Delicates – a review

Delicates is the sequel to Sheets, a cute spoopy graphic novel about sheets coming to life as ghosts in a laundromat. Our main character Marjorie has become close to one of these ghosts, a young boy called Wendell. But when she returns to school she’s finally accepted by the popular girls and is scared of spending too much time with Wendell in case her secret comes out. Everyone would think she was a freak who sees dead people!!

Delicates by Brenna Thummler

Similarly, Delicates is a lovely graphic novel which is aimed at a MG/YA(Middle Grade/Young Adult) audience to talk about difficult topics. Whilst Sheets focuses on grief, Delicates focuses on mental health and bullying.

Sadly, whilst Sheets handled the topic with grace and, ironically, delicacy, Delicates seemed a little too forceful. The message seemed to be pushed so hard that at points it was literally on the page. I’m not sure if it’s just my age not being the target demographic that meant that I found this so blatant and obvious, but it did mean that the beauty of the message was lost for me. I do, however, think that it is of course an incredibly important message for young people to receive and maybe this delivery method would work for more people.

Overall I’ve given this read a low 3 stars (6.43 on CAWPILE to be precise), and I would definitely recommend for people to pick it up. The art style, in my opinion, is gorgeous and the message positive and important. I just don’t feel that it was that well imparted, but as mentioned above I’m not the target audience and this may have paid a part in this.

Publishing tomorrow March 23rd 2021, go check this book out and pick it up if it sounds interesting!!

Thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Quincredible Vol. 1 by Rodney Barnes, a review

Quin’s a regular kid, he’s quiet, he gets beaten up a lot, and his parents love him. One thing not so normal about him is that he’s invulnerable. No matter what happens his body doesn’t get damaged. Or at least it hasn’t yet. Quinton West is one of many who were impacted by a meteor shower that bestowed gifts and powers on people across the city. But he’s not told anyone, because invulnerability is a pretty useless superpower if you’ve only got a one-hundred pound frame to back it up.¬†

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Quincredible Vol. 1 by Rodney Barnes

I picked this up from NetGalley because I just couldn’t resist that cover (I mean look at it!!!!) and I’m so glad I did! This superhero comic was brilliant, not only did I adore the art style but also Quin’s characterisation. He was an incredibly relatable kid. He’s a little stereotypical for the comic world. He’s nerdy and gets beaten up but never fights back. But he has a wonderful relationship with his parents who are loving and supportive, and he’s active in his community and wants to help in a “neighbourhood spiderman” kinda way.

I’ll admit I’m not the best for a critical review of this comic. I don’t read a lot of them, barely any would be more precise. But. If you’re like me in that you don’t delve into this medium all that often, then I highly recommend Quincredible. It drew me in, I adored the art, and I definitely want to pick up vol. 2. And considering I don’t tend to continue with comics that’s a high rating!! If you are a comic reader then I want to pre-warn you that this does contain common tropes, but it also is a fun time and I really did enjoy the story. It might be worth giving it a shot!

Thank you to NetGalley and Oni Press for an electronic review copy of this comic in exchange for an honest review. I ended up giving this comic 4*s out of 5.

Spooky Reading Recommendations!

So I’m not great with scary things. They aren’t my favourite and I don’t enjoy scaring myself, so instead my recommendations for Halloween reads are more mystery, thriller and dark, rather than pure scary. I’ll start off with children’s books and move on through to adult literature, but definitely try out all you feel comfortable with! I also have this post in video format on my YouTube channel from last year, so click here if you prefer to listen to/watch the recommendations!

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Sheets by Brenna Thummler

This cute little graphic novel is linked into Halloween with an adorable ghost who appears and wants to assist our protagonist. A nice and unspooky way to join in with the season. Find my full review here!

 

Kiss of DeathKiss of Death by Malcolm Rose

Something a little more creepy, two children pick up a coin on a school trip to a town which was previously ravaged by the plague. Taking this coin places a curse on the two and we see them struggle to come to this realisation and figure out a solution.

blood waterBlood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

There’s a “thing” in the water in this slightly scary teen read. It’s escaped from where it was being kept for research and is resulting in the gory deaths of those living nearby. Something a bit more creepy for those who want to test themselves. This isn’t a book I enjoyed personally but if the synopsis looks intriguing to you then check it out.

the black book of secretsThe Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins

Back to something not as scary again, this book (and the whole series) are very fun, creepy reads aimed at 11+ readers. This book focuses on a man who pays money to write peoples secrets in his black book, our protagonist doesn’t understand why he would pay for this. So he tries to find out.

