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!”


Anne of West Philly: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Anne of Green Gables – Review

About

Anne of Green Gables with a twist: in this follow-up to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and The Secret Garden on 81st Street, this full-color graphic novel moves Anne Shirley to modern-day West Philadelphia, where where she finds new friends, new rivals, and a new family.

When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she’s going to find it. Armed with a big personality and unstoppable creativity, Anne takes her new home by storm as she joins the robotics club, makes new friends in Diana and Gilbert, experiences first love, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. But as Anne starts to get comfortable, she discovers one thing she wasn’t looking for: a family.

Thoughts

I thought this was a really cute modern take of the classic Anne of Green Gables. I loved the artwork, and thought Matthew and Marilla were captured really well. I also liked some of the changes that were made to help put this story into a more modern setting, like the addition of STEM.
For me I felt that certain points of the story were a bit rushed, which didn’t really allow for Anne to feel like Anne…if that makes sense? It was those moment’s where she’s being incredibly full of energy, and imagination that I love about the original story. I felt some of this was lacking at times, and was pushed off to the side potentially in favour or being more STEM focused?
I’m also Canadian so having the setting change from PEI made my brain spin a little, but it was the difference in setting that drew me to the graphic novel. The White Way of Delight scene made me giggle, and I was intrigued by how the authors went about the puff sleeve dress bit to modernize it. That was really neat, and I thought that Marilla’s reaction during that scene was really sweet.
Honestly, Marilla was my favourite character. Usually in adaptations it’s Matthew or Anne, but for this one Marilla stole the show.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A bit of Rambling After A Lot of Tea

So far the new year has gifted me with wonderful literature. I’ve read dozens of books and haven’t dnf’ed a single one. I’ve actually enjoyed the majority and given many of them 4 and 5 star ratings.

Tonight I plan on reading, as I always do, and I’m finally at a place where my TBR pile is nearly finished so I can actually go out and get some new books. I actually borrowed books for the first time in forever, and finished both the day I got them! They were both equally stunning, and memorable. I’m so glad they caught my attention. I can’t wait to choose my next handful of reads. Of course, there are also a bunch of books that I’m excited to check out this year. One in particular this summer, that I’m definitely going to pre-order. I’ve got a little collection of this authors work going, and thus far she has yet to disappoint me. I’ve definitely got to lend some of those books to the readers in my family. I think they’ll really enjoy them.

I’m a bit wired, despite it being late in the evening, but I’ve had a lot of tea…like three or four cups? I lost track at some point. I tried exercising to help myself calm down a bit but I’m still wound up. I’m usually like this after I record or write…I get really hyper and excited. I suppose excited is probably the best way to describe it.

Oh, right! On that note, I’m pleased to announce that the Vermin book giveaway is officially underway, and people can enter on March 1st. I’m so excited to be doing a giveaway during my birth month. It makes it all the more special. For this giveaway, we’ll be giving away four signed copies, to people who have added the book to their list on Goodreads.

The other day one of my best friends told me that another friend of hers got a copy of my book, which made me super happy! It was so sweet of her to recommend it to someone, and I always love hearing peoples feedback. Plus a few of her friends are local authors as well, and I absolutely love supporting my fellow authors. Many of the authors I’ve met so far are YA and Children’s Lit authors, which is awesome because I still read those genres both in my free time and for work.

The sequel for Vermin still doesn’t have a title yet, but I have to say I am absolutely in love with certain scenes. It’s so hard not to talk about it and gush over things because I want to…but I don’t want to spoil it for new readers! I hate having books spoiled for me. I’ll be sure to share the link to the ARCs when the time comes. I believe these will be digital copies like last time? They should work on kindles. I don’t have a kindle or kobo currently, and read most of my ebook ARCs using an app on my computer called Overdrive. I think it also allows me to sign out library books? So if anyone is ever worried about that, it works really well, and makes it easy to keep track of page numbers, chapters etc.

