29 February 2016

Never Never: Part 1 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Publication: 2015
# of Pages: 159
Source: Kindle, E-book 

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of fourteen. Complete strangers since this morning. He'll do anything to remember. She'll do anything to forget. 

What if you lost your memory? Everything you ever knew is completely void and irrelevant. Welcome to the world of Silas and Charlie, two teens who can't for anything in the world figure out who they are. Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher write a book split into three parts chronicling this very event. 

What I appreciated about this first part was the suspense and confusion. The reader, just like the characters, was suspended into an unfamiliar world, not knowing the setting or other characters. The reader only knows as much as Charlie and Silas, thereby forcing the reader to take the journey with the main characters. I absolutely loved taking this journey with them. I tried to put clues and pieces of the puzzle together as all three of us received new information. In addition to the this, Hoover and Fisher were able to effectively illustrate the pain, sorrow, and happiness felt by the protagonists. Because they lost their memories it is expected that the main characters go through a series of emotions which could have been particularly difficult to convey. However, each emotion was executed in a beautiful manner. It was amazing to watch which emotions the characters were forced to experience as a result of their acquirement of new knowledge. 

The major component of this novel that was difficult me to appreciate was the revelation of how the main characters lost their memory. The hype related to this book was extremely high across various platforms. By the time I reached the end of the book I was expecting some huge revelation; however, it was a bit anti-climatic. Yes, the suspense was present; however, it didn't give me an extremely strong urge to read part 2. I more so wanted to finish the three parts to see what all the fuss was about. In retrospect it is easy to say that I adored the writing and development of characters; however, the plot needed a little more work. It will be interesting to see where part 2 and part 3 take the entire concept of the story. 

24 February 2016

Help Me! By Donna M. Zadunajsky

Publication: 2016
# of Pages: 125 
Source: Review Copy from Author (Thank you!)

A novella about a boy named Mick and his struggles with life. His parent's divorce and his friend's suicide make his world unbearable. Each "cut" has a deeper meaning. A cry for help. "I spin my dad's Ruger SP101 revolver on the wood floor of my bedroom. Sometimes, just to see what it feels like, I place the tip of the gun against my temple, I never once pull the trigger. "No!" "I'm more into the slice of the blade against my temple and the blood running down my arm." "It relieves so much pressure." "And I can breath again." 

If you didn't know by now I'm a big proponent of any literature that focuses on mental illness. It is a topic that hits close to home and is often misrepresented in books of all kind. An individual has a particular talent if they can give an accurate and complete picture of a character suffering from mental illness. With that being stated, I genuinely applaud the author for wanting to depict a main character that suffered drastically from depression and self-harm. However, I found several issues with the novella as a whole. 

While I understand the characters of this novella were around the ages of thirteen and fourteen, it was written as though the plot was copied and pasted from their journals. It didn't flow and their thoughts, in my opinion, were quite scattered. Statements remained redundant and simplistic. When writing about an issue as complex as mental illness one has to be particularly careful not to over simplify its importance. 

One aspect that I did enjoy about the novella was the main character Mick. His battle with self-harm was, in part, realistic. I, myself, remember and still constantly think about the days when I would challenge myself to go days without cutting and would ultimately fail quite miserably. Mick battled with the same issue without realizing that he suffered from mental illness. That internal struggle is one of the darkest places you can ever find yourself. I definitely could relate to the novel in that sense. 

Overall this novella had a lot of potential in terms of its topic; however, the writing simply fell flat. If it was longer maybe the reader would have been able to see a more developed plot line instead of Mick having to state what was wrong every single page. I genuinely do understand that the author was trying to raise awareness about mental health; however, the writing did not do the thought or idea much justice. 

21 February 2016

Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma Vol. 5 -7 by Yuto Tsukuda

Published: 2015
# of Pages: 192
Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million

The assignment is to invent a new dish worthy of appearing on the high-class Totsuki Resort's breakfast menu. To  create their dishes, Soma and his friends use the combined knowledge and confidence they've gained while at the cooking camp to individually pass the challenge--everyone, that is, except for Soma! Having made a critical error, he finds himself behind with little time left. What can he do to overcome his biggest hurdle yet?!

