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Search tags: freaks-and-geeks
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review 2018-03-15 00:55
I wanted to love this
Buffy: The High School Years--Freaks & Geeks - Joss Whedon,Faith Erin Hicks,Yishan Li

I'd heard great things about the author, and I went into this knowing I'd hate the art, because I'd seen this in paper.   But it was on sale for one dollar, and I figured why not?  

 

Unfortunately the art killed a lot of this for me.  It's not the manga style, even with characters I know.   Manga art can be amazing.   This particular art just didn't do it for me, and was quite frankly not the best, even with understanding how manga art differs from Western art. 

 

This would play better if it didn't feel a little like some episodes; the question of whether or not teen outsiders, and those who had been done wrong, have been dealt with in the series, in a more nuanced way in my opinion.   The friends flipping on each other felt like that episode where Buffy's once-upon-a-time bestie male friend came from out of town, too.   

 

So, yeah, not as impressed as I thought I'd be.  I was hoping for more, but glad to finally read this series and get a sense of what it was.

 

 

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review 2016-07-03 00:00
Buffy: The High School Years--Freaks & Geeks
Buffy: The High School Years--Freaks & Geeks - Joss Whedon,Faith Erin Hicks,Yishan Li It was really great getting back to high school Buffy and friends. I was thought the high school years were the best and I'm glad the comics of gone back there.
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review 2016-04-20 13:49
Buffy: The High School Years - Freaks & Geeks by Faith Erin Hicks
Buffy: The High School Years--Freaks & Geeks - Joss Whedon,Faith Erin Hicks,Yishan Li

Moving to a new school and making new friends will create enough anxiety for any teenage girl. But when you’re Buffy Summers, a vampire slayer—the Chosen One (with all that entails)—building a new life can be overwhelming. A group of nerdy vampires, shunned by their cooler brethren, decide to climb the vampire social ladder by taking out the Slayer. They play on Buffy’s insecurities, wearing her down until she is full-on distracted by the mental warfare. But in addition to her Watcher, Giles, this Slayer has a couple of new friends, Willow and Xander, to cheer her on…except, of course, when they’re not getting along. - Blurb from Edelweiss

 
************
 
Many, many years ago did I start to watch a TV series called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I got hooked and enjoyed watching it, well until Angel got his own TV series and then the TV series got less interesting to watch. I mean Riley...Ugh! Then, it got a bit better and S5 was rally god. Personally, I felt it could have ended there, it would have been a great ending, but no it goes on a couple of seasons more and I'm not even sure I watched the whole last season. 
 
Anyway, what I want to say that I really really liked the show once upon a time and I knew I wanted to read this volume when I saw it on Edelweiss. Unfortunately, this reminds me of when I tried to watch S1 a while back and realized that I found it bit boring. Some series just doesn't work so well when you're older. 
 
The story is quite simple, it's about friendship. We have a bunch of vampires that tries to be cool and decides to take on the Slayer, and they manage to get Buffy insecure about her friendship with Xander and Willow. And, that they think will bring her down. 
 
The art is not really my cup of tea. It's a bit too pastel and bright and almost a bit manga over it. Sometimes the characters almost looked like the actors playing the roles, but most they looked like a nice try to get them to look like the actors, but not really getting the faces right. 
 
So not my favorite graphic novel!
 
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! 
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review 2016-02-22 13:22
"Elements of Chemistry," by Penny Reid
Elements of Chemistry: Parts 1-3 - Penny Reid

This book is an unfortunate victim of bad timing. When Penny Reid opted to name her arrogant, billionaire venture capitalist protagonist Martin Sandeke, I'm sure she had no idea who arrogant, millionaire venture capitalist jackhole Martin Shkreli was. Yet by the time time I read it, Martin Shkreli had launched himself into infamy by price gauging AIDS patients and being indicted for securities fraud. It didn't help that Elements of Chemistry's Martin is repeatedly called "Jerk Face" by the book's heroine and described as having a "jerk smirk." Therefore, every time I read Martin Sandeke's name, this is what I pictured:

 

Martin Shkreli smirk

Not so sexy, right? And even though Martin Sandeke is described multiple times as blue eyed and "truly a magnificent specimen" of manhood, insanely fit because he's a rower, I just couldn't shake the image, which really, really made it hard to root for Martin's happy ending.

