May Round-Up!

I hope that you guys had a great May! I had a pretty good month. It was my dad, my fiancé, my cousin, my BFF AND my grandma’s birthday month so it was a busy month for cards and presents. But it was a good month! I got a lot of reading done – and I’m back to reading more Batman comics. I was so burnt out on Batman but now I want to read more for some reason. I just can’t quit Batman. When will he get to be happy?!?! I know the answer but I can’t stop reading. His angst is what makes him Batman. Without it he’s just a rich dude. Anyway, onto the books!

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Girl Haven

One of the first books that I read last week was Girl Haven by Lilah Sturges. Here’s the description from Goodreads!

Three years ago, Ash’s mom, Kristin, left home and never came back. Now, Ash lives in the house where Kristin grew up. All of her things are there. Her old room, her old clothes, and the shed, where she spent her childhood creating a fantasy world called Koretris.

Ash knows all about Koretris: how it’s a haven for girls, with no men or boys allowed, and filled with fanciful landscapes and creatures. When Ash’s friends decide to try going to Koretris, using one of Kristin’s spellbooks, Ash doesn’t think anything will happen. But the spell works, and Ash discovers that the world Kristin created is actually a real place, with real inhabitants and very real danger.

But if Koretris is real, why is Ash there? Everyone has always called Ash a boy. Ash uses he/him pronouns. Shouldn’t the spell have kept Ash out? And what does it mean if it let Ash in?

So I rated this book a three and a half out of five on Goodreads. There were a few things that felt off about this graphic novel. While I liked the concept of a all girls world I didn’t really like that they portrayed the boys as a scourge. There was also the classic angry butch lesbian character which I wasn’t thrilled to see. Overall, the story was pretty good and the artwork was ok. It felt like it needed another pass from an editor.

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Fantastic Tales of Nothing

Secondly, we have Fantastic Tales of Nothing by Alejandra Green and Fanny Rodriguez. I don’t know why but it took me agesssss to finish this graphic novel – over a month! I’m not sure why either, I actually enjoyed it.

We start off following Nathan as he wakes up in a mysterious forest. He thinks that he’s dead and has woken up in their version of heaven. But he’s not dead. He is being hunted though. He meets Haven – who is neither human nor volken – while on the run from two volken mercenaries. The two mercenaries – Sina and Bardou – as well as Nathan and Haven – have many adventures while they are trying to save their beloved home – Nothing. Along the way they run into many different characters and Nathan learns that he has magic – even though he’s not supposed to. No humans are supposed to have magic. As they have their adventures around Nothing, the four become friends and rely on each other to help stop the war and defeat the evil that has been gathering power in the shadows.

I really enjoyed the characters in this graphic novel. The growth from the beginning of the book to the end was very apparent, especially in Nathan. I also really loved the pace of the book. It start off fast and just kept up that pace through most of the book. Even though it took me forever to read, I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone that enjoys fantasy books/graphic novels.

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And we’re back to BL Metamorphosis! Last week I read volumes 2, 3, & 4. I cannot express how much I love these two characters, they are so great together! I love that Urara is so patient with Ichinoi and willing to show her the BL ropes. Their friendship gets deeper in these three volumes and it was such a joy to watch it happen. (Slight spoilers from here out) Ichinoi really encourages Urara to draw and write a manga to sell at the next doujinshi Even when Urara wants to give up and not do it, she thinks of how disappointed Ichinoi would be in her – although I don’t think she would be to disappointed. I also loved the part where Urara has to fix a cabinet for Ichinoi and her daughter – it was so cute and wholesome. I can’t wait for volume 5 to come out in English!

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Hawkeye: Freefall

Next we have a Marvel comic – Hawkeye: Freefall by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt.

