For the three nights that I stayed in a hotel room, I was able to spread my books out and take pictures. I was not able to do that with the fun books I picked up on Monday, so today I just have pictures of what I picked up. Tomorrow’s post will go more in depth for the various titles and who I picked them up for. I would like to point out the signed Buffy the Vampire Slayer board game that I won during the raffle at ALA Gaming, which is one of my favorite additions to the conference. Can’t wait to test out this game!
As promised, here is the post where I share all the comics and graphic novels I purchased at C2E2 while horribly sick. I am excited to read all of these and have already started on a couple!
This is a really fun graphic novel that uses a lot of science. It may not all be correct science as we know it (taffimatter seems a bit farfetched), but I enjoyed that the author didn’t dumb done the science even though this is marketed toward middle grade readers. In fact, I would argue that the science jargon might make the reader inclined to ask questions and do some research if it sparks their interest. For those readers less interested in the science aspect, there are plenty of things to latch unto in this story. Thing one is a three-headed kitten! Initially what caught my attention. LOL Also, this story takes place on a space station that’s deep in space and nowhere near Earth. It reminded me a lot of the Disney Channel Original movie, Zenon Girl of the 21st Century. Down to the white and colored female leads, although here the WOC takes center stage, which I enjoyed greatly. I’m looking forward to reading more about their misadventures in future books and will be recommending it highly to anyone interested in graphic novels, animals, space, or a good romp.
Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?
Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.
Here’s three new books this year that I didn’t know I would be reading. On a whim, I picked these up and ended up reading each in a single day. While they aren’t the best books I’ve read this year, I wanted to share them with you because of their content and the questions they ask and answer. Read on for brief summaries and my thoughts and opinions on each.
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She’d sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she’d have to eat it for breakfast.
But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister, something deadly.
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the vulnerable, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
This is a painfully frank and graphic description of what it feels like to live with an eating disorder. As someone who has not lived through this but loves to eat and frequently stress eats, I’ve often wondered what it feels like. Since this is a memoir, I can only assume that the author has the authority to speak on this subject as I have no point of reference. Even without color, I found myself drawn into this powerful story of pain, suffering, asking for help, and following through again and again. If you want to see inside the head of someone battling a variety of eating disorders and the kind of help you can seek. I’m looking forward to reading this story again in color when it releases to see what impact that provides.
-Reviewed from an advance copy through work, trigger warnings for sexual abuse, nudity, and slicing off body fat
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.
Here’s two stories that parallel each other, told through differing mediums. The past is told through journal entries belonging to Mary while Ella’s present story is told through wordless illustrations. The story flowed really well and I devoured the whole book in one sitting. My main issue with the story is that <SPOILER> it appears that Ella commits suicide at the end to be friends with Mary, who had also committed suicide due to bullying. And a third girl is introduced at the end, mirroring the beginning of the book and suggesting that the cycle will probably continue. So I’m conflicted about whether I’d be comfortable recommending this book to middle schoolers, who I believe are the intended target audience.
-Reviewed from an advanced copy through work, trigger warnings for suicide, bullying, and possible off screen rape
The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.
When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.
This story did not go the way I thought. From the description and the beginning of the story, I thought this might be about transgender expectations. Instead, the story tackled gender a little differently. I’m not sure that the characters did much for me, but I like that this graphic novel is something that can be given to middle schoolers as part of the ongoing discussion of why we separate genders in so many areas. It may not be my favorite, but I already know a few people I’ll be sharing this.
-Reviewed from an advanced copy through work, no overt trigger warnings
The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves and more to their worlds than meets the eye. . . .
The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.
A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.
Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?
When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!
This week’s Top 10 focuses on visuals! Which is awesome because there are so many fun books that I’ve collected and read based on artwork. See where the meme started here!
This is just a brief listing of some of my absolute favorite art accompanied stories 🙂
A manga that featured an art style that embraced music, pop rock, girly pretty things, and gothic lolita fashions.
Not only is this a cute picture book about a cat that finds itself sharing a home with a newborn dino, but the art is gorgeous enough to frame.
My favorite trio of characters from the Batman universe presented in a lovely art style.
There’s a lovely illustrated novel of Stardust that features the art of Charles Vess.
Another picture book, this one tells the tale of newly formed friendships without using words.
I fell in love with author/artist’s art back in high school, and I still re-read this manga series occasionally.
This graphic novel tells the everyday life stories of various animals without using words. It focuses on the main animal but shows the environment and other animals in the area as well.
Here’s a graphic novel series that’s basically Dungeons and Dragons with an all-female, butt-kicking cast!
The art is actually what drew me to this graphic novel, and now I can’t wait for volume 2.
If you love the Labyrinth movie, then you’ll love this sequel manga series.
So no visual favorites list would be complete without a Sailor Moon reference, so here’s one of my oldest, favorite manga of all time.
What books drew you in based on the artwork? Share your lists below!
Life in the primordial swamps of prehistoric Earth was a daily trial of survival, especially for the smaller dinosaurs just trying to get by without being trampled, attacked, or eaten. Not even the biggest beasts were safe, as there always seemed to be an even bigger threat looming on the horizon. This exciting tale, written by Frederic Brremaud, is told without narration or dialogue, conveyed entirely through the beautiful illustrations of Federico Bertolucci. A beautiful, powerful tale of survival in the animal kingdom that explores the all-too-identifiable, universal concepts of Life, Courage, Aging, and ultimately Love.
The fourth volume in the lavishly illustrated series of wildlife graphic novels, each following a single central animal through an adventurous day in their natural environment. Each tale depicts genuine natural behavior through the dramatic lens of Disney-esque storytelling, like a nature documentary in illustration.