Showing posts from May, 2018

All American Boys

All American Boys Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, 2015 Premise: Rashad and Quinn live in the same town and go to the same school, but they don't know each other. Then one is beaten by a police officer and the other sees it happen. The moral of this book is on the nose, and it wears that fact openly. It's intended for a YA audience and comfortable with that. Happily, the style was strong enough to carry me through the first half, and the ending works very well. It's presented in alternating chapters between the two boys' perspectives. Both boys felt concrete and realistic to me in their various obsessions, casual macho posturing, impatience with parents, etc. Rashad is a good student who had never been in trouble, so it's easy for the reader to see that he's the victim of profiling. Quinn's place in the story is the white kid who learns racism is not only real, it's affecting his community. However, although some of the authors' early


Torn Roweena Miller, 2018 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: Sophie has worked hard to carve out a life for herself. Combining her hereditary skill in casting good luck charms with long training in sewing has eventually led to a somewhat successful shop of her own. Just when it seems that her work will be noticed by a higher class of customer, a group pushing for governmental reforms risks starting a riot that could engulf the city, and her own brother is leading the way. None of the themes dealt with in this book were groundbreaking or unique, but I don't know that I've ever read a fantasy novel that addresses them directly, and I really appreciated that. I really enjoyed the nuance and tension in this book. Everyone is complicated. No one knows everything or understands everything. It features a populist uprising in which neither the royalty nor the commoners are fully in the right. Even though I wa

Usagi Yojimbo: Book 1: The Ronin, Book 2: Samurai

Usagi Yojimbo: Book 1: The Ronin, Book 2: Samurai Stan Sakai, 1987, 1989 Read Harder Challenge - A comic written and illustrated by the same person I'm sure I first saw the samurai rabbit as an action figure that went with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the 80s. I knew it was a long-running series, I knew it was acclaimed, and heck, I bought these two books off a sale rack without hesitation, but somehow I never sat down to read any before. After I caught a handful of excerpts online, though, it drifted up to the top of the to-read list. First, the mixed. The first book is a collection of the character's earliest appearances, and it shows; the writing is a bit abrupt here and there. The art is great overall, but occasionally it seems caught between styles - the writing and events follow a more serious dramatic tone, while the expressions of minor (often dying) characters evoke a "funny animal comic" look. (This is separate from the minor sight gag