Book Review: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This is a middle grade graphic novel. The father of two children goes out to get milk so they can have their cereal and tea for breakfast, but he takes a really long time to get back. So, over breakfast, he tells them the tale of what happened that made him take so long.

What I Liked

  • This was sort of a fun story. It involves many different settings (like pirate ship, alien spaceship, etc.) and time periods. It’s exactly the sort of story you would want to make up if you’re camping under the stars or trying to distract your child from a storm. It was intriguing and unpredictable, especially since it involved time travel.
  • I just love that graphic novels are now a thing for all ages. I think they’re important to reach those who otherwise might not read at all. (I know this isn’t specific to this book, but I wanted to mention it anyway.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • At one point the father comes across ancient gods and interacts with them in some capacity. Depending on your religion or your child’s knowledge of such things, this might not be a good book for them. (Like, if they’re already reading Percy Jackson, they’ll probably be fine. But if you’re reading it to a younger crew who doesn’t quite get the concept yet, maybe not.)
  • How safe is that milk?? I read this book right after I read Fast Food Nation, so my food-safety brain was very concerned about the germs this adventurous milk must have acquired! 😛

In Conclusion

If you have a reluctant middle grade reader, you’re an adult who loves a whimsical story, or you have curious children who love hearing stories, this might be the book for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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1 year ago: Book Review: Undeniably Chosen by Shelly Crane

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Book Review: Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This graphic novel follows Willhelmina (Will), a high school student who has to navigate part of her summer without electricity, thanks to the storm Whitney, which knocked out the power.

(“Storm”, in this case, actually means “storm”, like a thunderstorm or hurricane. When I first read the synopsis, I definitely thought Whitney was a person who “blew into” her life and messed it up. But no, Whitney is the name of a storm.)

What I Liked

  • “Poignant” is probably the best way to describe this graphic novel.
  • This reminded me of Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. I saw this especially in Will’s use of a hobby to deal with loss. (Will’s hobby is building lamps out of found objects, which is really cool! Especially since this is a graphic novel and you get to see her inventions.)

My Favorite Lines/Pages

(This book didn’t have page numbers, so I don’t have those for you.)

  • “‘Reality might suck right now, but I guarantee things will change.’
    ‘How do you know?’
    ‘Because things always do.'”
  • “‘You know. You fake it ’til you make it.’
    ‘So… Act the part until you become it?’
    ‘Yeah! If you always challenge yourself, you get used to being outside your comfort zone.’
    ‘Huh, that’s like being comfortable being uncomfortable.'”

What I Didn’t Like

  • Thanks to reading the synopsis beforehand, I was sort of expecting a girl named Whitney to show up. Turns out, Whitney is a storm, and Will is short for Willhelmina. I was just a tad confused for a bit. 😛

In Conclusion

If you are a fan of Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, you’ll probably enjoy this book. It’s also great for anyone looking for a young adult graphic novel.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)


1 year ago: Book Review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Book Review: Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gullege

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This graphic novel follows high schooler Paige Turner as she works to push beyond her comfort zone – both as an artist and as a person. She’s just moved to New York and buys a sketchbook to challenge herself to be a better artist. Along the way she makes discoveries about herself and the world around her, and we (the readers) get to follow along.

What I Liked

  • I loved the art in this book. The comic itself is beautiful, but I love how the author incorporated a lot of out of the box ideas into the book. We see Paige’s story intertwined with fun sketches and ideas from her sketchbook. The author also includes artwork from a couple others, which pops out in a fun way because they are usually in a different style.
  • This was just a happy, feel-good story. There’s a touch of romance, and the main character is constantly working to improve herself by doing things that make her uncomfortable. While it reads like a coming-of-age story, it seems very relatable to life as a whole (or at least to me, in my late twenties).

My Favorite Lines/Pages

(This book didn’t have page numbers, so I don’t have those for you.)

  • There’s an image at the beginning where Paige goes to school. Across the building there is a banner that says BE AN EXTROVERT, as the artist’s way of showing the pressure Paige is feeling when walking into this world. I liked this because I feel that’s a common pressure, especially for those with social anxiety. I also liked this because (spoiler in white, highlight to read) at the end of the book this image reappeared, but the banner had a new one over it that read BE A PAIGE. (Be yourself! I love that the character grew into herself throughout the book.)
  • “It’s up to me to sculpt myself into who I want to be…”
  • “Okay, so maybe I am self-absorbed. But who isn’t? When someone looks at one of my drawings, it reflects back THEM. Not me.” (This made me laugh because it’s totally true.
  • There’s an image where she’s holding a large heart (representing dating/romance) and is surrounded by banana peels. Like she’s afraid one wrong step will screw everything up.

What I Didn’t Like

  • It was a little cliche. But it the creativity and artistry makes up for that.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a beautiful and fun graphic novel about someone discovering themself, this is the book for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

 

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Book Review: Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This graphic novel follows Katie, the owner of a restaurant, as she tries to fix the mistakes in her life. Luckily, she finds a way to go back in time and change mistakes – but messing with the past has consequences. Will she finally be able to craft the life she wants? Or will she be even worse off than before?

What I Liked

  • This book is captivating. I planned on reading a hundred pages or so and then going to bed… that did not happen. I read it all in one sitting! I was pulled in by Katie’s story.
  • The story is somewhat unpredictable. For a large part of it I was unable to know what was going to happen next, which was why I kept reading.
  • It was fun to watch all the different elements of this book weave together. There are a lot of moving pieces in Katie’s life including love interests, business aspirations and dreams, friends, and mysterious happenings around her house.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The ending was perhaps a bit lackluster? Thinking back I’m not sure why I got this feeling at all – perhaps I just wanted to read more of her story, and it was suddenly over.

In Conclusion

If you’re trying to get into graphic novels (like me!) then you’ll enjoy this book.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Book Review: AI Love You Volume 1 by Ken Akamatsu

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

This manga (graphic novel) follows Hitoshi, a nerd who isn’t that great at being social. He’s working on an artificial intelligence program when one day, it accidentally comes to life!

What I Liked

  • The concept of bringing a computer program to life was sort of neat, and the whole girlfriend/boyfriend thing didn’t end up being as skeevy as it sounded. It was fun/funny to see thais computer program learn to adapt to normal everyday high school life. (And to see her try to cook!)
  • This manga was originally published in the nineties – back when they used floppy disks! So it was also neat to see a technology-based manga that didn’t take place in modern times.
  • I liked the play on the word “virus” as it means to both computers and humans – there’s an entire chapter based on it.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Although the plot is creative, it didn’t seem incredibly varied. That may just be due to the format not allowing for intense storytelling.

In Conclusion

If you happen to see a copy, it might be worth a read. It’s also for slightly more mature (high school or older) readers.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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