Novel Update – We’ve Got a Cover!

Now that we’ve finalized the design for the cover, I’m also excited to announce that there will be ARC’s available very soon.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has followed my updates and shown support during each stage of this book. Your encouragement helped me push through and I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.

Over the next week I will be releasing more information about the ARC’s, for those interested in reviewing, but for now I will be sharing that little teaser image and letting you know that the ARC’s provided will be in ebook format.

Here is a little more information:

Target Audience: YA.

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance…

Daytime Shooting Star Vol. 8 Review *spoilers*

I recently completed volume 8 of Daytime Shooting Star, and I have to admit the lack of Mr. Shishio definitely improved my reading experience. I like this series a lot but I find that my ratings flop between 4 and 5 star simply because of his character. It’s the scenes where Suzume is feeling completely vulnerable and insecure that I find both frustrating and upsetting, because she’s a kid in her first relationship and this grown man who is not only her teacher but also friends with her uncle is exploiting that.

This volume was fantastic because he wasn’t as present, and the story focused more on Suzume and her relationship with her friends, mother and uncle.

In the last volume I was thrilled when her uncle was furious with Shishio upon finding out about him and Suzume. I applauded.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Mr. Shishio. I like that he contradicts himself. I like that he’s a flawed character…I just don’t like the toxic relationship he has with Suzume. I know that the author Mika Yamamori has also expressed that many of her readers dislike him and I think it’s possibly because we’re seeing how problematic this relationship is.

I felt the same when rereading a favourite series of mine called Papillon by Miwa Ueda, where the leading protagonist Ageha dates her school guidance counsellor. It’s unsettling.

I understand that these two manga’s do fall under the umbrella of teen drama’s and forbidden love tropes but I can’t help but feel uncomfortable while breaking down these couples relationships. Suzume is completely crushed at this point in the series and had been working so hard to try to seem more grown up while spending time with Shishio outside of school. She felt so much pressure in the relationship, where his own concern was people finding out that he’s dating his student.

Back when I was in high school I didn’t think twice about this trope. I was eating up the drama. I was the same age as these female leads…now I’m the same age as their male love interests and certain scenes make me feel sick to my stomach. I still love the series, and I still enjoy the leading ladies of these books but I just can’t ship these characters. As a teenager I barely questioned it at all.

This must be what Pretty Little Liar’s fans felt like. I know that when I watched the first season of Riverdale I was pretty grossed out by the whole Archie x Grundy thing.

I have a feeling that I probably rant about this series a lot, and some might say, “Well if you don’t like the Student-Teacher trope then why do you still read it?” but honestly, it’s a good series. The story is compelling, the characters are engaging and the artwork is lovely. I was actually relieved when Mr. Shishio was called out for dating Suzume and acknowledged that what he was doing was wrong. I had hoped he would have called off the relationship before allowing things to escalate. I had hoped that in those moments where the reader gets a glance into his thoughts that he would push back, acknowledge how his behaviour and decide that it would be best to keep Suzume at a distance…but even when he did, he ended up pursuing this relationship with her and that was the point where I was like “Bruh. What the heck are you doing?”

Part of me hopes that they wont magically get back together but at the same time I’m doubtful.

The only series that I’ve read where this type of trope was criticized was Mars, which if I highly recommend, but I will give trigger warnings for various topics of abuse, self-harm and suicide.

I’ve noticed these topics in a lot of 90s shojo series…even ones that are considered comedies, so I always like to give a bit of a warning to anyone who may find these topics unsettling.

Going back to Daytime Shooting Star, as I mentioned before I used to read these tropes all the time. One of my favourite series was Dengeki Daisy, but in it Teru doesn’t get with Kurosaki while she’s still in high school. It is heavily implied that he refuses to acknowledge his feelings for her and won’t date her because of this. There are some other things about this that are clearly problematic and I do plan on rereading the series in the near future, since I own every volume…but it was the fact that he acknowledged that she was a teenage girl and decided not to pursue a relationship that I liked at the time. I believe I was like 17 to 20 when I was reading this series so again, my perspective may change like it did with Papillon.

