Evie is safe home, but her heart remains in e.scape. She’s desperate to return, but the app that transports her has corrupted in the great reboot.
When besotted geek, Lionel, offers to help, he doesn’t just restore the gateway as she had planned. He opens up a series of revelations that calls into question everything Evie treasures in life. With a momentous discovery to be unearthed in the virtual realm, and an e.scape fugitive on the loose in reality, can our sidelined schoolgirl save not one world but two?
The cover intrigues me (both the front and the back) because it shows off the main characters and even shows off how the story will go, though you don’t realize it until you read the book.
I read Username: Evie a while ago and enjoyed it. So I was interested in continuing with the series.
I have to be honest. There’s a lot of build up to the plot and then not much happens. Evie manages to get back into e.scape and meets up with some old friends along with some new ones. When some people from e.scape end up reality, they mistakenly hunt for one of their own so he doesn’t destroy reality.
This isn’t a bad plot and it had a lot of potential, but it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. There was a lot of build up to bring tense moments and then those moments ended up be pretty anti-climactic.
I didn’t mind the characters. Evie was a little bland this time around as was her estranged mother. I think Mallory, Evie’s cousin, was my favorite character. She’s a pain but, in a way, she ended up being the real hero. The hero that no one else seems to recognize.
The coded characters from e.scape were good as well, but I felt as though I was expected to care about them by the end and there just wasn’t enough time for me to develop feelings for me.
As a graphic novel, a lot of the story is told through the pictures. The art was my favorite part. I love the style. I wish I could say more about it, but I don’t know too much about art to sound sophisticated about it.
The dialogue is just as good too. The characters told the story well. My only nit-pick was that a lot of the characters had thought bubbles, usually with a sarcastic quip. I felt as though that was thrown in just for a chuckle, but it didn’t do anything to me. I didn’t care to be inside every character’s heads for no reason – especially when the pictures say it all with their facial expressions.
This was still an enjoyable read though it didn’t live up to the first book. I definitely wanted to see more action and feel more tension. However, if you read the first book or if this sounds intriguing to you at all, feel free to give it a shot.
Username: Regenerated by Joe Sugg gets… 3 out of 5 cups
“A crush can be fun, until it becomes a monster.” –Joe Sugg, Username: Regenerated
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My sister bought a hardcover copy from Barnes & Noble.
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
I was immediately intrigued by the cover itself to see the two main characters along with Sebastian’s alias the center of attention, yet in the background. I thought the cover was well done and says a lot about the contents of the book.
I have read a graphic novel by this author before. My sister found this book first and both of us were intrigued, so she bought it.
This is not your typical “fairy-tale” as Prince Sebastian is looking more for a seamstress than a princess. Sebastian’s secret and hobby is dressing up in dresses and feeling pretty though he can’t announce it to his kingdom. Frances is his seamstress and her dream is to become famous with her sewing and have her work out into the fashion world. The problem is, no one can know she’s the one making dresses for “Lady Crystallia,” Prince Sebastian.
The plot conveyed the struggles of both characters very well through both the dialogue and the pictures drawn. There was enough tension, happy moments, and sad moments throughout. This is a page-turner and not just because it’s a quick read due to it being a graphic novel.
Sebastian and Frances were strong characters. Both were likable and easy to relate to. They had their own unique personalities and struggles just like everyone else. I’d love to see this pair in another book.
Emile, Sebastian’s servant, was awesome too. He was the only one who knew Sebastian’s secret and he kept it and cared for Sebastian as his own.
The king and queen were annoying at first – though I think that was the point. They were still good characters, just thinking of the kingdom as well as their son.
This is a graphic novel and it had a good balance of dialogue and pictures. There were a good amount of pages that just had pictures showing the time pass and expressions. There were no words needed. It was very well done.
This was a wonderful read with an important message for all. It’s fast paced being a graphic novel, but it worked. The characters were great and I’m looking forward to more from this author.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang gets… 5 out of 5 cups
“When I first learned the truth, I thought Sebastian’s life would be ruined. But seeing you, I realized everything would be fine. Because someone still loved him.” –Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around! Also, check out the other Book Reviews I’ve done!
Title: Real Friends Author: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham (illustrator)
Published: May 2017 by First Second Genre: Graphic novel, memoir, middle grade How I got the book: I bought it
When best friends are not forever . . .
Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?
Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Timesbestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.
I have seen this book floating around the book blogs of the WordPress world. I love a good graphic novel so when I found it at the bookstore, I decided to pick it up.
This is a fictionalized memoir based on the author’s childhood. A lot of it is true, but she fictionalized some things to make the story flow better. We follow Shannon as a young girl and watch her grow up as she tries to hold onto friendships and figure out who she is.
Her best friend is Adrienne, but then they meet a group of girls who follow Jen around. And they’re not nice all the time. Shannon doesn’t know whether they like her or not, but she still hangs out with them because she doesn’t have anyone else.
This is a good story all middle schoolers should read. It teaches an important lesson about being nice to others and also that it’s okay to not have a large group of friends. It’s okay to not be “popular.”
All the characters were portrayed well. I could relate with Shannon so much. She was being bullied, she didn’t have a lot of friends, and she developed anxiety along the way.
Adrienne was a good character as well. She was nice to Shannon but was also friends with Jen. When Jen was mean, Adrienne didn’t do anything because she didn’t want Jen to be mean to her in return. It was a vicious cycle. The other members of “The Group” were pretty much the same way.
It was typical behavior of middle-schoolers. But Shannon managed to push through.
The writing was well done, using a good amount of narrative and dialogue. The art style was great too. It really made the story, especially when Shannon was using her imagination.
It was a quick read being a graphic novel, but it was enjoyable (and relatable) enough that I was able to read it in one sitting.
This is a great story with an important lesson on bullying and just being true to who you are. Everyone should read this, no matter what age.
Real Friends by Shannon Hale gets… 5 out of 5 stars
“All a person needs is one good friend.” -Shannon Hale, Real Friends
Title: El Deafo Author: Cece Bell
Published: September 2014 by Harry N. Abrams Genre: Graphic Novel Memoir How I got the book: I borrowed it from my cousin
Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
I’ve discovered graphic novels again so when my cousin mentioned she had to read this for summer reading, I asked to borrow it.
The book begins with our protagonist, a bunny, Cece, at four-years-old. She becomes ill and as a result, she loses her hearing.
We follow her all the way through fifth grade as she switches hearing aids, trying to come to terms with them, attempting to read lips, learn sign language, and overall, making friends.
This is a memoir based on the author coming to terms with her loss of hearing. It’s a touching story.
Cece, the protagonist, is a wonderful character to follow. She’s sweet, but self-conscious about her hearing aids and feels awkward that she has to give her teacher a microphone in front of the whole class. She doesn’t view her being deaf as something unique or special, she doesn’t know why it happened to her, even though she tries to embrace it by calling it her “superpower.”
She’s focused on trying to make friends who accept her for who she is and she has a tough time with that, especially because she’s still trying to accept herself.
Cece’s various friends were well rounded and certainly different from each other. They all seemed to accept her loss of hearing, but they showed it in different ways. One friend was pushy and bossy while another spoke loudly and slowly all the time.
Her parents and siblings were wonderful as well. Her mother tried her best to understand, but she was very supportive and did everything for her daughter she possibly could.
It’s a graphic novel, so of course, the pictures made the story. All the characters were bunnies and Cece was the narrator. There was a good share of dialogue, but there was a lot of Cece narrating as well as dream sequences of her using her hearing aids as a superpower.
It’s a really cool way to portray the story as a young child sees it and goes through it.
I enjoyed this story a lot. It’s not often you get a protagonist who’s deaf. It was interesting and fun and cute as well. This story is about making friends and accepting who you are. I would recommend this to anyone and read more of Cece Bell’s books.
El Deafo by Cece Bell gets… 5 out of 5 stars
“And being different? That turned out to be the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.” –Cece Bell, El Deafo
Title: Archie, Vol. 2: The New Riverdale Author: Mark Waid, Veronica Fish (illustrator), Thomas Pitilli (illustrator), Ryan Jampole (illustrator)
Published: December 2016 by Archie Comics Genre: Graphic Novel How I got the book: I borrowed it from my sister
The all-new ARCHIE adventure continues! Superstar writer Mark Waid teams up with the best and brightest artists in comics to bring a modern take to the legendary Riverdale cast of characters. The book will captures the bite and hilarious edge of Archie’s original tales in a modern, forward-looking manner, while still retaining the character’s all-ages appeal. If classic Archie is a Saturday morning cartoon, this new series is prime time!
