The Phantom Twin – Lisa Brown

44280834The Phantom Twin by Lisa Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Ghosts, Siblings, Historical Fiction, Romance


REVIEW:

This is sad. It has its beautiful moments but there is so much misfortune, more than necessary, I think. It has a melancholy atmosphere from start to finish that, I admit, calmed me quite a bit. Its illustrations are detailed but kid-friendly, and so colourful and soft that I felt no spookiness whatsoever, even if the story should have naturally created some. Continue reading

Camp – Kayla Miller

42873833Camp by Kayla Miller

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Friendship Dynamics, Summer Camps, Social Isolation


REVIEW:

It was good to spend some time with Olive again. In the first graphic novel, she had trouble expressing her creative side and communicating with her friend groups. In this companion, she and her good friend Willow are away at camp. Everything is going well in the beginning. Olive and Willow are sticking together but Olive wants to branch out a little and try different things, talk to more people, whereas Willow wants to stick with the familiar. Continue reading

Click – Kayla Miller

37570594Click by Kayla Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: HMH BFYR
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Social Circles, Family Relationships


REVIEW:

This is a sweet graphic novel for middle schoolers. The illustrations are adorable, as is the colouring. It’s a story that deals with an issue that can be disheartening but remains very positive and solution-focused throughout.

There is a talent show at Olive’s school and while she’d love to be part of it, not one of her many friends has asked her to join their group. She doesn’t want to force herself into one so she’s feeling down and unsure of how to proceed. Continue reading

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me – Mariko Tamaki

40864841Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Published: 2019
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, LGBTQIA+, Toxic Relationships, Friendship


REVIEW:

This was messy and beautiful. A beautiful mess. Just like life, I guess. The illustrations are soft, neat and gorgeous in a hypnotic way. The characters are unique and complex and some completely ordinary and yet interesting nonetheless. Some are shitty and hurtful and yet so charismatic that they pull you in, making you feel special to be in their presence, but oh so very wrong for you. Continue reading

Displacement – Kiku Hughes

DisplacementDisplacement by Kiku Hughes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: August 4th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Family History, WWII


REVIEW:

This story, and these illustrations—the entire book, really—took my breath away. I read it in one sitting and there is no chance I could have taken a break from reading it. I didn’t even dare try. I felt like the author needed to talk about her family history and she needed me to be there to listen to her and try to understand. Continue reading

One Year at Ellsmere – Faith Erin Hicks

46223329One Year at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Middle School, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Bullying, Boarding School


REVIEW:

I don’t understand. I don’t understand why some authors decide to include one fantasy element in an otherwise completely contemporary story. I understand magical realism. I think it can be very beautiful, surprising and, well, magical. But this was no magical realism story. Continue reading

The Daughters of Ys – M.T. Anderson & Jo Rioux

46223363The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson & Jo Rioux

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: August 11th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Dark, Magic, Retelling, Siblings


REVIEW:

This was a much darker tale than I anticipated, both in atmosphere and content. It is not a story I recommend if you are looking for something to uplift your spirits but it is one I dare push you towards if you want to read something different, something that will shock you and maybe even repulse you while simultaneously intriguing you. Continue reading

Snapdragon – Kat Leyh


See the source imageSnapdragon
by Kat Leyh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Magic, LGBTQIA+, Friendship, Animals


REVIEW:

I love books that make me feel like the nastiness in the world is nothing compared to the beauty and magic that can be found in it. SNAPDRAGON was just that book for me.

Snapdragon doesn’t like to gossip and she doesn’t like rumours but she still can’t help but be afraid and wary of the old woman who lives alone, isolated by the forest, and who might just be a witch. Continue reading

Lily the Thief – Janne Kukkonen

42642037
Lily the Thief by Janne Kukkonen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: November 2019
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 9+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure, Supernatural


REVIEW:

Lily is a young little thief who is tired of getting easy jobs. She wants to get the respect she thinks she deserve and challenge herself by taking on a hard job and becoming one of the great thieves of her guild.

Alas, her master does not approve of her ambitions, unable to get past the fact that she is a girl (and quite talented in the art of thievery). So she decides to work towards her goal without the blessing of the Guildmaster. Continue reading

Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

44280842
Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani & Maris Wicks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: February 4th, 2020
Publisher: First Second
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Nonfiction, History, Science, Feminism, Space


REVIEW:

I am… not even a little bit impressed.

After finishing a really amazing non-fiction graphic novel that focused on a specific topic (basketball) in a documentary style with interviews from different characters and a story that unfolded through the character focuses, I felt a little let down by this book. Continue reading