Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Aisuru

TITLE: Aisuru
AUTHOR: Anma Natsu
RELEASE DATE: March 27th, 2015
PUBLISHER: Zenbi Press
FORMAT: paperback & ebook
SOURCE: complimentary copy

For the last eight years, Sakura Takeshi has been counting down the time till her life ended. Though she survived the attack that left her an orphan, it's always been borrowed time as her damaged body continued to break down.
She told herself she was ready, that she had come to terms with dying before she reached 19. Then she found Kazuki lying wounded in her garden. His arrival opens the door for her whole world to change, but is it too late for her to learn to live, or to love, when there are only months left in her life?
Set in Hakodate, Japan, Aisuru is a young adult fantasy romance that will appeal to readers who enjoy shōjo manga and Japanese light novels, have a fondness for magical realism, and who are looking for something just a little bit different from the usual young adult romance.
If you're looking for stories featuring abusive relationships, stalkery bad boys, or shallow, mean natured girls, this isn't the story for you. What you will find are realistic characters, relationships built on mutual respect, and two hearts brought together just when they needed each other most.
Anma Natsu is a self-confessed Japanophile and voracious reader of manga and light novels. When she isn’t immersing herself in reading “just one more” volume, she is a writer of stories that explore love in all its various forms, and how it can be both a good and bad part of our lives, sometimes at the same time. 

Her stories span a range of genres and focuses, including young adult, contemporary romance, and fantasy, and her romantic pairings rarely follow the standard fare. Thanks to her unabashedly allowing her favorite reads to influence her writing, she has no problem with pushing her characters to their limits and taking readers into places that may be unsettling, but it’s always worth the trip!

Away from her novel writing, reading, and hosting her irregularly broadcast podcast "The Lackadaisical Writer,” Anma spends her days coding up sites in a variety of foreign-looking languages as a web developer, snuggling with her sweetie and her pets, and spending hours lost in the world of video games.

"Aisuru" is an intelligent story about learning to live when your hopes are down. Set in Japan, this is a colorful and intense story. If you are looking for a different story and one that leaves you feeling inspired and light, you should read this one.

Sakura has a deadline, she has been living with the knowledge that her days are counted. She has lived secluded and her social interactions are non-existing. However, everything changes when Kazuki appears in her garden. Kazuki comes from another world and shakes her life forcing her to live.

Sakura is a really nice character. She had to endure some terrible things in the past and she did her best to move on. She is in a position where hope seems a faraway dream. I like her hopelessness because it sounded real, she is a bit dark but she finds another part of herself when Kazuki appears. He is also a great character. He has a curiosity for the human world that makes us appreciate things we take for granted.

This story has some fantasy elements but the focus is on other things, it teaches about humanity and love. The romance is very sweet and mature. We see it grow until it becomes a beautiful relationship that can achieve the impossible.

I have to mention the incredible work and research done by the author. Every detail has been taken care off. The author knows the Japanese culture and we can see this by all the elements used in the story. Her love for this culture transcends the pages and we can feel it.

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