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Best Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass
Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz and John Joseph (Illustrations)
Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2 by Hinowa Kouzuki
Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton
The Ghost and the Femme Fatale by Alice Kimberly
Going, Going, Ganache by Jenn McKinlay
Jackpot by Nic Stone
The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt by Riel Nason and Byron Eggenschwiler (Illustrator)
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes and Frankie Corzo (narrator)
Murder in a Teacup by Vicki Delany
Samantha Spinner and the Perplexing Pants by Russell Ginns
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older
Sisters of the Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith
A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong
Sugar and Iced by Jenn McKinlay
The Tell Tail Heart by Cate Conte
Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett, Gayle Leeson and Jorjeana Marie (narrator)

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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2: 11/12/21

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, Volume 2 by Hinowa Kouzuki covers Yushi's move to the newly built and opened school dormitory and his slow realization that he's not happy living in these new quarters. It follows on a theme that's fairly common in stories with sympathetic paranormal characters, namely that the living — that humans — are often the more monstrous than the supernatural.

Yushi's time in the human dormitory highlights problems with forced social interactions. There are two ways things can play out: people can form cliques that can result in isolation and / or bullying. Or everyone can be so focused on not causing ripples that causes self isolation, antisocial behavior, and depression. Yushi comes to realize the new dormitory isn't conducive to his mental health.

So for readers who like the yokai characters who reside in the apartment, volume two is a bit of a slog. It's a necessary one to explain why Yushi decided to go back after finally being able to move into a school dorm. But in the longer run of the series (21 volumes total), volume 2 is road bump.

Five stars

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