Who Could That Be at This HourWho Could That Be at This Hour by Lemony Snicket

What creepy but not too scary book recs list would be complete without Lemony Snicket?! Obviously there is the whole Series of Unfortunate Events, however, another one of his series’ is called All The Wrong Questions and is more of a YA book. More of the Snicket we love with a more mature audience in mind.

skuldugerySkulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

One of my¬†absolute favourite¬†series’, that I’ve been following since the beginning and continue to pick up. These books are 11+ and follow a Skeleton detective and the niece of his best friend as they get into a lot of scrapes. So much fun, great Irish humour and perfect for Halloween! (Also not spooky at all, the only fear is when the characters get themselves into stupid situations haha)

the last apprenticeThe Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney 

This series goes by many names, in the UK (where I’m from!) it’s called Spooks, but in the US it is The Last Apprentice, and the first book has the same name. A little more of a creepy YA, we follow a young boy as he becomes the apprentice of the spook. A man who rounds up witches and keeps society safe from them. There are a few issues with this series, as it seems to be incredibly patriarchal with a mistrust of any female, however, I thought I would still mention it on this list as when I first read it at 15 I didn’t notice this and still really enjoyed the books. It’s up to you.

Messenger of FearMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Another one of my favourite books, I read this for the first time recently and couldn’t put both it and the sequel down. I’m waiting on tenderhooks for book #3!! This follows a girl who has been apprenticed to the Messenger of Fear. It’s a nasty job, but she chose to take it on, and doesn’t remember why as her memory was wiped. Lots of graphic violence and a little bit of creepiness. A lot of fun!!

cold bath streetCold Bath Street by A. J. Hartley

Not the most well heard of book, which is such a pity as this is yet another 5* read on this list! We follow a young boy names Preston when he has died, and how he copes in the world beyond. But there’s trouble, things aren’t following the route that they’re supposed to and he somehow gets himself entwined within this issue and aims to discover what is going on. Creepy (on a small scale, but more than some of the others on this list) and so engrossing!¬†Find my full review here!

aliceAlice by Christina Henry

An Alice In Wonderland retelling with a twist. This book had me absolutely ensnared for well over a week after I finished reading it! It’s dark, gritty and you should probably forget about other retellings you’ve read as this doesn’t follow that tried and tested format. I loved the skewed, humanoid versions of our well-known characters within Wonderland and how this was dragged into more of a dystopian world than a mythical land. 100% recommend and love! This isn’t a YA read though, so don’t go in with that expectation.¬†Find my full review here!

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Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

A straight thriller, a common choice for this time of year. This one messed with my mind, and it’s why I gave it 5 stars! I’ll say straight off that not everyone will enjoy this book, for example, BooksandLala really didn’t like it due to the ending which she considered to be over the top (and I can see why), so keep that in mind. But personally, I loved it and was absolutely enraptured and unable to put it down.¬†Find my full review¬†here!

the end of mr yThe End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

This book is a lot less well known than it should be, in my opinion, and I only know about it as I spotted it in a charity shop. With a creepy mystery surrounding a long-lost book, death, fantasy and weird shit are all present in this great book!

25694617His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

This isn’t your traditional Halloween read, the only real gory section is that there is a murder. Our MC is being tried for a murder he committed, and we follow the events before, during and after the murder, as well as the trial itself. This is 100% not creepy, but it will make you think. Find my full review here!

the girl in 6EThe Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

This thriller has it all, murderous tendencies, a creep that goes rogue and so much more. This will keep you on the edge of your seat and I personally came to really love our protagonist despite her obvious and glaring flaws.

the house of silkThe House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I had to include a traditional style mystery in here! I love reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle so whenever people add to their works and build upon their characters – I’m in! This book was brilliant and had me hooked, 100% recommend if you want to delve back into the world of Sherlock.

macbethMacbeth by William Shakespeare

Now for an original classic, this book has murder and witches and is thoroughly enjoyable! If you find play scripts difficult to read then there are many great film adaptations of the work, sometimes watching a performance before reading it can be helpful for those who don’t flow naturally into this different writing layout.

