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?
I’ve been a fan of Gulledge since I read and loved Page by Paigealmost 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.
That’s it for this week’s Goodreads Monday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!
I’ve been wanting to do a post for a bit that melds my love for the bookish and my love of music, so this is my first take on that. Aurora Rising, as many of you have figured out, is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) series, and I decided that it would be fun to match the lovable members of Squad 312 to some songs that I like, based on their personalities, relationships, and the events of Aurora Risingand Aurora Burning. I picked two songs per character, and I loved compiling them all. I hope you all enjoy!
(Along with the image at the top, all of the character images in this post are from @kiranight_art.)
🎧 PAIRING SQUAD 312 WITH SONGS 🎧
“Proud”–(Sandy) Alex G: “I’m so proud of you/And everything that you do/Doesn’t matter what they say/They ain’t worth a dollar in change…“
Scarlett mentions in book 2 that one of Ty’s most infuriating traits is that he accepts people’s flaws, no matter what, and isn’t there to reprimand anyone if any member of the squad messes up. No matter what, he has always been there for his squad, and sees past everyone’s previous mishaps and accepts them as who they are.
Tyler’s fame in the Academy, as well as the legacy of his late father, has caused a lot of internal conflict within him, and I thought the chorus of this song paired perfectly with this inner struggle–how he perceives himself versus how others perceive him and how others expect him to be.
“Pristine”–Snail Mail: “Don’t you like me for me?/ Is there any better feeling than coming clean?/And I know myself and I’ll never love anyone else…”
Scarlett’s a character who has tried to find herself through various relationships, almost none of them lasting, and I felt that this song captured the nature of some of the hidden doubts that she begins to have.
A trait of Scarlett’s that comes into light in contrast with her twin, Tyler, is the way they care for others–for most of book 1, Tyler does it more out of duty, while Scarlett truly seeks to protect and care for her fellow squadmates. The nature of this song almost perfectly captures her mentality.
I can totally picture this playing in the scene when she ditches the rest of the squad to go to the bar…
But either way, this song kind of expresses her shifting opinions and suspicions about the rest of the squad, especially the likes of Aurora. Unlike most of the squad, she isn’t completely ready to accept her as part of the squad, and suspects an ulterior motive.
Throughout book 1, Cat still has lingering feelings for Tyler, even though their relationship has come to a standstill; this song seems to capture her desire to fall back in love.
“Change”–Oingo Boingo: “Don’t you ever wonder why/Nothing ever seems to change?/If it does, it’s for the worse/Guess it’s just a modern curse…”
Simultaneously sarcastic and deeply introspective, this song feels like what Finian seems to have experienced throughout his life, both in grappling with his impaired mobility and his relationships with others.
“Crown”–Jay Som: “Arranging your best words/Tying the knot/A brighter tomorrow/Could you take a shot?”
(Oops…both of these songs start with a C for no apparent reason…)
But either way, this seems like a good song to match his views on being with the Aurora Legion–everything about it, from being in open spaces to *gasp* having to collaborate with others seems like everything he wouldn’t want to do, but he takes the shot anyway, and in the end, it may be for the better.
Like the previous song, this seems to embody Zila’s distancing from herself, becoming almost a shell of who she might have been as a child.
“Killer”–Phoebe Bridgers:“Can the killer in me tame the fire in you?/I know there’s something waiting for us/I am sick of the chase/But I’m stupid in love/And there’s nothing I can do…”
Was…was the chorus made for this guy?
When I first heard this song, I thought it was a beautiful embodiment of both Kal’s conflicting feelings about his nature and heritage and his relationship with Auri, especially given some of the fire-related imagery surrounding their relationship in book 2.
Look, I don’t ask for much in life, but…if/when the TV show goes through, can we PLEASE put this in the scene where Kal and Auri are in the pollen fields on Octavia III? PLEASE?
I’ve started to associate this song with the whole series, but Kal seems to embody it the most out of all the characters, in his helpless feelings towards Aurora and his personal struggles to better himself, and become more than his past. Plus, the choir singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love…” [cries]
We’re just a bit more than halfway through 2017, but already, we’ve gotten a lot of good music that’s come out! I just wanted to share my 5 2017 favorites so far. Enjoy!
1. “Half a Million”-The Shins
(This music video is crazy awesome. And I mean CRAZY awesome.)
I downloaded Heartworms (the new Shins album) the day it came out, and didn’t get to listening to this one for a while. Thus, I didn’t really care for it for a few months. Then, I actually got to listening to it, and man, I was SO happy! Super fun and upbeat, and with the classic, weird lyrics to match!
2. “New York”-St. Vincent
(Now THIS music video is just weird…but in the best way possible.😂)
I also got this the day it came out, being the first single from St. Vincent’s upcoming album (which I’ve been waiting something like 3 years for). Though it’s nowhere near as good as some of the content off of her last album, St. Vincent, it’s still a wonderful song. Squee!
3. “Put Your Money On Me”-Arcade Fire
(This one’s just a lyric video, but prepare to be blown away by the song!)
I discovered this one when my mom, brother and I were in the car listening to Everything Now (the new Arcade Fire album) on CD in the car. I was hooked the second it came on, with the opening melody that reminded me of spiders crawling up a wall, and beautiful lyrics. It reminded me a little of David Bowie, like something he might have produced on one of his later albums. Be-yoo-tee-ful!
4. “War Is Coming (If You Want It)”-Car Seat Headrest
Alrighty, I suppose there’s not much to say other than that….*ahem* Great song.
5. “Oh! You Pretty Things”-Lisa Hannigan
(This one’s just the album cover with the song in the background. Still, beautiful.)
As you may have noticed, this is, in fact, a David Bowie cover. One of my personal favorites! Lisa Hannigan did an AMAZING job covering it, making it simultaneously haunting and soothing. I’m currently listening to it on repeat, as that’s what I normally do when I download new songs. Also, according to my parents, it was in a show called Legion, which I haven’t seen, but I know it has something to do with the X-Men, which makes it even more perfect and fitting!
”Let me make it plain, gotta make way for the Homo superior…”
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my musical taste, and enjoyed the songs as well! See you later! 😉