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May Book Reviews

Hey look, now I'm caught up! XD



Title: Alanna: The First Years (also called Alanna: The First Adventure)
Author:   Tamora Pierce
Genre:  fantasy, YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary: Call it fate, call it intuition, or just call it common sense, but somehow young Alanna knows she isn't meant to become some proper lady cloistered in a convent. Instead, she wants to be a great warrior maiden--a female knight. But in the land of Tortall, women aren't allowed to train as warriors. So Alanna finds a way to switch places with her twin, Thom, and take his place as a knight in training at the palace of King Roald. Disguising herself as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page in the royal court. Soon, she is garnering the admiration of all around her, including the crown prince, with her strong work ethic and her thirst for knowledge. But all the while, she is haunted by the recurring vision of a black stone city that emanates evil... somehow she knows it is her fate to purge that place of its wickedness. But how will she find it? And can she fulfill her destiny while keeping her gender a secret?
My thoughts: Reread. I started rereading this because I was really stressed out and as soon as I started reading I couldn't stop smiling. I really love these books and it had been awhile since I last read this series. I love George in this one and Jonathan isn't too bad here XD I'd also forgotten a lot from this book so it was great to see it all again.



Title: In the Hands of the Goddess
Author:   Tamora Pierce
Genre:  fantasy, YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Still disguised as a boy, Alanna becomes a squire to none other than the prince of the realm. Prince Jonathan is not only Alanna's liege lord, he is also her best friend -- and one of the few who knows the secret of her true identity. But when a mysterious sorceror threatens the prince's life, it will take all of Alanna's skill, strength, and magical power to protect him -- even at the risk of revealing who she really is...
My thoughts: Reread. All I can really remember from this book is the very beginning and the part in the Black City. I don't particularly like the part in the Black City but I was glad to see a nice side of Jonathan.



Title: The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
Author:   Tamora Pierce
Genre:  fantasy, YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death -- either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe's first female shaman -- despite the desert dwellers' grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes -- for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.
My thoughts: Reread. I think this is probably my favorite one of the series. I really dislike Jonathan in this one but George is great so it's ok. And I love how much responsibility Alanna begins to get, I really feel that this is where she comes into her own as a person.



Title: Lioness Rampant
Author:   Tamora Pierce
Genre:  fantasy, YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  At last, Alanna of Trebond has become the first female knight errant in Tortall. She sets out on an impossible quest to find the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem that, in the right hands, has limitless power for good. But while she searches for the one thing that can save her war-torn country, her nemesis returns from the dead and begins to wreak havoc. Only Alanna has the power to prevent Tortall's utter destruction...
My thoughts: Reread. I like this one because Roger is finally truly defeated but it also makes me sad because Liam dies. I was quite fond of him even though I do like George better. I also really like that pretty much everyone got a happy ending, whether it be they fell in love or found a new home. I think that's why I like Tortall so much, it's home for everyone no matter what.



Title: Scrapped Princess Volume 1
Author:   Ichiro Sakaki, Go Yabuki
Genre:  manga, fantasy
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Fifteen years ago, a set of twins- a girl and a boy- was born to the king of Linevan. Shortly after their birth, a prophecy foretold that when the girl turned 16, she would bring about the end of humanity. To avoid this terrible fate, the king ordered the princess disposed ofâ€"scrapped! She miraculously survived and was raised away from the kingdom that would kill her. But now she has turned 15, the king's guards have caught wind that she's still alive...and they set out to finish the job!
My thoughts: Reread. This is a really cute manga and I would love to write some fanfiction for it. Sadly there doesn't seem to be much fandom for it... D: Ahh well, I still think it's good :D



Title: 9th Sleep
Author:   Makoto Tateno
Genre:  manga, fantasy, drama
Rating:  3/5
Summary:  The planet had died once before... On the day of Despaira, a god appeared in the sky and saved the world. His name was King Shishioh. But now with the throne of the king empty, a viscious battle between two brothers is unfolding. Who will ascend the throne?
My thoughts: This was... strange. I mean, I understood what was going on i think, but the plot was just plain weird. It was pretty good I suppose but I don't think I'll be reading it again. Also it looked like yaoi and it was labelled as yaoi, but really there's no yaoi in it.



Title: The Earth, my Butt, and Other Big Round Things
Author:   Carolyn Mackler
Genre:  YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Fifteen-year-old Virginia Shreves has a larger-than-average body and a plus-size inferiority complex, especially when she compares herself to her slim, brilliant, picture-perfect family. But that’s before a shocking phone call — and a horrifying allegation — about her rugby-star brother changes everything. With irreverent humor and surprising gravity, Carolyn Mackler creates an endearingly blunt heroine who speaks to every teen who struggles with family expectations, and proves that the most impressive achievement is to be true to yourself.
My thoughts: Reread. This is kind of my go to book for whenever I'm feeling like crap. I really relate to Virginia and I really did when I was her age and read this book for the first time. Even after 10+ reads this picks me up when I'm down and gives me the inspiration to go and do what I want to do and make myself happy where I am.



