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review 2017-09-02 12:31
All-Star Superman Volume 1 by Grant Morrison
All-Star Superman, Vol. 1 - Grant Morrison,Frank Quitely

Genre:  Superhero / Drama / Humor / Romance / Family / Action / Adventure


Year Published: 2007


Year Read:  7/15/2017

Publisher: DC Comics 

Series: All-Star Superman #1

Source:  Library

 

 

Superman

5.5 stars!!! 

Introduction: 

Now, I have a little confession to make (I seem to be making so many book confessions lately, right)? I had only read a few “Superman” comics over the years, which included “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” and “Superman: Secret Identity.” The reason why I have not read that many “Superman” comics was not because I hate Superman (I actually really like his character), but it was hard for me to look for some recommendations for good “Superman” stories while recommendations for good “Batman” stories came much more readily. One of the “Superman” stories that was always highly recommended to me was Grant Morrison’s run on “Superman” called “All-Star Superman.” At first, I was a bit hesitant about checking this series out because from what I had heard from some comic book fans, Grant Morrison’s works tend to jump off the deep end at a certain point in his stories and I had experienced that with his work on “Batman R.I.P.” However, after I finally decided to dive into this graphic novel, I now see why this particular graphic novel was so highly recommended to me and I have to say that “All-Star Superman Volume One” is one of the best “Superman” stories I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with Superman going to the sun to rescue a space crew who were on a mission to take fire from the sun and it turns out that because Superman went too near the sun, he contracted apoptosis, death of the body cells, which means that he will soon die. When Superman finds this out, he decides that he must do some things on Earth before he dies, such as temporarily giving his love interest Lois Lane superpowers for her birthday and trying to confess his secret identity to her, getting in a fight with Jimmy Olsen due to being affected by Black Kryptonite, meeting up with his nemesis Lex Luthor, and saying his goodbyes to his father Jonathan Kent.

Will Superman have time to do all of these things before he dies?

Read this graphic novel to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Grant Morrison’s writing: I really enjoyed Grant Morrison’s writing in this graphic novel as the story has a nice mixture of drama and humor thrown in and I often found myself laughing at some of the situations in this volume, such as Superman and Lois’ encounter with the comical superhero duo Samson and Atlas. I also like the fact that this story tackles the subject about what would happen if Superman is about to die and how he would spend his last days on Earth (although, the concept about Superman dying is nothing new at this point). This gives Grant Morrison a chance to explore Superman’s life from his arrival to Earth and being adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent to working in the Daily Planet and meeting Lois Lane and there is a great love to the character as not only do older readers get to see Superman’s life be presented again in this volume, but new readers will be able to understand more about Superman’s origins through a modern interpretation. I also enjoyed the way that Grant Morrison portrayed Superman in this volume as Superman is not shown as being a flat character, but has many dimensions to his personality as we get to see Superman become sad, happy, angry and humorous all at once in this volume; it was fantastic seeing the various emotions that Superman displays in this volume contribute to the story at hand.

Frank Quitely’s artwork: While there are some parts of Frank Quitely’s artwork that annoyed me a bit, which I will discuss more about in the cons section, overall, the artwork is extremely detailed and gorgeous to look at. Probably my most favorite image in this graphic novel was the image of Superman and Lois Lane kissing each other on the moon and you can see the gorgeous detail being done to Lois’ wavy hair as it is waving around in space.

