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review 2017-09-11 13:29
The Drops of God (manga, vol. 2) story by Tadashi Agi, art by Shu Okimoto, translation by Kate Robinson
The Drops of God 2 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi

Most of the volume is devoted to Shizuku selecting French wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition sponsored by his company’s new Wine Division, although it isn’t immediately apparent that the first part of the volume has anything at all to do with the competition.

In the first part of the volume, Shizuku helps a struggling French restaurant. Their business was nearly killed off by a bad review from Issei Tomine, and now he’s scheduled to come reevaluate the restaurant. The restaurant’s owner is confident about his food but has no idea what to do about the wine menu - his wife used to handle that, but she died some time ago. In order to figure out where the restaurant owner went wrong, Shizuku must discover how to properly pair wine and food.

Shizuku’s efforts help him select one of the wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition, but he still needs two others. He finds the second one after visiting a bizarre wine shop staffed by twin brothers with very different opinions about wine and the third one after being approached by Maki Saionji, a wine importer and Issei Tomine’s occasional lover. The volume wraps up with both the competition and Shizuku and Issei finally reading the first part of Shizuku’s father’s will, which gives them the clues necessary to find the first of Shizuku’s father’s “Twelve Apostles.”

Hm. Still an enjoyable series overall. The first part of the volume was nice, but a little too removed from the main storyline and a little too serious to be fun despite that. There were some good educational aspects, though - the volume touched on the difference between how Japanese people view drinking tea with a meal (for example, tea can be used to cancel out the flavor of heavy and rich food) and the way wines are traditionally paired with French cuisine (the wine and food should enhance each other rather than cancel each other out). I also liked the father-daughter relationship aspect. The daughter was more responsible and dedicated than she initially appeared to be.

The next part of the volume, the weird wine shop, brought the story back to the restrained wackiness I enjoyed in the first volume. The brothers were amusing, complete opposites. One preferred to focus on wines from wineries with good reputations and would consider nothing else - he didn’t even bother to try all his wines to figure out if they were good, he just assumed they were because of their reputations. The other brother focused entirely on cheap wines and refused to stock anything else. His part of the shop looked like a cheesy dollar store, or maybe a giant “going out of business” sale.

The one thing I absolutely didn’t like about that part of the volume was the brothers’ father. I think readers were supposed to view him as being at least as amusing as his sons, but I just thought he was a horrible human being. In order to get his sons to cooperate and improve the family business, he

lied to them and told them he had cancer.

(spoiler show)

I mean, what kind of person does that? Thankfully, there was no sign that Shizuku and Miyabi would be returning there anytime soon.

For me, the weakest part of the volume was the wine competition. It went very quickly, and I felt like I had a much better grasp on the appeals of the French wines than I did on the Italian ones, since so much of the volume had been devoted to those. The final verdict was interesting, though. I was left with the impression that, if you’re unfamiliar with wine and looking to select a decent cheap one, it’s probably best to go with an Italian wine, but if you’re a bit more experienced and looking for more variety, French might be the way to go.

One ongoing bit of mystery: the identity of the woman who declared the competition’s final verdict and who gave Shizuku advice that helped him with his wine selections. She looked like a random cranky old woman when she was first introduced, but it soon became clear that she was quite wealthy and had probably known Shizuku’s father very well.

This volume left me feeling a little less excited overall than the first one, but the educational aspects were still pretty good and I’m still looking forward to seeing what else the series has in store for readers. It looks like Shizuku will be spending at least part of the next volume working with an amnesiac artist in an effort to find out what she knows about the First Apostle.

A couple things that struck me: even with help from all of his wine-possessing friends, Shizuku is going to end up spending a small fortune trying to get up to speed on wines; and, if they weren’t rivals, Shizuku and Issei would probably make for decent wine-tasting friends since they keep selecting/appreciating the same things.

