Summing It Up: August – December 2018

Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve last done one of these recaps but I wanted to at least fit one last one before the year ended. XD

The academic semester has wrapped up (thank goodness!). I’ve been out of school for the past two weeks and I’ve spent most of my time of working and spending time with friends. The semester ended with a lot of stress from completing my final fall OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination-essentially a mock MTM (Medication Therapy Management) session where the student reviews a patient case for 10 minutes then goes over the patient’s medications and disease states and make pharmacotherapy recommendations/changes with that pretend patient) to my other 6 final exams. I also had a bunch of presentations (which I fretted over a lot, knowing me).

But! I really believe that my communication skills have improved and my stage fright has lessened substantially with weekly journal clubs and all this semester. I’m also more familiar/comfortable with reading medical literature and interpreting stats than I was before (e.g. when I was one my IPPE rotation this summer-honestly, thinking about how my presentation went down for that is still humiliating and makes me full of regret). Advanced drug information isn’t fun but it’s definitely made me feel a little more prepared for what’s to come next year with P4 rotations.

Speaking of those, I submitted my preferences for my rotations next year earlier this month. And I¬†already know I got an international rotation! November of next year, I’ll be in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve never traveled outside of the States so I’m nervous but ultimately pumped, too. The other rotations that I’m interested in are infectious diseases, pediatrics (particularly NICU), and nuclear pharmacy. Of course, (as expected) I asked for a lot of ambulatory care rotations and few community/retail ones but I also put in a few weird ones like mail order and drug information for my electives since they seem different and odd.

Aside from school, there’s not much else I want to share. I’m still working my two jobs and enjoying my free time when I have it. ūüôā

– What I’ve Been Reading –

If you didn’t gather by now… I’ve been a deep reading slump since the year has started.

Probably one of the best books that I read this year was Uprooted, a fantasy standalone. It totally gave me Howl’s Moving Castle¬†(my favorite Ghibli film) vibes. I also loved the characters and the fairytale like prose. It was a pleasant surprise and I wish I had read it sooner than I did. I gave it 4/5 stars.

I also finally picked up¬†The Star-Touched Queen, which had been on¬†my TBR list for forever. I had tried starting this book several times before, and I have to admit with this nth time trying to read it… I found it a struggle to immerse myself into the story. But I, ultimately, enjoyed it by the end after all the twists and turns that were revealed. 3/5 stars.

I was reading Vicious but, ultimately, I wasn’t enjoying myself that much as I was reading it so unfortunately I’ve put that one on an indefinite hold. I think it’s slower paced than I anticipated and I really need to be in the mood to read for those kind of books and I just wasn’t at the time. Plus, I had no clue the main story would be about two guys challenging themselves to near death experiences in order to reach superhuman strength, and I typically dislike most things vaguely related to superhuman/superhero type of stuff. (Don’t hunt me down.) I’m not going to put it in the DNF pile; I hope to maybe reach for it again another time.

I began To All the Boys I Loved Before after the immense hype it’s gotten when the Netflix film released this summer. From the 1/3 I read, it’s super cute and definitely a sweet and comical contemporary worth reading in the summer. Realistic fiction just isn’t my cup of tea so I sort of fell out of wanting to read that title, too. (I know, I’ve just been in a MAJOR reading slump.)

As I mentioned on my Instagram and my last posts, these recent months (or entire year, really) I’ve been more into manga. Consequently, I’ve started a ton of series. I’ve been rereading one my favorites, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet and Daytime Shooting Star. Actually, the latter is going to be serialized in America starting the summer of 2019. It’s an understatement to say that I’m pumped.

I also started several ongoing series including Queen’s Quality, Living with Matsunaga-san, You Got Me, Sempai, Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight, Perfect World, Let’s Play (webtoon), I Love Yoo (webtoon), The Jinx’s Lover (webtoon),¬†Waiting for Spring,¬†and most recently They Say I was Born a King’s Daughter¬†(webtoon). I would say that all of these are enjoyable-some more guilty pleasures than others. Although if I had to choose one to spotlight it would be I Love Yoo for its unique characters, addicting storyline, and swoonworthy romance. I’m not as familiar with the webtoon verse having only read about a handful (<10)… but I would say this is the best one I’ve read so far!

