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: The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba BrayDiviners

I’m going to start off this post by professing my love for Libba Bray.  Her Gemma Doyle trilogy was amazing.  If you haven’t read Beauty Queens then you need to go do that (right now!) and then come back and we will discuss the genius that is Libba Bray and her awesome humor.

But I digress…let’s get back on topic and discuss her latest book The Diviners, which is the first in a new series.

What it’s about:  Evie O’Neill has been shipped off to New York City to live with her uncle.  While her parents mean it to be a punishment for Evie’s behavior in Ohio, for Evie it means freedom and a chance at a new life.  Evie gets to NYC just as her uncle Will is helping the police with a murder investigation which seems to involve the occult.  Evie’s Uncle Will specializes in the occult, and runs the Museum of Creepy Crawlies (Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult).  Evie’s trouble in Ohio was caused by her supernatural ability to gain insight into a person simply by touching an object they own, but will her powers be enough to stop a murderer?

What I liked: 1. It’s New York City in the 1920s, and you can tell Libba Bray did a lot of research to make this time period come alive. I have a soft spot for historical fiction which takes place in the ‘20s (probably because I wish I got to live in the 1920s).  2. The murderer in this book is creeeeepy (“Naughty John, Naughty John, does his work with his apron on…” (creepy, right?)).  3. Supernatural.  The supernatural abounds in this book.  And Evie isn’t the only one with powers.  There are several other characters with abilities, whose stories we learn throughout the book (which leads to reason #4 the great characters).

The Diviners is a long book (570+ pages).  It did take me a few chapters to get into the book, but it soon became a page turner for me right up to the end.  I also didn’t mind the length because Bray sets up a lot of the story line/background for the future books in the series.  While I have been eh on series lately because I feel the individual books lack their own ending, this is not the case in The Diviners.  This murder mystery has a conclusion, but the overall the series has an even bigger mystery.  We are also left with questions like: who are the Diviners?  What does Evie’s uncle know?  Is Naughty John the only evil lurking?  In the end you won’t be able to wait for the next book (I know I’m going to grab a copy as soon as it is out).

For bringing the 1920s to life, creating a villain who gave me the creeps, and for reminding me of the awesomeness of the word ‘copacetic’, The Diviners was one of the best books I read this year.


Review: Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Sorry it has taken me so long to post.  I’ve been busy applying to jobs (something I really need to do) and helping my sisters paint some rooms (something that looks more fun than it actual is).    I’ve also had some per Diem work at a local library branch.  Yay for working!  Plus I’ve been catching up on Supernatural (in fact I’m watching an episode right now), I can’t help it I’m hooked!

 

Edited with PicMonkeyOkay back to the reason you visit this blog….Mandy Hubbard’s Ripple.

What it’s about:  On Lexi’s sixteenth birthday she discovers she is cursed.  Every night she is drawn to the water and forced to sing.  Lexi learns of her curse when her singing lures the boy she loves to his death.  In order to protect those she loves, Lexi has shut herself off from all her friends.  For a year Lexi has been shunned by all her friends because of her icy demeanor, until Cole (the best friend of the boy she loved/killed) decides to try and break through her façade.  When Lexi finally starts to think things may get a little better, a new boy, Erik, shows up at school with a secret of his own and the promise of a normal life.

What I thought:  I understand Lexi’s icy attitude, trying to freeze her friends out in order to keep them safe.  I also understand how after a year of being shut off from her friends, Lexi finally starts to let someone, Cole, in.  It isn’t easy to keep everyone you love and care about at bay, and when someone finally tries to break your wall down, it’s hard not to accept that.

However, I didn’t fully connect with Lexi, although she was a likeable character overall.  The other characters aren’t developed too fully, but you get enough of their personality/ makeup for the story to work.

Towards the beginning of the story Lexi gets a book her mother left her.  Lexi flips through it and discovers some information about her curse; however, I was a little disappointed that Lexi never refers to the book again.   It seemed it was going to be important, but actually revealed very little beyond how the curse started.

I picked up Ripple because I noticed mermaid like books were growing in number.   While it isn’t a mermaid story per say, but it does involve a girl who is forced by a curse to swim every night.   It wasn’t my favorite book of the year, but it was a good quick read.  Ripple has romance, supernatural elements, and a little mystery, so anyone looking for those elements will enjoy it.