Additional Comments:

My feelings about the artwork are still largely the same: it’s lovely, although noticeably focused on characters over backgrounds. However, there were a couple parts in this volume where I felt Okimoto slipped up a bit: a three-page section showing Shizuku back at the Wine Division, helping the chief with a wine cellar and receiving a dessert wine from him, and a panel in which Sara cutely encouraged people to taste the “Italy vs. France” wines. The bit with the chief looked unfinished, as though some of the screentone had been forgotten, and some of the linework was unusually thick. The panel with Sara was mostly fine, but her lips were odd, like she’d only put makeup on the right half of them.

 

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

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review 2017-09-10 12:41
Rose Madder
Rose Madder - Stephen King

I´m really Rosie

And I´m Rosie Real

You better believe me

Because I´m a great big deal.

-Maurice Sendak

 

This is the first Stephen King book I´ve read. I don´t usually read horror and tend to only read realistic fiction. I told my husband about Halloween Bingo and asked him to recommend some of his books for a few squares - something not to scary for Me.  He knows me very well.  He recommended this book for Genre: Horror.  I was skeptical but I´m very glad I did read it. This story is amazing and I tore through it quickly. Stephen King took an idea that is very real for a lot of people, being trapped in an abusive relationship, and he crafted that idea into a freaky story that you don´t just read but absorb. It isn´t just a story, it is something to mentally chew on. It is full of symbolism and interesting little connections. It does have a lot of bad language so this book isn´t for everyone. 

The story is told from two different points of view, Rosie´s and Norman. As the book goes on he becomes obsessed with finding her and slips more and more away from reality, becoming a murderous monster.

The story starts with Rosie sitting on the floor in the corner of their living room losing her baby. Her abusive husband (understatement of the year) has beaten her, punching her in the stomach several times. He calls 911 but then he moves her to the bottom of the stairs and tells her what to say when they arrive. If she doesn´t say what she is supposed to he will kill her. She does not doubt that for a minute either. She can´t tell anyone what really happened anyway because they wouldn´t believe her. Her husband is a cop and cops back each other up. He´s part of a brotherhood and he´s a detective.  Finding people is what he does.

 

Rosie stays with him several more years until one day she notices a single drop of blood on the sheet by her pillow. He punched her in the nose the night before and although she thought the bleeding had stopped that one drop had seeped out during the night. She had gone numb and was just living from moment to moment but this single drop of blood was pulling her back. She finally got the nerve up to run out the door. She takes his ATM card and uses it to get some money to help her get away. She is terrified because she knows he will come for her and he will kill her. 

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review 2017-09-05 07:46
Forever by Judy Blume

As a young teen or even preteen when I first read this, I am sure that I liked the book as I hardly knew better, but as an adult I cringe thinking about me reading this when I was so young.

Here is how I feel upon rereading:

I feel really bad, but I disliked this book. It is a quick paced read, so I did read the whole thing. Several things in this made me feel like I was all slime covered and uncomfortable. It is really a shame; I do remember her children books with fond memories. I still believe she is a good writer.

I understand why this book may have been important for the time period it was written in, but I still think the relationship in the book was toxic and should not have been anyone's reference guide to love and relationships.

Major spoilers for what I found wrong with this book.

 

This is what made me unsure about this book:
It seemed all Michael did was beg/pressure for sex and it felt like he only said "I love you" to get her to be more sexual. How they just off offhandedly talked about abortion like it was no big deal also rubbed me the wrong why. I am not going to get into a pro life/pro choice debate, but I really did not like how this was done in the book! Also cheating. Whether physical or emotional cheating. I don't like cheating in any format, books, movies... etc. Ugh

(spoiler show)

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review 2017-08-24 04:25
Black Panther: World of Wakanda
Black Panther: World of Wakanda Vol. 1: Dawn of the Midnight Angels - Ta-Nehisi Coates,Roxane Gay,Yona Harvey,Alitha Martinez,Afua Richardson

When I first started the Black Panther run by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ayo and Aneka, two members of the Dora Milaje quickly became the best part of the series for me. So to get a book with a large focus on the two of them was a great surprise. The fact that Roxane Gay wrote this made it even better.

