Another Kind – Graphic Novel Review

About

Tucked away in a government facility nicknamed the Playroom, six not-quite-human kids learn to control their strange and unpredictable abilities. Life is good–or safe, at least–hidden from the prying eyes of a judgmental world.

That is, until a security breach forces them out of their home and into the path of the Collector, a mysterious being with leech-like powers.

Can the group band together to thwart the Collector’s devious plan, or will they wind up the newest addition to his collection?

Thoughts

Wow! Okay, I just want to start off by saying how perfect this graphic novel was. I loved the illustrations, I loved the writing, I loved the characters. There isn’t one thing about it I didn’t love.

I would totally recommend this to an older tween-teen probably kids around like 11 (grade 6) and up, since there is a bit of mild language, and violence that I would compare to something like Pirates of the Caribbean. The violence is hinted at in certain situations, versus shown, so it is definitely a kid friendly book, but for example…and I’m trying not to spoil it because this book was amazing and super fun…it’s like the car crash at the start of the book. They don’t make it where it’s super graphic or violent. You’re worried about the characters, and people are hurt, but it’s like rated 10 and up kind of PG violent. I hope that was a clear explanation?

Maggie was so cute! Oh my goodness. I loved Maggie so much! I would give Maggie a million stuffies if I could, after all these kids went through.

Omar and Sylvie showed their affection for the younger kids so well. This is probably one of my favourite found family books that I’ve read in a long time.

Omar tried to be calm and collected, always trying to do what he felt was best, and was very patient and understanding with the little kids, despite him being a kid himself. I won’t spoil it, but I believe based off of his backstory, he was equipped to handle Maggie’s outbursts, and took the time to listen to Newt and Jaali.

Everyones backstories made me cry except Maggie’s. Her’s was epic, and colourful and I loved her imagination.

Now Sylvie on the other hand was a lot harder on the other kids. Sometimes brushing them off with sarcasm, but it becomes very clear that she adores them. They’re her family, and she just wants them to be safe and happy. Again, like Omar, the way to treats the others and interacts with people is based on her early years and upbringing. His although resulting in him ending up at the playroom was mainly positive, whereas hers was very negative from day one. She didn’t have any real exposure to love until meeting the other kids in the playroom.

Newt was so cute! I loved them so much. Sweet little Reptilian Cinnamon Roll Techy. I loved their friendship with Jaali. They bickered at times, but it was because they cared about each other. I liked how although Newt, being a Reptilian was raised to ignore things like affection or compassion, this kid has the biggest heart. Newt is so kind, and caring, and their love for homework made me laugh so much. What a precious little bean.

Jaali’s backstory made me cry. Like…I loved this kid. He was literally a big teddy bear. And again, I loved the way Jaali acted like a best friend and older brother to Newt, who clearly needed someone who just loved them for who they were. Jaali was incredible with Clarice as well, and was really only hard on the other kids when he had to be. He’d been through a lot, so it only made sense that he would be striving to get back to that positive, and loving environment he grew up with.

Clarice! Okay, so I absolutely loved that Clarice was a selki. Like yes! Clarice’s facial expressions and body language were used to effectively throughout the story. I love how over time she warms up to the other kids, being the newest one to join the playroom. Sylvie initially is pretty tough on her, but eventually is doing everything she can to protect Clarice and keep her safe. Newt and Jaali were also incredibly sweet to Clarice throughout, always encouraging her and looking out for her when she got hurt, and you could tell that she grew to adore being a part of their family.

Ooh, and there was a Romeo and Juliet reference. I loved that so much. It also gave insight into the other groups and families within the story, and heightened the importance of community.

This book was so good. Seriously. Like, I will be recommending it to everyone. It’s my new favourite. I almost wish it was a series because I just want to read it over and over again. I feel like this is my new Scott Pilgrim or Ao Haru Ride. Like there’s a charm to it, where you just never want the story to end. You want to know more about the characters, and see where life takes them…but I also wouldn’t change a thing about how Another Kind ended.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I gave this book a full five stars. I’m so glad I decided to pick it up. I saw it on the shelf, went “Ooh this is a cool cover,” started flipping through the first few pages and went. “Oh my gosh…this is really good!”


Shadow Phoenix, Vol. 1, Episode 1

About

A young maid is catapulted into an inventor’s explosive world. Will a brazen tongue and a desperate attempt to save his life destroy her future?