– Blog Posts –¬†

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Manga Review: ReLife

ReLife¬†(Riraifu) („É™„É©„ā§„Éē)
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)

‚Äď SPOILER free ‚Äď

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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Summing It Up: April – July 2018

Hi there! It’s been a while since one of these posts, hasn’t it? I’ve been tied up with school and work, and on my days off I mainly spend them hanging out with friends or visiting bookstores. It doesn’t help that lately I’ve been more into manga than actual novels so I also haven’t had much content to write on for this blog. Perhaps, I’ll make another manga review when one of them is finished (a lot of the ones I’m reading are ongoing). Anyway, I’ll try to briefly recap each month under this paragraph! I imagine that this post will be pretty long… but skim/skip around as you wish!

April was probably the least eventful and most stressful with wrapping up the end of the spring semester. Like I expressed in previous months’ Summing It Up posts,¬†I did have some classes I was¬†concerned about but, ultimately, I did well after¬†factoring¬†final exam grades and bonus points.

In May I didn’t have any academic worries since it was my “chill” month. However, I still didn’t have much free time as I was working a lot to save up for my rotation in this month in June. (Yes, unfortunately, students pay tuition/housing while they’re on rotation.)

June went by real quick.¬†This year’s rotation was my IPPE (Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience) at an institution; I was placed at St. Jude’s Children’s Research¬†Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to going, everything about the experience was daunting to me because I had never left home-let alone drive for 10 hours to somewhere I was not familiar with and didn’t know anyone. Plus, aside from the didactic curriculum of my school, I had little exposure to hospital pharmacy. Needless to say, my time here has been inspiring and will probably help my future studies/career. (Although, I did do more observing than hands-on work, which is understandable with St. Jude being a¬†place that is highly specialized, working with pediatrics and oncology.)

While on rotation, I learned a lot more about myself and my learning style than I ever did before. I was given an opportunity to do a presentation, and I was extremely nervous. Since taking speech class in undergrad, I think my stage fright has worsened drastically. Anyway, I was given great constructive feedback, and I hope to make some steps to improve by becoming more involved with my school in ways that will push me to be more verbal or present in front of an audience more. Talking in front of a group of strangers is almost an irrational fear because in theory there’s no reason to be afraid but it’s still a very real one for me. And I think it’s about time for me to address it before I continue on in my studies and commit to a profession that does require one to do some form of leadership and presentation.

Anyway, with that mini spiel about fear and self-awareness, I had a good time while I was away at home in Tennessee in June.

Mid-July I was in Winder, Georgia, which is about an hour away from Atlanta, for Camp Breathe Easy, a camp for kids that have asthma. I was there assisting with the medication side of things but I had a ton of fun and memorable moments while I was there. I love kids so it was wonderful (although my 11 to 12 year old girls were so boy crazy, lol). I even got to ride a horse and paddle a canoe for the first time. The latter was intense since it was about a 2 mile journey but it was a great workout. I also participated in other activities with the kids including capture the flag, which totally reminded me of The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, haha.

But that’s been my summer so far! A lot of traveling, which is cool since I don’t do it often!

– What I Read –

Thanks to my friend Amy, who is very much into anime and manga, I’ve been reading more manga (and even some comics!) again.

ReLife | Orange | Emergency Contact | Queen of Shadows | The Wicked King |  QQ Sweeper

– April/May/June/July Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: January 2018

I just posted my wrap up for December a couple of days ago so it feels sort of funny posting this one today, but if I don’t do it now who knows when I’ll do it. (I’ve been a very bad blogger, sigh.)

