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!”


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.

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.

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!

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 […]

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

Summary

Jen is used to not getting what she wants. So suddenly moving to the country and getting new stepsisters shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

Jen did not want to leave the city. She did not want to move to a farm with her mom and her mom’s new boyfriend, Walter. She did not want to leave her friends and her dad.

Most of all, Jen did not want to get new “sisters,” Andy and Reese.

If learning new chores on Peapod Farm wasn’t hard enough, then having to deal with perfect-at-everything Andy might be the last straw for Jen. Besides cleaning the chicken coop, trying to keep up with the customers at the local farmers’ market, and missing her old life, Jen has to deal with her own insecurities about this new family . . . and where she fits in. –Goodreads

Thoughts

Stepping Stones was such a wonderful book! The illustrations by Lucy Knisley were lovely and the story was paced perfectly. I loved the development of each of the characters and how Jen navigated and adjusted to life on Peapod Farm.
From the moment I started reading I was already recommending this book to friends. It was excellent. Definitely one my top 10 middle grade graphic novels I’ve read this year.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

YA Faves

As YA week comes to a close, I’ve found myself reminiscing over some of my old favourite books that I read during my teenage years. […]

Blackbird Vol. 1 – Graphic Novel Review

Nina Rodriguez knows a hidden magical world run by ruthless cabals is hiding in Los Angeles. When a giant magic beast kidnaps her sister, Nina must confront her past (and her demons) to get her sister back and reclaim her life. – Goodreads

Let me start off by saying that the artwork for this graphic novel is absolutely stunning. That’s actually what drew me to it initially.

The colours, the line work, the character design, the detail…it’s so beautiful. I was blown away by how nice it looked and on top of that the story was good too!

I’d been meaning to buy this graphic novel for a while, but kept forgetting about it during the lockdown. I’d been given a gift card and decided to use it towards this book, and I am stoked to read the next volume.

There was also a Sailor Moon reference in here, which was too cute, especially since Nina has a talking black cat named Sharpie.

I think the only thing about this first volume, that I wish was done a little differently would be the hinted romance with Clint. Clint is a very compelling character, but I felt that in certain scenes his chemistry with Nina seemed forced, whereas in others it was perfectly. I know first books can be awkward at times, since the writers are still getting a feel for the characters, setting and plot, so I can understand why the balance was off in one or two places.

Other than that, I can’t wait to find out what happens next! I really enjoyed it.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This to me is definitely worth 5 stars. The artwork was phenomenal, and the storyline was really cool. Honestly, I hope this gets picked up to be a television series because I would binge that so fast!

I loved Nina’s character, and liked how she narrated the story, and her outfits were incredibly cute. Everyone’s were! The colours and lighting were also perfect. It suited the overall atmosphere of the book, which for me personally when it comes to graphic novels is super important.