Review: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica

Title: Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica
Author: Paul Dini, Marc Andreyko, Laura Braga
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Hiram Lodge (Veronica’s father) wants to invest in the future by building a university with free tuition for Riverdale’s residents. His site is a protected swamp on the outskirts of town, and once news of the plan reaches Gotham City, a certain eco-warrior (a.k.a. Poison Ivy) is determined to prevent the dream from becoming reality.

However, once Poison Ivy and her bestie Harley Quinn arrive, they get mixed up in the sort of hijinks that can only happen in Riverdale. At a superhero-themed costume party, the night’s entertainment–Zatanna– manages to place the personas of the Gotham City Sirens into the bodies of the town’s notorious frenemies: Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. While Ivy (in Ronnie’s body) seeks to derail Lodge’s agenda from within, more than a few nefarious forces–from Jason and Cheryl Blossom to the Clown Prince of Crime himself–have their own foul plans.

This groundbreaking miniseries teams up two of fandom’s best-known duos, bringing the ladies of Gotham and Riverdale together for the first time! This madcap mayhem comes courtesy of Paul Dini (Harley Quinn) and Marc Andreyko (Wonder Woman ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC Comics: Bombshells)! Collects Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1-6. 

Review:

I love Harley Quinn and Archie comics so this book was made for me! It definitely lived up to my expectations.

This story was hilarious. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy go to Riverdale to persuade Mr. Lodge not to develop Sweetwater Swamp into a school and shopping center. While they’re there, the magician Zatanna arrives at a Halloween party (where Betty and Veronica happen to be dressed as Harley and Poison Ivy) and accidentally puts a spell on Harley, Ivy, Betty and Veronica, making the two sets of friends switch bodies. They four girls have to make their way back to their hometowns and their own bodies.

I had never noticed how many similarities there were between the Archie Comics characters and the DC Comics characters. Sabrina and Zatanna are both magical characters. Catwoman came to Riverdale to see Josie and the Pussycats perform because she is a huge fan of them. Reggie, Riverdale’s resident jokester, dressed up as the Joker for the costume party. I loved discovering the similar characters from my favourite comics.

This was an amazing graphic novel! It’s a must read for fans of Harley, Ivy, Betty and Veronica!

What to read next:

Harley Quinn: Mad Love by Paul Dini, Pat Cadigan

Betty and Veronica by Adam Hughes

Have you read Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – September 27

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“The day I lost my mom, I turned left instead of right. If I had listened to her instructions, if I had turned right, she would still be here.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Break in Case of Emergency by Brian Francis.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Dads can be such a drag

Life has been a struggle for Toby Goodman. Her mother died by suicide five years ago, and her father left their small town before Toby was born. Now a teenager living on her grandparents’ dairy farm, Toby has trouble letting people in. She keeps even her closest friend, the brash but endearing Trisha, at arms’ length, and recently ended her first relationship, with Trisha’s burnout brother, Mike. Convinced that she is destined to follow her mother’s path, Toby creates a plan to escape her pain.

But with the news that her father is coming home and finally wants to meet her, Toby must face the truth of her family’s story. Not only is her father gay, but he’s also a world-famous female impersonator—and a self-absorbed, temperamental man-child who is ill-prepared to be a real parent.

When Toby’s careful plans go awry, she is forced to rebuild the life she thought she knew from the ground up. While she may not follow an expected path, through the support of a quirky but lovable circle of friends and family, Toby may finally put together the many different pieces that make up her past, her present, and her future.

Have you read Break in Case of Emergency? What did you think of it?

Review: SLAY

Title: SLAY
Author: Brittney Morris
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

Review:

I love video games so I was super excited to read this book! I kept my gaming side a secret when I was younger, because my friends didn’t like playing games. I could relate to Kiera, since she had to keep that part of her life a secret too. However, she had the even bigger secret that she actually created the popular game that she plays!

