I picked this one up from the library because I recognized the author - I've had her book The Princess and the Hound on my list to read for a while, aI picked this one up from the library because I recognized the author - I've had her book The Princess and the Hound on my list to read for a while, and thought maybe I HAD read it (I haven't), and it sounded interesting. This is officially the first book of the year that I thought, "I'll just read a few chapters before going to bed," and suddenly, it's 3 AM and I only have a third of the book left, so I might as well stay up and finish it, right? I don't think that's an indicator that this book is fantastically written or perfect or anything like that, it's more that I just kept wanting to know more, to figure out these characters and know what was going on with them.
The concept is interesting: there is an island with magic that was split in two by a grieving King, and when the country was split in two, the magic was as well, with the magic of war, taweyr, settling on the king and primarily men, and the magic of nature, neweyr, settling on primarily women. Somewhere over time, those that did not harness the power expected of their gender, the ekhono, were reviled, persecuted, and executed, especially in the southern kingdom. Into these two kingdoms are born 2 princesses: Issa in the north, with strong neweyr magic, and Ailsbet in the south, with strong taweyr magic, which she must hide even from her family.
I liked all of the characters well enough, but to be honest, I didn't feel much depth from them. I didn't feel like I ever got to know them enough to predict what they would do and what they were feeling. Instead of feeling Issa and Kellin falling in love, I had to be told that they were. I kept thinking that maybe this book would take the whole gender-persecution issue that hearkens so much to the LGBTA rights issue a step further, and maybe the two princesses falling in love would have been the action that united the two kingdoms according to the prophecy. Sure, they can't have a child that literally combines their DNA and their magic, but it's MAGIC. Surely a marriage between two princesses could have some effect. But that's not the way this book went.
I'll be curious to see what happens in these series, as this was clearly just the first book. Too much was left unresolved. I can't see Ailsbet staying away forever, but if traveling across the ocean really takes away her taweyr magic, she can't really help with the prophecy. That leaves Issa and Kellin to figure it out, I guess. I didn't see a publication date or anything for a second book on goodreads, so I'll just put this on the back burner and check back in a few years....more
I'm not very active in the YouTube community, so I hadn't heard of Zoe Sugg before my 17-yo niece asked for this book for Christmas. As I am all aboutI'm not very active in the YouTube community, so I hadn't heard of Zoe Sugg before my 17-yo niece asked for this book for Christmas. As I am all about encouraging reading as much as possible, I immediately said, "you will get that don't worry about it" and ordered it for her. And of course, I couldn't actually gift it to her without reading it myself first!
This was a really sweet book about learning to love yourself and fighting to overcome your fears, whether they be debilitating panic attacks or evil ex-bestfriends who have some strange power to make you feel like crap.
I feel old even saying this (I swear, I'm only 33! That's so not old!), but things are so different for kids these days. The accessibility of the internet and the anonymity it can provide can be a good things at times, like when Penny's sole outlet for her thoughts and fears was her anonymous blog. Had Penny's blog not been anonymous, she likely wouldn't have been so honest in it, for fear of judgement or rejection.
Unfortunately, the internet also has a rather dark side. Not only is information spread quickly, often without verification, it can also be anonymous. The anonymity of the internet allows honesty, but it also allows all the cruelty, meanness, and idiocy that people would be ashamed to express to your face. Things like the video of Penny on stage are easily uploaded, even if it is only as a joke, and one things are online, there's no way to take them back. That video was small beans compared to (view spoiler)[the hateful backlash Penny received when the world assumed she was a "homewrecker." Even if that story had been true, though, why should the world care? According to public record, Noah and the other girl had been dating for a month, and so he's not allowed to meet a girl he likes better? The lying would have been an issue, but it would have been THEIR issue, not the world's. (hide spoiler)] this is all stuff kids these days have to deal with, and I can't imagine it will get any easier as time goes on. The sooner someone can learn not to listen to the haters, the better, and this book could be a huge inspiration for people who are struggling with those issues.
Noah and Penny's relationship was sweet, although a bit too perfect, but I appreciated that their families were involved, too, as it made everything seem at least a little more realistic. The cynic in me doesn't believe in that soul mate stuff, but I want to believe it can happen for some people, and you should trust your gut in those situations. I just worry that girls (and guys) will build up unrealistic expectations for their relationships in the future, and expect falling in love to always feel like this. I guess I just need to remember back to my youth: I loved reading these kind of fairy tale love stories and I think I turned out ok.
