2018 Reads 11-16

Back in April, Cass and I were wandering around Powell’s and I found a few graphic novels and manga that I was curious about. I’m not buying any new books this year so I checked to see if Multnomah County Library had them…and THEY DID!! I put them all on hold and they all arrived at my local library really quickly.

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1 was the first to come in at the library. I love that it’s about a harem of beautiful men and that women have taken over the titles and jobs that are traditionally exclusively for men.

However, I got bored/lost in some of the back stories. I got mixed up between characters and time jumps, but by the end I (think) I got them all sorted out. Eventually I want to come back to this series when I can approach it with more focus because I think it’s a really fascinating story.


A noir graphic novel set in Oregon featuring a flawed female detective? YES, PLEASE! I had a lot of fun reading this first volume. It was a stand alone story so I was relieved that there wasn’t a cliffhanger at the end of the volume because it seemed like it was heading that way.

I think the hardest part was trying not to compare Dex to Jessica Jones. There are a lot of similarities between the two and it’s really unfair to compare a graphic novel character to a show character.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the style of artwork, but the writing was strong so it pulled me through. I’ll definitely check out Volume 2 in the near future. I doubt the library at Kadena will have this series so I better read it before I leave Portland.


Finally, I read the whole Erased series.

Basically this is about a 29-year-old man named Satoru who travels back and forth in time. In the past, he is 11 and is trying to prevent the disappearance and death of his classmate. In the present, he’s being framed for murder by the murderer from his past.

I enjoyed the first 3 volumes, especially his efforts in the past to prevent his classmate from dying, but the 4th volume lost me with all the recapping. If I hadn’t just read the first three volumes, it wouldn’t have irritated me so much. There was a lot of recapping and “reviewing what we know” in general throughout the series as he goes back and forth. Sometimes it was helpful to kind of wrap my mind around everything that happened. Sometimes it was annoying and I just wanted to get along with the story already.

I think the translation was just okay. Some of the word choices or syntax are odd, but not technically incorrect.

Overall, I’d say I enjoyed the series a lot. I might do a spoiler post in the future with more specificity on my thoughts.

Netflix did an adaption, but I’ve only watched the first episode. I hadn’t finished the series and I was worried it might span the whole manga series and I didn’t want to get spoiled. When I have time/focus, I’ll sit down and finish the Netflix series because I really liked what I saw so far.

2018 Reads 6-10

I’ve heard so many good things about Brandon Sanderson and I’ve been wanting to read one of his books for awhile. I started out with a standalone (SO rare for the fantasy genre).

I think this was the perfect introduction. This story is set in a world where the magic system is powered by color. How cool is that? There’s much more to it, but I think it’s best explained in the book. The pace is a little slow at times, but I never felt so bored that I wanted to quit.

I’m not sure which of his series I want to try out. If anyone has a suggestion, throw it my way. If you’re a fantasy fan or if you want to try it out, I highly suggest Warbreaker. It’s not too complicated that you’ll be confused and it’s a fun storyline.


I love reading books set in Portland. When I heard of this one, I immediately put it on hold at the library.

This is about a teenage girl named Jade from the poor neighborhood of North Portland who attends a prestigious private school in downtown Portland on a scholarship. The book tackles racial and class issues. It’s not a particularly deep or hard-hitting book. But it brings to light some issues that maybe you didn’t consider. Even though I related a lot to Jade as an Asian and as someone who relied on some low-income programs to get a leg up, some of her story still gave me some new things to think about.

I’m not going to give away too much so if you’re curious about specifics about my story and what I learned, feel free to message me.


I hate reading hyped series as the books are released because I have no chill and no patience. I almost always wait and read the whole thing at once. I don’t know why I tortured myself by snatching up the first of The Belles series.

But I couldn’t help myself when I heard about The Belles. The idea of an ugly grayscale population and Belles with the power to bring color and beauty to the people was too intriguing to pass up. It was an interesting read, but predictable at times. I’m curious to see where the story goes so I’ll read the next installation when it comes out.


