Book Recommendations, Book Reviews

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang – Book Review

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I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the most beautiful book I have ever read.

This is a graphic novel set in the late 19th century France. It follows the lives of Prince Sebastian and a seamstress named Frances. The two of them strike up a friendship when Sebastian hires Frances to make him beautiful dresses that he wears when he becomes Lady Crystallia.

The story is fantastic. Sebastian and Frances come from two very different backgrounds, but they work so well together. They can be who they are with each other without any fear of judgement. And as their friendship grows, my love bloomed. I loved every single moment of this story, even the sad ones.

Sebastian stole my heart just as much as Lady Crystallia did. I was rooting for Frances every step of the way as well. I had the biggest smile of my face throughout the entirety of this. I laughed a few times, and I hugged my book at others.

The artwork was phenomenal. It was so bright and colorful and it accurately portrayed the giddiness I felt because of the story.

This story is described as a fairy tale, and I think that describes it perfectly. And I’ve never loved a fairy tale this much. This is a story I want to remember forever. A story I want to share with everyone. A story I didn’t know I needed this much, but now that I know it, I feel so grateful for it.

And that ending? Couldn’t have been better.

I realize I’m just gushing over how great this book is, but I don’t know how to talk about it in any other way. Just read it.

5 stars

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Book Reviews, Categories, Uncategorized

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a young adult, fantasy graphic novel. It follows Nimona, a shapeshifter, and Lord Ballister Blackheart, a hero turned villain,  as they team up to take down the corrupt Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics and their “front man” Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin who Blackheart has a lot of past with. The art style is bright and colorful, and characters are well developed and  funny. Here’s an example of the art and tone here:

I was very surprised when I read this. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Blackheart, while still a villain, never wanted to kill anyone. In a lot of ways this felt like more his story than Nimona’s even with her name being the title. But I loved their friendship. It was my favorite part of the comic. I also loved how scientific Blackheart was, and his motivations for being against the Institution. 

Blackheart doesn’t have an arm, and he was made that way by Goldenloin, his former lover at the hero academy. Though in the comic it is only heavily applied that they were lovers. I didn’t like that much though I have found out the author regrets not making it explicit. Their relationship was complex, and really added another layer to the story that it needed.

The ending surprised me a lot. I did not expect it at all, but after thinking about it for a couple hours, I think I like it. It’s not the typical happy ending, but it fits these characters and their story perfectly. 

I rate this comic five stars, and would recommend it to others. I enjoyed myself the whole time reading, and was disappointed and surprised when it ended.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

There are stories that soothe you as you read them. Blankets by Craig Thompson is one of them.

This memoir is Craig Thompson’s coming of age story. It highlights his childhood and teenage years. The art in this humongous book is so raw and beautiful that it really captured what the author wanted to show. It did it so well.

Among the themes in Blankets, faith is an important one. I think that was my favorite aspect of this story. I’m not used to reading about religion in books, but when I do, I either love it or hate it. From the start, this book doesn’t shove beliefs at the reader, it doesn’t try to preach about salvation or what’s right and what’s wrong. It shows what Craig went through, the struggles he dealt with while keeping his faith. It was mesmerizing, and I could strongly relate. There was something so honest about Thompson’s storytelling. There were things I never would have told had I been sharing this story. But I was grateful that they were told. It made it all so impactful.

This is a story about first love. It’s a story about hope. Faith. And family. It is a story about snow in the wintertime, and cuddling deep under blankets. It’s a story about art and writing and survival. Despite the delicate issues presented throughout the story, it still managed to soothe me like snow would to a wound. At one point I felt as though a blanket of calmness had fallen over me.

So, if you want to read a story worth remembering, while admiring beautiful artwork, Blankets is for you.