Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

ghosts

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Published:
September 2016, Graphix
Genre: Young adult graphic novel
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

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.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

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.

rp-characters

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.

rp-plot

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.

rp-writing-style

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.

rp-overall

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-stars5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“I guess it’s hard not to feel good when you’re surrounded by so much life!” –Raina Telgemeier, Ghosts

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Via Goodreads
Title: Nimona
Author: 
Noelle Stevenson
Genre: Graphic Novel Fantasy
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my sister

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

My Review:

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 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Reanimating the dead isn’t hard, but they make terrible minions.” –Noelle Stevenson, Nimona

 

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Username: Evie by Joe Sugg

2015-09-19 08.54.31

Title: Username: Evie
Author: Joe Sugg
Genre: Science fiction | Graphic novel
How I got it: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

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.

Favorite Quote:

“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

Two Book Reviews #3

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Favorite Quote:

“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.” –Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Favorite Quote:

“It’s funny. I don’t think boys even know how to hold a grudge.” –Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian, Burn For Burn

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