Reading Challenge: A Book with Antonyms in the Title

The 2015 Reading Challenge has been on for almost a month now, and some of the easiest categories are already checked off on many a reader’s list! One-word titles, female authors, easy peasy, especially if you’re sticking to YA books. But what about some of those tricky ones? Have you asked your mom (or motherly support figure) what books she loves yet? Found something that came out the year you were born? How about finding a book with a color in the title–or even harder, antonyms in the title?

If you’re stuck on that last one, you’re in luck. With the help of Liz, one of WNPL’s fantastic team of shelvers, we concocted a set of 9 different YA books with antonyms in the titles, just for you! All of these books can be found in The Vault.

2015 Reading Challenge Antonym Titles

Titles Featured:

Now that you don’t have an excuse to skip this category, what are you going to read next?

Anime Updates

The first Anime & Manga Club meeting of 2015 was this past Wednesday, and it was fantastic! Lots of teens stopped by to watch Puella Magi Madoka★Magica, eat delicious snacks, and enter to win manga and mystery boxes filled with candy.

With the start of a new year comes new changes! Miss Joanne officially passed the reins over to me on Wednesday, and I will be running the anime club from here on out. Anime is one of my passions, so I’m going to do my best to give club members the anime club experience you want! Since taking over, I’ve added two ways for you to keep up with the anime we’ve shown and make new requests.


of requested & previously-shown anime
Request a Title
to be shown in the future

First, The Vault is now on MyAnimeList under the name WNPLvault. That means club members have a new way to see the anime titles that have already been shown or requested! (You can also see which requests have been denied in the Dropped category.)

Second, we now have an online form to request anime titles outside of meetings. You can get to that form any time by clicking the button above or by clicking the same button on the Anime & Manga Club page. Feel free to submit as many titles as you want.

Sailor Moon poster

Join us to watch Sailor Moon on February 18 from 4:00 to 5:30

Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran otaku, don’t miss our next meeting on Wednesday, February 18! We’ll watch the first three uncut episodes of the classic anime Sailor Moon, recently remastered to look better than ever, with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

You’ll always find the latest schedule information on the Anime & Manga Club page here on The Vault site. Check it out to see what else is on the schedule for the next few months of the school year!

Crayola’s Reading Challenge Reviews

I’ve finished 3 more books already for the 2015 Reading Challenge! All three of these books have female authors and are set in countries other than the US, but since I’m playing Hard Mode, I can only count one category per book. (You can count books for as many categories as you want–I think three is a good limit to challenge yourself a bit but not as much as Hard Mode.)

a book by a female author

Unraveled by Gennifer Albin

Unraveled by Gennifer Albin

First, I finished Unraveled by Gennifer Albin. This book is the conclusion to the Crewel trilogy, and unfortunately, it didn’t really satisfy me. I was so intrigued by the setup of the first book, then confused and frustrated by the way the second introduced more issues without resolving any from the first, and this finale, though it did wrap up almost every loose end, just did not make up for the problems of the second book. I found myself impatiently skipping phrases and skimming the text, trying to figure out what happened next in the plot without having to spend more time than necessary actually reading the novel. It was worth reading to find out what happened in the end, but I can’t say I enjoyed it.

I would recommend it to people who really want to know how the trilogy ends, but that’s about it.

Other categories this book fits: one-word title; set in a different country (if you count fictional countries as different); book with bad reviews; trilogy (if you read Crewel and Altered, too); with a love triangle; set in the future

Categories this book might fit: by an author you love but you haven’t read yet; friend recommendation; bottom of your to-read list; your mom loves; based entirely on its cover; made you cry (if you’re easily affected by mediocre character deaths); author you’ve never read before; own but have never read; written by an author with your same initials (G.A.); started but never finished

a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Luckily, the next book I picked up fascinated me. Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye by Marie Mutsuki Mockett is a meandering, thoughtful memoir that relates Marie’s journey to conquer her grief for her father and grandfather. Mockett’s family connection to a Buddhist temple jumpstarted her investigation into the many ways that Japanese people cope with tragedy and loss. Much of the book deals with the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 tsunami, since the huge number of lives lost created thousands of grieving families, friends, and neighbors. Mockett has a very active voice, so this is not merely an objective textbook dryly recounting facts about Buddhism and Shinto funeral customs. Where the Dead Pause is a personal story of a Japanese-American woman struggling to make sense of a culture that is both intimately hers and not at all her own, and although I have almost nothing in common with Mockett, I found her very relatable.

