Manga Review: Waiting for Spring Vol. 12 by Anashin

Title: Waiting for Spring Vol. 12
Author: Anashin
Genre: YA Manga / Romance / Contemporary
Publication Date: December 31st, 2019
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Waiting for Spring manga volume 12 features story and art by Anashin. Mizuki is a shy girl who’s about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys’ basketball team weren’t exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet the five quickly hit it off. Will true love ultimately find Mizuki in this latest volume?” (Goodreads)

I am very happy with how this manga series has went! I just love Towa and Mitsuki together. I am on the hype train for them! There are still some issues that arise but it is nothing that they can’t handle together. They would both do anything for each other. It’s precious!

I’m also excited to see that Aya is still in the game even if his feelings weren’t matched by Mitsuki. He still wants what is best for her. It’s also cool that Towa tries to be friends with him even if Aya is hesitant. Their enemies friendship is hilarious and I love it.

There is also another romantic relationship at stake and that is where the manga ended with a huge cliffhanger! I’m glad that the next volume is already out because I need to what will happen for Nana-chan and Rui.

Overall, another sweet volume. They are all precious and I can’t wait to continue.

Arc Review: The Charmed List by Julie Abe

Title: The Charmed List
Author: Julie Abe
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance / Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: July 5th, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List—thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. She’s looking forward to riding rollercoasters, making her art Instagram public (maybe), and going on an epic road-trip with her best friend Lia.

But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Instead of a road trip with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.

In The Charmed List, Julie Abe sweeps readers away to a secret magical world, complete with cupcakes and tea with added sparks of joy, and an enchanted cottage where you can dance under the stars.” (Goodreads)

Ever since seeing this cover on Instagram I knew I needed to read it! I’m a sucker for a good cover. Although this book wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, it was still a fun read with tropes that I enjoy.

The book is told from the perspective of Ellie Kobata. She is very much an introvert which is something that I could relate to. She also has a secret world around her filled with magic. I guess I must not have read the blurb before requesting or maybe forgot, but the magical aspect came as a surprise to me. Haha. I didn’t realize this was a rom-com mixed with urban fantasy. It took me a bit to get into because of it, not because it was bad, just had to get my head wrapped around it all!

Ellie has a great relationship with her friend Lia. They do everything together and are always there for one another. This friendship does hit a bump but I liked seeing where it would go and how they would work it out in the end. The biggest relationship change in the book is between Ellie and Jack. They didn’t always start out as enemies, although I guess you could say it’s more one-sided, but it has changed how they have interacted. It was fun to have them go on a road trip together because it made time for them to try and understand one another’s perspective on their whole messed up relationship. It also made for great moments!

Although I did like a majority of the book, it’s still hard for me to fully get into a urban fantasy/magical realism style plot. This has nothing to do with the book and is solely a me thing.

Overall, this was a fun read and I can see it being a hit for so many people!

WWW Wednesday | 6-22-22

Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I am still working on Babel by R.F. Kuang. I am hoping to finish it this week.

The audiobooks I am working on are The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan and The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander.

The other arc I am working on is Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty. It’s fine so far but nothing has really popped for me yet.

  • The Unmatchmakers by Jackie Lau (arc) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell (audiobook) ⭐⭐

My next audiobook will be When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

My next books will be more arcs, lol. I have so many! The first two will most likely be The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones and The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen.

What is your current read? Are you loving it? Have you read or want to read any that I have listed? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Goodreads Monday: Dream to Me by Megan Paasch | 6-20-22

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday was hosted and created by Lauren’s Page Turners and has now been taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: Dream to Me
Author: Megan Paasch
Genre: YA Contemporary / Fantasy
Publication Date: January 31st, 2023
Publisher: Feiwel Friends

From debut author Megan Paasch comes Dream to Me, a YA contemporary fantasy about generational magic, grief, and what it takes to forgive ourselves.

Eva Sylvan didn’t ask for any of this. Not the cross-country move with her sister to a town in the middle of nowhere, not the family estate, inherited from a late great-aunt, that’s falling apart at the hinges, and definitely not the sudden death of her beloved father. So when the locals react with hostility to the very mention of her last name, Eva’s pretty sure things can’t get any worse.

Until she has a dream about a gas station employee and the next day, he’s in a coma.

Until it happens again.

Something sinister is lurking in the corners of Eva’s dreams, something that’s having devastating effects on the waking world. People are dropping left and right, and Eva finds herself squarely in the town’s crosshairs. In order to defeat the shadows of her unconscious, Eva must not only unearth the magic tied to her family history, but she must confront the guilt that has been haunting her since her father’s death. Only she can save the town from the dark power in her dreams – if the threat is truly even her dreams at all.” (Goodreads)

Does this one sound like something you would read?

