10 Followers
11 Following
JessicaRobyn

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. 1 - Shimura Takako, Matt Thorn Wandering Son is a beautifully drawn hardcover manga, that feels a lot like what you would normally expect from a North American graphic novel. Whenever I think manga, I think of things like Inuyasha and Fruits Basket, but among all the shojo and action fantasy romps we also have books like this one. Wandering Son is a quiet book. It's a slice of life look into the lives of two main characters, Nitori and Takatsuki. What makes this book unique is that Takatsuki is a girl who wants to be a boy and Nitori is a boy who wants to be a girl. The pair become fast friends near the end of their fifth grade year when Nitori becomes a new student. They don't know each others secret, but when the truth is shared, together they begin on a journey of self discovery and friendship. I found this first volume really rather fascinating. The issues that face transgender people are complex and never before have I seen this complexity approached from the perspective of very young, young adults. Puberty is an awkward time for anyone, but what happens when you are experiencing all of those changes in a body that doesn't reflect who you are? Self discovery takes on even more weight when you're also reconstructing what gender really defines to who you are. What I really ended up enjoyed about Wandering Son is that this first volume didn't turn these events into huge melodramatic moments. As I said earlier, Wandering Son is very quiet, very restrained, and because of that these issues are presented in a very real and genuine way in moments of wanting, not dim the lights and play your violin sort of moments. I know that this is a manga that I will become more and more attached to as I read on. However, that doesn't mean it didn't have some issues right from the starting gate. Confusion was my primary emotion for the first 80 pages. It was hard for me to keep track of the characters. There aren't that many of them, but because of the art style a few characters look very similar to each other. This manga also chooses to honour the norm in Japan that characters are referred to by their last names, which I've seen done before and can normally follow pretty well, but here this only added confusion. Trying to figure out who was who was hard at first, but it did get easier the more the characters interact and the character info page at the front of the book certainly does help. Also, as someone who has already read volume two, let me say this problem does begin to fix itself as the series becomes more confident in its characters and who they are. I am very happy that I found this series and am really interested in seeing how the characters progress on their journey.