I get why Noah didn't want to tell Penny the truth, but he had to tell her eventually, and surely in person would have been better. The likelihood of her not finding out was so small, and the distance made it much harder to explain. (view spoiler)[I've never been famous, so I don't know for sure, but I can imagine being seen as cute-boy-I-like-maybe-love-Noah instead of internet-famous-YouTube-singer-Noah would be a luxury he assumed he'd never have again. (hide spoiler)] The chance to be seen as just yourself, no filters or expectations, was something that both Penny and Noah wanted, and for a magical week, that's exactly what they had.
I want to take a side step and talk about Elliot for a moment. Despite being Penny's oldest, closest, and most reliable friend, Elliot felt a little uneven sometimes. The more I think about him, though, the more it seems that that unevenness is what makes him so real. If he had been Penny's always-there cheerleader, he'd be just a one-dimensional, yes-ma'am puppet. Like a real person, Elliot had other stuff going on in his life, and as much as he was there for Penny, supporting her fiercely through every issue, his every second wasn't focused on her. His responses and actions had rational reasons behind them. (view spoiler)[It was hard to hear about Penny falling in love and her parents accepting Noah so willingly when his own father wouldn't accept him, and he wasn't ignoring her calls and texts, he legit had his phone taken away.
-- side note about Penny's parents: what parents let their 15 year old date an 18 year old they had just met in a foreign country, even if he does seem nice and you're working with his grandma!? Still seems crazy to me! --
In the end, I'm glad that Elliot and Penny didn't let misunderstandings ruin their fantastic relationship. (hide spoiler)]
My main issue with this book, other than my general skepticism, was how quickly everything wrapped up. The resolution with Elliot and Penny's friends at school felt natural (view spoiler)[and epic, if you consider her and Elliot's milkshake showdown with Megan and Ollie (hide spoiler)] I especially loved her brother Tom's support through everything, and her family helping her through the panic attacks. Mostly, I'm referring to (view spoiler)[how quickly Penny forgives Noah for lying to her. She goes from being sad on the beach, to being angry, to being over everything, all in the space of maybe 10 minutes. For a girl who was so brokenhearted that even I was crying my eyes out for her, that seemed like such a short transition to happy ending. I'm not saying Noah didn't deserve forgiveness, but it seemed like the memories of how good they were together in NY trumped everything else in the end. I just can't imagine that Penny could really and truly be fine enough that she's ready to joke around and make out. But maybe that's teenage hormones? I feel like a more natural reaction would have been not just talking about what happened, but explaining how the things that happened as a result of the big lie effected each of them, and acknowledging that there are issues they will have to work through in their relationship if they were going to make it work. But maybe that was just understood, and didn't need to be said. (hide spoiler)]
Romance aside, this book is definitely relevant to the issues teenagers are facing these days, and hopefully it will be comforting and helpful to my niece and everyone else who reads it. I can't wait to hear what she thinks about it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I'm more of a marvel/independent comic fan than a DC fan, but I loved the new batgirl redesign by Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart, and Brenden Fletcher I cI'm more of a marvel/independent comic fan than a DC fan, but I loved the new batgirl redesign by Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart, and Brenden Fletcher I couldn't help but see all over tumblr, so I decided to pick an issue up and check it out, to see if I'd want to read more.
First of all, the art by Babs Tarr, with colors by Maris Wicks (who drew me an awesome Hawkeye-as-a-giraffe at this past year's ECCC), is fantastic. It's playful and engaging, with great pacing and style. I'm not surprised, as I've loved everything I've seem from Babs on tumblr, but it's stop great to see in action.
The storyline in this particular issue was interesting, with Batgirl trying to fight off someone trying to take over her persona on social media and eventually real life. It was entertaining enough, but eventually I'll need to read more Batgirl if I'm really going to get investing in her story. I just don't know enough about her character to love her yet, and this issue didn't tell me much, other than she dislikes the spotlight on her persona rather than her actions, and she doesn't like people ruining her reputation as an upright citizen vigilante. Also, she wouldn't say no to hanging out with cute cops names Liam. But who would?
I'll definitely look into checking this one out once it's in trades. I don't think I could read this one in single issues, and not just because it cuts up the storyline too much. My main issue is all the full page ads. I know Marvel has ads, too, but for some reason, theirs seem to blend in with the issue a little better. The ads in this one stood out so glaringly, it interrupted the flow of reading. So yeah, trades for me for sure....more
A fascinating concept and a fantastic first issue. Not only is the art gorgeous, particularly the stunning covers, but we've got a great introductionA fascinating concept and a fantastic first issue. Not only is the art gorgeous, particularly the stunning covers, but we've got a great introduction to some of the characters, as well as an understanding of the basic concept of this world, thanks to a random skeptical reporter. Every century, gods (a certain set of gods? rotating cast?) are reincarnated into humans, to live a few years and provide the ultimate inspiration for humankind. Viewing and hearing them can be a transcendent experience. These gods have power, but they are far from perfect.
