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.

 


Let’s Get Graphic

I’ve been reading a lot of graphic novels lately.  Here are some short reviews of my favorites:

 

Friends

Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Maggie is about to start high school after being homeschooled her whole life.  Maggie’s mom left her and her three brothers and nothing has been the same since.  Maggie’s brothers have been her only friends until she meets Alistair and Lucy. 

I love this book because it’s all about friendship, growing up, learning to forgive and move on.  I almost forgot to mention, Maggie is haunted.  While trying to deal with her brothers and her new friends, she is also trying to figure why she is being haunted and how she can help the ghost. 

 

Page

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge

Paige Turner just moved to New York.  She is trying to adjust to the big city while making friends and her sketchbook is helping her do just that.

This is a great book because Paige is in her head so much, and her sketchbook helps her get it all out there.  She learns to open up and share her sketchbook and thoughts/feelings with others.   It’s about finding yourself and learning to be comfortable enough with that self to share it with the world. 

 

 Will

Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Will lost her parents in an accident and now she lives with her aunt.  She has two best friends and loves to make lamps.  She is also afraid of the dark. 

Will’s lamps help her deal with her fear of the dark, but she hasn’t come to terms with the loss of her family.  She tries to avoid it, but when a storm knocks out all the power in town, Will can’t hide from the dark anymore.  This is a story about coming to terms with loss and your fears.  Will is lucky because she has her friends to help her. 

 

Amulet

Amulet Volume 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

Emily and Navin move into their great-grandfather’s house with their mother after their father dies.  However, this house proves to have dangerous secrets and soon Emily and Navin are on journey to save their mother after she is taken by monsters to an underground world.  Soon siblings meet others and find allies. 

I love the storyline and the characters are great.  I love Miskit the mechanical rabbit, and all the other friends Emily and Navin make along the way.  Emily lost her father, but she isn’t going to let her mother be taken away from her.  She will do anything to protect what is left of her family, something we can all relate to.

 

 

Astonishing X-Men (volumes 1-9) 

The first four volumes were written by Joss Whedon, and I loved them.  The story arc was fantastic.  Cyclops and Emma Frost have reformed the X-men, but something threatens the existence of mutants, and it is up to them to stop it.  Out of the 9 volumes I’ve read so far this was my favorite story arc.  The other arcs include ghost boxes, parallel universes, the brood, and Monster Island.  Some arcs are better than others, but all have kept me reading. 

 

The artwork in all these graphic novels is amazing.  Gulledge’s art is black and white (which I normal don’t care for, I love color!), but she is such a great artist I hardly notice the absence of color.  The X-men volumes have different artists and writers, some artists are better than others.  A few of the volumes felt a little dark, and I didn’t like how some of the artists drew certain characters. 


Let’s Get Graphic! Zita the Spacegirl and Legends of Zita

Review: Zita the Spacegirl and Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

I have wanted to read Zita since I saw its sequel in a webinar a while back.  I finally got around to it while temping in the children’s department of a local library.

 

Zita1What it’s about:  One day while playing in the woods with her friend Joseph, Zita comes across an object in what appears to be a meteoroid crater.  Naturally Zita has to push the big red button (even though we all know not to hit the big red button!).  A portal is opened and Joseph gets sucked through.  Zita then pushes the button again in order to rescue Joseph.  Thus begins Zita’s adventures in space, which then continue on in the Legends of Zita.

What I liked:  Zita is scared to death to push the red button again, but she does so in order to save Joseph.  Once she lands on the planet, Zita does everything to find Joseph and refuses to leave until she has rescued him.  Along the way Zita makes some friends.  Strong Strong, One, Mouse and Randy are fiercely loyal to Zita, and help her in her quest to find Joseph.  The group looks after one another and Zita saves them as much as they save her.  Do they become loyal friends unrealistically fast? Yes, but I’m okay with that because it’s a cute story which shows the importance of friendship.  I love Zita because she fights for her friends and for what she believes is right.  She is scared and in a strange place filled with strange creatures, and yet she doesn’t give up on her friend. Zita2

Zita’s adventures are far from over at the end of Legends of Zita.  I for one will definitely be getting the next book when it comes out.  If you love graphic novels, and are looking for a cute strong, with a loveable group of characters then check out Zita the Spacegirl.

 


Let’s Get Graphic: The Girl Who Owned a City

Edited with PicMonkey

The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson

Adopted by Dan Jolley

Illustrated by Joelle Jones

Okay, I have been trying to read more graphic novels lately so I can recommend good ones.  The Girl Who Owned a City is a dystopia and is based on a novel from 1995.  All the adults have died and only those under 12 have survived.  The survivors have to find food and supplies in order to survive.  Unfortunately some of the children have band together to create gangs which steal from others rather than finding supplies on their own.  Lisa is tired of having others steal what she worked hard to find.  She decides to get the kids on her block to band together to protect each other.    Eventually Lisa moves everyone into a school which they can fortify from the gangs.

First of all I love the art work in this graphic novel! The pictures and the coloring (I’m a fan of colored graphic novels over black & white) all worked perfectly to help convey the story.   I liked the plot of the story, and anyone who likes dystopias (especially dystopias without adults) will enjoy the story.  However, if you want a story in which you will like the main character, keep looking.  I did not like Lisa.  She refers to the city as hers, and acts like she owns it.  I understand needing a leader, but unlike the characters I don’t think I’d like Lisa.  She does give people jobs and puts people in charge of certain areas, but I didn’t feel like she really listened to others’ suggestions.  So while I liked the plot of the book, I did not like the main character.  She was hard to sympathize with.  The focus of the plot is on fortifying a place from the gangs for them to live.  I felt like only one of the characters considered the long-term when he suggested farming.  Lisa didn’t seem to take the idea into much consideration which I felt was foolish considering that scavenging will only work for so long.  Overall I recommend this graphic novel, and it is definitely a quick, good read.