Review: Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories

Title: Never Say You Can’t Survive: How to Get Through Hard Times by Making Up Stories
Author: Charlie Jane Anders
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Tor
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From Charlie Jane Anders, the award-winning author of novels such as All the Birds in the Sky and The City in the Middle of the Night, this is one of the most practical guides to storytelling that you will ever read.

The world is on fire.
So tell your story.

Things are scary right now. We’re all being swept along by a tidal wave of history, and it’s easy to feel helpless. But we’re not helpless: we have minds, and imaginations, and the ability to visualize other worlds and valiant struggles. And writing can be an act of resistance that reminds us that other futures and other ways of living are possible.

Full of memoir, personal anecdote, and insight about how to flourish during the present emergency, Never Say You Can’t Survive is the perfect manual for creativity in unprecedented times.

Review:

This book is about using your personal struggles to write. It referenced the pandemic, and the way it has changed the way we write. Some people were more creative and inspired last year, while others couldn’t write at all. Writing can be a therapeutic way to express your feelings, or it can be an act of resistance.

I appreciated how current the writing tips were in this book. There were many references to the way our lifestyles have changed in the past year. Even if they weren’t personally impacted by Covid, everyone had to alter some part of their lifestyle. Though I’m not ready to read a fictional book set during the pandemic, this writing book was so informative for writing in 2021.

There were references to a variety of types and styles of stories. There were plenty of science fiction examples, such as Doctor Who and Star Trek, but there were other types of stories as well, like The Baby-Sitter’s Club. A wide range of authors were also mentioned, from Neil Gaiman to Alyssa Cole. I loved seeing all of these familiar works referenced in this writing book.

There were so many great writing tips in this book. I highlighted many passages in my digital copy, which I’ve never done before. I will have to get a physical copy to reference while I write, because I know I will be returning to this book again and again during my writing career.

Never Say You Can’t Survive is a fabulous writing book!

Thank you Tor for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Have you read Never Say You Can’t Survive? What did you think of it?

Review: When Elephants Listen With Their Feet

Title: When Elephants Listen With Their Feet
Author: Emmanuelle Grundmann, Clémence Dupont
Genre: Picture Book, Nonfiction
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 16, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Explore the wild and wonderful world of animal senses! Featuring engaging text from ethologist Emmanuelle Grundmann, inviting art from illustrator Clemence Dupont, When Elephants Listen with Their Feet is a lively nonfiction book that encourages curiosity about – and respect for – the animals with which we share our planet.

Humans experience the world through sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. But what if you had the compound eyes of a fly, the whiskers of a cat, or a whale’s ability to sense magnetic north? There’s a whole world of surprising senses out there, and fascinating adaptations that have allowed animals to make use of them. We can’t interpret the faint vibration of an elephant’s faraway stomp, but learning how they keep in touch with family across the wide savannah helps us understand that we are more alike than different.

Review:

This picture book is about the amazing things that animals can do with their bodies. It goes through all five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) and the unique ways that animals use the senses to interact with the world around them.

There are some animals, such as the golden mole, who don’t have eyes, but are able to “see” the world around them with scent. Elephants can communicate with stomping their feet and sending vibrations through the ground across long distances. Felines use their whiskers to sense the environment around them in the dark. Foxes use the earth’s magnets to hunt, always facing north-east to jump on their prey.

I didn’t know most of these fun animal facts before reading this book, so I found it fascinating. I think adults and children will enjoy this beautiful picture book!

Thank you Pajama Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sunny Days by Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato

Have you read When Elephants Listen With Their Feet? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

Title: The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer
Author: Dean Jobb
Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.”

In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream poisoned at least ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedents. Structured around Cream’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

Dean Jobb vividly re-creates this largely forgotten historical account against the backdrop of the birth of modern policing and newly adopted forensic methods, though most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then most police departments could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown at the time. As theChicago Tribune wrote then, Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer, one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.”

Review:

In the late 1800s, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream killed at least 10 people in Canada, the United States, and Britain. He often murdered women through botched abortions and altered prescriptions. One thing I found strange was that he would give women pills, but then leave before they actually died, so he was left to assume they died. His fatal mistake was blackmailing wealthy men into believing they were the ones who murdered these women.

I’m not a huge true crime fan, but I find Victoria serial killers fascinating. These murders happened in fairly recent history, only about 150 years ago, yet they were able to get away with so much. There wasn’t the tracking data, such as fingerprints and DNA to keep track of past offenders or to identify suspects. Since the women he preyed upon were often prostitutes, the police didn’t spend much time investigating their deaths. It was amazing how Dr. Cream could murder, mostly undetected, across three countries for many years.

