Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter (Review)

 The Scarlet Letter

Title: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

Published by : Udon Entertainment

Publication date: March 31st 2015

Stacy King ( Author) (English Dialogue Adaptation), SunNeko Lee (Illustrator), Crystal S. Chan (Story Adaptation), W.T. Francis (Lettering), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Original Story)

Source: Received copy from Udon Entertainment through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

 

This was the first manga I’ve read and I LOVED it! It was an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter from a series of Manga adaptations of classics including an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice which I really want to read!

From the illustrations to the dialogue to the small details that are hidden within the art you only notice after they are outlined at the end of the copy I received I enjoyed reading this so much and it has really sparked an interest in manga for me. I have never read the original classic, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne so I didn’t really know about the issues it dealt with until after reading the manga. It’s also quite a dense story with a lot of emotional scenes and engaging characters and I think the illustrations really helped enhance this experience! There were some scenes without even any dialogue and they still managed to make me feel some type of way. The way this manga was structured, the dialogue and the narration made it incredibly easy to follow the story and I genuinely think that this adaptation has fully encompassed the original classic even though I haven’t even read it yet!

The way they went about this adaptation was so simple yet if you dug a little deeper you would explore the complexity of each of these characters and you would find a lot of little details that under any other circumstances you wouldn’t pay much attention to. Within the short span of this adaptation you could see the development of each of our characters and also the development of the relationships. Again I haven’t read the original classic but I found that the dialogue was powerful, engaging and I honestly couldn’t put this down once I started reading it!

If you’ve never read manga, or you’ve read The Scarlet Letter and would be interested in seeing a strong adaptation of the story I HIGHLY recommend you check this out! I CANNOT wait to read the Pride and Prejudice adaption!!!!

 

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The Monogram Murders: Review

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Title: The Monogram Murders

Author: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie

Published: September 2014

Length:  400 pages

Source: Bought

My ratings: 7/10

 

I’ve read a ridiculous amount of crime thrillers/mysteries and the problem I tend to find is that they are not as interactive as I would like. As a reader I would love to be able to try and solve the crime as the characters are! I found that this book did that quite well to an extent…

Here’s the synopsis:

‘Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered, a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…’

I understand that this is not Agatha Christies work, after this I would actually be quite interested in seeing her writing style and how she goes about uncovering clues of a complex mystery. I liked the writing style of Sophie Hannah but I think that there are some things I didn’t quite agree with.

Hercule Poirot was of course created by Agatha Christie but I believe she decided to scrap writing about him for some reason im not too sure about. As there always is in these kind of novels we have a genius detective and his side kick in this case Ed Catchpool. I’ll just dive into the review:

Characters: I loved Hercule Poirot and Ed Catchpool as individual characters but as a duo dynamic I weren’t the biggest fan of their relationship. We always have a kind of medium between the reader and the crazy detective to keep the reader constantly engaged and I guess make them feel less stupid. All the observations Ed Catchpool would make were ones the average reader would make! But for me the relationship didn’t really work, it felt quite awkward and throughout the whole case Catchpool is just trying to impress Poirot. Again I really enjoyed the characters as individuals, their thought processes, the contrast in the way they approach certain events but I didn’t feel like they belonged together…

Plot: As I said in the beginning I really enjoy books that are interactive, especially crime thrillers. From the beginning to about half way that was done quite well. As a reader you felt like you had enough information to start up your own investigation into this case. What I weren’t the biggest fan of was that we had too much going on. I know I say this a lot in my reviews but I was genuinely confused over halfway through the book. You know how usually the author would include a potential suspect just to throw you off the actual one, or provide an alternative theory to distract you from a more credible explanation? This book over did it. We had too many characters being introduced, each one acting suspiciously and at that point I gave up trying to predict who it was going to be… Also the theory changed every five seconds, I couldn’t keep up with which one sounded more credible and I just got VERY confused.