the damnedThe Damned vol 1 by Cullen Bunn, and illustrated by Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree

A dark, noir, gangster comic which definitely fits within the horror genre with its graphic panels, there are also fantasy elements within the story which allows it to break the walls of reality in an interesting manner. Check out my full review here!

ghosts of the pastGhosts of the Past by Serge LeTendre and David S. Khara, and illustrated by Frédéric Peynet

This is a mystery/crime comic which follows our protagonist as he deals with Nazi’s, both in the present day and also with what they did during WWII. Pretty dark, due to the topic that it deals with, however, there isn’t really a scare factor. Click for my review for more of my thoughts.

And that’s your lot! It’s a bit of a long list, and my video is almost 25 minutes long so I apologise for that, but hopefully, I’ve been able to provide some ideas for books to delve into this spoopy season!! If you want to see how I get along with my October reads (which have a bit of a spooky theme) then keep an eye on my channel for my October Reading Wrap Up!

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

My first ever comic experience: Punisher, a review

This was my first ever foray into the comic genre! It ended up being both a good and bad experience, so let’s get into that.

Firstly the good, I liked the art style. I personally think that it really fits the genre of the book, with dark colouring and harsh lines. It adds another dimension to the atmosphere of the plot. I also enjoyed the plotline, even though this is the second comic in this story (I know, I know, but I couldn’t find the first one!) I didn’t feel too lost and was able to catch myself up pretty quickly, as well as being interested in what was going on.

The “bad” is more my fault than anything else, I hadn’t been expecting there to be so little story contained in one issue. I’m used to a whole story contained within one book, or in graphic novels, there is at least one arc of the story in one collection. However, there was barely any of the story within this tiny little comic and it felt like it ended very abruptly. Like I said this is my fault, I’m not familiar with comics so I didn’t know what to expect and it felt very odd to have so little of the story. I think if I was to continue with these I would have to try and find a bind up of the comics all together so that I can get a larger amount of the plot at once.

Basically, don’t go in as blind as I did! Comics are really great and the artwork is beautiful, but you’re not going to get a lot of story in one go so if that’s what you’re looking for then maybe head for a bind up or a graphic novel.

July Wrap Up! Hella late but better than never!!| 2018

So this is ridiculously late (just wait until I pop my August TBR up!) but surely it’s better late than never?! Okay, shush just let me get on with it! If you’d rather see this in a video format, then click here for the link to my YouTube July wrap up, which was actually posted within a reasonable time frame! Shocker, I know.

whoologyWho-Ology by Cavan Scott    4/5*

This is a fun read which covers the whole history of the show and goes into details about all the doctors, companions, villains and more! As a whovian it was fun to read about some episodes I’ve not been able to get to and have some more depth to the show.

shadow of hitlerIn The Shadow of Hitler by Richard Vaughan-Davies     3/5*

Find my full review here! This was an interesting read, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. Certain aspects were interesting, however, they couldn’t quite make up for the rest of the story to increase my rating.

 

hit squadHit Squad by Sophie McKenzie    4/5*

Find my full review of Hit Squad here! I am so glad I finally finished up this series, this ended the Medusa Project in a really satisfying way, as well as leaving it open enough that it could be picked up in the future! I would absolutely love that, but seeing as it was published in 2012 I doubt Sophie McKenzie is going to write any more in the series. I can always hope though!

airheadBeing Nikki by Meg Cabot     4/5*

I’ve been really enjoying this series. Contemporary with a fun twist that really adds another dimension to the story, the ending of this book was really shocking and left me on such a cliffhanger!

 

othelloOthello by William Shakespear    1/5*

Oh my god, I HATED this!!! I just could¬†not get through it and ended up DNFing it! Maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again, and I’d like to watch an adaptation seeing as it is supposed to be performed. But for now, I’m leaving it be.

 

fracturedFractured by Teri Terry     4/5*

This is the second installment in the Slated trilogy and I really enjoyed it! It has been years since I read Slated (around 5!) so I’m really happy that I still love this series and I’m excited for Shattered!