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is a fascinating look at this Victorian serial killer.

Thank you Algonquin for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation by Dean Jobb

About the author

Dean Jobb is an award-winning author and journalist and a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program. He is the author of eight previous books, including Empire of Deception, which the New York Times Book Review called “intoxicating and impressively researched” and the Chicago Writers Association named the Nonfiction Book of the Year. Jobb has written for major newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, and the Irish Times. He writes a monthly true-crime column, “Stranger Than Fiction,” for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. His work as an investigative reporter has been nominated for Canada’s National Newspaper and National Magazine awards, and Jobb is a three-time winner of Atlantic Canada’s top journalism award.

Have you read The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream? What did you think of it?

Review: Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers

Title: Why She Wrote A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers
Author: Lauren Burke, Hannah K. Chapman, Kaley Bales (illustrator)
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In Why She Wrote, dive into the fascinating, unexpected, and inspiring stories behind the greatest women writers in the English language.

This compelling graphic collection features 18 women—including Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Anne Lister, and more—and asks a simple question: in a time when being a woman writer often meant being undervalued, overlooked, or pigeonholed, why did she write?

Why did Jane Austen struggle to write for five years before her first novel was ever published? How did Edith Maude Eaton’s writing change the narrative around Chinese immigrant workers in North America? Why did the Brontë sisters choose to write under male pennames, and Anne Lister write her personal diaries in code?

Learn about women writers from the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, from familiar favorites to those who have undeservedly fallen into obscurity, and their often untold histories, including:

• The forgotten mother of the gothic genre
• The unexpected success of Little Women
• The diaries of the “first modern lesbian”
• The lawsuit to protect Little Lord Fauntleroy
• The personal account of a mastectomy in 1811
• Austen’s struggles with writer’s block
• And much, much more!

Why She Wrote highlights a significant moment from each writer’s life and retells it through engaging and accessible comics, along with biographical text, bibliographies, and fun facts. For aspiring writers, literary enthusiasts, and the Janeite who has everything, this new collection highlights these incredible women’s hardships, their influence, and the spark that called them to write.

• GREAT GRAPHIC NOVEL FOR ALL AGES: Librarians and teachers recommend graphic novels for readers of all ages, especially beloved nonfiction titles like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, Sisters, and Guts. Immerse yourself in the stories of these fascinating women through the fun, approachable, and dynamic medium of the graphic novel!
• CELEBRATION OF WOMEN WRITERS: Want to read more books by historical women writers, but aren’t sure where to start? The stories and bibliographies of the women featured in Why She Wrote is an inspirational deep dive.
• OVERVIEW OF WOMEN’S HISTORY: Add it to the shelf alongside other collections of women’s history, including Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky, Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu, and Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico.

Review:

This nonfiction book tells the stories of 18 famous women writers, including Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Beatrix Potter, and Louisa May Alcott. Every section had written biographies which were followed by a graphic novel depiction of part of the author’s life. Each little biography described their writing careers. These included why they started writing and any controversy that their books caused.

Feminism was a popular theme in these biographies. Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the featured authors, and she was one of the first women who was called a feminist. Their status as women was often what drove their passion for writing. Some authors, such as Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote to bring her family out of poverty. Others, such as Anne Lister, weren’t popular in their time but became famous years after their death.

As a writer, I found the publishing history of these authors fascinating. Jane Austen sold her first novel for £10, which was a fortune to her. Louisa May Alcott received a percentage of royalties from Little Women, which made her and her family famous. After Beatrix Potter published her books, she spent her time searching for the bootleg merchandise that was sold with her characters names on them to protect her brand. These women all had such different publishing experiences, but they all had to work very hard to have their voices heard.

This was such a fun set of author biographies!

Thank you Chronicle Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, Júlia Sardà (illustrator)

The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell

Have you read Why She Wrote? What did you think of it?

Review: Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women

Title: Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women
Author: Rebel Girls
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Rebel Girls
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women celebrates the incredible and inspiring stories of 25 women leaders in politics, business, sports, activism, and more, all written in fairy tale form. It is part of the award-winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

Reach for new heights with Vice President Kamala Harris. Organize voter registration with Stacey Abrams. Spread messages of kindness with Lady Gaga. And captain a team of Olympic gymnasts with Aly Raisman.  

This collection of 25 stories includes the most beloved stories of leadership from the first three volumes of the New York Times best-selling series, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. And also features 11 brand new tales of women’s activism, bravery, and vision.

Rebel Girls Lead celebrates the leadership of women from Michelle Obama to Malala Yousafzai. It is illustrated by female artists from around the world.