I know this review sounds for the most part critical but it’s only because I saw that the book had great potential! If you’re looking for a crime/mystery that will really challenge you, ( I mean REALLY) I would recommend you read this!

(My review for the Manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter should be up on Thursday)

Genre specific blog?

I debated on whether it was necessary to upload this post or not but here it goes!

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I notice that quite a few book blogs are very specific, maybe they only review YA literature, or romance novels , contemporaries etc. You may have noticed that the latest review I posted was indeed a comic book review. My next review will be a Manga I recently received for review and my review for the book The Monogram Murders should be coming out on Sunday. My point is, I created this blog without a specific genre in mind to review or a specific format ( comic book/graphic novel/ Manga) and I have decided that I want it to stay that way! I love reading, whether its books or comic books, crime thrillers or sci-fi/fantasy I pretty much enjoy reading anything!

I’m rambling again…. BASICALLY I just wanted to let my viewers know that if you do follow this blog expect reviews of anything! Once my exams are done (end of June) I will hopefully have more time to dedicate to changing the structure of my blog and making it easier to navigate to what you are interested in seeing (I understand that at this point everything is everywhere…). Thank you for understanding and choosing to follow me even though my blog may not be the best looking or the most organised, however if thee shall bear with me a little longer thee shall soon have a better blog to read! (Note the ‘thee’ is not a mistake! See, I may not be able to guarantee beautiful graphics but who else is going to be spontaneous enough to switch to Old English mid-sentence!)

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*I read a Manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter and my review should be up before the end of this week, alongside my review for The Monogram Murders!*

Paper Girls Vol. 1: Review

61rBRmlmFYL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Paper Girls Vol. 1

Published by :Image Comics

Publication date: April 5th 2016

By Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Illustrator), Matthew Wilson (Illustrator), Jared K. Fletcher (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Artist), Cliff Chiang (Artist)

Source: Received copy from publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This is about a group of 12 year old paper girls who come across some weird stuff on Halloween. I mean WEIRD. It’s set in 1988 and I think that’s why I was even more interested, it had a very nostalgic feel about it. In this review I won’t include any spoilers and I’ll also take into account that this is just the first volume.

I’d like to start talking about the pacing of this volume, for me I found it quite difficult to keep up. This is a Sci-fi/fantasy comic so I understand that the concepts introduced are going to be strange and peculiar but I feel that we have too many of these sci-fi elements introduced that it’s a bit overwhelming. I found that I was almost at the end of the volume but I still couldn’t draw a link between them which left me slightly confused… I also think another factor that contributed to my confusion was that we are constantly being introduced to new characters.

In terms of characters, I loved the range of personalities we have within this group of girls but I do wish that we could explore them a little more. Each character is so unique and complex and holds such a different view from the rest of the girls that at times it felt a bit jarring to be reading a scene where they were all present. But by the end of this volume I had a general feel for each character so hopefully that will help me understand volume 2 a bit more.

The unusual nature of this comic really made me want to read more, I really wanted to see where this story was going, and perhaps an explanation to what on earth is going on! One thing I will say is that it ended on a cliff-hanger that left me searching for the next volume! I do understand that this is the first volume so I am not drawing any conclusions about this series but I am hoping the next volumes focus less on introducing more concepts and perhaps more on world-building and explaining what happened in the first! It was definitely an entertaining read with illustrations that did fit the general tone of the story and quite bizarre concepts that I want to know more about so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for volume 2!

Updated TBR

After blogging for around 4 months I thought it was about time I started looking for ARCs, I really had no hope of receiving any because, well because of all the other SUCCESSFUL book bloggers. I had heard of Netgalley when reading reviews on blogs and seeing that they were provided by them so I signed up and was ready to go! Again I genuinely did not think that I would receive any books but I thought there would be no harming in requesting a few anyway! I woke up the next morning to find a few emails saying that my request was approved and I now had access to these books! Yes I say multiple books because… okay well here’s the thing as I said I had no idea I would get approved for any books so I requested the a few books I REALLY wanted to read and review, fortunately I now have these copies and an extended TBR ( I’m NOT complaining!)