I’ve actually got a few ARCs to complete before the end of February…I believe those books are releasing mid-March, so I definitely want to get my reviews out by then. I highly recommend checking out review sites that offer ARCs like Netgalley, ARC Reviewers or…there’s another one I’ve used but I can’t recall the name. It might be linked with Reedsy? Anyway, I like all three and I’ve found some really great books on there. I love the fact that I can explore a bunch of new genres, or get to check out debuts, and new series. Plus writing reviews is really fun for me.

I only annotate books with sticky notes and things occasionally. Mainly because I don’t like writing on the actual pages, so instead I’ll write down words or phrases that stick out to me or my favourite things in a notebook. I also developed a skill growing up, where I’d memorize page numbers from where I left off in a book, and now it’s fairly easy for me to flip through and find my favourite passages. This was incredibly helpful whenever we had to do read aloud assignments in university, and explain what stood out to us about each passage. I think annotating everything I read, would make me feel like I was doing homework…but it’s still fun journaling. Perhaps I’ll set up an official book journal this year? Maybe I’ll start one next month.

I’ll share the links to those two ARC websites, for anyone interested in doing reviews:

Netgalley

ARC Reviewers

From these sites I’m currently reading Escaping the Caves, and a manga called Falling Down. As for already released books, I’m reading Let Me Save You, and A Sign of Affection Vol. 4.

Happy reading!

Far Sector #1 by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell – review

Summary

For the past six months, newly chosen Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has been protecting the City Enduring, a massive metropolis of 20 billion people. The city has maintained peace for over 500 years by stripping its citizens of their ability to feel. As a result, violent crime is virtually unheard of, and murder is nonexistent.

Thoughts

My friend recommended me this book, and I’m so glad he did!
First of all, the artwork was absolutely stunning. The panels were so detailed, the line art was fantastic and the colours…chefs kiss! Secondly, I’ve never read N.K. Jemisin before, but wow! The amount of world building and character development throughout, it’s no wonder they’re so many of my friends favourite author! I loved taking my time, going through each chapter and just admiring the beauty of this book. It’s one that really deserves a lingering eye, because it’s obvious how much work was put into it.

Although I didn’t include this bit in my review on Goodreads, I need to talk about Jo’s hair. The fact that the artists gave her multiple hairstyles, aside from her usual look…like girl has braids, buns, fros…and there was texture to it! You could see the texture in the images! This made me so happy. I love that she tied her head at night too, and that other black characters (or black coded in the case of the Nah or other species) had a variety of hairstyles. I don’t see this often in graphic novels. I mean, I get hyped at seeing hair that kind of looks like mine in a kids book. I’ve never seen it done to this degree of detail in a graphic novel! So as a member of the curly club, I’d like to just extend my deepest respect and gratitude to everyone who worked on this graphic novel. Again, this is just another layer of the amount of detail that was put into each and every panel!


I think the @At were my favourite species, mainly because of the whole cat memes thing, and the fact that they were called @At.

I also loved how there were parallels throughout the book between The City of Enduring and Earth, which created serious confliction in Jo. I think given Jo’s backstory, this really added depth to her character, and allowed her to make the right decisions. It was clear from the start, that Jo valued justice, and this is what made her such a great character to root for.


Overall this was a fantastic edition to the Green Lantern storylines, and I’m so happy my friend recommended it to me! I’ll also be checking out more of Jemisin’s work in the near future!

Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Review

Summary

Amaya, princess of House Amethyst in Gemworld, is something of a troublemaker. She and her brother have great fun together until a magical prank goes much too far and her parents ground her…to Earth! They hope a whole week in the mundane world will teach her that magic is a privilege…and maybe washing dishes by hand will help her realize the palace servants should be respected.

Three years later, Amy has settled into middle school and ordinary life. She doesn’t remember any other home. So when a prince of the realm brings her home and restores her magical destiny, how will she cope? – Goodreads

Thoughts

This book was so much fun! I loved the character development, and fell in love with the story from the first panel. It was exciting, funny, and charming. All of the characters were likeable, and the friendships and dynamics between each of them was incredibly sweet.

