A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik: A Review

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 6/10 it’s a pretty cover, but also kinda basic for my tastes. I feel like I get a feel that the story is magical and school related, but I think the styling isn’t completely for me.

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Publish Date: September 29th, 2020

Number of Pages: 336

Received: My boyfriend bought it for me as a blind date with a book. I was surprised and curious about it when I got it and then reading it absolutely blew me away. It was also amazing cause I realized this was the second blind date book he’d gotten me and it was randomly the same author as the previous one he’d gotten for me ‘Spinning Silver’.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver comes the first book of the Scholomance trilogy, the story of an unwilling dark sorceress who is destined to rewrite the rules of magic.

FINALIST FOR THE LODESTAR AWARD • “The dark school of magic I’ve been waiting for.”—Katherine Arden, author of the Winternight Trilogy

I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.

Everyone loves Orion Lake. Everyone else, that is. Far as I’m concerned, he can keep his flashy combat magic to himself. I’m not joining his pack of adoring fans.

I don’t need help surviving the Scholomance, even if they do. Forget the hordes of monsters and cursed artifacts, I’m probably the most dangerous thing in the place. Just give me a chance and I’ll level mountains and kill untold millions, make myself the dark queen of the world.

At least, that’s what the world expects. Most of the other students in here would be delighted if Orion killed me like one more evil thing that’s crawled out of the drains. Sometimes I think they want me to turn into the evil witch they assume I am. The school certainly does.

But the Scholomance isn’t getting what it wants from me. And neither is Orion Lake. I may not be anyone’s idea of the shining hero, but I’m going to make it out of this place alive, and I’m not going to slaughter thousands to do it, either.

Although I’m giving serious consideration to just one.

Opening Sentence: “I decided that Orion Lake needed to die after the second time he saved my life.”

Musings:

I finished this book a good while back and I feel so bad I didn’t review this sooner because this book is just so amazing! I adore this book. I want to live in this book. Actually I’d rather not the Scolomancy is actually terrifying, but the idea of the magic and the school was so unique and wonderful! GAHHHHH! I have so many feelings for this book.

What I LOVED:

Actually everything. The pacing was amazing. The characters quirky and interesting to read about. The magic system S tier. The setting mindblowingly interesting and cool. The way this book made me think about current issues with capitalism was shocking to me. The conversations I had about this book with my boyfriend were amazing. There were times this book made me smile so big and want to chuckle. The way that magic and the school itself had its own personality was amazing. The detail and the lushness of this book was stunning. I couldn’t rave about this book more.

Novik created a world of her own. I think there’s so many typical interpretations of magic that have been done over and over, but in ‘A Deadly Education’ that is definitely not the case. The magic is so alive and the danger and systems in place so unique to this world it was delightful. It truly is a deadly eduction. Surviving this school would be a tough order for most anyone.

Galadriels view of her own power. Galadriel is so powerful. Intensely powerful. Yet, her reasonings for staying under the radar are admirable. I don’t know if I can speak more on this without spoiling something really powerful about this book. So I’ll leave it like this for you all to discover this on your own.

How real the world felt. Even though this book is 100% fantasy. The world uncovers itself in such a way that you’re learning about it, but it feels like you’ve always known it to be that way. It’s so easy to be sucked in and you don’t feel like your being told how the world is, the world simply is. Which shows just how much care Naomi put into crafting this story.

How messed up Enclaves are. Enclaves and enclaves dynamics are so important to this story and it adds to the messed up system this world is built upon. Yet, everyone wants to be in an enclave and everyone wants the protection it provides. Which is the part that made me think of our worlds capitalism and being rich and how it screws over so many people, but yet everyone wishes they were well off. This cycle of a system fundamentally broken and often insidiously so.

The fights. The battles in this book are so well paced and fun to read. You feel the danger of it. It sucks you in immediately.

Galadriel and Orion as people. These two have some super unique personalities yet, the way they were brought up and the more you learn about them the more their thought processes and quirks make a lot of sense. Very well fleshed out characters in ‘A Deadly Education’.

