[Review] Choco Strawberry Vanilla [チョコストロベリー バニラ] by Delico Psyche (manga)

Choco Strawberry Vanilla
Choco Strawberry Vanilla

Delico Psyche

What rating would you give it?
5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

Hiroi always shared what he liked, things and people alike, with his childhood friend Take. Take always returned Hiroi’s affections. Mine, who because of his deep love for Hiroi, accepts both of them. The relationship of these three classmates was in a good balance, but because of a subtle change in their feelings, this balance slowly gets unhinged…?!

What did you think of the book?

That was delicious. I am so glad I decided to read this. I’m not one to read threesome stories, but this one was DELISH. The relationship between the three MCs is not one of love per se, but it is addicting to watch unfold as the chapters progress. Abusive at times, tender at others, twisted throughout.

I totally get Hiroi’s need to “share” his things with his best friend Take, although I can understand why other people don’t. That’s actually the most fascinating part of this story, the relationship between Hiroi and Take. How they see themselves and how they see themselves fitting into the world and WHY this sort of relationship and behavior for them is natural. Also like parasitic or even conjoined twins, except in verse. They almost share one mind while inhabiting two bodies and somehow navigating through life in this manner. For them, “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours and you are me and I am you” is just their perpetual state of being.

Mine is also a strangely complex character, namely for being able to not only put up with this bizarre relationship, but also for eventually finding his own rhythm in it — one which he even finds to “dislike less” than he once did (which is actually his tsundere self saying he’s lovin’ it, freak that he be, bless his soul. <3)

Such great storytelling without getting into too much. Letting us see into each character’s mindset, getting to know their very different, but also similar personalities. Seeing how important each one is in different ways and just… UGHHH

This was good. This was SO. GOOD.

All the stars. ALL OF THEM.

Delico Psyche you haven’t failed me yet. Another great job!!

PS – For those of you planning to or already giving this a one star rating b/c you were looking for some sappy lovey-dovey shit, go elsewhere. This story has a HEA ending of sorts, but it’s not all roses and butterflies and puppy dog tails. There’s a reason it’s called “CHOCO STRAWBERRY VANILLA.” Choco = sadomasochist, Strawberry = Sadist, Vanilla = Masochist. I’ll let you all decide who’s who in this savagely beautiful throuple.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

God, if you only knew. XD I can’t even begin to describe what to warn about. Umm… let’s just say there isn’t anything like… torture or anything like that. It’s just REALLY messed up with SO MUCH EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION GOING ON. LORD.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just the two…

Would you recommend this book?

OHMYGOD

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GO GET IT.

(Just keep all the warnings in mind before you read it. That’s all. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: —
Publication Date: September 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 190
Genre & Themes: Yaoi, Erotica, M/M/M Threesome, Romance,
Slice of Life, Smut, Dubcon,
LGBTQUAI+, Polyamory, Bisexual, Jealousy, Group Intercourse, Emotional Manipulation
Age: Adult (18+)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge, 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge 

[Review] Giocatore Hokaku Keikaku by Hyougo Kijima (manga)

Giocatore, Hokaku Keikaku
Giocatore, Hokaku Keikaku

Hyougo Kijima

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
Story 1: To Capture a Giocatore
Something’s up with Soccer Club S’s Katou Sora! Even with his strong fighting spirit, Katou’s tough body and charisma meet their match when he collapsed in the middle of practice. Could it all have happened because of that ‘thing’ Katou’s kouhai used in his body while training?!
Story 2: Young Guys, Get Going!
Childhood friends seem to have gone in circles to avoid admitting their feelings to one another until an incident with the local cat.
Story 3: Brother Complex
Story 4: Last Minute Count 2.9!
Story 5: Lustful Music
Story 6: Yatsuromachi Cucumber Tenno Festival
Story 7: Weak Point Honey

What did you think of the book?

This was a win for me. Bara. Nasty shit. Kinks galore. Yaaass please. Give me some more. xD

I have a serious weakness for anthologies and collections of short stories. I think it’s the “surprise factor” of what’s gonna be inside that I love (and both dread). This one surprisingly came out nearly 10 for 10 (or rather 7 for 7 lol) with all manner of deliciousness happening within some 200+ pages of buff debauchery.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

If you like kinky, THEN BY ALL MEANS. This book’s got SO MUCH NASTY IN IT.

Otherwise… just… don’t. XD

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just the two…

Would you recommend this book?

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: —
Publication Date: November 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 213
Genre & Themes: Yaoi, Bara,
Hardcore, High School, Comedy,
Drama, Collection of Stories,
Masculine Uke, Incest, Group Sex, Bondage, S&M
Age: Adult (18+ ONLY!!!)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge,
2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge

[TBBReview] @Full Moon series by Sanami Matoh (manga)

Although I’m categorizing this as a Totally Biased Book Review (TBBR), it’s actually much more like an angry chapter-by-chapter reaction rant rather than an actual review.

SPOILERS ABOUND!!  You have been warned…


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@Full Moon (Vol. 1 & 2)

Sanami Matoh

What rating would you give it?
1.5/2 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
VOLUME 1
After ten years apart, aristocratic vampires and childhood friends Marlo and David are back together– as fiancés! Being half werewolf and half vampire, Marlo undergoes a peculiar transformation, becoming a woman rather than a beast under the full moon. So there’s no problem for a wedding and David’s womanizing fangs– right?