Superman


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The only problem I have with this graphic novel is that there are so many things happening in the story that it would make it pretty confusing for anyone who is not used to reading “Superman” comics. Even though I found this graphic novel to be pretty entertaining, the narrative can get overcrowded at times because there are so many events going on and you have to read each issue a bit carefully to get the full details of each of the stories. Also, some of the artwork can be a bit off at times, especially with the way that Superman’s face seems to look like dough in some panels and I felt that he was drawn a bit too bulky in this volume, despite the fact that Superman is naturally muscular.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “All-Star Superman Volume One” is seriously one fantastic and hilarious volume that I would love to read over and over again if I get the chance to and I cannot wait to read the second volume of this series!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-07-09 01:44
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro (2014) Perfect Paperback - Howard Shapiro

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  6/3/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #2

 

Hockey

I would like to thank NetGalley and Animal Media Group for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Introduction: 

After I had finished reading Howard Shapiro’s previous graphic novel, “The Stereotypical Freaks,” I was excited to find out that “The Stereotypical Freaks” was a part of the “Forever Friends Trilogy” and I was even more excited to find out that I was approved of the second book in the series “The Hockey Saint” by NetGalley! After reading this graphic novel, I found this story to be just as memorable as “The Stereotypical Freaks!”

What is this story about? 

Tom Leonard is back once again as he is now a college sophomore who is a part of the school’s hockey team and he now has a new dilemma to face! The story starts off with Tom’s parents being killed in a car accident and Tom is still trying to deal with this tragedy. Also around that time, Tom has been offered a scholarship for his talents in hockey and Tom is striving to get that scholarship as much as possible. One day however, Tom ends up meeting his favorite hockey player, Jeremiah Jacobson, who is known as the world’s best hockey player. Tom then quickly becomes good friends with Jeremiah and the two of them started spending a lot of time with each other. But later on, Tom discovers that Jeremiah has a terrible secret: he is a heavy drinker and a smoker and Jeremiah refuses to acknowledge that he has this problem.

Can Tom help Jeremiah with his drug addiction before it is too late? 

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Howard Shapiro’s writing: 
Howard Shapiro’s writing is as usual a delight to read as the characters are written extremely well and I loved the real-world plot of this volume as it addresses the dangers of drug addiction that has rarely been addressed in many comic books. I loved the fact that we actually have a comic book that details drug addiction in a realistic way by showing that Jeremiah is in denial about his addiction and how it was difficult at first for Tom and his loved ones to try to get Jeremiah to understand about the severity of his drug addiction. I also loved the way that Howard Shapiro wrote the relationships between the characters, especially between Tom and Jeremiah as I loved the fact that Jeremiah shows Tom that there is more to life than just playing hockey all the time and Tom cares enough for Jeremiah to go out of his way to help out Jeremiah with his drug addiction. 

Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork: 
Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork is beautifully done as the characters look truly realistic and I loved the way that the characters glow off the pages. Now, I will admit that there were some facial expressions on the characters that looked a bit odd, especially regarding Tom always smiling during some serious moments; but other than that, the artwork really captures the raw emotions that the characters feel during this serious situation that deals with drug addiction.

Hockey

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I took off half a point from this rating was because I felt like the pacing was a bit slow at times, especially at the beginning and I sometimes wished that the plot moved at a much faster pace to get to the main point of the story.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Hockey Saint” was a truly heartwarming and realistic story about drug addiction that anyone who wants to read about the consequences of drug addiction and the importance of true friendship will truly enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-10-24 08:02
The Way Meat Loves Salt by Nina Jaffe
The Way Meat Loves Salt: A Cinderella Tale from the Jewish Tradition - Nina Jaffe

Genre:  Jewish / Family / Poland / Fairy Tale / Magic


Year Published: 1998


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

 

Mireleh

Even though there has been like a million retellings of “Cinderella” done already, I do recall one version of the tale that was quite unique as it had the “Cinderella” character running away from home and dancing with the prince of the story in disguise and that version came from a fairy tale called “Cap O’ Rushes.” So, imagine my surprise when I found out that there was a Jewish version of this tale called “The Way Meat Loves Salt” by Nina Jaffe along with illustrations by Louise August and I was pleasantly surprised by this brilliant version of the classic fairy tale!

Many years ago in the country of Poland, there lived a rabbi who had a wife and three daughters. The names of the three daughters were Reyzeleh, the oldest, Khaveleh, the middle daughter and Mireleh, the youngest. One day, the rabbi wanted to know how much each of his daughters loved him and he decided to ask each of them how they felt about him.