Language being so integral to the magic. The learning of languages and the value of languages in this school and magic is so interesting. The more language you know the more spells you have access to and the more unique the language the more unique the spells. I loved the library scenes in this book. So cool.

All in all:

You should stop reading this review and go and pick up a copy of this book right now. It was so good and amazing. I loved this. I’ll always love this book it’s definitely a new favorite.

About the Author

Naomi Novik is the acclaimed New York Times-bestselling author of the Nebula Award-winning novel Uprooted, Spinning Silver, and the nine-volume Temeraire series, as well as a founder of the Archive of Our Own. Her upcoming book A Deadly Education is the first of the Scholomance trilogy, and will be available September 2020.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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I Watched the Scream Movies For the First Time

I have been a major horror movie kick recently. Wanting to dip my toes into classic horror films and also newer films too. I’ve felt like getting to know more about the different horror genres and enjoy all that horror has to offer.

So I started with a classic that I felt would be fun that I’d never seen before and that was the Scream films. Especially with the 5th movie coming out in January I thought it’d be appropriate.

Scream

The opening scene of this film is so good. The dialog is very entertaining and I think those first 5 minutes made the franchise. I think the first scream is the best of the four. All of them are meta, but I think it introduces everything so well and it’s funny and suspenseful throughout.

Scream 2

Scream 2 was a mixed bag for me. I liked it. I actually jumped during one part and it surprised me. It was very self aware and meta, but I also felt that it somewhat stopped being a parody of itself and became what it was parodying. I did think that the ending was interesting when the killers are revealed. I wasn’t really expecting it.

Scream 3

I feel like I felt similarly to scream 3 as scream 2. The problem is I’m not really remembering much of what happens in this film. Upon looking it up I did like this one more and feel it’s the better of the sequels. I liked who the killer was. I thought that final scene was very interesting. While not as iconic as the original it was good and entertaining.

Scream 4

I’m currently rewatching this one as I only half paid attention watching it the first time. I remembered the beginning pretty well, but the middle gets lost. Somehow even with me only having half paid attention it still feels way better to me then the second film. The extra meta in the beginning and then the way it ends. It was a lot of fun.

All in all:

This franchise is such a fun one. It’s very high in entertainment value, but it’s also not serious enough that you can’t be enjoying other things as well in the meantime. I’m really excited for the 5th movie and seeing how more modern technology changes the dynamics of this killer and what hi jinx ensues.

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Wonderful Women of the World: A Review

Wonderful Women of the World

Edited by Laurie Halse Anderson

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 10/10 it’s a beautiful cover that exactly tells you what this comic is and what it’s about. It’s a celebration of women and all the wonder women of the world.

Publisher: DC Comics

Publish Date: September 28th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208

Received: Dc comics provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Women change the World…

…they’ve been doing it for centuries. Now New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson has gathered female and nonbinary writers and artists to reveal the women making our world better day by day. Real-world heroes who exemplify the best of Wonder Woman herself: her strength, compassion, and commitment to truth, equality, and justice.

Read the stories of Beyoncé (by Mikki Kendall and A.D’Amico), Keiko Agena (by Sarah Kuhn, Lynne Yoshii, and Carrie Strachan), Márcia Barbosa (by Corinna Bechko and Anastasia Longoria), Brené Brown (by Louise Simonson and Nicole Goux), Mariana Costa Checa (by Melissa Marr and Marcela Cespedes), Mari Copeny (by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Sharee Miller, and Silvana Brys), Teara Fraser (by Traci Sorell and Natasha Donovan), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (by Lilah Sturges, Devaki Neogi, and Triona Farrell), Judith Heumann (by Marieke Nijkamp and Ashanti Fortson), Marsha P. Johnson (by Jadzia Axelrod and Michaela Washington), Leiomy Maldonado (by Magdalen Visaggio and Emma Kubert), Ellen Ochoa (by Cecil Castellucci and Carina Guevara), Francisca Nneka Okeke (by Dr. Sheena C. Howard and Laylie Frazier), Greta Thunberg (by Kami Garcia and Igzell), Naomi Watanabe (by Jody Houser and Michiums), Serena Williams (by Danielle Page, Brittney Williams, and Caitlin Quirk), Edith Widnsor (by Amanda Deibert and Cat Staggs), Malala Yousafzai (by Son M. and Safiya Zerrougui), and Khatijah Mohamad Yusoff (by Amanda Deibert, Hanie Mohd, and Shari Chankhamma).

