Review: Fangirl, Vol. 2 (Fangirl: The Manga #2)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

Full disclosure: I have not read volume 1 of this manga. However, I have read Fangirl, the novel that this is based upon, and have always been curious about this manga adaptation. I am familiar with the story so I was able to read and understand this volume without having read volume 1. 

If I could use one word to describe this book it would be cozy. It feels like such a comfort read, probably because the book is set during the fall/winter. It has those cozy vibes that makes you want to read this while curled up with a blanket and a hot beverage. 

I loved the art style. The illustrator specializes in black and white manga style and that is very evident. The art looks like a classic manga. The illustrator did a phenomenal job conveying all of Cath’s emotions. 

I liked that the manga followed in the book’s footsteps and used snippets from the Simon Snow books and Cath’s fan fiction. Since this manga doesn’t use chapters, it helped separate different parts of the story. Generally, I prefer chapters in manga to avoid it feeling like one long scene. 

Overall, this was such a warm and heartfelt read. I cannot wait to read the next one since this one ends on such a cliffhanger! 


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Review: Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron

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Rating: ★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Avon Books) for promotional purposes. 

Let me preface this review by saying that I am not familiar with Miss Butterworth. I’ve only read 1 Julia Quinn book (The Duke and I) and have seen both seasons of Bridgerton. I enjoyed both the book and the show. However, neither of those reference Miss Butterworth. Because of that, I did not know what to expect in regards to this story. Initially, I had thought it would be more Bridgerton-like. 

This was a very absurd graphic novel. It was sort of insane, but that was the point. The story was a little gruesome/morbid at times, which I was not expecting. I found the whole story to be a bit strange and I didn’t necessarily love it (nor did I completely hate it). It was just okay for me. I probably would have liked it better if I was more familiar with Miss Butterworth. 

The art style is very cute and cartoon like and worked well for the story. Like I said the book was a little morbid at times, but the art kept it more humorous and light. 

I did love the “In Memoriam” at the end. In case you didn’t know, the illustrator, Violet Charles, was Julia Quinn’s younger sister who tragically passed away in 2021. Julia wrote a beautiful tribute to her sister and I am glad that this collaboration between them was able to be published. 

Overall, if you know more about Miss Butterworth from Julia Quinn’s other books, you’ll probably enjoy this one! 


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Review: Crazy Food Truck, Vol. 1 (Crazy Food Truck #1)

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes. 

What a fun and crazy ride! Action, adventure, delicious food, this manga had it all. 

I loved the juxtaposition of the two main characters. Gordon is a gruff middle aged man running a food truck. Arisa, on the other hand, is a naive and very hungry girl. They don’t have much in common (other than the fact they both know how to fight and have mysterious backgrounds), but they have a dynamic that works. Gordon acts as a sort of quasi-father figure/protector to Arisa. 

Since this manga is titled Crazy Food Truck, I have to talk about the food. The pictures of the food looked so yummy! It made me so hungry. I also loved the “recipes” included at the end of the book. That was a fun touch. 

I enjoyed the artwork a lot, especially the fantasy creatures like the sand squid and puffer cow. There is quite a bit of nudity regarding Arisa’s character that sometimes seems unnecessary. However, there may be a reason for it since Arisa’s background is alluded to but not revealed. There is something “off” about her that could explain her constant nudity.  

Overall, I had so much fun reading this! I cannot wait to see what happens in the next volume. 


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Mao, Vol. 3 (Mao #3)

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

This was another solid installment in the series. 

This installment had more backstory than the previous volumes which I felt slowed down the pace of the book a little. A good chunk took place in Mao’s past and we learned more about his early days.  

Like the previous volume, this one unveiled even more about the story and the characters, including details on how Mao and Nanoka are connected. It is shaping up to be a very intriguing read! 

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume and am looking forward to the upcoming volumes. So far, this series has been full of action and mystery, with things coming together at a steady pace. If you’re looking to read a new manga series, consider starting this one (just keep in mind that all the volumes are not yet available in English yet). 


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Review: Mao, Vol. 2 (Mao #2)

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

This volume was so good!

This installment was jam packed with action. So much happened and I enjoyed every page of it. There was a lot of world building that helped move the story along. I liked that more of the story was revealed in this volume. The first volume did not explain much and I was a little confused about the world. This volume provided some answers and got me hooked. I have to know what happens next. 

This volume also made me love the main characters. Mao is so intriguing and mysterious. I’m excited to learn more about him and his past. Nanoka is turning out to be quite the heroine! Also, Mao’s assistant, Otoya, is so adorable. 

Overall, I loved this volume and cannot wait to read volume 3! 


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Review: Mao, Vol. 1 (Mao #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes. 

This was such a good start to the series!

