Tag Archives: review

Graphic Novel Review: not simple by Natsume Ono

Depressing is too light of a word for this book.

       VIZ Media LLC   Published Jan.1, 2010           320 Pages
Published Jan.1, 2010
320 Pages

Ian has a messed up life. His family is a mess but the only hope he has is in his sister.

Ian’s parents are divorced, his mother is an alcoholic and his sister has just been released from jail. Ian starts off living with his mother and begins to do odd jobs to help give her alcohol. When his sister is released she makes him promise her to find his dream and sends him to live with his dad who completely ignores him for his girlfriend.  His sister contacts Ian through her friend who doesn’t live far away from Ian but then one day says she is moving to NYC and disconnected her phone. Thus begins Ian’s journey; traveling from Australia to England to America to find his sister and maybe find out what he wants out of life.

Completely emotional and complicated; I really don’t know how I made it to the end of the book. When you begin reading the book you are hit with the “what the heck”. This was an extremely smart move on the author’s part because you need to know what happened and despite how horrible you feel about this man’s life you keep pushing though to see what happens.

The artwork is nothing spectacular. It is simple work. Maybe a bit amateur because almost everyone looks alike but it isn’t horrible and it doesn’t take away from the greater picture. The story is told from the end to the beginning ,which adds a lot of character to the book and makes it perfect.

However, if you can handle the sadness and depression take a look at this book because that is the only emotion you get out of this book. Overall the graphic novels get 7 out of 10.

Graphic Novel Review: Saints by Gene Luen Yang

         First Second  Published Sept. 10, 2013             176 Pages
First Second
Published Sept. 10, 2013
176 Pages

I loved “Boxers” and had high expectations for “Saints”.

Its 1898 in China and Four-Girl is being raised in a family that does not want nor likes her enough to give her a proper name. After being told constantly by her Grandfather that she is evil she begins to believe such and decides to convert to Christianity which is considered evil to those of that time.

I wasn’t too pleased with this side of the story because it wasn’t a girl deeply in love with Christianity and to be honest I am not sure if she understood the religion completely. I feel that she joined the bang wagon because she had nothing else to go to. Her family didn’t love her and she thought herself as evil. I also don’t feel she died for her religion. I feel she was so stuck in her ways that she went with it.

What did like about the book was the ending and it pissed me off. I feel that the boxers didn’t really believe in what they were doing . . . well some of them and my point was proven at the end.

This book also didn’t prove much details or care as Boxers did. Saints lacked passion and it almost feels like an after thought. There was no personal struggle and really Fourth Girl was boring.

Overall the book gets 7 out of 10. Art work was great I expected nothing less; but the story just didn’t grab me even from a historical point of view.


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Book Review: Thorne of Glass (#1) by Sarah J. Maas

        Bloomsbury USA Children's     Published March 30, 2012              404 Pages
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published March 30, 2012
404 Pages

18 year old assassin Celaena Sardothien has been serving a year of hard labor for her crimes. That is until the Crown Prince Dorian offers her a chance to win her freedom; compete in a competition to become the King’s Champion for the next four years and then you are free.

Weary of the Prince and the King, Celaena accepts and strikes an interesting bond with the King’s captain. As easy as the competition sounds for Celaena when dead contestants begin popping up Celaena learns a thing or two about herself and what it takes to truly be a champion.

I loved this book. Maas did a great job of making you curious about Celaena and surprisingly enough not about what she did or how the greatest assassin got caught but curious about how the competition is going to turn out. For about six chapters you continue to hear about this competition as they essentially groom Celaena as a member of royalty and as a champion.   

Celaena was a very like able character. She was extremely head strong not too sassy, or blunt. She wasn’t cold either. She knew what she wanted and she fought to get it while also having some genuine warmth.  I really loved the fact that she wasn’t boy crazy even when things begin to turn for her heart she wasn’t stupid.

I also liked the fact that for a while Maas left room for the reader to judge Celaena’s relationship with the captain and the Prince before actually making it known. I was surprised by her choice and ultimately the final choice but it made me like Celaena even more.