I am looking forward to reading the first trade of this series, which just came out and I am waiting for from the library. More thoughts on the series will come then. I finally went ahead and bought the first issue, though, because I love the split face cover on the second printing of this first issue and want to eventually get it signed and added to my framed comic wall. Isn't it just so cool? I love that the 2 faces echo the duality of the god and human dynamic.
I'm a big fan of Kelly Sue DeConnick, so I definitely wanted to pick up this first issue of her new book the day it came out. I'm still more of a fanI'm a big fan of Kelly Sue DeConnick, so I definitely wanted to pick up this first issue of her new book the day it came out. I'm still more of a fan of reading books in trade rather than single issues. The only thing I didn't like about this issue was that it was over too quickly. I wanted more! It could have used a little more in depth explanation about what exactly was going on, but at least we have a good taste of what's to come.
Already, we can tell this is a rich world with fascinating characters, and I just want to know more about Kamau Kogo, Penny Rolle, and the rest of the NCs. It's still unclear what exactly qualifies you as noncompliant. Is it being reported by someone like your murderous husband who wants to "trade you in for a newer model"? Is it being a murder yourself? Is it not looking like what people expect? I guess we'll see as the issues roll out.
On a personal note, I definitely have become more of a feminist over the years as I've gotten older. It's been a strange, sometimes uncomfortable struggle at times, but at this point in my life, I don't particularly care what people other than my family and friends think of me. And even with those people, there are some things that I still don't care what even those people think, mostly about superficial but expected-of-women things like shaving legs and wearing makeup and dressing up and being skinny. The beauty standards expected of women irks me to no end, because even if I don't personally feel pressured by them anymore, I can't make anyone else not feel that pressure themselves. I worry about my 9 nieces as they grow up, I worry about my sisters and friends as they stress about their weight and finding the perfect outfit, I worry about my family and friends potentially worrying about me NOT caring about those things. All I can do is try my best to be supportive and reiterate when things don't really matter. It seems so natural to me not to care that I often have to remind myself that most people don't feel the way I do. I feel like it will be a constant struggle as life goes on.
There are lot more feministy things I could say, but I'll save those for my review when the trade comes out. For now, I'll just leave you with this: great art, good beginning to a story, and an introduction to some interesting characters. If you're into single issue comics and fighting back against the patriarchy, definitely pick this one up today. Otherwise, add it to your list and check it out with me when the trade comes out....more
If you're curious about this second book in the Artemis Fowl series, I'll assume it's because you've already read the first. I loved this one more thaIf you're curious about this second book in the Artemis Fowl series, I'll assume it's because you've already read the first. I loved this one more than first because we got to see more of the fairy world and got to see Artemis and Holly work together and come to respect one another. Each of them couldn't have accomplished their goals without one another, and so they each owe one another quite a bit at this point.
This one was a really fun adventure, but the highlight has to be (view spoiler)[Artemis finally getting his dad back. Artemis seems so much like an adult most of the time, but when he talks about his dad, he can no longer suppress that kid in him who just desperately wants his parents back, and wants his life to get back to normal. Artemis is truly a genius, and that plan he came up with, to rescue his father by shooting him, was slightly crazy, but thankfully it worked. (hide spoiler)]
I can't wait to see what happens next book. It was funny when Artemis noted that he'll be hitting puberty soon and will probably feel differently about Holly then. Is it weird to ship an 80-yo fairy with a 13 yo human? I don't actually want to see anything romantic between them, because that would be strange and uncomfortable at this point, but I really enjoy seeing their growing friendship and fondness of one another.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I love the Humans of New York blog - Brandon Stanton has the amazing ability to marry beautiful portraits of people with interesting stories or randomI love the Humans of New York blog - Brandon Stanton has the amazing ability to marry beautiful portraits of people with interesting stories or random little facts about these people's lives.
This book is truly a treasure, both wonderfully designed and full of gorgeous photos that are at times married with words. I would have loved even more stories, as some photos only had locations ascribed to them, and one of my favorite aspects of Stanton's work is his ability to tease a story out of people. After reading the introduction, I realized that in the beginning, Stanton didn't even interview people as he does now, which like contributes to the many portraits without more significant stories attached to them. It was really fascinating to hear about his own journey and see the evolution his project went through to get to where it is today.
