Mini Reviews: Graphic Novels

Jane, the Fox, & Me Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault




Summary: It's about a girl who gets teased at school and turns to her book that she's reading, Jane Eyre for comfort. Takes place during school and the main character and her classmates go to a camping trip.


Review: (3.5 stars) I thought this was a cute little story. Very relatable and I'm sure we all know about teasing and how cruel school kids can be! Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books so I loved the references to that (however the whole plot/story of Jane Eyre is given away in this story just to warn you if you haven't read it). I liked that it was like a coming of age story and I liked the illustrations where they looked like sketches that the main character did and wrote so that helped to really relate to the main character further. It was very memorable but it was a cute little story.


The Arrival by Shaun Tan




Summary: Completely in pictures and no words - it reads like a silent film. It's about a immigrant who has to leave his family behind to a whole new country and make a life for himself and his family.


Review: (3 stars) If I would have read the summary of this graphic novel before I went into it, I would have appreciated it much more than I did. Reading it, I was a bit confused about the main point of the story. I thought the illustrations were beautiful and dark but I just didn't get it because the way the country he travels too (I'm guessing America) is drawn in a magical fantasy'esque type way that I just didn't get. When I finished it and then finally read the summary to see what it was about - it all made sense and it was kind of beautiful. But it still didn't leave a lasting impression on me - but I do recommend reading the summary before going into this one! Definitely unique!


Blankets by Craig Thompson




Summary: This is about a boy who has grown up as Christian where he attends bible school and is trying to figure out his life and his beliefs based on things that has happened to him in his past with his family and things that are going on currently with his life. It's more of a finding yourself type book with emphasis on faith. There is a romance that takes place too! (it's also very long)


Review: (4 stars) I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I am not a religious person myself so some of the preachy stuff I kind of glossed over but overall it didn't bother me too much because I can understand that faith is a pretty big deal in certain peoples lives. I liked the illustrations and how it went back and forth from present and past as the main character was figuring out his life and telling us his story. I did like the romance of this book too, it was fairly realistic and I appreciated that. I thought it was a beautiful coming of age story!


Boxers & Saints by Gene Juen Yang




Summary: This is a duology about the Boxer Rebellion that took place in China back in the day. The first book, Boxers is in the perspective of a boy that rebelled against Christianity and was known as a Boxer and it goes through the story of the Boxer Rebellion from the "Boxer" point of view. The second book, Saints is in the perspective of a girl that  becomes Christian and goes through the Rebellion in the Saints perspective.


Review: (3.5 stars) I thought this was a pretty good duology. If I learned about the Boxer Rebellion - I think I would have enjoyed this duo more. I didn't exactly get all the references to the Rebellion but I was overall able to follow and understand what was going on. I liked the illustrations and the way the story was told. I did like Saints, the second book better because by then I understood the whole story and I looked up the Boxer Rebellion to understand more. And I liked that it was in the girls perspective and it was just more interesting and easier to follow along in my opinion. Overall - these were pretty good and if you are interested in the Boxer Rebellion - I think you'd really enjoy it. I do prefer his other graphic novel, American Born Chinese over this two.


DNF: Stuck in the Middle by Various Authors: This consists of 17 stories written by various authors that depict hard times during middle school. I read the first 3 stories and the one by Daniel Clowes (also wrote Ghost World) and was absolutely bored. The stories that I read were all mediocre and didn't seem to be complete. I just couldn't suffer anymore - the art didn't even help. Nope, had to take that one back to the library with no regrets!


(I also took My Friend Dahmer back to the library unread because I knew I wasn't going to get to it. I still have Fables, A Bride's Story out from the library and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get to them (or be in the mood to) before they are due. I also am waiting for Skim to come in and I will be reading that one)


Have you read any of these? Please leave me recommendations for graphic novels :)