Bitesize Reviews Vol. 23

It’s bitesize time again! here are 4 more of my mini reviews!

Enjoy! (and also check out my past library of Bitesize Reviews!)

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Shiver: Selected Stories – Junji Ito 3.8/5
Junji Ito is pretty much his own brand/sub-genre, like Tarantino. So when I refer to Junji Ito, I’m referring to the brand/genre rather than the creator.

Juni Ito is definitely an acquired taste, and whilst it’s not my favourite thing on the menu I’ll order it from time to time.

I love horror, and horror comes in many forms. Some of these I think Juni Ito hits on the head, others I think are just plain weird. But horror is subjective, so there’s that to consider.

I didn’t get scared or frightened by any of these stories. Some were, like I said, just too weird for me, but there were a couple that were unsettling.

I’ll refer to them as the ‘floating head’ and ‘model’ stories – some of the visuals were definitely spooky or downright harrowing. The facial expressions are something else, they really are.

I’ll definitely invest more time into Junji Ito stories, and this was a fun and eclectic collection to whet the appetite of someone looking for something a little further out there than Stephen King et al. 

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Step Closer – Scott Cawthon 3.2/5
Eh. This one just didn’t really do it for me. It was still plenty entertaining but I just don’t think this collection fo stories popped like the others have so far. I wasn’t expecting all three to be touchdowns, but I was kinda bored by these.

I liked ‘Dance With Me’ the most, but that’s probably because I played it like a movie in my head and my interpretation of the ending is much darker than what I’ve seen others interpret it as, but hey, that’s how I understood the ending so….*shrug*.

I will say that there was a good lore-drop in the first story, so clap clap there.

But I dunno, this one just kinda lost the magic for me. Here’s hoping the next instalment is more entertaining!

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K-Pop Confidential – Stephan Lee 4.3/5
Aww yay! This was exactly what I was expecting from his book.
I’ve been a kpop fan for YEARS! I even used to write for a Korean culture website, and one of my articles was on the ‘slave contracts’ that kpop idols are roped into, so I was delighted to find out hat this book was all about the Rookie (trainee) process, as I wanted to compare some stuff!

I really enjoyed this book, it was cute and fully in places, but also quite an exposé on the darker, rougher side of the industry. There wasn’t any new info in the book that you couldn’t find on youtube if you search ‘former kpop idol confesses’ or something similar, but I imagine that most readers wouldn’t be aware of the horrific shit these girls (and guys) go through.

Whilst I found the…’photo scene’ we’ll call it HIGHLY unrealistic and it took me out of the book a bit, and whilst I thought the end was…well…honestly, dumb…I still super enjoyed the book and I’ll be re-reading it.

The ending sets up for a sequel, and apparently we’re getting one – so I’ll be reading that too!

I’ve got Shine by Jessica Jung (formally of Girls Generation/SNSD) to read too, so I’ll be SUPER interested to read a book about kpop from a former HUUUUUUUUUGE kpop star and see how this one compares to it!

But all in all – a FUN, CUTE book that will give you feels!

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Furia – Yamile Saied Méndez 4.1/5
This was an unexpected delight! I am not a football fan – at all. But I saw past the football-centric focus and got more into the story of empowerment and overcoming obstacles.

Did the football talk get on my nerves? Yeah
Was I eventually exhausted by all the sentences not in English? Yeah. After a while I stopped googling the translations because it was more distracting than I felt was worth it.
Did I still enjoy the book? Yes!

Furia was a really heartwarming book that explores sexism and classism as well as abuse and corruption – yet it never felt gratuitous or ‘fluffy’. I really enjoyed the characters, although some weren’t realistic for the most part, but the supporting cast were really believable.
I thought the dialogue was believable and Camilla is a heroine we can really root for!

If you aren’t a football fan and can overcome/ignore the focus it has then I think you’ll really enjoy this!

It was also really well written and never felt like ti dragged or skipped in places.

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And we have reached the end of another batch of bitesize reviews! I hope you enjoyed them and if you’re after more mini reviews feel free to check out others I’ve done!

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