Review: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #1)

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Title: The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #1)
Author: Stefan Petrucha
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Release Date: April 1, 2005
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Everyone’s favorite girl detective makes her dazzling graphic novel debut!
An all-new series of full-color Nancy Drew graphic novels, with all-new comics stories based on the series by Carolyn Keene, starts right here!  Join Nancy, along with Bess and George, as they search for missing student filmmakers and discover the deadly secret behind the local urban legend known as “The Demon of River Heights.”  Ages 8 to 12.

Review:

I’ve always loved Nancy Drew. I have my mom’s copies of the books from when she was a kid, and I still play the games. I was excited to read this graphic novel!

It was a pretty good story. I read some bad reviews of this book before I read it, so I didn’t expect much. However, I enjoyed the story. The characters were very familiar. Bess, George, and Nancy had to solve a mystery together. Meanwhile, Deirdre Shannon was getting in the way. The only character I didn’t see was Ned, and I hope to see him in later comics.

The graphics weren’t the best. They were flat and one dimensional most of the time. Later in the story, some panels had more depth. The background was blurry so the people in the forefront stood out more. That made it look three dimensional.

I enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading the next one.

What to read next:

  • Writ in Stone (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #2) by Stefan Petrucha

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  • Sleepover Sleuth (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1) by Carolyn Keene

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Have you read The Demon of River Heights? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Archie, Vol. 3

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Title: Archie, Vol. 3
Author: Mark Waid, Joe Eisma
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics Publications
Source: Library
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Introducing… Cheryl Blossom! The fiery red-head takes center stage as Archie and Veronica’s worlds are torn apart as the two are living thousands of miles away from each other. What will happen to the rest of Archie’s friends in Riverdale? And just what kind of havoc will Cheryl Blossom wreak? All the answers and more in the third volume of the SMASH HIT Archie series! Collects Archie issues 13 – 17.

Review:

When I was little, I didn’t like Cheryl Blossom. She made rare appearances in the Double Digests I read. In those comics, she would arrive in Riverdale and upset the love triangle of Archie, Betty, and Veronica. Betty and Veronica didn’t like her, so I didn’t either. Ironically, she’s now one of my favourite characters on the new TV series, Riverdale.

Cheryl plays a slightly different role in this story. She meets Veronica while away at boarding school in Switzerland, and she eventually makes her way to Riverdale. Meanwhile back in Riverdale, Archie has a kind of mental breakdown and decides to live like Jughead. That part of the story was strange, so I enjoyed the Veronica/Cheryl story better.

This is a great third volume in the series!

What to read next:

  • Archie, Vol. 4 by Mark Waid, Pete Woods

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  • The Best of Cheryl Blossom by Dan DeCarlo

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Have you read Archie, Vol. 3? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Making Friends

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Title: Making Friends
Author: Kristen Gudsnuk
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixth grade was SO much easier for Danielle. All her friends were in the same room and she knew what to expect from her life. But now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is completely lost.

When Danielle inherits a magical sketchbook from her eccentric great aunt Elma, she draws Madison, an ideal best friend that springs to life right off the page! But even when you create a best friend, it’s not easy navigating the ups and downs of relationships, and before long Danielle and Madison are not exactly seeing eye-to-eye.

To make matters worse, Danielle has drawn the head of her favorite (and totally misunderstood) cartoon villain, Prince Neptune. He’s also come to life and is giving her terrible advice about how to make people like her. When she rejects him and he goes on a rampage during a school pep rally, Danielle and Madison have to set aside their differences to stop him!

Review:

This story started out really well. Danielle experienced a dreaded schedule in school, where her friends were assigned to different classes. I had that happen a couple of times, including when we had two separate lunch periods in high school. However, I ended up making a friend who is still my best friend ten years later. Danielle handled the situation differently.

Dani found a magic sketchbook that would bring her drawings to life, so she drew a best friend. Things became tricky when her friend began looking for her own family, who do not exist since she was created on paper. Dani also drew the head of Prince Neptune, a character on a show similar to Sailor Moon. He came to life and tried to control Dani.

I think Dani could have handled the situation better. Things got really out of control at the end, which left everyone with magic powers. This was a random ending to the story. Also, I don’t think Dani learned from her mistake of creating friends in her sketchbook. This situation could have been portrayed in a more realistic way to help the young readers who may also go through the same experience.

What to read next:

  • Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

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  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier

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Have you read Making Friends? What did you think of it?

Review: Dawn and the Impossible Three (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #5)

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Title: Dawn and the Impossible Three (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #5)
Author: Gale Galligan
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Dawn Schafer is the newest member of The Baby-sitters Club. While she’s still adjusting to life in Stoneybrook after moving from sunny California, she’s eager to accept her first big job. But taking care of the three Barrett kids would be too much for anybaby-sitter. The house is always a mess, the kids are out of control, and Mrs. Barrett never does any of the things she promises. On top of all that, Dawn wants to fit in with the other members of the BSC, but she can’t figure out how to get along with Kristy. Was joining The Baby-sitters Club a mistake?

A graphic novel adaptation of the original story.

Review:

This fifth instalment in the Baby-Sitters Club series has a new illustrator! I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about the change because I love Raina Telgemeier. I am very pleased with how Gale Galligan put her own spin on the girls.