VOLUME 2
CAN’T MAN UP!
Half vampire, half werewolf, Marlo is a bit of an anomaly. When exposed to the light of the full moon, HE becomes a SHE! To make matters worse, it seems as though his rivals have plans to keep Marlo trapped as a woman – FOREVER! Join us as this epic vampire romance reaches its dramatic conclusion in this final volume of At Full Moon!

What did you think of the book?

Lord.

The weirdly misogynistic, toxic masculinity, homophobic bullshit of this series. =A=

Let me just start by saying, JUST HOW PROBLEMATIC this whole series (Until The Full Moon and it’s sequel @Full Moon) is TO BEGIN WITH.

Then I’m gonna say how — EVEN THOUGH IT’S PROBLEMATIC — I still, at least, liked the first series, Until The Full Moon.

But this one…

But thing here….

WHAT THE eFF EVEN DID I READ

WHY DID IT–

HOW—

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Okay… Okay…

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Lemme just explain something before I get into my “in-the-moment-thoughts-while-reading-this” commentary.

This series COULD have been REALLY cool and interesting and breaking gender boundaries and empowering towards the LGBTQUIA+ community. Or at least, I dunno, ACTUALLY MADE SOME COHERENT SENSE IN TERMS OF GENDER IDENTITY AND HOW YA DEAL WITH IT AND THE SPECTRUM OF SEXUALITY AND ALL THAT.

But no.

Nooooooo.

It was SO CAUGHT UP IN KEEPING WITH THE “NO HOMO” VIBE THAT IT COMPLETELY MISSED THE MARK ON ALL REGARDS – SAVE ONE.

David continually makes it clear that he doesn’t care which version of Marlo he’s with. He loves him regardless of whether or not he’s in his male form or his female one.

WHICH IS AWESOME.

Except he insists he isn’t gay. (Which he’s not. I’m not concerned with that.)

And Marlo’s “an exception”. (Which I suppose IS true, but not in the way you’d think, or at least hope he’s indicating.)

And Marlo loves David. And David loves Marlo. In fact, here’s where the BIGGEST PROBLEM LIES:

They’ve BOTH HAD THESE FEELINGS SINCE THEY WERE CHILDREN AND DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MARLO BEING ABLE TO CHANGE INTO A GIRL ONCE A MONTH.

SO WHY DO THEY INSIST THEY’RE NOT ATTRACTED TO “MEN”? They’re AT LEAST attracted to each other, even if they don’t necessarily find other men attractive or sexually appealing or whatever. And they’re attracted to each other WHILE BOTH BEING IN THE MALE FORM. They both get aroused with each other. There’s no woman in their bed or superimposed their heads when they’re being intimate or kiss.

AND THEY BOTH LOVE EACH OTHER.

HAVE SINCE FOREVER.

SO WHAT IS WITH THE OVERBEARING NO HOMO THEY KEEP PUTTING UP LIKE IT ACTUALLY HAS ANY VALIDITY WHATSOEVER IN REGARDS TO THEM?!?!

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I…. I…..

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Okay… Let’s get on to my chapter-by-chapter reactions before I honestly couldn’t keep them up anymore and was just left with a big “WTeffingF?!”

THOUGHTS AFTER CH.1

Okay, so I’ll be totally honest. It’s weird getting used to the new art style. I LIKE it… like AT LOT. But it’s sooooo different from the previous style that it’s really throwing me for a loop.

Outside of that, I’m surprisingly enjoying it so far. Definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Also, I like that the first kiss scene we see between Marlo and David is with Marlo in his male form, because back then there was A LOT of censoring going on and it was like the mangaka or publisher or whoever was trying to make it a very exclusive “They only kiss when Marlo’s female” kinda thing. I’m glad I’m seeing more of a reverse of that now, this many years later.

THOUGHTS STARTING CH.2

NEVERMIND. Not even 3 pages in and they’re wholly sticking to the whole “we’re not gay” blah blah blah bullshit again. *SIIIIIIGGGHHHHH* Such a disappointment. Ya’ll ARE gay or at least bi or sumthin’, because long before you could transform into a woman, Marlo, you were in love with him and he was in love with you. Suddenly being able to change into a woman only makes it convenient for the world to accept you better (I GUESS????!?) but that’s really about it. Marlo is STILL A GUY SOME 27 DAYS out of EVERY MONTH. He’s not trans or doing this for drag. He still SEES HIMSELF AS A MAN… So then, WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM?!

giphy (3)

THOUGHTS AFTER CH.2

OKAY… so after reading chapter 2 completely I’m even MORE confused. I mean, it’s not like he only started liking Marlo AFTER he found out he could become a girl. He liked him since THEY WERE CHILDREN. In fact, the reason he was always only “playing” with the girls he went out with was because he was already in love with someone he thought he couldn’t have AKA Marlo. So… I mean… what gives? Why do you guys keep saying “Oh Marlo’s a special case” and all that, when it really doesn’t mean a damn thing since you were in love with him (and him, with you) since ya’ll were children? I DON’T UNDERSTAND and quite frankly, I don’t think the writer or translator does either.