This volume continues with Soma and his friends at the cooking camp. Soma makes a pretty big error when they have to cook breakfast using eggs. What I loved was the patience Soma utilized to make sure he was able to pass the challenge. The students had to make 200 plates of food and Soma only had 30 minutes to figure something out. How he did it, I have no idea. This volume was creative, innovative, and gave me great insight to cooking as always. I truly believe this was one of the volumes that had the best recipes, recipes that actually made my mouth water.

Published: 2015
# of Pages: 192
Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million

The contestants for the Totsuki Institutes's annual Fall Classic have been chosen! A decades-old event, the Fall Classic has been the grand stage for fierce cooking battles for years. The chosen participants, each aiming to be crowned winner, begin their training! But as they do, someone special visits Polaris Dorm.

Three words--The Fall Classic! After Soma and his friends return from cooking they find out about the Fall Classic. It is a major event that takes place every year where select students are given the opportunity to battle in front of culinary masters of the world. Once the individuals of the classic are chosen they are given the summer to prepare. With the introduction of a new professor, Yuto Tsukuda shows his strength and knowledge of the culinary world. I also like the new characters; they add a special flare to the story line of the manga.

The best part of this volume was getting history associated with Soma's dad. Learning about his cooking experience and where he was able to get training explained quite a bit about Soma. And the reader even got the opportunity to watch them battle once more. This is one of my favorite volumes so far.

Publication: 2015
# of Pages: 200
Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million 

The preliminary contestants do their utmost to showcase their skills too the acclaimed judges, with the favored students presenting the most exquisite of curry dishes! Only the top eight finalists will qualify to enter the main event. Who will make the cut?! 

And the Fall Classic has arrived! Although this volume has less plot development, it probably is one of the more complex volumes in the series. When I first began Food Wars I did not realize how complex it would be to write and maintain interest in a food manga. With such a wide cast and so many of them actually participating in the Fall Classic they had to come up with a wide variation of recipes and develop the ability of the judges to actually describe the complex details of the dishes. I was completely in awe at the writing associated with this volume. Yuto Tsukuda clearly has done his research and not only describes dishes but how they affect the human palette. Some characters who I absolutely love were able to shine and make some great dishes. 

19 February 2016

The Friday #56, #9 Jack of Fables: Americana by Bill Willingham

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Join in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book, any book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (of a few, don't spoil it!) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!

Happy Reading!!

So this week I decided to take an excerpt in the form of a photograph like I've been doing with all of my manga and graphic novels. The picture comes from the 4th volume of the Jack of Fables series which is a spin off to Bill Willingham's infamous Fables comic series. I definitely recommend this series if you are a fan of the character Jack. His sense of humor really makes this series come alive. I haven't made it to page 56 yet and I absolutely love it already. The color and the artwork are beautiful as usual. It definitely is my goal to finish the entire series (spinoff's included) this year. 


"Though he can never seem to hang on to the riches that fall into his lap, that doesn't stop the famous (and infamous) Jack of Fables from continuing to grab at them with both hands. Now, with the annoyingly persistent agents of his former jailer Mr. Revise still barking at his heels, Jack is on the trail of a fortune that promises to dwarf anything he's ever managed to get his mitts on before. Finding the treasure, however, means venturing into the nearly forgotten lands of Americana, home to a dizzying array of colorful characters -- as well as (naturally) one of the few figures even more dangerous than Mr. Revise!" 

15 February 2016

Addicted for Now by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Published: 2014
# of Pages: 488
Source: E-Book, Kindle

  • "Sometimes the person we think we'll become is the person we already are, and the person we truly become is the person we least expect." 
  • "He is my breath. My soul. My life-force. I have spent forever with him." 
  • "Why is it that the people you come to love are the ones that seem to hurt you the most." 
  • "I have so many regrets. I don't believe anyone who says they don't. How can you live life making mistakes and never wish you could take one back?" 

 He's addicted to booze. She's addicted to sex...staying sober is only half the battle. No. More. Sex. Those are the three words Lily Calloway fears the most. But Loren Hale is determined to be with Lily without enabling her dangerous compulsions. With their new living situation--sleeping in the same bed, for real, together---Lily has new battles. Like not jumping Lo's bones every night. Not being consumed by sex and his body. Loren plans to stay sober, to right all of his wrongs. So when someone threatens to expose Lily's secret to her family and the public, he promises that he'll do anything to protect her. But with old enemies surfacing, Lo has more at stake than his sobriety. They will torment Lily until Lo breaks. And his worst fear isn't relapsing. He hears the end. He sees it. The one thing that could change everything. Just three words. No. More. Us. New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content. 

