Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jughead (2015) #4 by Chip Rating: ★★★★★  

Archie Comics does it again! I mean listen, I am probably slightly biased on the matter--I would definitely call Archie my ride or die comics--but the recently rebooted Jughead stories just keep getting better. In #4 we are continuing the trail of mystery (is the new staff at Riverdale up to something? If so, what?) with humour (a lot of humour!) and of course familiar faces. 

Oh, yes! Not to mention hilarious dream sequences--say hello to Slackbeard! I am either really tired (plausible) or really easily amused because I'm almost always howling with laughter at the vivid and creative dreams he has. While this one doesn't beat out Game of Jones or their spoof on U.N.C.L.E it is still filled with good old fashioned nostalgic humour that even the oldest Riverdale fans can appreciate. Tied it up in one stunning bow (that! artwork! I! feel! faint!) and you've got yourself a can't miss comic. 


Even better we get to see more interactions between Jughead and his friends. We get more of Dilton Doiley filling in the position of his partner in crime; as Jughead tries to crack the case on whether or not they are in serious trouble (danger!) at school. I've got a hint for you: HACKING and a bit of a backfire. Because what is an Archie comic without a little mischief gone wrong? 

If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Elizabeth Wilhide's novel If I Could Tell You is full of hits and misses for me and while I did enjoy myself a lot with this one, I also felt immensely underwhelmed by other traits. In many ways it's a highly compelling read with stylish prose and a solid plot. It has its moments of intrigue. In other ways, it is highly unobtainable in the sense that as a reader you may have difficulty connecting to the characters. Wilhide is very intentional in the way the story ties up and this is a plus, but there are many other qualities that put me off and caused my to walk away a time or two.

I think my problem with the novel was more-or-less in the characters and the way their characteristics were tipped at us. Something felt off about it and I couldn't really get past that from the get-go. I had a fun time with the plot whilst ignoring its flaws but at the same time you can't help but to get frustrated because it lands in a way that's neither here nor there.

You spend all that time getting to know the story without coming away with much. And at the end of the day it's mostly a quick read that warrants use during a book hangover, for example. It can be fun and captivating only to leave you feeling as though there could have been more to it. I don't personally like that in my historical fiction--but that's okay. Because despite my problems with it, again, I didn't hate it.

Jughead (2015) #3 by Chip Rating: ★★★★★ 

SO. So. You guys know how I said that Issue #2 was my new favourite in this reboot of Jughead? I lied. I mean... in my defense, it's entirely because I didn't expect them to go all The Man From U.N.C.L.E on my ass. But here we are. The third installment of the phenomenal re-imagined Jughead is even better than the first two. I loved the tone of conspiracy and humour to it. Everything played out well and the artwork is just as nice as ever.

Picking up immediately where #2 left off, we find our boy in some hot water over an incident at school. Cleaning up after this mess isn't easy especially when you consider how much the new staff at school seems to hate Jughead. He is definitely a nuisance in their eyes which is hilariously true--he is Jughead Jones, after-all. His best friend is Archie Andrews. You get the picture.

Riverdale is just as fun and full of trickery as ever. There's something teasingly witty about this issue and I found moments to be more funny than they probably were. Once more, we strike gold with a Jughead Jones dream sequence. I love all the references they sneak in those and this issue is no different. In fact, while I loved their spin on Game of Thrones, I loved this U.N.C.L.E reference more.

The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Before The Hope Chest, I'd never heard of Viola Shipman and frankly I'm surprised by this. I thought the entirety of this novel was drawn wonderfully and while it wasn't/isn't my favourite novel of the year, it was still quite the captivating read and an experience I won't soon forget. I was curious by the entire premise of both it and The Charm Bracelet and binge-read them during some much needed downtime.

I think the first thing that readers should know is that the writing is elegant. Pure and simple, it is stunning and offers so much to the story. Beyond that, it's thought provoking and sparkles from start to finish. I know, I say it a lot in my reviews but this novel has heart and just takes you in from the start. Something in the way that Shipman crafted the story is special--whether it be the first time you read it, the last, or the fifth. Shipman pulls on our heartstrings and makes us really, really think and feel freely. I caught myself tearing up a few times over the most mundane of things. Then, came the heavy stuff.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jughead (2015) #2 by Chip Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jughead Jones is back and better than ever! In Jughead #2, everyone's favourite is in for some serious trouble--detention! Gasp! Howl! The horror! In my humble opinion, Jughead #2 is even better than the first installment of the newly rebooted Riverdale favourite and as usual is totally giggle worthy. Can I say that without sounding lame? Definitely not. Am I going to say it anyways? Duh.

Once more, the new Jughead combines new and old traits together; tying generations of fans up quite nicely. I found this installment to be more humorous than the previous which is saying something, since the last one was pretty damn funny! Of course, I am biased--as you know, Jughead Jones is one of my favourite comic characters of all-time. In #2, the artwork is on point and the characters we know and love are just as fun as they've always been. I couldn't get enough of it!

And I'm not going to lie, I totally cackled during the scene in detention when Jughead and Dilton were talking. "Your dad's name is Harvard?" Dilton? Hello, Dilton? (I actually wanted to add: is this thing on? To this entire scene. I was giggly, I guess.) The way that this scene is portrayed is classic Archie all the way and as mundane as it seems, it just made me smile like a doofus. Or like a Jughead who just spot a burger--whichever.

The Original Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

Ginny Moon is a highly intriguing novel that hit a lot of high and low notes. I don't want my rating to fool you--I did appreciate this novel and thought it was very important to its genre. There were a few things I didn't like about it, which were what landed it between 3 and 4 stars, I may update it to 4 of 5 stars at the end of the day, like the ending.

For the most part Benjamin Ludwig crafts an unforgettable tale that combines innocence and a little heartbreak. I can't explain how I felt while reading it without spoiling and that's the opposite of what I want to do. It shines light on a character that is vastly underrepresented in modern and classic literature, and its prose is thoughtful--elegant and thought provoking. Ludwig managed to impress me deeply with the way the plotline is captured and you can feel everything as you are reading. I do mean everything.

Full of solid relationships (family and all its confusions) and sprinkled in are a lot of mixed genres; Ginny Moon is charming. I do think that even the most reluctant of readers will appreciate this novel and the characters in it. The tone is such a compelling one that you can't really put it down.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace | Rating: ★★★★★

Original review here. Slightly revised from its original form in honor of the newly published version, now featuring more new poems. This is pretty much the same review only it tackles a bit more without spoiling the new works published. A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One is a triumph in modern poetry and I'm not just saying this because I've followed Amanda for years on her Tumblr and admired her blog from afar. I'm saying this because it's the first thought that comes to mind when reading this. If ever there were a release this year worthy of hype, it's this one. No matter what someone says--this is poetry and this breathes life to Amanda's words.

It came to me during a reading slump and brought me from it. Actually, I can't stress how important this collection is to me because reading it was something truly magical and didn't just pull me out of a reading slump. Now, my second time reading it and exploring the newer additions, I can say even further that Amanda Lovelace is a talent in her own league and someone to look out for.