Title: Wild Magic
Author:   Tamora Pierce
Genre:  fantasy, YA
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Young Daine's knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine's talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself
My thoughts: Reread. I think this is probably my favorite one of this series. I love Daine and Numair and well, pretty much everyone XD It makes me happy to see the welcome Daine got coming to Tortall.



Title: Spicy but Sweet
Author:   Naduki Koujima
Genre:  manga, romance, yaoi/ shonen-ai
Rating:  3/5
Summary:  Forced to take care of his semi-amnesiac homeroom teacher, Wakasa, sexually harassed Kakeru is the only one who knows that the outwardly sweet and kind teacher is in truth, a perverted bully! More troubles erupt with the appearance of a new teacher from Wakasa's past and a new student who believes Kakeru is his predestined muse!
My thoughts: Well this was pretty good I guess... Kind of same same cute yaoi plot line and characters. Art is a bit shoujo-ish for me though. This is also the second book apparently and I don't think I read the one before...



Title: Fairy Cube Volume 1
Author:   Kaori Yuki
Genre:  manga, fantasy
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Ian Hasumi can see fairies, including his constant shadow, a green-haired, red-eyed doppelgänger called Tokage. Others rarely see the fairy world, but Rin, a former friend who has recently returned to town, has always believed Ian's stories. Interrupting the boys' plans to escape from Ian's father and Rin's abusive family, Tokage provokes Ian's father into a jealous rage, and Mr. Hasumi kills his son. Tokage takes over Ian's body, his life, and his romantic relationship with Rin, leading others to believe that the stabbing was merely a flesh wound. With the help of a mysterious shop owner and his fairy friend, Ian's disembodied spirit takes over the well-preserved body of a deceased elementary school boy and seeks to regain his rightful body while dealing with other fairy doppelgängers and the Fairy Murders they have been instigating.
My thoughts: I think I read all or part of this before but I'm really not sure. Another very weird manga. I'd kind of like to see what happens in the next volume but it's not one I would really put a lot of effort into finding. I really love the art though, it's beautiful and so detailed.



Title: Now Volume 1
Author:   Sung-Woo Park
Genre:  manga, fantasy
Rating:  3/5
Summary:  Woo introduces Bi-Ryu and Rin Yhun, descendants of warriors who were masters of the lost martial art of Sashinmu. Bi-Ryu now guards the secrets of Sashinmu, fighting off the unworthy seekers of this ultimate fighting style. Readers also meet Cho Ryung, Bo-Ryu's tiger-girl friend, and Yu Se Ha, a champion in search of the secrets of Sashinmu. Although the first volume concerns itself largely with character introduction and laying the groundwork, there's both action and humor by the end of the book, as Bi-Ryu, Cho Ryung, and Rin Yhun undertake a journey that promises plenty of twists and turns.
My thoughts: Kind of an odd manga and not really what I normally read. I found the plot to be a bit hard to follow and the art was kind of messy and cluttered. There were some parts I really liked but on the whole kind of so so. It's apparently a follow up series to another series that I never read so that could explain some of the confusion...



Title: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Author:   Tom Stoppard
Genre:  play, comedy, drama
Rating:  4/5
Summary:  Acclaimed as a modern dramatic masterpiece, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is the fabulously inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the worm’s-eye view of the bewildered Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play. In Tom Stoppard’s best-known work, this Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where echoes of Waiting for Godot resound, where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads our two heroes to a tragic but inevitable end.
My thoughts: School read, but one I enjoyed. It was amusing but not really laugh out loud funny for the most part. My favorite part is with the players and Alfred. My friends and I still quote the lines at each other XD The ending was kind of dull though. It kind of just dropped off near the end.



Title: Now Volume 2
Author:   Sung-Woo Park
Genre:  manga, fantasy
Rating:  3/5
Summary:  Just before the fall of the mighty Korean Kingdom of Goguryeo, a lone man roamed the lands causing destruction beyond imagine using Sa Shin Mu, a form of martial arts never before seen in this world. Now, 20 years after the fall of the Kingdom of Goguryeo, a new rumor is spreading that a secret manual detailing this legendary martial art has resurfaced. Will Sa Shin Mu once again dictate the fate of this new era?
My thoughts: Kind of an odd manga and not really what I normally read. I found the plot to be a bit hard to follow and the art was kind of messy and cluttered. There were some parts I really liked but on the whole kind of so so.

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