I suffer from a weird reading habit. For me it’s very hard to get into a book, or a manga… any fiction story. I either, read the first two paragraphs and close the book, or read enough to get me a little hooked, but immediately jump to the last page, read the end, and… well, close the book depending on the ending. I’m not sure what it is that has made me this way, but I’m sort of jaded when it comes to fiction stories. It feels as if I have read them all, and know them all; only that it’s not really how it is.
Most stories follow a pattern; in comedies, at the beginning everything is bliss, then it all starts to fall apart to later go back to that state of happiness. It is the twist and turns, the misunderstandings, and incongruities the characters have to face what makes the difference. In drama, well, things are dramatic, tragic, sad, etc. It might have a successful conclusion or not, but the character is supposed to have changed drastically in one way or the other. In action, a good set of complications together with a charismatic character, and your set. In mystery, complex main characters, and creepy family stories, also a lot of details and information on the murderers… well, you get my point. Ultimately, it is how the writer tells the story what really gets the reader hooked or disappointed.
I have been reading since I was very little. I remember my mom always tried to get me to read a story. Whether it was from a magazine, book, or comic book, but she would bring home something for me to read. She is a veteran reader; she can read ten books in a month and still have time for everything else in her life. (sighs) I’ll never be as good as her.
As a child I read mostly Russian children books (back then it was Soviet Union) I had four children books from Russia, and each tome was a different color; red, blue, yellow, green. Stories of Czars and Czarina, frog princes, cities on top of gigantic whales, filled the pages of the book with gorgeous illustrations. All were beautiful stories that marked my childhood. I will never forget them.
Later I indulged in Victoria Holt, and her mystery love novels. I read them once, and then read them again; it was pure bliss for my teenage self. Then it was Ann Rice’s turn to captivate me, and she did with an incredible speed. I had only read the first book of the Vampire Chronicles (Interview With The Vampire) and was already buying all the other books in the series. I read them all, and fell in love with Lestat –my forever prince. I had dreams that Lestat was real, and that someday he would come to my window and ask me to join him in his adventure. I was also only seventeen, and very naïve. After that, my desire to feed every fiction story I could find into my brain became more of a placid diversion in my life. But there were very few writers that could hold my interest and not make me want to jump to the last page.
There was Sidney Sheldon with Tell Me Your Dreams, and then, after that, every other book I read from him was more of a commitment to the writer than anything else. Dan Brown with Digital Fortress, whose other books quickly turned into another commitment (a “jump to the last page” kind of thing). Of course, there was always manga in between fiction novels. I read Hot Gimmick and was very much into it; Tokyo Boys from the same author; Doubt; Kare First Love, and many others that don’t come to mind at the moment. It was all a novelty for me, those manga stories. Then there was the Pendragon series. I loved Bobby Pendragon and was constantly hoping for him and Loor to stay together. But, my “almost-never-wrong” intuition spoiled it for me. And it’s that I seem to, 95% of the time (I don’t like to say 99% it really is just a more modest way of saying 100) know who the killer is, or with whom the main character will stay, or what the mystery concerning the old abandoned house is. Really, I do know these things from very early in the book, and as I progress in the story and things turn out as I predict, then it all becomes very boring and not so interesting anymore (so I do the “jum to the last page” thing). I stopped reading all together for a while. But then, Larsson happened. I got so attached to the book it was ridiculous. I couldn’t tell the outcome, I had no idea that it was what it was until later in the book, much, much later. Sadly, there are no more books of the Millennium series (at least for now).
So, what happens now? Do I go into another depressing time in which I have nothing to read, and -in a miserable attempt to read something- spend lots of money on books (the ones that make me do the “jump to the last page” thing) that don’t even make it to the bookshelf? They lay around the house for days until they get lost in some kind of storage box. Nope, not this time.
This summer, I read many manga stories; also, I read (tried to is more like it) The Twelfth Card, and James Patterson’s, I Alex Cross. It seemed like I had all the time in the world to finish reading those two books I last mentioned, and so, always put off the reading for another day. But there is no more time to put it off, really. Because school has started, and with it my summer has ended. I can no longer read as much as I would like. Hey! At least I didn’t jump to the last page.
I want to end my summer reading, with a list of the manga and books I read or have the intention of finish reading. I want to share what awesome stories I read, and hope that it would help those who are in search of something good to read.
I have list them in no particular order, but I have rate each based on how much I enjoyed it in a scale of 1-5. (It would be helpful to know that I am only basing my judgment on the first volume of each manga, whether I have read more volumes or not. I figured, if you are not hooked in the first volume, then, you won’t be hooked at all.)
– Rurouni Kenshin, by Nobuhiro Watsuki. 5 (awesome, but who does not think so?)
– Flower in a Storm, by Shigeyoshi Takagi. 1 (too predictable)
– Butterflies, Flowers, by Yuki Yoshihara. 3 (it managed to entertain and intrigue me, even if just a little)
– Dengeki Daisy, by Kyousuke Motomi. 4 (Nice romance, with a twist)
– Suki-tte li nay o, by Hazuki Kanae. 5 (good-classic-school romance)
– Honey Hunt, by Miki Aihara. 3 (I miss Hot Gimmick)
– Ikigami, by Mase Motoro. 5 (excellent manga, truly the best read)
– Dogs, by Shirow Miwa. 2 (eh… nah)
Do I expect you to trust my ratings? No. Like I said, I have a very poor reading habit.
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