Comics · Fantasy · Fiction · Graphic Novel · Julia P · Page-Turner · Quick Read! · Science Fiction

Saga, Vol. 8 | by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga, #8)

Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2017, 146 pages)

The saga continues… ha! But seriously, I’m ready for volume 9 and I wish I didn’t have to wait until October for its publication.

The family drama continues as Hazel and her parents try to survive in the midst of a chaotic universe. The social commentary in Vaughan’s work combined with Staples’s amazing artwork  make this a series not to be missed. I’d definitely recommend Saga if you haven’t already picked it up. Sure, there are parts that are graphic, but there’s so much packed into each volume!

4/5 stars

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Comics · Fiction · Kelly M · Pop Culture/Entertainment · Quick Read! · Science Fiction

Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol. 3 | by Mike Johnson

Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol. 3

Star Trek: Boldly Go, Vol. 3
by Mike Johnson; illustrated by Josh Hood, Megan Levens, Tana Ford
(IDW Publishing, 2018, 144 pages)

This graphic novel follows members of the “new” original series from alternate realities in multiple unexpected forms. For example, Kirk shows up as a plant in one reality and a woman (Jane Kirk) in another. The paths of characters from different realities intersect in different plots (e.g., plant Kirk might have been paired up with male Uhuro in a storyline). It was a little hard to follow sometimes, but interesting to see the characters in different forms. For fans of Star Trek.

3.5/5 stars

Comics · Fantasy · Fiction · Graphic Novel · Julia P · Quick Read! · Science Fiction · Series

Saga v. 5-7 | by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga, Vol. 5 (Saga, #5)

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2015, 152 pages)

Well, I apparently read this volume about three years ago… I’m glad I read it again, though! It was so fun getting back into Saga after an unintended hiatus. We still have the same cast of characters, people are trying to stay alive, others are trying to kill… This would end up being spoiler-y for anyone that isn’t as far in the series or who is considering picking it up. For all three volumes in this post I’ll just say that Vaughan and Staples continue to work their magic. It looks like volumes 8 and 9 have moved up in my TBR pile 🙂

4/5 stars

Saga, Vol. 6 (Saga, #6)

Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2016, 152 pages)

4/5 stars

Saga, Vol. 7 (Saga, #7)

Saga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples
(Image Comics, 2017, 152 pages)

4/5 stars

Comics · Fiction · Food! · Julia P · Manga · Quick Read! · Relationships · Romance

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 1 | by Fumi Yoshinaga

What Did You Eat Yesterday?, Volume 1

What Did You Eat Yesterday? Vol. 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga
(Vertical, 2014, 200 pages)

I honestly can’t remember how this series even caught my eye but the subject matter (fabulous food, relationships, comics) is certainly in my wheelhouse. This was actually my first time reading manga so it was a fun experience to adjust to the different reading format.

The story focuses on two men who are in a relationship. Shiro is a high-powered lawyer who reveals nothing about his sexuality at work. He enjoys spending his free time cooking delicious meals for himself and his partner, Kenji. Kenji works as a hairstylist and owns his sexuality. They occupy very different worlds but they bond over their shared meals.

Yoshinaga offers detailed descriptions of the food Shiro prepares and also includes recipes at the end of each chapter. I appreciated the artistic styling of the book and I’m actually curious to see how Yoshinaga further develops the main characters. There are a lot of plot points introduced in this volume and I’m intrigued by how they might get resolved. I’d give another volume or two a try before making my final decision on the series though as you can see from my star rating, I wasn’t blown away by any means.

2/5 stars

Fiction · Julia P · Quick Read! · Romance · Series · Steamy

Hurts to Love You | by Alisha Rai

Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts, #3)

Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts #3) by Alisha Rai
(Avon, 2018, 369 pages)

The final book in the Forbidden Hearts series wrapped things up nicely. Keeping things in the Kane and Chandler families this book focuses on Eve, the youngest (and only) daughter in the Chandler family. She is getting ready to celebrate the wedding of her brother and his recently-reunited high school love, Livvy, but in the midst of wedding details she finds it harder and harder to ignore her attraction to Gabe Hunter, a surrogate-Kane if ever there was one.

Gabe was the child of the Kane’s housekeeper and was effectively raised with the Kane children. Tall, rugged, handsome, tattooed, known for his sexual prowess… he’s the man Eve has had her eye on since she was a teenager. What Eve doesn’t know is that in the midst of the wedding planning Gabe has developed something of a crush on her that he regularly tries to brush off.

While both Eve and Gabe try to deny their mutual attraction it seems like all the mishaps leading up to the wedding day are conspiring to get them to spend more one-on-one time together. Eve helps that along by deciding to put herself out there in a way she hadn’t really done before. As the two find themselves getting closer family secrets find a way of coming out… Neither Gabe nor Eve is sure they can handle the ramifications.

There’s no question that the first book in this series (Hate to Want You) was the one I enjoyed the most, but this one didn’t disappoint. I’m glad I discovered Rai’s writing and will turning to her when I’m looking for another contemporary romance to round out my TBR pile.

3.5/5 stars

Comics · Fiction · Graphic Novel · Kelly M · Page-Turner · Quick Read! · Romance

My Boyfriend is a Bear | by Pamela Ribon; illus. Cat Farris

My Boyfriend Is a Bear

My Boyfriend is a Bear by Pamela Ribon; illustrated by Cat Farris
(Oni Press, 2018, 176 pages)

My Boyfriend is a Bear is a graphic novel about a young woman and a bear who fall in love. The bear says little more than “grah,” but they seem to be able to communicate. The relationship is no secret. The bear is the life of the party, drinking and playing Twister with the woman’s friends. Her parents are skeptical though (you can’t have kids with a bear). The story, complemented well by brightly colored drawings, elicited a range of emotions. It was hard to put down. Highly recommended, but not for kids.

5/5 stars

Autobiography · Humor · In the Library · Julia P · Memoir · Non-Fiction · Quick Read! · SCC Book Club · Women

Shrill | by Lindy West

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
(Hachette Books, 2016, 260 pages)

This is the second title up for discussion by the SCC Between the Covers book club. Prior to picking this up I was familiar with Lindy West thanks to her Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times as well as the work she did prior to that on Jezebel. I initially approached this book as a collection of essays but had to recalibrate when I came to the realization it was a memoir. That helped explain why it seemed like the book progressively got darker. Granted, I laughed throughout as I was reading, but there were some sections that were significantly more humorous than others.

West covers a lot of ground in this book. It’s more than just a memoir; it talks about body image, rape culture, relationships, loss, the world of comedy, online trolling… and she does it all in a way that makes the heaviness of the subject matter seem almost “bearable.” While I was reading I found myself comparing her work to some of Roxane Gay’s essays that touch on similar issues and it was interesting to think of how their tones come across differently.

I’m glad this was our March selection for book club and I’m glad it got me to read more of Lindy West’s work (specifically her writing in The Guardian). If you want to hear more I guess you should come to the book club discussion on 3/28! 😉

3.5/5 stars