Review:

This book tells the stories of 25 different women leaders in the world. These women include politicians like Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States, and Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. There were also entertainers, such as Lady Gaga, and athletes, such as Aly Raisman. Each of these women made an impact on their communities and the world.

I wasn’t familiar with some of the women in this book, so I learned a lot. Rigoberta Menchú Tum fought for equal rights in Guatemala, and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Pat Summitt was a basketball player and coach, who had the most wins of any coach in NCAA basketball history when she retired in 2012. I’m glad that kids today will learn about these extraordinary women, because I didn’t know about them when I was growing up.

It’s so important to have books that celebrate what women can do. Many of these women weren’t born into lives of privilege, so they became successful leaders by working hard and defying the odds. These women prove that anyone can follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.

This is a great book!

Thank you Rebel Girls for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli, Francesca Cavallo

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women who Changed the World by Elena Favilli

Have you read Rebel Girls Lead? What did you think of it?

Review: Welcome to the New World

Title: Welcome to the New World
Author: Jake Halpern, Michael Sloan (illustrator)
Genre: Graphic Novel, Nonfiction
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Now in a full-length book, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic story of a refugee family who fled the civil war in Syria to make a new life in America

After escaping a Syrian prison, Ibrahim Aldabaan and his family fled the country to seek protection in America. Among the few refugees to receive visas, they finally landed in JFK airport on November 8, 2016, Election Day. The family had reached a safe harbor, but woke up to the world of Donald Trump and a Muslim ban that would sever them from the grandmother, brothers, sisters, and cousins stranded in exile in Jordan.

Welcome to the New World tells the Aldabaans’ story. Resettled in Connecticut with little English, few friends, and even less money, the family of seven strive to create something like home. As a blur of language classes, job-training programs, and the fearsome first days of high school (with hijab) give way to normalcy, the Aldabaans are lulled into a sense of security. A white van cruising slowly past the house prompts some unease, which erupts into full terror when the family receives a death threat and is forced to flee and start all over yet again. The America in which the Aldabaans must make their way is by turns kind and ignorant, generous and cruel, uplifting and heartbreaking.

Delivered with warmth and intimacy, Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan’s Welcome to the New World is a wholly original view of the immigrant experience, revealing not only the trials and successes of one family but showing the spirit of a town and a country, for good and bad.

Review:

In November of 2016, the Aldabaan family moved to the United States from Syria as refugees. They didn’t speak English and had to leave many family members in Syria. The family had to adjust to life in America, including finding jobs, navigating the school system, and seeking protection in their new home, despite death threats and an oppressive political system.

This was an incredible graphic novel. It is based on a real family who moved to the U.S. as refugees from Syria. Though many of my childhood friends immigrated or were from families who immigrated from other countries, I wasn’t familiar with this process. I can’t imagine what it would be like to feel so unsafe in your home that you have to move to a new country that you’ve never been to. I recognize that I have this privilege, and this book opened my eyes to the Syrian refugee experience.

Some parts of this story were devastating. The Aldabaan family left a dangerous situation in their home country, but they didn’t arrive to a safe situation in America. The children faced bullies at school. The parents struggled to find work that would support their family of seven. They were constantly worried about the way immigrants were treated by the new government. They even received a terrifying death threat at one point, for no other reason than being refugees. These were some very upsetting events that I’m so sorry they had to go through.

This is an incredibly powerful and informative graphic novel! I highly recommend it.

Thank you Henry Holt and Co for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah with Winnie Yeung

Have you read Welcome to the New World? What did you think of it?

Review: Nevertheless, She Wore It: 50 Iconic Fashion Moments

Title: Nevertheless, She Wore It: 50 Iconic Fashion Moments
Author: Ann Shen
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Illustrator and author Ann Shen shares her striking study of history’s most iconic styles, and the women who changed the world while wearing them. From the revolutionary bikini to the presidential pantsuits, this book explores 50 fashions through bold paintings and insightful anecdotes that empower readers to make their own fashion statements.The book demonstrates the power of fashion as a political and cultural tool for making change.

Review:

This book has 50 different fashion statements with illustrations of each outfit. It features specific outfits and trends throughout history that made political and cultural statements.

There were many iconic outfits that made history. Princess Diana’s revenge dress made a statement about her new place in life on the day that Prince Charles admitted to adultery. Serena Williams made a statement with her black catsuit, which she wore for medical reasons but was then banned because the officials thought it was inappropriate. These are just a couple of the iconic outfits in this book.

There were also some fashion trends that were revolutionary. Jeans are a part of everyday life now, but women had to fight for the right to wear them. Hairstyles are also used to make fashion statements, such as the Afro, which defied the white standards put on black people, and the Bob, which defied the feminine look of long hair. It’s amazing how these small changes can make such an historical impact.