– January Events –

January was a wonderful month for me. I was ready to start the new year since 2017 seemed kind of rotten. January 2 marked my three year blogiversary with this blog; although, I’m not the blogger I used to be that would post 7-10 times a month… I feel very fulfilled and proud that I was able to post at least once a month for those three years. That month, I also came to decision that I would be continuing this blog and accepting the fact that my blogging may be more sparse and sporadic; the frequency dwindles down to if I feel inspired or motivated to post when I do.

I also celebrated my 22nd birthday, which is crazy. This has been the year where I have had the most correspondence with bloggers outside of the blogosphere. I use Instagram a lot and I feel like I’ve really gotten to know people personally more that way. In fact, there are more than a handful of bloggers that I talk to almost every day or at least several times a week through that platform or Goodreads. I even write letters and text some of those friends. I don’t know. It really blows my mind how close I have become to some of you all.

As for school, I’m back for the spring semester. The students have already hit the ground running and we have lots of work. I’m already nervous for my summer rotation in June because there’s already so much material that I feel like I need to retain. I’m not complaining though but I know that this semester is going to be tough, for sure.

And that’s January in a nutshell. Overall, I’d classify it as one of the better months and already a bright start to the new year.

– What I Read –

Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet (full manga series) | Hatsu*Haru (full manga series)

Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet’s lovely art. ‚̧

I was reading a bunch of books in January (Shadowsong, Tempests and Slaughter, The Bear and the Nightingale, and¬†The Emperor of Maladies)¬†but, ultimately, put a lot of them hold and finished only two manga series, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet and HatsuHaru. (The only one I’m still continuing to read into February is Maladies, if you’re curious.)¬†¬†Both of them are still ongoing but I read up to the most updated chapters that were available online. The mangaka, or author/illustrator, of¬†TLP¬†is the same one that wrote¬†Daytime Shooting Star, a series I read and greatly enjoyed last year. Mika Yanamori’s art style is so pretty; it’s definitely one of my favorites. The story of this one is extremely similar to¬†Daytime Shooting Star but I didn’t mind since it still had some originality. Plus, I like the sensei in this one way more, actually. (How can a 2D character be this hot, omg?) For¬†HatsuHaru, it¬†doesn’t have many chapters released yet, just a mere 5 chapters. However, it’s proven to be a good start so far.

– January Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: October 2017

Happy November, friends! I hope that you all have been doing well. After I finish typing this post and it goes live, I¬†will¬†be replying to comments¬†and¬†(finally!) blog hopping the rest of the evening. (I seriously bookmarked blogs from, like, five months ago.) ¬†And while on the subject of drafting blog posts, this is actually my 200th one! :’)

The next coming weeks should be like the calm before the storm (because school will lighten up a bit since final exams are in December) but I also have lots to look forward to. I’ll be attending Yallfest again this year, and I actually have my fingers crossed that I’ll be meeting Cassandra Clare and Marie Rutkoski. Clare will probably be a wristband author with her books’ popularity so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see her, but we’ll see. Anyway, do expect an event recap for that later this month. ūüėČ

Also, it’s not much longer before I’m off for winter break. This semester flew by so quickly and was probably one of the most stressful ones I experienced academically (pharmacotherapy is very challenging; I wish medicine and therapy were black and white but there’s so much gray), but I’m praying that I’ll survive till the end, haha.

Anyhow this month’s recap will be on the short but sweet side, because I really didn’t indulge in too much aside from the crazy shopping. And I suppose this is a good moment to put in a self promo plug like last month… If you do want to see my hauls and keep up with me (since I’m kind of inactive in the blogosphere nowadays),¬†Instagram is the best way to do it! XD

– What I Read –

I’ve been feeling really slumpy in terms of reading so I picked up a manga called House of Sun (3/5 Stars)¬†in October. I finished all 13 volumes in a week. I think the best aspects of the series was the romance and family. Also the comedy was A+; Daiki, my favorite character, was so deadpan about everything and therefore absolutely hilarious. I really wanted to buy this after reading it online but, to my dismay, the series has yet to be released in English aside for the electronic version. (And I don’t see the point in collecting e-manga when these books are so expensive as it is.) I’ll add it to my list to purchase for the future though. It was such a joy to read-despite my relatively low rating.

