[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?!

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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.

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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

[Book TBBReview] In Despair (Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

In Despair

(Princes of the Blood, Book 3)

Megan Derr

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from GoodReads)
Prince Telmé Guldbrandsen has been groomed since childhood to become a Prince of the Blood and Commander of the Legion. He will be the youngest person to ever take the Blooding—if he can behave long enough to prove he can be trusted with the responsibility. But behaving is difficult when he is constantly forced to endure Korin: heir to the Reach of the House and the Temple of the Sacred Three, and the snotty brat Telmé is expected to someday marry.

Then the unthinkable happens, leaving Castle Guldbrandsen—and the Legion—in pieces. Overwhelmed by fear and grief, Telmé convinces Korin to help him attempt the impossible. But rather than relief, Telmé’s triumph is met with anger and rejection …

What did you think of the book?

Note of point, I originally sorta skimmed In Despair on 1/22/15, but didn’t actually pick up the book to read until later. 🙂

Now, onto the review!

I gotta say, this wasn’t what I was expecting. AT ALL.

Thankfully, that means it was FANTASTIC and HIGHLY ENTERTAINING and WHOLLY PRECIOUS all rolled up in one.

I think, this one might just be my favour–second favourite in the series. XD I don’t know if I can ever like it better than the first book, which absolutely captured my imagination and made me fall in love with the wonder of this world, its characters, its customs, and its obvious build-up of potential storytelling that only grew and grew with each and every book. As I mentioned before in my review of With Pride, I truly love the aspect of moving backwards in time as you read each novel of this series, how with each book it builds on the last even as you descend further and further back in the original cast of characters’ lives. This story tells of the fateful events that led to Telme and Korin becoming the serious power-couple they are, as the youngest EVER Commander of the Legion and High Priest of the Sacred Three. I always wanted to know how they came to be who they were, ever since the first book when it was so obvious there was a story to be told there. I couldn’t have been happier with the results this book provided.

Now, lemme first start by saying — what little shits you both were! XDDD

god i hate you

oh my GOD you are both SO annoying but I can’t help but love you even more anyway ❤

What I really, REALLY did not understand, or perhaps didn’t grasp from the first novel, was that they were betrothed and – at least in Telme’s case – Blooded so young. (Telme wasn’t so bad since he was at least 17, but damn! Korin was only 15!) Furthermore, I didn’t realize they were such… oh, what’s the word? oh yes – BRATS for pretty much the duration of their ENTIRE younger lives. XD Hell – in fact, they never grew out of it (which I LOVE, by the way! XD) and continued to be as infuriating as they grew older. They just got a lot better at hiding it in front of others. XD I was really happy to be able to see them in a light that showed… that they were normal, average teenagers too. (Well, as normal and average as one could be given their circumstances.) They fought each other. They got emotional. They were both the most adorable crybabies, completely warranted for crying at the horrifying, COMPLETELY UNWARRANTED, fucked up, unbelievable events that literally turned their lives upside-down in a matter of days. And then kept their lives IN DESPAIR (aha? Aha? See what I did there? ;D ;D ) for longer than I think MY OWN sanity would have allowed before I tore the whole kingdom down and showed them what it means to be a half-demon.

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Which only shows that Telme is seriously a better person than me. I wouldn’t have endured that crap for as long as he did. And Korin, too – although he needed to stop whining so much throughout the book. That’s probably my only quip. That, and the abrupt… uh… sorta ending because I would have really liked to see what happened after they walked into that hall [highlight for spoiler] after they defeated the Incubus and went to check to see if people still hated their guts or not[/end spoiler]. I also think the book would have been better had Korin’s side of the story been seen as much as Telme’s… Y’know. So we could get the chance to sympathize a little more with his troubles and worries, instead of just hearing him complain about it or only seeing it from Telme’s occasional glimpses into the disrespectful actions of the Priests and the rest of the Legion towards him. Those mere glimpses seemed overshadowed by the utter ridiculousness of Telme’s situation, and I think if we had followed Korin around in some chapters instead of Telme, seen how bad it was for him as well, I (at least) would have had a bit more sympathy for him. As it was, I often found myself groaning whenever I heard Korin once again go off in a rage, and only sometimes caught myself to remember that he had it just as bad, if not worse in the long run.

That being said… I really enjoyed this book. I wasn’t quite expecting some of the theatrics those two pulled in their misadventures or the turn of events that transpired in the walls of Castle Guldbrandsen, but hell, was it an amazing ride!

