MINI REVIEWS: Honor Girl & Lumberjanes Vol. 1

TITLE: Honor Girl Related image
AUTHOR: Maggie Thrash
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: When 15 year old Maggie goes to an all girls camp like she does every year she didn’t expect to get a crush on a camp counselor, especially on a girl.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | LGBTQ+ | Memoir
RATING: 4/5

This is a graphic memoir about a girl coming out and realizing she has a crush on a camp counselor older than her. Yes, realizing she’s gay is a major part of the book, but it’s also about the excitement, disappointments, nerves, and in this case the confusion that comes with first crushes. . My favorites moments  were the times she wasn’t sure of herself or what she should do, but only because it’s something I think everyone has gone through. I also like that she takes time to think about the repercussions of liking a girl, like the backlash they might get from it because that’s still a very present problem for people who are not ready to come out. Nowadays, there’s a lot of representation and stories about good coming out stories, but that hasn’t always been the case. However, it’s also nice that she doesn’t truly try to hide her feelings from herself and just accepts her attraction to Erin.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but I did not love the art style. I don’t know if it was done on purpose, or if Thrash wanted to do it all on her own and didn’t want to have anyone, but the art style is simplistic. It’s kinda messy and not in a funny ironic way like in Hyperbole and Half by Allie Brosh.

 

TITLE: Lumberjanes Image result for lumberjanes vol 1
AUTHOR: Noelle Stevenson
ILLUSTRATORS: Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, Brooke A. Allen, Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Carolyn Nowak
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: A group of girls in summer camp encounter strange events.
VOLUME: 1, Beware the Kitten Holy
GENRE: Graphic Novel |
RATING: 3/5

The first volume in this comic series gave me Paper Girls and Gravity Falls vibes, but unlike the comic and show it doesn’t seem to have much plot development. Right now as it stands, I don’t see how all these strange events are related to each other. I imagine that the next couple of volumes will continue to explore these strange events, but if I can’t see the thread that brings it all together, I will lose interest very soon.

The main characters all seem to have their unique personalities, but none of which I was a fan of. In fact, the only character I actually liked was the camp counselor. Maybe it’s because I’m growing older but I have a deep appreciation for adult figures who are trying their best to do the right thing. Too bad she doesn’t form part of the core group.

As for the art, I thought it was good solid work. I like that some scenes don’t require any text to figure out what is happening in the pages.

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BOOK REVIEW: Tomboy by Liz Prince

TITLE: Tomboy Related image
AUTHOR: Liz Prince
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Liz Prince is a girl who wants to be a boy but the world keeps trying to tell her differently.
GENRE: Young Adult | Graphic Novel | Memoir | Non-Fiction
RATING: 5/5
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BOOK REVIEW: Fun Home by Allison Bechdel

TITLE: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Related image
AUTHOR: Allison Bechdel
ILLUSTRATOR: Allison Bechdel
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: In the wake of her father’s death and her coming out, Allison discovers her dad was gay which prompts her to journey in trying to understand him better.
GENRE: Coming of Age | Memoir | Graphic Novel | LGBT+ | Non Fiction
RATING: 3/5
NOTE: There’s a couple of graphic sex scenes depicted in this book. This has also been turned into a Broadway musical of the same name.
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MINI REVIEWS: The Lover’s Dictionary and Nat Turner

TITLE: The Lover’s Dictionary Image result for the lover's dictionary
AUTHOR: David Levithan
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The lives of a couple is told in snippets in the form of a dictionary.
GENRE: Romance | Fiction | Contemporary
RATING: 4/5
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If I could describe this book in three words I’d say: cute, fast, and creative. We don’t ever get an in depth look at this romance, we don’t even get their names, but it was still very good. We only ever get snippets of this couple, or various couples, but that’s exactly how it is in real life if you think about it. When we see people in public, we don’t get the whole story, we only get that moment.

Part of what drew me into this book was the dictionary concept because I love it when authors are get creative with the format of their storytelling. I especially loved the way Levithan played with the words he was defining. I can tell he had fun writing this.

I know Levithan usually writes YA, but the feel of this book seems to be directed at a slightly older audience like people in their 20s or 30s.

 

TITLE: Nat Turner Related image
AUTHOR: Kyle Baker
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Nat Turner’s slave rebellion of 1831 is told through drawings.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | Nonfiction | History
RATING: 5/5
NOTE: It has violent and graphic scenes.
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I’ve read my share of biographies in graphic novel format, and this one has been my favorite by far. Why? Because unlike most graphic novels of this genre, this one is not wordy like the others. Instead, this novel tells Nat Turner’s story through pictures alone. You won’t find a single sentence in the first chapter of the book, only pictures.

It’s not that I’m being a lazy reader, but when I read graphic novels I shouldn’t need words to make sense of the story. If I did, I would have just read a normal non-fiction book.

The only part of this book I didn’t like was how Baker incorporated the Thomas R. Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner. For those who don’t know, The Confessions of Nat Turner is this sort of transcription of what Turner told Gray about the rebellion. This semester I’ve spent plenty of time with this part of American history, to know that Gray’s publication is not reliable. It’s Turner’s story seen through a skewed perspective from white southern lawyer. We never see the true Nat Turner and what the rebellion meant to him.

On the other hand, Baker is taking ownership of Gray’s confessions by displaying it alongside his version of the events. So, I guess it’s this part is not all that horrible.

But by all means please, please, please, read this novel if you ever get the chance or if you want to know more about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion.

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MINI REVIEWS: Love & Misadventures and The Creeps

TITLE: Love & Misadventure Related image
AUTHOR: Lang Leav
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Poetry about love sprinkled with the author’s artwork.
GENRE: Poetry
RATING: 2/5
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I did not like this book. I thought I would, but halfway through the book I couldn’t stop cringing. Overall, the poetry is pretty bad, there’s nothing special about. They’re super short poems in case you have a short attention span and like to waste paper. The poems are generic love poems without much substance so it feels like you can relate, however, and maybe it’s just me, but I like seeing some vulnerability and intimacy in poetry. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say a fourteen year old girl who has fallen in love for the first time wrote this. I have nothing against teenage girls because I was one, but because I was one (with her own poetry phase) I know how bad poetry writing can be.

TITLE: The Creeps: A Dark Deep Collection 
AUTHOR: Fran Krause
ILLUSTRATOR: Fran Krause
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: A collection of comic strips and stories about fears.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | Non-Fiction
RATING: 3/5
NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
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I decided to get this book because I wanted a collection of scary stories to get ready for Halloween next October, but I’m not sure this is what I was looking for.

I was expecting truly creepy and scary stories, and while they were all valid fears, it’s not what I was looking for. I would say that these were odd fears people have, but because they were so specific, I couldn’t relate to all them, and therefore not as scary as I was hoping for.

So, these are not the ghost stories I was looking forward to, but they’re fun nonetheless. The illustrations were also more on the fun side than the creepy side, but it was good. It’s a quick read and fun, but not that creepy.

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