Book review: The Hunger Games Review

The Hunger Games
Written by: Suzanne Collins
Published by: Scholastic Press
ISBN13: 978-0-439-02348-1
ISBN10: 0-439-02348-3

Reviewed By: Lauren Lapinski

With constant predictions of the human race and the world coming to an end in the year 2012, many of us fear what the near and distant future hold. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games takes place sometime in the distant future in the ruins of North America, now known as Panem. In this dystopia future, an event is held each year known as the Hunger Games, where children from age 12 to 18 are selected by lottery to compete in a televised fight to the death with only one surviving victor. The heroine, Katniss Everdeen , enters the Hunger Games after her younger sister’s name is selected from the lottery and she volunteers to take her place.
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Manga Review: Amefurashi

Art and Story by Atsushi Suzumi
Translated and adapted by Elina Ishikawa
Published by Del Rey, imprint of Random House, Inc.
ISBN 10: 0-345-51248-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-345-51248-2
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Linda Yau

The setting of this story is in a desert town, Gimmy is a teenage repair guy, and by mistake he loses his siblings as offerings to the local rain goddess. Sora, the goddess usually receives dolls as offerings, but follies occur. Gimmy messes up, but is determined to get his siblings back and that’s where the adventure begins. Continue reading “Manga Review: Amefurashi”

Book review: Jack London’s Dog

Jack London’s Dog
by Dirk Wales, Illustrated by Barry Moser
Published by Great Plains Press, Chicago 2008
ISBN: 0963245937
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

This is the most charming children’s book I’ve ever read since The Chronicles of Narnia, which the movies do not do justice to! It’s a fictional account of what might have happened to the dog named Jack that author Jack London knew during his brief sojourn in Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1897. This is the same dog on which London based the character of Buck, the domestic dog who goes feral in his classic novel “Call of the Wild”. Dog lovers will adore this book, which gives such loving insight into a dog’s point of view about the behavior of humans. Even a cat lover like me will find it easy to get into Jack’s character and sympathize with him.
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Manga Review: Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture vol 1

Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture vol 1
Story and Art by Masayuki Ishikawa
Translated by Stephen Paul
Published by Del Rey , imprint of Random House, Inc.
ISBN10: 0345514726
ISBN13: 9780345514721
Review copy provided by publisher

Review by Linda Yau

Imagine always having the ability to see micro-organisms with your naked eye. What would it be like? Would you embrace this ability, shun it, or would you learn to cope with it? That is how Tadayasu Sawaki lives his life. He stopped speaking about this unique ability, but learned to cope with it. Now the story begins with him starting as a freshman at an agricultural college with his friend Kei Yuki, and this is a story of their experiences. Continue reading “Manga Review: Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture vol 1”

Manga review: Princess Princess Plus

Princess Princess Plus
Story and Art: Mikiyo Tsuda
Published by the DokiDoki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
Copy supplied by Publisher
ISBN-10: 1-56970-090-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-090-7

Review by Kris

There is a somewhat strange tradition at the all-boys Fujimori Academy. Instead of having a more traditional style of mascot (you know something along the lines of Jaguars, Cougars, Spartans, Bees, etc.) they have the Princesses. A few of the prettiest boys are chosen to dress in drag and cheer on the various clubs on campus. Mikiyo Tsuda introduced us to the Princesses in her series Princess Princess and continues the concept in Princess Princess Plus.
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Yaoi Review: Boys Love

Boys Love
Story and Art by Kaim Tachibana
Published by Doki Doki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
Copy supplied by Publisher
ISBN10: 1569700885
ISBN13: 9781569700884

Review by Linda Yau

Mamiya is a magazine editor who has his first high profile feature on famous teen model Noeru Kisargi. He was quite enthused to get the job, but then he meets the model, and it goes down from there. Mamiya learns that Noeru lives a very irresponsible and tormented life with underage drinking or sleeping with random men. He is in other words a jerk. Continue reading “Yaoi Review: Boys Love”

Yaoi Review: Clan of the Nakagamis – The Devil Cometh (vol. 2)

Clan of the Nakagamis – The Devil Cometh (vol. 2)
Story and Art: Homerun Ken
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
Copy supplied by Publisher
ISBN-10: 1-56970-033-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-033-4

Review by Kris

Everyone says that their family is crazy (believe me I’ve used that excuse a time or two) but in the case of the Nakagamis, they are truly crazy. You have a family obsessed with the middle son Tokio, an older son who is a cross-dressing shojo artist, and a younger brother who is somewhat gullible when it comes to his older brother. But the siblings are just the tip of the iceberg. The mom and dad are eternally youthful and look much younger than their children and the grandfather is the youngest looking one out of the bunch, if you didn’t know any better you’d think he was around the age of ten or so. If you’re interested in checking out reviews for the first volume you can read mine or a great male perspective by Tom Good.

