Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover


Let’s Get Graphic: Graphic Novel Roundup

I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels lately, probably more graphic novels than books actually. Below are some of my favorites.

The first 3 are Advanced Reader Copies through Netgalley:

Picture from GoodReads

Picture from GoodReads

First one I’ll mention is The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen & Sonny Liew. It doesn’t come out until July, so I’m going to hold off on a full review for now. I will say it’s about the Green Turtle, the first Asian American super hero, and I will say I really enjoyed it. Fans of Gene Luen Yang won’t be disappointed. My copy was an e-galley through Netgalley.

 

Picture from GoodReads

Picture from GoodReads

The Return of Zita the SpaceGirl by Ben Hatke comes out this month. This is the third installment of Zita the Spacegirl. Again my copy was an e-galley through Netgalley. I loved the two previous Zita’s, and I loved The Return as much as the first two. I love Zita’s spunk and determination. She is loyal and a true friend to all who need her help. If you are looking for a graphic novel with loveable characters then check out Zita, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Picture from GoodReads

Picture from GoodReads

The last e-galley I read recently was This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. Every summer Rose and her family go to a Lake House in Awago Beach. Rose hangs out with Windy, whose family also always vacations there. Rose’s parents are constantly fighting, so Rose and Windy find ways to distract themselves, like swimming, going to the local convenience store, and watching horror movies. This is the summer of growing up, transitioning from child to teen, and learning all the heartbreak and wonder that come along with it.

 

Great graphic novels I’ve read lately that are already out include:

 

Picture from GoodReads

Picture from GoodReads

Zombie’s Calling by Faith Erin Hicks. Joss loves zombie movies, but will her knowledge of the rules of a zombie movie be enough to save her and her roommates when her university is taken over by a zombie plague? Great story, loveable characters, and I personally appreciated the commentary on the price of higher education (as I, like Joss, will be paying off my college education for the rest of my life).

Picture from GoodReads

Picture from GoodReads

Mind the Gap by Jim McCann. I’m on volume two of this graphic novel series, and I am HOOKED! Elle is attacked in the subway station, and now she is lying in a hospital in a coma. Who tried to kill Elle and why? Elle’s spirit is detached from her body and trying to put all the pieces together. This is a fantastic thriller with a supernatural twist. I’m really intrigued by this story, and I can’t wait to get volume number 3.

MorningGlories

Morning Glories by Nick Spencer. I picked up with graphic novel series at work because the back said it was about six brilliant new students at a sinister boarding school. I love a good boarding school story, add mystery and something deadly lurking and I’ll pick it up! I’m on volume #3 so far and I haven’t been disappointed. The twist and turns are never ending. The teachers are straight up evil, almost drowning the 6 student on their first day. There is a weird cult and strange medical experiments. So far this series is keeping me hooked and on the edge of my seat.

 


Review: Noggin

Image Cover photo from Goodreads

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

 I won an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher through a Goodreads giveaway

The Cover Story:  I love the cover of Noggin.  It’s funny and it’s fitting.  I have to admit I hated the cover of the hardcover edition of Whaley’s first book, Where Things Come Back (sorry!) (the cover of the paperback was much better).  Noggin’s cover, however, is the type of cover that makes me pick up a book and say I wonder what this book is about?  It’s perfect!

 What it’s about: Travis Ray Coates has cancer.  The doctors have done everything they can, but the cancer has spread too far.  There is one chance though.  Travis can have is head cut off and frozen, with the hope that someday doctors can reanimate him on another body.  Travis decides to do this, not because he thinks they will ever be able to bring him back, but because he is tired and nothing else is going to work.  So Travis says goodbye to his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend, and he goes into surgery.  Then Travis Coates wakes up.  His parents are standing by his bed when he opens his eyes looking just as they did when he closed them, and he figures the surgery must not have worked.  What Travis doesn’t realize upon waking, is that what feels like a few minutes to him has really been five years.  Five years, that’s it!  Medicine progressed enough that in only five years doctors were able to connect Travis’ head to another body, and wake him up.  Travis never though it would work, and on the off chance it did he thought it would be long after everyone he loved was dead.  Now he is back, and still 16 years old, but everyone else is has grown up and mourned the loss of Travis.

