May was a phenomenal month for me in terms of manga reading. Books, on the other hand, are a completely different story. Between feeling the pressure to read much faster and much more than I’m currently capable of, and some other impending anxiety, I was just in a mood for quick and easy morsels rather than large and intricate novels. But I’m hoping to ease my way back into those novels, comfortably, over the Summer season! Please, wish me luck! 😊
My Love Story #12 by Kazune Kawahara
This volume felt like a finale for what turned out to be an absolutely delightful shōjo romantic comedy. The last remnants of some serious issues within Takeo’s and Rinko’s relationship are brought to a wonderfully satisfying climax. The friendship elements also came full circle and left me feeling very warm and fuzzy. Can’t wait for the final 13th volume. 5/5.
Yona of the Dawn #22-23 by Mizuho Kusanagi
Man, this series is reaching one hell of a climax! I hope it’s the climax for this particular arc because there’s still so much more left to explore and I am not ready for it end yet. But two feuding rivals come face to face and the intensity of it all is brilliant. This has officially turned into one of my favourite manga serials of all time. 5/5 for both volumes.
Blood Alone #1-10 by Masayuki Takano
I read this entire series, which is relatively short. This was a re-read for me, the inspiration for which bloomed after I cleaned and organised my manga shelves. I’ve written a full review for it, but the simple version is that it had a very strong first two-thirds, however. The last third just went supremely downhill without warning. It makes me sad because overall it was a rather enjoyable Sherlockian vampire series. 3.25/5 for series. Each individual rating (in order): 5/5, 5/5, 5/5, 4/5, 5/5, 3/5, 2/5, 3/5, 3/5, 2/5.
Husk Eden #1-4 by Yoshinori Kisaragi
I came across this very unexpectedly. It had an interesting premise, so I decided to check it out. It’s a historical, military fiction, josei manga series. It draws a lot of inspiration from ancient historical references, particularly biblical ones. But the execution was crap. Aside from nice visuals, the story was frustratingly choppy and insufficiently fleshed out. There’s no character depth at all to connect them readers. So, when some of them die all you feel is this apathetic and indifferent confusion. The plot and pacing is all over the place with spontaneous flashbacks and scenery jumps. Very disappointed because the premise was genuinely intriguing. 2/5 for the series. Each individual rating (in order): 3/5, 3/5, 2/5, 2/5.
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys… #2) by Jenny Han
Unpopular opinion alert: I was severely disappointed with this sequel. I wrote a full review for this one as well. But basically Lara Jean picks her boy choice, who’s an arrogant, manipulative asshat who really doesn’t deserve her. I didn’t like this book. It was anti-feminist and promotes the notion that problematic relationships are sexy or cute. Wake up and smell the YooHoo: a guy treating you like shit is not sexy but sexist and highly unacceptable. Disrespect does not make for good romance. 2/5.
Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys… #3) by Jenny Han
My feelings don’t change much at all with the conclusion. In fact, they’re just further aggravated. Lara Jean turns into a very self-absorbed brat who I couldn’t relate to at all. Her boy toy, seemingly changed for most of the book, shows his manipulative mannerisms when it matters most, and the overall character growth of both parties felt unnatural and non-existent. The saving grace for the book was Lara Jean’s family. I love them so much. There’s a full review for this as well. 2.75/5.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Hands down one of the best damn books I’ve read all year. The story’s about a Chinese-American boy who’s adopted by white parents after his mother disappears. They move him into the suburbs, force him to assimilate in racist white culture, and try to erase everything that make him culturally Chinese. It’s a fantastic examination of the cultural identity crisis that stems from a situation like this, as well as what life for diaspora is like in America today. I’ve written a more in-depth review here. 4.5/5.
Well, that’s all folks! What were some of your favourite reads for the month of May?