BookTube: Top 5 Manga Recommendations

Today I’m here with my top 5 manga recommendations! I’m already thinking I’ll do a second video with the same topic because there are just so many great series out there to read! What’s your favorite manga series?

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Kristin

Bout of Books: Wanderlust – Day 1 Challenge

This is my first time participating in Bout of Books and I’m going to make an effort to post the daily challenges throughout the week! This morning I posted my TBR – I’m aiming for 4 books in total but I’ll be happy with 3 as well.  The first day challenge is hosted by Leann @ Between Library Shelves and the topic is Fictional World Travel.  Participants are supposed to choose 3 to 6 books that are set in countries other than your own, display your choices in a creative way and share them on Leann’s blog.  Below are some of my favorite books that have given me a case of wanderlust!

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Paris Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
London A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Venice – The Magician King by Lev Grossman
PragueDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Japan Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
London – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
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Kristin

November 2014

Books

1. Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman

2. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle Book 1) by Maggie Stiefvater

3. Nana Volume 10 by Ai Yazawa

4. Nana Volume 11 by Ai Yazawa

5. Nana Volume 12 by Ai Yazawa

6. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

7. Nana Volume 13 by Ai Yazawa

8. Nana Volume 14 by Ai Yazawa

9. Hawkeye Volume 3 by Matt Fraction

10. Teen Titans Earth One Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire

11. Nana Volume 15 by Ai Yazawa

12.  My True Love Gave to Me by Various Authors

13. Nana Volume 16 by Ai Yazawa

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TV Shows

1. Arrow

2. Twin Peaks

3. The Flash

4. Constantine

5. Bob’s Burgers

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Movies

1. Big Hero 6

2. Elf

3. Akira

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

9. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

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Games

1. Pandemic

2. Adventure Time Munchkin

3. Luigi’s Mansion

4. Tsum Tsum

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My Magical Girl Inspired Spring Wish List

Spring is in the air and the cherry blossoms are in bloom all over NYC.  I’ve been enjoying every moment I can spend outside lately but on the rare occasions that I’m stuck inside or commuting on trains, I’ve been on a major anime and manga kick.  I think it has something to do with the warm weather.  Some of the titles I’ve been devouring lately include Nana by Ai Yazawa, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Ouran High School Host Club, Madoka Magika, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.  Anyway, as I’ve been browsing the internet and searching for furniture, room decor, and everything I’ll need for my new apartment (!), I realized that my spring wish list has a definite magical girl feel to it.   These are some of the cute things I’ve found that I think I need in my life.

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I’m Really a Mermaid Necklace $34.82 (Etsy)

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Kiki’s Delivery Service Round Cushion $55 (J-List)

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Rilakkuma and Corilakkuma Contact Case $7.50 (J-List)

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Kosaido Natural Lip Treatment  – Sakura Scent $8.00 (J-List)

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Choo Choo Cat Passport Case (B) $12.00 (Japan LA)

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Mer-Peach by Messy Pink $150.00 (Japan LA)

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Pink Unicorn Kigurumi $59.99 (Japan LA)

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Tokidoki Stellina Unicorno Vinyl $16.00 (Japan LA)

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The Studio Ghibli Collection: 17 Ghibli Films $1,195.00 (includes: Nausica of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, Tales from Earthsea, Ponyo, Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill) (J-List)

1Ice Cream Cone Lamp $40 (eBay)

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Sylveon Plush $12 (Amazon)

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The Grand Budapest Hotel: The Illustrated Screenplay by Wes Anderson $13.85 (Amazon)

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PuppyCat Talking Plush $23.00 (We Love Fine)

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Pink Lotus Flower Candle $6.69 (Karma Kiss)

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Pink by Kyoko Okazaki $13 (Amazon)

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Tea & Manga Chat: Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa

Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa is a series that feels as if it were written for me.  Having gone to fashion school myself and spending the majority of my years in high school focusing more on my career than studying for tests, I completely relate to Yukari (aka Caroline, aka Carrie).  In the beginning, Yukari is a shy student with little confidence and direction, but everything changes for her when she meets Arashi, Miwako, Isabella and George (students at Yaza Arts, a fashion institute).  Arashi bumps into Yukari on the street and asks her to be a model for their fashion show.  At first, Yukari has many reservations about modeling, but once she visits their atelier she sees how serious the group is about producing and selling Paradise Kiss label clothing.  She waits several days to give them her final answer, but she ultimately decides to lie to her mother, skip out on cram school, and help out at the atelier as much as she possibly can.  Infatuated by the brands designer, George, and driven by a a newfound career passion, Yukari’s character becomes way more dynamic.  Throughout the series she continues to grow and push her sense of free will to the limit.

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Yukari immerses herself in the world of fashion.  She becomes best friends with Miwako, who is constantly comparing herself and trying to measure up to her older sister, the designer of Happy Berry clothing.  Miwako helps Yukari with girly things like picking out clothing and acting as a makeup artist as well as offering her comfort in times of need, and a place to stay when things get rough.  Yukari also ditches her childhood crush on a fellow student in high school and gets involved in a twisted and confusing romance with the irresistible George.  It’s questionable whether George’s antics are helping or hindering Yukari’s development, but it’s a storyline you’ll be clinging to until the very last word.

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One of the most fascinating aspects of the series is how self aware the characters are, and their constant habit of breaking the fourth wall.  The majority of Yukari’s communication of her innermost thoughts to the reader is primarily through monologues, while the other characters will turn their heads to the read and blatantly express a thought, apologize for jumping around, or clarify which type of chapter this will be.  Also, it would be impossible to fully express my love of this series without mentioning the amazing artwork.  Each character is drawn flawlessly!  They’re just the right mix of cute, chic, and youthful. Obviously their clothes are to die for (as this is a tale about fashion), and the atelier looks like my high school dream hangout.  Throughout the series I felt connected and invested in each character’s life.  I will forever be grateful to Betty Felon who enlightened me with her recommendation (for those who don’t know, she’s pretty fashionable herself ^_^).  Paradise Kiss is without a doubt my favorite manga series, and I would go so far as to say that it is also one of my favorite series I’ve ever read in any form of literature.

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You can pick up all three volumes of Paradise Kiss on Amazon, or at a bookstore near you that sells manga!  If you decide to indulge yourself and read the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Yukari and the Yaza Arts kids!

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