Musings:

The feeling of empowerment that I felt reading this was really powerful. I wasn’t expecting the depth of feeling that it would inspire in me. Seeing all these amazing women who pushed past boundaries and thrived to be major successes in their individual lives.

The individual art that went with each story was so beautiful too. It really gave a sense of each individual person and gave them a color and feel of their own.

I really enjoyed Mari Copeny’s story being so young and deciding that she would be a voice for change. There’s something about children that makes them see things for what they really are. A innocence that makes them confident that they can go out there and really make a difference. Something that many adults lose in themselves. But, reading her story made me feel like why am I stopping myself from doing the things I’m passionate about? The only person holding me back is me.

My other favorite story was about Naomi Watanabe. I love her because she’s all about loving yourself for who you are. Making jokes that have nothing to do with putting herself down and being incredibly successful being a positive icon. I think she has such a beautiful soul.

All in all:

This comic is a great must have for all the women in your family. It’s empowering and a beautiful read. It did Wonder woman’s anniversary proud.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Beast Boy Loves Raven: A Review

Beast Boy Loves Raven

Written by Kami Garcia

Illustrated by Gabriel Piccolo

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 always with these the artwork is so stunning. It tells the story instantly and any teen titan fan would sure pick this up!

Publisher: DC Comics

Publish Date: September 28th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208

Received: DC Comics sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author KAMI GARCIA (Beautiful Creatures) and artist GABRIEL PICOLO, the creative duo behind the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Teen Titans: Raven, comes the romantic meet-up we have all been waiting for! 

It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories, trapped her demon father, Trigon, into her amulet, and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.

Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.

Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.

When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest part of themselves? Or maybe even love?

Opening Page:

Musings:

Beast Boy Loves Raven tells the story of how Beast boy, Robin, and Raven all meet. This is the first appearance Robin makes in these comics.

Robin is a mostly serious character who knows what he is doing. He is smart and tactical and very practical. I’m very interested to see how his character is fleshed out in the next comic.

Beast Boy and Raven meet in the same area while they both wait separately for their meetings with Slade. Beast Boy is immediately attracted to Raven and tries to charm her. It takes a while for her to trust him, but she comes around. They make a really cute couple already.

This is my favorite artwork of the whole story. The pain and intensity with the uniqueness of beast boy starting to transform. It’s stunning and also builds up the dynamic of the relationship between Beast Boy and Raven as she tries to figure out what she can do to save him.

All in all:

I really enjoyed reading this! It’s a fun read that makes me want so much more of these stories and I really hope that they do continue this well into the future. I want to see how the Teen Titans assemble in this new storyline.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Unearthed by Lilliam Rivera and Steph C. : A Review

Unearthed

Written by Lilliam Rivera

Illustrated by Steph C.

My Rating: 5 stars!!!

Cover Rating: 10/10 the cover is absolutely stunning. My god is it gorgeous. They did a stunning job with it.

Publisher: DC Comics

Publish Date: September 14th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208 pages

Received: digital copy provided by DC Comics. Physical copy purchased at Barnes and noble.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera and artist Steph C. reimagine one of DC’s greatest Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz, to tell a story about immigration, family, and overcoming fear to inspire hope.

Jessica Cruz has done everything right. She’s a dedicated student, popular among her classmates, and has a loving family that has done everything they can to give her a better life in the United States. While Jessica is a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowing her to go to school and live in the U.S., her parents are undocumented. Jessica usually worries for her parents, but her fears and anxiety escalate as a mayoral candidate with a strong anti-immigration stance runs for office. 

As the xenophobia in Coast City increases, Jessica begins to debate whether it’s worth renewing her status to stay in the U.S., or if her family would be safer and better off moving back to Mexico. And despite her attempts to lean on her friends and family, she finds herself constantly visited by visions of Aztec gods, one pulling her towards hope and the other towards anger. 