 

The Girl in the Blue CoatThe Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse    4/5*

I listened to this book via audiobook (thank you library) and sadly I think this might’ve made me less emotionally attached to the characters, and with a book like this, I personally feel that this is an important part. So maybe this could’ve gotten 5* if I’d read a physical copy, or maybe it was the writing. Either way, I still recommend this read!

the eye of the northThe Eye of the North by Sin√©ad O’Hart¬† ¬† 4/5*

I absolutely fell in love with these beautifully written characters and the world building was fantastic. I genuinely felt sad that the story was over and hope that there could be a sequel in the future! A great 8-12 read and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from Sin√©ad O’Hart in the future!

thatoldblackmagicThat Old Black Magic by Cathi Unsworth     4/5*

Find my full review here! This was a really really odd book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it! Magical, dark and intense, this book has the potential to suck you in and only spit you out hours later.

Next up, the 7in7Readathon reads! Find my wrap up and reading vlog here!

punisherThe Punisher    3/5*

I enjoyed this comic, however, this was my first experience with this format and I had been expecting to get more of the story within the issue. Therefore I finished it feeling slightly disappointed, but I still enjoyed the story arc and may finish it up in a bind up in the future.

norse mythologyNorse Mythology by Neal Gaiman    4.5/5*

I really enjoyed Gaiman’s take on the Norse God’s and their antics! The short stories all lead on beautifully to the next and come together at the end to create one larger overall story. I definitely recommend this one!

 

The Essential Spike MilliganThe Essential Spike Milligan   3/5*

I think I could’ve given this 4/5* if I wasn’t reading it for a readathon. It made me read through this a lot faster than I would’ve liked and took away some of the impacts. I want to reread this at some point and see how I feel then.

fangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell    4/5*

I can’t believe this took me so long to read! I’m so happy that I give contemporaries a chance nowadays. This is a deep book that follows Cath through her discovering college and being introduced to adult life, slowly but surely.

afterannaAfter Anna by Alex Lake    4.5/5*

This book¬†fucked me up so bad. I 100% recommend! Even though I could tell all of the “twists” I was still completely hooked and couldn’t put it down. Total mind fuck! (a great compliment for a thriller!)

Now into the BookTubeAThon reads! Find my wrap up here in blog format and here in video format!

IUTKTI Used to Know That Geography by Will Williams    4/5*

This is a great little geography book and written in a way that keeps you interested (rather than feeling like it’s a textbook!). Great for those wanting to recap the subject or be introduced to the GCSE (14-16 yo) standard of the subject

AoGGAnne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery    4/5*

Although I found the middle section of this book (before Anne turns 12/13) quite tedious, after finishing I absolutely adore Anne and can’t wait to read more following this young girls life! Definitely very invested haha.

 

And that is my wrap up! I read¬†loads this month and took a loooong time to recover after it! Hence this really late post haha, but I’m getting myself back on track now… before I go and leave for uni. So hopefully I can stay this way! I don’t think I’ll keep this level of reading up but I’m really glad I got through what I did.

Saga, Book 1

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I’ll be honest, I only picked up volume 1 of Saga as I had seen so many BookTubers talking about it and I wanted a quick read to help me out of a reading slump, for me graphic novels are a lot quicker reads than traditional books. It turns out that this was such a good decision! I absolutely loved the first volume and quickly read volumes 2 and 3, also really enjoying them.

This graphic novel series is based around the story of a young girl, but starts (and is still, as far as I am up to) before her birth and continues to focus on her parents while she is an infant. It is set¬†in space (hello sci-fi!) and this girl’s parents are from two different species who are war with each other, which evidently creates an issue of them finding a safe place for them to raise their child within a time where war rages through most of the area of the galaxy they are in. Not only do we follow this couple and their plight to find somewhere safe for their baby, but we also see what is happening elsewhere within this war, and the stories start to intertwine as the plot continues on.

The art style melds perfectly with the theme of sci-fi and I personally really like it, it definitely adds another aspect to the story in a brilliant way. I really enjoy this storyline so far and I am one hundred percent going to continue on to all of the other volumes currently published. Definitely looking forward to seeing how this story develops!

Three Days Dead, The Damned vol. 1

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I’ve been reading a lot of comics so far this year! This is yet another graphic novel that I enjoyed and want to continue with the series. We follow a gun-for-hire who keeps coming back from the dead, as long as someone touches him after he dies, and a bunch of daemons¬†having a gang war in the city. Yeah… it’s an interesting concept! It’s a classic noir comic with a twist of horror and a big dollop of death, a main character who you want to keep following and an art design that very much fits the genre with its sharp, angular preferences.