After reading volume one, I immediately picked up volume two. I didn’t realize how much I missed these characters.
In these next six issues, the plot focuses on Archie’s relationship with Veronica and her father while he and Betty awkwardly try to reconfigure their friendship while they both see other people.
Veronica’s father and Betty’s uncle go against each other for mayor and Archie gets caught in the middle of the feud. Archie, Veronica, and Jughead start a band, so Betty and her friends start a band and they go head to head.
Each issue has its own mini-plot as it continues the overall plot of Archie’s life in general, especially his love life.
The characters, like in the first volume, are just as good. Archie is a wonderful protagonist. Each and every character has their own purpose and background. I enjoy seeing all their stories together.
The writing style is just as humorous as the last and the pictures, even though two of the illustrators are different, are beautiful. I really enjoy how they used the pictures and the words as a team to tell the story.
You can’t go wrong with this series. I love Archie and I’m looking forward to reading the next volume.
Archie, Vol. 2: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid gets… 5 out of 5 stars
“Crushing people is the truth’s hobby.” –Mark Waid, Archie, Vol. 2: The New Riverdale
Title: Ghosts Author: Raina Telgemeier
Published:September 2016, Graphix Genre: Young adult graphic novel How I got the book: I bought it
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.
I’ve read Smile and Drama by Raina Telgemeier and enjoyed both of those graphic novels a lot. When I found out she had come out with another, Ghosts, I was excited. I love Telgemeier, graphic novels, and ghosts (despite how easily spooked I get). So, I definitely had to pick this one up.
We follow two sisters, Cat her little sister, Maya. Maya has cystic fibrosis so their family moved to a new town as the salty sea air would help Maya’s lungs. I absolutely loved both girls, Cat being the protective and worrisome older sister and Maya being a child, carefree and innocent, not bothering to let her illness stand in her way.
Both characters easily made this book enjoyable and they both developed quite nicely throughout the story, despite how short it is.
Day of the Dead is approaching in their new town. Maya is intrigued, Cat is scared. Cat doesn’t like ghosts while Maya loves them. However, we don’t know the reason as to why until near the end of the story. The reason why brings the story full circle and really brings out both of their personalities.
Cat tries to keep the ghosts away while Maya keeps trying to speak to them. For spoiler reasons, I’ll let you speculate why that is, but you should just read the book for yourself.
The pictures really make the story what it is. The dialogue is great, but I really do enjoy the pictures more so. There are many pages where there’s no dialogue at all. Pictures really are worth one thousand words and that’s true in this story.
Ghosts is a super quick read being a little over 200 pages, but being a graphic novel I read it in 30 minutes. I laughed, I cried, I was intrigued by the whole ghost scene. It’s a sweet book about sisters and an interesting message about death. It’s definitely worth a read for everyone.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier gets… 5 out of 5 stars
“I guess it’s hard not to feel good when you’re surrounded by so much life!” –Raina Telgemeier, Ghosts
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Being a graphic novel, this story is the type to read it in one sitting–if you’re into it. Well, I was into it and I couldn’t read it in one sitting.
Either way, I finished the book fairly quickly and from the moment I opened the first page, I instantly fell in love with the characters.
Lord Blackheart is a villain and Nimona is hired as his sidekick. She has special shape-shifting powers, but she’s reluctant to explain her full background.
Together, they plan to destroy the Institution, the “Heroes,” even though they’re not very heroic.
Like most villain stories, Blackheart’s motive is revenge as he was betrayed by his good friend, Goldenloin, who works for the Institution. Yet, his story (and Goldenloin’s) was twisted in a different way that made this villain story different from others.
Being a graphic novel, the characters were definitely the best part of the whole story. Blackheart and Nimona grew a wonderful relationship through the course of the story which made the ending bittersweet for me. I did not expect the book the end the way it did.
The pictures were well done. They were easy on the eyes and simple.
This is definitely a story I want more of.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson gets 5out of 5 stars.
“Reanimating the dead isn’t hard, but they make terrible minions.” –Noelle Stevenson, Nimona
The first book by YouTube star Joe Sugg tells the story of Evie, a socially-isolated teenage girl who struggles to fit in at high school. Always looking for a way to escape, she spends her nights supporting her terminally-ill father, who is tirelessly working on a computer program. When her father passes away, Evie is forced to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin—Mallory—who is the most popular girl in school and the bane of Evie’s existence.
