Manga Review: ReLife

ReLife (Riraifu) (リライフ)
Original Story by
 Yayoi Sou
Art by Yayoi Sou
Published by NHN Japan (online) from 2013 to 2018
Genres: [Shoujo] Slice of Life, School, Comedy
Volumes: 9
Chapters:
222
Status of manga:
 Completed*
My rating for the anime: 8/10
My rating for the live action: 4.5/10

*Review based on entire manga series

MAL Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

Purchase links are not available because, as of when this review is published, this manga has yet to be officially serialized in English. However, you can still read this online with fan-subs.

4.5 Stars, Completed March 11, 2018
(Originally: Completed September 18, 2016 at ch. 144)

– SPOILER free –

If at some point in life, you made a mistake or kept failing over and over again, and you can’t help but think it’s useless and you’re a good for nothing; remember, you’re only taking a detour. And I’m sure further along your path there will come a day where you think, “It was a good life experience.” That’s why it’ll be fine.

I’m bringing this old review back to life (no pun intended) because this series has finally reached its end and I really miss it (especially after watching ReLife: The Final Arc, which recently released in the States). Plus, I didn’t think my mini-review on Goodreads in 2016 conveyed my thoughts well enough or gave this incredible series the spotlight it deserves.

This was the only manga (or I guess I should say webtoon) that I followed so faithfully every Sunday for several years.

Before my first fall semester of pharmacy school, (no clue why I thought this was a good idea but) I had a fabulous one day anime marathon of ReLife (because for some unknown reason the entire season was leaked by TMS Entertainment in one night). I had such a fun time with the show that I immediately had to do some research and found the webtoon to further indulge in the engaging storyline. And, no surprise, I found the manga to be even better!

ReLife follows the story of 27 year old Arata Kaizaki, a guy that can’t find a job due to his departure from his previous employer only three months after employment. Then he meets Ryou Yoake who offers Arata a second chance through a program called ReLife. ReLife is designed to reintroduce NEETs (Those “Not in Education, Employment, and Training”) back into society by physically transforming them (via a pill) into their youthful forms and having them return to high school, where the company believes the root of many NEETs’ problems began, for one year. During the experiment, the subjects actually attend a real high school with real young students, and all expenses are covered. At the end of the one year study, all evidence of the subject’s existence will be erased from his/her peers’ memories. The only catch is that the subjects are not allowed to talk about the company, program, or process; and if they do, the experiment will end and the subject’s memory will be erased.

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Manga Shelf Tour

Hi there! I’ve wanted to do a post like this for some time now and if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’d know that I haven’t read that many books since 2018 started. Instead, I’ve resorted to reading more manga and comics.

It might be hard to believe but I actually wasn’t always into this genre. In fact, it wasn’t until high school did I read my very first one, which was Vampire Knight (good times, lol). And back then, I wasn’t even completely on board because up until last year I had only completed about a handful of series. Anyway, I’m not sure what was the catalyst for this somewhat sudden interest but here’s a look of my current collection.

As for favorites… I read a lot of the more romantic ones or shoujo (stories that are targeted for young girls). I really love Dengeki Daisy, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet (ongoing), Horimiya (ongoing), ReLife, and Skip Beat (ongoing). (If I’m being totally the honest, the last one is dragging a bit being one that’s been ongoing for over fifteen years; I’m ready for some closure. >.>)

I might create a manga recommendations post, like “if you liked this YA book, you’d like this manga series,” someday. With my sporadic blogging I guess we’ll have to see though.

Anyhow, I hope you guys enjoy the photos as much as I had fun taking them! I’m so proud of these shelves, honestly. :’)

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I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on May 30, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | BD

1.5 Stars, Completed September 24, 2017

– read bold text ONLY to avoid MAJOR SPOILERS –

There’s been so much Asian rep lately with the hype around Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, so I thought I’d share an old, belated review before the month’s end. However, to my dismay, I didn’t enjoy this title nearly as much as I did CRA (in theater) and TAtBILB (my current read).

