Friday Favorites: 5 Books & Novellas I Want To See Get More Love

new Friday fave

Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes.  It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or at length, depending on my mood 😉


Today I wanted to take a moment to look at a few favorite books belonging to various genres, but all deserving of equal praise (in my opinion of course). Each of the following books made a significant impact in my life for different reasons and fell into the 5-star category. I was surprised to find that they currently had around 1k or fewer ratings on Goodreads, and I hardly ever encounter someone who has read them.

belle-i-love-reading.gif

5 Books & Novellas I Want To See Get More Love

(Additional info from Goodreads linked in titles)

25688977The Monster on the Road is Me
By JP Romney

Synopsis:

It starts with the crows. When you see them, you know he s found you.

Koda Okita is a high school student in modern-day Japan who isn’t very popular. He suffers from narcolepsy and has to wear a watermelon-sized helmet to protect his head in case he falls. But Koda couldn’t care less about his low social standing. He is content with taking long bike rides and hanging out in the convenience store parking lot with his school-dropout friend, Haru.

But when a rash of puzzling deaths sweeps his school, Koda discovers that his narcoleptic naps allow him to steal the thoughts of nearby supernatural beings. He learns that his small town is under threat from a ruthless mountain demon that is hell-bent on vengeance. With the help of a mysterious – and not to mention very cute classmate – Koda must find a way to take down this demon. But his unstable and overwhelming new abilities seem to have a mind of their own

*You can find my full review here (mind you, I was still learning).

31214015Long Black Veil
By Jennifer Finney Boylan

“It’s funny how you can know a person, think of him as your closest friend, and still never gain access to the secret chambers in his heart.”

Synopsis:

Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death.

The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.

*Find my review here.

33099584Mapping the Interior
By Stephen Graham Jones

“I’m all right,” I told her. This is a lie, when you’re twelve. And all the other years, too.”

Synopsis:

Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.

*My full review can be read here.

34674695Quest of the Dreamwalker
By Stacy Bennet

Synopsis:

A perfect captive, Cara didn’t know her will had been stolen until she escapes with borrowed courage.

Cloistered in the Black Keep with only her father for company, Cara is an unwitting prisoner bound by chains of ignorance and lies rather than iron–until she meets a captured mercenary in her father’s dungeon. He kindles within her a spark of compassion she never knew she had and lends her an unfamiliar strength. But, the mercenary is slated to die, sacrificed to her father’s magic like all the others. Only this time, Cara can’t turn a blind eye. Unable to endure her father’s cruelty any longer, she vows to help the mercenary escape.

Now, as they flee to a world she’s only dreamed of, she finds defiance has a steep price. Her very existence endangers everyone she has come to care about. Who is she that her father refuses to let her go? To uncover the secret of her past, she must unravel the mystery of her dreams and claim the heritage of her own magical blood—before her father claims her as the last sacrifice.

*Read my thoughts here.

11307606The End of the World 
By Andrew Bliss

Synopsis: 

Accustomed to a life of cosseted seclusion at home with his parents, Valentine is suddenly faced with making his own way in the world. His new life is quickly upended, however, when he’s mugged at gunpoint. Finding shelter at a mysterious inn run by the dour Mrs. Anna, he soon encounters a Bosnian woman with a hole where her stomach used to be, an American entrepreneur with a scheme to implant televisions into people’s foreheads, and a Catholic priest who attempts to lure him down inside a kitchen sink. Then things start getting strange… An odd, yet oddly touching tale of life, death, and the space in-between.

*My very limited thought on Goodreads.


What are some titles that you enjoyed but hear little about? Have you read any of the above?

Happy Friday,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Friday Favorites: Supernatural/Horror Anime

new Friday fave

Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes.  It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or at length, depending on my mood 😉


My appreciation of animated films and anime is no secret to anyone who frequents the blog. However, it is very rare that I discuss the major genres of supernatural and horror in anime, as I know it does not appeal to a large portion of my audience. But today. I have decided to give some of my favorites their much deserved praise.

another.gif

My Favorite Supernatural/Horror Anime

deathparadeDeath Parade

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: After death, there is no heaven or hell, only a bar that stands between reincarnation and oblivion. There the attendant will, one after another, challenge pairs of the recently deceased to a random game in which their fate of either ascending into reincarnation or falling into the void will be wagered. Whether it’s bowling, darts, air hockey, or anything in between, each person’s true nature will be revealed in a ghastly parade of death and memories, dancing to the whims of the bar’s master. Welcome to Quindecim, where Decim, arbiter of the afterlife, awaits!

deadmanwonderlandDeadman Wonderland

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: It looked like it would be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates—they were preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers’ amusement. However, Ganta’s life is quickly turned upside down when his whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Framed for the incident and sentenced to death, Ganta is sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit.

But Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

The young protagonist is thrown into a world of sadistic inmates and enigmatic powers, to live in constant fear of the lethal collar placed around his neck that is slowed only by winning in the prison’s deathly games. Ganta must bet his life to survive in a ruthless place where it isn’t always easy to tell friend from foe, all while trying to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name, in Deadman Wonderland.

hellsingultimateHellsing Ultimate

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.

Integra’s vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.

In a battle for mankind’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one’s worst nightmare.

yamishibaiYami Shibai

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: The mysterious, yellow-masked Storyteller is a man whose true name and origin are both unknown. He appears at dusk where children gather and recites sinister tales based on Japanese urban legends, to which his young audience eerily intakes. However, the Storyteller is no ordinary teller of tales. He incorporates a kamishibai, a traditional paper-scrolling device, to add visuals to his already demented narration.

A series of short horror stories, Yami Shibai begins with a bachelor who, after moving into a new apartment, immediately starts sensing a malevolent glare being pressed into him. A single talisman rests on his ceiling, but he has no way of knowing it is one of the few safeguards that separate him from a bottomless pit of suffering. Each story is more terrifying, more appalling, and more sickening than the last as the Storyteller’s audience find themselves being sucked into the vicious world of his words.

lost village 3The Lost Village

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: A bus full of eccentric individuals is headed towards the urban legend known as Nanaki Village, a place where one can supposedly start over and live a perfect life. While many have different ideas of why the village cannot be found on any map, or why even the police cannot pinpoint its location, they each look forward to their new lives and just what awaits them once they reach their destination.

After a few mishaps, they successfully arrive at Nanaki Village only to find it completely abandoned. Judging from the state of disrepair, it has been vacant for at least a year. However, secrets are soon revealed as some of the group begin to go missing while exploring the village and amidst the confusion, they find bloody claw marks in a forest. As mistrust and in-fighting break out, will they ever be able to figure out the truth behind this lost village?

highschoolofthedeadHighschool of the Dead

My Rating: 7/10

MAL Synopsis: It happened suddenly: The dead began to rise and Japan was thrown into total chaos. As these monsters begin terrorizing a high school, Takashi Kimuro is forced to kill his best friend when he gets bitten and joins the ranks of the walking dead. Vowing to protect Rei Miyamoto, the girlfriend of the man he just executed, they narrowly escape their death trap of a school, only to be greeted with a society that has already fallen.

Soon, Takashi and Rei band together with other students on a journey to find their family members and uncover what caused this overwhelming pandemic. Joining them is Saeko Busujima, the beautiful president of the Kendo Club; Kouta Hirano, an otaku with a fetish for firearms; Saya Takagi, the daughter of an influential politician; and Shizuka Marikawa, their hot school nurse. But will the combined strength of these individuals be enough to conquer this undead apocalypse?

parasytemaximParasyte -The Maxim-

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: All of a sudden, they arrived: parasitic aliens that descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. These insatiable beings acquire full control of their host and are able to morph into a variety of forms in order to feed on unsuspecting prey.

Sixteen-year-old high school student Shinichi Izumi falls victim to one of these parasites, but it fails to take over his brain, ending up in his right hand instead. Unable to relocate, the parasite, now named Migi, has no choice but to rely on Shinichi in order to stay alive. Thus, the pair is forced into an uneasy coexistence and must defend themselves from hostile parasites that hope to eradicate this new threat to their species.

tokyoghoulTokyo Ghoul

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls’ inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

anotherAnother

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Syopsis: In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within.

