Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kashimashi Vol 1Kashimashi Vol 1 by Satoru Akahori
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received this book as a Christmas gift, as I'm up to read pretty much any shoujo manga I can get my hands on. I needed a new one to read, so this seemed good enough.

Let' s just say... it was interesting. Like most mangas, it only took me a couple hours in total to complete. The story was about a boy named Hazumu, who takes notice of all the beauty around him and is even told by one of the three main characters, Yasuna, that he has "the power to make the world beautiful". He has always been thought of as a bit feminine and fragile, and has been picked on since childhood. His childhood friend, Tomari, has always acted as sort of a body guard for him, in the process secretly developing feelings for him. One night, after being rejected by Yasuna when he finally had the guts to ask her out, he runs off to the mountains. Then, BOOM! He is squashed by an alien spaceship. That' s where the story starts to get really bizarre.

The aliens reconstruct his body, but for they accidentally make him a girl. For some unexplained reason, this is irreversible. Oops. And if what has happened so far isn't unrealistic enough, everyone around Hazumu starts acting like he/she can just automatically adjust to this change. All the guys around her, including her former best guy friend, suddenly start acting like HUGE perverts, and both of the girls that used to have a crush on him are just plain shocked, but still sort of forcing her to become girlish. Her parents are oddly delighted about the accident, and seem hardly concerned about Hazumu's feelings. These are some of the many reasons why I found that the plot didn't really fit together, or make sense.

It was an interesting idea for a story I guess; a guy suddenly being forced into the confusion of being a teenage girl. But, all said and done, it just wasn't something that worked. At least not for me. In a way, it was interesting, or at least enough so that I read to the end, but I don't think I would recommend it to anybody. It was just too unrealistic for me, with too many unexplained concepts that were just forced on the reader.

Maybe someone else would enjoy this type of story,it just wasn't one for me, other than to occupy a few lazy hours of my day.

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Just a Little CrushJust a Little Crush by Tracie Puckett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I found this ebook, I was looking for a short, young adult sort of romance story. I wanted something that would catch my attention and keep me occupied, but at the same time be an easy read that I could recommend to my friends. That's exactly what I found in Just a Little Crush.

It didn't take very long to read, but at the same time it had a developed storyline, that was both unique and believable. You meet this teen that has been struck hard by the death of her parents, and becoming aware that she needs to face what' s been troubling her. She has to shadow a handsome young police officer as part of a school assignment, and naturally, being underneath it all a hormonal teenager, she starts to fall for him. The officer isn't a perfect Prince Charming, known for his snide remarks and straight-to-the-point attitude, but come on, who doesn't get tired of YA stories always having "perfect" guys. His unique personality just added to the story in my opinion.

All that being said, I do have a few criticisms. For me, I would have to say that the relationship developed a smidge too quickly. I mean, it wasn't long after they met each other that they started recognizing each other's feelings outside of the assignment at hand. One second they'd be arguing, then the next they' d be walking in a forest, hand in hand (literally). But I didn't see this to be a HUGE take-away from the story, as by the end, I wasn't ready to stop reading. I didn't really feel like the story should be over quite yet, which is probably partly due to the short length of the story. But I do feel like it ended smoothly, rather than just crashing to an end abruptly. Of course, there are also the other books in the series, which I look forward to reading. This is definitely a story that leaves you wanting more!

At first, I wasn't sure if I should take the time to read such a short story, that seemed like it couldn't possibly amount to anything in Just 80-something pages. But once you read the story, you' ll see that it really does.

Just a Little Crush is a quick, feel-good read with a unique plot and believable characters that add up to story that is definitely worth your time!

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