Book review: The End of the Fucking World by Charles Forsman

The End of the Fucking World by Charles Forsman
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 3, 2013
Source: Borrowed

‘At 16, I pretended to fall in love with Alyssa.’

Meet James and Alyssa, two teenagers facing the fears of coming adulthood. As their story is told through chapters which alternate each character’s perspective, however, this somewhat familiar teenage experience takes a more nihilistic turn. With James’s character becoming rapidly more sociopathic, they are forced to take a road trip that owes as much to Badlands as The Catcher in the Rye, and which threatens both their futures forever.

One of the most talked about graphic novels of recent years, The End of The Fucking World marks Charles Forsman’s UK debut.

Maybe a year or so ago, I marathoned the entirety of TEOTFW on Netflix in one day. I really enjoyed it (clearly, since I rarely watch TV to begin with, let alone marathon a whole season in one sitting) but never knew that it started out as a book until I read Ally’s post about book covers. My library didn’t have this graphic novel, but luckily, hoopla saved the day.

Based on how much I enjoyed the show, I kind of expected to love this book. I can’t say that I disliked it, but for once, I think the adaptation was better. For one, the actual story in this graphic novel was very… basic. It seems to be written using as few words as possible, which can sometimes work, but in this case, left a bit to be desired. The whole plot felt very choppy and oddly paced, with more attention being given to a drunken dance than to the actual climax of the story.

The art itself was fine, but definitely not my favorite. It’s a very minimalist style of drawing, which sort of fits with the whole vibe of the book, but wasn’t the most interesting thing to look at.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad graphic novel (I did give it three stars, after all) but I think I’d have to recommend watching the show rather than reading this. The show expands a lot on the source material, giving a lot more depth to both the characters and the plot. If you’ve seen the show and read the graphic novel, I’d love to know whether you agree or disagree with my opinion.


Have you read TEOTFW? Did you watch the show?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Sheets by Brenna Thummler
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Source: Borrowed

Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for.

Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world.

When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.

Sometimes I get into these graphic novel moods and just can’t bring myself to read an actual novel. In those cases, I usually go to the library and check out whatever looks interesting. When I tried to go to the library a couple days ago, though, the whole entrance to the parking garage was blocked by a huge truck and all the street parking was taken. It put me in a bit of a mood, really, but then I remembered that hoopla is a thing and I was all good.

I had seen a number of positive reviews of this graphic novel, but I was still really surprised at how much I ended up liking it. I’m not usually the biggest fan of middle grade books, but this one was so well-done. It deals with a lot of heavy topics — death, grief, depression, bullying, loneliness — but it never feels heavy-handed or like it’s trying too hard.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this graphic novel was the use of color palettes! The majority of the book is illustrated in pink and blue pastels, but some memories, for example, are illustrated in yellow and orange, which I loved. I’m not even sure why I loved it, but I did.

The only two things that kept me from rating this higher were the pacing (it felt a little slow at times) and Mr. Saubertuck (who felt almost like a caricature of a villain). All in all, though, this was a really great debut. I see that the author has another book about Marjorie and Wendell coming out next year, and I can’t wait to read it.


Have you read Sheets? Can you recommend any similar books?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing this week!

1 thing this week:

  • This weekend is going to be great! My boyfriend is visiting and we have so many plans. I’m scheduling this a little bit in advance, but should’ve been at a concert last night and we’ll be at a birthday party this afternoon.

Blog hopping:

  • Alex‘s review of The Mister made me laugh out loud on my lunch break! I almost want to read this one just to see how bad it is.
  • Malanie shared a list of stress-free books, which is just what I needed this week! Dear Aaron is going on my TBR and hopefully I’ll be able to read it really soon!
  • May talked about blog design and shared some really great tips!

Song of the week:

In honor of the Broods concert last night…


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: The Breakfast Club Book Tag

I wasn’t tagged, but I saw this one over on It’s Novel to Blog and I couldn’t help but do it! The Breakfast Club is one of my all-time favorite movies. ❤


Princess

A book that is very popular and pretty on the outside, but you thought was uninteresting on the inside


I really, really wanted to love Furyborn since so many people have raved about it and it has an amazing cover, but I just didn’t.

Criminal

A book that looks/sounds rough and bad, but ended up completely stealing your heart

Just looking at the title and cover of The Virgin Romance Novelist, I’d expect to hate it. This book was absolutely hilarious, though. I ended up loving it so much.

Brain

A book that made you think

I usually go with nonfiction for prompts like this, but today I decided to go with The Lover’s Dictionary. This book tells the story of a relationship through dictionary entries and it made me think long and hard about the relationship I was in at the time.

Basket Case

A book that people would call you crazy for reading

Any of my hate reads, probably. I’ll go with Attraction today, just to mix things up a little.

Athlete

A book that made you struggle/work to finish

I didn’t struggle to finish Carry Me Home because it was bad or anything, but because it was just such a heavy book. It was totally worth it, but even thinking back to it makes me tired.


I’m not going to tag anyone to do this one, but if you love The Breakfast Club, I’d love to see your choices! What’s the last book that made you think? Which book do you think you’re crazy for reading? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Source: Purchased

All Jin Wang wants is to fit in. When his family moves to a new neighborhood, he suddenly finds that he’s the only Chinese American student at his school. Jocks and bullies pick on him constantly, and he has hardly any friends. Then, to make matters worse, he falls in love with an all-American girl…

Born to rule over all the monkeys in the world, the story of the Monkey King is one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables. Adored by his subjects, master of the arts of kung-fu, he is the most powerful monkey on earth. But the Monkey King doesn’t want to be a monkey. He wants to be hailed as a god…

Chin-Kee is the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, and he’s ruining his cousin Danny’s life. Danny’s a popular kid at school, but every year Chin-Kee comes to visit, and every year Danny has to transfer to a new school to escape the shame. This year, though, things quickly go from bad to worse…

These three apparently unrelated tales come together with an unexpected twist, in a modern fable that is hilarious, poignant and action-packed. American Born Chinese is an amazing rise, all the way up to the astonishing climax–and confirms what a growing number of readers already know: Gene Yang is a major talent.

I was looking through my books for something to read for my Killing the TBR challenge this month and realized that I’d bought this graphic novel a few months ago and hadn’t read it yet. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into with it other than that I’ve seen mostly positive reviews. I generally go into graphic novels expecting to absolutely love them, and this one was no different, especially since my Goodreads friends have given it an average rating of 4 stars.

All in all… the book was okay, but there was just something about it that I didn’t like. I mean, the art was good. I appreciate the message about being comfortable with yourself, not trying to be something you’re not, and not being embarrassed by your heritage. Jin was a nicely complex character with enough flaws to feel realistic while still being likable. All of that was really good.

What wasn’t so good, for me at least, was the execution of the actual plot. The story is told through three seemingly unconnected characters — the Monkey King, Jin, and Danny. The Monkey King wants to be recognized as an all-powerful god. Jin just wants to fit in as one of the very few Asian kids at his school. Danny is trying to make it through high school but his life keeps getting derailed by visits from his weird cousin Chin-kee. I’m going to keep my review as spoiler-free as possible, but I do have to say that the way the stories wove around and connected was a little odd.

I think that I understand what Yang was trying to do here, but the constant, overt stereotypes (especially of Chin-kee) continually pulled me out of the story and made it hard to enjoy the book overall. There were also some things Chin-kee did that just seemed so odd (and one thing that was particularly disgusting) and one scene with Jin and Suzy, his best friend’s girlfriend, that felt really out-of-character.

I’d still recommend this if you’re into graphic novels and looking for something quick to read that touches on important issues, but it was definitely not my favorite.

#killingthetbr: three months on shelf
#ps19: a book inspired by mythology, legend, or folklore


Have you read American Born Chinese? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: The Jonas Brothers Book Tag

Thanks to Angelica for tagging me! I’m not a huge Jonas Brothers fan, but that doesn’t even matter because I am a huge book tag fan. 🙂 I’m really excited to do this one.


Rules:

  • You don’t gotta be a JoBro fan, you just gotta love books
  • Mention the creator (Rendz @ReadingWithRendz)
  • Answer the prompts
  • Tag 3 peeps! (4 if you wanna take into consideration the Bonus Jonas)

“Year 3000”

A book/series set in the way distant future
-or-
A book/series that took you on an adventure

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27 Hours takes place in the future and also takes us on a nice adventure!

“Hold On”

A book/series that took a while for you to get into

Krista & Becca Ritchie’s Addicted series is one of my favorites, but it really took me until the third book or so to love it.

“S.O.S”

A book/series that you needed saving from

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I definitely needed saving from The Pawn. You can see my review here if you’d like.

“When You Look Me in the Eyes”

A romance that makes you melt into a puddle of goo

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I don’t think me choosing The Hating Game here will come as a surprise. By now everybody in the whole entire world (all 7.5 billion people) knows that I’m obsessed with Josh and Lucy.

“Burnin’ Up”

A book/series so good it set you on fire

I could not put the Raven Cycle down! I just had to know what happened next.

“Lovebug”

A ship you were not expecting, but it happened and you ship it

I feel like I kind of see every ship coming… because I ship everyone and everything… but maybe Luna and Donnelly from Krista & Becca Ritchie’s Like Us series? They’re really minor characters in the series, but I’m hoping their eventual book will redeem the series for me.

“Paranoid”

A book/series that kept you on your toes the whole time

I was on my toes, on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, dying to know what was going to happen next the whole time I was reading You.

“Sucker”

A book/series you would reread over and over again

I can’t really answer this one since I don’t do re-reads!


I’m not going to tag anyone in particular for this one, but if you want to do it, please feel free and link back to me so that I can see your answers! Which book or series did you need to be saved from? Which unexpected ship did you fall for? Let’s talk in the comments!

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ABC Book Challenge ✰ Z

I’ve seen this ABC Book Challenge on a lot of different blogs, but most recently Thrice Read. This week is the letter Z. I can’t believe we’re already to this point! My goodness!!!


✰ MEMORABLE BOOKS STARTING WITH Z ✰

I have not, to my knowledge, ever read a book starting with Z. I’m going to have to fix this!


✰ BOOKS ON MY TBR STARTING WITH Z ✰


Have you read any books that start with Z? Are any on your TBR? Let’s talk in the comments!

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