Review: The City on the Other Side

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Title: The City on the Other Side
Author: Maighread Scott
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When a wealthy and sheltered young girl stumbles into a pitched war between two fairy kingdoms, the fate of San Francisco itself hangs in the balance!

The first decade of the twentieth century is coming to a close, and San Francisco is still recovering from the great earthquake of 1906. Isabel watched the destruction safely from her window, sheltered within her high-society world.

Isabel isn’t the kind of girl who goes on adventures. But that all changes when she stumbles through the invisible barrier that separates the human world from the fairy world. She quickly finds herself caught up in an age-old war and fighting on the side of the Seelie—the good fairies.

Review:

I really enjoyed this middle grade fantasy graphic novel!

Isabel crossed the barrier between the human world and the fairy world. There are two types of fairies, the Seelies and the Unseelies. It was hard to distinguish between the Seelie and Unseelie because each fairy was a different creature and they didn’t have any defining characteristics.

Isabel was a great character. She gained a lot of strength while in the fairy world. She had to problem solve to find the princess. She was also a very dedicated girl, since she didn’t give up on her quest to find the princess, though she didn’t know anything about that world.

I loved that there was an explanation of the creation of the story at the end. It explained the setting of San Francisco and the earthquake that happened in 1906. It also explained that many different fairies were inspired by mythological creatures. This was so helpful, because I was wondering why they all had such unusual appearances.

This is a great graphic novel for middle grade readers!

Review: Real Friends

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Title: Real Friends
Author: Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When best friends are not forever . . . 

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Timesbestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.

Review:

This is a great graphic novel for kids.

I loved the art in this book. It made the story quite funny. Shannon’s sister was depicted as a bear sometimes. Shannon had daydreams about creating fantasies with her friends. These things couldn’t have been demonstrated in the same way if it wasn’t a graphic novel.

The story is important for all kids to read. Shannon had trouble making friends. She would have a friend and then they would move away. She didn’t fit in with the popular group, though she tried to join them. When she tried to leave them, she couldn’t get anyone to join her new group. Many kids have these kinds of problems at some point in their lives, so this would show them that they aren’t alone with their feelings.

Shannon also had problems with her sister. They didn’t get along most of the time. But then it was revealed that they actually had a lot in common. Sometimes you don’t like things about someone else because they remind you of yourself. This also shows that it may not be your fault if you don’t get along with someone.

I really enjoyed this story. I recommend it for young readers!

Review: Goldie Vance, Volume 1

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Title: Goldie Vance, Volume 1
Author: Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, Sarah Stern
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Boom Entertainment
Source: Purchased
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

GOLDIE VANCE IS ON THE CASE

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it’s her dream to one day be the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills, and connections to solve the mystery…even if it means getting into a drag race, solving puzzles, or chasing a helicopter to do it!

Review:

I loved this graphic novel! I wish I had read it sooner!

Goldie Vance reminded me a lot of Nancy Drew. However, Goldie has more nerve than Nancy. Goldie doesn’t think twice about breaking the rules in order to solve a mystery. In this book she even stole, or “borrowed,” a car in order to recover a stolen item.

There was a lot going on in the story around Goldie as well. She had to deal with her parents, who are divorced. Her father was always running around working at the same hotel with Goldie, and he didn’t seem to have much time for her unless she was doing something wrong. She also had a few friends who helped Goldie solve her mysteries. All of her friends were going on dates, but Goldie didn’t, so I’m wondering if she will have more of a romantic storyline in the future volumes.

I’m really excited to continue this series. This is a great start to the story!

Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power

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Title: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power
Author: Ryan North, Erica Henderson
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Marvel
Source: Purchased
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There’s one hero that’s beaten them all-and now she’s got her own ongoing series! (Not that she’s bragging.) That’s right, you asked for it, you got it, it’s SQUIRREL GIRL! (She’s also starting college this semester.) It’s the start of a brand-new set of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world!

COLLECTING: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 1-4

Review:

Squirrel Girl is a cute superhero. She’s a quirky girl, who is part squirrel and can speak to squirrels. She was so funny, which made it an entertaining read.

Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, starts college in this story. She has a serious roommate, who loves her cat, Mew. Doreen’s squirrel antics attempted to distract her from the cute guy, Tomas, who she kept running into around campus. But the one who really stole the show was Tippy-Toe. Tippy-Toe is Doreen’s squirrel sidekick and partner in crime. She was so adorable!

