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Sam (British Columbia)
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Nana, Vol. 18
Nana, Vol. 18
by Ai Yazawa
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.45
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takumi's past is unveiled, March 18 2010
This review is from: Nana, Vol. 18 (Paperback)
Nana volume 18 was incredible. The Nana that is seen narrating the beginning and end of the chapters uses a great choice of words and always seems to say something out of the ordinary. Ai Yazawa definitely knows how to write a story. Right now we are again seeing the future, then continuing with the past. I think it's like that so that the readers don't get disappointed that things happened like that at the end, thus we are already discovering what will happen and at the same time what happened.

CONTAINS SPOILERS:

The former group members of BLAST and Hachi get together and decide that they do want to look for Nana who is likely in England. Hachi has two kids: Ren and Satsuki. Ren is over in England visiting Takumi, which makes us wonder if Hachi and Takumi are now divorced, and Satsuki is visiting her grandmother. Hachi's son, Ren, plays the guitar. Nobu is running his father's hotel, but his father never seems to be happy with anything he does. Hachi leans her head on his shoulder, which makes us again question if she is now single. Shin is acting in romantic comedies to make money.

In the past, BLAST is about to go on tour - the tour that Nana has been so excited about. But Shin gets caught with marijuana and is taken to jail. Nana asks Ren to play the bass guitar for the concert as a guest, but he refuses, saying that such requests have to go through his agent. Ren also questions Nana because she doesn't seem to care about her band member, Shin, only as long as she can continue the tour. He makes her realise that if he was not performing well, then she would abandon him too. Their tour is cancelled, and Yasu asks that Nana go solo for a while, thus BLAST is put on hiatus.

Takumi suggests to Reira that she see Shin in private at Nana and Ren's place, because Takumi wants her to be happy and no one would suspect anything if she went to see Shin there. Reira is shocked that Takumi knows about her and Shin, but he explains to her that he could tell and he knew all along.

There is a bonus story in which the past of Reira and Takumi is shown. Takumi had a terrible childhood. His mother became sick and his father was always drunk. His sister dropped out of high school so she could get a job and pay for Takumi to get into school and other household expenses. Their grandfather passed away and left them the house to live in, which was a blessing. Reira was a foreigner from the US learning Japanese, and Takumi was her first friend, introduced to her by her mother.

Takumi protected her from bullies and she hung out with him because she didn't fit in with the rest of the school children. When he grew up, he became a troublemaker, but Reira thought he was cool. Takumi thought she was stupid and a child for having such thoughts. He loved her voice, because it sounded like an angel's, so when he discovered that Reira would be in a commercial, he told her that that would not make her any closer to her dreams. He decided that he would be the leader and they would form a band and he would write songs for her to sing.

That was when he told the student body president, Yasu, that he wanted to started a music club in exchange for not telling on Yasu for smoking in the school washroom. Takumi also changed schools, going from a private one to a public one. Reira followed him to his new school, but he told her not to come close to him because his girlfriend would get jealous. One of his girlfriends became pregnant, and after he gave her the money to get an abortion, she left him. His other girlfriend also said goodbye to him after she graduated. He felt empty inside. It was an emptiness no one else could fill.

Reira loved Takumi but he would never go out with her, and so she went out with Yasu instead. In the end Takumi narrates, "She was my sacred angel that I could never violate. Reira was my sanctuary. I needed something solid like that in this dirty, disappointing world." (242) Takumi truly felt that Reira should continue to sing because her voice might save someone. And he believed that she made his mother live as long as she did, by singing to her. His mother died when he was in grade twelve.

Here are some lines I enjoyed:

- "I can die whenever I want ... as long as I know the sea's nearby." (16)
- "To feel responsible ... is to understand your own existence." (112)
- "I fall asleep every night holding tight ... to the good old days what drift farther away when each morning comes. I'm trying not to get swept away by the waves at night." (168)
- "When your dreams come true ... everything turns into simple reality and loses its glamour." (244)

Wild Sheep Chase a
Wild Sheep Chase a
Offered by Classical Music Superstore
Price: CDN$ 84.59
4 used & new from CDN$ 84.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the audiobook, March 17 2010
This review is from: Wild Sheep Chase a (Audio CD)
While reading A Wild Sheep Chase, Rupert Degas played the protagonist, his girlfriend, and the butler's voices quite well. However, when it came to the other characters, his voice became raspy and unbearable to listen to, sort of like Marge Simpson from The Simpsons.