I honestly couldn't put this book down, and was brought to near tears several times. Not only would I recommend this book to both fans of the HONY blog and lovers of photography, I actually bought this book as a present for a few of my friends, because I knew they'd love it. I can think of no higher praise....more
I've been following Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York blog for a while now, and love both his portraits and the stories he eases out if people, aboI've been following Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York blog for a while now, and love both his portraits and the stories he eases out if people, about their lives, about their days, about their favorite memories and favorite things.
I picked this book up as a gift and figured I might as well read it before passing it along. The pictures are fantastic, as expected. Kids can be unpredictable and hard to photograph sometimes, but Stanton does a great job capturing each kid. The text is pretty basic, and clearly meant for kids, as a sort of inspirational, warm and fuzzy word hug. It's okay for what it is, but I wish it had a little more of the essence of his work with adults, something that tells us something about each kid pictured.
I'm not talking about names or anything identifying that might be dangerous. Stanton doesn't even identify the adults he photographs, let alone the kids. I'm talking about an anecdote, or maybe something each kid said, or their parent said about them: "Bugs are my favorite, I like them for breakfast." "I'm waiting for my brother, he likes to play with me after school." "Unicorns are made out of marshmallows." Kids can say some funny and poignant things, and it would have been fun to inject each page and each photo with even more personality.
Definitely still a book I'd recommend, mostly to a family with fairly little kids....more
I really enjoyed my introduction to Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in the Cap Am movie last summer, so when I heard Sam was going to be the new Captain AmeriI really enjoyed my introduction to Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, in the Cap Am movie last summer, so when I heard Sam was going to be the new Captain America, I wanted to check it out for sure.
It's kind of a weird adjustment. Yeah, Sam is Cap now, but he's still Sam. He's not a super soldier, he still have his winds, but he has Cap's shield now. Is that the only difference? And a new outfit? I love that Sam kept his humor, and it's awesome to hear more about his backstory, and how much he values all life. It'll be interesting to see him grow into the name of cap am and make it his own.
As a previous non-reader of the cap comics, I was very grateful for the one page history lesson at the start of this issue, otherwise I would have had no clue why Steve gave up being Cap and who this rando Nomad guy was. Knowing he's Steve's adopted son definitely gives me some insight into his character, but I still couldn't really tell if his "I'm better than you" comments were just friendly ribbing or actually arrogance and discontent. I guess we'll have to wait in see.
The best part of this comic was Sam's sidekick and shield-rescuing-brother, Redwing. Can Sam talk to birds? Is that a thing?
This is another that I'll add to me list to pick up when the trade comes out, though I don't know how high of a priority it will be with all the other books out there. The art was ok, but nothing particularly special. The frustrating part of books like this is that it feels like you need to know the whole history of marvel to figure it out, or else you'll be missing something. Like that last page, filled with all those villains; I'm sure a marvel fanatic would recognize all those guys. I didn't even know one. And I just don't have the time to read through the whole Marvel catalogue.
The main reason I bought this single issue was for the adorable Skottie Young variant cover. Which remains adorable, regardless of my feels about the content of the book. :)
I'm a huge Matt Fraction fan, so I thought I'd pick up some of his books of the more classic Avenger variety.
The World Eaters storyline was really intI'm a huge Matt Fraction fan, so I thought I'd pick up some of his books of the more classic Avenger variety.
The World Eaters storyline was really intriguing, though there is a lot of back-story and characters that I don't necessarily know, but considering all I know about Thor, I learned from the movies, that's not surprising. I'd like to read more of the Thor backstories, as there seems to be a rich mythology and history there, with the world tree and all the gods and family relationships. I'd like the read some Sif books, too, because she seems really intriguing and I want to get to know more about her.
I really enjoyed Pasqual Ferry's art as well, and the colors by Matt Hollingsworth are gorgeous as always. Definitely one worth reading....more
I've been loving Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, so I thought I'd read up on some classic Hawkeye. Unfortunately, this "solo" collection was intermixed withI've been loving Matt Fraction's Hawkeye, so I thought I'd read up on some classic Hawkeye. Unfortunately, this "solo" collection was intermixed with an Avengers Academy storyline that had nothing to do with Hawkeye. The Hawkeye storyline itself wasn't that interesting, and had Hawkeye agreeing to keep secrets from the other Avengers, which just made me sad.
All in all, I'd rather stick to Fraction's version....more