The artwork by Asiah Fulmore is stunning, detailed and absolutely gorgeous. It immediately captured my attention, and I loved how much motion there was. The colour scheme was also beautiful, I liked the mixture of pastels, and bright warm tones in contrast to the colours on earth.

I think one of my favourite parts was whenever people from the Gem world would talk about what they believed Earth to be like. It was hilarious, and cute.

I’ve always liked the superhero/magical girl stories, and was thrilled to read this. I finished it in one sitting, and was entertained the entire time. Immediately after, I was recommending it to everyone.
This book is fantastic! I can’t wait to see what Shannon Hale puts out next!

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Five stars! This graphic novel was absolutely fantastic. I adored the story, and the artwork. Both complimented each other so well! I highly recommend this book. It’s definitely worth adding to your TBR for comic book fans young and old!

7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up: Review

To his friends at Greycliff Academy, Kirby seems to have it all: charm, brains, and a lucky streak that won’t quit. He’s also the notorious hero creating the snarky videos “7 Good Reasons Not to Grow Up,” which expose just how dumb adults can be. Why would any kid want to become one of them? But there’s also a mystery about Kirby. And when his best friend, Raja, finds out his secret, Kirby, Raja, and their friends have to grow up fast and face the world head-on. – Goodreads

Thoughts

I definitely enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to older Middle Grade readers (around 12) to early teens. It was funny, and filled with charming illustrations. I also thought the characters were hilarious.
I found some parts of the story had a few plot holes, but I thought perhaps this was because there was a sequel? If this graphic novel does have a sequel I kind of wish the big reveal came then, versus in book one. Overall it was entertaining, and Kirby and the rest of the cast were really great. I’m hoping they will have more adventures.
One thing that I will note is that some of the language used in the book, might not fly with some folks, which is why I think it’d be more suitable for the older half of the 9-12 age group. For example, I wouldn’t let my niece read this right now, and she’s in grade 5. I don’t think the words were anything too major…sadly I can’t recall the ones that stood out to me, but still it did catch me off guard, since I haven’t come across “swear words” in a middle grade book for a very long time. I believe one of the words was turd, which isn’t a big deal, but there was another that I know wouldn’t fly with some parents/teachers, and I wanted to note that here just in case.
Based on the themes of the book, I think this would be a great for anyone in the 8th grade. I laughed a lot at the jokes, and had my heart strings tugged a bit here and there as well.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m giving this book 4 stars because although I liked it, I feel like there was so much room for character development. I liked all of the characters, and the dynamic between them but at times they felt a little flat and certain plot points were glossed over. I still really liked the story though, and I think it has definite TV/book series potential! If there is a sequel in the works I’ll definitely check it out!

Realm of the Blue Mist – ARC Review

Thank you Scholastic for providing this free copy in exchange for a review.

This was my first time reading a book by Amy Kibuishi, and it won’t be the last! This first book in the series was so much fun, and captured my attention automatically. I was finished reading it in one sitting!

Book Summary:

Tabby Simon is determined to learn what happened to her father, who was found dead after researching a tree that leaks a mysterious mist in her neighborhood. She is unexpectedly led to Rema, a distant world of magic and beauty that is periodically invaded by a nearby planet desperate for resources. While Tabby searches for the truth surrounding her father’s death, she meets a handsome blue-haired boy named Philip. He has his own dangerous secrets, but he has promised to help Tabby get home. As Tabby learns more about this strange world, she discovers that she is destined for something far greater than she ever could have imagined. — goodreads

overall thoughts and rating

This graphic novel reminded me of some of my favourite series from when I was a kid. I knew instantly that I would like it after meeting Tabby and Philip in the first few pages, and being thrown into this fantastic adventure!

There was so much thought and care put into the illustrations, along with great world building throughout. The cast of characters were fun, and I have to say Philip’s god-father is one of my favourites so far (I won’t spoil the reason why, but he’s fantastic). I also loved that there were sweet moments between Tabby and Philip throughout this volume, it gave me Howls Moving Castle vibes.

