It was a pretty good reading week. Of course being sick wasn't all that fun. I also had a couple of DNFs this week, as well as had to take back a few books I wasn't able to get to in time, but alas... And I finally finished Vampire Knight! That is like such an accomplishment all on its own. I hate to say that I wasn't all that happy with its conclusion, and I knew a long time ago that the story totally lost me...but I think one day I might go back and reread each volume back to back... I'll also be reviewing Drama & Nimona (and hopefully the first Rose Princess volume) later on next month. :)
Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.
Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there... (from Goodreads)
My Review: So to be honest when I first saw this book, I thought it would mainly be JF retellings of childhood fairy tales, with pretty art and poetic writing.
What I actually happened to pick up was a YA creepfest that was probably written by Edgar Allan Poe’s morbid ghost, drawn with ink and blood.
And oh how I loved this book.
It has several stories, with various plots, each more creepy than the last. My favorite would probably be in the conclusion. It’s like this super freaky mini retelling of Red Riding Hood. Perfection. I scare pretty easily, and I have to admit that I needed to read something else before turning off the light that night.
While the artist is the same, the style varies from story to story which I liked. Some are a bit more colorful than others, yet they all have this black and white appeal, showing a nice use of positive and negative space in the art that I personally have to appreciate.
We start with these three girls left at home, waiting for their father to return as the snow piles up around them. And then one by one, they disappear… Then we have the story of a woman married to a rich man, who swears she hears singing in the walls every night… A tale of two brothers follows along as they go off to kill a beast, and it turns suddenly Cain & Abel on us… Two women pretend to be able to speak to the dead. One can actually see them… A young girl visits with her brother and his new wife, and something is not quite right with her, or the housekeeper, or the woods by the house…
As far as the stories themselves are concerned, each ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, so you never really find out what happens in the end…..
Wilhelmina “Will” Huckstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form of an arts carnival and a blackout, courtesy of a hurricane named Whitney, which forces Will to face her fear of darkness. Laura Lee Gulledge’s signature visual metaphors will be on full display in this all-new graphic novel, a moving look at shedding light on the dark corners of life (from Goodreads).
After reading Page by Paige, I was looking for something with a similar art style…and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Gulledge had written another book. Actually, when I first discovered it, I didn’t even realize it was by the same author. So yay me!
I think, even though I gave both books such high ratings, I liked Will & Whit a bit more. The format of the story was simpler, but in a nice way, and I liked the artwork more this time around as well.
I actually didn’t read the blurb, just barreled right into the story, so I didn’t have a clue about what was supposed to happen. And heads up, it’s not actually a romance, even though that was the vibe I was getting from the cover. Ya feel me?
The main character’s name is Will, and she lives with her aunt who runs an antique shop in this small town. She mentions her grandparents being gone, but hardly thinks about her parents at the beginning, which we find out more about later. She starts off telling us three things about herself and about the people she knows, all the while there are lurking figures in the shadows.
One: She makes lamps. Two: She likes old things. Three: She’s scared of the dark…
We follow along as Will and her friends Autumn, Noel, and Reese go rafting on air mattresses, get involved with the local carnival with a puppet show & shadow art, gobble up Noel’s delicious cooking, play a round of flashlight tag, and prepare for an oncoming storm: Whit.
And then there’s a blackout.
They make new friends along the way, discover romance, and learn to face their fears.
I really think it was a cute story, a nice little graphic novel for the summer that I would definitely recommend in a heartbeat.
Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.
As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?
This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most (from Goodreads).
I’ve recently been expanding my horizons as far as my reading is concerned this summer. I’ve read a lot more various genres that I wouldn’t normally pick up. I’m not huge on contemporary YA novels, but after having read a few, I’m open to it. And I have to say, I really enjoyed Fan Art.
It’s one of those books that I picked up with slight hesitation, developed big expectations for, and read with gusto. Grant it, I’ve seen both negative and positive reviews, which I normally don’t look at when in the middle of reading. Or rather, I skimmed. But I’d rather form my own judgement and develop my own opinion here.
I really liked this story. It starts off right away into the blurb’s plot, where we have Jamie man-crushing on his best friend, Mason. Jamie is apart of the school’s magazine, where he agrees to put in a fellow art student’s comic…a comic that turns out to be gay. And Jamie doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s gay, especially not Mason…because of the man-crush. And that’s just the beginning. It’s full of parties and road trips and teenage angst and bonding between many of their friends. And angst. There’s mucho angst. Overall, it’s a cute story, and I especially love the boys’ friendship.
I think I could have given it 5 stars if it weren’t for a few minor hiccups. I don’t really think it’s anything earth shattering, like I saw some make it out to be, but it should be noted.
It felt like there was some stereotyping, and that for me was a bit of a drawback. It felt like the “gay thing” was the only thing any of the characters ever talked about. Like, not everyone at this school is gay. And if Jamie’s not supposed to be “out”, how come everyone seems to know anyway? There’s other little comments like that that just seem very cliché, like his squeamishness in regards to girls. Cooties perhaps? And apparently he’s supposed to be crushing on his bestie, but yet he has time to check out other guys? And then there’s a friend of Jamie’s whose family are diehard “religious fanatics”.
I think some of this might be a bit exaggerated or typecast. That is my only complaint, hence one less a star. Really, it feels like a 4.5 to me.
I do like, however, that there isn’t a perfect character or a perfect family in this book. Everyone has their own issues and flaws, which makes them feel more human.
While I was tickled pink with the end, I also feel that it might have been a bit rushed, and a bit unexpected at that. Like, I wanted it to go a certain way, but I feel like there could have been more leading up to it.
I like my romance light, rather sweet and innocent, and that is what this book delivered, so that’s another plus for me.
If you’re looking for a nice, quick summer read…this is it.
June 17 - Books You Read in One Sitting (or close to)
Most novels I don't generally read in one sitting, and frankly a lot of the manga I read gets finished rather quickly, sometimes with breaks... I know there are plenty of other books that I hurried through, but these feel like the more recent of the bunch...
Fortunately, the Milk Very cute JF read.
In Real Life Read in one night. :) Graphic novel, but it still counts.
The Man in the Picture I think it's safe to say that I read this one rather quickly. Might have taken me two nights, but it was rather a quick paced, supsenseful read. And of course I always make the huge mistake of reading Susan Hill at night....
Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda I read this over a weekend, but I hardly did anything else in the process...
I was sick, and I read this book within the day. I think that's the first time I ever read a full book in one day...