Cheshire Crossing Review

Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen

The three meet here, at Cheshire Crossing–a boarding school where girls like them learn how to cope with their supernatural experiences and harness their magical world-crossing powers.

But the trio–now teenagers, who’ve had their fill of meddling authority figures–aren’t content to sit still in a classroom. Soon they’re dashing from one universe to the next, leaving havoc in their wake–and, inadvertently, bringing the Wicked Witch and Hook together in a deadly supervillain love match.

To stop them, the girls will have to draw on all of their powers . . . and marshal a team of unlikely allies from across the magical multiverse.

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I was intrigued by the fact that this was written by Andy Weir, and then it is illustrated by sarah Andersen, so I bought it and decided to plunge in. Review are mixed so I went in carefully.

For starters, it is a graphic novel and it appears to be directed to younger teens. Alice, Dorothy and Wendy have been “dumped” into this boarding school due to their odd behaviours. They have been labeled many things, so it is is a slightly refreshing take to find that this school is more lenient even if it involves a “nanny” that is on the ball.

The Alice of this book reminded me a lot of the Alice in American McGees games. She is dark and Wonderland is a friend and foe, all in her head in a way. Wendy and Dorothy are a lot less familiar to me, not that I haven’t read the books but rather I have less fondness for a “beyond the original story” version of them.

However, they didn’t seem too out of character, just a “now what do we do with ourselves?”. There’s a lot of shenanigans and Alice definitely doesn’t help much make it easier, but regardless, I found it a relatively easy read.

If you haven’t read the stories behind the three girls, then you miss a lot of the “nuance” of the story, which adds references to their original stories over and over (the red poppy field from Oz, the melting “witches”, all of Neverland, Tinkerbell, Cheshire cat, etc) I don’t want to say all of them as some are subtle and some not so much, and I enjoyed the subtle ones.

At some point I read The Martian but that’s all I remember and so I didn’t have expectations exactly for this book. I think this helped me enjoy it more, it is a simple tale in that it jumps, does a lot of plot holes and continuity but it is all about the fun, the adventure and adding as much as possible into it as I think there wasn’t really a “sure, there will be more” but more of a “one and if we’re super ultra lucky, more?”

Still, it is enjoyable, fun references. Quick read of a graphic novel and probably ticks a lot of boxes for readathons.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Review

Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clanton

Narwhal’s obsession with his new favorite food leads him into hijinks and hilarity in the third book of this all-star early graphic novel series!

Narwhal and Jelly are back and Narwhal has a new obsession . . . peanut butter! He’s so obsessed he even wants to change his name to . . . that’s right . . . Peanut Butter! Ever-sensible Jelly isn’t so sure that’s the best idea, but is all for Narwhal trying new things (instead of just eating waffles all the time, no matter how delicious waffles are).

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This is the third book in the series and though you don’t need to have read the previous ones, they definitely help! You can see my reviews for the first one and the second one.

As per the previous books, this is ultra cute and sweet. Jelly is trying to find out if Narwhal has tried peanut butter (or several other foods) but Narwhal is in for a surprise and so is Jelly!

Charming, fun, very positive and just overall cute, this book wins and made me giggle and smile as I read it, so I highly recommend it.

Plus it has a narwhal and a jellyfish and they’re friends and there’s loads of waffles, and in this particular one, even some peanut butter cookies and peanut butter in a jar! Yum, now I am getting hungry, so I will finish the review here saying you should buy them all and have them around to give yoursefl a soft smile and some warm feelings when needed. Meanwhile I am off to find a jar of peanut butter…

Grimoire Noir Review

Grimoire Noir by Vera Greentea and Yana Bogatch

It tells the story of a town where every woman is a witch, and what happens when one of them goes missing.

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With a name like that, it ewas hard to resist and the artwork caught my eye even further. This was a preorder and it cameon a grey day so it was the perfect read.

The book is a witchy mystery in a town full of secrets where every female (girls at a certain age and women) has some kind fo magic power, but they can’t leave the town or they will lose their powers and may not survive the “barrier” that keeps them in.

It is an interesting world, and it made me wonder if it was worth having magic if you’re stuck to a small town and area? I guess it’d depend on what the people in town are.

The story follows a young man, who’s sister has disappeared, and she was a very powerful witch even if a little bit young. He thinks it is foul play and something is going on, but the police aren’t really helping so he decides to investigate on his own.

As he investigates you get to see more and more fo the inhabitants of the town and the town itself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it had a tiny bit of scary but mostly it was trying to solve the mystery of what happened to his sister and why.

The ending is interesting as it can be the end but there could be another book. I hope there’s another but if there isn’t, I am happy a is.

If you like graphic novels, witchy stuff or magic, and/or mysteries in small towns and close knit communities, this is a great one to read.

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom by Gigi D.G.

What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction?

World domination, obviously.

The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight.

Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour?

Sure, why not?

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Cucumber Quest was one of my birthday gifts I had on my wishlist. One of those I am randomly looking at related to this item things and stumbled upon it.

The main thing about it is that it is cute, it has a nerdy bunny who doesn’t want to be a hero and his little sister that does. Cucumber Quest pokes fun at the cliches. Starting with “you are given this quest, you are the chosen one”, which Cucumber (the nerdy bunny) definitely doesn’t think he is. All he wants is to go to school of magic.