A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel
A Wild Sheep Chase: A Novel
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.96
43 used & new from CDN$ 7.41

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What exactly happened?, March 17 2010
Like Haruki Murakami's other novels, A Wild Sheep Chase consists many events and characters that are similar to his other novels. The protagonist has some entertaining thoughts.

I found the concept of a sheep embodying a person to achieve greatness quite interesting. Genghis Khan was even mentioned as a person who the sheep entered. The sheep forms its host's will and makes the host do extraordinary things that the sheep wants accomplished, such as build a network of people. And once the host has served his purpose, the sheep leaves to find another host, leaving the former host sheepless.

I am still at a loss for why people think this novel is so incredible. The characters weren't so extraordinary, and the story felt like every other one of Murakami's novels that I've read. His best work, I find, is Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

There is an unnamed protagonist, who has a pet cat and has had a divorce after four years of marriage. He is bored of life. His wife left with everything he bought for her, and everything she bought for herself. She even cut out herself from any pictures she was in, as though she was never there.

After, while at work, he stares at pictures of ears and one day has a strange urge to meet the woman they belonged to. The woman has a sort of sixth sense and becomes his girlfriend. She looks plain and hides her ears, but when she shows them, she looked incredible. She tells him that she has closed her ears, because opening them gives her a headache, and he can train himself to do the same.

One day, he receives a letter from his friend called the Rat, who has enclosed a picture of sheep on a mountainside and requested that the protagonist display this picture for everyone to see. There is a sheep in the photo that is of a breed that is not supposed to exist. It has a mark of a star on its back. Thus, the protagonist publishes the photo, which results in him being forced to go on a strange adventure by a rich man's butler. In this case it is to find a sheep within the time limit of a month, otherwise his life will be over. The rat disappeared some months back, and now the protagonist has nothing to work with except his girlfriend and the fact that he is trying to find a sheep.

We learn about the history of sheep being kept in Japan. And the town in which the sheep's picture was taken. And of many people that that sheep possessed - those people were sheeped. The sheep would create a cist in the people's minds, a way to control the host, sort of like a whip. After the sheep used those people, and those people served their purpose, the sheep would leave them, and they would become sheepless. Being in that state makes those people lose the will to live.

And then the protagonist solves the mystery, and the woman leaves him. He later discovers that she has lost her sixth sense. And in the end, the protagonist ends up alone.

At the beginning the protagonist talked about a girl he used to sleep with many years ago. She told him that when she would turned the age of twenty-five, she would kill herself. And so, she did. When she was twenty-six, she died, and he attended her funeral. This somewhat foretells how other characters might think like - being bored with life and not being afraid to die.

Here are some quotes I enjoyed:

"As I started out long and hard, things began to melt in the rain. In fact, everything in town was melting." (113)

"She reminded me of a girl I used to know in the third grade, when I was taking piano lessons. ... But her name and face, entirely forgotten. All I remember about her are her tiny pale hands and pretty hair and fluffy dress. It's disturbing to realize this. Have I stripped her of her hands and hair and dress? Is the rest of her still living unattached somewhere else? Of course, this can't be. The world goes on without me. People cross the streets through no intervention on my part, sharpen pencils, move fifty yards a minute west to east, fill coffee lounges with music that's refined into nothingness." (114)

* "There're many things we don't know. It's an illusion that we know anything at all." (148)

"On a telephone pole, three plump pigeons burbled mindlessly away. Something had to be on their mind to be going on like that, maybe the pain from corns on their feet, who knows? From the pigeons' point of view, probably it was I who looked mindless." (161)

"Summer had faded to a distant memory almost beyond recall." (164)

"The wad showed no sign of going down no matter how many bills I used. Only I showed signs of wear." (165)

"The buildings began to look like backdrops in a photography studio, the people walking the streets like cardboard cutouts." (203)

2.5/5

Tempted (House of Night, Book 6)
Tempted (House of Night, Book 6)
by P. C. Cast
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 14.43
149 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been much shorter, March 16 2010
Tempted by P.C. Cast is the sixth book in the House of Night series. It starts off slow and dull, but after about a hundred pages, the story becomes more interesting.