Like… I don’t know if this is just bad translating, westernizing, censoring, or something… but this is someone trying TOO FUCKING HARD to say “NO HOMO!!!” because I’m just like…

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…over here. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING COMPLICATED. You’re a guy who likes girls, but fell in love with another dude who happens to become a girl once a month for like 3 days TOPS. Even if your preference is still basically females, it really doesn’t apply to THE DUDE YOU’RE MARRIED TO, now does it? I mean, after all, it’s not like you don’t love him when he’s a guy. That’d be like a guy saying to a girl that he can’t love her or have sex with her unless she’s wearing makeup or looks a certain way or something. And if that’s actually what he’s saying, then that’s some serious denial shit going on there LEFT AND RIGHT. (It’s fine if it arouses you or you like the way they look dolled up, BUT ACTUALLY SAYING YOU CAN’T LOVE A PERSON BECAUSE UNLESS THEY LOOK A CERTAIN WAY IS REALLY… I mean… WOAH.)

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God… I was SO hoping this series would be better than the first. Now it’s looking just a problematic – perhaps EVEN WORSE (even if I *DO* actually really like all of the characters)… *SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH*

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THOUGHTS AFTER CH.3/BEGINNING OF CH.4

What even. This is getting ridiculous (And I don’t mean in a good way either…) Why the fuck is Marlo mad at David if he wanted him to be jealous in the first place? This is just plain dumb.

THOUGHTS ON CH.4 – DATE

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Awwwwww… okay. So even if the rest of it is a bit of a tragedy, I REALLY like Chris. He loves his momma and he’s awkward AF and adorable AF and I’m diggin’ him. (Any man who loves his mom and isn’t ashamed to admit it is a good man. Means he’ll treat his woman right, too. <3)

I will say though, I’m curious to find out how he reacts to finding out that Marlo is married (since I kinda think he actually doesn’t know yet and this is all the butler’s doing giving him bad advice… he seems like the really innocent, socially awkward type, y’know?). How he reacts to this news is really how I’ll judge him.

AFTER READING CH.4

Okay… so I don’t know how I feel about reading this chapter. If *I* were writing this, then I know I’d have nothing to worry about, especially in regards to how things are shaping up with Chris’ personality (and the fact that he DID know Marlo’s married but still wants to make him his wife??? Waaaah???). But since I’m *not* the one writing this, and I’ve already seen the HIGHLY questionable life choices the writer/translator/mangaka has been going with in regards to this series and its characters… I’m concerned. I really don’t want to hate Chris (because he’s super adorbs) but I have a feeling I’m going to regret saying anything good about him because this writer is just…

DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO CREATE AND DEVELOP CHARACTERS AT ALL?!

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THOUGHTS FROM CH.5 ONWARD

UGHHHHHHH….

SOMEBODY SHOOT ME NOW

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I sort of want to scratch my eyes out after reading this. I’d actually been fine with never knowing this sequel existed.

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Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Dun read it.

Especially if you ACTUALLY LIKED the first series, Until The Full Moon. This sequel series literally ruins it, like you have NO IDEA.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just the two…

  • 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge

…and my own self-imposed one. Guess I should give it a name or something, huh? Hmm….

  • 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge

Y’know… M3=Manga, Manhua, Manhwa; W2=Webcomic, & Webtoon

Sounds doable. Maybe I’ll add parentheses or something to it to explain it. Whatevs.

Would you recommend this book?

Like I said before… I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. It seriously does NOT portray a good picture of… anything. And the fact that it also tries to lay on comedy to mask some of the serious issues going on in it really doesn’t help.

giphy.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: Nov 2011 & Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384 (192+192)
Genre & Themes: Fantasy, Romance,
Gender Bender, Bisexual/Gay Sexualities,
Comedy
Age: Teen/OT
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge: 2019 GoodReads
Reading Challenge, 2019
M3W2 Reading Challenge

[Review] Otte Otte, Koi wo Shite by Jiiko Homura (manga)

otto-otte-koi-wo-shite
Otte Otte, Koi wo Shite [追って追って、恋をして]

Jiiko Homura

What rating would you give it?
2 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

Warehouse worker Makoto Ishida has been stalking his slightly clueless coworker Arata Yoshimoto, watching him from behind his geeky glasses. He’d even moved into the room right below Arata’s. He lives to admire the photos he secretly takes of his sweet, sweet love… Except, one day, Arata discovers his prized photo collection!! In Makoto’s fantasies, his encounters with Arata turn naughty fast, but now that the real Arata’s standing in front of him, he doesn’t know what to do!!! There’s no way this love could ever work out. Just what lies in store…!? A story of possessive, stalkery love!! Includes a previously unpublished story

What did you think of the book?

This book was adapted from Shitsuke Kata wa Nijuumaru.

Honestly didn’t like this one as much as the others in this universe. :/ Oh well…

Continue reading

[Review] Sanshoku Mazareba Kuro ni Naru by Shibito Koiwazurai (manga)

Sanshoku Mazareba Kuro ni Naru
Sanshoku Mazareba Kuro ni Naru [三色混ざれば黒になる]

Shibito Koiwazurai

What rating would you give it?
3.75/4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
While he is supposed to succeed his family’s yakuza clan, Tatsumi takes his responsibilities lightly and leads a life of debauchery. In search of someone who can love him, he approaches his friend Shingo, the leader of a group of thugs, in order to satisfy his deepest desires.