Listen. I love comic book Hawkeye very much. But this comic wasn’t that great. Which makes me sad because I love this dumb man. While it wasn’t my favorite Hawkeye story, I did finish reading it and then sat there thinking, what was that? The time travel and robots were intestering plot devices. I’m not sure if I really liked them though? It just made the comic confusing. Also, like Batman, it seems that Hawkeye can also never be happy (I feel like there’s a pattern with these superheroes…). While I did mostly enjoy it, I would definitely not suggest this as a first comic for anyone looking to get into Hawkeye. There’s a little bit of backstory mentioned that affects the comic if you don’t know about it. Also what is with the blockheaded Hawkeye on the cover of this comic? Thankfully that art style is not throughout the comic. It might be for some people but I really didn’t like the cover art. I’m sad that I didn’t like this one. I really wanted to.

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Nightschool Collector’s Edition 2

The next two manga are both by the same the same author – Svetlana Chmakova. First we’ve got Nightschool: The Weirn Books volume 2 and then the complete Dramacon. First I’m gonna talk about Nightschool. This was such a fantastic series! I read two collected books which had two of the regular manga in each book – there are four manga total in this series. I picked this up on a whim while I was shopping recently at Barnes & Noble and I’m so glad that I did! The story follows a young girl named Alex who lives in an apartment with her sister, Sarah. Her sister is a Night Keeper at the Nightschool – a school where young people go to learn all the basics. Like math, science, witch craft, etc. Sarah goes to school one night and never returns. Alex is on a mission to find her sister but trying to break into the Nightschool proves a lot harder than she thought. So she decides to enroll at the school. Having only been homeschooled up until this point, Alex has a lot to adjust to. Can she survive the school and save her sister? You’ll have to read and find out!

I loved this series so much! I wish there was more than four volumes but I really enjoyed what there was. There were so many great characters! And one of the main characters is homeschooled! Usually when homeschool students are portrayed in popular media they are made to be painfully shy, awkward, stupid, or uneducated. But that wasn’t the case with Alex. She was a little awkward but she’s also on a mission to find her sister and isn’t really focusing on school or making friends. I loved how she was portrayed throughout the story. Honestly, I really want to reread this manga series. I don’t usually reread but I loved these books that much.

The other manga that I read by the lovely Svetlana Chmakova was Dramacon! This story follows Christie’s three year journey at the Yatta Anime Convention. The first year she is just a baby convention artist trying to promote a manga that she produces with her boyfriend. While at the convention she sees and falls for a mysterious cosplayer. Her boyfriend is a jerk and they decide to go their separate ways after he shows his true colors. The second and third books follow Christie as she goes back to the convention over the next two years. We get to watch her as she changes and grows as a person as well as a writer. We get introduced to some new characters in the second book – my favorite being Bethany who is the artist after Christie and Matt broke up. Her character has a really great story which never felt like a background story which I really enjoyed. Overall, if you like slice of life manga then this one will be right up you alley!

Again this is another one of Ms. Chmakova’s manga that I WISH THERE WAS MORE. Only three volumes??? Excuse me?? I want to read about Christie and Bethany going to many more conventions! Ughhhhhh I’m so sad there’s only three volumes.

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Dramacon

I also read these fantastic manga! I reviewed them in the last few posts if you would like to read more about them! I honestly can’t chose which of these that I liked best. They’re all very different but I loved them all. I liked that Ghostly Things and Sorry for My Familiar both had female leads. I’m hoping that The Vampire & His Pleasant Companion is a slow burn BL – which is the vibe that I’m getting from volume one. If you’re into supernatural manga then you would love any of these three.

That is it for last month! I had a lot of fun reading and I hope that you guys did too! Did you do anything fun for Memorial Day? I read and took a nap. But because of this nap, I wasn’t tired when bedtime rolled around so I stayed up til FOUR AM. I also got sick last week and was up til 5:30am. I saw the sun rise. I am not a morning person so this was a violation to my eyeballs. I went to the doctor and they were pretty much like eh it’s gonna have to run it’s course. Yayyyyyy. I do feel much better but I feel like I’m still catching back up on my sleep. So hopefully this weekend I can get some more sleep! I do need to build a desk though… we’ll see how that goes.

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