I think the most interesting character was Rephaim. The normal cast of characters: Zoey and Stevie Rae, both kept having repetitive thoughts about doing one thing but not wanting to do it at the same time, or explaining too much of what we already know. That is how much of the unnecessary parts passed. I didn't feel greatly attached to any of the characters. I did like that summaries of the previous books weren't included in this one, so I had to try to remember what I had read so long ago.

I was not impressed that Erik was seen as the bad guy although it was Zoey who was hurting his feelings by dealing with so many guys at the same time she was going out with him. Zoey is seen as young, and even her grandma states that she has a lot of time to choose one guy, thus it is alright to have many guys on the side.

CONTAINS SPOILERS:

Kalona is not dead. He still wants Zoey and he visits her in her dreams. Erik could tell by the way Kalona looked at Zoey before that he felt something for her. Erik is annoyed that she isn't giving him much attention even though they are dating. Zoey doesn't really understand why she is together with him, and feels that Erik wants to control her because he doesn't want her being so close to other guys, so she breaks up with him.

Stark had sworn himself to Zoey to be her warrior, but she is only learning what it means to have a warrior. A warrior can feel what is going on in the mind of the person they are protecting, which is good and bad at the same time.

Stevie Rae and Erik and a few others go in groups to search the premises to see if all of the Raven Mockers are gone. Stevie Rae, who is searching a section on her own, finds a live one, who calls himself Rephaim. He wants her to kill him, but she takes pity on him, for a reason she cannot understand. It was when he laughed that Rephaim, seemed so human that she could not end his life. He is terribly hurt and thinks he will never be able to fly again.

Stevie Rae feels that Zoey knows that she is hiding something. After all, Aphrodite is imprinted with Stevie Rae. Thus, Stevie Rae decides to tell Zoey about the red fledglings that she has been hiding, who have not yet chosen good over evil.

However bad hiding the Raven Mocker might have seemed to her, she will not tell of his existence. She wants to help Rephaim, so she sends him down to the tunnels to where the evil red fledglings are now residing. The good red fledglings are residing with the nuns.

Kalona shows Zoey visions of his past. He used to be Nyx's warrior, but then he started to feel more for Nyx than he should have. That was when he was banished from that realm and became the type of person he used to detest. He suggests to Zoey that it might be possible for him to change if she was with him, just like how she changed Stark, making him good, because of the possibility that Nerferet is corrupting him.

Aphrodite sees a vision that has two end results. One in which Zoey is Kalona's lover, and everyone, human and vampire, is burning in a wheat field. The other one is of Zoey saying something to Kalona that destroys him. Zoey is confused and doesn't know if she should trust Kalona, but she knows that her body wants him, because her soul used to be A-ya, a maiden that was made to love Kalona. Zoey feels as though Nyx shouldn't have banished Kalona because he started to love her. Zoey imagined that Kalona felt an immense pain for having been banished and breaking the centuries old bond of no longer being Nyx's warrior.

Zoey thinks that she can locate Kalona by the places she is seeing in her dreams. While searching online, her friend, Jack, discovers people writing about Kalona on their blogs. This leads the group to Venice. Kalona is claiming to be Erebus, and Neferet is claiming to be Nyx Incarnate. Zoey wants to speak against them.

Stevie Rae refuses to go with Zoey because she claims that the red fledglings need her. She suggests that Aphrodite fill her place in the circle. Stevie Rae wants to convince the evil red fledglings, to come join her at the House of Night, where the rest of the red fledglings are residing.

The evil red fledglings, however, detest Stevie Rae and want to kill her. They are looking forward to the return of Neferet. Just before the sun comes up, Stevie Rae comes to convince the evil ones, and they tell her that Rephaim is on top of a building and is hurt. The evil fledglings threatened him to go up there. She goes to save him, however, it's a trap and she's caged in. Rephaim attempts to save her from the sun.

Burned and damaged, the two make it into the ground. He offers her his blood, which smells odd, but she has no choice, otherwise she'll die. Her imprint is then broken with Aphrodite and a new unusual imprint is created with Rephaim.