Highly recommended!

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Ehh… not really. There’s the usual blood and gore and youngins in bad situations, but nothing too horrific or graphic that you’ll lose your stomach. Some underage sexual situations, but no actual sex in this book.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

As per usual:

Would you recommend this book?

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I think I said that already!

A P.S. for any potential readers: Although this series does NOT have to be read in order, I have the feeling that the reader would enjoy it better if read in its proper book order (books 1-2-3) and not in its time order (books 3-2-1). And if anyone wants to completely skip around, I would still suggest this book be read last. Something about… getting to meet these two in their older and, ehem, “wiser” selves first AND THEN reading about their teenage bumbling (and super-duper-holy-crap-rockin-woozers! heroics, too) makes it so much more… refreshing, I guess? It all sorta comes full circle to see that underneath those masks of professionalism are still two boys, who are still brats, but are also still so very much in love.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: July 2014
Format: ebook, RvC
Pages: 221
Genre / Themes: Medieval Fantasy, Bisexual,
Paranormal, M/M Romance, Magic, QUILTBAG /
LGBTQUIA, Shifters, Demons, Pseudo-vampires,
Coming of Age, Idiot Teenagers, Royalty,
Nobility, Misunderstanding, War, Monsters,
Arranged Marriages, Love+Hate Relationships
Age: Young Adult / Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided upon request by Publisher/Author
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (21),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
Readathon Day 2015, 2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword Reading Challenge,
Ethereal 2015,

[A Book RE-READ Review] The Elf and Shoemaker

6139004The Elf and Shoemaker

M.L. Rhodes

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars
(I adore this book. Like, you do NOT even know. To me, this book can do no wrong asdfghjkl;lkhgfdsas)

Give us a summary.

(Taken from Goodreads)
Logan Shoemaker’s honest, hardworking, and loves what he does. Though he never expects to get rich, he’s fared well enough to stay comfortable with his quirky metaphysical store, Shoemaker’s Magick Shoppe. But when the economy falls on hard times, his store pays the price. As each month passes, slow sales turn into no sales, and soon Logan’s living off ramen noodles and sleeping in a freezing house during the cold winter nights as he struggles to make ends meet. His personal life isn’t much better—the worse business at the store grows, the more isolated and lonely he becomes. After a string of mishaps that wipe out the last of his small savings, he finally hits rock bottom the day he discovers the disconnection notice from the electric company hanging on his door. That night, desperate and in despair, he makes a plea to the universe, asking for help.

Needless to say, he never anticipates receiving a response so quickly. Not only does he awaken the next morning to find on his kitchen table four little bottles of a special potion labeled “PASSION,” but he keeps remembering the erotically charged dream he’d had during the night. A dream where a tall, gorgeous man with pointed ears comes to his bed and shows him just what kind of magick they can make together.

But was it a dream? All Logan knows is that his customers can’t get enough of the special potion—an aphrodisiac—and he can’t stop thinking about the sweet seduction of the nighttime visitor who made it. As he tries to sort out what’s real and what’s not, he discovers there’s a much bigger world out there than he’d ever believed, and his true heart’s desire might come in a most unexpected form…

What did you think of the book?

I honestly read this book at least a few times every year. Not for tradition or anything, simply because I love it so. Sometimes I’ll think back to it and say, “Oh, I wonder where it is…? I should read it again and see how they’re doing.” I kid you not. This little book has such a warm spot in my heart that I actually think of it and Logan and Hallan as old friends that I need to check on every so once in awhile. I just don’t know what it is about it… that’s just how I feel. :<

I don’t know what it is about the story that draws me to it so… It’s a romance, yes…. but there’s something else about it that’s so charming and… believable, too…. that I just can’t help going back for more. I’ve even created scenarios in my mind as to what’s happened to them since the end of the book. What adventures (or should I say misadventures) they’ve had trying to navigate their newly shared life together… this whole new world Hallan’s never been to before. For such a tiny book (barely a hundred pages) there’s SO MUCH WORLD-BUILDING, IT ISN’T EVEN FUNNNY. And it’s done tastefully so as not to overwhelm the reader with WAAAAY too much information all at once. In a short amount of pages, M.L. Rhodes has created an entire TWO WORLDS with substances and politics, history and depth. The magic actually makes sense, as does their romance. It’s kind of adorable too, because… though some (more cynical folk) might find some moments in it to be unbelievable, I would have to say – if you can watch a movie about a girl with magically enchanted HEALING HAIR that’s miles and miles long (AND HEAVY AS ALL HELL, TOO – LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THAT, even as she prances around like it weighs nothing) then you can read a short novella about a young man who finds out he has a magic mirror in his shop and a handsome elf on the other end just waiting to be able to reach through and finally meet him face to face (and body to body ehem *COUGHCOUGH*).

