Friday, April 30, 2010

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

Title: Stitches: A Memoir
Author: David Small
Illustrator: David Small
Copyright: 2009
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-393-06857-3
Summary: When David Small was 11, a lump suddenly grew from in the side of his throat. No one knew what it was, but it wasn’t until he was 14 that the family finally dealt with it. Given no information and the loss of a vocal cord, David was left to find the truth on his own: he had cancer. It was gone after the surgery, but the discovery that his family kept this from him sent him spiraling even further from himself until he found help. It was then, things fell into place.
Thoughts: It’s a beautifully done memoir. I was sucked in immediately by the images followed by each person’s way of talking. It is horrible to think this happened, yet I could easily believe it. The images are simplistic, the art solid, and the text smooth. Stitches is one of those graphic novels that will be mentioned everywhere and recommended. It is also one that, if I owned it, I would read again and again, thinking and re-reading different parts. While this book did enter many young adult award categories, it can only be recommended to mature, older readers.
Will Teens Like It? This is not a teen title. Here is the thing: teens will read it, but these particular teens will be mature enough to handle this title as well as know their boundaries at that point. This title is adult in nature and geared more to that age, despite a child lead.
Things to be aware of: familial abuse, swearing, compromising situation. Heavy emotional material.
Bonus: David Small is known for his children’s books.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

(More like "What's On My Bookshelf") The Story Siren's In My Mailbox is a post where one shares what they got that week. For me, it's more like What's On My Bookshelf as everything to read congregates there

From the library:
  • Bride of the Water God by Mi-Kyung Yun, vol. 1& vol.2. - Plot: Soah is sacrificed to the Water God by her desperate family and villagers. As they send her away, they hope her being offered as a bride will please the God and give them rain. My thoughts: Water God = *DROOL* I cannot wait for the next two!
  • Fables by Bill Willingham (writer), Mark Buckingham, et al. Vol. 10-12 - Plot: Fairy tales turned upside down. In these volumes, the characters are teaming up to fight against the enemy who has taken over the homelands. My thoughts: These will probably not be reviewed, but it's high time I finish this series.
  • Scott Pilgrim vol. 4: Gets It Together and vol 5: Versus the Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley- Plot: Will Scott finally grow up? What about his relationship with Ramona? My thoughts: I've looked ahead and I'm confused...and excited...
  • Foiled by Jane Yolen, art by Mike Cavallaro - Plot: Aliera is not normal and she knows it. When her mom gives her a foil with a jewel on it, strange things start to happen. My Thoughts: I'm intrigued.
  • Ooku The Inner Chambers Vol. 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga - Plot: A strange disease has killed the majority of the men in this historical "what if" story forcing the women to enter roles traditionally for men. My Thoughts: Came at the recommendation of a classmate
  • Nothing by Janne Teller - Plot: Pierre Anthon climbs a tree and won't come down until someone can prove that life has meaning. My Thoughts: First it is a translated novel. Two, it is small. Three, it reminds me of a Ben Folds song and I'm curious to see if this book will end well or not.
  • Green Witch by Alice Hoffman - Plot: Green's life changed in an instant and now she is living with the pieces. Sequel Green Angel. My Thoughts: Green Angel was fantastic. I honestly want to see where this sequel can go.
  •  Grown-ups Are Dumb (No Offense) by Alex Kitchn (The World's Youngest Professional Cartoonist) Plot: A collection of comics about family stuff. My thoughts: Cute.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Apparently it is Earth Day. I only knew that it was sometime this week with no specific date because this week also saw 4/20, Administrative Professionals Day, and catch up from National Library Week. Oh and the release of the movie trailer Beastly.

So Beastly since I haven't seen Scott Pilgrim enough recently to comment. Have you watched this trailer:

(Yes it is a YouTube video from user ClevverTV. The official and much more HD trailer is at the movie site.)

I can honestly say I am excited for this movie.  The trailer does a good job of showing enough to get my interest, but not giving away all of the plot points (unless you read the book, such as I have). At first, I wasn't sure if this movie could live up to my expectations. Every book-to-movie runs the chance of ruining a favorite book or enhancing a not so good book (re: Twilight) or taking a completely different direction with the book (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). In Beastly's case, when I heard Mary Kate Olsen was to play a character, I was pretty sure I'd wait until the DVD release. Luckily, I like Mary Kate Olsen playing Kendra after watching this trailer as she adds an interesting spin to the character.