But when her father is detained by I.C.E., Jessica finds herself being pulled into an abyss of fear. With her father gone and feeling helpless, Jessica must find her way out of her fears and ultimately become a voice for her community.

Opening Page:

Musings:

‘Unearthed’ has my heart. This gorgeous comic brought me to tears several times and the balance of the words and the illustrations blended together so perfectly to tell the story of Jessica. From the beginning her general anxiety about school and needing to do well paired with her fear of losing her family to I.C.E. Due to being undocumented felt so real. There are so many D.A.C.A program and undocumented students that would relate deeply to this story.

Something I also loved was all the Spanish when the parents were speaking to their daughter. For me, growing up in a latinax household it felt so normal to have that mixture of Spanish and English reading this. Also the lovingness of ‘Mi hija’ made my heart so happy.

One of the big themes of this was Fernanda running for office. She discusses ‘cleaning up’ Coast City and cracking down on immigration. The fear Jessica’s family feels towards this women and the ideas she represents is palpable. Jessica even goes so far into her anger because of it that she loses sight of what is truly important for a while.

Her anger has her feeling one with the ideas of the God of the Smoking Mirror. He says that destruction will create a new way forward.

It is also interesting to me that her anxiety is also colored by the fire of the God of the Smoking Mirror. It seems to suggest a fear based thinking in the ideology of his anger.

When the Goddess of the Jade Skirt shows up in a dream and first tells her to let herself be a bridge and to connect with her friends to make change she doesn’t quite connect to it at first. It takes her a long while to understand the ideas this goddess was trying to teach her.

All in all:

This was an amazing read! I loved it with every part of me. The art so stunning and rich in color. The story so full of raw emotion. The hope a steady beat that brings Jessica to step forward and make her stand. It’s such a powerful read. I cannot recommend this comic enough.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Whistle by E Lockhart and Manuel Preitano: A Review

Whistle by E Lockhart and Manuel Preitano

My Rating: 4 stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 the cover is stunning. The color scheme, the dynamic duo front and center. It’s beautiful.

Publisher: DC comics

Publish Date: September 7th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208

Received: I received a physical copy in partnership with DC comics.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author E. Lockhart (Genuine FraudWe Were Liars) and artist Manuel Preitano (The Oracle Code) comes a new Gotham City superhero in this exciting YA graphic novel.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Zimmerman has something to say. When she’s not on the streets protesting City Hall’s neglect of her run-down Gotham neighborhood, she’s working nights at the local dog shelter. But despite how much she does for the world around her, she’s struggling to take care of her sick mother at home. She’s got no time for boys (though there’s one she really likes), and no means to adopt the amazingly loyal stray Great Dane, Lebowitz, that follows her around. 

Without health insurance and with money running out, a desperate Willow reconnects with an estranged family friend E. Nigma–party promoter, and real estate tycoon. Nigma opens the door to an easier life, offering Willow a new job hosting his glamorous private poker nights with Gotham City’s elites. Now Willow is able to afford critical medical treatments for her mother and get a taste of the high life she’s never had. 

Then everything changes: Willow and Lebowitz are attacked by one of Gotham’s most horrific villains, the monstrous Killer Croc. When they wake after the fight, they can understand each other. And Willow has powers she never dreamed of. 

When Willow discovers that Nigma and his poker buddies are actually some of Gotham’s most corrupt criminals, she must make a choice: remain loyal to the man who saved her mother’s life, or use her new powers to save her community.

Opening Page:

Musings:

Whistle shows how easy it can be to see things in a grey area. Willow is a girl that cares very much about the environment and often goes to protests and volunteers. Her job helping animals doesn’t pay so much, but she loved helping the dogs everyday. She also worries a lot about her mom who has cancer and is worried that they can’t pay the bills so when ‘E. Nigma’ (a.k.a the riddle (also her uncle)) offers her a job that’ll pay her well enough to easily take care of all expenses, she easily says yes.

Very soon her new job begins to change her and setting up these illegal gambling parties starts to turn her into this new person who never has time to volunteer or help a cause and her crush notices.

An encounter with Killer Croc changes all that. Willow and the stray dog she’d cared for get injured by killer croc and their DNA gets tied together. With their new found powers, Willow decides on what kind of hero she’d like to be.

