Review | Snapdragon

Snap’s town had a witch.

At least, that’s how the rumor goes. But in reality, Jacks is just a crocks-wearing, internet-savvy old lady who sells roadkill skeletons online–after doing a little ritual to put their spirits to rest. It’s creepy, sure, but Snap thinks it’s kind of cool, too.

They make a deal: Jacks will teach Snap how to take care of the baby opossums that Snap rescued, and Snap will help Jacks with her work. But as Snap starts to get to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have real magic–and a connection with Snap’s family’s past.

I wasn’t completely sure what to expect with this one going in, but just the cover and the blurb drew me in. I absolutely loved this story and it’s progression, even when it took turns that I was not expecting at all. The cast of characters are varied in their personalities and the diversity is wonderfully written and portrayed without being forced. I so enjoyed Snapdragon’s journey as she not only started to learn who she herself was, but also found new friends and relationships along the way.

The art style and color palette that Kat Leyh used perfectly fit the story and the setting, with the perfect amount of whimsy to go along with the touch of paranormal. As the story progresses you can’t help but root for Snap, her mom, Lu and Jacks as they all change and grow.

Happy reading!

Review | Bear

Bear is a guide dog who would do anything for his owner Patrick – and embarks on an epic quest from the forest to the city to regain his sight so he can protect his best friend.

Bear is a service dog who would do anything for his owner and best friend Patrick who is blind. But when Bear suddenly loses his vision, he worries he’s lost his purpose in life—protecting Patrick! Following the misguided advice from some self-serving raccoons, Bear embarks on a transformative journey to regain his eyesight. Out of both necessity and survival, he learns to tap into his other senses and begins to see the world from a new perspective that is at times more rich and colorful than the world he’s always known. 

Writer Ben Queen (Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 and Cars 3) draws inspiration from real life stories of how memory can influence how we recall our own surroundings, and artist Joe Todd-Stanton (A Mouse Called Julian) lovingly renders an unforgettable story of one dog’s grand adventure from the wooded countryside to the heart of Manhattan where he encounters new friends and discovers his true calling.

This book was so adorable and touching, I just flew through it. In it we follow Bear, a service dog who guides his owner, who is blind, but suddenly loses his own sight and starts questioning himself. He goes on a journey out of both panic and a need to find a solution. What follows is an adventure of learning that relying on one sight alone may not be the most ideal solution, making new friends and trying to find his way back home.

We also follow his owner, Patrick, who of course is concerned for Bear’s safety and doesn’t know what is wrong. It’s an interesting story to read from the two perspectives and really tugs at the heartstrings. I especially loved all of Bear’s interactions with different animals and how things were shown in his mind’s eye. It definitely brought tears to my eyes.

Happy reading!

Review | BOOM! Box Mixtape

The annual BOOM! Box Mix Tape is an eclectic collection of stories featuring beloved characters from established BOOM! Box series as well as original stories showcasing up-and-coming creators and brand-new content. With original stories featuring Lumberjanes, Giant Days, Cyanide & Happiness, Goldie Vance, The Backstagers, and many more! Collects the BOOM! Box Mix Tape 2014, 2015, and 2016.

This collection was super fun and served as a great sampling of all of the different artists/authors included. Each story, even if it was from a specific series was easy to jump into and a great introduction to each author. While I didn’t love all of the stories, I really enjoyed all the different art styles and differing genres. There were more than a few that I immediately wanted more of, or wished they had continued, which is the best feeling to have when reading a collections such as this.

There were definitely some stand outs that make the collection worth reading overall and if you want a taste test of some of the featured series, this is a great way to find out if you enjoy the characters and art style.

Happy reading!

Review | Awkward

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

I absolutely loved this little graphic novel. I would say it pretty perfectly captures some of the feelings people have at middle school age, feeling such as isolation, having a hard time making friends and fitting in and just how competitive cliques/groups can be.

So many of the characters were able to be identified with and there were some real issues that were discussed, as well as some humorous subjects that kept what could be heavier topics, refreshingly light.

I really loved the artwork as well, as it gave the story vibrancy and made sure that every setting was more than just a background.

Awkward is currently available on Kindle Unlimited so be sure to check it out. Happy reading!

Review | Misfit City Vol 1

Smothered by her backwater hometown and frustrated by its 1980s cult-movie fame (The Gloomies…have you seen it? It’s a real classic, y’know.), Wilder is pretty sure she’s seen everything Cannon Cove has to offer. She’s desperate to get away from home as soon as she can, and move on to bigger, better, and less annoying things…even if that might mean leaving her best friends behind. But when Wilder discovers a centuries-old pirate map, she may find out that REAL adventure was in their tiny town all along…and they need each other to get to the bottom of it! It’s a rip-roaring adventure written by award-winning screenwriter Kiwi Smith (10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde) and Kurt Lustgarten, and illustrated by Naomi Franquiz.

I picked this one up since it was an obvious reference to The Goonies and that is something I love, so I wanted to check it out. There are tons of references and similarities as it follows teens in the town where The Gloomies was set. Some of them at least are unsatisfied with where they are in their lives and looking for something to catch their interests, so in a twist they find a map that could take them on an adventure similar to that found in the movie.

There are a wide range of characters, including villians that give the story a Scooby Doo type vibe, but all in all it fell just a little short for me. It felt a little too much like a mirror of the movie it took inspiration from. I would still continue on with the series because I did enjoy it, but it didn’t blow me away.

Happy reading!

Review | Goldie Vance Vol. 1

From Nancy Drew to Veronica Mars, we really dig girl detectives! Eisner award-winning writer Hope Larson (Batgirl) and Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting, whodunnit? adventure that mixes the fun of Eloise with the charm of Lumberjanes. 16-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and dreams to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery utilizing her smarts, random skills, and connections with the hotel staff and various folks in town.

I knew very little going in to Goldie Vance, but I had heard it compared to Nancy Drew so obviously wanted to check it out. It was adorable and fun, as well as fast paced. The characters were very easy to get to know as they were introduced and given individual identities pretty quickly. There were times that Goldie’s actions were very extreme, so that made some of it even less believable, but the whole story was a fun caper that you had to suspend disbelief for in some ways.

If you’re looking for a humorous whodunit with characters that practically jump off the pages with personality, this is definitely a great one.

Goldie Vance volume one is currently available in kindle unlimited, so if it interests you be sure to give it a try. Happy reading!

Review | I Left the House Today!

Hilarious and relatable comics about one young woman’s life, relationships, and day-to-day humorous musings on why it’s good to leave the house sometimes—and when it’s better to stay home.

Cassandra Calin’s ability to document the hilarity of relatable everyday events in a series of webcomics has generated a huge following on social media. This beautifully illustrated compendium of first-person comics about the trials of the single life, school, stress, junk food, shaving, and maintaining a healthy self-image. Cassandra Calin’s comics frequently highlight the humorous gap between expectations and reality, especially when it comes to appearance and how much she can accomplish in one day. This book is funny, lighthearted, introspective, and artistically stunning—the perfect gift for young women, recent graduates, and anyone who might need a little comedic incentive to leave the house today.

I’ve been really enjoying the comic collections of web comics that have been coming out as of late, so as soon as I saw this one I wanted to pick it up. There are so many of these comics that were relatable and real. It was so nice to see these comics which could take such awkward everyday moments and find humor in them. I also really liked Calin’s art style, it’s clear that she has a range when it comes to her art and utilizes in order to create her comics. All in all it was hilarious and so easy to connect to that I flew through it.

I Left the House Today comes out June 2nd, from Andrews McMeel Publishing. Be sure to pick up a copy if it sounds interesting to you.

Happy reading!