In the end, Heath overhears Neferet and Kalona speaking privately, and is killed. This results in Zoey's soul shattering, leaving her body an empty shell. Will Zoey be able to stop the evil? Or will Aphrodite's vision become reality?

"It was a silent gray world filled with ice and gloom." (109)

Nana, Vol. 17
Nana, Vol. 17
by Ai Yazawa
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.69
22 used & new from CDN$ 3.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing volume, March 10 2010
This review is from: Nana, Vol. 17 (Paperback)
In Nana volume 17, the artwork is amazing. If you haven't read the previous volumes, then this one will not make sense.

Contains spoilers:

There are two story lines going on, one of the future and one of the present. In the future, Nana Osaki, the singer, has gone missing.

One day when Hachi Komatsu comes to apartment 707 to check the mail, there is an envelope addressed to her with pictures of a girl with long hair and the same tattoo as Nana on her arm, singing at a bar.

In the present, Hachi knows that reporters will publish something about Nana's mother abandoning her, and hints about her mother's current location. Hachi decides to go warn Nana's mother, but the mother pretends that she knows nothing of Nana.

To cheer Nana up, Hachi comes to live with her until Takumi returns from his trip. Will Nana be fine? Now that Misato, Nana's half-sister who is a fan of hers, knows about their relationship, how will she react? And will she leave Nana alone? Will Nana's mother's life be the same?

Reira has broken up with Shin because what she wants the most in the world is to sing. However, we later see that Ren suspects Reira's intentions to be of wanting to be near Takumi. And in a scene from Reira's childhood, we see her telling Takumi that she loves her. What are Reira's true intentions?

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.55
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A notable ending, March 2 2010
"[W]hat does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose ... his own soul?'" (Chapter XIX)

The Picture of Dorian Gray was entertaining to read and had an unexpected ending. The prose was beautiful, and there were many references to roses. The idea of this story is very creative and I was surprised that the story was this interesting. The only problem I had was that there were too many conversations to demonstrate Lord Henry's thoughts.

One day, Basil Hallward, an artist, sees Dorian Gray at a gathering and feels instantly connected to him. Basil feels that Dorian can inspire his work to be tremendous.

Basil befriends Dorian, and asks him to come to his studio so that Dorian can get his picture painted. Dorian is beautiful and young, and Basil always tells him that.

Soon after, however, Basil hints to his friend, Lord Henry, about his strange meeting with and interest in Dorian Gray. And that Dorian has inspired him, and his paintings to be the best that he has ever painted.

Hearing that Dorian is untainted, Lord Henry wants to show Dorian the world, and to help Dorian experience new thoughts and emotions. Although Basil wants to keep Dorian to himself, because he knows the mind games that Lord Henry plays with all of his friends, Henry ends up meeting Dorian by accident, when Dorian comes to the studio. That is how innocent Dorian's life changes.

Later, Lord Henry tells Dorian that he can have everything he wants in his youth, because of his appearance, but that beauty won't last forever. Dorian becomes upset, and after Basil is finished painting picture of him, Dorian wishes that he could look like the Dorian in the picture forever, and that the Dorian in the picture would age instead him.

See the wicked evils that Dorian commits to alter the face in the picture. Read the thoughts and ideas Lord Henry plants into Dorian's mind, like a devil whispering into his victim's ears.

The following are a few lines I enjoyed:

"The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of science is that it is not emotional." (Chapter III)

"Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes." (Chapter IV)

"It often happened that when we thought we were experimenting on others we were really experimenting on ourselves." (Chapter IV)

"... who were extremely old-fashioned people and did not realize that we live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities..." (Chapter VIII)

"So I have murdered ... her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife. Yet the roses are not less lovely for that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden." (Chapter VIII)

"`To cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul!'" (Chapter XVI)

"It is said that passion makes one think in a circle."(Chapter XVI)

"Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful." (Chapter XVIII)

"Crime belongs exclusively to the lower orders ... I should fancy that crime was to them what art is to us, simply a method of procuring extraordinary sensations." (Chapter XIX)

Franklin and the Magic Show
Franklin and the Magic Show
by Sharon Jennings
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.95
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Franklin practises magic, March 2 2010
In Franklin and the Magic Show, Franklin wants to be a magician after he sees a magic show. However, Franklin doesn't know how to disappear like the magician he has seen.