In this story, the girls have to deal with changing friendships. Kristy will be moving into her new stepfather’s house, so she worries that her place in the club will be jeopardized. She also gets upset when Mary Anne and Dawn seem to be getting closer because their parents are dating. She is jealous of the possibility that they could become stepsisters.

Another important issue the girls have to face is how to address problems with adults. Dawn babysits for three difficult siblings, and she can see that she steps in many times when their mother should be there instead. The mother doesn’t even tell Dawn about one child’s allergies, which could have had dangerous consequences. Eventually, Dawn must figure out a way to solve this problem.

This is a great series! I can’t wait for the next Baby-Sitter’s Club graphic novel!

What to read next:

  • Dawn and the Impossible Three (The Baby-Sitters Club #5) by Ann M. Martin

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  • Kristy’s Big Day (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #6) by Gale Galligan
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Have you read Dawn and the Impossible Three? What did you think of it?

Review: Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside

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Title: Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside
Author: Hope Larson, Raphael Albuquerque
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Library
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A part of DC Universe: Rebirth!

Barbara Gordon looks to add a new bullet point to her already impressive Batgirl resume: travel agent. Having just (barely!) survived the Battle of Burnside and verging on an Arkham-worthy breakdown, the star pulls a Kerouac and gets on the road to find herself.

Follow Babs on her worldwide quest in Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside, with New York Times best-selling author Hope Larson and award-winning artist Raphael Albuquerque leading the way!

Collecting: Batgirl 1-6

Review:

I really like Batgirl. She’s a unique super hero because she was not born with her powers. She is good with technical things, so that is her special talent. Her father is Commissioner Gordon, who is the head of police in Gotham.

In this story, Barbara Gordon travels to Asia where she meets an old friend. I liked the Asian setting. She travelled to different countries. This setting was different because most of the comics I read are set in the U.S. so it was nice to see another part of the world featured.

In the final comic, some familiar faces appeared, including Poison Ivy. I’m excited to read the next installment after seeing the characters she will encounter in the future.

What to read next:

  • Batgirl, Volume 2: Son of Penguin by Hope Larson

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  • Batgirl, Volume 1: Batgirl of Burnside by Cameron Stewart

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Have you read Batgirl, Volume 1: Beyond Burnside? What did you think of it?

Review: Queen of Kenosha

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Title: Queen of Kenosha
Author: Howard Shapiro, Erica Chan
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Animal Media Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A coming of age tale, this is the first installment of the Thin Thinline Trilogy, the fiercely independent Nina Overstreet has an axe to grind. A talented singer-songwriter slogging her way through the burgeoning Greenwich Village folk music scene of 1963, the Queen of Kenosha, Wisconsin, realizes that standing on the cusp of stardom gets her little respect and barely a cup of coffee in New York City. It finally comes, but in a way she could have never imagined. A chance encounter with the mysterious Nick Ladd at a late-night gig spins her life in a different direction–one that becomes a daily balance between life and death, right and wrong. Nick recruits Nina to join him and a team of ex-FBI operatives in a clandestine agency to stop the establishment of the Fourth Reich by undercover Nazis in post-War America. It’s a cause Nina believes in … until she’s forced to compromise the very principles of fairness and patriotism she holds dear. As she and Nick grow closer as partners, she forces him to question his own intentions. But as the body count mounts in pursuit of the Nazi ringleader, the evasive Alex, the stakes grow even higher for Nick and Nina.

Review:

I had the amazing opportunity to be a beta reader for the script of this book! It was a great experience. I loved that I was finally able to read it with the graphics.

This is an exciting story. Nina is a musician, but her world changes when she meets Nick. He gets her to join a group who is fighting to eliminate Nazis in America. Nina is the only woman in the group and that stirs up a lot of tension. However, she proves that she is as much of an asset as any man.

The final chapters in this book are very fast paced. There are some action scenes that happen quickly. There is also a final twist at the end of the story. Even though I knew it was coming, I was excited to read it again.

I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!

What to read next:

  • Stereotypical Freaks by Howard Shapiro

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  • Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin

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Have you read Queen of Kenosha? What did you think of it?

Review: Goldie Vance, Vol.2

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Title: Goldie Vance, Vol. 2
Author: Hope Larson, Brittany Williams, Sarah Stern
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: Library
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy who? Goldie Vance is on the case! The adventures of the teen sleuth continue in this second volume of the hit comic book series.

The adventures of Goldie Vance, teen super sleuth, continue in the second volume of this hit comic adventure. Collects issues #5-8 of the series.

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery.

Eisner Award-winning writer Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) and artist Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting, whodunnit adventure.

Review:

This is the second book in the Goldie Vance series.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first one. The mystery that Goldie had to solve was anticlimactic. She investigated a girl who washed up on the beach in an astronaut suit. The story started off exciting with the discovery of the astronaut, but I didn’t really understand the ending.

Goldie’s friend, Cheryl, wants to be an astronaut, so she was very excited when she saw the astronaut girl. One thing I didn’t understand was the connection that Goldie found between Cheryl and the mystery girl. They both competed in beauty pageants. I’m not sure why this storyline seemed to disappear by the end of the story, because it was an interesting clue, but it didn’t seem to lead anywhere.

I hope the mystery is better in the next volume.

What to read next:

  • Goldie Vance, Vol. 3 by Hope Larson, Brittany Williams, and Sarah Stern

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  • Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie by Anthony Del Col

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Have you read Goldie Vance, Vol. 2? What did you think of it?