One night, as she’s going through her father’s computer, Evie stumbles on a strange file that sucks her into a virtual world. As Evie explores this strange, new land, she learns it was the project her father was working so tirelessly on: a virtual Eden where Evie can get away and be herself. However, Evie is not alone; Mallory also discovers the world and her presence causes the idyll to descend into chaos. Now Evie must save the virtual world or lose her last connection to her father.
My Review (may contain spoilers!):
This graphic novel was amazing.
I’ve read some video game-based stories before and they all have one thing in common: virtual reality. That was nothing new here, but the premise of the virtual world was unique.
Evie enters a world called E.Scape created by her father as a way for her to literally escape reality for a bit. The population of E.Scape all knew she was coming and were as happy as can be, as they are easily influenced by her positive attitude.
So when Mallory, Evie’s cousin who she does not get along with, enters E.Scape the world is turned upside down and grows chaotic with Mallory’s negativity.
Evie, with the help of a mysterious man, has to stop Mallory before the world becomes a mess of corrupted coding.
All the characters were likeable–even Mallory as she became a villain accidentally.
I read this graphic novel within a half hour. My only complaint was that I wish it were longer so I could make the enjoyment last.
Username: Evie by Joe Sugg gets 5 out of 5 stars.
“If my journey into the city was a dream, the route out was a nightmare. One that grew darker by the mile.” –Joe Sugg, Username: Evie
Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
Fun Home is a memoir told in the form of a graphic novel. When I first picked up the book, I wondered why in the world Alison Bechdel decided to tell her story through that form. After reading the novel, I realized just exactly what they mean when they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Through the pictures, narration, and little dialogue, we see the true relationship Bechdel had with her late father. Throughout reading the book you’re left wondering, “was her father a good father or a bad one?”
After he dies, Bechdel learns a lot about her father. She realizes just what kind of a man he was and she learns all sorts of secrets about his life. She discovers she was like her father in many ways and as she discovers who he was, she learns a little bit about herself.
The pictures in the graphic novel are dull in color and it’s very rare any member of the family is smiling. It goes to show just how much of a “fun home” it was. I thought it was odd at first, but upon realizing what the characters were like, the pictures were really a great fit to the story. I think the story would be told better as a graphic novel rather than if it was told as a novel.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel gets 4 out of 5 stars.
“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.” –Alison Bechdel, Fun Home
Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes; and three girls secretly plotting revenge.
KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.
LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.
MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.
None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together anything is possible.
With an alliance in place, there will be no more, I wish I’d said…; or, If I could go back and do things differently… These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
I was originally going to review this book as a series (this is the first book of a trilogy), but decided against it so I can look at each book individually.
Burn For Burn is co-authored by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I have heard of both these authors and their books are on my TBR list, but this was my first taste at what their writing is like.
I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Every time I picked up the book to read a few chapters, I only had complaints about it. Yet, I couldn’t put the book down; I read it in two days.
I didn’t love the three main girls who are out for revenge. The characters make or break the book and since I couldn’t find any interest in these girls, that was a deal-breaker for me. All three of them talk like the stereotypical “dumb blonde” adding the word “like” unnecessarily in the middle of their sentences. It made the girls seem annoying to me.
On the other hand, that kind of voice is unique and really showed the personalities of the girls. The novel is told in three different POVs, one for each girl and each POV is in first person. In that case, the voice was well done and makes sense.
Do you see why I have a love/hate relationship with the book now?
The characters are seniors in high school, which makes them about 17/18-years-old. For their age, their revenge tactics were kind of weak. Switching sunscreen with a different lotion to make the boy’s skin burn and break out isn’t exactly what I had in mind for high schoolers to do… middle school maybe, but not high school.
Then drugs get involved and the book becomes predictable–someone is going to get seriously hurt or even die.
And that’s how the book ends. You don’t know the result or consequences of the drugging. The girls panic for the last chapter and that’s all she wrote.
I guess we’ll have to read the next to book to figure out what happens.
Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian gets 3 out of 5 stars.
“It’s funny. I don’t think boys even know how to hold a grudge.” –Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian, Burn For Burn