How was your New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day?? I had a lot of fun that week. We had Game Night on Monday at our local gamer bar, I went to a small get together on Tuesday, and then we played D&D Wednesday night! I hope your New Year is starting off just as good and I can’t wait to hear from you guys in the comments!
This first week of January I was catching up on a lot of manga and comics that I had checked out from the library so the first book that I want to talk about is That Blue Sky Feeling vol. 1 by Okura and illustrated by Coma Hashii. Here is part of the description from Goodreads: “
A butterflies-in-your-stomach high school romance about two very different high school boys who find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other.
Outgoing high school student Noshiro finds himself drawn to Sanada, the school outcast, who is rumored to be gay. Rather than deter Noshiro, the rumor makes him even more determined to get close to Sanada, setting in motion a bittersweet tale of first love.”
This was such a cute first volume! I’m really excited to see where this goes (although I think I know where it’s going). I love anything that is slow-burn and this one is very much that so it was right up my alley. The two main characters are both great but I think I lean towards liking Sanada. Noshiro is that gregarious, out going friend that drags you along to things even though you don’t want to go but you end up having fun anyway. Sanada is the one getting dragged along. I also really enjoy the art style. It’s very clean and I like the fact that all of the characters look different. I feel like sometimes with manga characters start to all bleed together for me (especially background characters) so this was very refreshing to see. If you like slow burn gay romance books then this one will definitely be for you!
The next manga that I really enjoyed was Magus of the Library vol. 1 by Mitsu Izumi. As someone who works at a library I really enjoyed reading this manga. I can’t wait to read more volumes of this and see where the story goes! Some of the quotes from this book are just so good! My favorite is, “Books have the ability to completely change your life. To change anyone’s life. It’s an incredible power.” There are a bunch more peppered throughout the book and they are equally as good.
This series is about a boy who lives in the slums of a little backwater type town who loves to read. His sister works from sun up to sun down to provide enough money so that her little brother can go to school. He loves to read and learn but because he lives in the slums he isn’t allowed to use the town library. That all changes when a few librarians from the Great Library come to his town on the search for a book.
The next manga that I enjoyed is Behind the Scenes!! vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori. This series follows Ranmaru Kurisu, who comes from a family of fishermen, as he goes to college. He doesn’t fit in with his tough family and is more into arts and crafts. In the two months that he’s been at college he hasn’t found a place to belong. Until he meets the members of the Art Squad! They adopt him as a new member and he thinks he’s finally found a place to fit in.
This was a really cute manga! If you are a fan of the comic books series, The Backstagers, then this will be right up your alley. I always like a found family trope in any setting so I really enjoyed this one immensely. There are a lot of manga out there about becoming an idol or an actor or something similar so I was really interested to see a manga about the people that work behind the scenes. I also really enjoyed all of the different characters that were in this manga. There were a lot of different people in the cast and it was nice to see all of them interact and support each other in their own quirky ways.
The last manga that I read this week was BEASTARS #1 by Paru Itagaki. In this manga, high schoolers are divided into predator and prey. After a gruesome murder of one of the Herbivore students, tensions are high. Can the fragile friendships that they students have established survive such a horrendous crime?
This is a really interesting concept for a high school hierarchy type book and I very much enjoyed the first volume. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and I’m also looking forward to finding out who killed the Herbivore student. One of the things that I thought was very interesting for this book was the artwork. I’m very used to a certain type of art style when I read manga and this one had a much different style. I wasn’t sure by the cover if I was going to like the style or not but I really liked the description of the book so I decided to give it a shot. I actually really ended up loving the art style though. I loved how there was a lot of use of negative space, especially in certain scenes where the MC is struggling with his instincts. It really makes you focus on his struggle and nothing else.
The last book that I read I actually started back in December but I just finally finished it up. It is The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo and illustrated by Sara Kipin. This book is a collect of six short stories that range from creepy to down right sad. Personally my favorites were The Witch of Duva (the third story) and When Water Sang Fire (the last story). But all of the stories were very good. If you are a fan of Grimm’s Fairytales or similar stories then I think this one will be perfect for you.
That is it for this week! I hope you all had a great first week of this new decade and that you’ve gotten to read a bunch of really great books. I look forward to hearing from you in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram!