Review: Victor and Nora

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Rating: ★★★★½

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

What a tragic love story! 

This was another great comic from the DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults imprint. This one followed a young Victor Fries (aka Mr. Freeze) as he first meets Nora (aka Mrs. Freeze). I thought this comic set up their origin story nicely. 

The comic really delves into the emotional states of the characters and the tragedies of their lives. There was a lot of depth and complexity to them. Both Victor and Nora have a lot of grief and it was interesting to see how they dealt with that. If you like tragic young adult love stories, then you’ll probably like Victor and Nora’s story! 

Since this is a comic, I have to talk about the artwork. It is amazing!The use of colors in showing their relationship was very clever. Victor was cool blues, while Nora was warm hues. The colors were also useful in distinguishing whose point of view was being shown. There were also a few art style changes in the comic that were super fun. For example, on pages 38-39, the art changes to the Tim Burton skeleton look, which was so spot on! 

Overall, I really enjoyed this young adult take on a famous Gotham villain couple! 

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Review: Beauty Mark

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Candlewick Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m a fairly new Marilyn Monroe fan. I’ve only seen “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and “How To Marry A Millionaire” and loved her in both of those. I was so excited to read this because I wanted to learn more about her. I knew she had a tragic life and this book dove right into it. 

This novel in verse goes through Marilyn’s entire life, starting from when she was a kid to a few weeks before her death. All aspects of her life are explored, painting a stunning portrait of this complicated woman.

As for the poems themselves, some of them were amazing but some fell a little flat. A novel in verse is a little harder to write since it does tell a story, so that is forgivable. 

Some of my favorite poems were:

  • Stand Still (pg 2)
  • From Wonderland to Oz (pg 26)
  • Baby Siren (pg 56)
  • Dare I Wish? Dare I Dream? (Pg 75) 
  • Blondes Prefer Gentle Men (pg 106)
  • No Pink Tights But a Gold Band (pg 114)
  • I Got Rhythm (pg 124)
  • Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (pg 128)
  • Living Up to My Name (pg 136)
  • No One Malady (pg 137)
  • Miscarriage Blues (pg 150)
  • Dogs Are a Girl’s Best Friend (pg 162)
  • Secrets of Style (pg 164)
  • Rx: “Vitamins” (pg 169)
  • The Kennedys (pg 175)
  • Who Is Marilyn Monroe? (pg 178)
  • Epilogue (pg 181)

I really liked that there was a poem about how she helped Ella Fitzgerald (I Got Rhythm). I am happy that was highlighted. I also loved the whole poem dedicated to Marilyn’s love of reading (Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover). I’ve always loved that she was a bookworm. Lastly, the last poem (Epilogue) was a clever way to end the book. That poem just consisted of a series of headlines relating to Marilyn after 1962, which gave you a glimpse of her lasting legacy and mystique. 

Overall, this was a fascinating take on the life of Marilyn. If you’re Marilyn fan, or just want to learn more about her, I recommend reading this book. It’s a quick read but it does leave a big impact! 

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