A slice of life look into a teen's summer camp experiences. I thought it captured the insecurities and uncertainties of being a teen girl, especiallyA slice of life look into a teen's summer camp experiences. I thought it captured the insecurities and uncertainties of being a teen girl, especially the difficulty of friendships. It did go off in some unexpected fantastical directions (e.g. Shasta's lightning monster). Nice artwork....more
Not terrible, but not great either. As a manga/anime fan and gamer, some of this type of content worked, but there were some cringeworthy moments. ForNot terrible, but not great either. As a manga/anime fan and gamer, some of this type of content worked, but there were some cringeworthy moments. For instance, at various times Maddy and co. bring up shojo comics, but then said company also reads Sojo Beat. Ugh. Some careful editing would've picked up these simple mistakes. The author does include references to currently popular manga/anime, and the game Fields of Fantasy is pretty much a clone of WoW.
To be honest, I could see where this book would appeal to non-hardcore manga/anime fans, but for readers uninterested in these topics, it would probably be a bit of a slog to get through the geeklite terminology. Additionally, the popular Haters clique was stereotypically evil and one dimensional (excluding Chad, who naturally couldn't be a douche since he's the love interest).
And what was up with the unicorn loving grandma who's stuck in a time warp? Does she seriously think her gothy granddaughter would not be terribly embarrassed to show up on her first day of school in mom jeans and a unicorn sweatshirt? And why didn't the grandma say anything when the Haters clique was bashing Maddy right in front of her (i.e. yelling out how Maddy must be horny, since she's wearing a unicorn shirt)? Or to put it another way, would most high schoolers be stupid enough to yell out insults in front of a parental figure on school grounds? Why didn't the grandma report them! Argh!
Also felt there was a slight overtone of video games being time wasters (see Maddy's Peter Pan dad; also Maddy's mom generally derogatory comments on games), even though the author is a self-professed gamer. ...more
The art is nice, but I found the interweaving stories somewhat confusing. There really wasn't enough meat to the characters or the story. Overall, lefThe art is nice, but I found the interweaving stories somewhat confusing. There really wasn't enough meat to the characters or the story. Overall, left me feeling meh....more
Italian-American teen Antonia Lucia Labella has the same concerns as most teen girls: a strict parent, getting her crush to notice her, avoiding embarItalian-American teen Antonia Lucia Labella has the same concerns as most teen girls: a strict parent, getting her crush to notice her, avoiding embarrassing clothing choices. However, she deals with her problems in a unique way: praying to the saints for some helpful intervention.
From her letters to the Vatican proposing new saints (where's the saint of first kisses and kissing?) to her prayers for saintly help when burying fig trees, Antonia's integration of saints into her life is portrayed with humor and affection.
Overall, a very sweet, cute YA romance with progressive Christian (specifically Catholic) themes. Apparently, a sequel called The Patron Saint of Kissing will be published....more
Nice, clean art, but I was expecting more from this admittedly fluffy shojo manga after reading the cute sounding description. Shouldn't something intNice, clean art, but I was expecting more from this admittedly fluffy shojo manga after reading the cute sounding description. Shouldn't something interesting actually happen within five chapters? I'll pick up the next one, but if I don't get some cheesy fun shojo happenings, I might have to pass. ...more
A pretty good primer for librarians who know little about manga and anime. Unfortunately, there were a few editing mistakes (titles/annotations repeatA pretty good primer for librarians who know little about manga and anime. Unfortunately, there were a few editing mistakes (titles/annotations repeated twice; wrong annotation for a title) and a few times when the annotation of a manga series does not include the anime adaptation info (or vice versa). Additionally, even though this was released mid 2007, some of the information is already dated, especially with all the recent shakeups in the anime/manga industry. I also preferred the annotations in Jason Thompson's Manga: The Complete Guide more.
As I wrote above though, a good introduction, but if you want to keep up on the latest news you'll have to subscribe to a mailing list like GN-LIB or keep up on the numerous comics industry blogs and websites....more
Really nice, realistic art, but I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the story. There was nothing particularly groundbreaking about it, but at least it's cReally nice, realistic art, but I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the story. There was nothing particularly groundbreaking about it, but at least it's contained enough to be a standalone volume....more
**spoiler alert** It's been quite interesting to read all the backlash to this book. On the same note, support has also been strong and vocal. After f**spoiler alert** It's been quite interesting to read all the backlash to this book. On the same note, support has also been strong and vocal. After finishing the book a week ago, I've been stewing over it, and I've discussed it with a few people. The teen fans I've talked to loved, loved, lurrrrved it. Some of the older readers, not so much.
After much consideration, I can sum up this book in 3 words: Mary Sue fanfiction.
Basically, Bella gets everything she wants with really no long lasting sacrifices. Everything ends happily; everyone is matched up in their perfect little couples; she ends up super, kickass powerful. It's every nightmarish Mary Sue fanfic trope in one 756 page book.
Despite these major failings, I still (shockingly!) gave the book two stars. Granted, I was never a huge "Twilight" fan in the first place (I think I've given all the books two stars), but I do have to acknowledge the fluffy readability of the series. "Breaking Dawn" was also redeemed by the Jacob POV section. Can you imagine Bella's interminable, terrible pregnancy written from her POV? Ugh. Jacob, you saved this book. And no, I didn't want Jacob and Bella to end up together. I wanted him to find a nice, non-infant to imprint on and move on with his life sans Bella.
Ah, yes. The pregnancy. Bella gets pregnant with a scary mutant vampire baby who she immediately goes gaga over and loves unconditionally (and irrationally). *puke* The pregnancy thing was a bad, bad idea. It was also a huge cop out on Meyer's part, since Jacob imprints on said baby, thus negating the whole love triangle aspect. Very lame, especially considering that Meyer has written that Jacob/Bella's love was also true love, and that he would've essentially been her soulmate if Edward hadn't been around. Once the baby came along, poof! No more uncomfortable romantic feelings between Jacob and Bella. Way to dodge the issue there.
Other fun points of contention: - Although Bella's power has been hinted at in previous books, its sheer usefulness is a bit too pat. Gee, she can negate all mental-based powers and also use her powers as a shield? Convenient! - Considering how insistent Bella was about having sex while still human, she sure jumped the "humans are awesome!" train pretty quickly once she was turned. Apparently, having vamp sex is way better, negating everything positive about being a stupid, clumsy, fragile mortal. - How does one get pregnant from the undead? He doesn't breathe, and his blood is essentially vamp poison, so doesn't that oppose the basic tenets of procreation/ biology? I've heard the explanations that it's supernatural, vamps/werewolves don't really exist, it's fiction, blah blah blah. But really, the pregnancy just defies logic. - Bella doesn't even get a mass murdering killing spree period? WHAT?! By having Bella refrain from killing and suppressing her newborn vampy primal urges, Meyer totally negates the seriousness of Bella's choice to turn, which had major implications. Another instance of sidestepping one of the few complicated issues in this series. - Related to the above, now Bella can still maintain her relationship with her parents. She didn't have to give up anything for turning! - Could've cared less about the baby character, Renesmee/Nessie - As usual, anti-climatic battle at the end of the book
Overall, lots of gripes on my part. Still, this series has a weirdly compelling quality. I can only imagine it will get more popular with the release of the "Twilight" movie. I wonder if/how they'd ever film this book though. Can you imagine the birthing scene? ...more