This is a new release of a previously published comic, and the major addition seems to be that this is now in colour. Although a black-and-white theme would suit this style of comic, the addition of colour really brings the world to life and adds a whole new dimension. I don’t want to say much more to let you discover what this graphic novel has to offer on your own. Definitely one to pick up if you like action, crime and a little bit of horror (I hate horror books or films but comics I can deal with for some odd reason)¬†with some daemons thrown in for good measure.

Thank you to NetGalley for a free eCopy of this graphic novel in return for an unbiased review.

Ghosts of Marvel? Will this be unique?

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This comic was not what I had expected from the cover, although seeing as this is only volume 1 it may develop into what I expected in the future. I’ll definitely be finding out as I am 100% continuing with this series! Jeremy Corbin’s (the direct contrast between this character and Jeremy Corbin the MP in Britain makes me laugh!) life is suddenly turned upside down when he is told that his father has passed away, and what he had believed was his fathers’ life story is shown to be false. Suddenly he is involved with the CIA, Nazis and his life is in almost constant danger. I’m liking the mixture of the current day and the past, with WWII being my favourite time in history to learn about. There is a Steve Rodgers aspect to this, very much getting a little bit of Hydra feels, but not in a bad way. I’m enjoying the plotline and looking forward to seeing how it develops in the future, really hoping that it will be a unique storyline which will just make this comic series so much better. Fingers crossed! Thanks to NetGalley for an eCopy of this comic in return for an honest review.

Forgiveness *is* Really Strange

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This graphic novel is within the same series as “Anxiety is Really Strange”, which I have reviewed previously.¬†Find my review of Anxiety is Really Strange here. One thing I like about both of these books is the art style present.¬†This series doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do, in direct contrast to “Anxiety is Really Strange”, “Forgiveness is Really Strange” seems to have no scientific basis and is incredibly simplistic. This doesn’t work so much for the first half of the book but becomes much better within the second half. Within the first half, forgiveness is explained. This includes explaining pros and cons of forgiving someone who wronged you, and the different effects this can have on the body physically as well as much more. After this, there are real-life examples of people who have suffered great losses or tragedies and have forgiven those who have harmed them for various different reasons. These vary from forgiving for their own mental health to wanting to help those who hurt them as they recognise that there are deeper reasons for their actions. Although I feel this graphic novel could benefit from a little more scientific evidence to back up the points made, it is a nice, simplistic piece which is accessible to everyone and the addition of real-life stories makes the points hit home even more. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eCopy of this book in return for an unbiased review.

 

Anxiety is Really…technical?

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Thank you to NetGalley for a free eCopy of this graphic novel in return for an honest review. I’m not particularly enamoured by this book, which is sad as the concept is something right up my alley. A comic which delves into mental health and anxiety sounds like a brilliant idea, as it could bring awareness to a whole new group of people and help those who would never normally seek access to this information. There is a lot of referenced data, and some clean cut illustrations to add to the information. It would be a very good book to present to someone to educate them about anxiety, whether in relation to the receiver of the book or someone around them. There was a lot of information about anxiety itself in the first half, and information on how to manage symptoms in the second half, both of which were informative and helpful.

However, the way it has been worded is very clinical, and although this may work in some settings it doesn’t in a comic format. It makes it feel slightly alienated and aloof instead and meant that I wasn’t engrossed, I was just browsing. As another reviewer has mentioned (Nikki “The Crazie Betty” V on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2616607-nikki-the-crazie-betty-v), this comic felt “more like a tri-fold pamphlet from the doctor‚Äôs office than a graphic novel” and I definitely agree with this thought. It may be too complex in some places also, there were a few little bits that I struggled with but the rest seemed at level with my previous education on the subject (two years of study at A Level [16 – 18 years old] in psychology), which was fine for me but is not good for a publication which is supposed to help those not familiar with anxiety understand more about the condition.

It is a nice idea, and the information contained within seems to be accurate, well referenced and useful. But, something about it just doesn’t hit the mark to be sold as a graphic novel, as it’s a little too aloof and technical, would be a good little leaflet to have in a doctors office though.