Review: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass

Title: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
Author: Mariko Tamaki, Steven Pugh
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Ink
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named MAMA. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, MAMA has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is at once a tale of the classic Harley readers know and love, and a heartfelt story about the choices teenagers make and how they can define—or destroy—their lives. This is the first title in DC’s new line of original graphic novels for middle grade and young adult readers.

Review:

I love Harley Quinn, so I was really excited to see her as a kid in this graphic novel. Her mom goes to work at a cruise company, so Harley is sent to live with her grandmother. When she arrives at her grandmother’s apartment in Gotham City, she discovers that her grandmother has passed away. The man who owns the apartment let’s Harley stay in the apartment for a while. When the town is taken over by Kane Enterprises, Harley has to work with her friends to save their homes. She tries to pay back the vandals who destroy their homes, but she meets a vandal who goes by the pseudonym, The Joker.

This origin story was really different from the other ones I’ve read. In the traditional story, Harley was a psychologist at Arkam Asylum, where she met the Joker who corrupted her. However, this story still had elements of the original Harley. She became friends with a girl named Ivy at school, like Harley’s best friend Poison Ivy. She also lived above a drag queen club, like in the original Harley story.

There were a lot of important issues in this story too. Ivy fought to have films by women shown in the film club at school. Ivy also called out the principal for disrespecting her. Harley didn’t wear the skimpy costume that was left for her, and opted for something that was more covered up. I liked that these feminist issues were addressed in this graphic novel, because they are not present in most comics.

I loved this book! I hope there will be a sequel.

What to read next:

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle, Isaac Goodhart

Batman: Nightwalker: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu, Stuart Moore, Chris Wildgoose

Have you read Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Didn't Get to in 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a Freebie, so I decided to do the Top 5 Tuesday prompt, which is Books I Didn’t Get to in 2019. Here’s my list:

1. The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

2. Last Girl Lied To by L.E. Flynn

3. Woman on the Edge by Samatha M. Bailey

4. The Tiger at Midnight (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #1) by Swati Teerdhala

5. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

6. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

7. Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

8. Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

9. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

10. Cold Falling White (The Nahx Invasions #2) by G.S. Prendergast

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Review: The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding

Title: The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding
Author: Jennifer Robson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 31, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love. 

Review:

This was a fascinating story about the creation of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

There was an exceptional amount of research done to create this book. The description of the way the dress was embroidered was very detailed, so I felt like was there. There were also some fun moments, such as when there was a story “leaked” to the press, but it was completely wrong.

The narrative alternated between Ann and Miriam in 1947, and Heather in 2016. I could relate to Heather’s story, because she lived in Toronto. I could picture the places she mentioned. I could also imagine the locations in London that were described. I loved the dueling narratives. It gave two different perspectives on the royal wedding, from the people who were there to the people who were curious about the dress in the future.

I learned so much from this story. I loved it!

What to read next:

Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson

The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly

Have you read The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Family? What did you think of it?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? – December 9

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill's Weekly Wrap-Up – December 8

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… The Gown

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading The Gown by Jennifer Robson.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France comes an enthralling historical novel about one of the most famous wedding dresses of the twentieth century—Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown—and the fascinating women who made it.

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Books You Want to Give as Gifts

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Books You Want to Give as Gifts. Here’s my list:

1. The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe by Angela Kelly

2. The Last Affair by Margot Hunt

3. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

4. American Royals by Katharine McGee

5. The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

6. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

(All book cover images from Goodreads)

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of Books You Want to Give as Gifts?