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Sometimes I wish there was a sequel to this book… but then I realize I’m glad there isn’t one. It gives me the chance to make up whatever stories I see fit to follow this enchanted tale and lovely characters. asdfghjkl;lkjhg~~

Would you read this book again?

HA! You’re not seriously asking me that after I’ve just gushed all over this post, now are you?

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

None whatsoever. Except… y’know… beware of a possible and sudden onset of obsessive compulsion towards the book wherein you feel the urgent need to hold said book to your chest and stroke it muttering, “My preeeeccciiiooousssssssssss” upon completion OR DURING the reading of said book.

Because… y’know… that’s tend to happen. *EHEM* Occasionally. >.> Possibly every time I look at it on my bookshelf. *COUGHXOUGH* WHAAT? No! I don’t do that! What are you talking about? Ha ha ha… you must be mistaken. <A<;; You read no such thing only a moment ago.

No such thing. .____.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yeah. I wasn’t really “reading” it for anything… but obviously it counts towards The Re-Read Reading Challenge, but also for these as well:

Would you recommend this book?

What do you think?

tumblr_m3y3pbITAT1r3zat8Go read already!! XD

 

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press / Amber Allure
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 120
Genre & Themes: Love, M/M Romance,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Elves, Magical World,
Alternative World, Elf Mirror, Royalty, Magic,
Contemporary, Fantasy
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Bought
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (29),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading Challenge (Category: 3, 4, 5, 8, 9),
The Re-Read Reading ChallengeEthereal 2015,
2015 Monthly Motifs & Keyword 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!

justdoit_zps7f14e39d

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

REPOST Review – CRESTING TIDE (from March 27, 2014)

by Brenda Cothern
Format: E-BOOK
Themes: gay mermen, gay romance, nobility/royalty, hermaphrodite, intersex, mpreg
Genres: Romantic Fantasy

Peter, fleeing from an arranged marriage to a woman, stows away aboard a merchant ship only to be discovered and pitched into the sea. Floating upon the current and awaiting death, he is rescued by a mythical sea elf.

Cuke knew his curiosity with humans would only lead him to trouble but he never expected it would lead him to love. A love filled with complications as he is bound to his watery home.

Can the couple overcome the restrictions of their races and be the fathers to their unexpected child or are they destined to be torn apart by their different worlds?

Author Note:
Contains m/m and hermaphrodite sexual practices and is intended for readers of legal age in the country in which they reside.


My thoughts: I really enjoyed this particular story. I wish it had been a lot longer, or even sort of ended in such a way that we knew what happened to Cuke after [highlight for spoiler]he left his new family during the storm[/highlight]. I really hope the author will continue this with a follow-up story of some sort – either a sequel or a short novella thingy. SOMETHING. Ughhh

As of right now there is no sequel but I’ll make sure to be on the lookout for it.

Source: GoodReads | Amazon


2015 UPDATE:
And check this out! It’s got a newer cover image now!

81QF7k+C9ZL._SL1500_Newer review too (JAN 2015):

What a great romance! I have read this short a least a dozen or more times in the span of time since I’ve purchased it.

This story was based off the disney version of The Little Mermaid, and it’s cute. You can’t help but love it if you like anything relating to or even slightly hinting to that fairytale. These merfolk are hermaphroditic and can’t speak the human tongue, but boy are they interesting and the eventual trust, romance, and family building between our two heroes makes for one delightful read!

My one and only serious problem with this book was that it was TOO SHORT. The ending was well done, and I don’t have a problem with it… but I need a sequel. I need something else to help me deal with the events that happened in those last few pages of tragedy.

Rating: 4 Stars

It would have been 5 if it wasn’t so frickin short!!

[Book Review/TBBR] Prosperity

ProsperityProsperity

(Prosperity, Book #1)

Alexis Hall

What rating would you give it?
5++++++++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?

