Are monthly wrap ups the only posts I’ve been writing for months? Yes, they are. I want to keep you all up-to-date with my reading, even though I’m going through a) one of the busiest periods of my life, and b) an incredibly long and stubborn blogging slump. I’m not in a reading slump at all! I just seem to forget I own a blog, and haven’t wanted to write a post in months. Sorry… I’m hoping that by letting my life take its course and focusing on other things at the moment my passion for it will come back. I don’t want to force it. Either way, here’s what I read in October!
Shortcake Cake vol. 4 by Suu Morishita – ★★★.₅
Like I mentioned in September’s wrap up, while in Tokyo I stayed at a hotel that allowed you to read as much of the manga on their shelves as you wanted. I started the Shortcake Cake manga during summer when I bought the first two volumes. This is a series I enjoy, but don’t love. The art is incredibly cute, the story is sweet, but there isn’t much to make this stand out from other manga.
Anonymous Noise vol. 1 by Ryōko Fukuyama – ★★★.₅
Another one I borrowed from the hotel’s shelves. This is the story of a girl whose best friend moves away/disappears one day, and she grows up looking for him. Then she meets another guy, they write songs together as they grow up, and he disappears too. She’s convinced that they will come back once they hear her voice. This was a fun introduction into the world, but I couldn’t stop cracking up every time she sang. Why is she opening her mouth so wide and why can the entire world hear her? Does she have supernatural lungs??
Shortcake Cake vol. 5 by Suu Morishita – ★★★
Same story as volume 4, to be honest. It was enjoyable but not very memorable. I’m glad I had the chance to read it though! I think I will continue the manga as it gets released because I’m invested now but it’s definitely not a priority purchase.
Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty vol. 1 by Megumi Morino – ★★★
You guessed it, another volume I read while staying at the aforementioned hotel. I didn’t know what to expect from this manga at all. We follow a young guy who doesn’t want to go to university but wants to work instead. His father agrees to let him help with his job in the hopes of dissuading his son. The boy ends up working a part-time job at the mansion on the hill, where he meets the mysterious daughter of the house. While reading, I was afraid this was going into a weird direction with mental illness but then it turned into something supernatural (and not related to mental illness at all) and I was relieved. Once again, will probably continue but not a priority.
Waiting for Spring vol. 1 by Anashin – ★★★★.₅
A manga that has become a priority, however, is Waiting for Spring. I absolutely loved this first volume about a girl who accidentally befriends the popular members of the basketball team at her school. It was funny, adorable, and everything I wanted. I need to buy the volumes so I can continue soon!
The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang – ★★★★★
After finishing all that manga, I finally managed to read a novel as well. On the plane home, I finished The Poppy War, which will definitely end up on my favorite reads of the year list. It was brutal, captivating and fantastical, and I can’t believe it took me so long to read it. I want to read the sequel so badly but the paperback isn’t available anywhere… Be aware of all the content warnings for this book, though! There is an extremely brutal scene in here. You can find those content warnings in a lot of Goodreads reviews.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – ★★★★.₅
I sent in an acquisition request for this book to my local library, and was ecstatic when it was approved and the novel arrived. This is the story of a married couple who like to kill women together. It’s such a fascinating read, especially as we read from the perspective of the husband. How he both loves the “hunt” and abduction, yet hates how scared his daughter needs to be when she goes outside. This book was quite predictable and I wasn’t surprised at any point, yet it didn’t detract from the reading experience at all. I would highly recommend this book if you want to venture into thrillers.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – ★★★.₅
I’m not sure how to rate Descendant of the Crane, to be honest. I really enjoyed reading the book, and sped through it. Clearly, I was captivated by the world, characters, and story. Yet there’s quite a lot about the book I didn’t enjoy. It was very predictable. At times, I knew that a certain action from the main character would end up biting her in the ass in a specific way, and I was always right. Another aspect of the book I didn’t like was how passive the main character is. While I don’t think that every female leader or main character needs to be a sword-wielding assassin or brilliant strategist, I would hope that they at least have some agency throughout their story. I’ll keep it as a 3.5 for now. I’m curious to see what Joan He will write next!