The reads this time were:
Akatsuki no Yona 17 by Mizuho Kusanagi
The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel
I realized that while I read a lot of manga, I actually never review/talk about it on here at all, yet I do still read it and count it towards my total of books read for the year. So, I figured I might as well start talking about it now! I started this series in January and blew through what of it I could find and was VERY tempted with buying the volumes in Japan (even though they obviously weren’t in English, but whatever, I just wanted to support Mizuho Kusanagi!! Anyways, I’m currently on volume 18 and just finished up volume 17 last month!
Sadly this series has not been officially published in English. The rights to the anime were picked up but no one has bothered to publish the manga over here in the States. FOR SHAME I SAY!! This story is beautiful, the characters and beautiful, the drama and emotions are beautiful, the art is beautiful, and just everything is beautiful. I’ve talked about this before.
Let me start by giving you a short run down of the story until now….
Yona is the red-haired princess in the land of Kouka and has never left the safety of her castle. Her father is known as a cowardly king who doesn’t like violence or war and surrounding countries have been taking advantage of the once might kingdom. After Yona’s sixteenth birthday, and her request to have Soo-won her childhood friend as her fiancé denied by her father, there is a terrible tragedy. Yona’s father, the king, is murdered and Yona is chased from the castle with Hak, another one of her childhood friends. Now she outside of the castle, in a land that even though she was princess of, she knows nothing about. They are both being hunted and are forced into hiding. After meeting with a traveling priest, Yona is told to seek out the four dragon warriors that once served King Hiryuu, the first king of Kouka. Yona must then embark on a dangerous journey to find the dragon warriors and learn more and more about the troubles that have plagued her country that she never knew about. Yona continues to grow, find her feet, and become stronger as she journeys and finally, she comes to find all four dragon warriors and ventures North towards a different country, the country of Kai, in the midst of war. Which is where our volume 17 begins…
So Yona has been though A LOT. She has grown on me and I am beyond invested in her and her mission to restore balance to Kouka, while keeping herself and her friends alive. She has re-encountered her father’s murderer more than once, and held it together. Now she wants to understand a bit more about the Kai empire that lies to the North of Kouka. Although, not all is peaceful or cheery, as soldiers turn to ransack the border town in Kai, since it has now fallen back under the control of Kouka. The dragons have run into a spot of trouble and things seem to be going south, and man, MY HEART! SO WORRIED ABOUT ALL MY LITTLE BABIES!! Volume 18 is going to be amazing and we start to learn a lot more about the yellow dragon!
One final note, Yona x Hak for life.
Now, time for a total change of pace as we talk about the Novel Tea Book Club book that was for August! I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book, while it was interesting in it’s own way. It’s about the different wives of the astronauts right when the space race first started. How they managed the fame that was shoved upon them, the pressure, the scandals, and the deaths.
The book jumps around a lot and there are SO MANY different wives that continue to be introduced that I found out I couldn’t keep them straight as I was reading the book. This issue was compounded with the continuous jumping back and forth between all the different wives. It’s one of the those books that is actually probably better on TV (which it is a TV show now) since maybe then I’d be able to tell people apart.
The interesting parts of the book were those that talked about how the wives were treated, like how they built their houses without front windows so the press couldn’t take pictures through the windows, how they got a lot of freebies, and the squawk boxes that were installed in their houses so that they could hear their husbands in space. But, those things tended to get lost in all the other random information and after a while it felt like reading the same thing over and over. Husband cheats a lot, wife ignores it because NASA says they have to, husband then goes into space, wife worries, press is everywhere, wives band together and bake a lot, flight either goes well or terrible, and then aftermath. Then it started all over again with a different wife. Repeat. Repeat.
While it wasn’t terrible, it felt like a slow read and certainly wasn’t one of my favorites. Just meh.