Kurayami no Shutterspeed – Hayakawa Nojiko
It’s been a while since these two appeared, but from the next one they’ll pass on the baton.
The duo from Kurayami ni Strobe. I miss these guys!
The Auspicious Troubles of Love: The Auspicious Troubles of Chance – Charlie Cochet
Chance Irving is a young man with a gift for getting into trouble-not surprising, as trouble is all he’s ever known. After losing everything he held dear one fateful night, he decides to leave New York and his past behind, and joins the French Foreign Legion. But even in Algiers, Chance can’t seem to shake his old ways, and he ends up being transferred to a unit made up of misfits and rabble-rousers like him-a unit he finds just in time to be captured and thrown into a cell with his new commandant, Jacky Valentine.
A highly respected commandant with a soft spot for hard luck cases, Jacky is the kind of guy who would go to war for you, and the three equally troubled youths from his unit he’s more or less adopted feel the same way about him. Suddenly Chance starts to think that his life doesn’t have to be as desolate and barren as the wastelands around him.
But even after their escape, with the promise of a future with Jacky to buoy his spirits, or maybe because of it, Chance can’t stop making mistakes. He disobeys orders, lashes out at the boys in Jacky’s care, and blazes a trail of self-destruction across the desert-until someone makes him realize he’s hurting more than just himself.
I wish I had this in audiobook, so I could hear New York, London and Georgia.
Chance, a native New Yorker, is a brash, in-your-face former stage performer who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion in the hopes of becoming something other than what he is right now, which is to say, a mess. He likes to run his mouth a little too much which gets him into trouble but which also makes him a great narrator of his story. He gets beaten up once in a while but yeah, he deserves it and he knows he does. But Chance being Chance, he will do it again anyway. Until Jacky.
Who is this man continuously accompanied by chaos and some form of deep-rooted lunacy?
Jacky, last name: Valentine, superhero name: Commandant Valiant, takes lost causes under his wing and turns them into real men. He likes giving Chance cringe-worthy pet names (buttercup, hummingbird, snuggle-pup) and while Chance always tries to push his buttons, Jacky sees through his asshole behavior (snuggle-pup wants some attention, is what it is). Jacky is the unit commander and the father/older brother figure to the young ones. He is well-respected, kind, fair and sees the good in everybody.
Johnnie, Bobby and Alexander are a bunch of adorable brats the world had spit out and Jacky has taken under his care. They didn’t get along with Chance at first but Jacky has seen something in Chance and because of that, they warily and begrudgingly try to be OK with Chance too. Because Chance is an idiot, he tries to piss them all off but nobody is falling for his hard-boil pretenses. The brats are smarter and tougher than they look.
Together, they are the “fairy infantry”.
“Just what I need, getting stuck in a unit with a screwy commandant, a kitten with anger issues, a mute, and Professor Freckles. I wonder if this is how P.T. Barnum got started.”
Together, they are one of the most engaging found families I have come across with. Chance, looking deep within himself, transforms from aggressive, never-do-well to a competent soldier who learned to follow orders and take responsibilities. Jacky was always there, believing that Chance could be a much better person. I like them both as characters and love their chemistry together. Their romance flowed naturally with the story. It took a while for Chance to face his feelings towards Jacky but when he finally did, it was beautiful. Bobbie and Alexander had to deal with their own feelings for each other and poor Johnnie had to deal with the doctor. The introduction of Dr. Henry Young was a big plus and I can’t wait to read Johnnie’s book.
This is one of the most enjoyable war-themed historical books I have read. There’s enough fluff and poignant moments to keep jaded readers, like me, happy. You might not want to look too much into the historical details but it well-written, low on angst and despite the desert setting, the atmosphere is bright and sunny enough to be pleasantly warm without smothering the reader with grit. I enjoyed the banter, the humor and, as a non-native English speaker, the 1930′s slang and colloquialism. The ending was a fairy-tale of sorts, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, I’m just happy they’re happy.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away
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Quick, make a wish.
Take a (second or third or fourth) chance.
Remake the world.Jandy Nelson