I really enjoyed seeing poison Ivy in this story. The ultimate understandable villain trying to save the ecosystem who makes herself known by greening buildings.

In this really neat way it’s like poison Ivy reminds Willow of who she always was:

A person who worked towards making the world better for the environment and the people and creatures who live there. The person that her crush really loved being around.

I love how rich it’s been to discuss the story. Yet, one of my favorite things about this comic is the art. It’s such a consistent and gorgeous style throughout. My absolute favorite panel is this one:

The artwork is stunning. There’s a bit of green to everything almost always. The parts without it are the parts where she hasn’t been touched by villainy and I found that to be a really neat touch.

All in all:

I really had a great time reading this! I very much recommend ‘Whistle’. Willow is a hero whose adventures I’d love to see continuing on in the future.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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Spinning Silver: A Review

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak

My Rating: 5 stars!

Cover Rating: 7/10 it’s a very solid and pretty cover. I think the only thing about it that throws me off is how the winter king looks a little like there’s been white out put over him and he looks kinda blank as a result.

Publisher: Del Rey

Publish Date: July 10th, 2018

Number of Pages: 465

Received: my lovely boyfriend bought it for me as a part of a blind date with a book.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “One of the year’s strongest fantasy novels” (NPR), an imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale from the bestselling author of Uprooted.

NEBULA AND HUGO AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF PASTES BEST FANTASY BOOKS OF THE DECADE • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • NPR • Time • Tordotcom • Popsugar • Vox • Vulture  Paste • Bustle • Library Journal

With the Nebula Award–winning Uprooted, Naomi Novik opened a brilliant new chapter in an already acclaimed career, delving into the magic of fairy tales to craft a love story that was both timeless and utterly of the now. Spinning Silver draws readers deeper into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than a breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty—until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk—grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh—Miryem’s fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. She will face an impossible challenge and, along with two unlikely allies, uncover a secret that threatens to consume the lands of humans and Staryk alike.

Opening Sentence: “The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard.”

Musings:

Spinning Silver is a dense fantasy full of detail and different perspectives. It felt like as your reading the book evolves from one book into another much like Miryem’s gift of turning silver into gold. Though my one little critique would be that this book should have had little character names put in the front of each perspective change. It took me tell well towards the end to finally get ahold of each name and perspective and it’s lucky that the writing was so good because it did take me out of the book a bit every-time to figure out who I’m reading about.

The beginning is the tale of Miryem the moneylender, cunning and with all the amount of self-respect it takes to assure that her dues always get paid back to her. I had so much fun and interest just with that part of the story, but with the arrival of the Staryk riding white through the forest, the fear and awe of magic arrives in this novel.

The king of the Staryk comes into Miryem’s life and forces her to perform a duty for him. Make his silver turn to gold on three different occasions and he would make her his queen. Miryem has no interest in being a Staryk queen, but she doesn’t want herself or anyone she loves to die so she goes through with it.

The second main point of view in this novel is that of Wanda. Wanda is a village girl who deals with having an abusive father who wants to sell her off to be married for money he can use to buy his alcohol. Miryem goes to collect a debt at her house one day and because they cannot pay it she has Wanda come work for her everyday till the debt could be paid.

The third main point of view is Irina’s she’s the daughter of a duke who plans to make her the Tsarina with the silver jewelry made from Staryk silver that Miryem makes to sell them. I can’t say how much I love Irina. She’s so strong and cunning. She has this understanding of politics that is amazing and at first she seems unassuming, but no she has so much wit about her.

‘Spinning Silver’ is such a dense fantasy. Every section has its time till the very end. There’s always a main story woven with smaller situations and it’s woven tightly to make a beautiful quilt of words. I loved the world building. Especially the Staryk’s castle and world. The frigid cold and high magic. It had me in awe the entire time reading. There’s this one part that had my eyes glued to the book for how magical it was. Sadly, it’s pretty late into the book so I won’t be detailing it here.

