Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, the Graphic Novel, Review

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Graphic Novel

Author: Ransom Riggs
Illustrator: Cassandra Jean

5 out of 5 Stars

            Note: I received Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the Graphic Novel, from Quirk Books. As a blogger, I was asked to provide an honest review of the graphic novel.

I did not hear about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs until the end of 2013. I saw people talk about the book on Twitter and a couple of my friends told me that it was a must read. I knew that I needed to add it to my TBR list. When the graphic novel of the story arrived at my house from Quirk Books, I was in instant awe.  The cover was eerie and I was intrigued to read it. Due to this excitement, I set aside the book I was currently reading and began the graphic novel.
            First, let me say that I loved the graphic novel adaptation of the book. The story is about a young man named Jacob Portman. When Jacob was younger his grandfather used to tell him stories about unique or what Ransom Rigg’s calls “peculiar” children. Jacob became fascinated with the stories and the photos of unique children that his grandfather had shown him. But as Jacob grew older, he began to believe that his grandfather had made up these stories and that the pictures were fabricated. It would not be until the death of his grandfather that Jacob would realize that his grandfather was telling the truth. To realize these actualities, Jacob must set out on a journey to discover his grandfather’s past and secrets. On this adventure, Jacob will make new friends, discover a new world of strangeness and evil, and find his true self.
            Even though I enjoyed the storyline, I also loved the graphic novel aspect of the story. The artist Cassandra Jean, who is also known for her work on the Beautiful Creatures’ graphic novel, does a great job portraying the eeriness of the world that Jacob discovers. The story is put to life with her talented descriptions and visuals. It is her work that makes the story move forward. The characters seem real and seem to portray human emotion. She is even able to portray an invisible man’s emotions and thoughts without even drawing a body. The invisible man turned out to be one of my favorite character’s throughout the novel!
            Also, I liked how she portrayed the two worlds: the real world and the “peculiar loop.” By doing this, the reader will get an understanding to what realm the characters are in at each moment of the story. By adding color to the peculiar world and keeping the real world black and white, the story became more fascinating. In my opinion, the colorful peculiar world allowed the main character to realize the truth to the grandfather’s past and showed a magical/strange world that was outside Jacob’s ordinary realm. I would compare the story to The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy live in an ordinary world, one that is black and white, but discovers a colorful world as she enters Oz. The same can be said about Jacob who discovers a world of wonder in Miss Peregrine’s home.
           With both Rigg’s writing and Jean’s graphic skills, I would consider Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the Graphic Novel, a brilliant piece of writing and art. I would recommend it to anyone who would be interested in the eerie and strange. Now, I want to pick up a copy of the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and the second book, Hollow City, which just came out last week (Jan. 14, 2014). I promise you, you will want to read about this fantastic world that Ransom Riggs dreamed up for his readers. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

No One Else Can Have You - Review

No One Else Can Have You

By Kathleen Hale (@halekathleen)

5 out of 5 Stars

Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Yeah, I am a firm believer against it. I first saw Kathleen Hale’s book on twitter. Several people were talking about it so I had to know more. I looked her book up and instantly fell in love. Not only are there moose on the cover but one is hanging, so you already know that the book is going to be good.

When I received No One Else Can Have You in the mail, I immediately un-wrapped it from its box and began reading the text. I instantly became enthralled with the story line. There was a lot of “are you kidding me?” and “what just happened?” I could not put the book down because the plot was brilliantly written. The focus of the book was for Kippy, the protagonist of the story, to discover who killed her best friend. It was not focused on a love story like many other young adult stories. Kippy, who is from a small town called Friendship, Wisconsin, tries to fight small county politics and “psychopathic” episodes, discover the truth behind friendships, and investigate a murder that she knows has not been examined and inspected correctly.

There are several different reasons why I enjoyed the book. From its witty persona, laughable dialogue, and backstabbing nature, Hale provides her viewers with a remarkable young adult book. I honestly laughed out loud in several places and found myself wanting more. I say this because each chapter was developed to enhance the novel and provide a conclusion that readers will never forget. 

Furthermore, I would like to say that Kippy is like the Veronica Mars or the Harriet the Spy of this generation. She is trying to solve the murder of her best friend and gets caught in a game of cat and mouse that eventually leads her to discovering who murdered her best friend.

Also, I loved how this book made me think. It allows you to know that the idea of trust between friends may never fully develop.  Some thoughts:
  • Always watch your back and be one step ahead of the rest of your friends.
  • The people closest to you may not be who they say theyare. So don’t trust anyone.
  • Small communities = unfair politics, gossip, lies, and betrayal.
In the end, the book was remarkable. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read YA novels, mysteries, and “who-done-its.” Also, if there are any Veronica Mars fans reading this, you should definitely pick this book up. There are so many similarities: the main characters’ best friend dies, they both deal with idiot sheriffs, and they investigate and discover who killed their best friends. With these thoughts in mind, go out and buy this book. I promise you will not regret it!

Memorable Line: “Around here moose are about as rare as murder.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Top 5 Books I Want to Read in 2014

There are so many books coming out this year. It is going to be hard to pick my Top 5 but I believe I have narrowed it down:

Strange and Ever After  - By: Susan Dennard (@stdennard)

Release Date: July 22, 2014

This book is the final installment of the Something Strange and Deadly series. The book looks fantastic. I look forward to seeing what Eleanor and Daniel will be up to in the final conclusion of the story. Furthermore, although he is a minor character, I can't wait to see what happens to Ollie. Ollie became my favorite character in the second book! So much adventure and mischief awaits in the final conclusion of the trilogy!

The Infinite Sea - By Rick Yancey (@rickyancey)

Release Date: September 16, 2014

The Infinite Sea is my second choice of 2014. If you have not read the first book (The 5th Wave), you must be living under a rock. The first book was full of adventure, mystery, and thrills. Due to these aspects, I couldn't put the book down. I believe the second book will be better than the first. Plus, Cassie, the main character, is a pretty unique and determined character.

No One Else Can Have You - By Kathleen Hale (@HaleKathleen)

Release Date: January 7, 2014

First of all, the book cover drew me in. I know, people say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." But seriously, how can you pass up the cover. It has a moose on it. I have heard very positive things about the book and the reviews make the book seem  better and better each time.  I have pre-ordered the book and it will be the first book out of these five that I will read because it comes out today!

Defy by Sara Larson (@SaraBLarson)

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Defy is one of those books that has an awesome cover and instantly you know it is going to be good. I just keep staring at it and want my own copy of it. I have also heard very positive things about this book: packed with action, it's a page turner, and the story line is very intriguing. The book was released today so it will be in my hands hopefully sometime this weekend.

Vitro by Jessica Khoury (@jkbibliophile)

Release Date: January 14, 2013

Jessica Khoury is a great writer. I picked up her first book, Origins, at Nashville's Bookfest about two years ago. Of course, I bought the book because of the cover, but as I started reading the book, I became intrigued. I met Jessica at SOKYfest, a bookfest in Bowling Green, KY. She is very nice and easy to talk to.  I have been excited about Vitro's release, but her #OperationVitro contest has made me more pumped about the book release.