As I was trying to put together my review of the first volume in the Lumberjanes series (collaboratively written and drawn by Grace Ellise, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen) I realized that it was going to be nigh on impossible for me to formulate new thoughts/observations about further volumes without repeating myself ad nauseam...so a masterpost.
The volumes of this series that I've read thus far:
On first beginning the series, I immediately felt like I was somehow starting in the middle as the reader is launched immediately into the inner circle of our main protagonists (Jo, April, Molly, Mal, & Ripley). What initially caught my interest were the excellent illustrations and the various looks of the main characters which are all widely different (much like the characters themselves). [A/N: I want to say here that the illustrative style changed for each of the volumes and I didn't really dig that.] I kept reading because the format of survival manual blended into a narrative arc was unique and I like the idea of a female led story being written and drawn by females. This is a great message for girls who may have felt that the comic book world wasn't for them. That being said, I'm not likely to continue the series beyond these 5 volumes and if I do I won't be reviewing it here unless it totally ends up blowing my mind. It felt gimmicky and at times I felt they were trying too hard and falling into contrived territory. I get that they're trying to be hip and inclusive (major props that there's not only a lesbian couple but a transgender character) but there was so 'trying to be hip' vibe that the story became second fiddle. Strong elements of fantasy, mystery, adventure, and friendship will appeal to all sexes but I don't think I'm the right age demographic (and this is coming from someone who routinely reads picture books). It's a 6/10 for me.
What's Up Next: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg
What I'm Currently Reading: Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 by Julie Summers
|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
This series is so up and down for me. In general, I like the stories. Some are crazy confusing, but they are always weird and entertaining in a good way. This one was no exception.
I started out Chapter 17 and was so excited to see the familiar loveliness of Brooke Allen's illustrations. This is the Lumberjanes I fell in love with. I almost stopped reading the series after volume 3 because of the huge change in art style.
Then I got to chapter 18 and was horrified to see that Carolyn Nowak illustrated the rest of the book. My heart sunk right there. The story was still good, but I just wasn't as into the illustrations. I don't really like Nowak's style for the Lumberjanes. From what I remember, I don't think I hated these as much as the ones in volume 3, but there were scenes where her illustrations really bugged me.
I did like the plot of the book. The whole mermaid thing was really interesting and April learned a valuable lesson. It was also cool to see how our favorite Lumberjanes met and the origin of Ripley's adorably adorable hair.
Good book on the whole, but I don't think I will every whole-heartedly accept Nowak's Lumberjane illustrations.
I "should" be reading my spooky books for the readathons, but I really need a mood lifter, so I'm reading some Lumberjanes. So random and makes me smile.