December 2013 Reads, pt. 2 (Still Not A List Post! Double Ha!)

17 12 2013

Blankets (by Craig Thompson)

Gorgeous artwork, perfectly adapted to depicting the cold Wisconsin winters, and the warmth and desire of a first love. Blankets is not just a love story, though, as it also focuses on Craig’s internal struggle, and in Craig’s case, his struggle is a religious one. However, obsession and conflict are so powerfully visualized here, that it could very well be about any sort of struggle. Great stuff for sure, although I did miss one more chapter outlining how he turned away from his religion. For all the obsession throughout the book, this seemed to be taken care of a bit too quickly. Still: definitely one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read!

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4 stars

 

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie (by Jordan Sonnenblick)

drums-girls-danger-pieI was very taken with Jordan Sonnenblick’s Notes from the Midnight Driver (garden gnomes, dude!) so I went and ordered his 2004 debut Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. And even though this reads a bit younger (more MG than YA), it has the same sense of humor, the same warm undertone (even though yes, it’s “a cancer book”) and the same type of narrator. Steven Alper is a very typical 13-year-old. He has an annoying younger brother, Jeffrey, he has a crush on the hottest girl at his middle school (Renee), plays drums in the school jazz band, isn’t the most popular kid on the block, but isn’t bullied or anything either, just “an average kid”. But when Jeffrey gets a nosebleed, Steven’s average life is turned upside down: his little brother has leukemia, and the family – Steven included – has to deal with the situation the best way they can. This is not a “spectacular” book in any way, but this is a just such a great heartwarming – almost old-fashioned – little book, that it’s hard to see fault in this. Greatly recommended to people with a heart.

4 stars

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