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Elena Likes Books

I am an avid reader of YA, fantasy, and romance, a librarian, and a writer of fantasy short fiction.

Currently reading

Cut & Run
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius
John Joseph Adams
The Thousand Names
Django Wexler
The Duchess Hunt
Jennifer Haymore

Library Wars: Love & War, Volume 1

Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 1 - Kiiro Yumi, Hiro Arikawa, Kinami Watabe I had never read manga before, and didn't really have plans to start, but then I read the premise to Library Wars, and just couldn't not read this one.In the world of this manga, there is a war going on between a government committee created for the purpose of confiscating and destroying "unsuitable" books (which seems to be pretty much everything) and the Library Defense Force, a group of militant librarians formed to protect the books and people's freedom to read them. The main character of the story is Iku Kasahara, a new recruit to the Library Defense Force who has dreamed of joining up ever since an LDF agent saved her favorite book during a raid when she was younger.So awesome, right? How could you possibly resist the idea of militant librarians who will defend books with their lives? You can't, of course.Well. The book fell far short of my expectations. Kasahara is basically a complete dunce who can't last two pages without making a complete fool of herself. She doesn't seem to excel at anything except rappelling down the sides of buildings (randomly, because she has to have one strength, I guess?) and being really passionate about SAVING ALL THE BOOKS. And yet she is chosen to be part of this elite task force for only the most special agents. Um, what? There's only one other new recruit chosen for the task force, and he is basically superman. He got top marks in all the classes Kasahara slept through, is in peak physical condition, and his only weaknesses seem to be a fear of heights that causes his rapelling to be merely average and a dislike of the bumbling idiot Kasahara who doesn't deserve to be on his elite team but was chosen anyway for absolutely no reason he can discern. We're meant to think he's kind of a prick, but his outrage is 100% justifiable, and personally, I am rooting for him.There is one scene where Kasahara is given the role of page, a job that consists of finding books in the library's vast underground warehouse and delivering them to the students in the reading room. Everyone is all, "You learned about the Japanese Decimal system in class, right?" and she's all, "OH NO I DON'T REMEMBER ANY OF IT!!!" And, um, fair enough, you don't remember that 020 is bibliographies or whatever, but how hard is it to go through a room of books that are shelved in numerical order to find a particular number? NOT THAT HARD.There's also a lot of romantic tension between Kasahara and her mercurial instructor, Dojo. The thing that isn't a spoiler to anyone except Kasahara is that Dojo, who Kasahara thinks is mean to her for no reason (when really, his reasons are that she can't do anything right and is constantly putting her foot in her mouth), is actually her idol, the "prince" who rescued her book and inspired her to join the Library Defense Force to begin with. A lot of her foot-to-mouth action is her constant rhapsodizing about this amazing paragon of a man who inspired her, while Dojo gets really embarrassed and all his fellow instructors bust out laughing and tease him about being a "prince."In the end, this manga's awesome premise was completely ruined by being given the worst protagonist ever.