Blogmas Day Thirty: Amanda’s December Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

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Hello, lovelies! I’ve been in a bit of a graphic novel slump. I think I just have too many options, too many series I’ve read the first of and bought more of the series, but haven’t picked up. So, I’m really glad I managed to finally pick up more graphic novels this month.

The Wicked + The Divine Volume Two: Fandemonium by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson

I love this series. There’s something about it that just captivates me. I love the concept of the Gods reincarnating (sort of). This volume  was full of mystery and the main character, Laura, trying to find out who killed Luci. I really missed Luci and her absense kind of made this volume not as good as the first. I still ended up really enjoying it though. The huge twist at the end had me dying for the next book. I liked that we got to see more of the other gods and we got a bit more than just Laura’s perspective. I’m excited to continue with the series.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland

I bought this graphic novel after seeing Scott Westerfeld speak at the DC National Book Festival. The way he talked about how images and art inspired him and changed the way he wrote stories really made me want to check this one out. I’m glad I did. The art was interesting and unique. The color difference between the regular world scenes and the panels inside the “spill zone” was beautiful. I think it was also interesting the way the different speech bubbles meant different things. We see Addie (the main character) talking, but we also get thought bubbles from her younger sister who hasn’t spoken since coming out of the spill zone the night everything happened, and speech bubbles from another character I won’t name so it doesn’t give anything away. I also thought the story itself was well done. It was compelling and mysterious. My only complaint is that it ended too soon. There wasn’t much resolution, but thankfully I have the second book too so I’ll just start that next. There was something supernatural about the story and I think that was really creative and definitely kept me interested.

Spill Zone: The Broken Vow by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland

After finishing the first volume, I had to immediately pick up the second and get the rest of the story. I really loved how things connected and then were wrapped up. I think Westerfeld told an excellent story. The art was stunning. I loved the contrast between the regular world and then the spill zone and then how they were merged toward the end of the story. My only complaint would be that sometimes the shifts between scenes and characters were a bit sudden and jarring. I still really enjoyed it and these might just make a favorites list when I work on those in the coming month.

Life is Strange: Dust by Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi, & Andrea Izzo

This graphic novel made me nostalgic for when I was introduced the the video game. I used to play it with a neighbor of mine that turned into a close friend. It made me miss her. But aside from that, I didn’t love this. The time travel bits were really confusing at first. I did like that they included actual art from the game. But overall, I’m definitely going to stick with the game.

The Wicked + The Divine: Commercial Suicide by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson (also several other guest artists)

This, so far, is probably my least favorite of this series. Though we actually get some back story on the gods and the people they were before being awoken as gods, which I thought was interesting. This was kind of all over the place. The two characters I liked the most are not longer in the story. Plot wise, things are getting wild. I think the mystery and suspense is done really well. The reader knows more than some of the characters, but were still not given all the information. I thought the inclusion of guest artists was interesting and made each of the gods featured more unique. Overall, while it was my least favorite I still really enjoyed it.

Did you read  any graphic novels in December? Have you read any of these ones? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogmas Day Eight: Debut Authors

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Hi, lovelies! Today I want to talk about the books I read this year by debut authors. I read quite a few debut novels and absolutely adored them. So, I want to let you know which books they were and give you a few reasons why you should go by them, or add them to your christmas wishlist.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

This book was so good. It got me out of my fantasy slump, which I’m so glad for because I’ve read some great books since this one. This has a Narnia type feel with traveling through magic doors, but more, so much more. I adore the main character and the friends she makes along the way.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This book was hilarious and sweet in all the best ways. A prince and the son of the president falling in love, what could go wrong? I was literally laughing out loud while reading this book, and I know you will too.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

While the main character can be pretty unlikable, most teenagers have their moments where they can be punks. I know I was a punk when I was in high school. I loved Norris’s story of moving away from the life he knew to Texas and trying to figure out where he fit in there. Plus, I met the author and I thought he was super awesome.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

If the tag line of ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses Retelling’ doesn’t immediately make you want to read this, let me tell you a bit. Murder, dancing, magic, and falling in love. This book was atmospheric as hell and I loved every page.

The Disasters by M.K. England

Looking for diverse science fiction? Look no further. This is the unlikeliest squad of strrangers you’ll ever encounter. They have to save the universe becasue well, everyone else that knows what’s going on is dead.

We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

Ghosts and tornados. Do you need anything else? If so, this follows three outsiders, the kids that just don’t fit in at school. They end up finding each other and when a tornado hits on the anniversary of a tornado that killed most of those in attendance at the local drive in more than fifty years ago, they meet on the side of the road and realise that there may be something spooky going on.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Stirling

Queer Witches, yes please. This was full of mystery and teenage angst and I loved it. There was heart break and loss, but also growth and of course, magic.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

A diverse cast of kids with magical abilities, also they’re trying to fight a scary ass monster. The small town drama and grudges were some of my favorite parts of this. Seeing these kids try to work through their personal and family histories in order to keep their town safe was the best. It was spooky and fun at the same time.

