Manga: my first impressions and review

Hello everyone, hope you are all being careful during this virus outbreak.
In this post I wanted to talk a little about manga; the comics that originated in Japan and that have a unique, easily recognisable art style. Sailor moon with her long yellow hair comes to mind as well as the famous Naruto.

Sailor moon
I always knew about manga and anime, some of my friends are big fans and I read Winx and Witch comics years ago, which are inspired by the manga drawing style. However, years had passed and I still never read a proper manga, I never felt the need to do so. Until now…..
I was with my friend out shopping and she asked if we could stop by a comic/fandom shop as she was looking to buy her friend a birthday present. I started walking about the shop, looking at all the shelves piled with manga. What caught my attention was a small portion of a bookshelf with the sticker “fantasy” attached. I was intrigued, I love fantasy and I never really knew that there were fantasy manga books. So in the end I somehow left the shop with a copy Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1. I just couldn’t resist the pretty illustrations.

Witch hat atelier #1 cover
I have now read it, here are my thoughts:
This is the first book in the Witch Hat Atelier series; at the moment there are 6 books in the series but the 7th one is to come out some time in 2020. I’m not sure if that will be the last book or if there will be more to come in later years. I purposely picked a book that is not part of a huge series, just in case I really enjoyed it and wanted to read it all immediately, because that’s just how it is sometimes. I’m sure you know.
I must admit that I did enjoy it; I read it on the bus on my way home for the weekend. It lasted the whole journey and it made it go so much faster. However, I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece; it is just a fun, quick read. One reason why I think I enjoyed this manga is that the art is a little more on the European side and not strictly on the manga side. I don’t know, but I do think that that art style is great if you are looking to gradually get into manga.

Everything considered, I rated this book 3.5 stars and I recommend it for fantasy readers that want something quick to read.

Stay safe and happy reading
Kinga

To my readers- There’s a problem with my WordPress

Something is wrong, really wrong.

Hello everyone, unfortunately I am writing this post. The thing is that for the past two weeks no views are being counted, my comments that I wrtite on your posts are not visible and my new followers are not being added to my followers list.


Firstly the views; my stats started showing zero views, I thought it a little weird at first but did not think more. As it continued, I asked two friends to go onto my blog and click onto a few posts. Nothing came up in my stats.

Next, the day it all started I received an email notification that I got a new follower but when I checked the list with all the people following my blog they did not show up on it. Also, when I posted, email followers did not recieve their emails, even though they have their settings are at “immediate”.

Furthermore, I commented on a few of your blogs. I wanted to chat about what you were writing. I checked and my comments were not visible while comments that were posted later were. I understand that maybe somebody did not accept my comment, but they were normal comments related to the post and that happened on every post I commented.

This saddens me greately as the purpose of my blog is to talk to others about books and reading, and now I can’t. It defeats the purpose of my blog. If anybody commented on any of my posts and I did not accept the comment it’s because I don’t see them. I’m so sorry if that’s the case.

Has anybody had this happen to them?….. What’s the point in asking when I probably won’t receive an answer. Anyway, I am going to contact the wordpress team today informing them of what is happening, hopefully all will be fixed soon.

 

Kinga

Why is that a trend in YA? – Queen or Ruin review

*Proceed with caution; as this is a review of the second book in a series there might be minor spoilers for the previous book.*

Queen of Ruin UK cover

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.

Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

Genre: Young adult, fantasy

Cover:

I kind of don’t understand the UK cover. Why was the colour blue chosen? It creates a wintery feel, which is not present in the book at all. So why?  It isn’t even the complimentary colour of red, which was on the cover of the first book, green is. Hmm, am I missing something?

My review:

This book is the last book in the Grace and Fury duology. It is a story that takes place on a different timeline or in a different world than ours; a world in which women aren’t allowed to read or write, and in which women are men’s property. I think that this is an interesting concept that could have been amazing if only written a little differently.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, I found it a fun, relaxing quick read. I do feel however, that there were just some flaws that bugged me and meant I didn’t give the book a higher rating. But let’s start out on a positive note. A problem I had with the first book was that I just found it too unrealistic, I know that it was a fantasy but there are just some things that the author should remember about. For instance, following an attack, Serina was just walking about up hills etc, with all the injuries she sustained as if nothing had happened. I don’t want to spoil anything but those injuries were quite intense and it would not be at all possible in the real world. In this book however, this changed; it was often mentioned that Serina and also other characters could not carry out several tasks due to their injuries. It just made the story so much more realistic, so thank you Mrs Banghart, this really is like a trend in YA books so for someone to write differently is refreshing.