Even though he is part of his family, Tomomi, Tatsumi’s little brother, is on his side and shows him an unconditional love. Between Tomomi and Shingo, who can actually touch the heart of Tatsumi? What will Tatsumi’s reaction be when he finally receives the love he has always searched for?

This a love story that is both tender and cruel, with a main character in search of his identity, in this spin-off of Bara Iro No Jidai, by the same author.

What did you think of the book?

Not bad… This was actually enjoyable. Like, I honest to goodness enjoyed this story. This is how you’d portray a twisted relationship like this properly.

NOTE:  I am in NO MEANS ROMANTICIZING THIS KIND OF RELATIONSHIP. This is NOT your ideal love or #goals romance. Although I understand the sort of mentality needed for this kind of relationship to work, I’m in no means endorsing it as the kind of behavior to emulate.

I’m not much of a fan of the art, which is actually why I’m not giving it more stars. But the story-line itself was actually pretty good. So fucked up, but soo good. This is a keeper.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Wow, so much. xD

Uh, let’s see… abusive relationships, co-dependent relationships, family drama, incest, brother complex, gangs, love triangles, threesome, rape, dub-con, non-con, psychological warfare LYKE WOAH, depression, and identity crisis to name a few…

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Just two.

  • 2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge
  • 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge

Would you recommend this book?

I would! But only to those who actually enjoy this sort of thing… Otherwise, no. I don’t think someone who doesn’t like this sort of twisted material would really enjoy it much :/

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  —
Publication Date: December 2015
Format: Paperback
Pages: 176
Genre & Themes: Drama, Psychological, Gay Sexualities, Incest, Yaoi
Age: Adult (18+)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge:  2019 GoodReads Reading Challenge, 2019 M3W2 Reading Challenge


The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 4

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read Last Month (April)

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Haito Diamond 1 Haito Diamond 2 Haito Diamond 3 Haito Diamond 4

  1. Songs of the Earth (Sumeria’s Sons, #2) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  2. Ikenai Otoko by Hiroi Takao  [Review]
  3. Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda by Kou Yoneda [Review]
  4. Jigoku Meguri #1 & 2 by Siam Kuju  [Review]
  5. Dark Prince (The Dark Earth manga, #3) by X. Aratare & T.Wolv  [Review]
  6. Haito Diamond #1-4 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]
  7. The Abyss: Upon A Midnight Clear by X. Aratare  [Review]
  8. The Erl-King: Jealous Sons and Mistletoe by X. Aratare  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About Songs of the Earth… that everything was STILL NOT OKAY, NOT OKAY MAN!

About Ikenai Otoko… nothing actually. XD That is until I saw the cover and then one thing led to another and I ended up reading the whole thing in one go. No joke – the title does NOTHING to jog my memory of the story. Only the cover art brings the comedic escapades back in full swing.

About the Jigoku Meguri series… that I… I read it before… but somehow I felt like I hadn’t finished reading it or something? It’s possible that I started this series when it was being scanlated and never got back to it, which could very much so explain away why at least the ENTIRE SECOND BOOK and, maybe… the second-to-last chapter in the first book was such a blank to me.

Either that, or I have shit memory.

S’toss up between the two, fer sure.

About Dark Prince… that I had read most of it when it was being serialized but hadn’t finished it because 1) wasn’t completed yet and 2) membership ran out. Now that both of those things have been rectified, I decided it was about time to catch up on my favourite series.

About Ore ni Koi Shite Dounsunda… that… once again THE TITLE GAVE AWAY NOTHING TO ME. xD Just like with Ikenai, the only thing that helps is the cover art. Once I got a glimpse of that I had the same sort of feeling as I did with Jigoku, knowing that I HAD read it, but not ALL of it, so… yeah. *needs to get a physical copy of this one SOON* Anyone know where I can get one? xD

About the Haito Diamond series… that it will forever be one of my favourite fucked-up series that will live on in infamy till the end of time, because

tumblr_m5tu0hRczz1rxevt4o1_500

About Upon A Midnight Clear (A short holiday tale from The Abyss)… that it was fuckin’ cute and I wanted to re-read it. END OF STORY.

About Jealous Sons and Mistletoe (A short holiday tale from The Erl-King)… that it was EVEN MORE FUCKIN CUTE, AND I WANTED TO FUCKIN’ RE-READ IT. GOD 

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think I made myself clear with Jealous Sons and A Midnight Clear, so I won’t reiterate.

For Haito Diamond, I was actually dusting off my ATF (All-Time-Favourites) bookshelf and ended up picking up one book, dusting it off, reading it. Picking up the rest of the books, dusting them off, and reading all of them one after another. Then upon putting down my dusting cloth, went over to my computer and looked through my scanlations of all four books to compare and contrast the horrible “translating” to the original raws.

It was a gloriously entertaining afternoon. ❤

The rest were basically spurred on by random, “Oh! What’s that title? I don’t remember reading this—OHHH. Yes I do. Yup. Yes, I doo~ooh——fuck, I’m actually already halfway through this one, aren’t I? Might as well finish reading it. 8DDDD”

Only Songs of Earth was re-read again for the sake of refreshing myself for the next book.

