Tag Archives: realistic

Year in Review: Favorite Reads of 2014

Children’s Book Review: Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Feiwel & Friends Published Oct. 7, 2014 240 Pages
Feiwel & Friends
Published Oct. 7, 2014
240 Pages

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome and a love of homonyms. For Rose, her life revolves around homonyms. Just look at her do: Rain/Reign/Rein.

The two are rarely apart (school being the only thing), so when her Rose’s father let’s Rain out during a hurricane and she don’t come back, Rose has a fit and is determined to find her dog but in the process find that Rain wasn’t really her’s after all.

I love Ann M. Martin. That is why I picked up this book. And also the cover is really beautiful.

Despite my love of Martin, I didn’t think I would enjoy this book because it is a children’s book without a slight YA spin. But I am glad I was pleasantly surprised.

My heart ached for Rose. She was such a wonderful girl and to be honest, if it wasn’t said I really wouldn’t think she has a disability. Yes, her love of homonyms were obsessive and yes, she blurted things out in class but she was extremely smart and she knew there was a time and place for things. Not only did she know right from wrong and only wanted things to be done in the right way BUT THERE WAS ACTUAL GROWTH OF HER CHARACTER!

I cannot tell you how happy I was when I was reading this book; seeing her making choices to make a friend and do right by her best friend Rain. I also liked the character development of the father. He was a butt and I am not happy by the decision he made but it wasn’t unexpected.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful children’s book that wouldn’t mind if an adult read it. It is a coming of age novel without the BS drama and real life issues for someone trying to do right by herself and the world.

5 Pickles

Manga Review: Pink by Kyōko Okazaki

               Vertical        Published 1989             256 Pages
Published 1989
256 Pages

Yumiko is a call girl as a part time job because her full time job doesn’t pay her enough to feed her pet crocodile. Haru, an aspiring author,  is paid by Yumiko’s stepmother’s to sleep with him.

When the two meet things are bound to get a bit out of control and the unexpected happens that changes the life of Yumiko and Haru.


This manga was not exactly what I was expecting. Picking up this book I thought it was going to be about a call girl who has some emotional baggage and a writer that comes to save the day . . .  completely the opposite.

Yumiko is an independent woman, who knows exactly what to do. She was great, funny and very easy going. She was an extremely likable character. Maybe not relate-able but I did really like her.

Haru wasn’t a bad character. He is a average joe that happens to get paid for sex. Unlike Yumiko, who has multiple partners, he only has one. They both connect with each other not because they are prostitutes but because of something deeper. I really enjoyed their relationship, although it was fast.

The art was realistic. There wasn’t a lot of exaggeration in the artwork , which is normally what you see in Japanese manga. I really appreciated this while reading. It made the story feel simple and easy to read.

My only downfall to this book is that there isn’t a second one. It stops with a huge cliffhanger and I cannot put my finger on why the author would do that. I really want to know what happens to the two because I really liked them.

Overall this manga gets 4 Pickles.


Book Review: My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

     Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)   Published Sept. 4, 2012           256 Pages
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published Sept. 4, 2012
256 Pages

I don’t usually read realistic fiction but I made a promise to review more of these genres.

16 year old Angel meets Call at the mall when he sees her shop lifting. Instead of turning her in he buys her food and tells her he loves her. After some time he offers her candy (drugs) and Angel no longer thinks about her mother who died and pretty soon she is addicted.

Kicked out her house, Angel moves in with Call and begins working on the corner to receive more candy. When her friend Serena disappears and Call brings in a new girl, Angel decides a stand must be taken.

This book is told in verse so it was a fairly quick read but that doesn’t mean it was any less emotional. But because this book is still a fiction novel I have to judge it as such and state what I felt was wrong with it.  I felt that there should have been more detail as into why Angel began stealing. I understand her mother passed away but did she have friends?  If not, why? How close was she to her mother? We obviously know she wasn’t close to her father but was she no old enough to not take drugs? She is 16.

I am not stating that it cannot happen it just didn’t seem realistic to me that is all. Also when Angel spoke it was if she never went to school a day in her life. As if she was always living on the street.

What I enjoyed about the book was the emotions. You felt Angel’s pain, and confusion. It was powerful. Do I think it would have better if the book wasn’t written in verse? No, I think if it was written as a typical novel the author would have to stretch Angel’s before and after story.

Overall, I thought the book was a good scared straight tactic which I am assuming was the point of the story. I give it an 8 out of 10. I needed a bigger reason for why a 16 year old girl made the decision she made.