KizunaYueMichaelis

I love, love to read (books, e-books, fanfics, manga). Besides books, I love my Kindle, HEA stories, Harry Potter, anything related to Japan and Disney.

Public Display of Everything - Cara Dee

I needed something light and short while waiting for the newest episode of YOI (it is killing meeeee... I am avoiding spoilers but it is hardddd). I hate voyeurism but after reading so many good reviews, I decided to read it. The voyeurism thing didn't bother me so much, since Cory has his face hidden and it is about him only, not him and Flynn together (that happens after). It begins kinda cute actually; Flynn seemed a perky, innocent guy and Cory finds him adorable since day 1. I like this kind of attraction. They do get together pretty fast for my liking. But still, they were cute together.

Unfortunately later on I find Flynn a bit too strange. I don't get why he was soooo innocent. Instead of perky, I think he was kinda creepy. Both of them have MEH past, MEH traumas. And the whole thing with Luke got on my nerves. I hated him. He is Cory's uncle (around 40s), and he will have his own book since he is also an attractive gay guy. BUT... he is also the father of 2 boys. One of the boys' mother is a girl of a one night stand. The other of a wife. BUT he cheated on his fiancee with a guy, reason why Cory lost all contact with him (but forgives him at the end since he is family, blah blah). This is the main reason why I couldn't like this book. Cheater Luke is going to have his own book? No thanks.

And honestly, by half of the book, I did not even care about Cory and Flynn anymore and their so-called love. I just wanted to finish the book and refresh my page to watch the newest episode of my anime :(

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo When it is a YA series, I usually read the first book only, no matter if it was good or not. If it was good, I don't wanna be disappointed. In this case... like hell I won't read the sequel! This book was so good, so exciting. I did not care for the team as much at first. They were all too suspicious. Glum. I saw it as a bit of a joke that they were all between 15 and 18 years old. Too young for having such a mission. And be so bad-ass. And sometimes cold-hearted. And looking like a devil with a cane, and be the perfect thief, and planning always the best and impossible plans (ok, all of these are mostly about Kaz, the least realistic character among the 6 of them. And also the least likeable) Anyway... First I started to respect them, then to love them. 4 boys and 2 girls. Kaz, the chief, with his genius mind and quick hands. Has a dark past, made him hard and cold. Seems like he is at least 29/30-years-old (but he is 17... ha!) Jesper, his right hand. Excellent with guns, also a Grisha-in-hidden. I don't remember his age, but is around 18 but is written like he is 28. Inej, The Wraith. The only one who Kaz truly trusts. She is 17, but is written like she is at least, 23. Nina, beautiful Nina, with an amazing power. She is around 17 too, i guess, but she is written like she is 25. Matthias, the one who had a grudge against Nina and her kind, but can't really hate her. He is 18, but he is written like he is 27. And finally Wylan, good at drawing and son of a powerful man. He is the youngest at 15, but he could have been 18. They form this team to make an "Ocean Eleven" mission; get into Ice Court and take an important scientist from there. The whole adventure was excellent, no slow pace, full action, and all 6 of them were indispensable for the break-in. Not one of them was more-or-less; certainly not the girls. The girls not only are resourceful but strong and intelligent. I love the bond between the team. I like the friendship between the girls. The distrust between the guys, but remaining loyal to the end. I love all 3 couples. Kaz' and Inej's is kinda painful; Nina's and Matthias' kind of doomed; Jesper's and Wylan's just beginning to bloom. The weak part for me were: 1) the beginning. I wasn't really hooked until they start their mission. 2) many flashbacks, although I get that they were important for the story, for us readers to understand their past and what motivated them. 3) the main one: their ages. It seemed a bit ridiculous that a bunch of kids between 15 and 19 were so lethal and bad-asses and calculators and excellent at such a dangerous mission. It would have been a lot better if this wasn't a YA book and the characters were all between 25 and 30. I guess that age is old for a bigger audience, but still, it didn't make sense. Now, for the sequel.
Being Sloane Jacobs - Lauren Morrill

No, no, NO. This was supposed to be a Triple Win for me.

There are two Sloane Jacobs. One of them is an ice-skater...


The other one plays hockey...


They are unhappy with their lives and when they meet, decide to do a Parent Trap/The Pauper and The Prince thing.

