Mini-Reviews: The Kitchen, Paper Girls Vol. 6, and Emily the Strange

The Kitchen by Ollie Masters
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 1, 2015
Source: Borrowed

New York City, late 1970s. Times Square is a haven for sex and drugs. The city teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, while blackouts can strike at any moment. This is the world of THE KITCHEN.

The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew were the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but after they’re all put in prison, their wives—Kath, Raven and Angie—decide to keep running their rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.

THE KITCHEN takes one of the most popular genres in entertainment and, like The Sopranos, reimagines it for a new generation to present a classic gangster story told from a fresh point of view.

Written by talented newcomer Ollie Masters with stunning art by Ming Doyle (Mara) and killer covers by Becky Cloonan (GOTHAM ACADEMY, Killjoys, DEMO), THE KITCHEN is not to be missed.

Collects THE KITCHEN #1-8.

I hadn’t heard of The Kitchen before searching for books that I hadn’t already read that were becoming movies, but it was available on Hoopla and it sounded interesting enough. This graphic novel takes a very simple concept — what if a bunch of mobsters went to prison and their wives took over — and attempts to turn it into a story about gender roles.

I can’t really say that it succeeds, because there’s little difference between the husbands and wives. The women, understandably, want to be taken seriously, but their way of being taken seriously is basically just being very, very violent. Mob stories in general aren’t my favorite, and this one just didn’t have enough outside of the standard grisly murder scenes to keep my interest.

I can see how this could be expanded into a decent movie, but as a graphic novel, it left me disappointed.

#ps19: a book becoming a movie in 2019


Paper Girls, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Source: Borrowed

THE END IS HERE!

After surviving adventures in their past, present and future, the Paper Girls of 1988 embark on one last journey, a five-part epic that includes the emotional double-sized series finale. Featuring a new wraparound cover from Eisner Award-winning co-creator CLIFF CHIANG, which can be combined with the covers of all five previous volumes to form one complete mega-image!

Collects PAPER GIRLS #26-30

Paper Girls has been kind of hit or miss for me, wavering between “um, it’s fine” and “wow, that was actually pretty good,” depending on the volume. I was pretty excited when I saw that the final volume was out. I’d definitely been missing Vaughan’s work.

The final volume definitely falls into the “um, it’s fine” category. A lot happens and, honestly, it’s a little confusing. But as usual, the characters are great and the art is amazing. This isn’t my favorite of Vaughan’s work, but I’m glad I read it.


Emily the Strange by Rob Reger
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: November 19, 2002
Source: Borrowed
Emily the Strange is not your ordinary thirteen-year-old girl — she’s got a razor-sharp wit as dark as her jet-black hair, a posse of moody black cats and famous friends in very odd places! She’s got a broodingly unique way of experiencing the world, and you’re invited along for the ride. Legions of fans worldwide have joined forces to make Emily a pop-culture phenomenon.

I’ve seen Emily the Strange stuff for years without really knowing what it was all about. I needed a book that someone was reading in a movie or on a TV show, and this was on the Gilmore Girls book list, so I went for it.

I am confused.

Because there’s no story.

That can be okay depending on how it’s done. I mean, graphic novels can just be a collection of short stories. But I want it to at least tell me something, not just show me an edgy teenage girl doing edgy things. I guess the title is accurate because I was lost, the story was dark, and it was incredibly boring.

#ps19: a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie


Have you read any of these books? What’s the best graphic novel you’ve read recently?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Source: Borrowed

The multiple Eisner Award-winning series returns with a spacefaring adventure about fake news and genuine terror. Get ready for the most shocking, most impactful SAGA storyline yet.

Well, I am officially caught up on Saga and I’ve joined the group of people crying over the year-long hiatus the authors are taking before releasing the next volume.

I’m not sure what I can really say about this one without getting into some serious spoilers, but let me just say that the ending killed me. I’m hoping that it won’t, um, actually be true? I don’t even know how to say this without giving away the ending. That was vague but I think you’ll know what I mean if you read it.