Just like in the first book, I felt that the romance between two particular characters was just unnecessary. Another trend in YA, every female character must be in a relationship. Why? That’s not real; it gives people the wrong impression. It’s not how real life works! Especially since this was a book that revolved around women being strong and independent. The message would have been clearer without that romance. About this: I did like the feminism. It showed that women can function perfectly well on their one, getting everything done and also achieving their dreams, the character transformation across the series is huge, the girls changed and evolved so that in the end they really could achieve their dreams. Was this theme in the book to satisfy yet another trend? Probably, but it did work, at least I think so.

Now onto the thing that lowered my rating the most, both in this book and the first book: the ending. The ending was just too rushed, as if the author had a deadline that she had to meet and so she summarised the ending to finish on time. The ending really was the most disappointing part; it did not fit with the rest of the book. The pace was slower at first and then suddenly it just “whooshed off” at the end. A little more detail could have fixed it and made for a great finale of the series, especially since the ending is usually what we remember the most.

All in all, I decided that I am giving this book 3.75 stars, an enjoyable book with just a few flaws.

“How would the world change if she didn’t make it change.”

Have you read this series? What do you think of all these trends?

 

Happy reading

Kinga

 

Don’t feel bad, DNF that book

It’s February 2020, was your New Year’s resolution to read more but you’re still stuck on that one book that you got as a gift? Perhaps you should just DNF it.

Hello everyone, hope you are all doing well. So, I wanted to start this year with a positive note, a tip for anyone who will hear me out, so I decided to post this before I upload that not so positive review that I really want to write. Anyway, I am going to discuss why I am pro DNF’ing (quick note for those who don’t know, this stands for Did Not Finish; ie. leaving a book without finishing it).

My biggest argument for this, is that it really helps you to read more. Instead of reading just one book for a long time that you are not even enjoying, you could read a handful of good books. By wasting time on a book you will not like you are decreasing the chances of finding a new favourite. I don’t know about you, but this does it for me. Ok, I am not saying that you are to DNF books just because the first page or even first chapter wasn’t great, no no, that’s the extreme, that’s not what I mean. So when should you DNF? I believe it is different for everybody, for me, it’s about halfway through the book, unless there is something that I just cannot read. For example if it is too sexual or too gruesome. Then I just leave it immediately with no hard feelings.

At first it may be difficult to to DNF books, it may feel like you are cheating on them, you keep thinking that it will get better. You will feel like that at first, but after you do it a few times you will see that it greatly benefits you. The subject that the book is about or the language, they just might not be for you. Your friend liked it but that doesn’t mean you have to, we are all different and we like different things, and that’s what is great about us. Maybe it’s just not the right time for that particular book and when you come back to it in a few years you will love it.

Don’t feel bad for the author, they know that their books will not be liked by everyone and they will value your opinion. However, don’t be mean when writing a review, make it constructive, explain why it wasn’t for you. Your comments may improve their next book.

I think that I covered the biggest things. In 2019 I had a great reading year, I picked up great books so I did not DNF any last year. In 2018, however, I did DNF one book: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, I just thought it had no plot. One is not much, but it helped me get an extra 2 or 3 read. You see I do believe DNF’ing is good but I try to read books that I think I will enjoy to have the smallest number of DNF’ed books as possible.

We have so little time among these books, so why should we waste our time on bad ones?

Let’s discuss, do you DNF, if so how many did you DNF last year. If no why not and will you consider it now?

Happy Reading

Kinga

 

 

Mid-year freakout tag

Hi guys, it’s already the end of June, which is incredible, this year is going by so quickly. However, I am not complaining, I have been wanting for it to be the end of June for so long, what with all my exams.

As I haven’t been active I thought this was the perfect thing to post right now. It’s a fun tag and it will allow you to get a little insight into what I have managed to read so far in 2019. I have seen it on several blogs already but I’d like to mention Journey into Books as in her post she tags anyone who still hasn’t done this tag. So thank you 🙂


This has been a very successful reading year so far, and fingers crossed it stays like that. I have completed 16 books so far, which may not seem like a lot for most of you guys, but I am very happy with it. I usually read between 30 and 40 books in a year, but as I knew this year would be hectic for me, I lowered my goal to 25 books. According to Goodreads I am 4 books ahead of schedule…. so YAY.

Anyway, let’s get into this tag.

 

1)Best book you’ve read yet in 2017?

It would probably have to be To all the boys I’ve loved before which I re-read this year along with the second book in the series so I could read the last book in the trilogy. I loved all of those books so any would work for this question.

To_All_the_Boys_I've_Loved_Before_cover

 

2)Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

……… I’m sorry but you guessed it: P.S. I still love you

PS I still love you cover.jpg

Although I must say that I have read some brilliant sequels this year.

