Books for Breakfast #83

Book Reviews

So let’s flash back and review some older books that I read quite a ways back! I’m going to cover three books this time since I forgot to review all these during those blog dead days! (oops!) Let’s get started!

The reads this time were:
Red River (entire series) by Chie Shinohara
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
First, let’s talk about Red River! This 28 volume series is an old school shoujo. The art style is more traditional shoujo style, think of Revolutionary Girl Utena. The first book was published in 2004 and the last book was published in 2010, so it’s a pretty long story, as you might guess. So what is this manga about?
Yuri, a young modern-age girl is transported far, far into the past by an evil sorceress who plans to sacrifice her in order to get her son onto the throne. Now she is stuck in the Hittite Empire, where she meets one of the Prince’s, Kail. He has the power to send Yuri home, back to her own time, but the evil Queen and sorceress Nakia keeps getting in the way, she’s hell bent on getting her son onto the throne no matter the cost. Like most shoujo manga, there is a lot of drama, over dramatic fight scenes and love triangle/squares. Although, unlike most shoujo manga, this one has blood, war, death, and allusions to sex scenes in it, which made it more interesting and intense to read. It drew me right in and kept me reading! But also makes it more of an adult lady shoujo and not a middle school girl shoujo. 
Yuri becomes revered as Ishtar (Goddess of War) incarnate and finds herself on the battle field multiple times through the story. She also becomes wanted by other powerful men, including a general of the Egyptian army. The story is good, though a bit ridicules at times, and I would recommend it if you have a lot of free time and want to invest that time into a 28 volume series! 
One thing I will say though, is that I’m not a fan of the extra story at the end, that follows the children of the characters in the future. I don’t know, it just kind of felt ‘blah’ to me. 
Another YA dystopian future romance novel. It was suggested to me by my friend and coworker, Nick, who has yet to steer me wrong in terms of to-read suggestions. I enjoyed the world and the characters as well. The lead girl being named America kind of threw me off, just because it’s such a strange name to think of in a dystopian. Like, they named their child after the destroyed country that they are living in, don’t you think that’s bad luck of sorts? Like naming a boat after the Titanic or something. But that’s probably just me.
The world exists under a monarchy and the caste system is done by numbers. So the Ones are the most powerful and down it goes. Women generally try to marry up a caste level, because marrying down means that you can no longer perform the job that you are used to. Our lead, America, is a number five, which is the caste of artists. She sings and plays multiple instruments and is in love with a boy who is a Six. (cue dramatic music) I’m not the biggest fan of him, since he seems grumpy about the fact that she is a caste higher than her and doesn’t like the fact that she can provide for him. Like he has an alpha man complex, you know what I mean? I was kind of glad when he broke up with her and wanted her to join the selection, since the Prince is totally naive, nice, and seems adorable. 
The selection process is basically like the Bachelor. So if you’re a fan of that show and dystopian futures, then this book is 100% up your alley and you should go grab it right this instant! You can pick your favorite girl and get mad about why so-and-so needs to get voted off right this instant. It’s a fun read! I’m excited for the second book! 
The one thing that bothered me about this book though, is America constantly says that “she isn’t pretty”, like all the time. To the point where it’s just like she is kicking herself in the face about it while everyone else is telling her that she is pretty. Like, JUST ADMIT THAT YOU ARE PRETTY! PLEASE! EVEN IF YOU JUST SAY “I guess I’m kind of pretty” THAT’S ALL I WANT!! The whole heroine hates her looks and doesn’t think she’s pretty thing really gets on my nerves. JUST LOVE YOURSELF A LITTLE BIT!
Finally, let’s talk about The Strange Library, which is strange in all sorts of ways, and not just the title. The book itself is strangely made. It’s very short and isn’t like your traditional book at all. Throughout the story are pictures and the font changes sizes, is sometimes blue, and is a typewriter style font to boot. Not only is the book’s physical appearance strange, but the story is too. (obviously)
In the story, a young boy goes to the library and winds up facing a man he’s never seen before in a strange area of the library that he never knew existed. He is meek and even though he doesn’t want to, he ends up agreeing to anything, being too afraid to stand up for himself. He is taken in the bowels of the library, through an elaborate maze, and locked in a cell with his books. He meets a sheep man and  a beautiful girl who brings him food while he is down there, debating if he should try and escape or not. 
It’s a very abstract and strange story, but since it is so short, it’s a lot of fun to read! I really enjoyed the journey that this little book took me through. Murakami always writes such interesting and mind bending stories that make you think about them even after they are over. 
Next I’ll be reviewing The Secret Place & The Bone Clocks 

Also! Today I’m helping to celebrate The Morrell Tale’s blog birthday! She’s been blogging for six whole years! That’s pretty impressive! You can win a permanent ad space on my blog as well as a logo/banner design!

By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!