Twenty-six years later, 15-year-old Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon after discovers that a strange, gloomy mood seems to hang over all the students. He also finds himself drawn to the mysterious, eyepatch-wearing student Mei Misaki; however, the rest of the class and the teachers seem to treat her like she doesn’t exist. Paying no heed to warnings from everyone including Mei herself, Kouichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.

Another follows Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are pulled into the enigma surrounding a series of inevitable, tragic events—but unraveling the horror of Yomiyama may just cost them the ultimate price.

BlackButlerBlack Butler

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: Young Ciel Phantomhive is known as “the Queen’s Guard Dog,” taking care of the many unsettling events that occur in Victorian England for Her Majesty. Aided by Sebastian Michaelis, his loyal butler with seemingly inhuman abilities, Ciel uses whatever means necessary to get the job done. But is there more to this black-clad butler than meets the eye?

In Ciel’s past lies a secret tragedy that enveloped him in perennial darkness—during one of his bleakest moments, he formed a contract with Sebastian, a demon, bargaining his soul in exchange for vengeance upon those who wronged him. Today, not only is Sebastian one hell of a butler, but he is also the perfect servant to carry out his master’s orders—all the while anticipating the delicious meal he will eventually make of Ciel’s soul. As the two work to unravel the mystery behind Ciel’s chain of misfortunes, a bond forms between them that neither heaven nor hell can tear apart.


Do you enjoy darker anime or films? If so, have you watched the above or do you have any favorites to recommend?

Happy Friday!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

FRIDAY FAVORITES: NETFLIX ORIGINALS TO BINGE, PART 3

new Friday fave

Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes.  It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or at length, depending on my mood 😉


As my queue continues to expand (not quite to the extremes of my TBR but close), I have decided to share more Netflix Originals. I continue to discover series that are definitely binge-worthy, and well, most of us are often seeking that next good watch when we are not immersed in books.

tv

Netflix Originals: Round 3

requiem-e1520840445578Netflix Original: Requiem
Cast:  Lydia WilsonJames FrechevilleSian Reese-Williams
The Skinny: This British thriller offers a nice mix of fantasy and the supernatural. When cello star Matilda Gray’s mother takes her own life, she discovers a concerning link to the disappearance of a Welsch girl years ago and travels to Wales in search of answers.
Pros: Atmospheric and brooding plotline with a slow revelation. Excellent cast.
Cons: An ultimately far-fetched ending that some will struggle with.
My rating: 4/5 – the ending was not enough to deter my love for this series.

tabulaNetflix Original: Tabula Rasa
Cast: Veerle BaetensStijn Van OpstalJeroen Perceval
The Skinny: A Dutch thriller centered around a young woman, Annemie D’Haeze. After an accident leaves her with amnesia and no short-term memory, she becomes the center of a missing person investigation.
Pros: Well developed, complex plot with unexpected twists.
Cons: A few themes that may be sensitive in nature for some.
My rating: 5/5 – I binged this one hard and was caught off guard by the end events.

frankenstein

Netflix Original: The Frankenstein Chronicles
Cast: Sean BeanRichie CampbellTom Ward
The Skinny: John Marlott is an inspector tasked with a gruesome job. He is investigating a set of mysterious murders that appear to be the work of a scientist attempting to reanimate the dead.
Pros: Beautiful period piece set in 19th Century London with superb acting (hello Sean Bean).
Cons: Often graphic and sometimes slow pace.
My rating: 4/5 – Loved the setting, costume, and well.. Sean Bean.

fullmetalalchemistNetflix Original: Fullmetal Alchemist
Cast: Ryôsuke YamadaTsubasa HondaDean Fujioka
The Skinny: This is the live adaptation of the beloved manga and anime series and a film, not actually a series. It follows the Elric brothers whose attempt to use alchemy to revive their mother goes horribly wrong, leaving the younger brother without a body. Now they search for the Philosopher’s Stone, which they believe is the answer to their problems.
Pros: The spirit of the brothers and key elements of the story are captured.
Cons: The graphics felt over the top, and there were a few omissions.
My Rating 3/5 – This is worth a watch if you are fan! Once I let go of my initial hangups, I really enjoyed the film.


The list is a little smaller this round, as I have not been able to watch as much television. What have you been watching? Any thoughts on the above or any recommendations?

Happy Friday!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram