Tag Archives: Read in 2018

February Wrap-Up 2018

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*Image not mine

February was a pretty great reading month for me with 12 graphic novels, 2 audio books and a novel.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Batgirl: Son of Penguin (Batgirl: Rebirth #2)

By Hope Larson & Co

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5 Stars

This series just keeps getting better. The plot is interesting, the characters engaging and there are so many amazing women! Also some LGBT+ representation which is pretty awesome. I quite like Nightwing and Batgirl together and I loved the Supergirl arc! I can’t wait to read more about Batgirl.

Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy (Lumberjanes #1)

By Noelle Stevenson & Co

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3.75 Stars

While it had its moments, I was generally underwhelmed by this graphic novel.

Two of the characters have a crush on each other, which was pretty cute, and some stereotypes were subverted, which was cool. The friendship element was also very good.

I found their near constant use of “what the junk?” slightly irritating and the use of badges from their field guides, while useful in breaking up the narrative, slightly tedious.

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

By Melissa Keil

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4.5 Stars

Funny, emotional and real, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is a brilliant story with one of the best endings I’ve come across to date.

Though it took me a while to really get into it, once I passed the 150 page mark I laughed out loud, cried my eyes out and found myself incredibly invested in these characters and their lives.

Friendship, family, anxiety, uncertainty, angst, art, body confidence, food, frustration, self care, small town love and an impending apocalypse all feature in this remarkable Australian novel.

Batgirl: Batgirl of Burnside (Batgirl: The New 52 2.0 #1)

By Cameron Stewart & Co

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4 Stars

A solid read. While not as good as the Rebirth titles, this was enjoyable and I’m really liking getting to know Batgirl. I love the friendships, the strong women and learning about Babs’ backstory. Frankie and Black Canary were particularly interesting characters. I can’t wait to read the rest of Batgirl’s New 52 arc.

Nightwing: Better Than Batman (Nightwing: Rebirth #1)

By Tim Seeley & Co

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4.5 Stars

An interesting read, that left me intrigued to see how Nightwing’s arc plays out.

Nightwing: Back to Blüdhaven (Nightwing: Rebirth #2)

By Tim Seeley & Co

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4.5 Stars

Another interesting read, though admittedly I didn’t quite get all the references – particularly to the alternate universe things. However, I appreciated the moral ambiguity and the relationship was very cute.

Nightwing: Nightwing Must Die! (Nightwing: Rebirth #3)

By Tim Seeley & Co

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5 Stars

My favourite volume so far, I loved this instalment of Nightwing’s story arc. I laughed, I cried, and I was deeply satisfied. I loved the cameos and the character development. Definitely recommend checking this series out.

Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection (Batgirl: The New 52 #1)

By Gail Simone & Co

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4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this look at Batgirl – her past, her present, her relationships, her suffering. She’s flawed, has panic attacks and was in a wheelchair for three years. She struggles and she suffers, but she gets through it. I particularly liked seeing the beginning of her relationship with Alysia, though I have no idea what to think of Barbara’s unexpected visitor.

Batgirl: Knightfall Descends (Batgirl: The New 52 #2)

By Gail Simone & Co

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5 Stars

This was ridiculously good. Not only did we get Batgirl’s origin story, but Knightfall Descends features complex characters, an engaging plot, plot twists, character development and was just a brilliant time. The cameo from Dinah was also excellent.

Batgirl is my kind of hero – she became her own white knight and wins the day because she’s clever and determined.

Batgirl: Death of the Family (Batgirl: The New 52 #3)

By Gail Simone & Co

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4.5 Stars

This was a pretty great volume. Everything with James… that was interesting, to say the least. The revelation about Alysia only made me me love her more. And the ending? Excellent.

However, I do have one main gripe: the issue with Batman and the Joker was extremely confusing in terms of timeline as well as what was actually going on.

Batgirl: Wanted (Batgirl: The New 52 #4)

By Gail Simone & Co

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5 Stars

“Wait for a hero?

Barbara James Gordon– be your own damn hero.”

Probably the best volume of Batgirl’s New 52 run, Wanted was a great, engaging read that left me wanting more.

