Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

The companion to Raina Telgemeier’s #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir, SMILE.

Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Sisters-Raina-Telgemeier1

Although my advanced reading copy was not fully in colour, I expect the final version will be bright and visually appealing.  This graphic memoir features a range of spreads, including my favourite full page illustration of ‘the anatomy of a road trip’ (p.28).

Through a family road trip to Colorado, readers learn about complex sibling relationships. Like Raina, I have a younger sister and brother so I could totally relate to her frustrations!   I liked the addition of actual photos from Raina’s childhood with her sister, Amara. Lovely touch!

Best suited for kids ages 8-12 years, but really, anyone would enjoy this quick humorous read.  It does touch on more serious issues like parental struggles (marriage/money), and the common teen anxiety of fitting in socially.  Sisters has already received starred reviews, and I’m sure fans of her previous work, Smile and Drama will be equally impressed. Look for Sisters, August 26, 2014.

 

Advertisements

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron

Love can be a real monster.

Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.

Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.

man

Prepare to embark on a journey that crosses all genres.  Fantasy, romance, and humour are all included in this techno-thriller that features various creatures, including the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Monster’s Bride, Boy. As Boy struggles to find his place in the world, he quickly learns valuable lessons on responsibility and failure.

Initially, I was intrigued by the creative premise of the book.  How cool would it be if magical and mythological creatures were hidden in communes around the world?  While I enjoyed the multitude of characters, I found a lot of them made a quick cameo and didn’t add anything to the story.  I wish these interesting characters (Invisible man, Sphinx, Dragon Lady, Mozart the werewolf) were further explored!

Techies will love the computer coding aspect and the inclusion of VI (a computer virus). I liked the change up of text when Boy navigated cyberspace and participated in instant messaging chat.  However, my knowledge of hacking and coding is limited, and I found myself skipping over some of the lengthier descriptions of code talk.

Although Man Made Boy includes a variety of genres, potential readers should be made aware of the mature language and nonchalant mentioning of sex.   If you enjoy retellings or re-imaginings of classic stories, than perhaps Man Made Boy is for you!

Scar Boys by Len Vlahos

A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock ‘n’ roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world…even if you carry scars inside and out. 

scar

In addition to praise for debut author Len Vlahos and his characters, the back cover hails The Scar Boys as “THE MOST ANTICIPATED YOUNG ADULT NOVEL OF 2014” . That’s quite a big statement!  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel as moved or impressed as these booksellers.

Readers are introduced to Harry through his personal essay to The University of Scranton in 1987.  Rather than sticking to the 250 word limit, he writes his life story using appropriately titled rock and roll chapter headings.  The story opens with Harry becoming severely scarred (both physically and emotionally) after almost being struck by lightning. After Harry is rejected by a girl, his best friend suggests they start a band, and so, The Scar Boys is born.  With a passion for music, they take their three dude, one woman band on the road.  No surprise to anyone that the girl and the van become an added complication for the band.

I understand that like Harry, not everyone has the goal to attend college. Many people are just as well off following their dreams.  Obviously there is a transformative power in playing music, but I didn’t like the ending. He admits to being a coward and that playing guitar, loving music, and having friends is ‘good enough’ for him. How depressing.

The Scar Boys tour your way January 2014.

Blog Stats

  • 32,091 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 138 other followers

Goodreads

Check out my books on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3608158-brie