NETGALLEY REVIEW #9

Welcome to another collective Netgalley review!

I am glad to be able to get lots of books from #Netgalley, not only do I get to read Advanced Reader Copies but it serves me a TON of money. Here are a few books that I read recently that I have absolutely loved!

Haru’s Curse by Asuka Konishi

Review

Thanks to #Netgalley, Kodansha comics, Vertical comics, and Asuka Konishi for making this book available to me.
Since I have been trying to read more graphic novels or mangas, this one almost called to me. I thought it was going to be mystically and it wasn’t but it was so much more.
Haru’s Curse follows Haru Tachibana, her sister (Natsumi Tachibana) and Togo Hiragi. At the start of the story, Haru was betrothed to Togo and they were going to get married as soon as she was finished with university. Unfortunately, she died of cancer before she could achieve any of her dreams. Her death throws her sister Natsumi into depression because she believed that she was in love with her sister (this part confused me a bit but…). So when Togo came to her, asking her to date him, she decided to go with him, only if he promised to take her to all the places he went with Haru.
Togo is the (third)son of the extremely wealthy and well connected Hiragi family, he has never really taken life too seriously, he has never really smiled, he lacks the ambition to do anything, he is very stoic and just goes with the flow. Since he doesn’t really have any ambition of his own he allows his mother to smother him with Haru during the family introduction. Even then he noticed Natsumi, the older sister who was quiet and withdrawn with really no sign of life like him. After he started dating Haru he found out that she was more than that, she was lively and connected with people. Anyways with the agreement between Togo and Natsumi after Haru’s death, they start going out and soon enough, they begin to have feelings for each other. This is where the ‘curse’ comes into play. With the love growing between them, Natsumi begins to feel guilty for loving her dead sister’s fiance. To compound on that, she found Haru’s online diary and things just went darker from there.

I have spoiled this story a lot but I just felt like it was powerful and sad. One thing that Togo said that I think would stay with me a long time is “Dead people cannot be sad”. It is the same way that they cannot want things or change things, people living just have to keep living.
I really loved this book and I will be looking forward to more of Asuka Konishi’s work.

Rating

I gave this book 4.4 out of 5 stars

Love Almost by Hayley Doyle

Review

This book was really hard for me to read. I don’t have an issue reading books about loss and depression, it just I thought this book was a romance or even chick-lit, it was more women’s fiction and not really what I expected. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed it.
This story is that of Chloe and Jack. While most of what we know of Jack is from Chloe’s memory of him, I do think he plays a major role in how she views life. Chloe and Jack dated for a little over six months and they have just recently moved in together when Jack was killed in a motor accident while he was crossing the road. They have just eaten that morning, just woken up in the same bed that morning, when he died. She was in his apartment when his parents came in and told her about his death. His parents did not know he was dating anyone and she was basically a ghost to them and to Jack’s friends.

Jack, who was a fixture in her life has suddenly gone and since almost no-one knew about them, she was not seen as important to him. Even her friend told her to forget about him and move on with her life. When Chloe went to Jack funeral, her pain became invisible because she was faceless and unknown, no solace was provided to her because her loss wasn’t recognized.

She had to go back to the apartment she shared with Jack feeling like she didn’t know him. She was sad and she broke down (I would too, were I in her shoes). They had made plans to travel the world and do things that make them both happy. She decided to do all those things, going on a journey to find herself and her happiness.

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

Rating

I gave this book 4.6 out of 5 stars

Katakoi Lamp by  Kyohei Azumi

Review

Thanks to #Netgalley and TokyoPop for making this book available to me.
This is a short manga and I honestly wish it was a bit long then at least the relationship would have been well fleshed out and the abrupt ending would have not been so jarring.
Here we follow Kazuto who runs his father’s coffee shop. He notices that one of his customers was a bit too frequent and he thinks that the customer (Jun) is in love with him. However, when he strikes up a conversation with Jun, Jun reveals that he is in love with another female employee (Hisahara) at the shop. This breaks Kazuto’s heart and he runs to tell his best friend, Kyosuke. Soon Kazuto agrees to help Jun get the girl he wants, but since Jun is new to relationships, Kazuto tells him that they should go on a pretend date.

After going on pretend dates for a while, Jun is confused as he finds that he is in love with Kazuto! I will stop here. As I said, this manga is not that long and things are very surface level with it. The artwork was really confusing, you sometimes could not tell the difference between the characters and it made it really annoying to read.

Rating

I gave this book 2.3 out of 5 stars

The Spy Who Raised Me by  Ted Anderson, Gianna Meola

Review

Thanks to #Netgalley for making this book available to me.

I flew through this book. Josie Black is a teenager age who slowly finds out that memory has been altered. She would wake up and simply not remember what had happened hours or even days prior. She finds out that mom has been lying to her and manipulating her memories. JB is an experimental spy who can speak multiple languages, fight like a martial arts master and has all that makes a super spy. When she finds out that her mother has been hypnotizing and mind-controlling her, she is not pleased. She uses her spy abilities and tries to escape from her mother.
Then she finds out that her father is in on it and he was only with her to take her back to her mother!

The story was okay but the artwork was not really my cup of tea.

Rating

I gave this book a 2.7 out of 5 stars

The Sheikh’s Mail-Order Bride by Leslie North

Review

Thanks to #Netgalley for making this book available to me.
I have been reading Leslie North’s books for years and whilst they usually have similar Arab prince trope, they are all always so fresh and interesting.
Here we follow Prince Danyal who has just found that he ordered a bride online. She is at his door (rather, at the palace) and he has to figure out how to not make a mockery of the entire royal family. Jayne has travelled a long way with her son to marry an Arab prince hoping that all her money problems will be solved.
Since this book is not that long, saying anything about it would be spoiling it.

Rating

I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars

Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back by Alicia Cook

Review

Thanks to #Netgalley for making this book available to me.

Poetry is the language of love, acceptance and solidarity. Reading this collection got me thinking of how important and soulful Alicia’s writing is.
This collection is divided into two sides, just like a CD. Side A presents poems of love, anxiety and depression, coping with loss and acceptance of nonreality. Side B focuses on words and the power of words in and out of context. I really enjoyed reading this book.

Rating

I gave this book 3.4 out of 5 stars

Thanks for reading

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