Starts OK, but when they meet, they have like, zero bonding. They do not even like each other, but still, they decided to carry on with the plan. I don't claim to be an expert about ice-skating and hockey, but how realistic is for a hockey player to do a pair skating performance after 4 weeks? I can forgive an ice-skater to play hockey, but a hockey player to do well in ice-skating?? Not because she can skate it means she do figure skating! The hockey-Sloane was big and graceless. And she won 2nd place at the end? Say what?

The story was sooo juvenile, I wasn't expecting it from looking at the cover (covers can be deceitful, I know). Both of them find a Mean Girl in their camp; one of them (Ivy, the ice-skater) was soo 2-dimensional. She even says that "pink is her color". What. So both Sloane, to prove they are strong, take revenge of the Mean Girls. In such an immature way. Pranks I expect from, I don't know, maybe 12-years-old boys.

Their respective love interest were sooo boring. Both of them "soooo good looking". I had an instant dislike with one of them, when the author described him as looking like a Bieber. Yuck. And towards the end, when each of the boys find out that his girl was lying to him, it was all "what? you are lying to me? so that kiss was all a lie?", and each girl was "nooo, please listen to me, let me explain" with tears down the cheeks. Oh my, what a cliche soap opera.

I didn't like this book. Predictable with unlikable characters. I started skimming when they girls were exposed. I barely read their "excellent" performances, which was soooo unrealistic. The hockey-player winning a 2nd place in pair figure skating... ha!

Unacceptable Risk  - Kaje Harper

I liked that Simon and Paul get to know each other, and that Paul bonds with Simon-wolf first. There may be an insta-love (after 4 days only) but since they get to know each other, and talk, and be friends first, it didn't feel like it. I like the pack, although there were too many names, and it is an all-male world only (females cannot be werewolves). Simon and Paul don't rush into sex (full-sex) until the mating. And at least, the pack isn't all gay like it is common in paranormal MM.

Waves Break My Fall - Kendall McKenna

I can say it was a good book because I actually felt some chemistry between the leads, and because I didn't feel like, when Kage came out to his family, it was forced. I liked how his family accepted him, with open arms, without being a cheesy scene; it felt quite realistic.

 

The beginning, though, almost made me drop it, but since it is such a short book, I decided to finish it. The reason was because, on the night they meet, Kage and Zach hook up on the beach. Not ALL THE WAY, but I hate hook ups in my (MM) romances, more now since I am in the mood for an actual ROMANCE. At least, both of them develop a quick crush, there are no third wheels and in the whole, it was super hot.

 

As far as I know, the original story ended there. My copy was the extended one, where Kage and Zach decide to stick together and they go together to California and then, live together.

 

My advice would have been, to not continue the story if the author was going to be so vague about everything. First, it seemed like there was something else behind Zach's story, about his scare of being a bottom, and what about his former dates that treated him like he needed protection? It seemed like something was going to be developed long those lines, but nope, nothing. They had sex and that's it. Zach actually didn't have any issues nor a traumatic story about anything.

 

Then it seemed like the author was going to go along the lines of bdsm. Something about Kage liking to dominate and Zach to be submissive. They had a hot moment of bdsm(ish) and then, nothing.

 

Once they come to California, Zach's bff Ashley and Matt were nowhere to be seen. Why give them such an important role (it seemed) in the first half, to make them disappear in the second half?

 

In the first part Kage has some issues about being an Marine and having witnessed and experienced terrible things in Irak. Such as being in the crowd, sleeping at night, etc. Then, in the 2nd half (and after 3 months have passed, out of nowhere) he is having mental letdowns, needing all the help he could need, being violent, getting drunk, being impotent, etc. And Zach being understanding, supportive, etc. I don't know, it was a total "wait, what happened? did I miss something?" thing. I know marines/soldiers have a difficult time, etc, but to put it on the story after having a mild problem in the first part of the story didn't help. I almost wished Zach quit on them, get help for Kage and get the hell out of their apartment.

 

The final "sexy" time was sad and nothing sexy at all. I wish the author didn't write the 2nd half if she was going to be "3 months later they were living together; 2 months later Kage was a big mess, and a year later, Kage was recovering and having sex with Zach for the first time over a year".

 

Overall, beach time: good, enjoyable. California time: MEH, please skip this.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology - Rebecca Paley, Leah Remini

I should shelf this book in the horror section... I don't understand how in the world this cult still exists, it is crazy. Why would people go into this willingly? It is totally wacko, and their representatives are even more wackos. That Tom Cruise is some case. Should be in a mental institution. He is lucky he is charismatic. But damn, I will never see him with the same eyes again. Not that I liked him before, I have always sensed some weird vibes from him, but then, he is charming. Seems like behind that charming smile hides a monster-kid, ugh.

