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review 2018-11-15 01:08
I wanted this to be five stars
Batman: White Knight - Sean Murphy

The execution, the details, were interesting.   I do think that Sean Murphy bent a little things: if Jack Napier were a truly good man, as he's presented here, and had to account for everything that the Joker did, then I think he'd be slightly more shellshocked.   Now, I could buy the argument that he was so overwhelmed that he ended up placing all his hopes of forgiveness in Harley Quinn - but that's not how this is presented.   It's presented as he feels bad, whoops, let's save Gotham now.   (Although a lot of his redemption is all about Harleen, so that was kinda weird, too.)   He was a little... off with Harleen, too?   Maybe it was calling her Harley, which seemed weird since they were trying so hard to disassociate themselves from their former lives.  But there was something else, where it was all too cut and dry: her accepting him, his complete devotion to her, and I found it too far off form The Joker to really be buyable.   

 

Then again, some of this could be explained by the final reveal, although I don't want to go into details: this is well worth reading, and it's worth reading not knowing what's coming in my opinion, so I won't spoil that. 

 

There's so much elegance in this story that it didn't seem more than a star off, and I think the story focuses enough on other things that I couldn't really say this flaw overtook everything.   I also think when the love story between The Joker and Harleen doesn't take over?   This story is a lot stronger. 

 

And I'm not spoiling things when I say The Joker goes sane or Batman is in Arkham.   The tagline on the back is The Joker goes sane, and the first page or so has Batman in Arkham.   It's all about the small reveals leading up to the big one  at the end.   It's a slow burn that's dealt with perfectly for the most part.   

 

Lovely story.  I'm definitely going to look into reading more by this writer/artist. 

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review 2018-11-14 03:02
Crush, Berrybrook #3 by Svetlana Chmakova
Crush - Svetlana Chmakova

Jorge Ruiz is bigger than most of his classmates, but he uses his powers for good and helps keep the peace in the halls of Berrybrook Middle School, which, despite its utopian-esque levels of diversity and vibrant club-driven atmosphere, still has a bullying problem. Of course it does, because middle school. Anyway, Jorge is a decent guy and loves hanging out with his two best friends, but one day as he's musing about how complicated life is getting with everyone else pairing off and breaking up, he can't get his mind off of Jazmin.

 

This is a deceptively simple story about crushing, love, and friendship. I have zero criticism. Chmakova has a way of balancing her characters and making a tight story out of the swirling, hormonal chaos that is middle school. She focuses  on a few characters and realistic problems and captures something special. I mean, I hated middle school and yet this made me remember some of those fleeting moments of dizzy happiness. 'Crush' is sweet. I also appreciated how the crisis aspects of the storyline were resolved this time around. In 'Brave' Jensen's problems were solved, but in a way that left a bad taste in my mouth. This felt like a more responsible and realistic way to deal with behavior problems.

 

Berrybrook Middle School

 

Next: '?'

 

Previous: 'Brave'

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review 2018-11-11 15:16
Sometimes the simplest of messages can mean so much...to me this story is all about its message...
Sky in the Deep - Adrienne Young

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.
 
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
 
Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
 
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
 
 
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
While this story's message is a well-known one but, it's still an important one.  The reviews for this are all over the place, some loved and some did not even like.  I obviously really liked it, maybe possibly loved it, even.  Some said it was cliché, and not true to the Viking heritage...I didn't feel that way at all (not that I'm super knowledgeable about Viking heritage).  I believe if you go into this thinking that is Viking-inspired and not true Viking, you won't set yourself up for disappointment. 

Maybe, it was the narration that made me so invested in this story...the narration is excellently done, after all.  Maybe it's the fact that it is a stand-alone...I do love stand-alone's.  I think it's both of these things actually...plus the vivid writing and I seriously loved Fiske, and truly loved Eelyn and Fiske together.   éé

 

 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏

 

4.8STARS - GRADE=A

 
 
 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 4.7/5 
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.5/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 4.7/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 4.5/5
Originality⇝ 4.2/5
Ending⇝ 4.5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.  It's a stand-alone!
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝  Amazing
Narration⇝ ☆5☆ for Khristine Hvam...I've always liked her.  She always does a powerful female character justice.
Setting⇝ Between the Aska and Riki Villages...The Mountains and the Fjord.
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes
๏ ๏ ๏
 

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review 2018-11-11 13:38
Initiates, The: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs - Étienne Davodeau 
Initiates, The: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs - Étienne Davodeau

No surprises: two friends who know nothing about one another's fields spend a year learning and then appreciating their two fields, and the reader learns alongside. There's no drama,  just a slowly developing knowledge and discernment. Because it is a story about middle-aged white French men primarily, it can be hard to grasp the references. It was good, but I remained at a distance and never really felt any emotional attachment.

 

Library copy 

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text 2018-11-09 13:12
Peanuts Classics - 20/250pg
Peanuts Classics - Charles M. Schulz

I had planned on using In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox - Carol Burnett  for the Festivus door, and even started it last night after I finished Firestarter - Stephen King,Dennis Boutsikaris, but then while I was browsing Half Price Books while waiting on friends for dinner, I came across this and had to have it. Then I opened it to read  couple comics and just kept reading! So I think I will use this for Festivus instead. 

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