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

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Elementals :The Blood Of Hydra by Michelle Madow

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Papergirls volume 1

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I picked up The Monogram Murders because it had been on my shelf for too long and I hadn’t read a crime/mystery in a while (and just look at that cover!)

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Me Before You: Mini-Review

Let me start by saying something I haven’t seen mentioned in the reviews for this book, it’s funny. It’s a book where the jokes actually made me laugh, as in out loud (I tried reading this whilst on the bus, I actually think I looked kind of crazy, laughing hysterically at one page and visibly upset by the next…)! It’s a beautiful read that has you completely invested in the fate of these characters, you can’t help but care about what happens to Will and Louisa.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I’m here for all these action-packed, dramatic thrillers/mystery’s and what have you. So initially I really didn’t think this book would be my cup of tea. But oh… it is! Everything from the characters, to the relationships involved in this book just made you never want to let go of this world, even if it breaks your heart to a million pieces. What I really liked about this book was that we got an insight into Louisa’s family life, we got to understand the environment she grew up, her relationship with her family and how much they depend on each other. I can’t possibly say anymore without blurting out a spoiler but I HIGHLY recommend you read this book!

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Questions by readers:

  1. Does this book have ableism in it,
  2. Who is ‘me’ and who is ‘you’ in this book?
  3. Why was Lou able to break through to Will when no one else could? What attracted Will to Lou?
  4. How did Lou’s incident in the maze shape her and how does it compare to how Wills accident shaped him/determined his future?

 

  1. I definitely did not see that this book supported ableism in any way, shape or form. I think if anything it showed that there is a community that you can always connect with, no matter what you’re suffering from, not matter how bad it seems, there are other people going through the same thing who maybe have a different perspective and who you may be able to find comfort in talking to. I do understand this point however ‘why does he always encourage Lou to do better, move on to bigger plans whilst he doesn’t actively try to make a change in his’? That did frustrate me quite a bit at the beginning, because you really want to tell him, why don’t you take your own advice for once, right? Here’s my viewpoint, I can never know what he’s going through, no one knows what quadriplegics have to endure, the physical/emotional pain, no matter how hard I try to imagine I can NEVER come close to even really understanding what people have to go through. Having said that I think what Jojo Moyes is trying to get through is that not everything has a sparkly happy ending, in real life things go differently, people can adjust to changes but they may not be happy with how they have to live.
  2. I believe Me Before You refers to Louisa before she met Will, it’s to emphasise the impact he’s had on her life.
  3. This was actually a good question. As you read on you can see that Will hasn’t come across a lot of Louisa’s during his time. He tried to push her away during the beginning but slowly he started warming to her. In my opinion it’s because Louisa UNDERSTANDS Will. She knows he doesn’t want her pity, she knows when to give him space and she also knows that she doesn’t have to tiptoe around him, she could be just as sarcastic and snarky to him as he is to her. Will after his accident has been so used to people doing the opposite of this, always feeling sorry for him, consistently asking if there’s anything he needs, basically being too attentive. With Louisa I guess he feels ‘normal’, or he feels more like the Will before the accident? I don’t know if what I’m saying makes sense but that’s what I personally gleaned from this.
  4. It’s really interesting to see that they both have different coping mechanisms. We don’t really know much about Louisa’s personality before her incident in the maze, but present day Louisa is ridiculously cheerful, always optimistic but has also closed off. She’s become someone who’d much rather stay in her comfort zones even if it means not pursuing a career/life she’d be happier living! With Will it’s the complete opposite, we have a character who’s been making the most of every moment in his life and he can’t imagine living any other way. Which is why (understandably) he becomes depressed, closed off and pretty much suicidal after his accident.