Race was a huge issue in this book. Kiera created the game as a place for black gamers to celebrate themselves in a game. The cards in the game were named after references to black culture or famous black figures in history. The game became controversial when a boy was killed for playing the game. Then, Kiera had to face the possibility of real life consequences for creating this game.

One thing that the critics of this game in the book often said was that the game excluded people of other races because you had to be black to be invited. It wasn’t created as an exclusionary game, but instead as a safe place for gamers to play a game where they wouldn’t be attacked due to their appearance. Kiera walked a fine line when her game was analyzed by the news, but it’s important for everyone to have a safe space to do what they love.

I loved this book so much!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Have you read SLAY? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – September 26

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1) by C.J. Redwine.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: The Grey Sisters

Title: The Grey Sisters
Author: Jo Treggiari
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two years after a deadly plane crash, best friends D and Spider head into the mountains to face their grief. A gripping psychological thriller for fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie.

D and Spider have always been close friends, and they are further united in their shared heartbreak: they both lost siblings in a horrific plane crash two years earlier. A chance sighting of a beloved cuddly toy in a photograph of the only survivor spurs D to finally seek closure. She and Spider and their friend, Min, set off on a road trip to the mountainside site of that terrible crash.

Ariel has lived on the mountain all her life. She and her extended family are looked down upon by neighboring townsfolk and she has learned to live by her wits, trusting few people outside of her isolated, survivalist community. A terrifying attack sends her down the mountain for help; on her way, she comes upon the three girls — a chance encounter that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. 

Review:

This book was a gripping thriller!

The story is told from multiple perspectives. D, Min, and Spider all have third person narratives. Ariel is the only girl who tells her story from a first person perspective, and she is the only one from the isolated community. The parts about the community seemed like they could have taken place a hundred years ago because of the isolated way that they lived. Since that was the only narrative that was told in first person, it made it easier to relate to her character.

The two different types of narratives seemed like separate stories for a lot of the book. D, Min, and Spider were going to see the crash site of a plane crash that killed D’s and Spider’s siblings. Ariel happened to live near the crash site. When both narratives came together, I was so shocked. They were connected in a way I never could have predicted. It was an amazing ending!

I loved this book! It’s a great, unpredictable book!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Have you read The Grey Sisters? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – September 25

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren. The expected publication date is October 22, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment WeeklyMy Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Hotel Dare

Title: Hotel Dare
Author: Terry Blas, Claudia Aguirre
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: KaBOOM!
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s not your typical family vacation when Olive, and her adopted siblings Darwin and Charlotte find themselves falling into other worlds as they explore Grandma Lupé’s strange hotel.

OPEN THE DOOR. ADVENTURE AWAITS. 

Olive and her adopted siblings Charlotte and Darwin are spending the summer with their estranged grandma at her creepy hotel and it’s all work and no play. They’re stuck inside doing boring chores but they soon stumble upon an incredible secret… Behind each room door of the hotel lies a portal to a different strange and mysterious place. The simple turn of a knob transports them to a distant magical world filled with space pirates. Behind the next door are bearded wizards. Down the hall is a doorway to a cotton-candied kingdom. But once the doors are opened, worlds start colliding, and only one family can save them before they tear themselves apart. 

Written by Terry Blas (The Amazing World of Gumball) and illustrated by the talented Claudia Aguirre (Kim & Kim), this world-hopping fantasy tale breaks down the door to imagination and dares you to embrace the idea that family is everything. 

Review:

This was a great graphic novel!

Within a few minutes of starting this book, I was hooked! The mysterious elements were introduced slowly, as the kids discovered secret portals to other worlds in the hotel. The story developed at a fast pace, which made me want to keep reading.

The one thing that I would have liked is more background on the characters. I think there is an interesting story that has brought Charlotte, their adoptive sister, into their family that I’m curious to learn. The ending of the story hinted at a sequel that’s about the rest of the family, so I hope it is written!

I loved this story!

Thank you BOOM! Studios for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom by Terry Blas, Molly Muldoon, Matthew Seely

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Have you read Hotel Dare? What did you think of it?