 

3)New release you haven’t read yet but want to.

There’s a few I want to read but the one I am the most eager to read is probably Don’t date Rosa Santos ,I was really close to buying this book but then I had decided I could wait……. and I already have too many unread books on my shelves.

Don't date Rosa Santos cover

 

4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Definitely Queen of Ruin which comes out on July 2nd, so really, really soon. I read the first book in the duology recently and I enjoyed it and now I’m really eager to find out how it ends. I’ll be buying this as soon as I come back from my holiday at the end of August. Or maybe sooner…… hmm

Queen of ruin cover.jpg

 

5)Biggest disappointment.

I am happy to say that I have no disappointments. All the books I read, I rated 4 or 5 stars. So yeah

6)Biggest surprise.

Without a doubt The murder of Roger Ackroyd. 

The series of reveals at the end of the book just blew my mind, I can often work out who the murder is but I was not expecting anything that this book served. This is arguably the best Agatha Christie book that I have read, I have already recommended it to a friend and she loved it as well. I recommend you give this a go if you’re into this type of books, I think you will enjoy it.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd cover.jpg

 

7)Favourite new author.

Laurie. R. King. I read one of the books in her Mary Russel series and I was positively surprised. In my opinion she is a really skilled author that knows what she is doing and I will definitely be reading more.

8) Newest fictional crush.

I can’t think of any, the books I read this year aren’t really the types of books with characters you get feelinsg for.

9)Newest favourite character.

I quite ended up liking both Serina and Nomi from Grace and Fury, maybe not as much at first but as the story went on their characters developed and I enjoyed the characters more. Now that I think back about it I preferred one over the other a bit but I can’t think which one. Oh that’s going to bug me, I need to look back at notes I made to see.

Grace and Fury cover.jpg

 

10)Book that made you cry.

Final 7, the conclusion of the trilogy.

Since this is a dystopian series I knew somebody would die but it was just so sad. I couldn’t help the silent tears roll down my cheeks. Oh no, I’m thinking about it now and it’s making me sad and sentimental again.

Final 7 cover.jpg

 

11)Book that made you happy.

All of the books in the To all the boys trilogy. I listened to the audiobooks of the first two books in the series during my final art exam and I kept smirking or laughing under my breath. My friends gave me weird looks sometimes ahahah. I just love these books they make me so happy, they are kind of like Legally Blonde for me, they always make me happy no matter what.

To all the boys trilogy covers

12) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received).

Hmmm, I can’t remember and I have no way of checking because I am not at home. Now that I think about it I’m not sure if I have even bought/received any books in 2019. I got quite a few in September for my birthday, October and December for Christmas, but I don’t think I got any in 2019 because of my exams. Wow, I’m impressed, I didn’t think that that is possible, hahaha.

13)What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I want to read the entire Anne of Green Gables series, I just started the first one the other day (I’m re-reading it, as I have only read the first one and the second one and I want to remind myself of what happens before I go onto the next ones). I also want to read Queen of Ruin, my most anticipated release for the second half of the year. i think that’s it really. There’s obviously other books I would like to get to ut that’s not a must.

 

So that wraps up this tag, I quite enjoyed doing it. It made me realise some things, including the fact that I haven’t bought any books in 2019, that is going to change, I’ll make sure. Hahaha

Anyway, if you want to do this tag I am tagging you, enjoy.

Happy reading

Kinga

I’m alive – A little life update

So, I’m here, I’m alive, I just had a very difficult and stressful 3-4 months. Basically, I had exams, 24 of them. And they were quite important exams as well. On top of that, as if that wasn’t enough, I study art and this was the final year of the course and I had my big final project to design and complete. It really wasn’t easy, but I made it. I finished on Friday, and yesterday I flew home to the countryside, and it is bliss. I just started unpacking and enjoying the lovely weather and I’m already loving it.

I will be here until the end of August. I want to use this time to relax after this stressful school year, and I also want to use this time to read and write new blog posts. I really enjoy blogging but it takes a lot of time and there was no way for me to do it before. I have so much planned, I’m really excited to post it all and share it with other readers.

I need to figure out a schedule, I have lots planned but I also need to read and I don’t want to burn out. I’m thinking I will post on Tuesdays ( Top Ten Tuesday posts), Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I’ll see how that goes. If I have more content I’ll post it on the same day as the other post, I think. I’m still not sure, you can tell me if there’s another schedule that will work better for you guys. If so, tell me in the comments, I really don’t mind when I post as I don’t have school or work so I’m free whenever.

So anyway, if you guys have any suggestions for posts or a schedule, I’d love to hear you out. I’m happy to be back.

Happy reading,

Kinga