Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

This intense graphic novel reads like an indie movie.  The focus of the novel is on the dialogue rather than the art, which is unlike any graphic novel I have read before.  Drnaso explores grief as well as the toxicity of the internet and fear-mongering.  I felt so deeply for each of the characters.  This is not an easy read but it is definitely worth it.  The deep, heart-breaking story is in contract with simple line drawings.  It is clear why this book was the first graphic novel long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.  Drnaso has perfectly captured how scary and depressing the world can be while still showing the importance of friendships and interpersonal human interactions.

4-stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Words cannot explain how much I love this book!  When I saw it was about a prince who secretly puts on dresses, I was hooked.  Jen Wang has created a beautiful and powerful story.  It is a story of friendship, of acceptance, and of bravery.  This book has been a hit with everyone I have given it to.  This book made me cry so many different kinds of tears throughout the course of reading it.  Don’t even think about skipping this one.

5-stars

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol 1 by Emil Ferris

One of the reasons I have gotten into reading challenges lately is that they force me to read things that I normally wouldn’t.  In this case, that was a graphic novel.  I am just not normally drawn to them.  But Emil Ferris has created a thing of beauty with My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.  This graphic novel is about so many things but mostly it is about figuring out who you are as a child growing up.  Her main character, Karen, sees herself as a monster rather than a regular little girl.  She views the world in fascinating ways, ways that would only work when being shown visually.  I was drawn into the story and the characters and was very glad to know that there is a Volume 2 coming out later this year.  My one complaint is one that I often have with graphic novels and that is that it seemed too busy at times.  I found myself lost in what was happening in the plot a few times because there was so much happening visually on the page.  As someone who does not begin to understand art (I appreciate it, I just don’t understand it as deeply as some), this became overwhelming at times.

4-stars

The Hunting Accident by David L Carlson, illustrated by Landis Blair

This story was FASCINATING and I haven’t stopped talking about it to people today.  The parallels between Charlie and his father made for an interesting manner of storytelling and Matt’s story was so interesting.  I knew very little about Leopold and Loeb before this book and now I want to learn everything I can about them.  Landis Blair’s art perfectly conveyed the story and added a fascinating layer to everything.  There is something strange and magical about a graphic novel about a blind person.

Sometimes, though, I felt like the poetry segments and the art got a little confusing, breaking me out of the story.  There were pages that were just lost on me.  These moments didn’t feel like they were from the same book as the rest of the beautiful story.

4-stars