We also have an evil queen bent on world domination! And her lackeys, who are amusing and very much useless, but they made me laugh a lot. There is a princess that is kept captive (and that Cucumber has zero interest in).

And Almond, his sister is super awesome and ballsy. She’s studying to be a knight, and training to do so, but she’s the little sister, so she can’t be the hero, obviously (but Almond will fight you on that, trust me).

It is a fun easy read with lots of food related things and a lot of poking fun at cliches and quests. It made me laugh and also it is adorably cute! I am curious to read the next one.

Persepolis Review

Another mini review, because I saw a snippet out of this book and it made me laugh so I chose to buy it (yeah, the reasons that make me buy books are very varied) and because I am still at YALC doing bookish stuff.

Persepolis is a book that is a comic collection. And it is a story in comics. Plus it is an autobiography. I know a lot of things in one single book.

And because it is so many things, most of it was a great interesting read, either because I was learning something about Iran/Persia or because it was funny. But some of those parts also were a bit odd, slice of life that I just didn’t connect or found relevant (but that’s me and this is a biography type of thing so yeah).

It was a quick read as it is made of short comics as mini episodes of her life, so you can stop, get a dirnk or a snack and keep going without loosing much, lots of pause points. And in itself you don’t have to remember a LOT of stuff or anything. You could basically open the book anywhere and as long as it is the start of that comic, you’re totally fine to go. (Yeah you may miss some nuance, but it won’t detract from it). So that’s a good plus for this little book.

The biggest issue I had with this (just for the record, biggest issue is just to say what bugged me most but it doesn’t mean the book is bad just what I noticed most as a con) nis that sometimes it rambles poetically, and it kinda ends too soon. But it was an easy interesting read for me.

Teen Titans Raven Review

Teen Titans Raven by Kami Garcia; Illustrated by Gabriel Picolo

When a tragic accident takes the life of 17-year-old Raven Roth’s foster mom–and Raven’s memory–she moves to New Orleans to recover and finish her senior year of high school.

Starting over isn’t easy. Raven remembers everyday stuff like how to solve math equations and make pasta, but she can’t remember her favorite song or who she was before the accident. And when impossible things start happening, Raven begins to think it might even be better not to know who she was before.

But as she grows closer to her new friends, her foster sister, Max, and Tommy Torres, a guy who accepts her for who she is now, Raven has to decide if she’s ready to face what’s buried in the past…and the darkness building inside her.

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Let me start this by saying that when I heard Picolo was illustrating this book I knew I had to have it. Plus, I grew up watching Teen Titans on Cartoon Network so there was also that.

I’ve been following Picolo since he started his very first 365 doodle challenge (at the time I was in my third or fourth year of daily drawing challenge) on Deviantart (before I left, but I was already almost gone from there). And still follow him on social media. So yes, I really enjoy his art.

Which brings me to my rating. To be honest, the only reason this book gets 4 stars is because of the art. The story is bad.

Wait, what?! Yes, the story is bad. It is weak. This is Raven! And what we get is a poorly written story, something that feels amateur for comics (my personal take is that Kami knows how to write a novel/books, but that doesn’t mean it translates well to graphic novels). It tries SO hard to keep the suspense and make Raven even more mysterious than she is, while making her extra moody and annoyed, that you get annoyed at her and want to throw the book at a wall. (As per above, I didn’t throw it at a wall because the art is my jam).

I mean, if you go see Picolo’s instagram and stuff, there’s TONS of Teen Titans fanart. And those tell a better story than this book (in a single image, the whole “a picture is worth a thousand words” definitely applies here).

In summary, art carries the story which is weak and suffers from pacing, information delivery and “ohh mysterious mystery won’t tell you anything then info dump it on you at the end because I forgot there was all of this you needed to know for it to make sense” issues. I think Raven deserved more. And I want all of the Teen Titans illustrated by Picolo ❤

Henchgirl Review

Henchgirl by Kristen Gudsnuk

Mary Posa hates her job. She works long hours for little pay, no insurance, and worst of all, no respect. Her co-workers are jerks and her boss doesn’t appreciate her. He’s also a supervillain. And her parents… well, they’re the most famous superhero couple in Crepe City, along with her sister. Cursed with a conscience, Mary would give anything to be something other than a Henchgirl, but no matter what she does her plans always seem to go awry.

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I borrowed this from Nikki 🙂 and it was a nice read for before bed time. It is a bit chaotic but funny and at times reminded me of Nimona.

Basically Mary is a little bit unlucky and is working as henchgirl for the villains in Crepe city btu doesn’t actually like it. As we move through the book, we learn more about why she’s doing that. That she thinks taxes are a great thing to be able to do (poor woman, she has no idea!) There are a lot of puns in the comic, starting with her being Mary Posa (mariposa, butterfly in Spanish) working for the Butterfly Gang.

There’s her room mates and Mannequin, plus her family and they all add a little bit of a different flavour. The story is left in a cliffhanger which was very confusing as halfway through it felt like it was getting to the end of an arc, and there was suddenly something thrown into it that “revived” the arc and didn’t let it gracefully end.

It was still enjoyable, and the art isn’t the most amazing art but it is cute and get the point, reminds em of the Sundays cartoons.