Things seem to going OK with Haruka Iijima and Tokio Nakagami but they aren’t moving fast enough for Iijima thanks to the butting in of the rest of the Nakagami clan. But an ominous wind blows in the son of the head of the family and president of the Nakagami Group, Hibari Nakagami. It seems weird to the rest of the family that Hibari just shows up out of the blue to collect Grandfather Mitsuru (the ten-year-old looking grandpa). But instead of leaving with Grandfather he seems to have taken Tokio’s heart with him leaving Iijima, and the rest of the family worried. Only they’re worried about different things, Iijima feels that Hibari is taking his beloved sensei away from him, and the Nakagami clan figure that Hibari is using the fact that Tokio once had a thing for him to take advantage of him and his youthful appearance. Will Iijima and the rest of the Nakagamis be able to rescue Tokio before anything horrible will happen to him?
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Yaoi Review: Brilliant Blue vol 2

Brilliant Blue vol 2
Story and Art by Saemi Yorita
Published by Doki Doki Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
Copy supplied by Publisher
ISBN10: 1569701008
ISBN13: 9781569701003

Review by Linda Yau

Brilliant Blue is the love affair between childhood friends, Shouzo and Nanami. There is closure, and a probable sigh of relief from the mangaka for the conclusion. At the end of the manga, it was translated and reproduced as a very small box of thanks. I was actually relieved that the book ended with an epilogue, because that means that the story is over and done with. In the first volume there was promise, as I wrote in my review, but I was disappointed with the second volume, for several reason, and these are possible attractions of the book for a potential reader. Continue reading “Yaoi Review: Brilliant Blue vol 2”

Yaoi Review: Kissing

Story by Teiko Sasaki
Art by Shoko Takaku
Published by Juné, imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
Copy supplied by publisher
ISBN10: 156970922x
ISBN13: 9781569709221

Review by Linda Yau

Kazushi and Haru have been childhood friends, and now they are on the brink of graduating college. What happens when Kazushi suddenly pulls Haru aside and kisses him? This sets of a catalyst for Haru, who has to think about what would their relationship is and would probably turn out if he accepts or rejects Kazushi’s obviously last ditch to reject a girl’s confession – confession to him.
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Manga Review: Utahime – The Songstress

Utahime – The Songstress
Story and Art: Aki
Published by Digital Manga Publishing
Copy supplied by Publisher
ISBN-10: 1-56970-044-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-044-0

Review by Kris

There is an uncertain future for a far off land. You see for centuries the land has been protected by the nightly singing of the songstresses. The songstress sings a song of protection toward the capital where the ruler resides. The ruler has always been male while songstresses are always born female. But there is a wind of change. In one of the villages that sprung up around the songstress’ tower the unthinkable has happened. A male songstress has been born. Not only that but when the ruler of the land’s wife gives birth to a daughter, are they doomed?
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Manga Review: The Manzai Comics vol 1

The Manzai Comics
Story by Atsuko Asana
Art by Hizuru Imai
Published by Aurora Press
Copy supplied by publisher
ISBN-13: 9781934496503

Review by Linda Yau

Ayumu Seta is a new student at a Japanese middle school; he prides himself on being a normal person, but what happens when his classmate, Takashi Akimoto who is a guy no less, asks you to go out with him? And if this going out is more different than what you expect. Then what? This is what Ayumu experiences, as he is unexpectedly thrown in the world of Manzai comedy. Continue reading “Manga Review: The Manzai Comics vol 1”

Book Review: Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)

Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)
By Rachel Roberts
Illustrated by: Allison Strom
Published by Seven Seas
ISBN-10: 1-933164-67-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-933164-67-0

Review by Kris

Before I jump into the synopsis and review of this book I have to thank the fans of this series. When you read the comments posted after my review for Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One) you'll see that I got thoroughly spanked because of my idiocy and ineptitude. I did make some mistakes and I am very sorry for that. Emily does follow some of the dogs that she is taking care of into Ravenswood when she runs into Adriane. When I initially read the book I thought she wanted to ask the girl who brought in the cat if she knew what was hurting or killing the

local animals. Another thing I made a mistake on was the fact that Ozzie was never a magical creature and his spell didn't backfire. It was the Fairimentals (very magical creatures made of air, earth, water or fire and live in the magical world of Aldenmore) who disguised Ozzie as a ferret to protect him. When I read these books, I read them all together so many things mushed together in my brain and I misrepresented some of the story. So I must apologize to both the author and the fans for my mistakes and I hope I get this review right, and if I screw it up again don't hesitate to straighten me out! Also to the one reader who was upset I didn't mention Stormbringer, I had planned on doing that in my review for the third book, so have no fear, she'll get her time to shine.

