Cruella – Disney Manga Review

I bought this manga for my niece (she’s 9), because I wanted to find an age appropriate manga for her to read and she is a HUGE Disney fan.

Cruella: Black, White, and Red by Hachi Ishie has lovely illustrations, which gave off a mix of the 80s and 90s manga styles. I liked the way the panels were laid out, and how the characters were introduced. I also loved the artwork for each chapter.

I’d like to start off by saying the manga is not an adaptation of the film.

The manga has 3 chapters in total, each covering a part of Cruella’s life, mainly focusing on her between ages 18-21. I actually liked that the book didn’t age her down because it was directed at a middle grade audience.

Horace and Jasper were well developed throughout, but I thought the one character in the leather jacket, who is mentioned by Jasper in a later chapter would be more prominent than they were. It seemed as though this character was being built up to be a major player and then he kind of just disappeared, and then Emilia was introduced. This leads me to the pacing, which in the first chapter I felt was fairly well done, however because the book is set at different points during Estella/Cruella’s years before she becomes a designer, I felt like too much was being crammed into these short scenes.

It almost felt like a manga short story collection instead. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a one off, or a short series, but regardless I enjoyed reading it and I know my niece will love it. I just felt like it needed a little more story wise, so I gave it a rating of 4 stars on Goodreads. I also took into consideration that this is meant for young readers, so it’s possible some of what I felt was lacking is because this is a reimagining of a reimagined character…and I had expected it to cover pieces of the movie.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall I thought the book was fun, and I would definitely recommend it to young Disney fans who are also looking into reading manga.

One other thing I will note is that this book reads the same as Western graphic novels, versus a Japanese manga, like the Maximum Ride series and most Western made manga.

Creating a Middle Grade Book Rec List

My sister-in-law requested some series recommendations to help expand my nieces love of stories, so I’ve been on the hunt for a handful that I can gift her for her birthday/Christmas.

In my adult life, after realizing how hectic the holiday season gets, I’ve tried to get gifts for my family members as early as September. With my niece I keep track of things that she mentions throughout the year and buy them later. Shopping early also stops my wallet from crying after the holidays. December is the busiest month of the year for me outside of work, so planning my gifts and getting them wrapped up by the end of November saves me time and alleviates stress.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that I have to get a really good feel for a book before passing it along to my niece. Often I’ll read them first, because I would hate to give her something that she might not enjoy, and on top of it something that might be too scary or too mature for her at this time in her life.

I’d say 9-12 is a hard age group to navigate when it comes to young readers, because on top of each kid being an individual with their own unique interests, there are also different levels of maturity in each of the books and series one might encounter when shopping in this section. I was definitely one of those kids who read books intended for an older audience between 9 and 13…however, much of these books were manga and graphic novels. My experience as a reader definitely effects how I approach recommending books for kids, especially kids I don’t know personally like my niece. That’s why I don’t like to recommend books I haven’t read.

For adults who aren’t big readers themselves, I can imagine choosing books for others is a challenge. I salute you. My personal recommendation, if you have absolutely no idea what to buy the bookworm in your life is to just give them a gift card for your local bookstore. It’ll save you the headache, and they can pick out something they like. You can always pair it with a bookmark, or a mug if you want the gift to feel a little more personal.

I’m thinking of reading through a handful of middle grade books over the next month so that I can get a good idea of what might actually peak my nieces interest. When I can’t think of a series, one thing I try to do is to recommend people specific authors who I’ve read extensively like Judy Bloom, Jerry Spinelli, or Kenneth Oppel. All authors who I’ve read multiple works from, and really enjoyed despite not all of their books being contained within a series.

There are just so many great reads to choose from, but each person has their own preference and I feel it’s important to take that into consideration.

Another little project that I’ve started is that I’ve been creating lists of middle-grade books based on certain topics such as sports, theatre, mystery, family, spooky, pirates…etc…because this can really help figure out what books to recommend. Once my list is a little more organized, I’m going to post it on my blog, with the description. This is is going to include a chunk of books that I haven’t read, but just because something isn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean it isn’t good and I want this list to be filled with books that I can come back to with my niece or a family friend with kids and go, “You really like basket ball, there’s this entire series on that, or you can read this book over here where the kids on the team have to hunt down a thief.”

I love helping people find their next favourite book, so for me this is kind of just a fun little project to do in between working and writing. I hope this list is useful, and I can’t wait to add more to it as I go.

Reviewer Calls Vermin, “Touching and Beautiful.”

I was so ecstatic to hear that Vermin’s received another great review! I took a screen shot of it with my phone earlier to share on my Instagram story, but I also thought I’d share it here on my blog!

Touching and Beautiful

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ardin Patterson is a gifted author and storyteller. I say both because being a great author does not always mean that the audience will be focused on every word, or invested in the characters. I don’t think I skipped a single passage, I was so worried about Nicholas, Rose, Diana, Roland, Zanna and Micha.

The author does an excellent job of portraying deep, flawed beings who love and (in some cases) hate in equal measure. These people (like us in real life) are so easily swayed to cruelty as long as they feel justified, but in the same moment, they will show compassion. I am invested in what will happen next. I want the best for Nicholas and Rose. Their blossoming romance is sweet and true, but I don’t trust those villagers.

-Liz

Thank you so much to everyone who has read the novel, and taken the time to read reviews or reach out to me personally. Your words are so encouraging and I’m so glad that you’ve come to love my characters as much as I do.

Thank you so much again! Your words are greatly appreciated, and mean so much to me.