Daytime Shooting Star has so much to offer. I rated volume 8 a full 5 stars! I just can’t review this series without discussing the problematic relationship between Suzume and Mr. Shishio. It caused her so much anxiety, and then upon the end left her depressed. It hurt seeing her that way and watching her friend encourage her to get with this older man who is clearly has an unfair power dynamic in their relationship.

Mamura, the other love interest in this series is protective of Suzume and I hated how in the last volumes this came across as him finally stepping up to be a rival when it in fact he was straight up calling out his teacher for having an extremely inappropriate relationship with a female student. Mamura is a good friend, and I’m glad that in volume 8 Suzume realizes this. I know that putting the spotlight on his character is meant to show him as a potential love interest but it is clear why most readers rooted for him from the beginning.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series and keeping my fingers crossed that Suzume’s ending is a good one…but I’m somewhat doubtful that her and Mamura will end up together as the forbidden love trope tends to be one that really draws audiences in, in terms of drama. Perhaps if they had been college students, and Mr. Shishio was her TA I would feel slightly more comfortable with the relationship…but as of now I’m just glad her uncle put him in his place.

Sold Out!

I’m not sure what happened since lock down but every manga series I’m currently reading is sold out online. Normally when something like this happens it’s because the series is being adapted into an anime.

I tend to buy one or two books in a series at a time, especially when I’m trying it out. So of course to my surprise when a series I haven’t seen anyone else reading is suddenly flying off the shelf, I’m like “Oh no…” because now I have to wait until its back in stock and unfortunately sometimes that can take months, especially if it’s Shojo. Shojo is that genre that tends to get overlooked unless one series in particular is trending, otherwise most sellers don’t pay any attention to it. It sucks for readers but I’ve gotten so used to it that I’ve just learned to jump between multiple manga series while I wait for the next volume. This is just that odd time where literally all of the series I’m currently reading are sold out. I’m sure the pandemic has something to do with the shortage. I know that one company had a warehouse fire and is still recovering from that, so the one series I’m reading is on hiatus until later this year.

Still it’s kind of a bummer because I was finally catching up on all of my reading.

I’ll probably keep checking online to see if the books are in stock yet and if I can order them. If now perhaps I’ll have to start something new…or buy one of the expensive ones that I tend to only purchase when I have gift cards.

Mexican Gothic, Full Review

I was engulfed by the pages of this book. Completely captivated by the imagery, the characters, the eeriness of the setting. The vividness of the passages was so intense, that when I was disturbed during my read I felt as though reality were a mere illusion. It created a haze, like a wonderfully, haunting daydream…and it lingered.

Over the years I’ve longed for a book like this. A book that made me want to devour every word. Where each sentence was worth losing sleep over…was worth losing track of time for.

The characters and setting felt real. I could see them, feel them, smell them. I got lost in this world which only existed for them, and I, merely a spectator was granted the opportunity to be invited inside.

It was dark. It was dark and yet, somehow as I read I begged for some way to illuminate it. For the glow to be a way out. For hope.

It’s hard to explain that last sentence without spoiling the book, but I truly believe this novel is worth reading.


The Characters

Naomi was an excellent leading lady. She was smart, witty and extremely fashionable. She never bowed her head, always staying true to herself. Thinking through each of her actions as she tried to figure out how to both help and protect her cousin Catalina, and later Francis.

I also adored the strong bond between Catalina and Naomi. Being able to see Catalina through Naomi’ eyes, and how living with her husbands family had changed her was heartbreaking. To be able to see this beautiful, kind soul, withering away like that…I truly felt Naomi’s pain as she interacted with her cousin.

Francis surprised me. He appears weaker and more timid than Virgil, almost like if one were to compare say the classic trope of the jock and the nerd. I immediately liked Francis, mainly because of his name and the fact that he spends much of his time reading or drawing. His quietness was a comfort, which is strange because the silence in this house is so eerie. It was his small gestures that really made him stand out. Subtle actions, like lending Naomi his sweater, or driving her to town. Little things that truly showed the depth of his character.


