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Unusual Elements

Miyuki picks up where Veronica Bane’s Mara left off, but this ain’t no bridge book.

Unusual Elements

BOOK REPORT for Miyuki (Unusuals #2) by Veronica Bane

Cover Story: Storm Cloud Afro
BFF Charm: Meh
Swoonworthy Scale: 3
Talky Talk: And Now … The Weather
Bonus Factors: Diversity, Villains
Relationship Status: In It For The Long Haul

Danger, Will Robinson! Miyuki is the second book in the Unusuals series. If you have not read the first book, Mara, turn away now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If you have read the first book, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the story.

Cover Story: Storm Cloud Afro

I love this cover. Much like the first book in this series, it has a very graphic novel feel to it. The matte coating, which you can’t feel through the screen (unfortunately), also adds a nice graphic touch. But, it really does look like the main girl’s hair is also the storm clouds. I know humidity effects curls, but that’s kind of ridiculous.

The Deal:

Miyuki picks up after the events of Mara, when the group comprised of Mara, Miles, Miyuki, Chris, Alex and Terry have had a bit of time to regroup. They must figure out to battle those seeking to destroy all Unusuals in the town of Jericho, the biggest part of which is figuring out how to put differences aside and work together.

BFF Charm: Eventually x2

In the first book, Mara is a tough girl to like. She’s damaged and lashes out at pretty much everyone because of it. She hasn’t done much growing up in the time between Mara and Miyuki.

Miyuki is not as emotionally scarred as Mara, but she is as equally abrasive. She’s got a sensible head on her shoulders, but she often thinks her way is the only right way, and that seems to bite her in the end more often than not.

Although I like both girls as characters, I can’t really see myself being their friend. Until, at least, they get past the teenage angst stage.

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Neither Mara nor Miyuki understand what it is to truly care for someone. Mara, in her past, used physical intimacy as a way to block out memories of abuse. Miyuki feels lust, but it’s fleeting. Although the two have strong, loving relationships with friends and family, they don’t yet have the capacity to feel love in a romantic sense.

Talky Talk: And Now … The Weather

In my review for Mara, I wrote that Veronica Bane’s writing reminded me of the Welcome to Night Vale podcasts, and this remains true in Miyuki. There’s something familiar about the world she’s built around the Unusuals and Jericho, but there’s also something alien about the world. It’s just slightly off from reality. This slight shift makes the story all that much more intriguing. The back of my brain was constantly trying to figure out how to feel about the world in which the story takes place.

Bonus Factor: Diversity

Pretty much all of the characters in Miyuki are POCs or of mixed heritage. Bane doesn’t exactly call attention to this—it’s not a situation of “LOOK AT ME, I’ve included POCs, aren’t I awesome”—but it is mentioned in passing. It’s nice to read a book with a melting pot of people in it.

Bonus Factor: Villains

I won’t say much as to not spoil the plot, but there’s a new villain introduced in Miyuki that makes for a great foil to Mara, Miyuki and the rest of the gang.

Casting Call:

I’m going to stick with my casting of Miyuki, Mara, Miles, Alex and Chris from my review of Mara. (I went a little overboard in that first Casting Call.) I will add one character to the cast list, however:

Jonas Wandschneider as Terry

Relationship Status: In It For The Long Haul

I’m so glad I was incorrect in my initial assumption that Mara was a one-shot. The world Bane has created is unique and intriguing. I don’t know how many more novellas will be included in this series, but you can bet I will read every one.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from the author. I received neither a private dance performance from Tom Hiddleston nor money for this review. Miyuki is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.