Edit 11/4/17: Oh my gosh, I totally forgot that I also read¬†They Both Die at the End¬†(4/5 Stars)¬†earlier in October as well. It wasn’t until I logged onto Goodreads did I notice it on my profile. You guys now know to what extent of how out of it I am with my reading game. I can’t believe I forgot what I read, and a 4 star book at that, lol. XD

– October Blog Posts –

No surprise here. I’m still publishing once a month on the blog. >.< But hopefully this will change when I’m on winter break December-January.

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Manga Review: Daytime Shooting Star

Daytime Shooting Star¬†(Hirunaka no Ryuusei) („Ā≤„āč„Ā™„Āč„ĀģśĶĀśėü)
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

‚Äď 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. ūüėČ

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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Summing It Up: June 2017

Sigh. Again, June was not that impressive in the reading and blogging departments for me.

But instead of labeling this inactivity as a unpremeditated hiatus or a slump as I have been doing this past year… I think I should confess that I’m slowly facing the reality that I’ve outgrown my enthusiastic blogger phase from 2015. I, honestly, no longer have the inspiration to post twice (or even once) a week as I did back then. I’ve come to accept that I’m more of a casual blogger now. I don’t see myself posting regularly or being super interactive like I used to anymore. But I also believe that this change isn’t a bad thing per se because even if it means that I’ll post less, perhaps, taking these breathers in between each post will give me more motivation to release more quality content. Besides, it’s a natural course for people to evolve and their interests to alter with time.

I didn’t intend for this to sound like a farewell or anything (because I’m definitely not quitting this blog completely yet), but I’ve just been meaning to get this admission off my chest for a while now.

Anyhow, with that disclosure aside, onto the real recap of this month. As I hinted in my last monthly wrap up/favorites post, I started my summer externship. And, gosh, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I highly encourage you all that are fellow students to apply for internships/externships if opportunities arise. I only participated in this one because it’s mandatory in the US for pharmacy students to have rotations, but I’m now so grateful that this is built in our curricula. Learning in didactic classes is nice but getting hands on experience (outside of lab) is so vital.

Also, quick warning before I move on. This post is going to be quite lengthy! I know that these monthly wrap up/favorites are probably my least viewed posts since they’re not strictly bookish, but I enjoy putting a lot of effort in them since they’re for my own benefit really. I view the compilation of Summing It Up posts as a diary of sorts, haha. The idea of being able to look back and see what I was into in the past appeals to me. XD

– What I Read –

Dengeki Daisy (full manga series) (Myanimelist)

I didn’t really have much leisure time this month so I only finished up the¬†Dengeki Daisy¬†series. (There are 16 volumes total.) Admittedly, I did read the chapters online with fan translations because I generally make it a rule to not buy manga unless I want to commit to collecting the entire series. And I don’t come to that decision until I know that the manga is super good because manga can get ridiculously expensive since they’re rarely on sale. I digress… This particular one was pretty marvelous. Immediately after finishing, I ordered 8 volumes from Amazon. It’s obviously another romance manga, but the plot and romance is quite unconventional and less clich√© than most shoujo I’ve read in the past. The romance was so swoonworthy and the comedy was consistently fab. Anyway, I’m going to save the rest of my thoughts though and reveal them later in my review, which I hope to start composing soon as my impressions are still fresh.

– June Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks.¬†Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester¬†because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual),¬†let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I¬†rarely did¬†any real¬†reading.¬†Instead, I indulged in¬†mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

‚Äď What I Read¬†‚Äď

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both¬†A Silent Voice,¬†which had¬†seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include¬†manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird¬†with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April¬†Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was¬†previous month’s recap.

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