This was better than I could have imagined! I loved the consistent, snarky voice of characters, the diversity of the cast, the setting and world-building…ASDFGHJKL:LKJHGFDS I have only praise for this book. It goes right up there as one of my favorite books of the year!

I literally had moments of actual laughing out loud and scaring people around me. I’m not even joking here.

This novel is abso-friggin-lutely the best thing ever and you HAVE to read it if you’re into:

  • Skyships!
  • Victorian-esque inspired alternative worlds!
  • Ridiculously hot and snarky as ALL hell antihero!
  • MAGNIFICENT WORLD-BUILDING *FOAMS…. AT…. MOUTH*
  • Interlinking novellas/stories ALL WITHIN ONE NOVEL *THIS IS MY FAVOURITE THING THOUGH, HONEST*
  • Did I forget to mention THE COVER ART?!?!? *PTERODACTYL SCREECHES BECAUSE HOMGGGG* I took one look at that cover and knew I wanted an ARC of this book and I WOULD HAVE IT IF IT WAS THE LAST THING I DID
  • THE INSANELY IN CHARACTER, IN-VOICE NARRATION – which I know, for some people can be a problem. And truthfully, if the author doesn’t know what they’re doing accents can sound like complete nonsense or just come out wonky—EXCEPT THAT’S NOT THE CASE HERE. ALEXIS HALL RULES!!

  • The style of storytelling, which I very much choose to read as a series of scenes that all worked together to create the bigger whole.
  • Distinct voices of ALL the characters (not just the main one)
  • RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!
  • Lush, fully developed characters that I could BELIEVE. WHOLLY.
  • The name PICCADILLY. Because, honestly, how can you not love someone with a name like that?

I recently got an ARC for Liberty and Other Stories which combines Books 2-4 and 6 together in a single volume. I cannot wait to see what shenanigans the characters will get up to in these stories to come… >)

Would you recommend this book?

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Do you even have to ask???

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: October 2014
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 235
Genre: M/M Steampunk / SciFi, POC,
QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Victorian, Totally
in-character narration, fun fun FUN story!
Age: Young Adult / Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)

 

[TBBR] The Beauty

23250725The Beauty

Aliya Whiteley

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

What were your initial thoughts of the book?

What. The. Actual. Hell.

What were your thoughts AFTER you’d finished reading it?

. . . What. The Actual.  Hell.

xD

Stunning book! And what a concept, too! But seriously. All that praise aside… WHAT. THE. HELL.

This was one weird as fuck book. I liked it, but damn was it weird!

I’m not sure what I was supposed to get or learn from this tale, but it was definitely thought provoking. A true mix of disturbing imagery and brilliant concept and execution; I couldn’t put this book down!

WARNING:
From this point on, there will be spoilers. I can’t help that. This is obviously a book for discussion, which means spoilers. End of story.

I guess I should come out and say this review is more a “book discussion/book rant/I need to say something about everything weird and fucked up that went on in these pages,” so proceed at your own risk.

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Continue reading

[TBBR] The Song of Achilles

12book "The Song of Achilles" by Madeline MillerThe Song of Achilles:
A Novel

Madeline Miller

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?Ahh~ The Song of Achilles! Or should I say “The book that will surely be the death of me?”

Let me first start out by saying: I love that Patroclus told the story this time. I loved seeing their shared history through his eyes: their faults, their triumphs, their life, and their love. I also want to expressively proclaim that this story is a romance, and WHAT A ROMANCE!

I always liked to think of their story and love, as the—ehem—egalitarian expression of homosexual love, where they were both of close age and simply loved one another: as friends, as companions, as lovers, and eventually as soulmates. THIS BOOK ANSWERS ALL MY BESEECHMENTS AND TORMENTED PRAYERS!!

Totally Biased and Slightly (VERY) Ranty Book Review

Okay. so here’s my own take on this. Continue reading

[Manga Series Review/TBBR] Claymore (27 volumes)

297960Claymore (27 Volumes)

(Claymore series, #1-27)

Norhiro Yagi

What rating would you give it?
5+++++++++++++++++ of 5 Stars

What did you think of the series?

WARNING: Some spoilers ahead… can’t be helped!

Right now I’m reviewing this long-ass series as a whole, but MAYBE at a much MUCH later date, I’ll review it individually… book by book.