I apologise that this took so long to post, I just couldn’t bring myself to rewrite everything and I kept avoiding it! I have an updated TBR that I should be posting on Monday, so if you want to know what reviews I will be posting in the next couple of weeks keep an eye out for that!

Intimidating TBR pile tag!

This tag was originally made by Lindsay Ven (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UdCveZR5cI), I tagged myself because, why not? I haven’t done these in a WHILE so here we go!

What book are you unable to finish?

CITY OF LOST SOULS! Dear God I’ve tried SO hard, SO hard! It’s just not happening, and I bought Lady Midnight the week it was released so that should be motivation enough to finish it, right? Nope. I’m thinking of taking a break from TMI series and coming back to it maybe during the summer.

What book have you yet to read because you don’t have the time?

I could legit put ALL my books into this pile but I’m going to go with a series here, TID. I’ve heard SO many good things about this series, SO many! Some saying it’s even better than TMI, but I just can’t start an entire trilogy at this point!

It’s a sequel?

I don’t currently have any sequels in my TBR (apart from CoLS)

Its brand new?

Gone by Michael Grant

You read a book by the same author and you didn’t enjoy it?

A Court Of Thorns and Roses. ( I can hear the gasps through my laptop!) I just didn’t understand the hype about TOG. BUT I did say at the end of my review for TOG that I would still like to try some of her other work, who knows maybe I’ll like ACOTAR?

You’re just not in the mood for it?

Twilight. There’s just TOO much hype/criticism associated with this book, I can’t even. I didn’t even buy the novel I bought the graphic novel but I still don’t really feel like picking it up…

Its humongous?

Oh dear, this one as soon as I saw it I instantly knew what book would fit here perfectly. That would be… War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. 1024 pages! The TV show adaptation came out a few months ago and I LOVED IT. But I didn’t really know it was based on a book so I think I can get away with that?

Me and my friend were out and one of the actors from the show was walking past, I don’t even know what happened, I guess I didn’t internalise my thoughts. I just STARED at him (plus I’m kind of short sighted) and in my mind I’m like omg its him? No it can’t be? No its actually him? Whilst that’s happening I was basically pointing at the poor dude the entire time and I just yelled out OMG ITS YOU! He just flinched and walked right past… The humiliation! I was so mortified for the rest of the day I would just randomly shout OMG ITS YOU!  (I don’t even know if that made sense because I’m just frantically typing hoping that this’ll make the memory fade away…)

What is the most intimidating book on your TBR pile?

I bought this book quite a while ago and I’ve just not been brave enough to pick it up… Rogues.

Heres the synopsis from amazon:

‘Commissioned by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, these twenty-one all-original stories by a rogues gallery of bestselling authors will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. Featuring stories by Joe Abercrombie Daniel Abraham David W. Ball Paul Cornell Bradley Denton Phyllis Eisenstein Gillian Flynn Neil Gaiman Matthew Hughes Joe R. Lansdale Scott Lynch Garth Nix Cherie Priest Patrick Rothfuss Steven Saylor Michael Swanwick Lisa Tuttle Carrie Vaughn Walter Jon Williams Connie Willis and George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand new Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of the Ice and Fire saga.’

To me that is the most intimidating blurb I’ve ever read. This book has so many great authors and was commissioned by frigging George R.R Martin, which means my expectations are through the roof for the short stories inside! Also I never know the best way to read these kinds of books. I feel like I should pick up a short story each week, that way it’ll feel less overwhelming.

I thought I’d post something a little different seeing as all I post are book hauls and reviews, I don’t really have a lot of time to sit down and just think up blog ideas, but soon come summer and I shall flourish in my creativeness (I’m rambling again, whats new?). So in the meantime I thought I’d take part in some tags. What are some other posts you would like to see? Please leave suggestions down below!

