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Maki

The Paper Gardens

I've been reading since I was 3, and I haven't seen any reason to stop. I'll read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, though I will admit to a crippling addiction to fantasy and YA books.

Currently reading

Ozma Of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Progress: 45 %
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
L. Frank Baum
The Divide
Elizabeth Kay
A Clash of Kings
George R.R. Martin

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back - Sariah Wilson This was a cute, fun book. I was expecting there to be a sort of rivalry between Mattie and Ella, and there was a bit of one at first, but they both really just liked each other two much to be bitter enemies. That was nice to see, when Cinderella stories usually rely on that relationship as the main source of conflict.

The Mattie/Jake relationship was interesting, and listening in on Mattie's personal reactions to Jake was hilarious. She'd get so flustered from just a smile, or a handshake. But despite her incredible weakness to anything Jake-related, and her tendency to always assume the worst, she stood up for what she thought and wouldn't let herself be a doormat.

There were *so* many pop culture references in this book, Justin Bieber being just one of them. I am not joking when I say that the term "Biebs" was used in this book.

My only real problem with the book was the manga aspect, and not because it mentioned manga at all. My problems are:

A) How, in a post-Twitter world, does nobody else at Mattie's school know what manga is? I don't care how upscale or exclusive their school is. In recent years, manga and anime have become very much mainstream. You can't avoid them. I was going to cut the book some slack, and assume that it was before the influx of Japanese culture hit mainstream USA, but then Facebook and Twitter (and Justin Bieber) were referenced. It's just a statistical impossibility.

and

B) Naruto. Really? That's what you're going with for "best manga"? *looks skeptical* Okay...

My problems believing that nobody knows what manga is and my intense hatred of Naruto aside, this was an enjoyable book. The relationships between characters were hilarious, the dialogue (and even just the narration) was incredibly fun, and the ending was really cute.

The note from the author at the end was amusing as well. Continue on with your emotional blackmail! We're fine with it.

(One parting thought. All of the lonely romantic female protagonists who read Jane Austen even though nobody else "gets it" should meet up. They'd probably be a lot less lonely.)