Ghosts ★★★★★

25903764Graphic novels have always had a special place in my heart, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier has taken my heart in its adorable fist and crushed it to smithereens.

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.

Raina Telgemeier has a long list of great kidlit graphic novels, including DramaSmile, and her graphic adaptation of the Baby-Sitter’s Club. So Ghosts is another stellar addition to anyone’s library, and let me tell you, you need this book in your library.

Catrina is a great character, someone I would have heavily identified with as a kid–scared but loyal and a great big sister. Her younger sister Maya has cystic fibrosis and ends up stuck at home when she would rather be trick-or-treating or meeting ghosts in their new home in Bahía de la Luna. Bahía de la Luna is a town where the veil between the human world and the ghost world is thin, and so ghosts come into town every so often. But on Halloween night, every ghost comes into town to meet with their living family.

The art is adorable and the fact that Telgemeier shows all the little things about what it means to have cystic fibrosis is awesome; we see Maya’s nightly breathing ritual, how quickly a breathing attack can come on, how it affects Maya’s mentality about life and death. The juxtaposition of Maya’s inevitable passing and the reality of ghosts in town softens the blow that eventually Maya will leave her family in the world of the living, but it’s still so incredibly bittersweet.

Catrina grows and becomes courageous, not just for herself but also for her sister, and she meets the ghosts and makes new friends.

Ghosts by Raina Telegemeier is the perfect Halloween read for readers of any age.

Raina Telegemeier

 Barnes & Nobles . Amazon

Twisted Dark: Volumes 1&2 ★☆☆☆☆

cover63648-mediumMeh.

That is my official response to Twisted Dark by Neil Gibson. The stories, which are pretty plain and slice of life-ish, only turn at the end. They are not, for me, twisted and/or dark. The voice in both pieces is very generic and nothing really reaches out to pull me in.

The writing felt like a first or second draft. No spelling errors anywhere but incredibly boring prose littered down on the page like a garbage truck had tipped over.

My biggest issue is it’s digital format. I hate to come down on a book for format but if you are going to put it on the kindle then make sure to use a resolution that readers can actually read. These were just low resolution images plopped into a file and saved.

cover63649-mediumThe characters felt one dimensional, each short story has a rushed ending, and very little felt unique about each of the tales. An man goes on a walk with his son, except he doesn’t cause the son is dead; a migrant worker makes living conditions worse so he can get the building repaired–it’s just not interesting. And honestly, it’s been done before.

 

Unicorn on a Roll ★★★★★

coverI had the absolute pleasure of reading this adorable middle grade graphic novel by Dana SimpsonUnicorn on a Roll is the modern Calvin and Hobbes, with girls and unicorns.

Aside from being hilarious and featuring amazing comic style art, this book draws on some great adult nostalgia (and I’m not just referring to Calvin and Hobbes)

Hinges Book One: Clockwork City ★★★★☆

tumblr_niwh2bjVFL1qj97xmo1_500Hinges is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel by Meredith McClaren, featuring work from her webcomic. Hinges is the story of Orio, a new doll who just came to Cobble. Every doll is partnered with an Odd, a type of pet and companion. When Orio is sent to the basement to pick out her Odd, she is chosen by Bauble, a sort of imp who looks dirty and thrown back.

Orio must be placed in a job but it doesn’t seem like she’s good at anything, except mending. 

Hinges Book One: Clockwork City ★★★★☆

tumblr_niwh2bjVFL1qj97xmo1_500Hinges is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel by Meredith McClaren, featuring work from her webcomic. Hinges is the story of Orio, a new doll who just came to Cobble. Every doll is partnered with an Odd, a type of pet and companion. When Orio is sent to the basement to pick out her Odd, she is chosen by Bauble, a sort of imp who looks dirty and thrown back.

Orio must be placed in a job but it doesn’t seem like she’s good at anything, except mending. 

Mean Themes and New Books

As you can see, I’ve updated the theme for my blog. Much more pink now. But when I did that, ALL MY WIDGETS VANISHED! It’s not hard to put them back up but–seriously–what gives. That was obnoxious.

In any case, I’m sitting at work, waiting for Mom to finish her work (yep, I work with my mom. Laugh all you want, I make my own hours) so we can go out to dinner AND SHE IS TAKING FOREVER.

Also my soda.