Kamis, 19 Juli 2012

Gin no Saji a.k.a Silver Spoon

This time I'm going to talk about a new series that has captured my interest so much I can't wait to read the next chapter ^^ Like it said above, the title is Gin no Saji (translated as Silver Spoon). This is the story of a teenage boy who got fed up with his school and home, tired of being compared to his "wonderful and brilliant" older brother who got in a famous university in Japan in the first try. At the beginning of the story, Yugo Hachiken, our hero, experience the alieness of the world around him, down to the animals. You see, he applied and got accepted in a farming/dairy school, but he himself never did go to the farm, not even once. So he's absolutely, positively clueless about what he wants to do there, except to get away from his home. That's where the funny things started happening. All of his classmates (boys and girls) are raised in a farm and had already known what they want to study, like about running a big farm to how to make  processed foods (such as sausage or bacon) that can last longer without the aid of chemicals. While searching for his answer, Hachiken found himself adapting and even enjoying his time in the school, eventhough the work is hard and the reality sometimes hurts. Imagine that you favor a piglet because its small compared to its' brothers and sisters, so you took pity on him. But as luck would have it, in just three short months that piglet turned into a healthy (read large) pig and will be sent to the slaughterhouse in a few days time. For someone who never cope with that kind of harsh reality that farmers deal with everyday, it'll really brought you down. As a reader, I know that that's what the pigs are bred for, but my heart still ached when the time had come for Pork Bowl (yes, that's the name given to it by Hachiken) to be sent to the slaughterhouse. But as they said, life goes on, and so does Hachiken's life. 

As of now I think this series only just reached volume 4, but he's still in his first year of high school, so I hope there's still many more of Hachiken in the future. Oh, for those of you who like mangas, I think the artwork will seem familiar. That's because the artist is Hiromu Arakawa, the creator of Full Metal Alchemist ^^  Now I can't wait to read the newest chapter. See you all later!! 

Jumat, 13 Juli 2012

Meme Friday Recommendation: Cry Wolf

I'm joining the Meme Friday Recommendation in Ren's Little Corner. Today, I'm going to recommend a book that needs to be translated to Bahasa Indonesia (according to lil' ole me, of course). The title is... (cue drumroll)  Cry Wolf, book one of the Alpha and Omega Series by Patricia Briggs. Here's a little description from the publisher: 

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer- and son- of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna's inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf- a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack. 

This paranormal/romance/suspense book definitely needs to be translated because the story unfurls pretty slow compared to other books in this genre. Here we see how the very timid Anna slowly grew into an independent woman, sure of her place and her power. For example, at first Anna didn't even dare looking at another man/wolf that ranked above her (pretty much everyone) when they spoke to her, or even resist when they raped her. That didn't happen quite often in the romance genre. But, don't get me wrong, I hate wishy-washy-no-spine  heroine as much as you do, but that's not the case here. In this book we saw how Anna slowly regaining her true nature and discarding her old habits. It's a long and painful journey, but a satisfying one. That's one of the reason Anna and Charles weren't truly bonded as a mate, although Charles had stated since the beginning that Anna is his mate, long after they were mated and married.

The other reason is because the other casts of this book is not just an old and dry character or only an addendum that can be erased without changing/impacting the plotline. Just like the In Death series by JD Robb, the other casts have backgrounds of their own that were told piece by piece throughout the series, so the more we read the more we can understand their behavior.

So far this series consists of three books: Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground, and Fair Play. It's short compare to some of the series that's still ongoing even in the original language. That's another plus for this book to be translated. Hopefully there's an editor from a major publisher reading this recommendation and giving it a chance ^___^

Oh almost forgot! Here's the link to Ren's Little Corner Friday Meme to see other recommendations ^__^

Jumat, 06 Juli 2012

Driving Mr. Dead

Whew, time does go by so quickly. I haven't got the time to update this blog :( But now I'm here and ready to rock! :D

This time I'm reviewing a book from one of my newest favorite author, Molly Harper, Driving Mr. Dead. The setting of this book, Half-moon Hollow, actually linked with another series by Ms. Harper, the Nice Girls'  series, but it's a standalone book, so you don't have to read the series before reading this one.

Driving Mr. Dead is just a novella, so the length is only 160-ish pages, but how I wish it was longer! The heroine in this book is Miranda Puckett, a twenty-something woman that hasn't found her calling in life, since her callings usually cut short by disasters. She has tried many jobs before, including as a magician assistant (accidentally set fire on the magician), a photographer (again, fire ruined her studio), and this time as a chauffeur for Beeline, a premier vampire concierge service. Her job is to take vampires from point A to point B in a car she dubbed the Bat Mobile, in the daylight, while the client is "dead to the world".

Her first task is to pick up one Mr. Collin Sutherland from his home in a rural area (read in the forested land) and drive him to Half-moon Hollow, where he needs to give an important item in the suitcase to the head of the vampire council in town. Sparks do fly when they first met, but that's because Mr. Sutherland is a very picky man that sent a 16-page contract to Miranda's boss about what can and can not be done along the way, like only playing classical music when he's awake, prepare a warm type A just after he's awake, no littering whatsoever in the car, the speed limit is 65 mph, and the list go on and on and on.

Along the way, the sparks of dislike changed into sparks of interest, as they trade life stories and beginning to understand each other's behavior. Of course that happened along with quite a few mishaps, mishaps that drew them even closer. I love how Ms Harper made the process go slowly, so we can feel that it's natural for them to be attracted to one another, not just lust at first sight, but a deeper understanding of one another.
Well, let's just say that those mishaps include a Z-cup boobs, a couple of thieves masquerading as two good Samaritans, and a credit card confetti (of the wrong card).

I listened this story from an audiobook, and in my opinion, the narrator does a very good job. Sadly, this book only have a Kindle and audiobook version. Hopefully, in the near future, they release this story in print. For now, I'll just wait for the next book by Ms Harper, The Care and Feeding of Vampires, the story of Miranda's boss and owner of Beeline.

Rating: 5 gooey chocolatey smores!

Until we meet again!