I got an email for this one over the weekend and I am excited to read another series by her!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring Vol. 11 by Anashin

Title: Waiting for Spring Vol. 11
Author: Anashin
Genre: YA Manga / Romance / Contemporary
Publication Date: July 25th, 2019
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“It’s time for the New Team Tournament, and the stakes are high. If Seiryo wins, the basketball team’s ban on dating will be lifted, and if Mitsuki agrees, she and Towa can finally be an official couple. But then, Towa has a dream that he misses a crucial shot and loses to Aya … Could it be an omen?!” (Goodreads)

Yay for a resolution when it comes to the love triangle! Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed how it played out but I am grateful we will be moving on to the next chapter.

This volume picks up not exactly where the last left off but it gives us the feeling awkwardness that Towa and Mitsuki are feeling when around each other. Their relationship is very much solidified and I really like how Towa would do anything for her even if it meant stepping aside so that she can come to her own conclusion. Even though I like Towa, I do feel a bit bad for Aya. He is a cinnamon roll and I love that he wants the best for Mitsuki too. I mean she would be lucky with either choice, lol.

The competition between them is at an end and I am curious what will be in store for the last three volumes. I can’t believe it is coming to an end!

Overall, this was another great volume.

Arc Review: The Edge of Summer by Erica George

Title: The Edge of Summer
Author: Erica George
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance / Grief
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Saving the whales has been Coriander Cabot and her best friend Ella’s dream since elementary school. But when tragedy strikes, Cor is left to complete the list of things they wanted to accomplish before college alone, including a marine biology internship on Cape Cod.

Cor’s summer of healing and new beginnings turns complicated when she meets Mannix, a local lifeguard who completely takes her breath away. But she knows whatever she has with Mannix might not last, and that her focus should be on rescuing the humpback whales from entanglement. As the tide changes, Cor finds herself distracted and struggling with her priorities.

Can she follow her heart and keep her promise to the whales and her best friend?” (Goodreads)

The cover is definitely what sold me when it came to this one, but also I like whales so there is a second reason haha. There was some great elements in this book, but also ones that were a bit meh for my liking. It’s kind of a mixed bag, still a good story though.

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Coriander Cabot. Cor is dealing with grief/loss after the tragic death of her bestfriend. I have never lost a friend to something tragic, but I do understand grief. It is something that is not easily forgotten and sticks with you many years after. I do enjoy reading books about grief and even though I like the conversation around it this book in particular left me wanting more from it. It reminded me of other books I have read that I either disliked or enjoyed. There are some flashbacks that happen in the middle of a chapter and it can get confusing at times to piece together where things fit in the story. I would have much preferred more seamless transitions.

I would say that grief is the minor plot point and the romance and internship take over a lot more of the plot. I was okay with that so no complaints here. Although the romance is a bit lackluster and wishy-washy, it was still cute and liked seeing the bit of banter between them. The internship was my favorite and I liked learning more about whales as well as seeing Cor in her element. She killed it!

Overall, this was a cute summer read. Cor really struggles with coming to terms with the grief she holds close and realizing she can branch out and have a life without feeling guilty. She makes friends along the way and has an uncle who really cares for her. If you are looking for a new read this summer I’d recommend this one.

Arc Review: Never Coming Home by Kate Williams

Title: Never Coming Home
Author: Kate Williams
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: June 21st, 2022
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Everyone knows Unknown Island—it’s the world’s most exclusive destination. Think white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and luxury accommodations. Plus, it’s invite only, no one over twenty-one allowed, and it’s absolutely free. Who wouldn’t want to go?

After launching with a showstopping viral marketing campaign, the whole world is watching as the mysterious resort opens its doors to the First Ten, the ten elite influencers specifically chosen to be the first to experience everything Unknown Island has to offer. You know them. There’s the gamer, the beauty blogger, the rich girl, the superstar, the junior politician, the environmentalist, the DJ, the CEO, the chef, and the athlete.

What they don’t know is that they weren’t invited to Unknown Island for their following—they were invited for their secrets. Everyone is hiding a deadly one, and it looks like someone’s decided it’s payback time. Unknown Island isn’t a vacation, it’s a trap. And it’s beginning to look like the First Ten—no matter how influential—are never coming home.” (Goodreads)

For me, this book just didn’t do much. I liked the premise of it, especially with them being secluded on an island. Nothing wrong with the setting! It’s just that everything else felt underdeveloped and I just couldn’t get into like I had wanted to.

The book is told from multiple point-of-views and even though I am usually a fan of this, it didn’t work in this book for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that some of the point-of-views are short lived, no pun intended but it is a mystery/ thriller lol. I get that it is bound to happen but it doesn’t give enough time to fully connect to the character. The second reason is I guess part of the first. There is not a lot of time for development and even the suspect is kind of meh on the reasoning for everything that happens.

Like I said previously, I liked the setting. I haven’t read a mystery/thriller set on an island before and it takes away outside presence. It definitely gives off the vibe that it is one of them but its up for the reader to decide.

The mystery, which is obviously the biggest part of the book, was fine. I don’t think it was thrilling in any way and that is due to just not connecting. I thought that some of the things were over the top dramatic and felt silly because it was just blown up way too much. The intended culprit of it all still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I think that there is some interesting information given at the end but it also doesn’t come right out and say who did it. Not my kind of ending but others may enjoy it.

