Graphic Novel Review: Sheets


Sheets by Brenna Thummler
by Brenna Thummler

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Marjorie is a shy girl, who runs her deceased mother’s laundry business. Wendell is a ghost who feels out of place in the afterlife, and runs away to visit the human world. When Marjorie’s business is threatened by an enterprising businessman, only other-worldly help will save the laundromat and heal Marjorie’s grieving heart.

The friendship between Marjorie and Wendell is so hilarious and weird! I love that they are both damaged and lost, but they find their way together.
The story shows a vivid picture of the grieving process, with all the ugliness and messiness that entails, but also gives hope to the characters and shows them healing and coming together.

I really enjoyed the scenes from the Land of Ghosts, where Wendell attends a support group for Dead Youth Empathetics. It was hilarious and interesting! The ghosts have their little homes, and their activities, and they hang out at the bath house to wash their sheets. I love the imaginative world-building! Continue reading

Book Review: Shield of Stars

Shield of Stars by Hilari Bell
Shield of Stars (The Shield, Sword, and Crown, #1) 
by Hilari Bell

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Weasel, a former pickpocket, is the trusted clerk of Justice Holis. When the Justice is arrested for treason against the king, Weasel must return to the underground community of criminals searching for the outlaw bandit, the Falcon, the only person who could help him break Justice Holis out of prison. With the help of Arisa, an escaped prisoner, Weasel finds a mysterious old shield, rumored to be the long-lost magical shield of the king. The two set out on an impossible quest, to find the Falcon, restore the shield to the rightful ruler of the land, and save Weasel’s master.

Weasel is an interesting character, and I loved that Arisa is mysterious and full of surprises. Their sturdy friendship felt real and tugged at my heart. They are both tough and smart, but in different ways.

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Manga Review: La Magnifique Grande Scene

La Magnifique Grande Scène, Vol. 1 by Cuvie
La Magnifique Grande Scène, Vol. 1 
by Cuvie

5 out 5 stars on GoodReads

Kanade is a young girl when she sees her neighbor, Risa, dancing in the ballet, and begs her parents for ballet lessons. She quickly learns that studying ballet means hard work, determination, and sometimes disappointment. With Risa’s help, Kanade is encouraged to stay dedicated to ballet, and she uses her intense observation skills to learn from the dancers around her.
Later with two years of dancing experience, she longs to be allowed to wear pointe shoes, but is told she is still too young. Despite the drama surrounding the other students, Kanade finds her own inspiration and her own center as she prepares for her big recital.

I LOVED the beautiful artwork in this manga! The graceful dance poses, and lovely costumes make this a pleasure to read, and I found myself pausing on several pages just to enjoy the gorgeous illustrations.
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Classic Review: The Romance of the Forest

The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
The Romance of the Forest 
by Ann Radcliffe

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Adeline is cast out by her father and finds shelter with her new friends, the La Motte family, who are on the run from the law. The family find a refuge in an old ruined Abbey in the depths of the forest, where they hide from prying eyes, always terrified that they will be discovered and forced from their pitiful home.

The Marquis who owns the dilapidated Abbey, discovers them living on his land, but inexplicably allows them to remain, making a mysterious alliance with Mr. La Motte. Ghoulish skeletons, mysterious manuscripts, and gruesome secret rooms are lying around all over the Abbey, and the dark forest holds secrets of its own.

The friendly Theodore warns Adeline that her life is in danger, but he is called away to his regiment before he can explain or help her. Adeline goes through every kind of disaster and terrifying mishap, fleeing for her life when she is betrayed by those she trusts.

This is Gothic melodrama at its best! I lost count of how many times Adeline fainted, but it must have been more than twenty times. She dissolves into tears, is frozen with terror, collapses under the strain of horror, and is prostrate with grief in every single chapter.

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Picture Book Review: This is a Taco!

This Is a Taco! by Andrew Cangelose
This Is a Taco! 
by Andrew Cangelose, Josh Shipley (Artist)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Taco is a squirrel who loves to eat tacos, and he agrees to be in this book to teach young children about squirrels, with the understanding that there will be tacos in the book! But Taco gets more than he bargained for when he is mistaken for a flying squirrel, forced to eat tree bark, and hunted by a ferocious hawk. Can Taco take back control of the narrative before it’s too late?

I love books that break down the fourth wall, especially picture books. As Taco becomes increasingly anxious about the chaotic turn the story is taking, he does a beautiful job of addressing the reader directly and including the audience in the book narrative. The writing is quite clever, and similar to another favorite picture book, The Monster at the End of this Book !

The illustrations are so lovely! Colorful and funny, each page has a charm all its own. Taco is so cute!! He’s cuddly and adorable, and I love his funny facial expressions.
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