**This is the second book in a series so please keep in mind there may be some spoilers. 

Krista and Becca Ritchie make a comeback with their 3rd book in the Addicted series. Picking up and taking place after Lo returns from rehab, the reader gets the opportunity to follow the main characters on their road to redemption and recovery. 

What is most interesting about this novel is the level of mystery that comes into play when an individual threatens to reveal the fact that Lily is a sex addict. As a result, they spend most of the novel attempting to figure out who is responsible for threatening Lily's well-being. While all of this is brewing Lily is desperately struggling to keep her head above water as she continuously struggles with her addiction. She is used to coping with her issues through sex; however, with her therapist and her supportive boyfriend Lo she has to learn to deal with problems without giving in to the trenches of her addiction. 

Another interesting factor of this book was, once again, the realism with which the authors wrote about and described addiction. We no longer just know about Lily's addiction, but we also see how she utilizes therapy to help her with her problems. I also strongly appreciated how they illustrated the fact that sex addicts can be heavily perceived as something they are not. This is evident in the crude messages that this mystery character sends Lily. She is not understood as having a psychological illness, but as a young woman who has no care for being mindful of her sexual promiscuity. 

In dealing with this issue the readers are also presented with the role and/or lack of parental guidance and support. Lily is constantly worried about ruining her family's business because of her issues whereas Lo ultimately receives no parental guidance or support for his alcoholism. His father thinks that rehab and the need to stop drinking are completely preposterous as he considers drinking to be a normal part of life (he seems to be an alcoholic himself). As a result of their lack of parental support and guidance the characters are forced to bond together and depend on one another. In this they learn to reach out for the guidance and support they need to get better. Before they completely love each other they have to learn to love themselves. Once again Krista and Becca were able to effectively capture my attention and easily make me believe that this is one of the best if not the best New Adult series I have read. 

12 February 2016

The Friday #56, #8 Kiss the Sky by Krista & Becca Ritchie

The Friday #56 is weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Join in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book, any book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader 
  • Find a sentence (or a few, don't spoil it!) 
  • Post it 

**Be sure to post your links to your Friday #56 below.

Happy Reading!!

So this week I decided to share an excerpt from Kiss the Sky which is a part of the Calloway Sisters series which is a spin-off to the Addicted series. I've read the first three books of the Addicted series and this book is the next book to read in chronological order. I am absolutely loving this entire series! It's the most beautifully and well-written new adult series I have ever encountered. The reality of addiction is evident in the words of the main characters. Although the first three books take place in one couple's perspective, Kiss the Sky is from the POV of another couple that I just happen to love. 

"I've never had the urge to try out cocaine. And if someone peer pressured me, I'd say no, no, No. I really have no problem looking like the stuck-up prude in the room who refuses to blow a line with her friends. Hate me all you want. I'm not the one running around naked with dilated pupils." 

 What's interesting is that I'm only 15% into this book on my Kindle so I have no idea what's going on in this scene, but I do believe it must be wonderful considering how the rest of the books have gone. I cannot wait to get further into this and figure out what's going on.


Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass...Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared. Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she's a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy. After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have life filmed fora reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she's forced to make nice with a man who always has his way. Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He's confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted---Rose's virginity. This New Adult Romance can be described as Friends meets  The Real World. Expect fist fights, drugs, sex of varying degrees, crude humor and competitive alpha males. Definitely for mature readers audiences only.

10 February 2016

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Book & Movie Review)

Published: 1982

# of Pages: 251

Source: Purchased Copy

Goodreads Blurb/Summary:

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.

Favorite Quotes:

  • "A girl is nothing to herself  only to her husband can she become something."
  • "But if God love, Celie, I don't have to do all that."
  • "God is inside you and inside everybody else." 
  • "God ain't a he or a she, but a it." 
  • "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it." 
My Thoughts/Review:

In honor of Black History month I decided to read a few books written by black authors. The first of these is Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Taking place during the early 20th century in the heart of the South, Georgia, Walker's novel explores issues including sexism, racism, and sexuality. 

What is strikingly beautiful about this novel is the growth of characters and the barriers these same characters break. Celie, the main character, is clearly abused physically, mentally, and sexually. It is through her letters to God that she is able to express herself. Other characters like Shug Avery, Sophia, and Harpo redefine our understanding of gender roles. What may have been considered traditional roles during this time. Sophia is assertive, Shug Avery is comfortable in her sexuality, and Harpo doesn't mind cleaning, cooking, and looking after the children. Seeing these characters comfortable in their non-traditional roles makes Celie more comfortable in who she is. 

