Books · Graphic Novels · Judging Book Covers · Review

Book Series Review: Paper Girls by Brain K. Vaughan | Graphic Novels Vols 1-6

Goodreads Synopsis:
(Vol 1)

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.


My thoughts:

I picked up this series as I love Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and needed to pick up more by him! Plus 80s, sci-fi and time travel – sounds so good, right?!

You’re thrown right into the story right away from vol 1.
The pace is pretty fast and for a while, I had no idea what was going on. (But in a good way) The plot does all make sense with each volume.

The focus of this story is definitely the friendship between the girls. With the time travel element, they are thrown into unknown times and have to work together to try and get back to the right year.

As expected, it is not an easy journey. It has twists and turns all throughout. It really keeps you on the edge of your seat. You will definitely need all volumes to hand as you’ll need to know what happens next!

The ending was a little meh. Bittersweet. Not sure whether I liked it or not. It was a weird and wonderful series, it didn’t quite go out with a bang like I expected.

It’s a great series to just binge. I borrowed all volumes from my library, luckily the series is complete and no wait for the next volume! It’s something I would definitely consider rereading in the future.

Series Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

A TV series was released on Amazon Prime, I might have to check it out. (I always say this about adaptations but I’m not much of a TV/Film watcher) However, I did like this series and the show has diverse casting, so I might give it a go.
Updated since I first started writing this post, Amazon have now cancelled Paper Girls. Very disappointing to see they won’t be making more seasons. A lot of shows with diverse casting and rep seem to not get renewed.

Books · Graphic Novels · Review

Book Review: Chef’s Kiss by Jarret Melendez (Graphic Novel)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right? 

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear. 

My thoughts:

A cute and fun graphic novel with great rep!

The main character, Ben is a bit geeky and awkward but adorable!
He’s a relatable character, that has finished college and struggling to find a job after finishing his English degree. (Hits way too close to home haha)

The food aspect of this graphic novel was awesome! I felt genuinely hungry at times. I like the whole dynamic between Ben and the other chef’s. (Apart from the scary head chef)

There’s not only a bit of a slow burn romance (LGBT) but there’s a huge focus on friendships – which is nice to see! The romance actually isn’t a massive part of this, at least in my opinion. It takes a while for any romance to happen. It’s more about Ben learning about himself and where he wants to go in life; while dealing with pressures from family and juggling his friends and new friends.

Illustrations: GORGEOUS!
I love the art style here. It reminds me of older comic book and cartoons drawing style.

Overall, definitely worth picking it! Light fun read that does deal with some deeper topics. A well balanced story!

TW: Overbearing/controlling parents, unemployment stress, homophobia

Rating: 4 Stars

*ARC from Netgalley
Chef’s Kiss is out April 12th!


Books · Diverse Reads · Graphic Novels · Review

Graphic Novel Review: The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

Synopsis:
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.


My thoughts:

Oh my goodness, where to even begin. I don’t have the words to express how adorable this graphic novel is!

It’s middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQ+ & disability rep and the most wholesome vibes ever. Despite being for children, anyone could pick this up and enjoy it. It’s such a lovely, comforting read. Honestly, I was just in awe of the cuteness throughout.

It’s all about dragons – Tea Dragons, to be more specific. It’s such a cute and cool concept. Who doesn’t love dragons?! It’s also about friendship and love and it’s just a beautiful story about finding your place in the world. *sheds tear*

THE ARTWORK – Oh how I wish I could draw even half as well as K. O’Neill. The art is simply stunning.
Here are some examples (taken from the Amazon preview):

I am obsessed with this cutesy art style! It’s so beautiful. Such a joy to look at!

Rating: 5 Stars

Books · Graphic Novels · Review

Review: Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman

 

Heartstopper Volume One: Amazon.co.uk: Alice Oseman: Books

Synopsis:

Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore, and he’s sort of got a boyfriend, even if he’s kind of mean and only wants to meet up in secret.

Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him. That is, until the start of January, in which Nick and Charlie are placed in the same form group and made to sit together.

They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…


My Thoughts:

I had heard nothing but amazing things about this graphic novel series, so naturally, I was sceptical. I have been lured in by hype before and been very disappointed. However, this, oh my god, I see the hype.

Firstly, the artwork – LOVE. I don’t usually go for b&w graphic novels but it fit the art style and story really well. I love the illustration style, it was adorable.

THE FEELS.
This made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It put me in such a good mood, it’s definitely a great pick-me-up book! I was feeling depressed and was in a major reading slump and this was PERFECT.

I like that it’s a British school setting, which I’ve rarely seen in YA. It’s nice to see something familiar and different from the usual American high school setting I’ve mostly seen in YA. It was a breath of fresh air!

This is a different kind of graphic novel for me, I tend to go for more sci-fi/fantasy based ones, but this was a nice change. A contemporary romance definitely works well as a graphic novel. Also, I really appreciate the fact it was very cute and adorable without being cringy or awkward. My main complaint with YA romance is that it’s just too cheesy and cringe for me but this has none of that! No cringe but all the mushy feels!

If you haven’t picked this up yet, PLEASE DO! It’s so wholesome, you won’t regret it!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Books · Graphic Novels

Graphic Novel Review: Saga Volume 1+2 by Brian K. Vaughan + Fiona Staples

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Saga Volume 1 Synopsis:
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Saga Volume 2 Synopsis:

The smash-hit ongoing epic continues! Thanks to her star-crossed parents Marko and Alana, newborn baby Hazel has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies, and alien monstrosities, but in the cold vastness of outer space, the little girl encounters something truly frightening: her grandparents!


My thoughts:
I got the first one on a complete whim, I’d heard great things about this series but I never read graphic novels. It was on Kindle Unlimited so I thought I’d give it ago and WOW was I surprised.
I had no idea what the plot was or what to expect at all. I knew it was a sci-fi graphic novel. That’s it. I have been on a sci-fi kick all year so far, so I thought this would be perfect. I was also going into a reading slump, I didn’t feel like reading a novel – which is why I randomly decided to get a graphic novel. Thank Gods I did! It has saved me from my slump!
I was HOOKED. I flew through this. It was weird and wonderful all at once. I’ve never been so addicted and invested in something so quickly. The story really took me by surprise. It’s an amazing mix of sci-fi and fantasy; it’s incredible.
I immediately downloaded the next one (volume 2) and devoured that in an hour.
Sadly, only the first two are on Kindle Unlimited (God damn it!) so I couldn’t binge the rest without paying. I am UPSET. I thought there were more on KU but nope. *Heartbreaks*
I am DEFINITELY continuing the series ASAP because I love it so much. I also want to kinda drag it out because the series is on hiatus and if I finish it all in a week I’m going to be waiting forever.

The Art – I am in love with this artwork. It is so so good. I love the colours used, every page is vibrant and exciting. It really is beautifully drawn. I love Fiona Stapes’ art style – she’s insanely talented. I think the main thing that put me off reading graphic novels in the past is that I’m picky/fussy with art styles – this was nailed it for me.

Good points:

  • Non-white, Non-human Main characters
  • Forbidden Love / Star Crossed Lovers
  • The artwork is AMAZING
  • Magic
  • Characters are so much fun!
  • Story is fast-paced
  • So quick to read

Warning: it is very graphic, sexually. There’s a lot of nudity and sexually explicit scenes.
Adult content, definitely not for kids/teen/the faint-hearted. I did not expect to see alien dick, but I did. There is also child abuse, not actually depicted, but it’s mentioned.

Volume 1 – Rating: 4.5 Stars
Volume 2 – Rating: 4 Stars


Purchase here:
Amazon UK / *Book Depository
*Affiliate link


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