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

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And I think that was pretty much for each and every book on this list. Nothing disappoints. XD

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I think the answer for all of them would be…

can i get a hell yeah

The Re-Read Challenge Review ~ Update 3

THE LIST of Books I Re-Read in March

   

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  1. The Antique Bakery by Fumi Yoshinaga  [Re-read Review]
  2. Twin Flames (Sumeria’s Sons, #1) by Lexi Ander  [Review]
  3. 19 Days by Old Xian  [Review]
  4. Under Grand Hotel v.1 by Mika Sadahiro  [Review]

WHAT I Remember

About The Antique Bakery… not as much as I’d thought I would. o__O I actually remembered the anime in more detail.

About Twin Flames… that everything was perfect and I needed the next book immediately. xD

About 19 Days… that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT and EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BEST FRIEND LIKE THIS GUY. XDDD

About Under Grand Hotel… little bits and pieces. I was actually looking for a scene that I wanted to compare another book I was reading against, but I couldn’t remember if it was in the first or second book so… one thing led to another. Next thing I knew I’d re-read the whole thing. XD

WHY I Wanted to Re-Read

I think what triggered me wanting to read The Antique Bakery again was because I heard the theme song and it got me all nostalgic and shit. XD Which sort of plays along to why I re-read Under Grand Hotel, the first book… and ONLY the first book. I heard a song that reminded me of it, and wah-la! The instant, “MUST READ NOW!” trigger was switched.

I ended up reading 19 Days again because it made local online news, and I just couldn’t help myself. xD It’s so ridiculously funny that once you start – you can’t stop until you’re done. This is just one of those books. It’s also kinda funny (but in a different way) because the last time I’d read 19 Days there wasn’t as many strips yet, so seeing that an entire book was finished was quite surprising!

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Twin Flames got another re-read because I got my hands on the next book, so REFRESHER TIME! HERE WE COME!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

For all of them it was either refresher, “OH that’s right. THAT’S what happened. Right, right.” I didn’t feel any differently about the books than I did the first time reading them. Only love them all over again.

Under Grand Hotel and 19 Days won out though. Because after another re-read, I just love them ALL OVER AGAIN WITH GUSTO.

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WOULD I Re-Read Again

Definitely for all of them except The Antique Bakery. I really have nothing against it, it’s just… well… some books you like to AND CAN re-read again, and again, and again, with no problem and no possibility of ever getting bored of it. And then there’s The Antique Bakery, which – while being a good manga – can be a bit… eh… it’s not re-read worthy. That’s all I’m saying, y’know?

Books ‘N Tunes #5: The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love

Welcome back to another installment of my Books ‘N Tunes Reading Challenge!

So this week, we’ve got something really fun in store: AN ENTIRE PLAYLIST. Yes you read right. This… this… ASDFGHJKLKJHGFDSASDFGHJKJ book… LITERALLY CONJURED UP A WHOLE LIST OF HEARTBREAKING SONGS THAT COULD MAKE A HEARTLESS WRETCH CRY.

So I hope you enjoy! 😀 😀 😀 😀

Oh yes, AND BY THE WAY — My review is more rant than review. BUT IT’S NECESSARY. Read it. You will understand.

The Specific Heat Capacity Of Love
by Old Xian & Moss

Publisher: —
Publication Date: 2012
Format: electronic, ebook
Pages: 35
Genre: Tragedy, Romance, Slice of Life,
Shounen Ai, “Male” Friendship, M/M Friendship
(Possible Romance), Love, Trust, Nature,
Environment, Unlikely Friends, Separation,
Survivor, Major Character Death, Hurt/Comfort,
Animals, Brutal and Senseless Killing, Slashy,
Fantasy-esque/Surrealism, Wish-fulfillment,
Manhua, Full Color, Animal Characteristic,
Drama, Sweet’n’Cute But SAD ASS Story
Age: OT / Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Click here to read.
Challenges: 2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (42),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge (SA),
Read A Million PagesEthereal 2015Books N Tunes,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10),
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge
,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge (New Work)

SUMMARY

(synopsis taken from Publisher)

A girl goes to the seaside on her class field, accidentally meeting a mysterious boy who tells her a tale of transcendence and love.


Summarize in a word?:

HEARTBREAKING.

RATING

This one gets 5 Stars++++++++++++++++++.

THOUGHTS & REVIEW

 

MUST STAY STRONG - WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN - DID YOU JUST

MUST STAY STRONG – AH, WHAT A TERRIBLE DAY FOR RAIN

MUST…. STAY… STRONG!
I… I just… Usually I don’t get emotional over anything but this—!
ASDFGHJKL:”:LKJHGFDSXDCFVGHJKLMJNHGFD

 

original (3)

 

Just leave me to die.

 

original (4)

 

The Specific Heat Capacity of Love,” or as I like to call it “The Most HORRIFIC, TEAR-JERKIN’, TEAR MY HEART OPEN WHYDONTCHA Book That Has Ever Existed” will forever be the bane of my existence. Because that — is its real title. I think something DIED IN ME after reading this short, 35-pager… something I doubt I will ever recover again.

The art is exquisite. It’s in gorgeous full color too, so there is SO MUCH MORE DEPTH AND GLORIOUSNESS TO EACH PAGE. It leaves you breathless. The story itself is sadly quite short, but that’s actually the point. It’s so… tragic, and overpowering. You will not know what to do with yourself afterwards.