Another aspect of this novel that I fully enjoyed was the strength of female relationships and friendships. Living in a society that is geared towards the subservience of women, Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery, Squeak, and Sophia develop a bond that strengthens them as individuals. They learn to make decisions for themselves clearly becoming more independent. Shug empowers Celie to see the world through the eyes of God and her sexuality, while Sophia teaches her how to be assertive while Nettie teaches Celie how to genuinely enjoy life. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing to watch these relationships build and grow. 

With so much turmoil and violence occurring within the pages of this book, Walker was still able to craft a truly beautiful work that focused on growth, self-assurance, and redemption. It's beautiful that even after we or other people can do the most horrible  things redemption can still be found. If you are interested in a novel that not only touches so may interesting issues, but also remains captivating and gorgeously written I would definitely check out The Color Purple. It definitely will serve as a reward. 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

In addition to reading the book I also watch the 1985 film version of the movie. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and received generally positive reviews. Below are my thoughts while watching the movie. I notice differences between the book and the movie and what I liked and did not like. 
  • The movie stays in the format of Celie talking to God. 
  • How common was it in the early 20th century for men to be abusive to women and marry young girls because it is a major theme of the book and the movie. 
  • It disgust me the way women are looked at and treated like property. 
  • I think during this time women had to look out for each other because there was no one there to protect them.
  • It amazes me that after all the abuse Celie still knows Mr.____ so well. 
  • Celie is so childlike and timid. 
  • Albert trying to do the same things Celie does is hilarious. 
  • In the movie Shug is made breakfast by Mr.______ (Albert) and Celie but in the book she steals some of Celie's ham. 
  • Shug feels more mean in the movie. 
  • The intimate relationship between Celie and Shug Avery is clearly cut out. There is some flirtation but the more intimate aspects documented in the book are not evident in the movie. 
  • The scene between Squeak and Sophia is exactly how I imagined it and even more funny to watch on film. 
  • A lot of the lines do come from the book. 
  • I wish they would have included more about Corrine and what she thought about Nettie. 
  • The kitchen scene is based in female empowerment. Celie really learns to stand up for herself. 
  • It kind of upsets me that they left out the part where Shug and Celie discuss that God is everywhere and is a part of everything. That was an important part of the novel. 
  • Shug reunited with her dad in the movie but he is not living in the book. 
  • I think the redemption of Albert was better in the book than in the movie. 

Rating: 4/5 Stars 

09 February 2016

Jack of Fables Vol. 1 - 2 by Bill Willingham

Okay fellow readers and bloggers, I decided to do another mash up review of two comics I read! As you all know I'm a huge fan of the Fables comic series and now the spin-off series Jack of Fables. Keep reading for a review of the first two volumes.

The Nearly Great Escape

Published: 2007

# of Pages: 128

Source: Purchased Copy, Trade Paperback

Goodreads Summary/Blurb:

The first five issues of the popular Fables spin-off series are collected in this amazing new volume! Last seen hitchhiking from Hollywood, Jack's now a wayward Fable in the heartland of America. His extreme road stories and encounters with other notorious, renegade Fables are just a few of the situations in store for this fan-favorite character.

My Thoughts/Review:

This comic picks up where Jack was last seen in the main Fables series. He was busted for using Fables money to make a major movie company. As a result he ends up banished and roaming the streets. I actually liked that Jack got his own series. He's funny, arrogant, and makes the story that much more interesting. He, of course, runs into some issues encountering individuals who are set on kidnapping fables. What I loved was the introduction of new characters like Humpty Dumpty, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy, Toto, etc. There is even an appearance from a Fable that we originally thought was dead. The artwork was beautiful as usual and completely captivating. Instead of being a complete failure like he is in the main Fables series, Jack is pretty successful in this volume. If you do not like Jack as a character in the main series it may be quite difficult to really appreciate this series. Some people go without reading this spin-off; however, once you get to volume 13 of Fables you are going to need the information found in this spin-off to understand exactly what is going on.