 

World of Wakanda put the focus on several members of the Dora Milaje from new recruits to veterans as they trained, warded off attacks on Wakanda, and slowly began to question Black Panther and whether he truly was putting Wakanda's interests first. There was a lot of inner conflict for the characters to deal with, and I loved seeing each of them struggle to figure out how to honor their oaths while still doing what they thought was right.

 

And I just really love Ayo and Aneka. It was nice seeing the start of their relationship and its progression. This book gave me better context for what they're doing and why in the Black Panther series. I now want another book or two (or more) of their adventures.

 

The only part I didn't like of this book was the very last issue which switched to a story about White Tiger. While I'm sure I've read stuff with White Tiger in it, I didn't remember much about him beyond that he existed, so it didn't help that his story kept referencing things in his past that I wasn't familiar with. This issue read more like a generic superhero story that was completely different from the previous issues. It just felt out of place with the rest of the book.

 

Despite the last issue, World of Wakanda was excellent. It gave a closer look at some of the most fascinating characters from the Black Panther series and made me want more of them.

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text 2017-07-19 14:34
Steps of Securing Your Rights in De Facto Finances

Couple these days consider de facto relationship is a happy one! It may be true because in the first place this type of commitment does not limit you to enjoy your freedom to the fullest. However, whether you are happy with it or in the process of getting involved in a de facto relationship because for you, it doesn’t matter if your personal interest is taking for granted, your legal and financial status perhaps can be a costly mistake. With that in mind, the court has made a necessary ruling of settlements of asset and properties to satisfy. And that couple who are into these relationships out of wedlock should satisfy the court is in fact de facto by law. If you doubt about this law, you can ask a better and legal advice from reputable family lawyer sydney cbd.

 

What You Should Know About ‘De Facto’ Relationships

 

  1. Some people assumed they were part of ‘de facto’ couple, yet have been surprised when the court ruled the law which was introduced in 2009 to extend rights for de facto couples which do not apply to some.
  2. When the de facto relationship wasn’t proven, there is no pre-nuptial financial agreement takes place or even if they have not registered their domestic relationship with their state’s Justice Department.

 

How to safeguard your future? Follow these steps:

 

In entering into a financial agreement with your de facto partner provides some certainty towards whom own what during the relationship and beyond a family lawyer Sydney cbd can assists you by bringing such document.

 

When the relationship breakdown, the document is such a big help to you and the court to prove a de facto status, and this way the property division rights applied similarly to a married could under the Family Law Act. The law also applies to same sex relationships.

Under de facto entitlement, one of the major features of this legislation is that de facto couples are now allowed to split superannuation between partners because these funds are considered part of jointly owned assets. In contrast to being in a de facto relationship for at least a year can reduce the level of benefits to which you are entitled.

 

Moreover, if the Department of Human Services identify that an applicant is living together with a partner.  Whether married or not and regardless of gender, it will take into account the combined assets and earnings of both partners before evaluating the level of the benefits to be paid to each of them. This will apparently result in a lower benefit for a person living as a couple.

 

What are the Benefits of having a ‘De Facto’ relationship?

 

Remember there are several numbers of final privileges in declaring de facto status. For example, the government provide a rebate for a private health insurance is huge for families compare with the singles, and a de facto couple is considered as families for this purpose.

 

In addition, partner to which aren’t married but with whom you have a unique domestic relationship can be assessed as the spouse in order to claim income tax concessions. And when you register your de facto relationship with the suitable state authority, your legal rights and responsibilities are the same to those of married couples.

 

In this event, your partner died – you definitely be entitled to share in the interstate estate and financial assistance under the Succession Act. At the same time, you will receive compensation under Workers Compensation law and social security privileges under Commonwealth Social Security Act.

 

 

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