I purchased a copy of The Gods of Jade and Shadow before I reached the conclusion of this book, and was again immediately drawn in by the passages. I may have found a new favourite author, which is a wonderful feeling. I love that these books are also #ownvoices and written by a fellow Canadian author. Initially I was drawn in by the title of Mexican Gothic, as I do enjoy gothic literature and thought it might be nice to read a modern take on the genre. I’m so glad I did because if I would I would give this book a 10 star rating. It was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

To keep with the usual 5 star rating though, it gets a full 5 star from me. Well done.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Somethings Wrong With Us – Manga Review

The other day I finished reading the first three volumes of Somethings Wrong With Us by Natsumi Ando. I picked up the first volume after looking it over a few times. I thought the cover was beautiful, and the blurb on the back was intriguing.

From Goodreads: A spine-chilling and steamy romance between a Japanese sweets maker and the man who framed her mother for murder–Something’s Wrong With Us is the dark, psychological, sexy shojo series readers have been waiting for!


This series has gone above and beyond my expectations. That’s not something I usually say when it comes to shojo. Most are predictable and follow the same set of rules, but this one reminds me of thriller series like Monster or Blood on the Tracks. It still encompasses shojo elements and tropes, but there is so much more to this story than two characters who seem drawn together. There is an eeriness…or a loneliness that lingers in the text. It’s almost worse than a cliffhanger. This is one of those series that I couldn’t put down. I had to know what was coming next. I needed to see how this mystery unravels.

Surprisingly…at least to myself, I don’t read a lot of mysteries. I enjoy them immensely, especially when I watch them. I read more of them as a kid but for some reason as I got older I strayed away from the genre. These types of books are always so much fun. I love trying to guess whats going to happen next. I love the how high the stakes are raised in these types of stories! It’s exciting!

This series blends genres so well, and on top of that the artwork is gorgeous. I can also tell that a lot of research went into this series. I’m not a confectioner or anything, but I’ve really enjoyed learning about how much work goes into creating sweets and the amount of attention to detail confectioners have. This really adds something to the characters…and although the two leads have this in common, their approaches to it are vastly different.

The leading lady of this story is Nao. It’s hard not to connect with her off the bat. She’s determined, thoughtful, and passionate. She seems like the type of person who would be a very loyal and compassionate friend.

Tsubaki on the other hand is difficult to read. His character is a puzzle itself, especially to Nao who knew him when they were children. His actions often don’t reflect what he says. The one thing that is clear about his character, aside from his disciplined actions is that he’s lonely.

I like that Nao and Tsubaki both contrast and compliment one another. Their dynamic is interesting. Nao seems to have a push and pull method to their relationship. She’s constantly fighting herself internally, as she doesn’t want to get close to him, while Tsubaki’s intentions are often confusing.

Personally, I think that he feels drawn to her but doesn’t know if he can trust her. He can’t even trust his own family members…which is sad. It’s as though both him and Nao are orphans, despite Tsubaki’s mother still being alive.

I’m very curious to see what’s in store for these two in the next volume!

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Manga Recommendations

I’ve been plowing through my manga TBR lately and I’m pleased to say each of the new series I’ve started has been wonderful. A lot of them remind me of spring, and with the warm weather I’ve begun prepping a list of books to read outside.

First on my list is…

Waiting for Spring

I’ve only read volume 1 so far, but there was such a warmth to this first book that made me want to get my hands on the rest of the series as soon as possible!

The story follows a high-schooler named Mizuki who is struggling to make friends in her first year. She’s very shy, and struggles to reach out and open herself up to others.

After a series of events, she ends up being befriended by a group of boys from the schools basketball team.

I found Mizuki very easy to relate to and her new friends are incredibly funny, sweet and endearing.

I’m glad that I decided to take a chance on this series! I’ll definitely be doing a longer review of it in the near future, but I’ve been working and editing and haven’t had the time to type out my reviews haha.