When I finished reading this horrid little asdfghjkl;’lkjhgfdsadfghj back in March (I think… the 13th? or something…) I was just in shock. I STILL have NO WORDS for what I read, or for HOW I didn’t know about the inhumane topic the story talks about in great detail.

HEADS UP Y’ALL. THIS IS NOT ONLY A REVIEW BUT AN INSANELY IMPORTANT TIL (Today I Learned) WHICH Y’ALL SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF:

I just learned about some horrible because of a manhua I was reading: shark finning.

Pictures are of a graphic nature. Proceed at your own discretion.

The cost of this disgusting act.

WHAT THEY *DO* TO THEM.

THE HELL PEOPLE! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?! Listen. I understand if you want to eat the fucking fish. I GET that. But why the hell can’t you just kill it properly and put the poor thing out of its misery first?! Why oh WHY would you LEAVE IT ALIVE AND IN PAIN TO DIE THROUGH SUFFOCATION AND DROWNING VIA A SLOW AND GROTESQUELY PAINFUL DEATH?!?

Assdffgghjjkkllllkjoiuuttfds Jfc Jfc jfc JFCCCCCCCCCHRIST what the hell is wrong with people? I don’t know if I’m more horrified I didn’t know about this or simply disgusted with humanity as a whole.

PLEASE. FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD: STOP. SHARK. FINNING.

As to any warnings I would give…

DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU WISH TO LOSE PART OF YOUR SOUL.

Because that is the price you will pay for reading the most tragically moving short I’ve ever laid eyes on.

You’ve been forewarned.

Would I recommend?

I DON’T KNOW!! I feel like EVERYONE should read this because it has such an important message (alongside an incredible beautiful and heartbreaking tale)… Yet at the same time, this book is PAINFUL. There is SO MUCH PAIN. I don’t want to send people to their early graves yet either…

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ZE PLAYLIST & LYRICS

(Because one song just isn’t enough.)

1. Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Are you here with me?
Just looking out on the day of another dream

Well, you can’t get what you want but you can get me
So let’s set out to sea, love

2. Aqua – We Belong To The Sea

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Come on into my waves
You can sleep in my caves
Let me know that you will hold me
Till the tides take my soul
.
We belong to the sea
To the waves you and me
Living in the ocean so blue
We belong to the sea
Open wide being free
A minute everlasting with you
3. Rie Fu – 2cm

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song works, but these lyrics in particular…)

We’re only 2cm away now, I’ll be home again
I’ll be home again to a place that might have been
Where people in the past times thought they were waterfalls around the edge of the sea
Catch a drop of tear for me and tell me who you’d be
.
Cause our love is deeper and believer of the sea
Cause you’re the waves of my ocean
You’re the waves of my ocean
4. Bic Runga – Heal

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

Don’t forget me
Bring me down
Don’t let me promise you
Things I cannot do
This infection adds to my collection
Hoard my pain
And show it to you one day
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
And it fills my mind with thoughts so fine
Don’t ask too much of me oh Heal me now, heal me now
Heal me now, heal me now Don’t erase me
Cut me out replace me
I’m still here
I’m not going anywhere
You alone indeed
You sing so adamantly
Let it free what ever’s locked inside
Don’t ask too much of me
5. Assemblage23 – Lullaby

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

May you find solace in the gentle arms of sleep
Despite the wolves outside your door
In time you will see them all as harmless
And their idle threats easy to ignore

And if ever fate should choose to smite you
Stand your ground, never walk away
Please don’t ever let the world defeat you
Don’t get buried in its decay

Read more…

6. Mae – The Sun & The Moon

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But when worlds collide,
and all that I have is all that I want.
The words seem to flow
and the thoughts they keep running.
And all that I have is yours.
All that I am is yours.
Ohh…
Painted skies.
I’ve seen so many that cannot compare
to your ocean eyes.
7. Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

That there
That’s not me
I go
Where I please
I walk through walls
I float down the Liffey
I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
In a little while
I’ll be gone
The moment’s already passed
Yeah it’s gone
And I’m not here
This isn’t happening
I’m not here
I’m not here
8. Mirah – Archipelago

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

So goodbye my love,
I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Goodbye my love,
the ship is shipping on.
Goodbye my love,
I’ll give it up into the fog.
Goodbye my love,
I think I knew it all along.
9. Keane – We Might As Well Be Strangers

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I don’t know your face, no more
Or feel the touch that I adore
I don’t know your face, no more
It’s just a place I’m looking for
We might as well be strangers in another town
We might as well be living in a different world
We might as well
We might as well
We might as well
10. Idiot Pilot – Strange We Should Meet Here

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

A moment we die
Our souls will re-allign
A murder so divine
We’ll heaven hell
Everything is fine, everything is fineCome on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know
Come on, I killed you anyway
You remind me
Come on, face the gun
Of someone I used to know.
11. Keane – Somewhere Only We Know

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?

Read more…

12. Cat Power – Sea of Love

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Come with me my love
To the sea
The sea of love
I want to tell you
How much I love youDo you remember
When we met?
That’s the day I knew you were my pet
I want to tell you
How much I love you

.

