Posted in Books, Goodreads Monday

Goodreads Monday (8/17/20)–The Dark Matter of Mona Starr

Happy Monday, bibliophiles!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme created by Lauren’s Page Turners. All you have to do to participate is pick a book from your Goodreads TBR, and explain why you want to read it.

This one was just published this April, and I’m ITCHING to get my hands on it. I desperately need to get some more Laura Lee Gulledge in my life, so here goes nothing…

GOODREADS MONDAY (8/17/20)–THE DARK MATTER OF MONA STARR by Laura Lee Gulledge

Amazon.com: The Dark Matter of Mona Starr (9781419742002 ...

Blurb from Goodreads:

Sometimes, the world is too much for Mona Starr. She’s sweet, geeky, and creative, but it’s hard for her to make friends and connect with other people. She’s like a lot of sensitive teenagers—but in the hands of graphic novelist Laura Lee Gulledge, Mona’s struggle with depression takes on a vivid, concrete form. Mona calls it her Matter. The Matter gets everywhere, telling Mona she’s not good enough, and that everyone around her wishes she would go away. But through therapy, art, writing, and the persistence of a few good friends, Mona starts to understand her Matter, and how she—and readers—can turn their fears into strengths. Heartfelt, emotionally vulnerable, and visually stunning, The Dark Matter of Mona Starr is a story that takes the inner life of a teenager seriously, while giving readers a new way to look at the universal quest for meaning and connection.

So why do I want to read this?

Westfield Blog » Interview: Laura Lee Gulledge on The Dark Matter ...
Art by Laura Lee Gulledge

I’ve been a fan of Gulledge since I read and loved Page by Paige almost exactly two years ago. The combination of her phenomenal art style and the heart brimming from every panel made her work such a joy to read, and the graphic novel’s stuck with me ever since.

Of course, I’ve yet to read anything beyond the latter (though Will and Whit has been on my TBR for a while). When I found out she had a new graphic novel, I was ECSTATIC. And The Dark Matter of Mona Starr sounds like it could be just as masterful as her other graphic novels!

Tackling something like depression is never an easy task, but I have every confidence that Gulledge’s style and capturing of human nature will make this appeal to all readers–whether or not they have depression, and whether or not they normally read comics or graphic novels. In short, this looks beautiful, and I need more of Laura Lee Gulledge’s art in my life.

The Stigma Behind Therapy

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in ARC Reviews

eARC Review: The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I recently signed up for Edelweiss, and I’ve gotten a few eARCs from them since. (Other than this one, I’ve been approved for 2 and declined 1.) So, this is my very first eARC review!

Sarcastic First Time GIF by Brimstone (The Grindhouse Radio, Hound ...

After reading and enjoying The Great Gatsby in my English class last year, I was so interested to see what a graphic novel adaptation would hold. Though it didn’t quite live up to the source material, it was certainly an enjoyable and colorful interpretation of the graphic novel.

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by F. Scott ...

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation–F. Scott Fitzgerald and K. Woodman-Maynard

Blurb from Goodreads:

From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel–among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud.

This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage students. With its timeless critique of class, power, and obsession, The Great Gatsby Graphic Novel captures the energy of an era and the enduring resonance of one of the world’s most beloved books.

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⭐︎Thank you to Edelweiss and Candlewick Press for giving me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!⭐︎

This was an interesting adaptation of the classic novel! Personally, something about it didn’t quite live up to the glory of the source material, but it certainly came close.

The art style was cute, simple and stylized, but not overtly so. The interpretations of the characters and their thoughts were certainly faithful. I especially liked how Daisy and Tom were drawn; Daisy was as dollish as she appears in the novel, and Tom is especially imposing and stubborn. Daisy even has her own style of speech balloons that curve out at the edges when she spoke, which was a detail I loved.

I loved the watercolors that were used to color the graphic novel. The shifting color schemes were especially deft when it came to conveying the different moods of the scenes.

However, with that being said, I don’t completely feel like it was the right art style to adapt The Great Gatsby. Although I loved the watercolor and simple style, it failed to depict some of the lavish imagery (ex. with Gatsby’s parties) as well as the novel did. A bit more coloring and definition might have done the trick.

All in all, this was an inventive adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was certainly enjoyable to read and explore. 3.5 stars! (I rated the original novel 4 stars.)

EXPECTED PUBLICATION: January 5, 2021

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Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (2/11/20)–Anya’s Ghost

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Happy Tuesday, bibliophiles!

In my recent scouring of my early TBR (which also included Zenn Scarlett), I came upon this little graphic novel and decided to give it a go. Though my expectations were just above average, I was pleasantly surprised at how clever, sarcastic, and spooky it turned out to be!

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Anya’s Ghost

As far as Anya is concerned, her life is decidedly the opposite of perfect; alienated from her Russian immigrant family, and all but friendless in high school, there’s little that interests her anymore. To make things worse, she falls down a well on her way to school one morning, and is trapped there for the whole night. But what she finds at the bottom of it may be the key to changing her life.

For residing in the well is the neglected ghost of a girl named Emily. With one of Emily’s tiniest bones with her at all times, Anya can confide in Emily at any time she wants, whether it be to cheat on a test or get secret intel on her longtime crush. But the more time she spends with Emily, both she and the ghostly girl begin to change. The ghost is hiding far more than Anya knows, and if they continue on as they are, it may cost Anya her very life.

 

 

Anya’s Ghost was an absolute joy to read!

First off, let me just say, this had the perfect balance of paranormal spookiness and teenage angst–similar to comics like Courtney Crumrin (which I highly recommend, if you haven’t read it). The art style is very stylized, but not so much in a way that it distracts from the writing or the plot–perfectly cute, if you ask me. 🙂

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Beyond that, the story spoke partially to some of my own experiences. As someone who’s fallen into the trap of manipulative relationships, Brosgol’s use of an arguably parasitic ghost as a sort of metaphor for these sorts of friends was a masterfully executed move. She perfectly captures what it feels to be a teenager, both in writing and in art style, and the feeling of being an outsider vying for clarity and friendship in an environment that feels so unkind. Though I wouldn’t quite award it the full five stars, Anya’s Ghost was a graphic novel that undoubtedly spoke to me, and perfectly balanced paranormal fantasy with the drama of high school. Four stars for me! 

 

Today’s song:

Alright, sorry, I know I pummel you with David Bowie and Radiohead, but I personally think this is a masterpiece. Plus, it managed to lodge itself in my head all morning, so there’s that.

 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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