Rating: 4/5 

Jack of Hearts

Published: 2007

# of Pages: 144 

Source: Purchased Copy, Trade Paperback

Goodreads Summary/Blurb

In this volume collecting issues #6-11, Jack reveals the secret of his former relationship with the illustrious Snow Queen---when he took her powers and become known as Jack Frost. And in present times, he lands in Las Vegas and meets his lovely new bride, a directionless heiress. Could it possibly be "happily ever after" at last? 

My Thoughts/Review

I loved this volume! It picks up directly after the events of the first volume. Once again new characters are introduced and Jack continues to be just as crazy as ever. What I appreciated about this volume was the fact that Jack illustrated a more sensitive side in terms of being in love. He doesn't have a good track record with this course especially in terms of his relationship with the Snow Queen. An interesting character by the name of Lady Luck plays an extremely significant role in this volume and I could not stand her (this is a good thing as it was the intention of the writer). She's sick, twisted, demonic, etc. But I have a feeling she will continue to play an important role in future volumes. Once again the artwork is beautiful and captivating. The volumes seem to get better as we go on so I definitely will be picking up the rest.

Rating: 4.5/5 

08 February 2016

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

Published: 2015

# of Pages: 416

Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million

Favorite Quotes:

  • "We want what we can't have, even when we have no right to demand it." 
  • "You can't immerse yourself in something," Prof said softly, "without coming to respect it." 
  • "The two great constants of life. Food and death." 
  • "My name is David Charleston. I kill people with super powers." 
Goodreads Summary/Blurb

They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made Dave realize he has questions. Big ones. And there's no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David's willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David's heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic--Firefight. And he's willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers. 

Warning: As this is the second book in a series it may contain some spoilers.

My Thoughts/Review:

After the events of Steelheart, Newcago is a brand new city--it has been freed from one of the most powerful Epics in the world. However, the Reckoners find themselves in a dilemma. How are they supposed to prevent new Epics from coming to take over? And yes, they do come with a particular vengeance set aside for David Charleston. Although it's a little slower that the first book, Firefight is filled with so much information and various plot twist and turns. 

What I enjoyed most about this novel was the introduction of new characters mainly new Epics. I have this fascination with learning about their powers and weaknesses almost as much as David. The reader is also introduced to a new city called Babylon Restored, a former version of Manhattan. This city contains some pretty fascinating Epics and elements which gives it a striking difference from
Newcago. It is completed covered with water and contains fruit that randomly grows with no dirt or fertilizer. While there we also meet a new group of Reckoners who are extremely different from the ones in the first novel. Sanderson does a wonderful job incorporating them into the story line. It was a beautiful, smooth transition. 

The plot of this book was exceptional. At first I assumed it was going to be rather slow because there was less action than in the novella and the first novel; however, this novel is more focused on building the overall story and giving the reader information in terms of how the world came to exist with the presence of Calamity. This book provided so much insight that it even tied up the loose ends of the first novel. It also made me question what role Calamity plays in this new world. One improvement that I liked and saw within Firefight was the development of the relationship between Megan and David. In the first novel it felt a little forced and rushed, but in this second installment it feels more natural. And I really appreciated that Megan kept her tough personality. She also plays an extremely vital role in understanding how Epics control their powers. 

If you have not started this series I highly recommend it. It has a little bit of everything in it from action to adventure to suspense. And brace yourself for one absolutely crazy ending. 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

07 February 2016

Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma Vol. 1 - 4 by Yuto Tsukuda

Hey fellow readers and book bloggers I decided to do a mash-up review of the first four volumes of Food Wars since they are so small. If you haven't read the first volume I would definitely suggest just reading my review of the first one as the other three may contain spoilers. Enjoy!

Published: 2013

# of Pages: 208

Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million

Goodreads Summary/Blurb:

Soma Yukihira's old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town. Aiming to one day surpass his father's culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school! Can Soma really cut it in a school that prides itself on a 10 percent  graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?

My Thoughts/Review:

This was definitely picked this manga up on a whim. I recently purchased a subscription to Hulu and started watching Sailor Moon. While watching Sailor Moon I decided to do some background research in regards to manga and found several titles to check out. When I finally received the opportunity to go to the bookstore I could not find any of the titles I was looking for and for some reason this just stood out to me and boy was I happy I picked it up.

Food Wars is like Iron Chef for teens. It combines humor, creativity, drama, etc. However, I did have to become adjusted to the somewhat sexual nature of the sense of humor. Every time characters tasted an exceptional dish their body reacted in a physical manner. It was strange at first; however, I ended up finding myself laughing at these jokes and saw how they fit into the overall theme of the manga. If you are interested in cooking and humor I would recommend this manga. Each one even contains miniature recipes for you to try out.