Louisa balances on the cusp of two very different worlds, but as the bastard child of parents born of the social elite in London, she has no name and no future until one fateful night. Forced to act when her employer accidently blows up his lab, Louisa moves from the shadows to the spotlight.

With destiny upended, she hovers on the precipice of a new life. If she can manage to hold her tongue, and her un-lady-like curses, she could have everything her exiled mother dreamed for her – but is that what she really wants?

Juggling the layers of lies knotted into her existence, Louisa must face her future or die trying.

Thoughts

This series sounded really fun, and I’d been meaning to read it for some time. It’s a quick read, which was nice, because I was able to read the first episode during my break.

I already adore Louisa and Bennett. The episode was well paced, and I’m excited to continue on to the next.

I also really loved the cover, and the idea of setting this series up where it releases in episodes, like Charles Dickens original works. It adds a lot to the world building, and kind of feels like reading a graphic novel.

This is a really fun series and I can’t wait to continue!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Let Me Save You – Review

About Seventeen-year-old Nila Izawa’s life in small-town Japan is orderly, simple, expected. On the walk home from school before winter break, Nila finally sees that […]

Pre-Order Twenty-Eight Years by Telma Rocha

Pre-orders for Telma Rocha’s novel Twenty-Eight Years just opened up. I saw on the authors Instagram, that they would be donating their royalties from pre-orders along with money from their workplace to help with aid in Ukraine.

About

A past love and a new romance have more in common than Jenna bargained for!

Jenna Taylor has it all, or so she thinks: a secure job as a journalist at a prestigious magazine in downtown Toronto, a steady relationship, and a bestie everyone wants. When her fiancé, Josh Harrison, gives her the ultimatum to start a family now or they’re over forever, she’s shocked and hurt. His sudden announcement forces Jenna to accept a much-anticipated promotion in Quebec City-one she would have turned down for him. The promotion comes at the most convenient time and the distance is just the perfect amount of space to start over and nurse her broken heart.

But, when Jenna meets Liam Garnier in Quebec City, the shocking resemblances between the two men unnerves her. Could it be possible that they just look alike-not likely! Jenna takes it upon herself to discover the truth. The reality of the situation comes with a lot of consequences: hurt the people she loves the most or remain quiet and keep the truth from Twenty-Eight years ago buried. Can Jenna live with what she knows and not tell the ones she loves, and can she do so without it tearing her apart?

You can follow the author on Instagram, or check out their website: https://www.telmarocha.com/

The Inflatables in Bad Air Day – Children’s Graphic Novel Review

About

The Inflatables don’t get pumped. They stay pumped! Flamingo, Cactus, Donut, and Watermelon may be forgotten waterpark floats who live at the lost and found, but these inflata-pals are about to make some big waves in a funny graphic novel series that’s perfect for fans of Dog Man and The Bad Guys!

Flamingo is destined to be a star! So when the opening of a new wave pool brings camera crews flooding to the park, his inflata-pals hatch a daring plan to make him famous. But will a flock of familiar faces from Flamingo’s past burst his bubble? Get ready, world — Flamingo is about to BLOW UP!

Thoughts

This book was both cute and fun. I loved the puns throughout, and I think Donut was my favourite character. I loved how all of the characters were so determined to help their friend, Flamingo fulfill his destiny, and that no matter what challenge they were faced with, they worked together to find a solution.

I thought this book was really funny, and loved the illustrations. It’s definitely something I can see my niece and nephew enjoying, and I’ll definitely be recommending it upon release.

Thank you Scholastic for sending me this ARC for review.

I’d highly recommend this to young readers who enjoy the concept of films like Toy Story, and comedies like Loud House.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe – Children’s Graphic Novel Review

ABOUT

Talented illustrator and author Shauna J. Grant, of http://www.shaunadraws.com/ introduces young readers to Mimi, a fun, fantastic little girl with a very big problem: everything thinks she’s just too cute!

Mimi wants others to see the other things about her, that make her special, and with the help of her magical toy dog Penelope, she does everything she can to try and change their minds…

Will she be stuck in this cute-astrope forever, or will others see her for who she truly is?