I really enjoyed this cute story. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for more books in the series!

Review: Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

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Title: Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue
Author: Marissa Meyer, Stephen Gilpin
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Purchased
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Iko – an audacious android and best friend to the Lunar Queen Cinder – has been tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele, the leader of a rogue band of bioengineered wolf-soldiers who threaten to undo the tenuous peace agreement between Earth and Luna. Unless Cinder can reverse the mutations that were forced on them years before, Steele and his soldiers plan to satisfy their monstrous appetites with a massacre of the innocent people of Earth.

And to show he’s serious, Steele is taking hostages.

Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, Cress and Thorne, and Winter and Jacin all feature in this epic new battle. But it is Iko who must face her deepest fears when she uncovers the truth about her own unusual programming. 

Review:

I love this series! The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series, so I’m so excited about this graphic novel series!

The first volume was an introduction to the characters. It was a little hard to get used to seeing what they really look like, because I imagined some of them differently. Also I keep getting Thorne and Jacin mixed up… until they speak! (Thorne is very full of himself and is always looking for attention whereas Jacin is quiet.)

This volume jumped right into the action. They have a new villain to defeat, Steele who was one of Levana’s hybrids. He really reminded me of Count Olaf from The Series of Unfortunate Events. He looked a lot like him.

I enjoyed the flashbacks in the story. The characters revisited many places from the original story, which were nice to finally see in pictures. Linh Garan also made a few appearances in saved video files. In those, he describes how Iko was created, which was intense because it was difficult for her to handle.

This is a great story, and I really hope the story continues!

Here’s my review for Wires and Nerve, Volume 1.

Review: Black Panther, Volume 2: A Nation Under Our Feet

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Title: Black Panther, Volume 2: A Nation Under Our Feet
Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chris Sprouse, Don McGregor, Rich Buckler
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Source: Purchased
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Counting down the final days of the kingdom of Wakanda! As Zenzi and The People poison Wakanda’s citizens against the Black Panther, a cabal of nation-breakers is assembled. And Ayo and Aneka, the Midnight Angels, are courted to raise their land to new glory! His allies dwindling, T’Challa must rely on his elite secret police, the Hatut Zeraze, and fellow Avenger Eden Fesi, a.k.a. Manifold! And with T’Challa’s back truly against the wall, some old friends lend a hand: Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Storm! But Wakanda may be too far gone for this all-new, all-different crew — and there’s one job the Panther must handle alone. Only he can voyage into the Djalia! Getting there is hard enough, but can he even find his sister Shuri inside Wakanda’s collective memory? Collecting BLACK PANTHER (2016) #5-8, plus JUNGLE ACTION #6-7 and bonus content.

Review:

I enjoyed this second volume in the new Black Panther series.

This story jumped right into the action, since the characters were introduced in the first volume. T’Challa appears much more conflicted between leading his country and protecting his people. Meanwhile, he needs to try to get his sister back from Wakanda’s collective memory, which is like an in-between world.

The Black Panther has to face all of these challenges, so he brings in some help from other superhero friends. I loved the cameo appearances by other Marvel superheroes. He asks Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man for help. He also brings his friends Storm, Eden Fesi, Luke Cage, and Misty Knight into Wakanda. It was interesting to see him interact with these other familiar characters.

I also enjoyed the two vintage comics at the end of the volume. They show the original comics featuring the Black Panther, so we can see how he has changed and how he has remained the same over the decades. This is a great second volume in the series!

Review: Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)

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Title: Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)
Author: Sarah Andersen
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah’s Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.

Review:

This is another great collection from Sarah Andersen. The best part about her comics is that they are so relatable.

There were a lot of pet comics in this book. One of my favourites was where a cat doesn’t know her name because she is called so many nicknames at home, such as “mush,” “kitten pie,” and “little beanie toe cutie.”

There were also a lot of comics about the struggles of being an artist. My favourite one was where artists are compared to actors and musicians. Both actors and musicians become more glamorous when they become famous, but artists are still at home, sitting at their computers.

This collection ended with some commentary about becoming an artist. Sarah talks about how the internet has changed and become more negative since she began her career, but it’s still an important tool for young artists. My favourite part was when she said that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to someone else about their work, don’t say it to yourself.

This collection was entertaining and inspiring.