Now to the guy who plays Beastly. Simply put: Eye Candy. Admit it, everyone of us has a soft spot for the built, beach bummy looking blonde guy. I am absolutely excited over this guy. While he doesn't look like a true monster (he looks pretty in his "ugliness"), I love the artistic direction with his "Beast" side. Also, this guy seems to personify Kyle/Beast and I look forward to the transformation. I also like the fact it looks like the people who made this movie took every chance they could to have the actor take his shirt off. *drool* (If you notice, he is shirtless as he works out in the trailer, then he takes off his shirt after the transformation. Why? I don't know, and I don't care).

My only worry is that when July comes, I won't be able to find this movie. Remember Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? It took me forever to locate a theater, and then it disappeared and I had to wait until the DVD which took forever to come out.

I'm hoping this movie does relatively well and that I can see it in one way shape or form this summer with The Philosopher Musician. He has agreed to take me because it looks "intriguing" and I asked (This man saw August Rush and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Am I lucky or what?). He and I are also excited because Neil Patrick Harris of Dr. Horrible fame is also in this. I just wish I could determine if he is playing the blind teacher or not. If you can clear that up in the comments I'd appreciate it.

PS: For Earth Day, I have inadvertently celebrated it by starting a Scrap Quilt.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Plagarism around Blogosphere

The Story Siren has a great post and links to other fantastic posts (to even more fantastic posts...) about the problems of others stealing reviews and paraphrasing. It is depressing that this exists and people do this. I just have to point this post out because 1.) the information is well done and 2.) the more we know, the more we recognize, the more we discuss this, the more chance we can solve this problem somehow, eventually.

My own personal rule it is to avoid reading reviews of books I intend to read. It isn't fair and I'm worried I'll inadvertently copy something.

So, how do you locate reviews that may have been copied? Just put in a Google search here and go from there?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life (Vol. 1 of Scott Pilgrim)

I have got to quit promising things. An event today, plus hours of school work over the weekend resulted in my just having the review ready to go. My thoughts on the trailer and a link soon (although, really, I have one tiny complaint). When, I can't promise, it is the end of the term which means CRUNCH TIME. *sigh*

Onward to the review:

Title: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life (vol. 1)
Author: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Illustrator: Bryan Lee O’Malley
Publisher: Oni Press
Copyright: 2004
Price: $11.95
ISBN: 978-1-932664-08
Summary: Rocker Scott Pilgrim has the life dating a high school girl (*gasp*), playing in a band, and generally “floating.” All is good until his dreams are interrupted by new girl Ramona Flowers and suddenly he’s trying to find her. As luck would have it, he meets her at a party, learns where she works, and gets her to come to him. The chemistry hits and they consider dating, but there is one little problem: Scott Pilgrim must defeat her 7 evil exes.
Thoughts: Scott Pilgrim is a title that I’ve been hearing periodically as a “must read” title for a while now. What a crazy mix of action, romance, fantasy, and just plain oddity. The drawing style is different as it is a cross between manga and the artist’s style, but really works well for the story. The first fight scene of 7 is introduced here and honestly is my favorite part. The plot holds up well and while you are wondering about the 6 other evil exes, why Ramona can do what she does, I wonder about Scott’s high school girlfriend and how she’ll be a part of the story later. This would, depending on the school, be a good addition to a high school graphic novel collection.
Will Teens Like It? Probably and is a great boy and girl title as there is action/rock for the guys and romance for the girls. Generally something’s there for everyone.
Things to be aware of: Sexual humor, sexual situations, language, drinking
Bonus:  Movie trailer is out!!

Source: Library.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Diana Wynne Jones

Boy am I out of the loop. I'm always surprised when an author dies (someone died recently, at what I thought was young, but now I can't remember who it was...) Now it seems Diana Wynne Jones has cancer is and undergoing treatment (via Bookshelves of Doom). If you love her work and want to send her well wishes, follow the link above. There is an e-mail address there and on Bookshelves of Doom, there is a "snail mail address."

The only Diana Wynne Jones I've read...
I adored Howl's Moving Castle. I had decided to read it when I really wanted to see Howl's Moving Castle, the movie, but had to wait. It was worth the read. I laughed out loud, I rooted for Sophie and I just enjoyed the "typical fairy tale turned upside down." Plus, I adore Howl, like literary crush adore (but really, it was the anime that made me fall for Howl because while he is a pompous jerk, he actually cares). Either way, the book was fantastic and I'm glad that Miyazaki was inspired to create the anime from the book (although, there are a few liberties).

While I haven't read any of her other work, I recognize she's a great author and inspires kids to read. I wish her the best and am thinking of her.

P.S. Weekly post should resume soon, with SCOTT PILGRIM VOL. 1 and my thoughts on the trailer/upcoming movie.