Review: Steve Catson is an art school drop out, who now works at a call centre. His only enjoyment seems to come from his pet man, Manfried. As his life spirals out of control, mostly from his own lack of responsibility and inability to work with others, he accidentally loses Manfried. What follows is the cat community coming together to help Steve locate Manfried, a story about unity, the strength of friendship and learning to grow up and take responsibility for your actions.
I loved the art style of this graphic novel. The art was fun, light-hearted, funny, and gelled well with the premise of the story (cats are humanistic and men are more like cats). The colouring was bright when it needed to be and dark in times of turmoil, despair and sadness. I also enjoyed the little details throughout, like the canned 'Hungry Man'. There were also a lot of back and forth, parallels between Steve's search for Manfried, and Manfried's confusion as to where he is and how to find Manfriend.
Review: Norris is a black, French Canadian who is being transplanted from Montreal to the warm, unforgiving heat of Austin, Texas. His mom has a new job at the University and all Norris wants to do is go back to the Great White North. Fitting in is never easy, especially when you are plopped into a huge high school with a completely different social structure than the one you just arrived from.
This book read very much like an homage to 80s teen romcoms, think John Hughes. From the thematic vibes, the stereotypes, the fish out of water/outsider trope. However, the novel also mocks those movies, in the way they portray very one-sided, unrealistic characters. The novel is also very introspective, forcing the reader to question their own past judgement.
Review: This is my only non-fiction read of 2018 and it has inspired me to try and read more of that genre in 2019.
Stranger Things is a TV phenomenon, quickly rocketing to iconic status within days of Season 1 dropping on Netflix. The ability to binge watch the show allowed for a cinematic experience, which helped to develop a fan base quickly.
The feel, look and atmosphere of the show is nostalgic to the 1980s. From the colour schemes, the locations, the characters, the sets, and the childhood freedom of that era. This is a time before social media, personal computers, and easy access to any information at any time. This was a time when you could be a kid and bike ride by yourself through the dark streets of your home town without fear. The show tapped into several generations interested in a show which highlighted a bygone era, had intense character driven plot and involved several different socio-economic families, different age groups and conspiracy theories mashed with horror.
Review: Jake Breaker is a neurosurgeon, he is familiar with the shape, weight and substance of the brain. However, he is always surprised by how the brain can affect a person.
So begins the story of The Saturday Night Ghost Club, we meet neurosurgeon Jake as he explains the strange effects of memory on the psyche, the unpredictability of it, how it is ever changing and fluid. This is how Jake begins his tale of the summer when he was twelve years old; this is from his memory, which can be wrong at times or may fill in the blanks that the mind cannot quite bring forward. We know he meets the first girl he worships, he meets his best friend, and he first becomes acquainted with the ghosts of his Uncle Calvin's past.
This book was so well written, the paragraphs flowed so easily together. The wording was poetic, making it easy for the reader to picture every nook and cranny of Jake's young life. From the shelter of his parent's home, to the danger of school and bullies, to the Occultorium, where his fears and adventures mingled.
Review: This book contains three different love stories.
Griffin Holloway is looking for a way to save his money tight ranch. With a little help from a couple sisters, a match is made with Sunlan Krown, an heiress to a fortune with enough money to make Griffin's ranch profitable. This is a marriage of convenience for both and nothing more, or is it?
Jaxon (Jax) O'Grady has hidden himself away from the world after an incident he feels responsible for, involving his career as a fireman. He is not ready to face the real world, even when he's been a hermit for the past two years. However, when a dog falls into his lap in need of rescuing, and then the dogs owner Mallory Mayweather needs his care, he begins to thaw.
Review: Callen Laramie is a busy business man who lives by himself, until he receives a wedding invitation from his former foster father, Buck, and Buck's longtime girlfriend, Rosy. He plans on just sending his regards and a gift,but then Shelby, Buck's daughter, shows up pleading for him to return. Callen has always lusted after Shelby, since they were teenager's on Buck's ranch, but she was off limits to Callen and his three brothers. Now they are adults and he can hardly resist the lightning storm of emotions between them.
I really enjoyed the writing in this romance novel, it pulled me right into this tragic tale of a damaged boy who grew into a closed off man. Callen was so scarred by his experiences before being placed with Buck and it shaped who he is as an individual. It was the reason he left Buck's behind to make his own fortune, the reason he disconnected from his brothers, the reason he is a lonely workaholic.
Review: Greta is learning the dying art of blacksmithing from her Goblin mother. However, one day in the market she saves a mysterious creature, which she learns is a tea dragon. The leaves on Jasmine's, the tea dragon, antlers brew a delicious tea, which Greta learns when she returns the dragon to her master, Hesekiel. From there, Greta begins to also learn the fading craft of tea dragon care.
This was a beautiful graphic novel, I absolutely fell in love with the gorgeous, bright illustrations and the caring, compassionate characters. While the illustrations were whimsical, the story was full of depth and heart. For being such a short tale, at only 72 pages, there was a lot to take away from Greta's experiences with Hesekiel, Erik and Minette. The novel celebrates the power of love and friendship; specifically, how kindness can change a persons outlook and personality.
Review: Cora Lee is a resurrectionist, living in 1850 Manhattan. For the first half of her life she was raised as a boy, for the second half she was raised as a distinguished lady. Cora was pushed into the resurrectionist business to make ends meet. However, her rule is that she digs up rich individuals with peculiar ailments, to sell to the University for research, since the poor have already endured such hardships in life. She has not left her "twin" Jacob behind (her boysih disguise as a child), he is the one who handles all the hard manual labor tasks of the business, while Cora deals with the Doctors, finding new possible corpses and scouting the cemeteries. Cora also hides a secret of her own, she is the most sought after medical anomaly, a girl with two hearts.
While I found the pacing slow and the story a little dry at the beginning of the novel, once it progressed the writing intensified and the novel gripped me tight.
Review: Ella is a very special teenager, she has a rare medical condition, Synesthesia; which has given her the ability to see colours (like auras) that reveal a persons true emotions. Then she meets Alec and her world is turned upside down. First, her synesthesia fails her, as she seems not to be able to see any colours with Alec. Then, Alec reveals the truth behind Ella's parent's death, which happened when she was three years old. She begins questioning her whole life and all those in it. Why not tell her the truth? Why hide her past from her?
This was a very interesting concept for a novel. A girl with synesthesia hunting down clues about her parents death. I really liked that the chapters alternated between Ella's and Alec's point of view. This allowed for the audience to experience Ella's drastically different world, while also being rooted in the usual human sensory world.