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about this book. It covers important mental health topics, but also is full of summertime fun and a bit of a mystery about the main characters ancestors. I flew through this book and loved every page of it.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Renasance Faire romance, sign me the hell up. This was a dislike to love romance, full of small town feels, great new friends, and making sister relationships stronger. I read this in one sitting and loved to with my whole heart.

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

This book was really important to me personally. It follows the story of a girl who’s sister is in the hospital after getting in the car with a drunk driver. It talks about so many different themes that are so very important to think and talk about in the teenage years. Please go read it.

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Love, mistakes, and a little bit of time travel. A sort of Groundhog Day story where the main character tries over and over to get that happy ending and learns so much along the way.

The Birds, The Bees, & You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

A fun story about the importance of safe sex. If I had read this book when I was in high school, my life would have been very different probably. I also got to meet the author and she was just amazing. Plus, she has the same name as my daughter.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Are you looking for a book that is going to make you scream with rage but also cry your eyeballs out? Look no further, you have found it. I swear I cried for half of this book. I cannot recommend it enough.

Have you read any of these debut novels? If not, get shopping or to your local library right now! Let me know if any of these books are on your radar in the comments.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Day Twenty-Eight: Amanda’s Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

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Hi, lovelies! I’m back again at the end of this wonderful Spooktober to talk about the graphic novels I managed to read this month. Sadly, I read most of my spooky graphic novels last month in my excitement for the spooky season. But I still read some good picks this month!

Oz: Road to Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

This was probably my least favorite in this series so far. I enjoyed the art. I love Skottie Young’s work. I love how he brought to life all of the different people and creatures we meet on Dorothy’s latest journey. But the story itself was not as good as the others. I didn’t feel like much was at stake and I just didn’t care about Ozma’s birthday party.

Spinning by Tillie Walden

I love Tillie Walden. I don’t know what kick-started this love, but I love her work. I love her art. I especially loved this memoir written as a graphic novel. It was a bit confusing here and there because it seemed to have random bits of her life plopped into the story. But after reading the author’s note at the end it made more sense. This was a story about a young girl that is a talented figure skater, but she’s also so much more than that. She’s gay and trying to figure out what that means for her and the rest of her life. I really enjoyed this one. The story was heartfelt (and my hometown was mentioned, how cool?!) and meaningful. It was not a sweet story by any means, but it was honest and hard. I definitely recommend this one.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This one has been on my radar since I started reading graphic novels earlier this year. I really like the message it left me with. Even though you love someone, they might not be the right person for you. I didn’t like how Freddy let herself neglect her friends when Laura Dean decided to give her attention. Laura Dean was a giant asshole. I’m glad Freddy broke up with her. I enjoyed the art for this one. I also really enjoy the parts of the story where Freddy was writing to an advice columnist and the advice she got back. I enjoyed this one for sure.

Check, Please! Book One: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Everyone absolutely raves about Check, Please! So, I had to get it. Plus, I’m a huge hockey fan. I figured this would be right up my alley. Indeed it was. I thought this was fun and just all around wholesome. I loved the bro-ness that was clear throughout the story. There’s just something about being a part of a team. I thought that came across really well. I love  Bitty and his obsession with baking. It made me want to get up and bake a pie myself. The only thing I didn’t really like was how it jumped from scene to scene between chapters. Something big would happen and then suddenly it would be a new chapter with a completely different topic. I felt like we were only getting bits and pieces of Bitty’s story. Which, kind of makes sense because the story is told via  Bitty’s vlogs. But I wanted a bit more detail. Overall, I had a ton of fun reading this and will definitely be picking up the next volume.

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume One: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

I would die for Luci. I loved this graphic novel. I plan to go pick up the next few volumes tomorrow when I can. I love the concept of the story, twelve Gods reincarnating as humans for two years before dying again. I’d love to know more about where they go when they die. I loved that we follow Laura, a human, as she befriends Luci, and fangirls over the rest of the Gods. Lucifer being female was everything I never knew I needed. She was absolutely my favorite. I really enjoyed the diverse cast. It was hard to really get any character development from the rest of the Gods because there was just so many of them. I’m sure we will see more of them in the next volumes and I just cannot wait to continue this series.

These are all the graphic novels I read this month. Have you read any of them? Did you like (or not) any as much as I did? Leave me some recommendations if you have them!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s September Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

Hi, lovelies! I really enjoyed the post I made last month with mini-reviews of all the graphic novels I read in August (check it out here), so I think I am going to continue doing that each month for all the graphic novels I read. So, this post will be mini-reviews for all the graphic novels I read in the month of September.

Moonstruck Volume One: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, & Kate Leth

This was the perfect graphic novel to start of the spooky season. There is magic and mystery and a wide cast of characters. I just adored the characters. There are some werewolves, centaurs, magicians, ghosts, and seers. This cast of characters was beyond diverse, too. There is representation for fat, POC, non-binary, and queer characters. There is a female/female romance that was so sweet. I loved the mystery and the friendships that we were given. I think Cass (the seer) was my favorite character. She was the perfect amount of weird. Overall, this graphic novel was everything I wanted it to be.

