Because of who I am as a person, I am, once again, behind on reviews. I thought I’d take a moment to catch up with another edition of my mini reviews! This time, I’m focusing on three recent reads that I still need to put thought to paper (or keyboard) for since finishing them. These books are an eclectic mix, so there might be a little something for everyone here, haha.
That being said, let’s get to the reviews!
Well, this was certainly… a book. With words. Lots of five dollar words that seemed a tad bit unnecessary, if I’m honest.
At the heart of this story is a ghostly tale of love and betrayal. Unfortunately, the ghost story is not the focus of this novel. I say “unfortunately” because the ghost/ghost story was the best part about this book! The focus, however, is on a bunch of the most unlikeable characters I’ve come across in awhile. I’m not saying I can’t enjoy a book that has unlikeable characters, but these characters came across as caricatures of their unlikeable traits. They all fell incredibly flat for me which, when the whole book is centered around them, didn’t make for an enjoyable experience.
However, where this book shined was in the atmospheric writing and the beautifully creepy ghostly elements. There are some gruesome scenes in this book that fix themselves in your mind as you’re reading with the way they are written. Definitely check trigger warnings before getting into this one! This author has an incredible talent for building tension and setting the tone of a horror novel. As I mentioned, if we had more of that and less a bunch of horrible people being horrible to each other, I probably would have enjoyed this a lot more.
This was such a stunning graphic memoir! It was simultaneously inspiring and heartbreaking. The conclusion to a 2 part memoir, this one focuses on Marjane Satrapi as she becomes an adult and all the trials and tribulations that go with it.
I can’t say I had a good time reading her story as she goes through more than a young teenager should have to. But it was certainly eye opening to a culture and history about which I know very little. I really enjoyed that the author didn’t shy away from the struggles she went through while living abroad and after she returned home. I loved that this shines a light on a topic that I’m sure quite a few people don’t learn about in depth in school. I did feel like it ended really abruptly, though, and wish we had gotten a little bit more at the end. Still I was completely captivated by Satrapi’s story of her life.
And can we talk about the art? I’m usually a person who loves color and dimension in art when I’m reading a graphic novel. This was in black and white and felt very 2D, but I was still absolutely enthralled. Perhaps it comes from knowing the events depicted actually happened. Either way, I loved it! All around, this was an incredible read.
This book is one of the many examples of why I will continue to read middle grade until I’m in my grave. This story touched my heart and had me tearing up while smiling at the same time. I absolutely adored it!
My favorite part of this fantasy novel was the characters at the heart of it. Ash is such a great main character! He has flaws and strengths, hopes and dreams, and I loved watching his journey throughout this story. And he wasn’t the only fantastic character! Tobu, his yeti guardian, and Lunah, on of the crew of the Frostheart, are two of my favorite characters! The found family aspect in this story between this motely crew is top-notch and definitely a part of the reason I loved it so much.
Another reason I loved it so much was because of the great storyline and the incredible illustrations peppered throughout the book! Can we petition to have illustrations in adult fantasy novels? I’m a visual person, okay? I loved being able to see the characters as I got to know them while reading. Even without the illustrations, though, the plot would have been enough to have me fully engaged with the book. It was fast-paced and dangerous, with tons of thrills and some life lessons sprinkled in. Overall, this was an beautiful middle grade fantasy and I’m excited to continue the series!