Posted in Book review

Mini Review Round Up: Graphic Novels

Here is another round up! This time around I’m featuring some graphic novels I’ve read recently. (lol recently, more like 3 months ago).

Here are the books reviewed below:

  • The City on the Other Side by Mairghread Scott
  • Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill 
  • The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson
  • Meteor Prince by Meca Tanaka
  • The Backstagers, vol. 1 by James Tynion IV
  • Illegal by Eoin Colfer

The City on the Other SideThe City on the Other Side

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
The first decade of the twentieth century is coming to a close, and San Francisco is still recovering from the great earthquake of 1906. Isabel watched the destruction safely from her window, sheltered within her high-society world.

Isabel isn’t the kind of girl who goes on adventures. But that all changes when she stumbles through the invisible barrier that separates the human world from the fairy world. She quickly finds herself caught up in an age-old war and fighting on the side of the Seelie — the good fairies.

This was a cute graphic novel. It has a historical setting and shows San Francisco well, but also has a fantasy side. I wasn’t sure how the two would merge, but I think the jumps from reality to faerie are down very well.
The characters are wonderful. Brave Isabel is latinx and she travels with a mushroom fairy and meets a trickster boy, Benji, who is Filipino and raised by the fae. Both humans have their own problems which add more depth to the story. Truly, I ran through this one and enjoyed every moment of it.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Aquicorn CoveAquicorn Cove 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness. 

I picked this one up because the artwork looked cute. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to be reading until after I started. The artwork remained a adorable and cute throughout. The story hits close to home, even with its fantasy elements. It is about how we take too much from Earth, pollute it, and forget about the other lifeforms we exist with. It is powerful and definitely made me think about how I could do more to lessen my impact and help out.
It also deals with grief, moving on, and learning how to find inner strength to do the right things.
Cute, great story, and powerful message.


The BreakawaysThe Breakaways 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Quiet, sensitive Faith starts middle school already worrying about how she will fit in. To her surprise, Amanda, a popular eighth grader, convinces her to join the school soccer team, the Bloodhounds. Having never played soccer in her life, Faith ends up on the C team, a ragtag group that’s way better at drama than at teamwork. Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity.

The Breakaways is a portrait of friendship in its many forms, and a raw and beautifully honest look into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world.

I picked this one up because I played lots of soccer when I was younger. I also noticed that more kiddos were picking up this book, so I wanted to see what was interesting them.

This is a realistic fiction about a group of misfits on a soccer team, even though most of them don’t actually want to play. They aren’t the greatest team in the world, that is for sure. But, this book isn’t about soccer, it is about the diverse cast and what is going on in their lives. Definitely slice-of-life and a little bit coming-of-age as they learn more about themselves and what it is that is important to them.
All the girls are different, not only in their sexuality or ethnicity, but also in their experiences and personality. We get to see good sides to all types of characters, meaning that no one clique is made into the villain here– which I appreciated.

It’s cute and not too heavy or emotional, so this is one I think I can recommend to many youths.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Meteor Prince, Vol. 1Meteor Prince 

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
Strange accidents always seem to happen around Hako Natsuno—so much so that she’s been dubbed “The Queen of Bad Luck.” It’s hardly surprising then that a naked alien prince falls from the sky to tell her that out of all the girls in the universe, he’s come to Earth to mate with her. Does this mean Hako’s luck has changed, or…?

So, this is a 2 volume series. Annnnddd I ended up reading it in one sitting, so this is a review for the whole series. Honestly? One of the cutest manga I’ve read in a long time. I absolutely loved how all the bad luck followed Hako — cheesy? yes! I loved some of the classic bad luck signs that happened one after another such as drenched in water or a plant falling from an open window. I loved it and definitely found myself laughing. 

Nothing felt rushed even though this was only 2 volumes. It had some fluffy moments and a lot of story. My only complaint is that Io continuously brings up wanting to have sex in order to have children. I get he’s an alien and things are different where he is from, but I feel like explaining how we do things on Earth would be first on the to-do list. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Backstagers, Vol. 1: Rebels Without ApplauseThe Backstagers, vol. 1

Synopsis from Goodreads: 
When Jory transfers to an all-boys private high school, he’s taken in by the only ones who don’t treat him like a new kid, the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. Not only does he gain great, lifetime friends, Jory is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain. With the unpredictable twists and turns of the underground world, the Backstagers venture into the unknown, determined to put together the best play their high school has ever seen.

James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredibly earnest story that explores what it means to find a place to fit in when you’re kinda an outcast.

This is so cute!!

I went into this one knowing nothing about it except that many people praise it. I figured it was about stage hands, but color me surprised at the backroom which leads to other words/dimensions. It is awesome!
Love the unique idea.

The characters are all lovable, it is quite impossible to pick a favorite. All of them have their own personality and quirks. We have some LGBT characters, some in a committed relationship, some in a budding relationship. I just really loved how non-toxic all the male characters are. It is so refreshing to see them crying and expressing emotions.

–I had more and other awesome things to say about vol. 2 and the holiday volume! Check my reviews out if you’re interested!!– 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ebo: alone.
His sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows it can only be to make the hazardous journey to Europe.
Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his sister.

This is such a hard book to review. It really… I mean, it is fiction because the characters don’t exist, but really this is so real, so true, and feels like such an accurate look at the journey many people endure in the hopes to one day be safe. 
It is raw, it is sad and hopeful at the same time, and at all times intense because their journey is one of life and death with death having the advantage. 
The chapters alternate between the ‘now’ when Ebo is on a boat in the sea on his way to Italy… they hope, and ‘then’ which starts from him realizing his brother, Kwame, left him behind to try making his way to Europe. While these chapters may seem like they would be less intense because we know they will make their way to the boat, they really are anything but. Their journey is brutal.

The story is gripping and you can’t help but to root for these characters, hoping they will one day be safe. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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