I don’t know what to do with myself for the next year, so I guess I’m just going to read Paper Girls while I wait.

#ps19: a book about a family


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors of 2018

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is new-to-me authors of 2018 and I have to say, I think it’s going to be a little difficult to narrow this down to ten.


Shaun David Hutchinson

★★★★☆★★★★★
my reviewmy review

Alice Clayton

★★★★☆

my review


Jenn Bennett

★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★★
my reviewmy reviewmy review

Sarah J. Maas

★★★★☆★★★★
my reviewmy review
★★★★★★★
my reviewmy review

Emma Hart

★★★★☆★★★★★
my reviewmy review

Jay Kristoff

★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★
my reviewmy reviewmy review

Tara Sivec

★★★★★★★★☆★★★
my reviewmy reviewmy review

Maggie Stiefvater

★★★★☆★★★★★
my reviewmy review
★★★★★★★★★★
my reviewmy review

★★★★★

my review


Brian K. Vaughan

see all my Saga reviews here!


Erin Hahn

★★★★☆

my review will be posted closer to publication!


Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Have you read any of these books? Who’s the best author that you read for the first time in 2018? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: Saga, Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 8 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 27, 2017
Source: Borrowed

After the traumatic events of the War for Phang, Hazel, her parents, and their surviving companions embark on a life-changing adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.

Oh my goodness, this book. After the way that volume 7 ended, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on volume 8. I waited seemingly forever for my hold to come in from the library. Coincidentally, it came in while I was 950 miles from home and I was just crossing my fingers that it would still be waiting for me when I got back. It was.

When I first picked it up, I wasn’t sure that I’d like it. It opens in a bit of a… controversial manner, which shouldn’t surprise me, since this is Saga, after all. But it did. But everything is explained and everything makes sense, especially given (again!) that heartbreaking ending of volume 7.

Overall, I don’t know that I liked this volume as much as I’ve liked the others in the series, but it was still very good. I requested that my library purchase volume 9, so hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon. But, then again, after reading some reviews of it on Goodreads, I’m not sure that I’m prepared for the heartbreak (or the year-long hiatus) that will follow.


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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Book review: Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Source: Borrowed

From the worldwide bestselling team of Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained Saga event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience.

I thought that Volume 5 was my favorite, and then I thought that Volume 6 was my favorite, but it’s official. Volume 7 is the best of Saga so far. So much happened. I loved this volume but also hated it, because what was that ending. I don’t think a graphic novel has ever made me cry before, but here we are. My heart is absolutely shattered and I have no idea how I’m supposed to wait until my hold on Volume 8 comes in.

If you’re not already reading this series, please do yourself a favor and pick it up. I can’t imagine you’ll regret it.

#mm18: family


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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Book review: Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Source: Borrowed

After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series continues to evolve, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life: kindergarten. Meanwhile, her starcrossed family learns hard lessons of their own.

I think Volume 6 of Saga might be my favorite so far. I liked the introduction of Petrichor, I liked how Hazel is growing up and playing a bigger role in the story, and I liked that plot twist at the end. I still love my buddy Ghüs and I wish Lying Cat was currently playing a bigger role, but I can deal with it.

Mostly I’m just amazed at how much I’m enjoying this graphic novel series.

#mm18: family


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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Book review: Saga Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 9, 2015
Source: Borrowed

Multiple storylines collide in this cosmos-spanning new volume. While Gwendolyn and Lying Cat risk everything to find a cure for The Will, Marko makes an uneasy alliance with Prince Robot IV to find their missing children, who are trapped on a strange world with terrifying new enemies.

Okay, so here’s the thing: Volume 5 of Saga was good, but it was probably my least favorite of the series. It’s still four stars, just… a lower four stars than the previous four volumes. (If that makes sense.)

I don’t have a lot of words to say about this one, but I love Ghüs so much. He’s maybe taken over Lying Cat’s place as my favorite character. He’s just so adorable and perfect.

#mm18: family


Have you read any of Saga? What’s your favorite graphic novel?
Let’s talk in the comments!


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