Tag Archives: mini reviews

Girl Power Graphic Novels – Kicking Butt & Taking Names – Blog Tour

When I was growing up in the 90’s, there wasn’t a lot of female-led comics or graphic novels. A lot of the comics were geared towards boys, often making it feel like comics were for boys and girls were excluded. I still found myself reading and rereading The Adventures of Tintin by Herge and when I could find Wonder Woman in issues of the Justice League I was thrilled.

I still felt like comics were a boys club.

Then I discovered manga, and it was something I constantly devoured. Marmalade Boy, Fushigi Yuugi, NANA, Hellsing… I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Even better, I had made friends who loved manga as much as I did and we would constantly trade back and forth with each other.

It wasn’t until towards the end of high school and early into my university career that I fell back in love with comics. My then-to-be-husband was constantly introducing me to a variety of graphic novels and comics, He helped me fall back in love with Wonder Woman, and taught me so much about Marvel comics. We shared our manga collection and both cried when we found out that NANA wasn’t being completed.

Girls are much more fortunate now than I was growing up. There are so many inspirational female characters in comics, from Cleopatra in the Cleopatra in Space series, or Zita from Zita the Space Girl. First Second has constantly been pushing the boundaries for young girls being able to see themselves in comics and graphic novels more and more. I thought I’d share with you why you should check out some of their girl powered graphic novels!

Cucumber Quest Vol 1: Doughnut Kingdom by Gigi D.G

Why You Should Read It: This series is about a boy named Cucumber who simply wants to be a magician, go to school and just not get into any trouble. However, with world domination inbound, Cucumber and his best friend Almond set out to help everyone in Dreamside to keep them safe.

While Cucumber is a cute main character, the star of this graphic novel series is easily Almond. She’s funny, stubborn, tough-as-nails, and constantly fighting baddies with a smile on her face. Almond is crazy, but has such a good heart, and will do everything she can to protect the people she cares about, and from Cucumber making himself look bad.  I laughed a lot reading the first two volumes of Cucumber Quest, and I easily cannot wait to continue with this series and share it with the middle graders at the library!

Giants Beware! (Chronicles of Claudette #1) by Jorge Aguirre & Rafael Rosado

Why You Should Read It: Brave, yet completely crazy, it’s hard not to love Claudette. Finding a magical sword that always her to slay anything is amazing when you are a tiny little girl with aspirations of being a defender.

I mean seriously, LOOK AT CLAUDETTE’S GRIN. The girl is fearless and has no problem beating baddies into submission. In all honesty though, what I loved about the three volumes in this series is Claudette has such a sense of justice about her, and when she punishes the bad guys it’s never malicious… if anything she even will try a friendship tactic! Claudette would do anything for the people she cares about, and that alone makes her an admirable heroine to love.

Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter by Marcus Sedgwick & Thomas Taylor 

Why You Should Read It: Let me introduce you all to Scarlett Hart. Monster Hunter by trade, Scarlett is cunning, clever, and intelligent, using more than just brawn to deal with mummies, monsters, and ghouls. Scarlett is an inquisitive heroine, which makes her a lot different from Almond or Claudette. Scarlett needs to think situations through, and needs to be able to calculate an outcome in her head before simply jumping blindly into a problem. She’s the kind of heroine who is serious, but you’d want her on your team because you know she’ll have your back.

I hope you enjoyed my stop on the blog tour. Please consider checking out these great comics published by First Second, be it buying them from your local bookstore or borrowing them from your local library. Remember: comics were never a boys club, and there are so many amazing and inspiring ladies not only creating great comics, but wonderful heroines to fall in love with.

If you want more out of this blog tour, consider checking out all the other stops and see what other bloggers consider to be girl powered graphic novels!

ARC August Week 1 Update

So I thought I thought I’d do updates every Friday I’d share an update of how far I’ve progressed in my #ARCAugust challenge. Here’s what I’ve knocked out so far from my list of ten.

  • Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (Release Date: October 3rd)
  • Thornhill by Pam Smy (Release Date: August 29th)
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (Release Date: September 19th)
  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (Release Date: December 26th)
  • Invictus by Ryan Graudin (Release Date: September 26th)
  • These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips (Release Date: August 1st)
  • Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt (Release Date: August 22nd)
  • That Inevitable Victoria Thing by E.K Johnston (Release Date: October 3rd)
  • Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (Release Date: October 10th)
  • Top Ten by Katie Cotugno (Release Date: October 3rd)

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu: I LOVED Moxie and it’s easily in my top three for favourite books so far this year. I will have a review up closer to the release date, but you all know my insane obsession with Jennifer Mathieu’s books and this one is just amazing and needs to be read in every school across the world. ★★★★★

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips: A review for this one went live already! Please go enjoy that review to get all of my thoughts! ★★★ 1/2

Other things I read this week:

Nobody Cries At Bingo by Dawn Dumont – Had to read this for work, and it’s a funny read with some very heartbreaking moments. Dumont talks about rez life in Canada, particularly growing up in the prairies. She talks about her family and their rituals, This book made me laugh, made me sad, left me thinking. Not every story won me over in the collection and the last story was kind of a big let down. The title story however? Amazing, amazing, amazing. It’s an interesting and eye-opening book about Canadian culture and its connection to First Nations people. ★★★ 1/2

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – I LOVED THE CRAP OUT OF THIS BOOK. A lot of my friends on Goodreads were reading this book and I kept seeing it come up. Walking the stacks at my work I grabbed it and started to read the first chapter and knew I had to take it home with me to be read and loved. This is my first Jason Reynolds book and it for sure won’t be last. I loved this story about a boy who is trying to find the reason he “runs,” and I love the friendship between him and his track mates Lu, Sunny and Patina. I also cannot wait for the next book in this series! ★★★★★

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick – I really enjoyed this book! There are some moments that feel a bit problematic, but I weirdly also appreciated Kendrick’s honesty. With her Daria-style sense of humor it is funny how easy it is to feel like you know who Anna Kendrick is. Plus her regard for sweatpants and hibernation? Can we be friends? Seriously. Also I ENCOURAGE folks to listen to this on audiobook because having her narrate the book gives such a nice added layer of entertainment and humour. This is seriously the best way to go! ★★★★

The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney – This was a surprise of a read! This book is about second-chances at a better life, and more specially about rescue dogs who are looking for a forever home but have perhaps done things in the past that make them “unwanted.” This book broke my heart! I own two dogs and I couldn’t be without either of them in my life, but this book reminds us that like people, dogs deserve to be loved and needed. They need to the right person to give them the compassion they need. You learn so much about the dogs in this story, their personalities and it makes me wish I could just adopt all the homeless dogs out there. ★★★★


Number of ARCs on the list read: 2/10

Number of ARCs Read: 2

Number of Non-ARCs Read: 4