Batgirl: Deadline (Batgirl: The New 52 #5)

By Gail Simone & Co

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3.5 Stars

Honestly? While the big team up was great, overall Deadline was a disappointment – particularly the ending. At times I also found it a bit confusing.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Who is Oracle? (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1)

By Julie Benson & Co

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5 Stars

A fantastic, engaging read full of girl power and awesomeness.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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5 Stars

No matter how many times I read this story, I fall in love with it every time.

I’d forgotten how amazing Illuminae was, and the audio format made it even more so. With a full cast, sound effects and some excellent directing/production choices, the audio (and story) had me hooked.

Due to the format, the audiobook was unable to include the visual aspects of the original text. I do not believe this negatively affected the story.

The voices of the Illuminae Group and, later, the afflicted were downright eerie and creepy respectively, and the accents and inflections behind the entire cast’s performances were brilliant. Overall, the high production quality coupled with amazing source material made for an excellent reading experience.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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5 Stars

Even better the second time around, Gemina is another brilliant instalment to The Illuminae Files. This time I listened to the audio book, which was a great decision. With excellent voice acting, sound effects, accents and production choices coupled with an already amazing story and authentic characters, the audio production of Gemina is one not to be missed.

Blog Posts

Other Notable Points

  • I saw the play of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time with a close friend of mine. The play was interesting and the experience was even better because I saw it with her.
  • Black Panther was released. As a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (particularly the Thor movies) I can safely say that Black Panther is my favourite so far. Not only is it incredibly enjoyable to watch but from a critical standpoint it is also brilliant. The themes, execution and characters were excellent. Furthermore, Black Panther is not only filled with strong, complicated black characters but amazing black women too.
  • I started my first year of University, which I’m equally excited and nervous about.

Let’s Discuss!

How was your February?

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? If so, what are your thoughts on them?

Did you discover any new favourites? Books, movies, TV shows…?

Please comment below and feel free to link me to your February Wrap-Up or latest post.

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January Wrap-Up 2018

monthlywrapup

* Image not mine

This month I managed to read 18 books, which I’m rather proud of. Admittedly, it’s largely because most of them are graphic novels, but still.

The Books

All titles link to Goodreads

Phoebe and Her Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #1)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

An absolutely adorable and hilarious read. The illustrations and story alike are beautiful, with the characters so vibrant and full of sass. 100% recommend for all ages.

Note: There are a few continuity errors but that is because it was originally published as a series of daily comics.

Unicorn on a Roll (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #2)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

Another brilliant and hilarious instalment to this series. I loved every minute of it, including times when I literally laughed out loud. Phoebe’s relationship with her parents is also fantastic and very real.

The introduction from Lauren Faust was excellent and hit on some great points.

Phoebe and her Unicorn is definitely a new favourite series of mine.

Unicorn vs. Goblins (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #3)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

Another fun and adorable adventure.

Fence Volume 1

By C. S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad (Artist)

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3.5 Stars

A solid read, I feel like I’ll appreciate this a lot more once I’ve read the next instalments as this one was so short.

Star Wars: Legacy Volume 1

By John Ostrander & Co

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5 Stars

Damn. Though not cannon, this is an epic story arc. Though part of the overall franchise, it definitely stands on it’s own.

A heck of a lot happens within this single compendium and I’m here for it. The characters are compelling, the plot intriguing and twists surprising. It also has some pretty awesome, complicated female characters which is great.

I’m so glad I picked it up and definitely recommend it to any Star Wars fan – even those with perhaps passing interests.

Note: The cover is irritatingly misleading as the characters depicted are very minor and hold little relevance for the story as a whole.

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #4)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

Unicorn Crossing (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #5)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

The Magic Storm (Phoebe and Her Unicorn #6)

By Dana Simpson

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5 Stars

Probably my favourite of the series so far, The Magic Storm is a fun read with great messages about family, friendships, platonic relationships and acceptance. It features real, relatable characters whom you can’t help but love and brings magic into everyday life. Additionally, the artwork is fantastic.

Winnie the Pooh (Winnie the Pooh #1)

By A. A. Milne & E. H. Shepard (Illustrator)

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3 Stars

Very cute but a bit of a disappointment. This is likely because I grew up with the animated version which is slightly different (and better). Also, there’s no Tigger! Furthermore, I found some elements to be slightly problematic (see Rabbit, chapter seven).

Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1)

By Lynette Noni

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5 Stars

This was a re-read for me.

Marketed as Harry Potter cross Narnia, Akarnae is the first in an easy to read fantasy series by an Australian author.

Featuring a strong focus on friendship, great characters, a sentient library, a boarding school for the gifted in a parallel world, adventure and magic, Akarnae is a definite favourite of mine.

Raelia (The Medoran Chronicles #2)

By Lynette Noni

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5 Stars

This was another re-read for me.

So many feelings… Raelia is even better than Akarnae, stepping things up to the next level on many accounts.

Everything was amazing, and I especially loved getting to know the new characters – particularly Kaiden and Declan – in addition to our favourites.

Suffice to say, I’m beyond glad that I am able to immediately pick up Draekora.

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3)

By Lynette Noni

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5 Stars

I am not okay. This book… this book. Draekora is everything I hoped for and far, far more. Everything is completely turned on it’s head and it is glorious. There’s one character who ripped my heart out (okay, three, but one’s a dragon so what can you expect?) and it was glorious. Also, did I mention dragons? Well, draekons. Lynette’s books just keep getting better, and I can’t wait for the next one to completely destroy me…

Yellow

By Megan Jacobson

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4 Stars

Though it took me a while to get into this book, Yellow was a very interesting read with flawed characters, real issues, overarching themes and an ability to draw tears from my eyes. At its heart, Yellow is about growing up, dealing with strife, friendship, identity and the unreliable nature of truth. There is also a lot of character development in multiple fronts, which is great.

I found it a really interesting look at small town life in Australia. It also does a really great job at paying homage to teachers and libraries.

I’d recommend going in knowing as little as you can and letting the story pan out with no particular expectations.

I will also note that the ending was excellent and really worked for the book – it’s definitely one of the best that I’ve read.

Trigger warnings for and mentions of alcoholism, bullying, parental separation, cheating, drug use, depression and suicide.

Graevale (The Medoran Chronicles #4)

By Lynette Noni

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5 Stars

Another great instalment for The Medoran Chronicles, Graevale features great character development, swift plot movement and unexpected twists. It was engaging and I read it in a single sitting. These characters are amazing and I can’t wait for the rest of the series.

Batgirl: Beyond Burnside (Batgirl: Rebirth #1)

By Hope Larson & Co

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5 Stars

A fun read and a great introduction to Batgirl. I especially loved the last part with Poison Ivy and Frankie seems pretty awesome. I also loved how female-centric it was. I can’t wait to read the rest of these.

Ms Marvel: Damage Per Second (Ms Marvel #7)

By G. Willow Wilson & Co

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5 Stars

After the events of Civil War II, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this instalment but it was absolutely fantastic.

Probably my favourite Ms. Marvel comic, Damage per Second is a celebration of friendship, humanity and nerdiness, while also acknowledging and dealing with feelings of loss, loneliness and bullying.

Ms Marvel: Mecca (Ms Marvel #8)

By G. Willow Wilson & Co

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5 Stars

Another great read. I really enjoyed the positive religious overtones, the messages about family, the return of an old friend and the recognition of the need for self-care.

Evermore

By Isabelle Carmody & Daniel Reed (Illustrator)

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2 Stars

I was not a fan of this book; it just didn’t do it for me. The story and art was fine but I just didn’t care. Also, I felt the ending was unlikely and the romance lacking. It wasn’t great but I hope other people can enjoy it.

Other Notable Points

  • I was able to attend Penguin Teen Australia’s Showcase which was great, the highlight being an early screening of Love, Simon (adapted from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) which was beyond amazing and ridiculously adorable. Love, Simon comes out in cinemas on March 29.
  • I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel at The YA Room’s YA Day which was amazing and rather surreal. The entire day was a blast and I can’t wait for next year. #YADay was at the #1 trending spot on Twitter which was great, so feel free to check out the tag for live tweets.

Let’s Discuss

How has your January been? Did you read much? Were you at either event that I mentioned? Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Please leave a comment down below and feel free to link me your January Wrap-Up or your latest post.