Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Runaways Vols 6, 7, 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Joss Whedon

Runaways series, you are killing me with the author/illustrator change! I am still loving the story but honestly, I could feel the difference between Brian K. Vaughan's writing style and Joss Whedon's (and I am a Whedon fan). It was just odd, you spend seven books of a series with the same author and then just switch him out. I also was upset but the illustrator change. The kids are much more...mature looking? Thinner? Prettier? More sterotypically suited to comic book men and women. I enjoyed the fact that the kids looked like kids. As far as actual storyline goes, I'm okay with it for the most part and I plan on sticking with the story for the rest of the series because I'm more than halfway done. But ugh, why did Vaughan leave?!?!
27, 28, & 29/75

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mary Iris Malone, or Mim for short, is a teen whose world has turned upside down. Her parents have recently divorced and her father remarried six weeks later, forcing Mim to move to from Cleveland, Ohio to Mississippi, or Mosquitoland, as she prefers to call it. Author David Arnold writes the story of Mim’s escape, and her path back to her mother who she believes is sick in Cleveland. She steals her new stepmother’s coffee can full of cash and hops on the Greyhound. On her way she meets a slew of characters, all while surviving a bus crash, buying a truck, falling in love, and making good friends. While her main goal is to reach her mother, she finds herself helping others with their goals along the way. Mim keeps track of her adventures by writing letters updating her Aunt Isabel on her travels. Mim is a lovable character and you can’t help rooting for her all the way through!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Belong to Me by Maria de los Santos

After reading Love Walked In, I had to jump right into reading the sequel, Belong to Me. Being is sequel, this will have SPOILERS, so if you want to be surprised, I suggest you read them both first before reading my thoughts. Moving on, we find Cornelia and Teo happily married and moved into a new suburban area after living in New York City for a while. In the beginning, Cornelia has trouble making friends with the new neighbors who act a bit high and mighty over her, but this quickly changes. As you read, you learn that all the neighbors have problems. One of the couples deals with cancer while one couple deals with infidelity and the dissolution of their marriage. Teo and Cornelia are blessed with a surprise or two of their own. Like Love Walked In, the story is told in alternating chapters. Cornelia and the other adults in one set, and Dev, the son of Cornelia's friend and classmate to Clare. Dev is on the path to doing great things in school, but he does not know who his father is. I'll be completely honest, I skipped majority of Dev's chapters because I could see where the book was going 18 miles away. It was a little cheesy, I liked it a little less than Love Walked In, but overall it was still worth reading.

Sidenote: I also finished Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick. It was an Elvis Presley biography featuring his early years. I don't think I need a whole post for it, but I did enjoy it!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Loved Walked In by Maria de los Santos

My coworker recommended this book to me because she knows I love old Hollywood, and the main character Cornelia loves old films just as much as I do. Love Walked In by Maria de los Santos is a story about a thirty one year old coffee shop manager named Cornelia Brown who is obsessed with the movie The Philadelphia Story and all things old Hollywood. She's been waiting for her Cary Grant her whole life and one day, he walks right into her coffee shop. Cornelia is blinded by Martin Grace's striking resemblance to Mr. Grant, and is mesmerized by his charm. However, she feels the need to defend herself in this budding relationship at times against her friends. Clare is an eleven year old girl who has mainly been abandoned by her father and her mother is having issues of her own, one day leaving Clare stranded by the side of the road. Clare, it turns out, is Martin's daughter. Martin, Cornelia, and Cornelia's brother-in-law Teo work to make this little girl comfortable during this distressing time. At the same time, the Cary Grant facade that has kept Cornelia holding on to Martin is starting to crumble as the relationship with his daughter unfolds.

I read this book in a total of four hours. It grabbed my attention and didn't let go. I love Cornelia's character, I love Clare, I am apparently a bit preoccupied by books told in two different voices in alternating chapters this year (as this was told from both Cornelia and Clare's perspectives). There is a sequel and I've already started reading it! 23/75

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Runaways Vols. 3, 4, & 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Continuing my Runaways binge, I have read volumes 3, 4, and 5 over the past few weeks, and boy oh boy I am hooked! One thing that did surprise me though, was that I didn't know that I was reading a Marvel comic until about book 4. I have always been a DC fan (Superman and Batman are my favorites), so I had no idea until literally Captain America showed up on the pages, that this was a legitimate superhero comic! Oh well, at least now I'm learning a bit about Marvel.

