lord of the Flies is the one summer book I got to, all right?"

I received a complimentary copy from ChiTeen & NetGalley.  That did not change my opinion for this review.

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Floating-Boy-Girl-Who-Couldnt-ebook/dp/B00UWCXKNK

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review 2015-08-11 00:38
Near Perfect
Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly - Paul Tremblay,Stephen Graham Jones

 

This works best when the two authors - who use the pen name P.T. Jones when they are writing together - don't try to sound hip or cool or like teens.   Because it takes a lot of bravado, I believe, to do that and get away with it, and this felt more like effort, which is a shame because I really liked the characters and plot and book as a whole when it didn't try so hard to be like what teens are like. 

 

See, the characters feel like people: full and fun and like they don't need to be super-hip.   But they try, and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of those points.   Still, at some point it let go of the effort, and it was a far stronger book.   Without that, the characters shone through, and I really enjoyed the slow and steady pace of this novel.   It wasn't clear where it was going at some points, but the journey was so fun it became the point. I  wanted to see how the story between the characters unfolded even more than I wanted to know how the mystery was solved. 

 

There was one minor nitpick, too.   I thought I'd remember the page numbers, but apparently not.   During a chase scene, bare feet are mentioned, and later wet socks are mentioned.   Since the main character was running away, with her little brother on her back, she had no time to put on socks, nor would she think of doing so given the circumstances. 

 

Overall, though, I liked this.  I'm finding I like more of a slow burn, though, where time is taken with the characters.   I wanted to write a longer review, but I've been having a migraine today.  I ended up going inside while the boat for the whale watching came into port, and I couldn't stand comics in general, especially not Watchmen, so I finished this instead.   I'm glad I made this choice, because this was just far too fun to put off any longer. 

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text 2015-07-12 23:59
Reading progress update: I've read 186 out of 250 pages.
Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly - Paul Tremblay,Stephen Graham Jones

I'm gonna go make dinner, and maybe sleep soon.  Not sure if I'll finish this tonight.   

 

It's a little slow, so I might need a break.  I get why it's a little slow now, and I really like the character interaction and how the past is slowly unfolding through their conversations.  I'm just so exhausted right now that slow is making me sleepy. 

 

I'm still having a problem, which is that in some places the youthful phrases feel forced.   It's not often, but enough that it's a bit of a distraction for me, which is a shame because this is a mature teen, who hangs out with less mature teens - and I was one of those - although she's got her flaws, like panic attacks.    And fear, especially when combined with precociousness, can make one a little mature I think.  Or it feels like it could with this particular character; she feels realistic to me. 

 

I like her a lot.   But I may put her down for a graphic novel - ChiZine's first - and I've got a nice little surprise with that one, too!

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