BONUS TRACKS:

13. Tracy Chapman – You’re The One

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~
(The whole song)

Some say you’re bitter
Think you’re mean
Uncouth untamed and unrestrained
But I think you’re sensitive and sweet
Stay as you are don’t change a thing
.
Let’em talk you down
Call you names
My mind’s made up
It ain’t gonna change
I’m sure in my heart
Happy and free
You’re the one you’re the one
You’re the one for me
14. Ben Jelen – Give It All Away

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

But with demons sitting at my side,
An angel’s come to ask me why
And slowly I give up inside to say
To feel alive, I’d give it all away
15. Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

I still recall the taste of your tears.
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears.
My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore.
Scraping through my head ’till I don’t want to sleep anymore.
.
This thing is slowly taking me apart.
Grey would be the color if I had a heart.
.
In this place it seems like such a shame.
Though it all looks different now,
I know it’s still the same
Everywhere I look you’re all I see.
Just a fading fucking reminder of who I used to be.
.
I just want something I can never have
16. The Features – The Idea of Growing Old

~LYRICS IN THE SONG THAT RESONATE STRONGEST~

We can talk all night, we can talk all day
We can play charades when there is nothing to say
You turn me on to the idea of growing oldNow it won’t be long
No, it won’t be long
Whoa, whoa, whoaYou turn me on to the idea of growing old
Turn me on to the idea of growing old
We can lay around and count the number of times
I’ve acted foolish and you’ve rolled your eyes
You turn me on to the idea of growing old

Reason for choosing these songs

Each one has it’s own special attribute that somehow resonates with me.

I could go into exact detail, but that would be giving too much of this story away, and it’s short enough as is. You need to read it for yourself to see what I mean, and then listen to the songs.

IT’LL JUST MAKE SENSE THAT WAY.

However, if you still want some vague reasons, we can do that too… (Just be prepared for some spoilers, even out of the highlighted areas.)

Track 1: From Bird’s POV. A song from Bird to Fish.

Track 2: Alternating between Bird and Fish’s POV. A song to each other.

Track 3: From Bird’s POV to Fish as he contemplates joining him once again in the ocean.

Track 4: Fish’s last theme song (but can also be seen as both Fish & Bird’s song, from the time of their separation)

Track 5: From Girl on the Beach to Bird & Fish as she reunites them together. Or even from Bird to Fish, or Fish to Bird… a death song. A requiem.

Track 6: Bird & Fish’s first meeting, and probably every one thereafter

Track 7: Bird’s theme song.

Track 8: Bird coming to terms with [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS] Fish’s death[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 9: From Bird’s POV after so long being alone, missing Fish, missing what they once had and mourning what was lost

Track 10: Yet another death song, but this one more specifically from Bird’s POV. How he feels [HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILERS]it’s his fault Fish died, and how he wishes someone would just end his life too so the two of them can be reunited, and “the moment we die, our souls will re-align.”[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 11: From Bird’s POV. Life without Fish, and how he came to be on the beach in the first place. All his endless wandering finally brought him back here. To this place, where he lost Fish forever.

Track 12: Friendship/Love theme song; from Fish to Bird, from Bird to Fish.

Track 13: How Bird probably saw Fish / Probably also how Fish saw Bird (but we’ll never really know since we don’t get any of the story from his POV — still I think it can be inferred seeing his reaction to Fish whenever they were together)

Track 14: From Bird’s POV. The “angel” is the girl on the beach, the “demons” are mankind in general and the horrible memories of what happened. He’d “give it all away” to “feel alive again” by [HIGHLIGHT]ending his life so he can be with Fish again.[/HIGHLIGHT]

Track 15: From Bird’s POV at the start of the story, he’s sitting there, remembering, dying, crying, wanting something he can never have.

Track 16: Though this one doesn’t completely fit the story, somehow… every time I hear it now I think of them. I think of it from both of their POV when they first met and however long a time they were together. Before meeting each other, they must have both been very lonely creatures, sort of shunned from their own kind. But after meeting and knowing one another… they… sort of “turned each other on to the idea of growing old” AKA “living a long, happy life”, so long as they had each other. So long… as they were together. And… uggghhuu… T________________T *UGLY SOBBING*


[Manga Review] Silver Diamond (v.21)

Silver Diamond

(Silver Diamond, #21: Puppet)

Sugiura Shiho

What rating would you give it?
5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Synopsis by Publisher)
Believing in their strengths and bonds, Rakan and the others head to the capital. Watch as they gallantly step inside the battleground to save their comrades and the world in the midst of the rain which is believed to be the prelude to the prophesied “storm”!! This is the must-see volume 21, with 5 pages of the extra story “Puppets II” included!!

What did you think of the book?

The plot thickens! And we are pulled right along for the ride~~! There are such great moments in this book between Rakan and Chigusa, like one right at the beginning:

“Rakan. These circuits… They’re the same as mine.”

ASDFGHJKLLJJGFCJFUFUFYDTVJVFD !!! TAT IM DYIN

Also… HAKUBIIIIIIIIIIII and ZAKUROOOO! 😀 😀 😀

So much went down in this book. Easily one of my favourites thus far in the series. I think it also had my favourite “Extra (Story)” which — honest to goodness — I don’t know how I didn’t catch this reveal in the first place. @_____@

Because OMFG KURO FLSNAKFNDLKANDKGNADLNGKAL HOW DID I NOT REALIZE THAT THING WITH HER NAME. HOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW?!???????

