Mini Reviews: Adult Graphic Novels and Memoirs

Mini Reviews: Adult Graphic Novels and Memoirs

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: June 8th 2006)
Rating: sharp
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Gabrielle

 Fun Home is Alison Bechdel graphic memoir of growing up in an extraordinary house and funeral home. I am still a bit undecided on this one. It is the story of a woman searching for herself by trying to get to know her father after he is gone. I liked the storytelling and the art, but I had a hard time liking the characters. Specifically, the father. He is unpleasantly sharp and mean. I know that he is hiding a HUGE part of himself from the world and living a lie, but it was hard to see him taking that out on his children. BTW: there is a musical based on this book, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomicby Alison Bechdel

Saga: Book One by Brian K. Vaughan,  Fiona Staples

Saga: Book One
by Brian K. VaughanFiona Staples

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: Saga: Book One
Published: November 25th 2014
Rating: I am very invested
Times read: 1
Recommended by: A bunch of blogs

Two aliens from warring planets fall in love and have a baby and OMG now we have to flee from pretty much everyone in the galaxy because they want to kill us. I AM OBSESSED. This obsession is demonstrated by the fact that I owned these books digitally but rebought them as two HUGE physical books which I had to somehow fit into my suitcase on the way back to China. Alana and Marco are amazing, complex, and satisfying characters to cheer on. There is an emotional depth, familiarity, and truth to the story that pulls you in even as the outlandish visuals show you distant planets and beings.


Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Storyby Debbie Tung 

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Story
by Debbie Tung 

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: November 7th 2017
Rating: Sigh of relating
Times read: 1
Recommended by: I saw some of her stuff on Pinterest

I have never felt so seen. Debbie Tung is my soul sister. The book follows her through her last year of university and her first few years as "an adult" as she tries to figure out why she never quite feels as if she can fit in. The art perfectly depicts the mood of the comic while at the same time enhances the story. My favorite panels include the engagement, the perfect date night, and her realization of what introversion means and how her inner journey is going to continue. I will be returning to this book again and again. 

Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Look at Introvert Life in an Extrovert World by Maureen Marzi Wilson

Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Look at Introvert Life in an Extrovert World
by Maureen Marzi Wilson

Goodreads | Amazon
Series: no
Published: July 25th 2017
Rating: Meeeeeee
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Gifted

Listen, I am a sucker for books like this because if there is anything that I love it is meta-perspectives. This was a gift from a former student, so I have a real soft spot for it. It is much more episodic than Quiet Girl in a Noisy World and not nearly as nuanced but it is funny and relatable and if you are an introvert or close to an introvert well worth the read. My favorite parts were the infographics that the author created to explain the needs and moods of the introverted such as the natural habitats of introverts, a fashion guide, and a tour of any reader's bookshelf. It me.



Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

I vought this version because it is so pretty. Not SHallow at all

I vought this version because it is so pretty. Not SHallow at all

Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Published: 1908
Rating: Happiness is this

The library that I went to as a child had a copy of this book with an ugly cover. That is my only excuse. Can you believe that I have never read this before? I know I can't.  How do I even call myself a reader? I am sad that I didn't read this when I was eleven because I. Would. Have. Loved. It. I am an adult reading it for the first time, and I loved it.  There was something about it that is comforting, familiar, romantic, and strangely nostalgic. Afer reading it, I find myself pining for my childhood days on the turn of the century Prince Edward Island.

It is interesting that as iconic as this book is that little to nothing has been spoiled by pop culture references.  I knew that she breaks the slate over some kids head at one point and that she is a red-headed orphan from Canada.  That's it.  Petition to reference Anne more in pop culture. Come on; we do it with Little Women all the time.

Anne Shirley is an amazing character. What I loved about her most is that she is an extrovert with an intense internal life. This is a rarity. Usually, extroverts are written to be so dependent on external experience that if they are alone, they are nonexistent. Anne is interested and sees the beauty in everything around her and what makes her so unique is that she willingly invites other people to share in it with her. I love the slow way that Marilla fall in love with her, the instant report that she has with Matthew, the loyal and fulfilling friendship that she has with Diana.  I love that she is smart and genuinely works hard to be good in school.  

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.

The book is written in the same sort of vignette style as Little Woman, Heidi, or A Little Princess.  That is, there is an overlying story that is mostly about growing up, but most of the novel concerns isolated incidences.  A little bit the way television shows used to be episodic, where at the end everything just sort of goes back to normal. It would be a lovely read aloud because of this as the end of the chapters is natural stopping points.

There is a bit of religion.  It wasn't overwhelming, and on the whole, the characters are sensible and genuinely engaged with their faith rather than showily evangelical. I am looking at you, Heidi.  I mention this just in case you or a young person that you are planning to recommend this to is not Christian. You will probably still enjoy it but knowing about it ahead of time might prevent that bitter taste in your mouth.

I have Anne of Avonlea already, and I am going to start that right away.  I have some shipping to do with Anne and Gilbert. That had better get resolved to my satisfaction because I am seriously invested.. Now, to watch both miniseries...


From Goodreads:

When Marilla Cuthbert's brother, Matthew, returns home to Green Gables with a chatty redheaded orphan girl, Marilla exclaims, "But we asked for a boy. We have no use for a girl." It's not long, though, before the Cuthberts can't imagine how they could ever do without young Anne of Green Gables--but not for the original reasons they sought an orphan. Somewhere between the time Anne "confesses" to losing Marilla's amethyst pin (which she never took) in hopes of being allowed to go to a picnic, and when Anne accidentally dyes her hated carrot-red hair green, Marilla says to Matthew, "One thing's for certain, no house that Anne's in will ever be dull." And no book that she's in will be, either.