Real love: It was all about risk and having faith. There were no guarantees.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is about hardworking perfectionist and star student, Desi Lee, and her plans of wooing her crush… not the traditional way but through the guidance of her beloved Korean dramas (catty girl fights, car crashes, and all). She’s certain that her K-drama list of to-do’s will win over Luka Drakos, because everyone surrenders to the magic of a good time-stopping, romantic straight out of a K-drama scene. But after a crazy turn of events, she realizes that love may be more complex and beyond simply “using a formula.” Desi may need to just learn to trust her heart and the process of falling it love itself (minus the drama and flair shown in films).

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

9781780622309-crooked-kingdom-by-leigh-bardugoCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2 (2/2)
Published by Orion Children’s Books on September 27, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 536
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

4 Stars, Completed October 16, 2016

– read bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

Oh my gosh, I’m a little horrified that I waited over a year to finally write this review…

Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.

Crooked Kingdom is the second and final installment to the Six of Crows duology. Kaz and his crew have just pulled a deadly heist. Instead of becoming wealthy and free after the mission as they had hoped, they find themselves scrambling to survive after been double crossed. It doesn’t help that they’re missing a member and strong forces are making a move on Ketterdem for the secrets of the dangerous drug jurda parem. But Kaz has a plan, and the team won’t stop until they get their revenge and redemption.

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Bookshelf Tour (May 2018)

Hi there! I’ve really, really slacked off this past year and haven’t been been blogging. Aside from book reviews, one of my favorite posts to share in the past were my book hauls. (Shameless plug: I do most of my hauls though my Instagram story these days though!) Anyway, I think my last one was around this time of the year, and I sort of miss doing them! And since there’s no way I can recall all the books I’ve bought in the last 365 days… I decided to share an updated bookshelf tour (which will just show all of my books – new and old) instead. Now that I think about it, my last tour was from early 2017 so this was probably overdue anyway. Also since my last bookshelf post, I actually unhauled a bunch (like 100 books). I’ll also include a picture of those but I have the titles turned away from the camera; mainly because it was for an Instagram photo and I can’t retake it now because I’ve since given away those books. :’) But yeah! That’s all I have for this preface. I hope you guys like the pictures! (Feel free to enlarge the photos by clicking on them.)

P.S. Everything, for the most part, is by genre and then split into subgenres. However, the manga section is alphabetical, with all the Hayao Miyazaki works in “H” and Makoto Shinkai works in “M.”

P.P.S. Also, not pictured are ones I have out on my desk (TID series, Queen of Shadows, The Shape of Water, and Almost Impossible)

the unhauled

schwab / magic / immortals / necromancy

ya high fantasy / fae / badass females fantasy

marine / angels / fairy tales / some fae

some hp / shadowhunters / vampires

shapeshifters / animals / grishaverse / harry potter

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milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
Published by Createspace on November 4, 2014
Genres: [Adult] Nonfiction, Poetry, Feminism
Pages: 204
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

3.5 Stars, Completed July 29, 2017

– SPOILER free –

Milk and honey is a book I’ve wanted to pick up for some time now.
I‘ve noticed it around the blogosphere, bookstagram, and Goodreads.
Literally at every bookstore I’ve visited the last couple of months, this would be advertised as the #1 bestseller.
Knowing that there was immense popularity surrounding milk and honey, I was wary.

And so today I decided to take a chance and settled in my reading nook to finally see what the hype was about.
Now, I understand why many love milk and honey.
Despite this statement though, I’m going to have to admit that I, personally, did find it to be slightly underwhelming honestly.

Hence why I couldn’t give this a full 5 stars.
Of course the prose and illustrations were aesthetically pleasing, and there were many pieces that moved and even resonated with me.
Not to mention, I was 100% on board with Rupi Kaur’s beliefs and intent the entire way.
Even though the writer’s/poet’s/artist’s passion is very apparent and her artful pieces can speak to readers, the fact that this was written in the form of poetry just probably wasn’t for me.
Yes, this book is raw, beautiful, and powerful, but it isn’t one that can convert non-poetry fans to ones that like poetry as I was secretly hoping.

