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Shelved: March 2018

Back to M/M this month. But not only M/M. I’ve restarted a read-with for Oda Eiichiro’s One Piece with my friend, Sam. When we first decided to do it was probably two or three years ago at this point. Maybe more. He’s Captain Procrastination and then I found myself too busy. Bad timing all the way around. But we’re giving it another go. To do it right, I read volume 1 for the nth time. This time we’ve also added Takashige Hirohi & DOUBLE-S’ Until Death Do Us Part. I started this when the manga first came out, but I don’t know how far I actually got. At the beginning of the Jesus arc, I believe. Started from the beginning with this one as well.

Interestingly enough, just as I returned to M/M, the drama surrounding one of my favorite M/M writers came to a head. I don’t really care about what’s going on in the lives of my faves–I don’t have to like you to acknowledge your skills with a pen, or keyboard as it were. That’s why I stopped–or never started–following 99% of them. Also, most of them aren’t all that interesting and a some of them are arses, so I don’t want their nonsense to ruin for me the fact that they’re really good writers. So, while I’d read a bit here and there, I wouldn’t say I really knew what was going on. But it’s a mess I’ll eventually need to dig into to see where I stand.

How about some highlights?

Simone & Luhnow’s Untouchable was a nice, long read. I’ve enjoyed their work separately and was, not exactly hesitant, but I did have concerns about how their styles would mesh. I can usually tell which writer wrote or developed which parts when there’s a collab between writers (or at least one) I’m familiar with. Although the characters had their own voices, the storytelling was pretty cohesive and I didn’t feel like I was flipping a switch when the narration switched P.O.V.s. Simone is really good at May/December romances and emotionally constipated characters while Luhnow is really good at 20-somethings finding their way, so it turned out to be a match made in M/M heaven.

Takashige and DOUBLE-S’ Until Death Do Us Part was as engaging as I remember. The Yen Press license is a 2-in-1 deal, so I’ve technically read two volumes. Because of work obligations and crazy March weather, the reading for this and One Piece fell behind, but we’ll right that ship before the end of April.

My friend Vince, whom I’d bonded with over Bleach, wanted me to read Tabata Yuuki’s Black Clover. It took a while for me to get around to it and when I finally did read the first volume, I didn’t know what to say about it. Asta, one of the MCs is a little annoying. He reminds me of Hinata from Haikyuu!!, but with less endearing qualities and there’s even a Kageyama/Hinata dynamic between himself and the other MC. Also, there’s one guy, Magna Swing, who reminds me of Nishinoya. I like the world and what little I know of the types of magic that exists, but I’m not so sure about the characters. I’m going to give volume 2 a go and see where that gets me.

Overall, a lot of average reads this month. I feel like I should have more to say, especially since there was an anthology and a half in the mix, but I don’t. I think there were a few new-to-me authors in Heart2Heart that I’m going to look into, but I’m drawing a blank at the moment. And, other than ongoing series, I can’t think of anything I have on the new reads horizon. Oh, but speaking of ongoing series… I can’t remember now which, but one of the books I read this month which was part of a series, I… How do I put this? Well, the author’s style changed significantly and while I wouldn’t put money on it, I feel like they read Taylor Fitzgerald/AO3’s youcouldmakealife’s hockey-verse and adopted their style of writing. It was so odd. I was supposed to make a note of it, but I didn’t. Now, the only way I’ll figure it out is by stumbling over it in the next book.

Anyway, speaking of stumbling, hopefully I’ll stumble into something good before we meet again.

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