Setting that aside, I really like Penny Reid's humor and her unabashedly smart, often geeky protagonists. Elements of Chemistry employed the witty, laugh-out-loud funny banter I so enjoy in Reid's work, and I got caught up in the romance in the first two parts of this book. I loved that, despite her inexperience, heroine Kaitlyn always knows what she wants and how to advocate for herself, and her no-nonsense honesty is so refreshing. I love her relationship with her best girl friend, Sam, who is a fully-drawn character in her own right and not just there to decorate the plot.

But Elements of Chemistry is also a good example of why I don't usually read New Adult. The tropes are just so tired. Who knew there were so many tormented billionaire bad boys with dysfunctional childhoods in the college dating pool? I do not understand the literary appeal of the billionaire bad boy. Spoiled, entitled children are about as sexy as, well, this guy:

Shkreli smirk

 

(* Exception: Courtney Milan's Trade Me does a pretty good job of turning the billionaire trope on its ear. )

Then there's the fact that New Adult protagonists are usually total Mary Sue's and Gary Stu's, and this book is no exception. Kaitlyn is drop dead gorgeous but she doesn't know it until her roommate introduces her to the magical concept of eyebrow shaping. Her mom's a senator and her dad's a medical dean and her grandparents were nuclear physicists, and poor Katy struggles because she likes science but she isn't a prodigy until, she sits down at Martin's piano and whoops! Turns out she's a musical prodigy who just picked the wrong major. Martin is not just a rower -- he's the youngest, fastest, bestest collegiate rower ever. He's not just heir to a multi-billion dollar communications empire; he's also an inventor and an entrepreneur in his own right, holding several patents before he even graduates from high school. While I can see a certain escapist fantasy appeal in such perfect characters, I think their perfection detracts from the story. I'd rather read about characters I can relate to, who struggle through adversity or have real, immutable flaws, as we all do.

The worst flaw of Elements of Chemistry is the way it falls apart in the third part of the book. Kaitlyn and Martin have broken up and gone separate ways, and after eight months their paths cross and they decide to try to be friends. Obviously, the reader knows this is stupid, but despite their Mary Sue/Gary Stu brilliance, the protagonists descend into more than a hundred pages of being Too Stupid to Live. It is especially frustrating because Katy and Martin's communications had always been so forthright and honest up to that point, and to find them still trying to be honest but stupidly missing each other again and again was just maddening.

Even with its many flaws, though, this was a quick and entertaining read. I don't regret the time or money I spent on it, and I will definitely read more of Penny Reid in the future!

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review 2016-01-16 21:59
"Dare You To" by Katie McGarry
Dare You To - Katie McGarry

This second installment in the "Pushing the Limits" series wasn't as angsty as the first book (Pushing the Limits), which I liked. At the same time, though, Beth and Ryan's story doesn't pack the same emotional punch. That's not to say it's not chockfull of melodrama: Beth has a truly horrible backstory, trying to keep her addicted mom away from an abusive boyfriend, when her mom doesn't want to save herself or Beth, either. When Beth gets arrested (taking the fall for something her mom did), a long-lost uncle swoops in to take her to the suburbs for a better life -- but like her mom, Beth doesn't exactly want to be rescued. Also, living in a bible-thumping backwater isn't her idea of a better life. 

 

By comparison, Ryan is living the dream: steadily (if not happily) married parents, popular at school, good grades, champion baseball pitcher being courted by professional and college scouts. Yet Ryan's life isn't as charmed as it seems: his older brother was disowned after coming out of the closet, and in the wake of that scandal, Ryan's nuclear family is in the midst of a nuclear meltdown. 

 

I liked Ryan. I liked Beth. I enjoyed most of the individual subplots of this story. On the whole, the writing was well done and the plotting was tight and well-paced. I just didn't really feel Ryan and Beth as a couple, and I'm not sure why. 

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