Reyzeleh answered, “I love you as much as diamonds.”

Khaveleh answered, “I love you as much as gold and silver.”

And Mireleh answered, “I love you the way meat loves salt.”


When the rabbi heard Mireleh’s answer, he was so enraged that he kicked Mireleh out of his house. Mireleh then wonders through the forest crying when suddenly, an old man dressed in a white robe showed up carrying a tall silver staff in one hand and a wooden stick in the other hand. The old man then tells Mireleh that she should go to the house of Rabbi Yitskhok ben Levi, the renowned scholar of Lublin and that he has a wife and son that could take care of her. When Mireleh goes to the house, the family took her in and let her stay in their attic. One day however, a wedding feast was being held in Cracow and Rabbi Yitskhok’s family decided to go to the wedding feast, but they let Mireleh stay at home. Mireleh wanted to go to the wedding, but she realized that she did not have the proper attire to attend the wedding. So, she used the magic stick that the old man gave her and she was able to make a beautiful dress appear out of thin air! When Mireleh arrived at the wedding, the guests were astonished by her appearance and Rabbi Yitskhok’s son immediately took interest in her and wanted to know everything about her. But, Mireleh kept quiet and did not tell the rabbi’s son anything about herself. As soon as the wedding feast was over, the rabbi’s son wanted to know more about the mysterious girl who came to the wedding and he decided to put some tar and pitch out in the front of his house to wait for the mysterious girl to arrive. When Mireleh came back to the house, she ended up getting one of her shoes stuck in the tar pitch and she had to leave without the other shoe. The rabbi’s son then picked up the shoe and declared that whoever fits the shoe will be his bride.

Will the Rabbi’s son find the woman who fits the shoe?

Read this book to find out!


Nina Jaffe’s writing is beautifully written as she does a brilliant job at retelling this ancient old version of “Cinderella” and incorporating Jewish customs into the story that makes it stand out from other folktales. I loved the way that Nina Jaffe incorporated the Jewish traditions in this story such as the groom stepping on the wine glass during the marriage ceremony as we get to learn more about Jewish culture through this story and how they define the characters. I also loved the fact that this story takes place in Poland since it is rare that I read children’s books that take place in Poland and it gives the story an extremely unique feel. Nina Jaffe did an excellent job at bringing out the theme of true love in this story as Mireleh, the main protagonist, is unfairly thrown out of her own home just because she stated that she loved her father as much as “meat loves salt.” While it takes most of the story for the father to figure out what Mireleh’s statement really meant, it was intriguing to me that Mireleh would make such an odd statement about her love for her father and yet, it still meant that she truly loves her father, even if the statement “meat loves salt” sounded a bit odd to both her father and the reader (unless you think about that statement really hard). Louise August’s artwork is beautiful and cute to look at as all the characters are drawn in a cute way and I really loved the Polish outfits that the characters wear such as the large dresses with the aprons that the female characters wear and the polo jackets and baggy trousers that the male characters wear.

Parents should know that the core part of this story is that the father ends up kicking his own daughter out of his home due to his daughter’s odd comment about how much she loves him. This could upset some readers as it hits closely home to children who were forcibly put out of their own homes by their parents or have dealt with parents who were abusive towards them. Parents might want to reassure their children that while such abuse can happen in real life, they should let their children know that they will always love them no matter what happens.

Overall, “The Way Meat Loves Salt” is a beautiful story about what true love really is and the importance of family no matter what kind of differences you may have with each other. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the Jewish terms might be a bit confusing for some smaller readers and the scene of the daughter being kicked out of her home might upset some children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-06-01 07:26
Rin-Ne Volume 15 by Rumiko Takahashi
RIN-NE, Vol. 15 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #15



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

Ever since Renge Shima has been introduced into this series, the series has certainly changed up its game with all the characters involved. “Rin-Ne Volume Fifteen” is one extraordinary volume that puts a lot of focus on Renge and her relationship with Rinne and the gang that will be enjoyable for “Rin-Ne” fans!