The whole concept of Scientology is scary and crazy; are we living in the past? How can people still be on this when they are forced to pay thousands of $$, be humiliated (like, being forced to clean public bathrooms with a toothbrush, or being punched repeatedly??) and controlled by other people? Who the hell are these "representatives" to demand money and personal secrets and then, silence? And the rest all keep quiet and pay and, if demanded to, are willing to erase a loving one (a friend, a family member) as he/she has never existed, only because said person is a SP ("Suppressive Person", or someone who is against the "church") or else. What. This is freakishly scary. And nuts.

It is a very interesting book (I was not familiar with Leah Remini before this, but I liked her personality, straightforward and blunt). There are hundreds of acronyms and special names given by this cult; it was a bit overwhelming and sometimes confusing. I have millions of questions currently, so now I am spending my time googling about Shelly Miscavige, and David Miscavige and Crazy Psycho Tom Cruise and the likes.

Recommended. It is informative, in regards to celebrities and Scientology (juicy stuffs) and it is very short (the last 30 pages or so are just photos). Now I am going to dig more into Scientology cult story if I can.

The Unflappable Miss Fairchild (Zebra Regency Romance) - Regina Scott

Not exactly a terrible book, but unfortunately it wasn't the gem I was hoping for. And it is extremely overrated in GR. The story was very predictable, full of cliche moments, but the worst of all were the two main characters. Usually I feel a sort of bond with any heroine named Anne (I love that name) but I couldn't with this one... she should have been named something else. She is very proper, calm, etc, meaning, she is so boring! The author keeps telling us how the characters were, the book is full of adjectives, and not necessarily with the background, but with his eyes, her eyes, his hair, her hair... I hate this kind of writing, it is one of my pet peeves in romance.

 

Other pet peeve? She is supposed to be plain, the hero thinks so at the beginning (except for her "big, lovely, innocent, gray" eyes) but she has plenty of suitors and many men are charmed by her, making the hero jealous **eyeroll**

 

The hero is no better... he is supposed to be a rake, blah blah, who falls in love for the first time, blah blah. He doesn't have any nice quality that makes the reader fall for him. In fact, I wasn't even invested in their love story at all, not at the beginning, not in the middle, not at the end. They are supposed to be likeable, but how could I like them, when they were playing victim all the time? He with his older brother ("oh he is mean, he hates me, I am just the 2nd son, a bastard") and she with her aunt ("oh she hates me, I sacrifice my happiness because of her"), when in reality, both "mean characters" were only looking after them, after having a hard lives on their own. But no! both MC are the ones that are suffering **eye-roll**

 

The misunderstandings were insufferable, so stupid and only because of lack of communication/assumptions. Honestly, both MC were so lame I had a hard time to finish this!

Getting Around Tokyo Pocket Atlas and Transportation Guide: Includes Yokohama, Kamakura, Yokota, Yokosuka, Hakone and MT Fuji - Boyé Lafayette de Mente

Great help. Although there are plenty of free maps in the country, all over H.I.S and hotels and other places, this was a great tool to plan my schedule beforehand (I admit that it was overwhelming before going, seemed all too difficult. It was, but not that much XD Too bad I couldn't use it in Yokohama, I left it in the hotel :( It has a good size. Very recommended!

Haru x Kiyo - Akira Ozaki

I didn't like the story that much the first 2 chapters. The artwork, on the other hand, is beautiful, it reminded me a little bit of "Kuragehime" since the MC hides behind her bangs, similar to Mayaya. I didn't like it because 1) I saw no chemistry between the leads; 2) the bullying was meh, I didn't feel sorry for the girl and I thought the reason of the bullying was ridiculous (her height, meaning she "is a monster"... meh); 3) the boy was MEH, being a tsundere wasn't appealing, he wasn't a little bit charming, etc; 4) the girl's first bf (if we can call it bf, since they didn't even hang out) was ridiculous how it began and ended, was that supposed to be her first big heartbreak?; and 5) I admit it, I was expecting something like Lovely Complex (difference in height) and I got nothing at all, not the friendship, not the bickering, not the awesome friends and rivals, etc.

But it gets better starting from chapter 3. Better and cuter. I still don't care much about the leads, but I like that they start as friends and don't develop romantic feelings out of nowhere. I like that the girl (Haru, I think) likes the boy because he is cute but doesn't fall stupidly in love with him. She just likes him, she finds him cute and cares for him without being an annoying shoujo heroine. And I like that it is him (Kiyo, I guess) who likes her-likes her first. Like it is not just a crush, but an actually "like" since they get to know each other and spend a lot of time together without meaning to.