4/5 Stars

Published: 2014

# of Pages: 200

Source: E-book, Kindle

Goodreads Summary/Blurb:

Leaving home for the first time in his young life, Soma moves into the school's Polaris Dormitory--a place run by an old crone and filled with crazy and eccentric students! Barely settled in, Soma quickly finds himself in one of Tohzuki's legendary cooking duels--a shokugeki! Who will his very first opponent be?

My Thoughts/Review:

This volume was just as good as the first volume. Full of interesting dialogue and cooking challenges. What I loved most about this volume was the introduction of the new students/characters. They compliment Soma's personality so well. I think one of my favorite new characters is  Megumi. She's a complete nervous wreck, but it is the friendship that she builds with Soma that gets her on the right track. She and the rest of the Polaris dormitory add a uniqueness to the series. Soma truly receives the opportunity to be around other students who have the same passion and goals as him.

4/5 Stars

Published: 2014

# of Pages: 200

Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million

Goodreads Blurb/Summary

The "teamwork and friendship-building" camp from hell begins! While most students are already petrified by the threat of instant expulsion for low marks, the unveiling of the teachers responsible for judging their dishes ratchets their fear to a whole new level! Just which fear-inducing teachers hold the culinary futures of Soma and the rest of the Polaris crew in their hands this time? 

My Thoughts/Review:

Okay the first thing anyone should know is that this cooking camp is definitely not anything that can be close to being identified as friendship and teamwork building. Think of it as a camp full of nothing but challenges and competition. The twists and turns in this volume were absolutely amazing. Every competition had unique elements that fully challenge the students. The reader also gets the opportunity to meet new characters like the Aldini brothers who come from an Italian background in their culinary skills. 
Soma is pushed to new levels with his cooking and I absolutely loved the recipes for the dishes he created. This was one of my favorite volumes of the entire series. 

4.5 Stars/5 Stars 

Published: 2014

# of Pages: 192

Source: Purchased Copy, Books-A-Million 

Goodreads Summary/Blurb

Let the shokugeki begin! Soma has challenged Totsuki graduate Chef Shinomiya in order to prevent Megumi's pending explosion. However, thanks to a condition levied by Gin Dojima, the match turns in an unexpected direction! With such a foolhardy challenge, can Soma and Megumi win to survive another day? 

My Thoughts/Review

This is the volume where we see Megumi blossom as a chef. She takes on challenges with fear; however, with the help of Soma she learns to trust and believe in her culinary skills. I loved the role that Gin Dojima played in this volume. He sees the potential in Soma that the readers are exposed to in the first book. I can also appreciate that he looks at students for their skills and not their background especially since a lot of students look down on Soma because he comes from a family owned restaurant--one that is not elegant by any means. In this volume Soma truly exhibits what it means to be a friend in the face of struggles and you feel the tightness of the group grow even stronger. 

4/5 Stars

*If you are interested definitely check out the anime related to this series. It's really good and I usually watch it after reading a volume. Here's the intro video for the series: 

05 February 2016

The Friday #56, #7 Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma Vol. 5 by Yuto Tsukuda

The Friday #56 is weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice. Join in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book, any book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it)
  • Post it 

** Be sure to post the links to your Friday 56 below! 

Happy Reading!

So this week I've decided to take an excerpt in the form of a photograph from my newly obsessed fandom Food Wars! I picked this series up because it looked interesting and I'm absolutely loving it and the anime. If you love cooking or you enjoy the show Iron Chef I would definitely give this a try. Slight warning though it will make you rather hungry while reading. With a combination of humor and self-discovery this manga is guaranteed to blow your mind. 

This is a high light of when the characters go to a cooking camp in which they must pass all of the cooking challenges or risk being expelled and sent home. The camp is completely brutal, but definitely challenges the creativity of the students at Totsuki Institute. 


The assignment is to invent a new dish worthy of appearing on the high-class Totsuki Resort's breakfast menu. To create their dishes, Soma and his friends use the combined knowledge and confidence they've gained while at the cooking camp to individually pass the challenge.--everyone, that is, except for Soma! Having made a critical error, he finds himself behind with little time left. What can he do to overcome his biggest hurdle yet?!?