Completely wonderful jr-high story with all the right messages. Nothing is missing here; I only short it from 5 stars because there are other graphic...moreCompletely wonderful jr-high story with all the right messages. Nothing is missing here; I only short it from 5 stars because there are other graphic novels for this age group that I think use the medium to such poignant purpose (e.g., American-Born Chinese), while this was truly a straightforward narrative, it could have been a novel instead (though I certainly don't hold the graphic format against Telgemeier - the rendering is beautiful, and I can't complain about a book that takes <2 hours to read!).(less)
I had never heard of Emily Carroll when this book appeared in my "Any New Books?" email a few weeks ago. I looked up her online story, His Face All Re...moreI had never heard of Emily Carroll when this book appeared in my "Any New Books?" email a few weeks ago. I looked up her online story, His Face All Red," and confirmed that I had to get ahold of this compilation of 5 spooky stories (allegedly targeted to the y/a crowd - but I would avoid recommending this to the juvenile set, at least the sensitive ones I tend to know). It's really creepy. I love the almost woodcut-looking drawings, the Gothic vibe, the ease with which she shifts her drawing style between settings (e.g., Victorian; 1920s; general fairy-tale-era), and the unpredictable, yet inevitable conclusions of her twisted narratives. I can't wait for her next publication!(less)
This overwritten debut novel lost sight of its message. Some of the dialogue and descriptions were pretty funny, but mostly there was too much exposit...moreThis overwritten debut novel lost sight of its message. Some of the dialogue and descriptions were pretty funny, but mostly there was too much exposition. More disturbing was an unexpected segue into detailed description of a true-crime case that is REALLY icky and has bothered me for years. I almost stopped reading this after that part, but carried on in hopes that there was some good reason to introduce teenagers to this horrible story (and the names of particularly nasty serial killers). There was not. This book tries - transparently, with several direct references - to be To Kill a Mockingbird mixed with Huck Finn, but it falls flat and I gained nothing from it. I think Silvey has potential to write something much more powerful, which I hope he does -- with the assistance of a badly needed BRUTAL editor.(less)
Wow... I hope I understood half of this extremely dense, intellectual graphic novel. It follows the title character, a renowned, egotistical "paper ar...moreWow... I hope I understood half of this extremely dense, intellectual graphic novel. It follows the title character, a renowned, egotistical "paper architect" (architect whose designs have never actually been built) professor who sees everything in dualities (this is reinforced by the book's narration from the perspective of Asterios's never-born twin, Ignazio) as he abandons his burned-down apartment and life and goes off to work as a car mechanic in a small town. Through flashbacks, we learn of his coupling with the lovely Hana (whose name means "flower" but whom he calls "Daisy"), a shy and brilliant sculptor who has been repeatedly kept out of the spotlight, and who finds herself reliving that experience with Asterios, especially once her talents are called upon by an equally egomaniacal choreographer. Hana and Asterios's marriage disintegrates, but maybe he can redeem himself before it's too late? We reflect on his philosophy along with him as he talks with his new boss, the boss's hippy wife and others in the town.
I was a bit shocked by the very ending, and am still trying to reconcile it. This book is so layered and smart I'm sure Mazzucchelli knows what he's doing, but it kind of crushed me.(less)