Book Review Roundup: Kitchen Princess, Pita Ten and Skip Beat

Book Review Round-Up is something I do very sporadically, when I want to review several books in one post. I’m on a manga kick right now, and thought it would be easier (and fun!) to review several of them in one post since they go super-fast!

Kitchen Princess CoverManga #1: Kitchen Princess, Volume 1 by Natsumi Ando (illustrator) and Miyuki Kobayashi (story)

Published January 2007 by Del Rey|187 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed it from the library

Series: Kitchen Princess, Volume 1

What It’s About: Najika is a great cook and likes to make meals for the people she loves. But something is missing from her life. When she was a child, she met a boy who touched her heart–and now Najika is determined to find him. The only clue she has is a silver spoon that leads her to the prestigious Seika Academy.

Attending Seika will be a challenge. Every kid at the school has a special talent, and the girls in Najika’s class think she doesn’t deserve to be there. But Sora and Daichi, two popular brothers who barely speak to each other, recognize Najika’s cooking for what it is–magical. Is either boy Najika’s mysterious prince?

What I Thought: Kitchen Princess is such a cute story!  I love Najika, and her love of cooking and making food that people enjoy!  I loved seeing her go to Seika Academy, where she feels like she doesn’t belong- and she certainly doesn’t see her cooking as magical or as a special skill.  Both are things I think we can all relate to at some point in our lives.

I’m really intrigued by Sora and Daichi, and who gave Najika the silver spoon!  I know it’s one of them, and I can’t wait to learn who it was.  And who Najika will end up with, because I’m pretty sure she’ll end up with one of them at some point in the series.

I also loved the recipes at the end, and it really makes me want to cook!  Actually, there is something about Najika that reminds of Tohru from Fruits Basket- I think it’s in how they both want to make sure others are okay, and how positive they are.  I really liked the illustrations, and I’m amazed at how the drawings told a story, even when there were no words to describe what was going on.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked it, and I’ll definitely keep reading!

Pita Ten CoverManga #2: Pita Ten, Volume 1 by Koge-Donbo

Published January 2004 by TokyoPop|200 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed it from the library

Series: Pita Ten, Volume 1

What It’s About: How to Acquaint Oneself with an Angel: With middle school entrance exams coming up, Kotarou was hoping to crack down on his study habits. But when a zany girl unexpectedly moves in next door to him, those plans go straight down the drain. When Misha boldly asks Kotarou to go out with her the moment they meet. Stunned at the sight of the girl, Kotarou turns and darts away like a kid scared of cooties. Now Misha has started popping up everywhere Kotarou goes, from school, to review class, and even hanging out outside his front door! What’s with Misha’s bizarre stalker mentality? Simple, she just wants to protect Kotarou and make sure he’s happy…by becoming his new momma! Sure, that might sound well intentioned, but Misha really has no clue what she’s getting herself into. Not only can’t she cook, but she’s also lives like a complete slob! And what’s all this talk about Misha being an angel?

What I Thought: Pita Ten is cute!  I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and I finally got around to reading it!  I liked it, and Misha is definitely…interesting.  She is pretty over-the-top, and while I liked Pita Ten, I think a big part of why I didn’t like it as much as I thought is because of Misha.  I did like that she wanted to protect Kotarou, and maybe she’ll calm down in the other volumes.  It seemed a little younger than I expected it to be, and I’m not sure why- maybe because of how Misha talked?  It did get irritating as the book went on, and it was a little too cutesy for my liking.  I love cutesy, but apparently, it has limits.

If it does get toned down later on in the series, I think I could really like Misha a lot more than I did.

Like Kitchen Princess, I really liked the artwork and how you knew what was going on, even when there were no words to describe what was going on.  I definitely want to read at least one or two more volumes, if not the entire series.

My Rating: 3 stars.  Misha and the baby talk got to me overall, it is pretty cute, with awesome artwork.

Skip Beat CoverManga #3: Skip Beat, Volume 1 by Yoshiki Nakamura

Published July 2006 by Viz Media|184 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed it from the library

Series: Skip Beat, Volume 1

What It’s About: Kyoko always thought that Sho, whose family took her in when she was small, was her prince charming. However, when Sho heads for Tokyo to make it big as a musician, Kyoko goes with him and has to quit high school to support his dream. But soon, being in the big city makes Kyoko realize that she has show business ambitions of her own!

What I Thought: Skip Beat was a lot of fun!  Something about Kyoko reminded me of both Shigure and Kagura from Fruits Basket, but I think that made her a lot of fun and really interesting as a character.  I don’t blame her for wanting to getting revenge and having a grudge.  I probably would too if I were her. I really liked the artwork, too, and she has an awesome attention to detail.  I also loved the sidebars throughout the book about how Skip Beat came to be.  There’s just something really fun about it.

Plus, Kyoko is pretty determined to get what she wants, and I really like that about her!  She certainly is persistent. Also, Sho is not a cool guy.  Not cool at all.  It kind of makes me hope/wish that Kyoko gets her revenge and doesn’t give up on her show business ambitions.  Still, he is a little bit more interesting than Ren, who, other than his name and the fact that he is Sho’s rival, I remember nothing about.

I’m really glad I read it, because I’ve seen on the library shelves for a while and never picked up.  I definitely need to pick up volume 2 soon!

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked it, and I can’t wait to read volume 2!

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