Wednesday, March 18, 2015

toilettereads: February 2015

I may have gotten into a bit of a reading slump.

I have a sinking suspicion as to what has caused this, but said cause has not only affected my reading, but a lot of other aspects of my life. The problem has calmed down a bit, but I'm still having a hard time plowing through this struggle. These days, it takes me f o r e v e r to finish just one book, to the point of utter frustration. But I digress.

Uzumaki was my first Junji Ito read, though I have heard of him (and his infamous Tomie) and how great he is. The hype is well-deserved because Uzumaki was amazing. As I mentioned in the video, I am a big scaredy cat; manga, books, and video games are the only mediums I'm capable of ingesting when it comes to the horror genre. However, I've only come across a handful of entries in the print format that have given me the spooks. (Then again, I prolly haven't read enough.) Uzumaki was definitely something that went beyond gruesome and creepy. It made me shudder at times, both because I was getting grossed and creeped out. So, so good. I bow down to Junji Ito.

Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley was something I picked up from Booktube. I've never read the Scott Pilgrim series (though I want to -- I'm just stingy) nor have I seen the film, but I know everybody loves it so I figured something from the same creator would be good. I saw an open copy of Seconds at the bookstore, skimmed through it, felt a tug on my heartstrings, and it was then did I decide I was finally going to get it. The whole second chances theme and wanting do-overs really struck me, and it really made me thinking about a lot of things and the mysteries of the universe, especially at the point I am in my life right now, so I ended up enjoying Seconds much more than I had anticipated.

Plus, it has a pretty sweet cover and dust jacket, so you can't go wrong with that.

Also mentioned in the video was the fact that I got myself an e-reader! One of the books I read with it was I'll Tell You a Secret, Jackalope by Matthew Vandrew. It was more of a short story than anything, and only took me a few minutes to read, but it was definitely something different. It was so... weird and loopy, with slightly similar vibes to Alice in Wonderland, except with werewolf-esque scenarios and a gay couple at a museum.

One of the books I was really looking forward to reading on my e-reader was Valentine's Day of the Undead by Stacey Jay. This is a novella to the Megan Berry series, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I had a lot of fun delving back into that universe. While it was great getting to meet up with Megan and co., it still wasn't enough to sate my desire for a true conclusion to the saga, especially since this was only a novella. I still want more, but ah well, what can I do...

The Labyrinth was something I acquired from the author himself. I was really drawn to the premise of four, dysfunctional main characters, and how each of them have their own special quirk that involves one of the five senses. My favorite character was definitely Zack, because he's such a cocky piece of wit with the best comebacks. These four main characters eventually find out that they all had a history with one another, having been reincarnated over the years (this isn't a spoiler -- it's totally in the book summary), all while continuously trying to escape their impending doom by the hands of the Guardian (a.k.a. the main antagonist).

Some parts of the book felt a little rushed, especially when the characters find each other, though I do understand it was all part of the 'omg-we-shared-a-past-life-once-upon-a-time' thing. The Guardian's characterization felt a little shaky; he didn't seem very consistent, though I'm not sure if this was intentional in order to show how messed up he is. I felt like the plot could've been just a little bit more developed, but overall it was a pretty interesting read. Thanks again to Dorian Zari for providing me with a digital copy of this!


In other news, I have several Peter Pan books and I haven't touched any of them. Way to go, Ina.

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