SPOILER (HIGHLIGHT TO SEE):

KURO = (ZA)KURO??? Poor babies didn’t realize what was going on until they nearly killed everybody, Hakubi in particular. TAT

sherlockicantfallsover

*EHEM*

Always with my cryptic answers, hur hur~~ :3

Not to mention, pretty much everything that’s been happening to Narushige is breaking my heart. BREAKING IT I SAY! They need to get him back ASAP. This puppet-ing thing is starting to scare me, too. o__o

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

None that I could think of.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

As per usual, so many xD

Would you recommend this book?

kidding

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and— oh. Did I mention, YES?!

 

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Tosuisha
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: electronic, scans
Pages: 164
Genre & Themes: M/M Romance, War,
Love, Twins, Trust, Science Fiction,
Fantasy, Isolation Issues, Psi Abilities,
Alternative Worlds, Telekinetic Powers,
Survivors, Betrayal, Telepathy, Puppets,
Dying World, Plants, Nature, Environment,
Genetically Engineered People & Creatures,
Family, Friendship, Manga, Shounen Ai,
Slashy, Lost Memories
Age: OT / Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Scanlations by Amato Empire
Challenge:   2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (30),
52 Books in 52 WeeksEthereal 2015,
You Read How Many Books?105 Reading Challenge
2015 LGBT Reading ChallengeRead A Million Pages,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge,

[Manga TBBR Review] The Antique Bakery v.1

Antique Bakery v.1

(Antique Bakery, #1)

Fumi Yoshinaga

What rating would you give it?
4 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Ono has come a long way since the agonizing day in high school when he confessed his love to handsome Tachibana. Now, some 14 years later Ono, a world-class pastry chef and outed playboy has it all. No man can resist Ono’s charms (or his cooking skills!) but he has just found a new position under a man named Tachibana. Can this be the only man who resisted his charms, and if so, will the man who once snubbed the “magically gay” Ono get his just desserts? And how in the heck did a former middleweight boxing champion wind up as Ono’s cake boy?

What did you think of the book?

First off – I’d like to mention that this is a RE-READ. I originally read this book back when it first came out in the US in 2005 (and the rest of the series thereafter). I think having seen the anime – which did a fabulous job capturing the nature of the manga – really helped with this secondary read-through. I followed the story better this time, laughed at their antics and the idea of someone being “magically gay” (such people do exist, ya know! I’ve met a couple of ’em xD), and even picked up some things I didn’t catch the first time (which are later revealed in the following books or focused on in the anime).

It’s a light, fluffy, entertaining story with surprisingly deep characters (as will be revealed later on as the series progresses). I think the major reason I originally picked up volume 1 was because I was finished with everything else and needed another yaoi/shounen ai book to read. The fact that it was a foodie manga really didn’t cross my mind until I started reading it and it dawned on me that I was beginning a new series… entirely about food.

And gays.

But mostly food.

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Now I’m generally not a “foodie” by any standard. I think this book may very well have been one of the first I ever read where the plot or featured story/setting revolves around food. I was already watching an anime called Yakitate!! Japan…. which is about bread. Yes, you read right: BREAD. Only MasterChef style with competitions and crazy challenges and competitors and shit. And comedy. DID I MENTION COMEDY?!

So naturally I figured, “If I can watch a show about BREAD (THAT’S IT, MAN! That’s ALL THE SHOW IS ABOUT), then I can definitely read a book about pastries. And demonic gays—WTF.”

It was probably a good thing that I already had Yakitate!! Japan under my belt because Antique Bakery definitely went off on an entirely different tangent, one that – while being interesting, amusing to all hell, and mellow at the same time – would probably not have held my interest as much Yakitate!! did. I’d never once considered the thought that food books would be something of interest to me. So starting off with Antique may or may not have worked for me otherwise.

Some things that resonated with me quite strongly though, was the character’s struggles to be accepted for all their reasons. At the time when I first read this book, a lot was going on in my own life that – strange as this sounds – paralleled the situations of the main cast.

Thankfully no one was magically gay.

Okay so that might not be true.

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As it was now, I felt quite a bit of nostalgia reading volume 1. I kept thinking back to the crazy antics of my own mates and I, and how hard it was for us to be accepted for the things we did or liked to do. Breaking stereotypes or living up to them. Both very difficult feats to accomplish, if you ask me. So I, once again, applaud the cast of Antique Bakery for sticking to their guns. Even if it cost them dearly.

In the end, everything works out. And that’s something to celebrate. 🙂

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Not that I know of. I mean… there’s some domestic violence stuff that happens later in the series, but… this book is pretty clean. It’s just really spazztastic, or downright silly, at times. XD

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

OH yeah. Waay more than I originally thought. xD I was really just re-reading this one again for the 2015 The Eclectic Reader (#6 Fiction For Foodies) reading challenge, but it ended up also fitting all of these challenges as well:

Would you recommend this book?

Yeah. I would say so. I don’t see why not!

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Publication Date: July 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
Genre & Themes: Love, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Food, Pasteries &
Desserts, Bakery, Homophobia, Domestic
Violence, Manga, Shounen Ai / Yaoi, Drama,
Sports (Boxing), Josei, Comedy, Culinary
Age: It’s a Josei manga so… New Adult? Adult??
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (32),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 1, 3, 4, 8, 13),
The Eclectic Reader (#6 Fiction For Foodies),
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge,
The Re-Read Reading Challenge