When the dead bodies start showing up things being to get more exciting because there is a magic element to it. & no it isn’t cliché; it is done very well which is unexpected because the book didn’t necessarily need magic in it.

Through the entire story Maas was able to keep a pace in which you wanted to know more. The ending was perfect. It didn’t leave you hanging too long but just enough for you to want to read the next book.

Overall the book gets 9 out of 10.

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Graphic Novel Review: The New York Four by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly

The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, the Concrete Jungle, New York . . . New York. No matter what you call it New York City is famous and more famous for the stories people live when they are there. Whether you are young or old New York eventually does a number on you.

             Minx Comics      Published: July 22,2008                  176 Pages
Minx Comics
Published: July 22,2008
176 Pages

In this graphic novel, Riley, who was born and raised under the sheltered environment of her parents in Brooklyn, NY. But no amounts of shelter can hide her from her freshmen year at NYU (New York University). There she is opened to stories she never thought would happen.

Now this book is a coming of age book. Riley is no longer sheltered although her parents do try to keep a bit of a leash on her. She begins the book as the nervous wreck but she begins to find her way.

Firstly, what I loved about this book the insane attention to detail Brain Wood (the author) was able to capture. This is not just in the artwork, which was done by Ryan Kelly, The artwork because was perfect. It looks easy, honest, and real; as if the illustrator had a model for his work.

But as the story for a man to really get a grip on a girl being let out on her own in the middle of NY and she is not from a hick town looking for her first shot of fame . . . .  I thought was great. The friends that Riley comes to love are completely up and down, New Yorkers; they are a bit of everything.  I also loved the fact that he didn’t make every person Riley met aggressive.

Overall this graphic novel will get a 9 out of 10. Great story line but it leaves you wondering WHICH IS OKAY! Because there is a second book called the New York Five


Tania Lasenburg is a communications major  that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles

Book Review: The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, Vol 2. By Joseph Gordon-Levitt


The motto is the universe isn’t made of atoms; it’s made of tiny stories; this book or series, I should say, makes you kind of believe that.  This tiny book is a collection of short stories from various artists and writers from Gordon-Levitt online project hitRECord.

What I liked about this book is that not all the stories were full of nonsense. Some stories actually were just one sentence that completely blew me away. For instance, one story with no title simply says

“I just need some time away to remember why I stay.”

The picture is of someone driving and looking behind them through the side mirror. That is powerful and deep. The book had quite a few little sentences that make you wonder and the authors truly embraced their motto.

I believe the second volume was better than the first. For a tiny book with powerful thoughts the book gets 9 out of 10. If you ever picked up those tiny self help book or quote books by the register at Barnes and Nobles then this would be a good pick for you.

Book Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake


If you remember my post about the first book then you would know that I was completely in love with the first book. However, the second book was more of a like then love situation.

Still hunting ghosts, Cas Lowood, is missing Anna dressed in blood; only months before she opened the door to hell and saved his life. He should move on right? Not at all, although he is trying with the help of his friends, Cas can’t move on from his first love mainly because he is having nightmares of Anna being tortured in hell; Unable to ignore these dreams and images, Cas takes a trip down past demons in order to save Anna’s life.

In the first book, Cas makes friends with Thomas and Carmel. Thomas and Carmel start dating and Cas is the third wheel, which is fine. What bothered me about these friendships is Carmel. I. COULD. NOT. STAND. HER. She forced herself to be there because she was nosy and her being the most popular girl in school she had to know what was going on. She cheated on Thomas. She wanted everything to be catered to her. For instance, Cas was had to kill a ghost and it was more gruesome than before. Carmel was scared and didn’t want to see the mess. Cas was like well this is my job you don’t have to be here. He was getting tired of her crap towards the end of the novel as well.

Also the book stalled . . .  and it was very noticeable. I under stand why Blake did it and I honestly don’t know if I would do it differently, but even with that said the book still lost points.

Was it as great as number 1? No. Was it good? Yes.

The book gets 7 out of 10.