I haven’t read a manga in a long time so it was nice to finally be able to read one again. I haven’t read anything from Rumiko Takahashi, so I can’t say how this compares to her other books. 

The art style is very simple, but classic. There’s something a little old school and retro about it that I liked. 

As for the storyline, I was very intrigued by it. It’s fast paced and there’s a lot of mystery and fantasy action and adventure that kept me turning the pages.

Overall, I really enjoyed this volume and am excited to read the next installment and see how the rest of the story unfolds. 


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Review: Tidesong

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book.

This was such a cute graphic novel! 

I’ve read Mooncakes, which is another graphic novel the author co-wrote, and loved it so I knew I needed to read this one. 

The artwork was of course amazing. The art was very adorable and was appropriate for the middle grade audience of this book. Additionally, the font was super readable. It was one of the clearest and most legible fonts I’ve come across in a comic book or graphic novel. Fun fact: the font is actually the author’s handwriting that was turned into a font. 

Sophie was a relatable character. I can see many kids relating to her struggles to learn magic and her feelings of failure.

I found the storyline to be very basic. I know this is middle grade, but the plot could have been more fleshed out. For example, the magic system between the witches and dragons could have been explored more. Also, the beginning of the book happened so fast. Sophie was on the train to her relatives super quickly with very little background information. 

Overall, I recommend this book to readers of all ages who love magic, witches, or dragons. This book also makes a great gift because it is a gorgeous hardcover! 


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Review: Whistle

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publishers (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review.

This was a fun origin story for a new superhero!

First off, the art in this is amazing. I loved the color palette of blue, orange, and green. It made for a striking combination. The art style reminded me of the old school cartoons I used to read in the newspaper as a kid. 

The storyline is interesting. Many reviewers mention the ending, in which things are not wrapped up completely. Things are left in a morally gray area so it may leave some readers unsatisfied. Personally, I was fine with the ending because it leaves open the possibility of more installments. Also, the morally gray ending was thought-provoking so I appreciated that aspect. 

Whistle’s powers were intriguing. Her dog-like powers and ability to communicate with dogs reminded me of Marvel’s Squirrel Girl and her squirrel-like powers. However, I would have liked more story development on her powers. There wasn’t a lot of exploration on them, and since this is a new character, it would have been helpful to see the full extent of what she could do. 

I loved the subtle cameos/references to other DC characters. For example, Black Canary makes a brief musical appearance (pg. 135), Willow wears a Flash tee shirt (pg. 139), and there is Harley Quinn graffiti (pg. 142). 

Overall, this was a solid start to a new superhero story. I am curious to see where it goes next. 


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Review: City of Dragons The Awakening Storm (City of Dragons #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a fun and wild ride! 

You can’t review a graphic novel without first talking about the artwork. The art in this book is colorful, vibrant, and full of life. It complemented the story beautifully. Additionally, the dragon illustrations were superb. They were depicted as fierce and majestic. 

The story was so entertaining. I’m a sucker for fantasy adventure quests. Plus, who doesn’t love a tale about dragons? At the same time, there was also a lot of heart and emotion throughout which gave the story some balance. 

However, the ending felt a little convoluted. There was a lot going on. Luckily, this is the first book in the series, so more will be revealed in the coming book. The end does set up the next book nicely. I am very intrigued to see it how unfolds. 

I also loved the characters. Grace and all her friends were fleshed out, dynamic characters. I was glad that their backgrounds were touched upon. It made them feel more real and relatable. 

Overall, this was a highly amusing graphic novel. It’s aimed at middle grade readers, but can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you’re a fan of dragons or Chinese mythology, be sure to check this one out!


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Review: Snapdragon

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of an Instagram book tour (Storygram Tours) I did to promote the book.

This was such a cute graphic novel!

The story was so heartwarming. I loved how Jacks and Snapdragon’s backgrounds and pasts were connected. There were some parts where I was wondering on the relevance of some things (like the story of One-Eyed Tom), but it all came together at the end. 

However, in regards to the plot, I wanted more about the magic. Since this is a book about a witch, naturally there is magic, but it was a little vague on how it all worked. I would have loved to seen it explored in more detail. 

The diversity and representation in this book is amazing! There was so much black and LGBTQ representation. For example, Snapdragon’s friend, Lulu is transgender. I loved seeing how Lulu slowly came out to be the person she was meant to be! 

The art style worked well with the story. The color use in particular was incredibly well done. I liked how vibrant the art was. 

Lastly, I thought they should have stuck with the original name of the novel, Roadkill Witch. Snapdragon is too basic of a name for this slightly odd (in a good way) graphic novel.

Overall, this was a charming graphic novel with a dash of magic. If you’re looking for a quick read this spooky season, give this one a try! 


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