Anyway, on to the important part of this post! Volumes 3, 4, and 5 were stellar. I'm going to try not to be too spoiler-y, but if you really want to be surprised especially since I'm further in the series now, you may want to avoid this post. If not, read away! So there is a traitor who was in the group, but is now no longer. The rest of the gang is hiding out under a museum, and have been visited by one of their future selves, who in their last dying breath, warned them about a super villain who was currently their age that they must destroy now. The kids find this person, and he learns a horrible secret about himself, and the gang, while keeping an eye on him, let him join them on the run. In these volumes, we also lose another gang member, you'll have to read to see why, but I was kind of upset about it. They use the super villain child to replace that character. At the end of volume 5 we begin seeing a lot of Marvel characters, because in a turn of events the gang ends up in New York! So now Spiderman, Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man, and a few that honestly I don't remember the names...but they are all involved. I'm excited to see what happens in the next few volumes. Looking ahead, the authors change. Volumes 6 and 7 are still Brian K. Vaughan, but 8-11 are written by three different people, so we'll see how that changes the writing tone, or if it does at all!

20, 21, 22/75

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts tells the story of two teens receiving treatment for two types of cancer, and both handle it in very different ways. Zac achieves this by submerging himself in facts and statistics about survival rates of all types of cancers and being constantly distracted by his worrying tea-and-scone loving mother. Mia is the exact opposite, not accepting treatment willingly, fighting anyone who dares to come near, and pretending that her cancer doesn't exist. The two end up in hospital rooms right next to each other, and begin a friendship through taps on their shared wall and the blasting of Lady Gaga music by Mia. Through alternating viewpoints going back and forth between Zac and Mia every few chapters, you get to witness their pain, sadness, happiness, and joy, all while they come to accept their illnesses. I really enjoyed this story, it would be easy to just think of this book as another The Fault in Our Stars spin-off, but the story line and the characters grab you all on their own.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist

With the month of love just behind us, I wanted to share a book I read that I really enjoyed that was slightly different from your typical romantic book. It was called We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, A True Story by Josh Sundquist. Josh realized at the age of 25 that he had never had a real girlfriend, just a bunch of mishaps and almosts. Josh was determined to figure out what went wrong, so he decided to investigate a few key women that played a role in his lackluster love life. The book was broken into section by each girl, starting with Josh's middle school years and through college. He shared the backstory, a hypothesis about why the relationship didn't work out, and an investigation in which he actually met up with each of the women for the purpose of the book, to get their side of the story about why the relationships never bloomed. In the end, Josh comes up with the conclusion about all of the women and himself. It was very entertaining to read and I thought Josh was a comedic writer. It was nice to read something a little different around Valentine's Day instead of something like that Notebook (even though I LOVE the Notebook!). I actually did some quick searching about Josh and he's actually a pretty cool guy. He was a paralympic skier, and has his own youtube channel. You should check him out!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What I've Read: The Runaways 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

The Runaways is another series by Brian K. Vaughan, and it features a group of six teens who discover their parents have been hiding a terrible secret from them their whole lives. Every year Alex Wilder's parents host the other five children's parents for a "fundraising" function. The teens find this boring and were resentful that they were herded together every year and told to stay in one room, so they decided to snoop around. This is when they discovered, through Wilder's parent's secret passageway, that they're parents were superheroes. Or evil villians. The teens witness their parents murder a girl not too much older than they were, and this sent them into a panic. They called the police, and started snooping around, only to discover that they themselves had magical powers, and that their parents called themselves the Pride. I've only read the first two volumes so far, Pride and Joy and Teenage Wasteland, but so far so good. The kids are currently on the run still, so I can't wait to see what happens next! 16&17/75

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What I've Read: Saga, Volumes 1 and 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan is a graphic novel series that tells the star crossed love story of Alana from the planet Landfall and Marko from the planet Wreath. They are on the run from enemies on both sides of the intergalatic war because they have broken the law by being together, first because they are in an interspecies relationship, as well as conceiving a child, Hazel. Hazel is the narrator of the story, and she tells us bits and pieces of how her parents met, all throughout the story of their running. Alana and Marko meet many different alien species, become friends with a ghost, and fight off many enchanted beings. The second volume left off with Alana, Marko, Hazel, and their ghost friend Isabel in a wooden spacecraft being tailed by Marko's ex-fiancee and a hired hitman. I like the series so far, there are four volumes so I'm already halfway done. The characters are compelling, and Brian K. Vaughan is quickly becoming my favorite graphic novel author. I can't wait to see what happens to Alana and Marko next. 14&15/75