Thumbs up for the last chapters; the first 2 are not that appealing but it gets better.

 

Read till Vol. 3

水の春 [Mizu no Haru] - Kaname Kurosawa, 黒沢 要

Cute, although not as much as I wanted. The summary is misleading, the boys were far from awkward. I liked Sunahara's father's story more, how he falls in love with his editor and all the years they are together. At the beginning it makes the reader think that Sunahara is the lover of his stepdad (thank God it was just made-up!). All cute and clean.

Hokkaido Highway Blues - Will Ferguson

I liked this book, some insights of the author, like "are the Japanese insecure or arrogant?", since the author did find both kinds in his journey. Sometimes people were insecure AND arrogant. I get that they are very proud to be Japanese, they love their country, they are proud to be homogeneous, but they are kind of racist too.

 

There were some fun parts but even though I enjoyed his adventures, I did not like his sense of humor. He tried too hard. This is the 3rd or 4th book about Japan I read from an Western guy POV and I sense that they are too arrogant; I don't get why they are so preachy about Japanese people. They (American & Canadian guy I've read so far) mock the Japanese people sometimes; and this author also had the nerve to be rude with people who stopped for him and also for those who didn't. He looked down to so many people. I think he should be grateful he had hitchhiked the whole thing and that Japanese people stopped for him at all. Another author that writes about Japan, where he admires the country but dislikes the people. I much prefer to read from someone who doesn't go there to criticize but to understand and appreciate this wonderful culture.

A Fashionable Indulgence: A Society of Gentlemen Novel - K.J. Charles

Maybe 2.5 but since it is KJ Charles, I round it up to 3. It has too many political issues for my taste, and also my pet peeve, which is: almost everyone is gay. I like Harry and Julius together and I did see that they love each other; however, I wasn't too invested in them.

Salvation of a Saint - Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith

I bet this book was written after the dorama, since Fukuyama Masaharu is mentioned. I like the addition of Utsumi, since I loved her in the show. Excellent mystery as always, a bit creepy how it was planned. Somehow I can understand the murderer... the victim was an ass. Still, this one is my least KH mystery, and that is saying something since this one is really good.

It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life - Lance Armstrong, Sally Jenkins

This biography covers from his childhood and his first days on a bike to his first victory in Tour de France. Besides his battle against cancer and marriage and first son. It was interesting and enlightening. However, Lance Armstrong is truly a nasty character. It is true that, in regards to the bike, he improves a little bit after his battle against cancer, and by improving, I mean he comes to like the bike. He didn't before; it wasn't a passion for the sport, for the freedom, or whatever every sportsman feels. No, he started because he wanted to get out of his town. In a way, that is impressive, and no wonder he is so cocky about it. He truly got where he is due a lot of effort. Still, he was so nasty with people around him. Always cocky, always on the defensive, always "me, me, me". Impossible NOT to dislike him, regardless of his talent and all his accomplishments. I was even feeling sorry for his first serious girlfriend, the one who was besides him when he was sick. She was mentioned like, twice and was dismissed so fast once he meets his first wife.

Kounodori (1) (Morning KC) ISBN: 4063872270 (2013) [Japanese Import] - Yu Suzunoki; So good... stories about pregnant women, about women who did not want a baby, women who wanted a baby more than anything in the world. The art is funny, original, unpleasant to the eyes at first, but it gets unnoticed as the story progress because you get involved with what is going to happen with the mother, what is going to happen with the premature baby... I loved it. To think I wouldn't have known about it if it wasn't for the dorama (I was looking for what to watch next, and the plot looked nice. I decided to read the manga first, so glad I did!). I also loved the little drawings the author posted that his son did when he was a little boy, so cute XD
The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen

Rikker is out, Graham isn't. In the world of sport it is not easy, that's why Graham is a jerk most of the times, in public. Honestly, I dislike mm books where one of the guys is the little dirty secret of the other. Thank God it is not a little dirty sex secret (where the closeted is happy and nice in the bedroom only, outside of it is an a**hole). I mean, Graham did love Rikker, he just wasn't ready to come out. Hated himself, for that he have done and for what he was doing. But didn't make an effort to change the situation. 95% of the book is about it. When he is slowly starting to change, I have lost interest a long time ago.