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Reading Robyn

I am a lover of libraries, a reader of everything, a girl easily swayed by pretty pictures, and overall just your average, nerdy fairy princess.


2013 is the year I'm finally keeping up a regular reading blog Reading Robyn! There I post extended versions of my GR reviews so be sure to check that out!


I always seem to be on the move having lived in seven cities and counting in my nineteen years. I'm not on the run from the law as many have assumed (at least I don't think so), but moving around has given me an appreciation for how places make stories and people make memories. While change is inevitable, books are the friends that I take with me from place to place. They comforted me when I was sick, they push me to continue to learn and grow into myself, and most importantly they opened me up to the possibilities of living in thousands of places all at once.


I primarily read YA fiction, as well as a lot of graphic novels and manga. However, I tend to be this combination of odd reads, so expect the unexpected!


Cheesy Life Quote: "In this world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself." - Frantz Fanon

Wandering Son, Vol. 2 - Matt Thorn, Shimura Takako There is nothing I love more then walking through my library's manga/graphic novel sections and seeing volume one and volume two of a series right next to each other. It's like striking gold! So was the case with my encountering Wandering Son and damn am I happy!In this second volume we see the story and characters really get fleshed out. I could feel that moment when the author and/or translator really got comfortable with what they were trying to accomplish with Wandering Son and how they were going to do that. We get a lot of the same wonderful storytelling that we got in the first volume with new and interesting situations, as well as a transgendered mentoring character and more meaningful interaction with classmates and family. And I'm just going to stop there. I don't want to spoil anything by talking about specific moments because this is the sort of story that grows with each volume and it is incredibly satisfying to see each little change in the characters. Something else I enjoyed in this volume was the short essay at the end of the book by Matt Thorn. It's all about the opinions Japanese people generally have about LGBTQ issues. Because the story is set in Japan I think this section sets the scene a bit more and gave me a little insight into the environment these characters are experiencing and exactly where the tensions lie. To quote Thorn: "For Western homophobes, the mere existence of LGBT persons, anywhere, is upsetting. As a rule, their existence cannot be accepted. For Japanese homophobes, "homos" and "queens" are fine on television, fine as entertainers to be laughed at. They are fine as long as they remain out there. But not in here. Not under my roof. Not in my head." This to me, explains how we can see so much cross-dressing and gender swapping in Japanese exported entertainment, but then still be confronted with a place that can be just as ignorant and homophobic as everywhere else. There are also a lot of other really interesting things that he mentions unrelated to being transgendered, such as that this series was originally serialized in an adult manga magazine with a 50/50 male/female readership and not a shojo magazine. This could mean a lot for the story. It's pretty obvious that this manga is not shojo, but this difference in publication also means that this isn't confined by any shojo limitations. This isn't an "idealized fantasy world" like most shojo manga exist in and thus Thorn very ominously mentions "There is no guarantee of a happy ending."