Overall:

This book is about the care we have for our loved ones and how far we will go to save them. It’s full of magic, loyalty, and fights against great foes. One will become bigger then they ever dreamed in order to attempt to defeat a great evil. That is something I think is beautiful. If you haven’t already, read ‘Spinning Silver’. This review barely scratches the surface of all there is to explore in this book. It’s a book worthy of loving.

About the Author

Naomi Novik is the acclaimed New York Times-bestselling author of the Nebula Award-winning novel Uprooted, Spinning Silver, and the nine-volume Temeraire series, as well as a founder of the Archive of Our Own. Her upcoming book A Deadly Education is the first of the Scholomance trilogy, and will be available September 2020.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Check out my INSTAGRAM and TWITTER

Check out THE SISTERS OF TWILIGHT WEBSITE.

If you would like to support me directly here’s a link to BUY ME A KOFI! 

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources:

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

The Extraordinary Part: A Review

The Extraordinary Part by Ruppert and Mulot

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 9/10 The cover is amazing! It is what drew me to the comic in the first place. The only reason this isn’t a 10 out of 10 is because after reading the comic I think there were other imagery that would be even better as a cover.

Publisher: Europe Comics

Publish Date: July 27th, 2021

Number of Pages: 156

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: “Nineteen-year-old Orsay lives an uneventful life in the French countryside, until the day he gains extraordinary powers in his hands after an encounter with a mysterious creature known as a whol. On a trip to Paris in search of a cure, he meets and falls for Basma, a passionate activist for whols’ rights. But Orsay isn’t convinced that whols should be considered equal to humans. Especially once Melek, another human with the same powers, embarks on a murderous rampage to avenge those she sees as her kin.”

Opening Sentence: “Hi dad.”

Musings:

From the start I kept thinking that this comic was really cool. I loved the imagery and the ideas it has. The Whol’s are these really beautiful large art piece like creatures that how up all over cities in Paris.

They are for the most part harmless. However, If you get in contact with a Whol and water it combines with you and the body part attached to the Whol become Whol like.

This comic while featuring teens definitely feels like its aimed more at adults. It can be pretty graphic and there’s a bit of explicit sexuality featured in it. However, I feel that it doe fit the tone and the story this first installment is starting to flesh out.

What made me really attached to this comic is the imagery. It’s beautiful. Yet, the stark contrast of great beauty and the grotesque red of murder makes this novel a pull between right and wrong and how far one should go for what they believe in. Many of the characters in this comic I would say go way too far.

All in All:

I had a blast reading this comic. I remember when I first started it immediately texting my boyfriend and saying “Whoah! Look at this! It’s so cool I’m obsessed!” Talking to him all about it. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves unique imagery and a unique sci-fi.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

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I Am Not Starfire: A Review

I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki

Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani

My Rating: 4 stars

Cover Rating: 7/10 it’s really pretty! The artwork is really well done and it very much shows the major theme of the comic.

Publisher: DC comics

Publish Date: July 27th, 2021

Number of Pages: 208 pages

Received: Dc Comics provided an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

Mandy is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln.

Suddenly, everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire a lot (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you’re sure of is what you’re not? When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom.

Opening Sentence: “All my life I’ve been the kid of a superhero.”

Musings:

I really liked reading this. It was a fun little graphic novel. Mandy’s characterization is very clear, she never developed powers and due to media attention and all the endless questions she grows up wanting to be different to be the ‘Anti-Starfire’. As the story moves along she realizes she never truly was that and her desire wasn’t to be against her mom, but to be an individual.

What I Enjoyed:

The art! Yoshi has a really adorable and pretty art style. Just look at some of these teaser images! Says so much even without words.

The friendship. Mandy has one really great friend in her life that gets her and treats her like an individual and not the product of someone else. He supports her and teases her throughout the story and I love their relationship.

It feels like an introduction. This feels like reading the origin story to a fun new set of comics based on Mandy becoming her own unique superhero. It’ll be so fun to see where this story goes.

All in All:

This was a fun little read. I read it in about 30 minutes and I really enjoyed it. It was cute and seeing first love play out while mixing in the angst was really fun to read.

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! 