Oz: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

I enjoy this one the most out of this graphic novel series so far. It would have been a five star read for me, but I felt like it lingered on just a bit too much at the end. The gang finds themselves falling to the center of the earth after a series of massive earthquakes. I thought this was a really interesting story. I really enjoyed all the weird communities they found down there and all the ways they managed to get themselves out of trouble. It was a fun and quick story.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

I completely adored The Prince and the Dressmaker. I found this one through one of my library apps and I’m glad I decided to try it. I thought the art was vivid and absolutely stunning. I also really loved the story. Everyone getting a happy ending made my little heart warm. I also really like the way the story was told. There were only words when the art couldn’t tell the story on its own. I just loved this one and will definitely be recommending it in the future.

Moonstruck Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis & Shae Beagle

I really like the art in this series, but I’m having a little trouble with the plot. The story was kind of all over the place, but I enjoyed the characters well enough. I was a bit sad to not get as much Cass as the previous volume. She was definitely the most interesting character to me. Moonstruck is a diverse story, that was filled with fun characters on sometimes confusing adventures.

These are all the graphic novels I managed to read in September! Have you read any of these? Or any that are similar? Let me know below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews​

Hi, lovelies! I’ve been reading some graphic novels lately because I belatedly joined a Graphic Novel Read-a-thon that’s going on thanks to Lauren & her Books and Tea book club. Check out all the details here. I’m going to try to complete all the challenges, but I don’t usually write reviews for the graphic novels I read. So, I thought it would be fun to do a wrap up of mini-reviews for all the things I picked up!

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle & Isaac Goodhart

This one was a bit underwhelming for me. I enjoyed the story, minus the animal abuse part that is toward the beginning. This story wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting her to fight crime and be a superhero. Which is not what I got. What I got was more of an origin story. I enjoyed the friendships and their backstories. But overall, it was average.

Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige & Stephen Byrne

Another hero origin story, one that I enjoyed more than the Catwoman story. Mera’s story was one I’m not overly familiar with. I didn’t know there was so much to the story in this underwater world. The only issue I really had was the insta-love. Mera and Arthur happened so quickly. I was honestly rooting for Larken and Mera because they almost had the childhood friends to lovers trope going on, but Mera was just not having it. Overall, this was fun and sweet, but only a 3.5 star read for me.

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon

I found this graphic novel at my local Ollie’s Discount Store. I checked the review on GoodReads and it had a pretty average rating, but I thought the art style looked interesting and I gave it a chance. I’m pleased to be able to say that I enjoyed this way more than I thought I would. This story follows a group of monsters that have been essentially put in jail. Despite its fantastical genre, it still manages to touch upon relevant topics. Topics like drug use, rape, abuse of power, gangs, and I think it did this very well. I’m excited to continue on to Season Two of this series.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo

I actually was lucky enough to meet both of the authors of this graphic novel. My copy is signed. So when I didn’t love the first two DC Ink adaptations, I was hesitant to pick this up. But I’m glad I got to it. I enjoyed this way more than the other two. I cannot wait to see Beast Boy’s story. I adored the art style and definitely want to see more of Picolo’s work. I also enjoyed all the different aspects, Raven’s amnesia, Max’s own unique abilities, the different romances. I loved it all. Overall, this has been my favorite of DC’s new adaptions for young adults.

Oz: The Marvelous Land of Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

I picked the third and fourth installments of this series not knowing that they were the third and fourth. So, I made a trip to a local comic book store and picked up all the ones I was missing but couldn’t find the first. Luckily, the first is just another retelling of Dorothy & the Wizard of Oz, so I’m not missing too much not reading it because I already know the story. Sadly, this was average for me. I enjoyed it overall, but it didn’t blow me away which seems to be the theme this month. It was a fun story and I will be finishing the series because I already own them all.

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth, Megan Levens, & Marissa Louise

This was a graphic novel that I  found while searching through BookOutlet to see what gems I might find. Spell on Wheels was exactly that, a gem. I loved this one. It was witchy and diverse. It would have been perfect for the month of October. It challenges people when they say gross things, it has queer characters, and also a satyr. All of these elements were brought together in such a good way. Put this one on your TBR for sure.

Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk

I wanted to love this, but just couldn’t. The story was confusing and I couldn’t really identify with any of the characters. I really wanted to like this one, but it just fell flat for me. It seemed to jump all over the place while also trying to tell one long story. It just went over my head. Sadly, it’s a no from me. Henchgirl now lives in my unhaul pile until the next time I go and sell some books.

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So, I managed to read seven graphic novels for this reading challenge. I finished a graphic novel that matches Lauren’s hair (purple, blue, & turquoise) with Under the Moon, Mera: Tidebreaker, & Teen Titans: Raven. I read my newest graphic novel, Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect. I completed my oldest graphic novel, Under the Moon. I attempted to catch up with my favorite series with The Marvelous Land of Oz but only managed to read one of the series. I read a graphic novel that was recommended to me when I picked up Spell on Wheels. Mera: Tidebreaker counts as a new to me genre because I hadn’t read any superhero stories until I picked up the DCINK series. Sadly, I did not manage to read all my unread graphic novels, but I read seven and that’s a decent start!

Did you read any graphic novels in August? Let me know if you did or not below!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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