Overall, this was okay but really not what I expected. I’m kind of disappointed by it but I can see others enjoying it especially because it is a shorter read.

Arc Review: Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs

Title: Exactly Where You Need to Be
Author: Amelia Diane Coombs
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance / Mental Health
Publication Date: June 7th, 2022
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Florie’s OCD and her mother’s worrying have kept her from a lot of things, like having an after-school job and getting her driver’s license. And now that she’s graduated high school, while her best friend Kacey is headed off to Portland in the fall, Florie’s taking a parent-sanctioned gap year off before starting college. When the decision was made, Florie was on board, but now she can’t ignore the growing itch to become the person she wants to be and venture outside the quaint, boring Washington town she grew up in.

Winning tickets to see her favorite true crime podcast’s live show in California gives her the opportunity to do just that, if only for a few days. So—unbeknownst to their parents—Kacey and Florie set off on a road trip to San Francisco. The only downside in Florie’s opinion? Sam, Kacey’s older brother and Florie’s forever crush, is their ride. The Samson Hodge, who Florie hasn’t seen since winter break, and who she’d prefer to never see again, if possible. But Florie is willing to put up with Sam if it means one last adventure with her best friend.

Making it to San Francisco and back to Washington without their parents catching on isn’t a given, but one thing is for sure: this trip will change everything.” (Goodreads)

Can I just say that I still love this cover? It’s adorable and the perfect scene for a summer read, especially because the book involves a road trip as well.

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Florie. She has OCD and a mother who is very protective and sometimes takes it too far. I understood both sides of this argument because it’s great to have your independence but as a mother myself, I also want to protect my child and its hard to not be overbearing. At least my child is five, haha.

Florie may not do anything outside of the normal but this is the summer for the possibilities to be endless. Florie and her friend win tickets to see their favorite true crime podcast hosts live and they take the chance for a fun road trip. Her friend Kacey always has her back and nudges her out of her comfort zone. Everyone needs a friend like that. I liked seeing them interact with each other throughout their trip and read about all of the fun things they did. It made me ready for my own trip. If only I was actually going anywhere, haha.

There is a surprise twist with romance involved but I liked the setup to it. It’s not a instant thing and the love interest has been a crush for awhile. They had to talk through a previous instant where they kissed and you could feel the awkwardness they were feeling! Definitely reminded me of being a teen.

The only thing I struggled with was the writing. I’m not sure why but it was hard to mesh with until I got farther into the book.

Overall, this was a cute read. Florie is a great character that goes through growth and finds her own voice. I liked seeing her talk about OCD as well as finding romance along the way.

WWW Wednesday | 6-8-22

Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I am reading quite a bit this time around lol. I am behind when it comes to two arcs that came out yesterday but moving has been a lot.

One of the arcs is For the Throne (Wilderwood #2) by Hannah F. Whitten. I am not very far but I enjoy her writing style and can’t wait to see what happens.

The other arc is Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs. I can definitely relate to the main character when it comes to anxiety but, I’m just not a fan of the writing.

I am also reading Babel by R.F. Kuang. It has taken me awhile, mostly due to moving. The other part is that there is so much info-dump that it is hard to just continuously read. I am 46% through and it’s been slow going with the action as well. It’s very different than her other series. I’m not saying I don’t like it but it’s definitely not a 5 star read for me at the moment.

My audiobook is Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard. I don’t like it, lol. The multiple point-of-views has been confusing and it is a lot of info-dump with very little seeming to happen.

  • The Inheritance Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (audiobook) ⭐⭐✨
  • Those Not-So-Sweet Boys Vol. 6 by Yoko Nogiri (manga) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My next audiobook will be Someday We’ll Find It by Jennifer Wilson. My loan is finally in from the library!

My next books will be more arcs, lol. I have so many! The first two will most likely be Blood and Moonlight by Erin Beaty and The Edge of Summer by Erica George.

What is your current read? Are you loving it? Have you read or want to read any that I have listed? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring Vol. 10 by Anashin

Title: Waiting for Spring Vol. 10
Author: Anashin
Genre: YA Manga / Romance
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Mizuki is a shy girl who’s about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys’ basketball team weren’t exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the caf� where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she’s been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include… love?” (Goodreads)

I have been meaning to get back into this manga series and so here we are! I did it!

The love triangle for the plot has been very long and drawn out. Sometimes I feel like I lose a little bit of interest because it is the same old same old thing happening. I am glad that there has been some feelings shown by Mitsuki to one instead of testing out the waters. I’m hoping that since the series is almost finished that there will be more in the next volume.

I liked the change of scenery and that it wasn’t solely focused on basketball. We got to see them hang out and have fun. It was nice.

I am curious to see what will happen next. It seems that Mitsuki really wants to focus on herself and since character development has slowed down a bit, I’m looking forward to see what happens with her.

Overall, a good volume.