For starters, can I say: WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! O__O What an incredible run that was! I started reading this series back in high school man. HIGH SCHOOL. That was over a decade ago! (Man am I dating myself here… @__@;;; ) The first book came to the U.S. in 2002, right when I started my first year. The first book blew my mind and the last one broke my heart (just a little). Besides the unforgettable (though slightly unsatisfying) ending, it was also ME saying goodbye to an era. This was one of those series I thought would never end, and hoped never would.

Unrealistic, I know, and I knew it every time I finished reading a chapter, waiting for the next serial to publish and the next, and the next, believing there would always BE a next.

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I’ve pretty much grown up with characters. Claire, Theresa, Miria, Deneve, Raki… and yes–even Priscilla. I can’t imagine what I’m gonna do now that they’re all… gone.

*already has a plan in motion to reread the whole thing from start to around the time of Isley and then stop so I can pretend that everyone survived this tale and they’re all still out there fighting somewhere… oblivious to the truth, BUT ALIIIIIVE!*

anigif_enhanced-buzz-23426-1411568045-4

“Yup. That’s the plan!”

What can I say? The characters, plot, world-building, delivery, GORGEOUS FUCKING ART–the whole shebang was impeccable, flawless, phenomenal! I haven’t a complaint to give (except that it’s over T________T)

This entire series is just filled with artpron. I mean… Continue reading

[Book Review/TBBR] Kamen (Vol. 1)

81W48sIDyrLKamen (Vol. 1)

(Kamen series, #1)

Gunya Mihara

What rating would you give it?
2 of 5 Stars

What did you think of the book?

This… was really not that well done. I wish I could have liked this better, but everything was a bit off. Random ass names, weird, disjointed places, inconsistent art style… even the sequencing of panels was just missing the mark for me.

When the art style was the same, it was actually ok for me. A little jerky at times with some transition problems, but otherwise decent. The story also seems decent enough as well. There were a few pages that were actually done really well (ie: pg.19), however the overall package was so fatally flawed that nothing could help it out.

There were some concepts that were interesting enough that I’ll be picking up the next volume to see if anything improves. But the series for me seems to be lacking in so many ways. Sorry. :/

List some of the pros & cons of the book:

Cons:

  • Oh god though – What is with these names? Ryouga? SIMBA? Kagura? Ludoke? Dazam? It’s like the author/artist has no idea what they’re doing and just slapping on names left and right with no conscious direction to why or who or what. Ughhh… @______@
    • More weird-ass names: ZORAIDEN?! xD Oh god… These names, man…
  • Also HOW exactly is this supposed to be taking place in (and I quote the synopsis) “ancient Japan”? Even a fictional one? This makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. I’d be ten thousand times happier if you simply said it was somewhere or someplace else that just happens to have Japanese influence or something, than you trying to make me believe all this weird @#$%$ is Japan. Puh-leeze.
  • Tons of errors with the artistry and drawings themselves. Certainly things just don’t add up or even make sense at all. I’m looking at some of the panels and have NO idea what’s going on at all.
  • I also don’t like the art style that much. It’s not even because of hard edges or anything like that. It’s just… inconsistent, so I can’t even try to like it… :/
  • The transitions in this book are really, REALLY weird…
  • It’s like the conversations AND panels don’t know how to easily flow into one another. Nothing really transitions well.
  • The dialogue is also really weak and stilted. It’s so BAD. XD;; Like, as if, it was translated poorly by someone who didn’t care to make things seem natural. It could also simply be the original dialogue wasn’t very strong in the first place so there was nothing for the translator to work with. :/ If THAT’S the case, then even worse. -___-;;;
  • The writing also has a bunch of grammatical errors, too, which is at least an easier fix.

Pros:

  • ….I’m supposed to have pros?? :/ :/ :/
  • The plot is at least salvageable. They’re just not doing anything with it yet. I hope it gets better, because if not then… >___>;;;

As I said before, I really, really wished I had liked this more, but… well… I haven’t given up on it quite yet. Here’s to hoping the second book will be better.

Would you recommend this book?

I doubt I would ever recommend this to anyone. Except as maybe to show them how NOT to manga.

barney-stinson-how-I-met-your-mother-disapoint-eccbc87e4b5ce2fe28308fd9f2a7baf3-124

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Gen Manga Entertainment
Publication Date: September 2014
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 225
Genre: Manga, Indie, Medieval
Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Samurai,
Action/Adventure,
Age: Teen – Young Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge: 2014 Good Reads Reading Challenge (100)