Manga Review: Romeo and Juliet

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: Romeo and Juliet 
by Crystal S. Chan (Adapter)William ShakespeareJulien Choy (Artist)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

With all the original dialogue of the play, this manga adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet bursts with old enchantment and romantic drama. The illustrations flow from one panel to the next in a surge of emotional tension, and the action keeps the wordy dialogue from weighing down the storyline.

This would be a great way to introduce Shakespeare to younger audiences, since the dialogue is easier to understand along with the action of the panels. Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: The Lost Path

The Lost Path by Amélie Fléchais
The Lost Path 
by Amélie Fléchais

2 out of 5 stars

Three little boys follow a treasure hunt, misread their map, and get lost in the darkest part of the forest. They meet odd creatures, see strange sights, and try to avoid the dark powers of the forest. It’s pretty grim and violent at times. The plot lacks cohesion, and I had to read the ending twice to try to understand just what had happened.
The illustrations are sometimes lovely, sometimes bland. Some of the pages are in color, others are in black and white.
I was not impressed with the story. It jumped all over the place with no real explanations of what was actually happening or why.
I liked the whimsical characters at first, but quickly got bored with them as they repeated the same things again and again. Continue reading

Manga Review: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Manga Classics by Crystal Chan
Manga Classics: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 
by Crystal Chan (Goodreads Author) (Adapted by)Kuma Chan (Art by)Jeannie Lee (Lettering)Mark Twain (Original novel)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

A wonderful adaptation of Mark Twain’s Adventure of Huckleberry Finn into manga form! I think the authors and illustrators did an excellent job of condensing the story into a small volume without losing the integrity or flavor of the story. I love how the various accents of the characters are preserved, but the dialogue is still clear and easily understood.

The artwork brings a lot of emotion into the story, and firmly connects the reader to the characters. Seeing the expressions on character’s faces as they experience joy, grief, fear, sadness, or relief, made me feel those things too as I was reading!
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Manga Review: Dream of the Butterfly

Dream of The Butterfly Vol 1 by Richard Marazano
Dream of The Butterfly Vol 1: Rabbits on the Moon 
by Richard MarazanoLuo Yin (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars

Little Tutu is lost in a snowstorm and travels to a magical land where animals talk and humans aren’t welcome. She is forced to work in a factory, and befriends several groups that need her help to rebel against the emperor. But Tutu is just trying to find her way back home, and the emperor asks her bring him a rare spring butterfly with mysterious powers.

I liked the imaginative characters and setting, but the plot is jumping all over the place and there’s not really enough time spent on any

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Recent Reads: Middle Grade, Comics + Manga


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Disclaimer: Some of these books were received from the publisher/author via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
*Review copies are marked with asterisk in the video. Continue reading

Manga Review: Count of Monte Cristo

Manga Classics by Crystal S. Chan
Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo 
by Crystal S. Chan (Story Adaptation)Alexandre DumasNokman Poon (Art by)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Edmond Dantes is betrayed by a coworker who wants his job, a romantic rival who will steal his bride, and a crooked government prosecutor with a dark secret to hide. Thrown into prison for decades, Dantes eventually escapes, becomes fabulously wealthy, and vows revenge on those who ruined his life.

Count of Monte Cristo is one of my top five favorite novels of all time, so I was interested to see how one of my favorite stories would translate into manga form. Although they had to simplify the story considerably, and there are really too many characters for a stand-alone manga, I enjoyed this wonderful adaptation of a classic tale!
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Manga Review: The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō
4 out of 5 stars
I love this manga about Chiaki, who hires KonMari to give her tidying lessons, and discovers a new life for herself in the process.
It really inspired me to get tidying and clean out all my junk! I really love the ideas in this book about finding joy, being real about your life, and finding your true self, and then crafting your living space to reflect what really makes you happy.

One of the best things in this book is the advice that while you are sorting through your piles of junk, You are NOT choosing what to get rid of; You are choosing what to keep. That one piece of advice will change your whole perspective on tidying.
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Book Review: The Tea Dragon Society

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill
The Tea Dragon Society 
by Katie O’Neill

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads
In this graphic novel, Greta’s mother is teaching her to be a blacksmith, but Greta is distracted when she befriends a tea-shop owner with a pet tea dragon. As Greta learns to care for the tea dragons, she befriends a whole new group of people in the society dedicated to protecting their tea dragons, and brewing the delicious tea leaves harvested from their horns. But will Greta ever return to her blacksmithing lessons, or have a tea dragon of her own?

I love the whimsical artwork! The colors and lines are soft and sweet. I thought the plot was adorable and lovely. The little tea dragon creatures are the cutest thing ever created! But there were some confusing things about this book that make it difficult to review.

My main problem is that there is a homosexual couple in this book. One of them is a human and the other is some kind of furry llama-looking guy with a long tail. I did not appreciate this kind of political/philosophical posturing in an otherwise lovely children’s book about dragons.
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Review: Manga Classics: Great Expectations

Manga Classics: Great Expectations
Manga Classics: Great Expectations by Stacy King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve never really liked this story, but reading it as a manga was definitely better! Seeing Pip as a manga character, and being able to read his expressions, brought the story to life for me. I also appreciated that the story is condensed and clear, making it easy to follow what is going on.

The best part is seeing all the characters, both good guys and villains, strongly reflected in the beautiful artwork. Joe has an angelic face, peaceful and kindly in every circumstance. Miss Havisham is old and gaunt and ghastly. And Pip’s face is innocent and wishful. The brilliant thing about the artwork is that their whole character is written in their faces! Continue reading