This graphic novel was an ARC that I got from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I never got a chance to read the first half of this graphic...moreThis graphic novel was an ARC that I got from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I never got a chance to read the first half of this graphic novel series, "Boxers", hence the long gap in-between actually reading the book and posting the review. I enjoyed the graphic novel, even though the subject matter was a bit difficult to read at times. The book documents the Boxer Rebellion, which revolved around a peasant uprising that occurred in 1900 and involved China getting rid of foreign powers (including Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan, America, Austria-Hungary, and Italy) and Christian missions from its country. To find out more on the topic, check out this article from the author/illustrator's website: http://geneyang.com/boxers-and-pop-cu....
The story is told from the viewpoint of Four-Girl, so named because she is the fourth daughter in her family. As there are so many girls in family already and because daughters are not preferred in Chinese society, she is isolated and doesn't find love or respect from her family. She does find love and respect from a local Christian mission, so she leaves her family and changes her name to Vibiana. The Boxers, so named because their martial arts fighting reminded Europeans of Boxing, were called The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists by the Chinese. They begin persecuting and killing foreigners and Chinese Christians, and Vibiana finds herself in the middle of the conflict, quite literally. Whose side does she chose? To find out, read this second volume of the "Boxers & Saints" series. Recommended for ages 12+, 4 stars. (less)
I received this ebook as a ARC from Netgalley and the publishers First Second, which did not affect how I reviewed this book. I had read a couple of t...moreI received this ebook as a ARC from Netgalley and the publishers First Second, which did not affect how I reviewed this book. I had read a couple of their books before and knew they produced quality material, especially graphic novels. Plus the subject matter was interesting. It was a quick cute read which I rather enjoyed.
Jane the skater girl is new in town and falls off her skateboard right in front of the Soup Cart, run by Jack. He is immediately attracted to her but too shy to ask her out at first, but works up the courage to do so. She thinks he is odd and clumsy, but they get along. After going on a few dates with him, the Cute Girl Network intervenes. They are a group of ladies who all live in the same city as Jane and share information on all the men they have dated in the city, so girls can make informed decisions about who they are dating. The more negative stuff Jane hears about Jack, the more confused she gets. She knows that he maybe the biggest idiot out there, but she finds it endearing and is happy that she doesn't have to deal with another jackass, like the guys she normally dates. Jack is genuinely into her and though he is a noob, he really wants to be with her. So Jane decides that despite her friends' warnings, she wants to be happy and that is being with Jack. I liked how they acted together and how the story was about normal everyday folks. I loved the illustrations! 3 1/2 stars. (less)
I read the ARC e-book version from Netgalley. It did not affect my reviewing of the material. Sadly my Kindle is a black and white version so in order...moreI read the ARC e-book version from Netgalley. It did not affect my reviewing of the material. Sadly my Kindle is a black and white version so in order to read this awesome graphic novel, I had to read it a bit at a time on my computer. Luckily it was very worth the wait. As other reviewers have said, it is nice to see a kick ass three-dimensional female main character without making the novel overly full of gore and T&A. I only hope there are more adventures with Delilah and Selim as the author/illustrator definitely left the story open-ended.
Selim is a Turkish Lieutenant and tea lover who works for the Sultan. He is asked to report on the preposterous claims of a captured woman named Delilah Dirk. Or so Selim thinks, until everything she has been saying starts to become reality. Delilah is a half Greek/half English girl who has traveled the world and trained in the warriors ways, and is not the timid girl the Sultan believes her to be. She proves this when she escapes single-handedly from his prison and ends up involving Selim in her escape. At first, he is a bit horrified by her but ends up valuing her life skills, as they both end up on the lam. Her main object in the graphic novel is do take revenge on a pirate captain who has been stealing shipments from a family friend of hers. Will she be able to take her revenge and escape with her and Selim's lives? To find out read this exciting and well-done graphic novel. Recommended for ages 12+, 4 stars. (less)
This was an odd, but intriguing look into Abraham Lincoln's early adult life from 1837-1842. This was after he got off his father's farm, and had trav...moreThis was an odd, but intriguing look into Abraham Lincoln's early adult life from 1837-1842. This was after he got off his father's farm, and had traveled to Springfield, IL to become a lawyer with his friend John Stuart. At the time, Lincoln was engaged to a woman in Kentucky, but it is quickly called off. The law practice is very successful and Lincoln meets and hangs out with many fellow Whig politicians. It was in Springfield that Lincoln met Mary Todd, whose family was prominent in Kentucky, and who also had an interest in Whig politics. I had known that Mary Todd was thought "crazy" in later years, though early on it seems, she was depressed and had migraine headaches on top of that. I was, however, surprised to know just how depressed Lincoln was. He calls his sickness "The Hypo" but being a hypochondriac wasn't the same thing back then as it is now. Lincoln eventually breaks things off with Mary Todd, and then his life really spirals out of control. John Stuart gets re-elected to Congress, so he moves to Washingon and their law practice dissolves and his best friend Speed, who he had been living with since moving to Springfield has to go back to his family farm to run things after the death of his father. So Lincoln is homeless and alone, and shortly thereafter has a mental breakdown. The cure for this was mercury treatments and blood-letting, which left him very weak. For more information on mercury and how it affected Lincoln, check out this essay (http://www.bertzpoet.com/essays/pdfs/...). He eventually recovers and renews his acquaintance with Mary Todd, meeting her in secret as they had done before, as her family did not approve of Mr. Lincoln or his low social position in society. He almost fights a duel with James Shields, the man who replaced Lincoln as the Illinois state auditor, after the state went bankrupt. By the end of the book, he marries Mary Todd. The poem at the end of the book war incredibly dark and I was very surprised to learn it was attributed to Lincoln himself, as it shows just how dark his moods got during his time in Springfield. Recommended for ages 15+, 3 stars. (less)
I've been wanting to read this for awhile because lot of people have been talking about it, plus it just looked fascinating. A lot of my friends in co...moreI've been wanting to read this for awhile because lot of people have been talking about it, plus it just looked fascinating. A lot of my friends in college were bipolar, so I do have some experience with it. The graphic novel is about the author/illustrator Ellen Forney being diagnosed bipolar shortly before her 30th birthday and how she dealt with it, via meds, journals, drawing, yoga and pot. I liked how, at the end of the book, she really delved into how creative people are frequently more likely to be bipolar and how many famous artists, poets and other writers were actually either bipolar or just depressed (including Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, and Emily Dickinson). It was interesting how she tackled being bipolar and there were a lot of things about the diagnosis that I had never thought about. As someone who has taken anti-depressants, I know how much it can numb you, so I understand how the author could be worried about how medications would make you lose your creativity. While they can help you, I don't think medication is the right path for all of those with mental health problems. However, I would recommend some sort of medication mix for those with the disorder as I've seen those without it and it is not a pretty picture, nor can they function well. I would recommend this book to anyone with the disorder or those with family/friends that have it, or really anyone interested in reading a really good and insightful memoir. 4 stars. (less)