You can order a copy of Vermin from either Indigo or Amazon:

Mint Chocolate Vol. 1 – Manga Review

Plot

When Nanami finally gets a chance to meet her mom’s new husband and his son, the last person she expects to see is one of her classmates, Kyouhei Suzumura. Not only is her new stepbrother cool and completely unapproachable, but even worse—he’s the crazy-hot guy Nanami’s been crushing on for months…! Only time will tell how Nanami’s unexpectedly forbidden romance will play out… –Goodreads.

Thoughts

I’m hoping the story picks up more in the second volume. Although I liked certain elements of the story thus far, the pacing felt a bit off and I couldn’t help but think back to the series Marmalade Boy, which uses the same trope and setup but executes it flawlessly in the opening of the first volume.
I did like getting insight into Nanami’s thoughts throughout this volume, as it helps to build her personality and gives the reader a better idea of how things might play out.
Hoping the next volume will be stronger.

Based on other reviews I read after finishing this manga, it seemed that those who had already been exposed to Marmalade Boy, weren’t fans of Mint Chocolate. I do agree that it very much feels like a rip off…only in this first volume I find the characters lack chemistry off the bat. I think I would have liked to see more romantic-comedy elements thrown in and less recycled material. Those who hadn’t heard of Marmalade Boy gave this manga 4-5 stars.

I will be reading the 2nd volume, as I already own it. I’m hoping that my stance will change by then, and that the series will add something new versus being Marmalade Boy for a new generation of manga readers.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I decided to give this first volume 3 stars because, despite the awkward pacing and similarities to Marmalade Boy, I did like the characters. The illustrations weren’t as expressive as I would have liked, but aside from that, they were charming in their own way. I do hope the next volume is better, since I bought the first two books at the same time…if not I’ll pass them onto a friend and see what they think.

Vermin Gets a 4 Star Rating on Goodreads

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I’m so happy that readers are enjoying Vermin! I’ve been hearing lots of positive feedback so far, and was absolutely thrilled to find out Vermin received it’s first rating!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my novel!

If you’re looking to get a copy, you can click the links below which will lead you to the paperback or eBook.

Vermin by Ardin Patterson is now available

The first book in The Vermin Series is now available to order online! You can find more information about the novel on Goodreads, here on ardinpatterson.com, on the publishers website or on Amazon.

Read an advanced copy of Vermin and want to see your review displayed here on the website? Submit your reviews on Goodreads or Amazon (or both if you prefer), and we will feature them on the Books page underneath the description. 


 A dying boy
A rebellious girl
History poised to repeat itself 

Left for dead at the side of the road in an outlawed town, Nicholas is rescued by a human girl. Plagued by fevered dreams and a lethal illness, Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of her kindness. If she knew what he was, death would be a merciful gift.

Rose takes it upon herself to show the boy hospitality, despite her uncle Roland forbidding her from going near him. She survived the brutal sickness and knows exactly what their guest is going through—he needs a friend.

Roland stands to lose everything when he discovers what Nicholas is. Dire circumstances force Roland to turn the boy into a test subject. However, in coaxing an old flame into helping domesticate the beast, Roland ends up in a cruel experiment of his own.

As Rose and Nicholas grow closer, Roland’s decision to keep the boy’s identity a secret threatens to bring history full circle. Can Roland guard two hearts as he struggles to keep the boy and his future alive?

Fall into this whirlwind of forbidden love amidst harsh truths and harsher follies. Pick up a copy of Vermin today. 

My book has a release date!

My book has a release date! I’m so excited. There’s a lot to be done still but I’m happy announce that we’re currently looking for reviewers who enjoy YA fiction, urban fantasy, romance and paranormal romance.

Want to receive an ARC of this book?

Check out the post Reviewers Wanted, fill out the form and we will send you a link to the book the day the ARC’s become available or go to the ARC Reviewers website on July 1st, 2021.

Please note the ARCs provided will be ebooks.

Reviewers Wanted!

Title: Vermin: The Vermin Series Book One

Author: Ardin Patterson

Publisher: Loveknot Books (LKB)

Genre/Subgenre: YA, Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Romance

ARC Format: ebook

Pages: 296

Available at: ARC Reviewers, July 6th 2021

Language: English

Description:

A dying boy

A rebellious girl

History poised to repeat itself

Left for dead at the side of the road in an outlawed town, Nicholas is rescued by a human girl. Plagued by fevered dreams and a lethal illness, Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of her kindness. If she knew what he was, death would be a merciful gift.

Rose takes it upon herself to show the boy hospitality, despite her uncle Roland forbidding her from going near him. She survived the brutal sickness and knows exactly what their guest is going through—he needs a friend.

When Rose’s uncle discovers what Nicholas is, Roland stands to lose everything when he turns Nicholas into a test subject. Dire circumstances force him to coax an old flame into helping domesticate the beast, turning this supposed opportunity into a cruel experiment on himself.

As Rose and Nicholas grow closer, Roland’s decision to keep the boy’s identity a secret threatens to bring history full circle. Can Roland guard two hearts as he struggles to keep his future and the boy alive?

Photo by Adrienne Andersen on Pexels.com
Photo by Anna Urlapova on Pexels.com

Request an ARC


Novel Update – We’ve Got a Cover!

Now that we’ve finalized the design for the cover, I’m also excited to announce that there will be ARC’s available very soon.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has followed my updates and shown support during each stage of this book. Your encouragement helped me push through and I’m incredibly grateful for all of it.

Over the next week I will be releasing more information about the ARC’s, for those interested in reviewing, but for now I will be sharing that little teaser image and letting you know that the ARC’s provided will be in ebook format.

Here is a little more information:

Target Audience: YA.

Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romance…