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources:

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Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

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Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali: A Review

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

My Rating: 5 stars

Cover Rating: 7/10 this is a super pretty cover! It’s sweet and lovely and it fits the book very well.

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Publish Date: June 13th, 2017

Number of Pages: 328

Received: Netgalley provided an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

An Entertainment Weekly Best YA Book of 2017
Kirkus Top 10 Contemporary Teen Novel of 2017
A 2018 William C. Morris Award Finalist 

Saints and Misfits
 is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen. 

There are three kinds of people in my world:

1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose. 

2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me–the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad. 

Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds. 

But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right? 

3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories. 

Like the monster at my mosque. 

People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask. 

Except me.

Opening Sentence: “I’m in the water.”

Musings:

I loved this book for being about a girl embracing her heritage and ultimately accepting that there is strength is facing the darkness that touched you. Saints and Misfits may have been a light read, but the ending pulls everything together and makes an impactful mark on your heart.

What I loved:

Getting to know a bit about Muslim culture. I don’t really know much about what it means to be Muslim and this was a nice little drop of knowledge for me. Reading stories like this one helps me understand more and see a fragment of the beauty of Muslim culture.

The value of religion and family. Janna falls for Jeremy and in the book she comes to decide weather or not they should pursue anything further then a crush. Her faith matters deeply to her and the question of dating someone outside of her faith being good for her or not is an important question.

Janna’s relationship with the older man she helps take care of. I love how adorable it is that she helps this man and he talks to her and recites poems that she writes down and saves for later reading. This wholesome relationship in the book was so cute to read about.

No one is perfect no matter how put together they seem to be. I love that this novel explores this in both a darker sense and in a lighter way too. You never know what’s going on beneath the surface in others lives and from a glance you can think someone is infallible, but taking the time to know someone you see they are human just like you are. In the darker sense sadly some people are more nefarious and that’s a sad thing to think about.

All in all:

I really enjoyed reading this. It felt real and full of teen drama. What it’s like to deal with internet problems and issues between friends and trying to balance family, grades, and life in general. So much lives inside Saints and Misfits. It was a wonderful read.

About the Author

S. K. Ali* is the author of Saints and Misfits (Simon & Schuster, 2017), a finalist for the American Library Association’s 2018 William C. Morris award. Her debut novel won critical acclaim for its portrayal of an unapologetic Muslim-American teen’s life. Saints and Misfits was featured on several Best Teen Novels of 2017 lists including from Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and the New York Public Library. It was also a CBC Canada Reads 2018 longlist title and featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, NBC News, Huffington Post, Salon, Bustle, CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, The Social, The Morning Show and other North American media.

Sajidah holds a degree in Creative Writing from York University and has written about Muslim life for various outlets, including the Toronto Star and NBC News. Her second novel, Love From A to Z(Simon & Schuster, 2019), a story about finding love in the time of Islamophobia, was a Today Show pick, a Goodreads Readers Choice Nominee and on several best 2019 YA lists, including Kirkus and Entertainment Weekly’s top ten. Love from A to Zwas the first YA title chosen to be part of the Today Show’s “Read With Jenna” book club.

Her picture book, The Proudest Blue (Little Brown, 2019), co-authored with Ibtihaj Muhammad, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list and was featured in the New York Times, NPR, Amazon Editor’s Choice, The Today Show, among other media. Along with We Need Diverse Books co-founder, Aisha Saeed, Sajidah is the co-editor of a Middle Grade anthology called, Once Upon an Eid(Amulet, 2020), winner of the Middle East Book Honor Award and a Kirkus and School Library Journal Best Book of 2020.

S. K. Ali lives in Toronto with her family, which includes a very vocal cat named Yeti.

*first name: Sajidah (Saj-da)

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

Places to donate to Trans communities:

Trans Equality 

The Trevor Project

Transgender Law Center 

Some BLM resources: 

Link to bail funds to donate to!

Link to petitions to sign! 

Link to a video to watch if you can’t donate!

My friend started Live Streaming so check them out HERE!! 

Check out my Instagram and Twitter

Check out The Book Raven Poetry website

Checkout The Book Raven Poetry Instagramand Twitter

Check out the Sisters of Twilight website.