In an attempt to catch up with what I thought was a hopelessly lost battle between myself and my reading challenge, I hit up my local library. (Nice! is what you should all be saying, in unison, pumping your fists.)
Anyway, I headed over to the (newly expanded!) graphic novel section to do what I perceive as a lil harmless cheating. I picked up five, ended up reading three, and did not really enjoy them at all.
But my hopes are not dashed! I’ll probably go back soon and get more. (I stopped right before the graphic novel version of The Graveyard Book, which is one of only five (count ’em, five) books I’ve given five stars this year.) (It’s that double-parentheses time of the night.) (I actually wrote this weeks and weeks ago, helpfully saved it as a draft for future me, and promptly forgot about it. So currently it’s 6:37 pm and I have no excuse for all the parentheses at all.)
I read Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, and the graphic novel version of Sense & Sensibility, adapted by Nancy Butler.
Woohoo. Mini reviews for all!
Synopsis: Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks.
Of the three graphic novels I read, THIS ONE HAD MY FAVORITE ART. You can kinda tell even from the cover – look how flippin’ cute it is! Also, as you may know if you’ve been here for a while, I LOVE GHOSTS. (Again, see: Graveyard Book review.) I am a very sensible person, I like to think, but if, like, a strange gypsy-ish woman told me that of all magic/paranormal/whatever myths, one is real, I’d be like, HERE’S ALL MY MONEY. I BET IT’S GHOSTS.
It’s super late at night so I apologize if these aren’t exactly “mini.”
So this book was also really rushed, which is always my biggest flippin’ complaint with graphic novels. (Do I say “flippin'” now? I pray that doesn’t become a thing.) Everything with this was really abrupt, and the ending in particular was surprising in its choppiness.
But overall it was still cute and fun!! I liked it.
THE PLAIN JANES
Synopsis: Noted young adult novelist Cecil Castellucci and artist Jim Rugg launch Minx with the Plain Janes, a story about four girls named Jane. When transfer student Jane is forced to move from the confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there is the lunch room at the reject table she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. Main Jane encourages them to form a secret art gang and paint the town P.L.A.I.N. – People Loving Art In Neighborhoods. But can art attacks really save the hell that is high school?
This book was SO WEIRD. I was really excited to read it, because it’s about a group of girls who are all named Jane (one of the better names, in my opinion) who form a group to promote art appreciation in the suburbs.
What I got was more…images of girls at high school who randomly source hundreds of garden gnomes, terrorize a town and occupy the entirety of a small police force. There was not much art involved. Or appreciation – on my end! (Buh dum ch.)
The characters were also supes flat and everything happened real quickly and explanation-less-ly. Everything was really trope-y (characters include a jock, a rebel, a smart girl, a theater girl, an apologetic cheerleader, and the token gay one). There are just so many weird insertions, too – like Main Jane having a penpal correspondence with a comatose John Doe who was at the same bombing she was, and then who later woke up and she drove across the country with a random guy to see him but Johnnyboy was actually Polish and already back in Poland.
That was all in a few pages.
So very strange. And the art just wasn’t for me.
SENSE & SENSIBILITY (THE GRAPHIC NOVEL)
Synopsis: Award-winning writer Nancy Butler, adapter of Marvel’s best-sellingadaptation of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, returns toMarvel with another Jane Austen classic: SENSE & SENSIBILITY! Alongside incredible artist Sonny Liew (MY FAITH IN FRANKIE, WONDERLAND), Butler brings to life the world of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two daughters without parents or means, forced to experience hardship, romance, and heartbreak, all in the hopes of achieving love and lasting happiness.
probably definitely just misguided by me. For one thing, I’d read the Pride & Prejudice graphic novel adaptation by the same…adapt-er? and hadn’t liked it. And I like P&P so much more than Sense & Sensibility. It’s my least favorite Austen and the only thing that kept the actual book tolerable for me was Austen’s beautiful writing.
Which doesn’t translate so well into cartoon chat bubbles.
BUT WHOSE DOES?!
Anyway. This took me three days to get through, even though it’s LITERALLY A GRAPHIC NOVEL. It was just really boring and I connected even less to the characters and the relationships than I did in the original.
So I’ve done that. I’ll likely be reading more graphic novels at some point this summer because I really want to like them, but who knowsssss if I’ll do this again? (Probably will, because it’s easy.) (Just kidding hahahaha there’s barely any summer left. All my friends are gone. I’m dying. Save me. Seriously, not joking.)
What do y’all think about the ol’ graphic novel?