In case you’ve forgotten already, last week was the Bout of Books readathon, and I read a LOT of graphic novels. Well, 5 seems like a lot in one week. Anyways, I decided to throw them all in one mega review post, because I didn’t have a whole ton of stuff to say about a lot of these.
Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang – These books have been praised ALL over the internet lately, so I was really excited to get into them. They’re two companion graphic novels revolving around the Boxer Rebellion. Boxers is about Bao, a boy who becomes a leader of the Boxer Rebellion. Saints is about Vibiana, a girl neglected by her family who discovers Christianity and hopes to be like Joan of Arc. I think that the idea of these books – creating companion books about characters on completely opposite sides of a conflict, and making them both sympathetic, is really awesome and I would enjoy seeing it done for other conflicts or wars that have occurred. And while I enjoyed the kind of “there are two sides to every story” lesson, it also seemed like a good argument against religion, which I’m okay with but I’m fairly certain wasn’t the author’s intention. The art was bold and simple, but striking. Overall, I didn’t completely love the characters and I think that’s what tampers my own praise a bit.
Sarah Says: 3 stars to both
Chew: Volume 1 by John Layman and Rob Guillory – Cheewwww, I can’t wait to read more of youuuuuu. Chew is a graphic novel series about Tony Chu, a man who gets psychic impressions from the things he eats – including people. He’s kind of forced into using his skill to work as an FDA agent, solving crimes and murders along the way. This was SUPER AWESOME. It’s a weird, cool premise for a comic book series, but I totally love it. Chu is a good guy (not a cannibal, by the way… at least, not by choice), and there were some parts that just completely made me laugh out loud. And the ending of this one was a shocker, an “oh shit” kind of revelation, and I cannot wait to grab Chew: Volume 2.
Sarah Says: 4.5 stars
A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown – Jeffrey was raised in a religious household – his dad was a minister. But at some point, he realized that he didn’t believe in God, and wasn’t sure if he ever really had. While Jeffrey’s recollections were a little jumbled for my taste, I did enjoy his exploration of faith, or the lack thereof. And when he drew himself getting more into science and reading about physics (including books by Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman), the geek in me smiled. But overall, I love that he actually explored his faith instead of following, or not following, it blindly. It was easily relatable, for me. Definitely worth the quick read.
Sarah Says: 3.5 stars
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol – Anya is a Russian girl just trying to blend in at an American high school. She feels too chubby, she has a crush on the typical high school jock, and she hardly has any friends. And on top of all that, she falls in a well. When she’s down there, she meets a ghost who follows her back up into the world. At first the lonely ghost is annoying, but soon Anya learns that having a ghost as your best friend comes with a lot of perks. Until, of course, she realizes that the ghost is more than she seems. This was a really quick read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I REALLY liked the art – it was cartoonish, but cool and pretty. Anya is a likable girl, who reminds you just a bit what it’s like to be a teenager. And somehow, the storyline with the ghost caught me by surprise. I’d be interested in checking out more of Vera Brosgol’s work.
Sarah Says: 3.5 stars