I gave this first volume a full 5 stars!

The next book on my list…or I should say the next series is…


Love Me, Love Me Not

I’ve raved on and on about Io Sakisaka’s work here on my blog, and if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I’ve been reading this series now that the official English translations are available!

I adore every single leading character in this series. I constantly feel the need to scream “protect Yuna at all costs!” because she’s so precious. She’s just such a sweet, generous and thoughtful character.

This is one of those series where you can’t help but root for everyone. As the reader, you feel drawn to the cast, which is something that Io Sakisaka does really well with her shojo romances. All of her characters are relatable to some degree, and each have a clear goal in mind.

I like that compared to some of her previous work, these characters aren’t all simply striving towards the goal of gaining the affection of another…but are also discovering themselves and learning to love who they are!

I think as of the 3rd volume in the series, that Yuna is my favourite character, because I’ve gotten to see her become more and more confident in herself each volume.

5 stars!


A Sign of Affection

This book was fantastic! I’m so excited for the next volume to come out. Firstly, that artwork was breath-taking. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was lovely.

A brief summary: Yuki is a college student, who meets Itsuomi, a classmate of her best friend, who helps her on the train when a foreigner asks for directions.

Itsuomi speaks several languages, but doesn’t know sign language, which is what Yuki uses. Yuki offers to teach him so that the two of them can be friends. This friendship soon begins to blossom into something more…

The way sign language was incorporated throughout this book was excellent. It’s clear that the team did their research, and consulted with several sources when deciding to incorporate it into this manga. It was handled with respect and care.


I loved Yuki as the lead. She’s sweet, funny and genuine. She’s such a bright, warm, relatable character. I connected with her instantly and I absolutely adore her friends. There isn’t a single character in this book that I dislike!

5 Stars!


Daytime Shooting Star

CW: Student-teacher relationship and gaslighting…

I was ranting about this series to one of my co-workers the other day. I’ve reviewed the earlier volumes here on my blog, and each time the comment is the same.

Great series, but the teacher love interest thing really bugs me.

This volume however, which is volume 7 in the series had me cheering! I don’t want to give away any major spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read it, but Mr. Shishio gets whats coming to him.

It sucks because I like his character, I just hate his actions. He constantly questions his relationship with Suzume and YET continues to do the wrong thing…which just makes me so angry.

The story line is really well done. Watching all the anxiety and just…self-doubt that Suzume has in this volume is upsetting and there were definitely events in the previous volumes that lead up to this. I’m 100% going to finish this series because it’s really good!

I also love how in this volume the Mika Yamamori mentioned how almost all her readers hate Mr. Shishio. I found that so funny.

I really just want Suzume to be okay…because watching her go through all of this stress and anxiety makes me so sad. Like…I’m almost protective of her at this point. She’s just, such a good kid. I hate seeing her go through this.

This series overall at this point is a 4.5. Well written, lovely artwork but Mr. Shishio makes my stomach turn.

I also thought I would include a content warning above, as I know there are people out there who were in this type of situation and that this series may be a trigger for them. I feel its necessary for this series…especially with volume 7. Like…it hit hard.


A Perfect World

This series is extremely well researched. I was shocked. Not because I didn’t expect them to research spinal chord injuries, but because they didn’t gloss over anything…like they actually go into detail about the difficulties people in this type of relationship can face.

The cover of this book is beautiful, but unfortunately the image quality of it on Goodreads isn’t great.

To give some background, my Dad’s job is building and adjusting wheelchairs. So over the years, I’ve learned a few things here and there about different types of seat cushions, foot rests…that sort of thing, and how each chair should be specifically set for that particular person based on factors like their height, their usage (how often they’ll be in the chair) and the injury they have.

So when I saw all of this INCLUDED in this manga, I was like “Whoa! This is really detailed!”

