“the gods lie.”written and illustrated by Kaori Ozaki is a manga that takes place in Japan. The story follows Natsuru Nanao who is an 11 year-old boy who ends up spending his summer with Rio Suzumura, a tall and quiet girl. Natsuru lives alone with his mother who is a writer. He has a passion for soccer but is sad when his coach ends having to go to the hospital. The team gets a new coach, but Natsuru is not looking forward to soccer camp as much.
A few days before summer vacation, Natsuru finds a stray kitten. He brings it home to take care of it, but his mom doesn’t allow it, as she is allergic to cats. Natsuru brings the cat outside and runs into Rio and her younger brother, Yuuta. Rio announces that she’ll take care of the cat, but she had to stop for groceries first and asks Natsuru to tag along. Natsuru brings the cat to Rio’s house, and soon finds out that Rio and her brother live alone. Their father abandoned them and they don’t have a mother.
When Natsuru has to go to soccer camp a few days later, he packs all his things and goes out. He sits on the bench where his bus was supposed to arrive, and decides he doesn’t want to go. Rio and Yuuta find Natsuru who says he can’t go home because his mother thinks he’s at soccer camp. Rio invites Natsuru to live at her house. That’s how Natsuru spent his summer vacation. Eventually his mom finds out about soccer camp, and Natsuru has to go home.
My opinion: I really, really like this book. I wish there was a sequel, but at the same time I feel like the ending was just fine. This manga made me cry, so I’d have to say it’s a pretty sad story. Overall, it was written very well and the art is beautiful.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is set in Missouri in the early 1800’s and follows a young teenage boy named Huckleberry (Huck) Finn. Huck has spent most of his life poor and alone, and when trying to get away from his abusive father, he ends up having many extreme experiences with Jim, a runaway slave. As Huck and Jim travel down the Mississippi River, they meet many different people such as con men, thieves, and slave traders. While they met many bad people, the good people Huck met impacted his character throughout the story.
In my opinion, the characters in this story are very realistic which makes the story much more enjoyable. One of the qualities that makes the characters so realistic is the fact that this book was the first to ever use a dialect. In particular, Huck’s character is interesting because he has a huge struggle with himself about growing up with slavery being considered alright and not knowing how to feel about that. Some critics were not happy with the ending, but I actually thought it was fitting because it really portrayed Huck’s flaws as a character instead of making him a hero. A part of the story that I really liked was the dynamic between Huck and Jim; it was entertaining reading their conversations on the raft.
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