I am not usually someone who reads nonfiction, but this one really captured me. This book is shelved in the adult nonfiction section, but it’s very readable for any teen interested in these subjects. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in Japanese culture, global traditions relating to death and dying, or to fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff and Spook books.

Other categories this book fits: published this year; female author; set in a different country; nonfiction; memoir

Categories this book might fit: by an author you love that you haven’t read yet; friend recommendation; bottom of your to-read list; your mom loves; scares you (if you’re scared of death and ghosts); based entirely on its cover; made you cry; author you’ve never read before; takes place in your hometown (are you from Japan?); written by an author with your same initials (M.M.M.)

a book set in a different country

Gilded by Christina Farley

Gilded by Christina Farley

Finally, I rounded out my trio with another YA novel, Gilded by Christina Farley. Jae Hwa Lee has recently moved from her native city of L.A. to her dad’s native city of Seoul, South Korea, where she soon discovers that her family is cursed. The firstborn daughter of each generation is captured by a demigod after she turns 15, unless she is already married or out of the country. Jae Hwa, age 16, is targeted by Haemosu, the aforementioned demigod, as soon as she moves to Seoul. She’s a strong teen, proficient in tae kwon do and Korean archery, but can she fight off Haemosu and keep her freedom? This urban fantasy is reminiscent of Japanese anime and Korean manhwa. There are a few logical inconsistencies that could have been tightened up in editing, but the rest of the story will sweep readers along fast enough that they will be willing to gloss over the issues to get to the next action scene. Gilded is a wonderfully fresh take on myths and legends coming alive in modern times.

I’d recommend this one to manga and manhwa fans for sure, especially fans of action or fantasy manga. Fans of the TV show The Legend of Korra might also get a kick out of it, since the heroine of the story is a physically strong fighter like Korra. It’s a different type of story than Korra’s, but there are enough similarities that I’d urge fans to give it a try.

Other categories this book fits: nonhuman characters; female author; one-word title; set in high school; color in the title (“gilded” refers to gold); with magic; author you’ve never read before (this is her debut)

Categories this book might fit: friend recommendation; bottom of your to-read list; based entirely on its cover; own but have never read; takes place in your hometown (are you from Korea?); written by an author with your same initials (C.F.); started but never finished

 

Book Clubs for Teens

The Kool Reads book club meets today, January 13, from 4:30 to 5:30 to discuss The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson.

If you didn’t have time to read The Great Trouble but still want to attend a book club meeting in January, Books on the Edge will meet next Tuesday, January 20, from 4 to 5pm to discuss Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.

Light refreshments will be served at both meetings.

Kool Reads pick for January 2015

Kool Reads pick for January 2015

Books on the Edge pick for January 2015

Books on the Edge pick for January 2015

 

 

Crayola’s Reading Challenge: Graphic Novel

Otomen volume 1

Otomen volume 1, by Aya Kanno

I finished my first reading challenge book last week! Okay, okay, it’s a graphic novel, but hey. I still finished it and now I can check that off my list. To be entirely accurate, I’ve read probably about 25 graphic novels between January 1 and now, but Otomen was my favorite. After finishing this first volume, I quickly went and read the next 6. I only stopped because someone else has volume 8 checked out right now!

Here’s a summary of the concept:

Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things–sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can’t sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he’s falling for?

This manga is, not surprisingly, a shojo manga written for a female audience. It’s a romantic comedy–emphasis on the comedy. Even though it’s a little conventional in the given gender roles, it’s so lighthearted and fun that it’s hard to avoid getting swept along in the story! Plus, as the story progresses from volume to volume, the emphasis switches from fitting the mold to being true to yourself. And who doesn’t want a little more encouragement to be yourself?

I can’t wait to read the rest of this manga,and luckily, WNPL owns all 18 volumes. I just hope Volume 8 gets checked back in soon.

One down, 49 to go!

One down, 49 to go!

Other Categories: written by someone under 30; funny; female author; one-word title; set in a different country; finish in a day; set in high school; graphic novel; originally written in a different language; turned into a TV show [live action, not anime]

Categories this book might fit: an author you love that you haven’t read yet; friend recommended; the bottom of your to-read list; based entirely on its cover; set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit;  author you’ve never read before; takes place in your hometown; author with your same initials; started but never finished