TL;DR: There was certainly an allure while reading milk and honey because of the messages Kaur conveys within the pages, but overall this book as a whole itself didn’t live up to my expectations. Poetry might just be something I’ll never grow to appreciate, I guess. Therefore, for me, milk and honey felt both disconnected yet connected at the same time, as contradicting as that sounds. (Disjointing because of the style but cohesive with the ideologies and politics, if that makes sense.)

And indeed, I did choose to write my review in an (extremely elementary) acrostic poem this time. (Although, I’m quite pleased with it seeing as I’m not at all a poet. Hah.)


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Manga Review: Daytime Shooting Star

Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei) (ひるなかの流星)
Original Story by
 Mika Yamamori
Art by Mika Yamamori
Published by Margaret from 2011 to 2014
Genres: [Shoujo] Romance, School
Volumes: 12
Chapters:
86
Status of manga:
 Completed*
[Edit 3/11/2018] My rating for the live action: 8/10

*Review based on entire manga series

MAL Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

Purchase links are not available because, as of when this review is published, this manga has yet to be officially serialized in English. However, you can still read this online with fan-subs.

3 Stars, Completed July 3, 2017

– read the bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

He emitted a light as bright as that of a falling star…

Daytime Shooting Star is a high school romance centering around the story of a teenage girl named Suzume Yosano that moves to Tokyo from a small town to reside with her uncle after her father’s job transfer. Upon her arrival to the city she meets a mysterious young gentleman that helps her reach her uncle’s place. Though she learns that this man is an acquaintance of her uncle’s she remains skeptical of this happy go lucky guy and tries to avoid him after their first encounter… but it looks like this will be harder done than said considering he’s her homeroom teacher at her new school.

Having read the entire series-all 12 volumes (which is roughly 80 chapters)-in the span of three days, there’s clearly an addictive quality to Daytime Shooting Star. And the sole reason why I think it was so compelling to read was because (dare I say it) the love triangle.

I might be the black sheep with this confession but I’ve actually never been one that disliked love triangles if done well. My biggest annoyances with the bad ones have been when A) the triangle itself was completely unnecessary and could have been avoided but was there to add unwanted drama B) it became blatantly apparent who the protagonist would choose at the end early on and/or C) the author decided to take a cop-out and villainized one party so that the lead female would alternatively get together with the seemingly “nice guy.”

Luckily, there was none of that nonsense with Daytime Shooting Star. Instead, it excelled at the push and pull aspect of these sort of romances but in balanced moderation to minimize readers’ frustration. It was also pretty obscure throughout the entire series who the heroine would eventually pick. In fact, the mystery of the outcome was this manga’s greatest charm, in my opinion.

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Book Haul: March – June 2017 (And Some of July)

Oh my goodness, it’s been ages since I’ve posted a book haul. Therefore today I’ll be showing the bookish loot I’ve gotten over the previous few months. Indeed, I did attempt the falling books concept again because (surprisingly) it was such a big hit the last time I tried it.

Another thing to note is the amount of books I bought in a span of months! Knowing how ridiculous I can get… Gosh, what a feat! In addition, I didn’t purchase a single bookmark during this period, which is also not the norm. (Well one bookmark set did come in a subscription box which I did order… but that doesn’t count in my opinion!)

And that’s pretty much all I have to say in the preface. So, without further ado, the photos. 😉

Preorders

When I originally started this series a few months ago I had no idea that ACoWaR would be the last book in the series and that the next remaining installments were set to be spin-offs set in the same world but in the perspectives of the supporting characters. I am so relieved to learn of this news because I didn’t think the plot could drag on any more than one additional sequel. As you can imagine after liking ACoMaF so much, I preordered this title. But I haven’t started book three just yet mainly because I want to write my reviews for the first two books first before I begin that one.

I got this for two reasons: it received so many glowing reviews from reviewers I trust and I have a lot of South Asian friends. I wouldn’t mind buddy reading this with someone so if you want to be my partner let me know!

I read an eARC of this one but I had to place my preorder anyway. Because, I mean, it’s Sarah Dessen. I couldn’t break tradition and not buy it.

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

imgSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #1 (1/2)
Published by Henry Holt & Co. on September 29, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 462
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

5 Stars, Completed October 5, 2016

– read bold text only to avoid major SPOILERS –

It took me long enough but I’m putting my foot down and making an effort to get out of this book reviewing rut I’ve been in. It’s time to finally cover my thoughts on Six of Crows, which I read over half a year ago.

The best way to describe how much I loved this story is by stating that there are few YA books that make me wish I was able to experience reading for the first time again and Six of Crows has squeezed itself into this small, exclusive list. (In case you were wondering, this list only had the Harry Potter series and The Infernal Devices trilogy.) Six of Crows isn’t quite same caliber as Harry Potter (in my opinion), but it’s high enough up there that I’d consider this a new YA fantasy favorite of mine.

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You know it’s serious when I include an Exo gif in my review.

The writing was so brilliant, the cast comprised of badass antiheros, and the story and world building was far better than Bardugo’s predecessor series, the Grisha trilogy (which is saying something since I thoroughly enjoyed that one as well).

No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’

Six of Crows is still a part of the Grishaverse and takes place a couple of years after Ruin and Rising, the final installment of The Grisha trilogy. However, it introduces a completely new set of characters, specifically six of the deadliest outcasts of Ketterdam, the dank capital of Kerch known to be the central hub for international trade but also home to multiple criminal organizations. And the story chronicles the journey of this unstoppable crew as they take on a suicide mission to complete a near-impossible heist, breaking into the notoriously secure Ice Court and retrieving a hostage.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t

Hey all! I’ve fallen into a blogging (and reading) slump of sorts hence why I haven’t been that active on here these past few weeks, but I hope that you all are doing well and having a swell June so far. Anyway, today I thought I’d make a brief comeback by posting a Top Ten Tuesday post because I find that bookish memes are perfect remedies for blogging slumps. Plus, the last time I participated in a Top Ten Tuesday feature was… back in October 2016.

And in case you haven’t heard of Top Ten Tuesday before, it’s a weekly feature created by the team at The Broke and the Bookish where book bloggers can share a list of books that pertain to a theme or prompt. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start but Haven’t.” But because my TBR pile is sky high I’ll actually be including more than 10 series in mine… Don’t judge. XD

I haven’t read any Patrick Ness but of all the sci-fi series on my TBR list the Chaos Walking trilogy is my most anticipated one to read since the reviews on Goodreads promise that this series is nothing short of superb. I’ve also heard that it induces a rollercoaster of feels for readers, too.

To my great shock, I still haven’t started my copy of Lady Midnight. I preordered it back when it first came out in early 2016, but, unfortunately, I never made time for it. This is a big surprise to me since The Infernal Devices trilogy is my ALL TIME FAVORITE YA fantasy series. (Jem Carstairs is my bae.) And I loved The Mortal Instruments series when I read it as a teenager. (Believe it or not, I was Clary’s age then. Gee, time sure flies.) Anyway, I don’t plan to prolong returning to the shadowhunter world for much longer though. Lady Midnight is in my TBR pile for this summer!

I didn’t exactly love A Court of Thorns and Roses and I found A Court of Mist and Fury problematic but way more enjoyable than book 1 all the sex scenes aside. (You guys know that I’m quite a prude and can’t appreciate NA or graphic sex in books… Those explicit, mature romances just aren’t for me apparently.) I know that the Throne of Glass series is Sarah J. Maas’ YA fantasy series so I believe there should be a more mild romance with. Despite the polarizing opinions I’ve seen surfacing around the blogosphere about this series, I’m looking forward to reading it sometime soon.

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