Four young siblings hear about a woman who could predict a person’s death date. They go to see her and one by one speak to her alone.

The book debates the idea of fate. Does knowing their predicted death date cause the siblings to make certain choices in their lives that lead them to that date. Or will that death date come true regardless of how they live?

I had a hard time putting this book down. I found the Gold siblings so fascinating and so tragic. I highly recommend it to fans of thought-provoking books or literary fiction.


Wow this book made me sad and frustrated. It’s a story about Alice (a manic pixie dream girl type) and an incident with Brandon (the best quarterback their small town has ever seen) told from the perspective of four of their peers.

I was surprised how much the reader learns about Alice and Brandon without ever hearing from them. It was a really cool way to tell a story. However, it did leave some holes in Alice’s story since we don’t see her view. The story is told through rumors and gossip. By the end, most of the truth comes out through bits and pieces.

To me, the last few chapters fell flat. After so much build up, I was expecting more than that. I also wish there was more character development of the four narrators. They came off one-dimensional. I wanted them to show a little more of themselves and show a little more complexity.

But despite my complaints, I devoured the book and I liked it. A solid 3/5 stars.

2018 Reads 1-5

Technically this was a carry-over from 2017, but since I finished it in 2018 Goodreads counts it as my first 2018 read.

This was FASCINATING! I’ve always been interested in Psychology and Sociology, but not so much so that I wanted to major in it or formally study it. This book was perfect for me. It weaves the real-life stories of celebrities with science: studies, past forms of treatment, current forms of treatment, etc.

One of my favorite chapters was on George Gershwin. I listened to the songs referenced as I read and I highly recommend you do the same if you read this book. It’s too bad he died so young, he really was a genius. PS – Frank Lloyd Wright sounds like a real dick.


I had such high hopes for this book. The chapter titles intrigued me and made me excited to read the chapters. Examples: If you have just sent your ex a very intense emotional e-mail, Read about Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron. If you were dumped, Read about Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton. If you deserve an apology, Read about Norman Mailer and Adele Morales Mailer.

However, I hated the author’s style of writing. Some of the stories, especially the oldest ones, have very little documentation that carried over so she sprinkled in a lot of her own commentary. She was going for a tone of snarky fun comments, but I found her interjections distracting and obvious filler.

I did enjoy the stories about the couples by themselves. It’s insane how awful some of these people were to their significant others/flings. My go-to consolation to any of my friends were “Boys are assholes.” or “Girls are bitches.” and these stories show I’m not always wrong.


I needed something fun and fluffy after those last two and this was exactly what I needed. This book is truly for a sci-fi/gaming geek though because there are a lot of references that not everyone will get.

Basically, if you’ve ever considered going to Comic-Con or any type of Con and you like romcoms, you’ll get a kick out of this book. It’s also a Cinderella retelling, which I had no idea. I almost wish Starfield were real. I’m sure I wouldn’t love it as much as Doctor Who, but I’d totally binge it if I could.


I have never read a Stephen King before and this came recommended by a BookTuber (I’m kicking myself for not writing down her name) as one of his lesser-known books that she liked. This one was written under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman.

I can’t explain what was so compelling about the book. It’s this competition where these boys walk until they last one is left standing. The writing is SO good and I was tired every time I set the book down (which only happened a couple times because I couldn’t stop reading). They never stop walking and I could feel their pain and exhaustion.

It messes with your head a bit and I’m still torn up when I think about that ending. If you read it, let me know because I need to get your thoughts on it.

Also, if you have any Stephen King’s that you recommend, hand them over because I want to read more of him.


This was on one of those “2017 must read” lists that float around on Pinterest.

It was weird. Really really weird.

But really well-written.

That’s all I have to say about it. You just have to experience it for yourself if it’s something that sounds intriguing.