But that’s not all! She’s also a loyal friend and fun playmate, who has the best adventures with

THOUGHTS

Thank you Scholastic for providing this ARC.
I absolutely loved the illustrations for this book! When I saw the cover, I was immediately reminded of Pretty Cure, which was one of my favourite series as a kid.
The story itself was wonderful, especially since Mimi is super relatable. I can recall when I wondered whether being considered “cute” was a bad thing, and tried to make myself seem more “cool” like my older cousins and friends…even though I absolutely adored my stuffed animals and other cute things.
I think that exploring the thoughts and emotions that Mimi faces in this graphic novel, is an excellent way for young readers who are most likely facing similar situations, to try and understand what they’re going through.

I know I would’ve loved having a character like Mimi when I was growing up, especially since many of the books and films I grew up on weren’t much in favour of the cutesy aesthetic, and leaned more towards encouraging young children to be strong, as if those two things couldn’t go hand in hand. Here, Mimi proves the opposite, that you can still love what you love, and be loyal, strong, and brave! I think that’s a very important message for young children (and grownups too). We are more than what others perceive us as.

Another thing that I really want to mention is how precious Mimi’s friendship is with Penelope!

I had my very own Penelope growing up, who I used to take everywhere with me. To this day, I still have her.

Mimi shares her thoughts and feelings with Penelope, and even considers that in order to stop having others perceive her as cute or baby-ish she needs to stop playing with her favourite toy.

I can recall being teased about my stuffed animal by some kids in my class, and placing her in my trash bin (super dramatic I know), but then I felt lonely without her, and decided to rescue her. I didn’t care what the other kids thought about her anymore, because she was important to me. See, I used to be incredibly shy, and she helped me feel comfortable when I changed schools, or whenever I struggled to make friends. Just knowing she was close by in my backpack, was enough. She was…is…dear to me, and despite being a toy, really gave me an outlet to work through some complex emotions and situations as a child. I changed schools four times during our move between grades 3-4, and had to keep remaking friends, which at the time was extremely difficult for me. I wanted nothing more to go back to my old house and school, where my teachers all knew me and people actually pronounced my name properly haha.

Another thing that really got me was that Mimi has bubbles in her hair! As a kid, I absolutely adored these, and recently I found a doll with bubbles in her hair for my niece and went bonkers. Like, bubbles and beads were my favourite because it was like fashion for my hair…and until high school…and really more-so into my adult years, we weren’t really encouraged to experiment with our natural hair. It was always pulled back into a tight bun…but when I got to wear bubbles in my hair–I had these orange ones with teddy bears that had googly eyes–my mom would give me Pippi Longstocking braids…or that’s what I called them. It was my favourite thing in the world. Seeing Mimi with her hair like that on the cover made my day!

Mimi is such a sweet character, and I loved seeing how she grew throughout the story, and interacted with her friends, family and neighbours. I can’t wait to see what adventures she has going forward, and I look forward to seeing this book on shelves this July 2022!

RATING

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Perfect for ages 6-8!


Cheeky Brat Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About

Basketball club manager Yuki has a secret-she’s in love with the team captain! But when Naruse, her cheeky kouhai, discovers her big secret, she’s in a tight spot! Just how long is he going to keep teasing her about it!? Stupid pretty playboy… — Goodreads

Thoughts

This book was recommended to me by a handful of people, so I thought I’d check it out. It was super cute! I really enjoyed Yuki, and all of the characters in this manga, including the random unnamed members of the basketball team.

I’m not sure why, but the artwork reminded me of a two series I liked when I was around 11 or 12, Monkey High and Lovely Complex. I should note, that I was a few years too young for these series, but I borrowed them from my local library, and I don’t think they themselves understood the manga age ratings at that time. I still go back and watch the Lovely Complex anime every now and then haha.

The character designs, and the relationship dynamics definitely gave me a nostalgic feel, so when the series was recommended to me by a couple of high school kids I was assisting at work, I figured, “Wow I rarely get book recs from customers! I should give it a shot!” and I absolutely loved it.

I’m fighting myself not to buy the next volume just yet because I’m trying to save money, and I have a bunch of ARCs to read this month for books releasing May – August, but once I’m halfway through my pile I’m jumping on it!

I’ve thankfully been super lucky with my reads recently, nothing’s disappointed me or fallen short of my expectations, and for that I’m super grateful. There was a while there previously, where I was in a bit of a reading slump because I read a handful of books that I had high expectations for that just weren’t my cup of tea. I’m also so happy because this was recommended by a group of kids who frequent my work when school lets out, and I’m usually recommending them my favourite new series haha.