Regardless of that and without knowing any tricks, he tries to prepare a magic show. Only with the help of his father will this magic show be a success.

I liked that Franklin learns that he should not start off with the difficult tricks, but instead, he should master the easy tricks first. And even easy tricks can look impressive once mastered.

Franklin's Surprise
Franklin's Surprise
by Sharon Jennings
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.95
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frankin learns to listen to others, March 2 2010
This review is from: Franklin's Surprise (Paperback)
One day while passing in front of Skunk's house, Franklin spots a `moving' sign. He is upset that his friend is moving and knows that he will miss her. He wants to inform all of his friends of the terrible news.

Later, Franklin decides that he wants to throw a good-bye party for Skunk. But in the end, the surprise isn't for Skunk, it's for Franklin!

I liked this story because Franklin learns to listen to others around him. People keep trying to tell him something, but he always cuts them off and starts talking.

The Adventures of Tintin: 7 Boules/Cristal/Temple (Version française) [Import]
The Adventures of Tintin: 7 Boules/Cristal/Temple (Version française) [Import]
DVD ~ Vf DVD
Price: CDN$ 9.98
23 used & new from CDN$ 7.13

3.0 out of 5 stars Une histoire policière, March 2 2010
Je regardais Tintin comme une enfant. Il me semblait plus intéressant à cette époque-là. Mais, maintenant, il me semble que trop se passe quand Tintin arrive. Mais, quand même, j'ai trouvé que ce film était intéressant.

Dans Tintin et le Temple du Soleil, il y a sept excavateurs qui trouvent un vieux temple de personnes qui vénéraient le soleil. Ils prennent une statue du temple. Après, ils rentrent chez leurs, un globe cassé en verre est découvert dans les chambres de tous les sept gens, un par un.

Puis, tous les excavateurs tombent malade avec une maladie étrange. D'abord, les personnes pensent que les excavateurs sont morts, parce qu'ils ne peuvent pas entendre leurs caeurs. Mais, après les malades se réveillent et crient une fois chaque jour au même temps, et ensuite ils dorment.

Tintin entend cette nouvelle à la radio, et il veut essayer de sauver les deux excavateurs qui ne tombent pas encore malade. Mais, il ne peut pas possible et tous les deux tombent malade avec la même maladie étrange. La statue disparaît, celle que les excavateurs ont découvert.

Tintin essaye d'aider à découvrir un remède de la maladie. Quand il est en cours de ça, un de ses amis, un professeur, disparaît. Et maintenant, il doit découvrir ce que se passe.

Avec l'aide d'un autre ami, un capitaine, ils découvrent qu'elles existent encore, les personnes qui vénèrent le soleil.

CONTAINS SPOILERS (ne lisez plus si vous ne voulez pas savoir ce qui se passera) :

Tintin et le capitaine sont capturés, et les personnes qui vénèrent le soleil veulent les sacrifier. Ils veulent les brûler avec la lumière du soleil. Avant ça se passe, Tintin lit un journal et il découvre qu'une éclipse solaire va se passer.

Quand Tintin et ses amis vont brûlés, Tintin fait semblant de parler avec le soleil, et il lui dit ne les brûler pas parce que le soleil ne veut pas voir quelqu'un meurt. Au même temps, la lune couvre le soleil, et le soleil disparaît pour des moments.

Les personnes qui vénèrent le soleil commencent à croire de Tintin. Et ensuite, Tintin et ses amis sont libérés et les sept excavateurs guérissent.

La surprise de Benjamin
La surprise de Benjamin
by Paulette Bourgeois
Edition: Paperback
3 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Benjamin apprend à écouter, March 2 2010
Benjamin découvre qu'un de ses amis qui s'appelle Éloïse déménage. Elle lui manquera. Et il veut informer tous de ses amis la terrible nouvelle. Ensuite, il décide qu'il veut organiser une fête d'adieu, mais à la fin, la surprise d'Éloïse n'existe plus, parce qu'il devient la surprise de Benjamin.

J'aime que dans cette histoire parce que Benjamin apprend à écouter ce que les personnes lui disent. Avant, beaucoup de personnes veulent lui dire quelque chose, mais il ne les écoute pas. Aussi, cette histoire est facile à lire, et à apprendre de nouveaux mots.

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