I’ll definitely be purchasing the final copy in 2022, and I highly recommend this series for young fans of fantasy, action-adventure and superheroes. I’m already excited for the next book in the series!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Beast boy Loves Raven: Graphic novel review

Let me start off by saying that it felt like an eternity while I waited for this issue to come out. I was so excited when it was released! Outside of the Robin’s (mainly Grayson), Beast Boy and Raven are my absolute favourites.

The series by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo is fantastic. I think it’s a good entry story for those who are new to DC comics because they take the time to introduce each of these characters throughout. As a DC fan I personally love this series and really want to see it continue. One of the other DC series I’d been into was dropped, which followed Damien Wayne and Johnathan Kent, so I’m really glad to see that the next issue in this series is titled Robin!

I don’t want to give away any major spoilers, but one of my favourite things about the artwork in this issue was how the panels slowly became more colourful whenever Beast Boy and Raven were together. Gar’s panels all have hints of green, and Raven’s purple, so the artist made it so that when the two of them are together these colours begin to show up in the same panels. It’s such a small detail but I absolutely loved it.


Also, Max and Damien are in this issue! I was so happy to see Max again. I can’t wait to see how everyone’s powers, relationships and journey’s develop in the next issue! It was also nice to see Damien again after the other series was dropped. He’s definitely grown on me as the newest Robin, and I find his interactions with the other characters in the DC universe hilarious, mainly because he comes across as such a serious kid.

Black Canary Ignite Review

Title: Black Canary Ignite. Author: Meg Cabot Age Group: Middle Grade, 9-12 years old. When I heard that the author of The Princess Diaries was […]

Fake Blood Book Review

This is the first Middle Grade graphic novel that I have read in a long time, and it did not disappoint.
Fake Blood had me howling (pun intended) with laughter. Each and every character was likeable and fun in their own way.

October book haul

A bunch of the books I ordered arrived this week, on top of the ones I’d purchased in store. I am so excited to read them! Most of what I got was manga, but I also got the new Green Lantern thanks to my fantastic co-worker Scott! Thanks Scott! Oh, and I got two middle grade books that looked absolutely amazing.

My sister and I were freaking out over We Were There, which we read as kids. She loved the series, and Sand Chronicles. I also showed her the cover of Honey and Clover, which she thought looked super cute. I have to agree, I’ve always loved the art style of that series but I didn’t get a chance to read it when I was younger.

I’ll be sure to review all of these books once I’ve finished reading them, and I’ll try my best to keep these reviews spoiler free! I think I’ll have to put myself on a book buying ban until after Christmas, because I’ve already got two books that I’m going to be gifting myself, and I’m hoping that I’ll get gift cards from my family like I usually do…so that I can…buy more books.

What I really need is another bookshelf. I’ve been secretly thinking of how I can turn my brothers old bedroom into a library. I’ll of course keep his bed in there so he has somewhere to sleep when he visits, but like…perhaps I could just add two…or four shelves?

If I don’t convert his room into a library I might need to convince my sister that our game room could also double as a cute little library. It won’t be the Beauty and the Beast library of my dreams, but I think with the right décor and a little rearranging of the furniture, that it’ll look really cool.

If you’ve read my novel Vermin, you’ll know that there is a library on the top floor of the Crispin’s house. The library isn’t as pretty as the one in Beauty and the Beast, since they don’t live in a castle…but it’s cozy. I should try building it on the Sims4. I will if I have time. I’m mostly reserving my free time for reading and catching up on Netflix. I finally watched the final two episodes of Tokyo Revengers this week and cried. I wish there was an English translation of the manga because my French isn’t that great…and I don’t think my 9 year old niece should be translating that for me. I do have a French-English dictionary but the only books I can read in French well enough to understand are children’s picture books and middle grade graphic novels. Without pictures, I get stumped.

Well, I best finish my chicken nuggets. My sister was kind enough to share them with me. Also, if you liked the song in my reel it’s by Mitski. It’s called Working for the Knife. It’s really awesome. I’ve been listening to it while drafting some scenes this week.

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 […]