Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I Want to Read It (53): Anya's Ghost

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol, June 7, 2011. Published by First Second.
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.


I was surprised to see that I haven't read Anya's Ghost as I was fairly certain I had read it... Well, I guess there's no time like the present to remedy that mistake!!

While I didn't one-hundred percent love Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared, I'm willing to give her work a second chance. Besides, this sounds like an amusing graphic novel and I happen to love amusing stories, so...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Be Prepared

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, April 24, 2018. 256 pages. Published by First Second. Source: Publisher.
A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost.

All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.

Funny story- even though the main character and author shared the same first name, I did not realize at first that the story was part true-story and part made-up. I don't know how I missed that detail.

  • While there were some aspects of Be Prepared that I didn't like, it was overall a pretty funny and enjoyable read. In some ways, the story was even relatable to a minor degree (very minor). So, let's see what did and did not work for this one!! Y'all ready?
  • Let's start with what I enjoyed most: The parts where Vera shared small snippets about Russian Orthodox services was really nice as you could see the similarities between it and the Roman Catholic Church (even though they've been in a schism for ages now). though I did spend most of the book hoping the author would shed a little more light on her faith and, you know, maybe get to that point where they wanted to learn more about what they lacked understanding on in regards to it. I know, not the book for the outlook, but I'm always hoping that books that touch on faith will do more than skim over things. 
  • While I felt the attitudes of the older girls were maybe exaggerated, she really did not help things with the way she acted in order to "fit in" with them. I know that it's supposed to make you feel more empathy for Vera, but, I'm just like "run!" as that's not how true friendship works. So yeah, hopefully, any young readers tagging along for Vera's summer misadventures will see that friendship is more than what you can get from someone (or keep from being taken advantage of). 
  • If you can suspend your annoyance over things not being one-hundred percent accurate, then you will most likely enjoy this graphic novel. I especially think anyone finding themselves in a new place will understand some of what Vera felt during the story. I alternately cringed and laughed at some of what happened during the story. 
  • As to the artwork: It wasn't bad, but not necessarily my favorite style. Though I did really enjoy the panels that were just Vera and her many facial expressions; that is where her art shines. In capturing the moment. 
Final Verdict: Be Prepared-  It won't be for everyone, though it does have some very funny points and some panels that do a great job of capturing the mood of the character.

Be Prepared earns

 A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Hey There...

I know it has been some time since I last posted here on ye olde blog. It is high past time that I blew away the dust that has been gathering on my poor, neglected blog this summer. Keep reading to hear what's in store for The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia!!

The silence here has been for a couple reasons.

  • I have not been able to muster my thoughts for blog posts. Let's just say the words I needed for blog posts just were not coming; that and I could not bring myself to publish posts that were halfhearted, you know.
  • Time! I'm not sure where all my time has gone, but, it is partly dogs (if you follow me on Twitter, then you probably heard about the doggy drama) and just being where I'm needed more (offline). Fear not though, I plan on getting back into things over the next few weeks.
  • I've also been working on some of my other hobbies and passions. 

What's in store for The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia?

I'm planning on slowly overhauling the design of my blog over the next several weeks. Seriously though, it is high time that I finally changed things up around here. Besides, I really want a fresh look for the 10th (YES TEN YEARS) blogoversary!! OH MY GOODNESS!! WHERE ON EARTH HAS THE TIME GONE?!?!?

At the moment, I have ABSOLUTELY no idea how to mark this momentous occasion!!! NONE!!

If you want to write a guest post during the month of October, just let me know!!