I wish more customers would recommend books to me. Well, actually, I have gotten lots of good recommendations from our younger customers, around 3 and 4. It’s almost always Peppa Pig, but I appreciate it.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Ima Koi Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About Sometimes the greatest romantic adventure isn’t falling in love—it’s what happens after you fall in love! After missing out on love and dating because she […]

Anonymous Noise Vol. 2 – Review

About Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves to sing, experiences her first heart-wrenching goodbye when her beloved childhood friend, Momo, moves away. And after Nino […]

Ima Koi Vol. 1 – Manga Review

About

Sometimes the greatest romantic adventure isn’t falling in love—it’s what happens after you fall in love!

After missing out on love and dating because she was too shy to confess her feelings, high school student Satomi blurts out how she feels the next time she gets a crush—and it’s to her impossibly handsome schoolmate Yagyu! To her surprise, he agrees to date her. Now that Satomi’s suddenly in a relationship, what next?

Even though she can hardly believe it, Satomi is dating Yagyu. Being in love as part of a couple is now Satomi’s everyday reality. With how fast everything has gone and with Satomi still clueless about how dating is supposed to work, can she actually enjoy being in love?

Thoughts

This manga was incredibly cute, and totally worth the wait. I’d seen Shojo Beat advertising for it for a while, and had been desperating trying to get my hands on an ARC, but ended up buying it on release day at the store!

I fell in love with the character’s instantly, and I can’t wait until the second volume comes out!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I thought I posted this review in March, and realized today that I saved it as a draft versus scheduling the post…oops! Anyway, I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you’ve read manga like Honey So Sweet.


Check out my other manga reviews and recs!

Living-Room Matsunaga-san Vol. 2 – Manga Review

About

With the help of her housemates, high schooler Meeko begins to adjust to her new life away from her parents. Even the initially frightening Matsunaga-san helps her out—and between one kind act and another, Meeko finds herself falling for him. After an accidental kiss while enjoying takoyaki, Meeko ends up confessing her feelings!

Thoughts

In my review of the first volume back in Dec. 2020, I said that I’d be “giving this series another chance is because the supporting cast of character’s were incredibly charming” since I’d only given the first volume a 3 star rating. I didn’t really connect with Miko in the first half of the book, but volume two definitely made up for what I felt was lacking with her character in that first volume. I can’t believe it took me until 2022 to get back into the series! I’d read some very meh shojo around the same time, so I believe that’s why I was hesitant to jump back into this series too quickly. I like to give books a fair chance…and I’m thrilled that I waited because I really liked Miko in volume two! She seemed more fleshed out here, and wasn’t as flat. I was happy to see that the other characters were more present as well because it was fun seeing the dynamic between all of her roommates, her friends from school, and Miko and her mom. I had high hopes that this series would be something I’d enjoy, and I’m glad I decided to give it another shot.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Daughter of Black Lake – Book Review

About

It’s the season of Fallow, in the era of iron. In a northern misty bog surrounded by woodlands and wheat fields, a settlement lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple–or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honor Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.

Set in a time long forgotten, Daughter of Black Lake brings the ancient world to life and introduces us to an unforgettable family facing an unimaginable trial.

Thoughts


Wow! Cathy Marie Buchanan has done it again!
I absolutely loved reading about Hobble, Devout, and Smith. The story was so vivid. I was constantly filled with wonder, and anxious of what Fox would do next, and what secrets were kept in the past.
I also loved the way the chapters were split, with Devout’s written almost as if they were being seen by someone else, in third person because they happened in the past, whereas her daughter Hobble’s were written in first person, present day. I thought that this made the story stronger, and it also allowed the reader to get a clearer picture as to who Smith was through the eyes of both his wife, who had known him since he was a boy, and his daughter who could tell his every thought just by looking at him.
I loved each and every character in this book, and was definitely drawn to Smith, despite him not having a perspective. It was clear how much he cherished his family, and wanted to keep them safe, making decisions that could put himself in grave danger.
The way the suspense was built up in this story was also fantastic! I was constantly worried about what might happen to this family. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was definitely a thrilling read.
I can’t wait to see what’s next for this talented author!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

April Novel Update

Back in October of 2020 I wrote a post about what real life books the cast of Vermin might have on their bookshelves. It was […]

We Have Our Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered the Vermin giveaway contest on Goodreads! We’re thrilled to announce that we have our four winners, and I personally […]