This is a great book about fashion and feminism.

Thank you Chronicle Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower and Inspire You by Ann Shen

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

Have you read Nevertheless, She Wore It? What did you think of it?

Review: Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy

Title: Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy
Author: Kelly Jensen (editor)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s time to bare it all about bodies!

We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story. 

In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.

Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies! 

Review:

In this anthology, 37 writers talk about different body issues. Some of these pieces of writing were universal, like reproductive health, while others were about specific disabilities.

This book was informative and enjoyable. I’m quite squeamish and don’t typically like reading medical texts, so some of these essays were difficult to get through. However, I learned a lot about muscular diseases and scoliosis, which was referenced in a number of pieces.

Between the articles were some FAQ. These included things like the use of the word “fat,” and how to use identity first language when talking about disabilities. That means you say “a disabled person” rather than “a person with a disability.”

These pieces were written by a variety of different writers. They were celebrities, young adult authors, and doctors. It was great to see these first hand accounts of body issues, as well as the medical science to back it up. Some of the pieces were previously published elsewhere. They were good pieces of writing, but I’m not sure why they were included with original works.

This was a really great book for everyone to read!

Thank you Algonquin Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

[Don’t] Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health by Kelly Jensen (editor)

The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce by Angie Manfredi (editor)

About the author:

Kelly Jensen is a former librarian and current editor at Book Riot and her own popular book blog, Stacked. She’s the editor of two highly-acclaimed YA anthologies, Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World and (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start The Conversation About Mental Health. Her writing has been featured in Bust MagazineFortuneBustle, and more. When not working with words, she teaches yoga, hangs out with a motley crew of pets, and enjoys all of the black licorice no one else wants. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen and her website kellybjensen.com.

Have you read Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy? What did you think of it?

Review: Terry Fox and Me

Title: Terry Fox and Me
Author: Mary Beth Leatherdale and Milan Pavlović
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, this picture book biography tells the story of a friendship defined by strength and love.

Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest – and worst – basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him. With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk – then run – with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope.

Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.

Review:

When the new boy, Terry, wants to befriend Doug after he didn’t do well at basketball tryouts, Doug is reluctant to hang out with him. Doug quickly learns that Terry is willing to work hard to get better at the sport. Terry becomes a great basketball player and athlete, though he won’t run cross-country with Doug. Everything changes when Terry is diagnosed with cancer and has 80% of his leg amputated. Suddenly Terry is motivated to start running, creating the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. His best friend Doug stays by his side the whole time.

Terry Fox is a Canadian icon and hero. Every year, Canadians across the country participate in the Terry Fox Run in September. The run that Terry started in 1980 is honored every year with donations to cancer research. Unfortunately, Terry had to stop his run halfway through his cross country marathon. He started in St. John’s, Newfoundland and ended in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He passed away the following year though his memory lives on today.

I wasn’t familiar with Doug’s story before reading this book. He was a wonderful friend to Terry, who encouraged him throughout his recovery and training.

This is a great story for children because it teaches about the power of friendship. It could also teach young children who Terry Fox was and why he is such an important historical figure that we continue to honour today.

I loved this Canadian story!

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

What to read next:

Terry Fox: A Story of Hope by Maxine Trottier

Have you read Terry Fox and Me? What did you think of it?

Review: Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale

Title: Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale
Author: Tim Hanley
Genre: Comics, Nonfiction
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 15, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An action-packed comedy about a fake family that includes a spy, an assassin and a telepath!

Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head! Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!

Review:

Betty and Veronica were created as feuding girlfriends of Archie, in Archie Comics. They have gone through many changes during the decades they have been around. This book tells the evolution of Betty and Veronica, from when they were created in the 1940s to their television adaptation in 2020.

I’ve read Archie Comics for as long as I can remember. I always loved reading about Betty and Veronica. I hadn’t really thought about how sexist the characters were, but after reading about their history, I realize how problematic they were.

One of the major problems with Betty and Veronica was that their stories were written by men. They were sexualized by old men, though they were meant to appeal to young female readers. They were even originally drawn with the same face and body, but different hairstyles, unlike the boys who each had distant facial features. Now, with the tv show Riverdale, there are female writers and creators on the show, so they are finally written by women.

There were so many interesting stories in this book. There was a period during the 1970s when Archie and the gang were written by a religious writer, who made the characters preach the Bible to readers. There were also many tv and movie adaptations that didn’t end up happening. Despite a sometimes controversial history, Archie and his friends have survived for almost 80 years.

This book is a must-read for fans of Betty and Veronica!

Thank you Rowman and Littlefield for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine by Tim Hanley

The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale by Tim Hanley

Have you read Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale? What did you think of it?