Clearly, I’m not an expert on wheelchairs or spinal injuries. I’m not my Dad–I studied English Literature and Creative Writing–but from just going to work with him over the years and listening to him talk about some of the builds he’s done, I know that the authors really took the time to make sure that they learned everything they could when they decided to create this series.

I also love that the relationship isn’t heavily glamorized. I’ve seen this done in films and often it falls into the “sick girl/sick boy” trope which kind of…at least in my personal opinion has become a branch off of the manic pixie dream girl trope.

This series isn’t like that at all! These two people, Tsugumi and Itsuki are navigating their relationship, and learning about themselves as individuals and themselves as a couple. Tsugumi, although she loves him feels as though she isn’t doing enough for Itsuki whereas Itsuki believes that he’s holding Tsugumi back. The two of them are constantly trying to make life easier on the other, and questioning whether they’re a good match. The relationship is new to the both of them…and their actions don’t just have an effect on each other but on their family and friends as well.

I really love how thoughtful this series is, and I would definitely recommend it. I’ve read books 1-3 so far.

5 Stars!

Reading and Writing

Oddly enough, every book I’ve read/purchased within these past couple of weeks has a pink and blue cover. Perhaps it’s my brain reminding me that spring is coming or my love for cotton candy ice cream?

Either way, each of these books have been fantastic and engaging. I’m thrilled every time I pick one up.

A lot of the ARCs I’d been reading/was interested in came out this month so I’ve been making a list of which ones I definitely want to check out.

Editing has put me a little behind in my reading schedule. If only reading your own work over and over counted towards your reading goals for the year. Oh well. I enjoy the editing process. I continue to learn new things about my own writing and how I can improve the development of my characters and stories. It’s almost like when you’re studying a text but instead of doing a single scene analysis, you’re analyzing it as a whole. I hope that I can apply everything I’ve learned to my other projects.

Reading books within my genre also assist me when I’m editing. They provide examples of different things that I may be trying to improve upon in my own work, which is wonderful. It also allows me to see how others go about conveying certain elements of their story, such as feelings of loss or frustration.

There are times when putting certain emotions to paper is difficult. Mainly because it is so easy to say that a character is feeling uncomfortable versus showing that discomfort within a scene. It’s something that takes a lot of practice and I truly believe that part of that practice does come from the books we consume as authors.

I’m curious to see what types of books I consume the most this year and how that reflects my writing.

Ultra Maniac – Manga Review

I started reading Ultra Maniac back in January while I was off work during our…second or third lock down. At this point I’ve lost count of how many lock down’s there have been but I had plenty to read so, it wasn’t like I was bored or anything.

Anyway, I remembered this manga being kind of silly as a kid. I didn’t read it at the time but had a lot of friends who absolutely adored it. I ended up reading up to the first bit of volume three before I switched to something else.

Compared to Marmalade Boy, this story more mild in terms of drama. In fact it kind of reminds me of a Disney sitcom, or even the older Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics, where every spell would get her into some kind of trouble.

I couldn’t help but think about Sabrina or the Bewitched series, while I read Ultra Maniac. It wasn’t because they were mimicking one another, or pulling directly from these sources but mainly because the witch character was this kind of goofy, always getting herself or others into mischief kind of girl. She’s that fun, quirky, kind of weird girl that you can’t help but like.

Ultra Maniac is all right. It’s not the best manga I’ve ever read but it isn’t bad. It’s a light hearted comedy about friendship, that also happens to involve a pinch of magic.

The character’s are fun, and the artwork is charming. It’s exactly what I would expect from a story about a seventh grade girl with a crush, who suddenly befriends a witch.

That being said, I think if I were younger maybe in the sixth or seventh grade I might have enjoyed this story a little more. However, I still read middle grade fiction every now and then and the majority of books I read at that age, that I still own, hold up to this day. Perhaps my initial disinterest in this series as a tween was because I just couldn’t get into the series. As far as middle school fantasy manga’s, I’ll stick with Sugar Sugar Rune.

My rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Three stars. It was okay. Not great. Not boring. Just, didn’t keep my interest to finish the whole series. However, if you like cute stories with magic, friendship and comedy I think it’s definitely worth checking out. Plus, I really loved the fashion in this series.


Is It Okay to Review a DNF?

I’ve heard several different arguments about this over the years, both on the side of the reader and the author. It can be a touchy subject but I do think everyone’s opinions on the matter are valid.

I know as a reader that when going through reviews of a particular book, I like to know why certain reviewers decided to drop the book. Their reasoning may be something that I too would find unappealing. I myself can usually tell if I like a book if I’ve sped through the first three chapters. If I start reading something, and by chapter three I’m still engaged it’s a good sign. 9/10 times this method works for me.

Unfortunately, during university I was forced to finish many books that I found dry, distasteful, etc…as we were expected to discuss them, and study them throughout the semester. Trying to break out of that habit years later has been difficult. Although I know that I’m no longer required to finish a book I don’t like, my brain keeps telling me to “give it a chance” as if this book might be on an exam or something.

In January I ended up reading two books that just weren’t for me. Both had things in them that I found problematic but I only reviewed the one I finished reading on my blog. The other, which I did not finish, was an ARC that I stopped reading around the 5th chapter. I was excited for the book. I really was…but I was disappointed. It fell short of my expectations and there was a lot of over explanation being done to the point where it distracted from the story.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t mentioned the name of the book. The main reason is that this book is another authors debut. Out of respect for the author, and because I received an advanced copy, I just don’t feel right about giving a full, proper review.

What I did instead was I submitted a private DNF explanation through net galley. I chose to do this rather than submit a review, as I would hate to discourage people from reading someone else’s work…or attack an author before their book is even released because of something I personally found problematic. That just isn’t fair. Someone else might love it.

There are points that I made in my DNF statement that I hope the author and publisher will take into consideration, but ultimately I know the opinions of one person won’t necessarily be enough for them to take those things into consideration. Had this book already been on shelves…say for a month or two, I would have considered doing a public review. A DNF review of ARC however just doesn’t seem fair…at least not to me. ARC reviews are supposed to help market a book. I personally don’t feel like I can give a proper, full review to something if I’ve only read 5 chapters. However, as I mentioned I think if the book had been released for several months and I purchased a copy, sharing my opinion publicly would be fair.

I honestly don’t know if I was just being nit-picky because of the problems I’d come across in the book I reviewed previously, or if there were were issues in the text. I know that based on feedback from ARCs, novels have been pulled and revised before publication and I am hoping for the sake of this new author, that their book does go through some revisions prior to its release.

Something that people don’t consider is that just because a book has a white protagonist, doesn’t mean it doesn’t require sensitivity/beta readers from a diverse group of people. I know that if I had say, been given the opportunity to read this book prior to this ARC…say as an editor, I would have definitely pointed things out to the author. They have a good concept. It’s clear they wanted to have a diverse cast…they just didn’t excecute it in a way that sat well with well…me a POC. Even stating this, I feel is too much. I don’t think it’s fair.

As I mentioned before, DNF reviews can be helpful to readers. However, the ones that simply say, “DNF. 1 star.” are neither helpful to the reader or the author. If that’s all a person has to say, then to me it seems well…pointless. I like to know why someone disliked a book just as much as why a person enjoyed it. If the person simply wants to avoid spoilers, that’s fine but they can still provide some brief explanation as to why.

An example could be: I didn’t finish this book because the introduction dragged on for too long.

That’s quick, simple and doesn’t give anything away to other potential readers. I’d consider that a fair DNF statement.

Other DNF statements that I find fair are the ones that go into length about issues they had with the book. I should add that I like the ones that are a little more respectful. I wish I could pull up an example of one that I saw recently by a fellow reviewer. Her DNF review was extremely throughtful. I won’t go hunting for it though as I didn’t ask for her permission. I will however be including her in my BookTuber’s to watch post.

I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on this subject? Have you ever left a DNF review? Do you find them helpful or do you think it’s only fair to review/consider reviews of something that’s been read completely?