Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mixed Vegetables by Ayumi Komura

Title: Mixed Vegetables
Mangaka: Ayumi Komura
Age Group: Teens
Series is: Completed with 8 volumes
Volume(s) Reviewing: 1-2
My Rating: 4/5

Hanayu's family owns a pastry shop. She thought she was going to take over the family business until one day as a child, she saw how sushi was done for the first time. Then, she was set on becoming a sushi chef when she grows up!

Now in high school, she still has not stray away from her dream. She is planning to woo Hayato and marry him, since he is the only son of a sushi chef! This way, she will have her dream of taking over a sushi shop fulfilled for once and for all!

But then, she is surprised by Hayato when he suddenly asks her out. It makes things much easier for her...right?

I read the first two volumes several months before out of boredom at Chapters. I didn't think much of it as I read it too quickly to form a proper opinion. Now that I had the chance to re-read it, it was much better than I thought.

Surprisingly, I did not dislike Hanayu for using Hayato like that. It is a bit idiotic I have to admit for wanting to marry some guy because he is your pathway to your dream (almost like a gold-digger but not). Then again, she didn't really woo him or anything because he was the one that ended up asking her out. Seeing her obsessed with her possible career as a sushi chef was cute. Most children tend to lose interest in what they wanted to become before so Hanayu is sort of refreshing in that way. I also love her character design. Although she dresses plain, she can be really pretty once she goes all out. And her hair, I absolutely love how she does her hair no matter what! I wish I have the ability to weave my hair into simple but cool designs that the mangaka does for her character.

Hayato isn't focused upon too much until the second volume. This is when the reader finds out that he is doing the same thing as Hanayu. Instead of taking over his family's sushi shop, he wants to become a pastry chef instead. After confronting Hanayu about the real reason for dating him, he becomes mean and distant. In this volume, one can see both characters begin to grow up from their original positions, especially Hanayu who learns about her true feelings towards Hayato.

I also found Hayato to have a cool appearance. Although he is very simple and can be said to look like almost every other anime guy, he is appealing in his own way. Komura has a knack for drawing her characters in a realistic manner (although it is completely manga-styled) if you understand what I mean.

Hanayu shows another admirable quality in the second volume where she loves her little brother. Since her little brother is destined to become a baseball star, she doesn't want to interfere by dropping out on taking over the business or else he would have to.

While reading the manga, I got hungry just looking at the pastries. Detailed stuff like that in manga makes it so much better overall! Man, I wish I am a baker or something...

I recommend Mixed Vegetables to shojo lovers. It is not over-dramatic but it has great content and art style!

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