What I Thought:  Travis was alive, then dead, then alive again.  It’s an amazing thing.  What is even more amazing is it all happened in such a short amount of time.  In 5 years a lot changes though.  It’s hard for Travis though, he has to adjust to the fact that although no time has passed for him it has for everyone else.  Travis has to finish high school, while his friends are now all in college.  Noggin touches on a lot of issues.  No one knew if the surgery would work or when they would be able to bring Travis back if it was possible, so his friends, family, and girlfriend had to mourn him as if he had died.  It was the only way they could move on.  Everyone is trying to adjust to this new reality now that Travis is back.  Travis has a hard time coping because he can’t accept the fact everything has changed, and you can’t blame him.  I had to ask myself what would be worse: waking up so far in the future, everyone you love is dead or waking up after just enough years the people you love have moved on and changed without you?  Honestly I don’t know which I would prefer.  The idea of never seeing the people I love anymore makes waking up seem pointless, but waking up and having to deal with how much has changed also seems painful. I felt for Travis and all he was going through.  At times I thought he was acting selfish, and in other moments I felt so bad for him my heart ached.

How do you start living again?  That’s the question Travis has to figure out the answer to.

Noggin was an amazing and I highly recommend it!


Guest Post: Mortal Instruments Series

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is being turned into a movie. So of course I’m making my boyfriend, Brett, take me when it comes out. So in order to prepare him for the event I gave him the first three books to read. Here is his review (I don’t have a review because I read them before I started blogging):

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy – City of bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass

When I heard that the Mortal Instruments Trilogy was being made into a movie, I figured I would read at least the first one so that I knew a little bit about it going into the theater. I never imagined that the series would be as addicting as it was! For anyone who loves young adult Sci-fi/fantasy, this book is a must read.

The book starts out quickly right away, with the main character, Clary, being introduced to the supernatural world at a club she goes to with her friend Simon. At the club, she witnesses a group of young “Shadowhunters” kill a demon in the back room of the club. This introduces us to the other main characters: Jace, Alec, and Isabelle. Jace is of course the love interest for Clary, and is described as “golden haired, bronze skin” etc. Alec and Isabelle are his adopted brother and sister, as he was orphaned at an early age.
After the brief encounter, Clary and the shadowhunters seem to go their separate ways. However, that doesn’t last long as soon after her encounter at the club her mother gets kidnapped, and she is forced into the world of the supernatural. She is forced to team up with Jace and the other Shadowhunters. Although Jace has a cocky, arrogant demeanor, it’s easy to see that there is a mutual attraction between Clary and him.

Without giving too much away, Clary and her newfound companions go on a quest to find out where her mother is, and Clary is introduced to even more supernatural elements: Vampires, Werewolves, Warlocks, and more demons. The reader learns that the Shadowhunters, who are people with angel blood in them, are like the police force of the human realm. They have a truce with the rest of the supernatural beings, known as “downworlders”, and they in turn keep the peace and offer protection. The main villain is a rogue Shadowhunter named Valentine. He wishes to cleanse the human realm of all the “downworlders” and demons, and he doesn’t care if he has to kill any humans or fellow shadowhunters to do it. Ironically, many of his minions are demons, the very beings he hates and wishes to rid the world of.

One of the things I liked most about the book was the way the characters are very fleshed out. I found myself caring about all the characters. I will admit that the book kept me up later than I would have liked some nights because I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to see what would happen next to the characters. The world the author depicts is very interesting, with this whole society of supernatural creatures that regular humans are unaware of as they go about their daily lives. I also loved the action and the pace of the book. There is rarely a lull in the action, and when there is, it’s when the protagonists are trying to figure out what’s going on, so you’re still reading intently to see how everything will unfold.

If you’re a fan of Young Adult Sci-fi, you should definitely consider reading these books. You won’t be disappointed.