Blood Princess: Review

Blood Princess by Rebecca Piercey

Title: Blood Princess

Author: Rebecca Piercey

Published: March 31st 2016

Length:  234 pages

Source: Received for review

My ratings:5/10

Anyone who reads the blurb of this book would definitely be interested by at least what route this story will take. Whilst just flipping through the pages to get a general structure for the book I also noticed that it alternated between perspectives, Laura and Shane’s. I don’t know about you but I find it absolutely pointless when the same book is published twice just to get a different perspective! I am sorry but I cannot afford to pay for the same story just from someone else’s view and I will most definitely not sit down and read it! So I thought it was really refreshing to see how each character handles the same situation!

I would like to start by saying I wish the blurb didn’t have as much as it did on it. I would have enjoyed it more if the blurb had only half the content it did, because there were moments within the book (towards the beginning) that the blurb has already spoiled for you. It is a short read, only 234 pages so I think that’s where a lot of the problems for me stem from. I really liked the beginning it was a captivating start to this story and it gave the reader an impression of our main character Laura.  When a story makes the main protagonist an assassin, for me I really need to be able to see this character as one. Her mentality, her physical/mental strength, her personality and for me, at the beginning this book made Laura quite a credible assassin. No spoilers but I would most definitely not mess with this one or even get anywhere near her. However as the story progresses we see her wall slowly slipping away, both due to certain events that she’s been through and the people she surrounds herself with.

Characters: The main problem I feel with this book is that its too short! We don’t have enough time for the development of our characters, we also don’t have enough time for the development of various relationships within this book so everything lacks a bit of complexity and results in me not being able to connect with each character as I would have liked to! The one relationship I really did love was between Laura and her brother, throughout this we can see that they have a pretty much indestructible bond, no matter what happens they both have each others backs! BUT I would have still loved it if the other relationships in the book were more established.

Plot: This is one of those action-packed books that I LOVE. Within every chapter something is happening! Having said that, I think it was slightly too fast-paced, again I think that comes down to the length of the book and having to fit so much into it. It could’ve balanced between the action and developing the characters/story a bit more because I felt like every other page had too much going on! I enjoyed the ending, probably one of my favourite endings I have read this year! I also like how the author went about the ending, she challenged the characters involved more ( really trying not to blurt out a spoiler right now!).

Overall it was a decent book, with some plot twists I couldn’t see coming and main characters that don’t blend in with every other YA fantasy! I loved the writing style and the action but would’ve liked a bit more from our characters, it all seemed a little too rushed!

FREE COMIC BOOKS?

Well yes that may have been a title deliberately used to grab your attention but now that you’re here, it’s not a joke!

I may be the only person who just found out about this but nonetheless I want to share this with you guys so you can make the most of it too…

Every year , the first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. I’m not joking it’s seriously a thing! I will link the actual website down below but basically there are comic book stores around the world that on this particular day will give away free comic books! You can find out if there are any participating stores with their store locator here: Store Locator
This is an international event but not all comic book stores participate. I’m from London and I found around 8/9 comic book stores that are! Honestly I don’t even read comic books but I thought this may be a great way to start!

Click this link for their website!

(Not sponsored, I’m just someone who loves freebies 😅 and hey, its comic books!)

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March Book Haul

Books I bought:

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• Bones To Ashes by Kathy Reichs
• The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde
• The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory
• Crimson Rooms by Katharine McManon
• The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
• Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
• Twilight (graphic novel) by Stephenie Meyer and art and adaptation by Young Kim
• Gone by Michael Grant
• Queen’s Gambil by Eizabeth Fremantle
• 2nd Chance by James Patterson
• Dead Gone by Luca Veste
• The Affair by Gill Paul
• Ascend by Amanda Hocking
• Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
• Desperation by Stephen King
• The Venus Throw by Steven Taylor
• New moon (audiobook) by Stephenie Meyer

And of course one of the most anticipated releases of the month Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire.

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Books received for review:

  • Unmarked Vampire by Belinda Laj

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  • Blood Princess by Rebecca Piercey

Blood Princess by Rebecca Piercey

Books won in giveaways:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

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Death of an owl by Paul Torday

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