Renge Shima has moved in next door to Rinne (much to Rinne’s chagrin) and has already started causing trouble for everybody again when she decided to give away lucky cell phone charm straps to various people for free. The problem with this is that it causes Rinne’s spirit hunting business to go downhill as more people get help from Renge instead of Rinne and Rinne must find out a way to put an end to Renge’s trickery before he is out of the business!

Rumiko Takahashi has done it again with her witty and hilarious writing for these unique characters and their crazy situations! I loved the fact that this volume actually focuses more on Renge Shima and her relationship with the other characters as it made her character stand out more and it was interesting seeing that Renge actually knew most of the characters since childhood and has been a pain in the neck to them for all those years. I also liked the fact that we get to see what kind of relationship Renge has with Kain (as it seems like they have so much in common, except for the fact that Renge is working for the Damashigami Company) and I would like to see more stories unfold between Kain and Renge and whether or not Kain will discover Renge’s secret. I was also impressed with the storyline where Ageha and Renge knew each other when they were children and it was interesting seeing them still maintain their rivalry even when they got older as it was pretty comical to watch! Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is as always, great to look at as all the characters are drawn in both an adorable and creative way and I also loved the way that the action sequences with the characters fighting each other are all detailed in action.

Overall, “Rin-Ne Volume 15” is a great volume that focuses on Renge Shima that fans of the “Rin-Ne” series will enjoy for a long time!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2016-05-19 21:24
Rin-Ne Volume 14 by Rumiko Takahashi
[ Rin-Ne, Volume 14 BY Takahashi, Rumiko ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014 - Rumiko Takahashi

Genre: Horror / Adventure / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2009


Year Read: 2016


Series: Rin-ne #14



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

Rinne

Ever since I’ve been reading “Rin-Ne,” I have been wondering if they are building up a possible story arc for the Damashigami Company plot regarding Rinne’s father Sabato and it seems that in “Rin-Ne Volume Fourteen,” we see even more plot twists from the Damashigami Company that will change everything regarding this series!

In this volume, we are introduced to Renge Shima, a transfer student who immediately gets the attention of all the boys at school. Unfortunately, it turns out that Renge has a Marilyn Monroe look-alike spirit hovering over her that is making the boys become attracted to her, but is Renge harboring a dark secret that could turn the tides for Rinne and the gang? Other stories in this volume involve Rokumon meeting up with the Black Cat Elder, Rinne meeting up with a Nine-Tailed Fox that possesses Tsubasa and a demon that tries to steal beans from a bean throwing ceremony.

Wow! Rumiko Takahashi never ceases to amaze me with her unique writing style in her works! Even though this volume has even more filler story arcs than the previous volumes, there were some stories that also contributed a bit to the main story line regarding the Damashigami Company. Now, I have seen so many new characters being added to this series already, but Renge Shima was an interesting case as she seems to be the most serious character introduced in the series so far besides Kain and it makes me wonder (hopefully) if the series is actually going to get to an actual story arc sometime after this volume. I also enjoyed the side story about Tsubasa getting possessed by a Nine-Tailed Fox since it focused on Tsubasa and it was a pretty hilarious story to read! Rumiko Takahashi’s artwork is a treat to see as the demons shown in this volume are both scary and hilarious to look at and I really loved the artwork of the evil dragon spirit at the beginning of this volume as it was a cross between being frightening when it first arrived to being humorous after it got all the negative emotions it needed.

For anyone who does not like images of demons and other scary characters, this volume has a bit of scary imagery of demons that might scare some people such as the dragon spirit that feeds on negative emotions at the beginning of the volume.

Overall, “Rin-ne Volume Fourteen” is a great volume for fans of “Rin-ne” and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this series in the future!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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