Now on to the synopsis and review of Avalon: Web of Magic – All That Glitters (Book Two)!
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Manga Review: Hitohira vol. 3

Hitohira vol. 3
Story and Art: Idumi Kirihara
Published by Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10: 1934496537
ISBN-13: 978-1934496534

Review by Kris

The time has arrived! It’s the day of the school festival and by the end we’ll find out which club gets to stay and which club must close its doors forever. The Theatre Research Group has worked very hard and will do their best in performing the play. Of course Mugi is so nervous she continually passes out. But there is one problem that might be bigger than Mugi freezing on the spot. That problem is Nono’s voice. Nono has a vocal condition that causes her to lose her voice. Nono knows that this may be a problem but insists that the show must go on. The crew decides that if Nono’s voice is going to disappear she’ll give a sign and they’ll improvise their performance.
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Manga Review: The Magic Touch vol. 1

The Magic Touch
Story and Art by Izumi Tsubaki
Published by Shoujo Beat, imprint of Viz Media.
ISBN10: 1421516713
ISBN13: 9781421516714

Review by Linda Yau

The purpose of a massage is to often relax and de-stress a person. So what would it be like to have a massage society in your high school? The purpose of this club is to unite students who are interested in practicing to massage others, and what would happen if there is sparks there? The Magic Touch with a tag line of “Romance is at your fingertips!” is such a shoujo series.
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Manga Review: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei v1

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei vol. 1
Story and Art: Koji Kumeta
Published by the Del Rey Manga Imprint of Random House, Inc.
ISBN-10: 0-345-50893-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-345-50893-5

Review by Kris

I’m the type of reader that whenever I hear (or in this case read) a lot of hype surrounding a particular title, I tend to shy away. Actually, I’m like that with more than just books but that’s beyond the point. Really the only reason why I decided to volunteer to review this manga was because I was trying to round out my shipment of review materials from the editor here at J LHLS. I have to say I can see why the buzz surrounding this title is so positive. It’s a really wacky title. Many say that this title is mostly geared to the otaku (major manga and/or anime freak) but I think that the layman, like me, can enjoy it.
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Josei Review: Object of Desire

Object of Desire
Story and art by Tomoko Noguchi
Published by Luv Luv Press, imprint of Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10:  1934496499
ISBN-13:  9781934496497

Review by Jilly Gee

Object of Desire is a collection of five, short love stories for ladies; six, if you count the two-chapter one as two. Five different, unrelated stories, five different leading ladies, three of which are a little ditzy. For the lucky ladies who weren’t ditzy, the guys turned out to be cheaters. Actually, all of them were cheaters with the except of one. I suppose the theme of this graphic novel should be “boyfriends who are jerks”.

Kako wants a guy to admit that he only wants to have sex with her instead of going through the motions of being her boyfriend and trying to hurry their dates along so they can go to a hotel. She finally meets that guy! They have sex, they actually have an amazing date, he tells her about his girlfriend…

Atsushi is constantly sleeping around with women other than Atsuko, she’s even caught him at it, and yet she still clings to him and obsessively texts him. The conclusion may have been sweet, but the premise of this story just doesn’t make any sense. She has threatened to break up with him if he cheats on her, and he actually tries to hide this cheating from her despite the fact that he thinks she is annoying and doesn’t want to be her boyfriend in the first place.

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Book Review: Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One)

Avalon: Web of Magic – Circles in the Stream (Book One)
By Rachel Roberts
Illustrated by: Allison Strom
Published by Seven Seas
ISBN-10: 1-933164-66-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-933164-66-3

Review by Kris

Three girls who have nothing in common are about to become inseparable for one special cause.

Emily Fletcher and her mom have recently moved from Colorado to a small Pennsylvania town. Emily’s mom is a veterinarian and Emily has been known to help her out because of a gift she has. Emily is especially good with animals and seems to be able to help animals heal quicker because of her caring nature. But surprises wait around every corner.
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Manga Review: Higurashi When They Cry vol. 2

Higurashi When They Cry vol. 2
Story by: RYUKISH07
Art by: Karin Suzuragi
Published by Yen Press
ISBN-10: 0-07595-2984-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-7595-2984-7

Review by Kris

The mysteries of Hinamizawa continue in Higurashi When They Cry vol. 2. The strange and mysterious deaths from the past several years are now bearing down on Keiichi Maebara’s frayed psyche. He’s been approached by a detective from the next town over and has asked for his help. Ooishi, the detective, seems to be the culprit behind sewing the seeds of doubt in Keiichi’s mind. Ooishi has also asked Keiichi to spy on his friends and report back to him any bizarre behavior. Because of this Keiichi is now trying to act normal all while trying to suppress his fear and anxiety. Things go from bad to worse when he finds a needle in the ohagi that Mion and Rena drop off at Keiichi’s house. Because he’s already overly paranoid by this point he sees this as a sign that he’s next on the list to be offed. When he turns to Ooishi again Rena’s mysterious past comes to light and freaks him out even more. What will become of our paranoid friend Keiichi?
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