I’ve been super mean and not updating this blog like I should. I keep wanting to post something, but then GRADUATE SCHOOL. Graduate school is every bit as hard as you’ve heard, but not because the material is difficult. Graduate school is hard because it takes up a lot of time. You need to read EVERYTHING, do all the homework, and then spend a ton of time working on projects or papers. Its exhausting… and I am in the first year doing it part-time.
For these past few weeks, I’ve been in a “SCREW IT” mode however. I decided, “You know what? I am gonna read what I wanna read. Yeah! You can’t tell me what to do!!!” So, I read a lot of graphic novels and a few YA titles. Here is my line up of favorites, my not-so-favorites, my thoughts, and other comments.
Fables is an amazing series written by Bill Willingham with various attached artists. This is a story about fables, fairy tales, and other tall tales that have escaped from their world into our own. Their home world was sieged by a character called the Adversary, a mysterious figure that managed to unite goblins and other creatures in conquest.
The story starts off in Fabletown, New York, a small neighborhood community inhabited by the Fables. Bigby Wolf (aka the Big Bad Wolf) is the sheriff, and the first volume or so plays out like a detective series. I really enjoyed the noir-type aspects of this part. The series branches out beyond a fairy tale noir setting, but is still immensely enjoyable. I am currently on volume 7 of the series. Look forward to learning more about Bigby, Snow White, and the Adversary.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
No One Else Can Have You is Kathleen Hale’s first YA novel, and I really hope that it isn’t her last. NOECHY is about a small town with murder, secrets, and crazy people. The main character might be one of those crazy people too. Kippy Bushman, our heroine, finds herself investigating the gruesome death of her best friend Ruth Friedman. If you liked Twin Peaks this book will cause you to think back to that awesome show. While Kippy is no Dale Cooper, Ruth is eerily similar to Laura Palmer. There is also no supernatural elements to this plot, but it does involve extremely colorful townspeople that are quirky in an unsettling kind of way. I can’t really talk too much more about the book without spoiling it, but let it be known that this book gets my solid recommendation! GO READ IT, FOOLS!!!
The Flash (The New 52) by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
So the Flash is my boyfriend’s most favoritist character in the whole, wide world. Hearing that the New 52 is supposed to be an okay starting point for new readers, I decided to learn more about the Flash in this new series, which by the way has major backing behind it in terms of awesome reviews and recommendations. Well, I, as a total noob, had no idea what was going on half of the time.
While I really liked the art and some of what is revealed about Barry Allen, who is the original Flash and stars as the Flash in this series, I found myself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the random happenings around the Flash. Every arc would introduce villains, some of whom I had no idea who they were, and otherwise the plot felt really dissonant… I’ve only read the first two volumes, but I feel like this is probably not the best starting point for the uninitiated.
Not A Drop To Drink is a moving post-apocalyptic novel about the hardships of survival. This is refreshing to me since it doesn’t involve zombies at all! (D’s Note: I love zombies, but sometimes it feels good to read a non-zombie post-apoc book!) This is Mindy McGinnis’ first YA novel, and there is a sequel to this work on the way. I really look forward to it!
This is a book that I believe should cross gender boundaries. While the main character is a teenage girl, this is a hard and gritty novel. The author clearly did her research as some of the survival tips in this novel echoed that of what I heard in school about desert survival. Those that liked Z for Zachariah will enjoy this title, but I would advise those that like this genre to give this novel a try.
Meet Staz, he is a vampire gang leader in the demon world. He’s kind of odd though, since he is a total nerd and otaku. Despite that, he is a fierce fighter and has protected his turf well so far. Meet Fuyumi, a human girl that somehow ended up in the demon world and ended up getting eaten up by a monstrous plant before Staz got a chance to drink her blood. Staz, along with Fuyumi’s ghost, searches for a way to revive this dead girl. He seems to have conflicting reasons for wanting to revive her, but his journey ends up unraveling various mysteries and secret plots in the demon world.
This is seriously a fun manga and I actually enjoy it a lot. When I heard this was about a vampire, I scoffed at first. When I ordered this for my library since it seemed pretty popular, it managed to wow me! Definitely worth checking out.
Croak, Scorch, and Rogue are the members of the Croak series in that order. These follow the tale of Lex, a grim reaper with a mysterious power. In the first novel, Croak, it turns out a grim may be murdering innocent people — a big no-no in the grimsphere. In Scorch, we … well, its hard to say without spoiling it. Same goes for Rogue. The first novel is somewhat like a paranormal detective genre, but that changes immediately in the following two novels.
Scorch is somewhat disappointing as a follow-up, as it feels like a lot of running around for few reasons. One character even does a face-heel turn out of literally nowhere… suddenly they act really mean, then are just a bad guy. Meh. Rogue is a step-up from Scorch, but is still not quite as good as Croak. This is still worth giving a read, though your mileage may vary.
This is about Batman, finally a character I already know about albeit from the animated series. In this comic, Batman learns that there may be a secret society that quietly rules Gotham from behind the scenes. They are known as the Court of Owls, and they might be planning something nefarious as our caped crusader begins to unravel their past.
I’ve only read the first volume, but I am completely hooked. The story flowed well, and the art was amazing. There is even an amazing way the art works in a certain part of the novel that is pretty jarring. I simply have to get my hands on the rest in this series, and I will most definitely be ordering this for my library. Its simply too good to pass up!
Of the things I read, these are the titles that stick out the most in my mind. The Flash is one that I hope gets better as I will continue to borrow my boyfriend’s copies. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying it much either, but I think he is holding out hope that the story becomes less… all over the place? The Flash television series should be starting up this year, so that might be my ticket to better understanding the Flash. I have had some experience with him, the Wally West version, in a Justice League cartoon. Otherwise, I am totally out of the loop on this hero. If anyone has recommendations for a better starting point, please let me know!