{Graphic Novel Week} Graphic Novel Review Round-Up #3 (Boxers & Saints, Hark! A Vagrant, and more!)

Graphic Novel Week

Instead of throwing multiple review posts at you each day, I figured I’d do a few review round-up posts with mini reviews! This is the last of my review posts … hope you guys enjoyed them!

boxers saints hark a vagrant
chew hidden relish

Boxers & Saints (Boxers & Saints, #1 & #2) by Gene Luen Yang

Alright, this was one of those graphic novels that EVERYONE was talking about. I think I’ve taken them out a couple times from the library, but never actually read them, so after having devoured both books in the span of an afternoon, I kind of can’t believe that I didn’t read these sooner! I loved that this book was rooted so deep in Chinese history and spiritualism. They were dark and emotional, but so incredibly beautiful. I knew next to nothing about the Boxer Revolution but after finishing this book, I wanted to look more into it. The illustrations are simple, yet effective, and I loved the use of colour throughout both books. I also loved how dramatic both books were — they were so drastically different from one another, but definitely joined together. When it comes to which one I love most, I might have to say Saints since it was a little less violent and seemed extremely personal.

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton {Canadian}

Admittedly, I had NO idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I remember reading about Kate Beaton at one point when researching graphic novel authors. She came recommended AND she was Canadian, and yet when I was going through my graphici novels to pick one to read, I still didn’t go to pick this one up. BIG mistake! The instant I cracked this one open I was busting a gut laughing! I loved how Kate Beaton worked in bits of history and literature and everything in between. While all of the comics went from mildly funny to outragreously hilarious, I would have to say my favourite ones were those based on literature — the Bronte sister comics, or the Nancy Drew comics, were so funny! I also loved that Beaton was a history person and she’d write down some kind of backstory or blurb about why she wrote certain comics. I even felt like I learned something!

Chew (Volume 1: Taster’s Choice) by John Layman

OK, when I first put this book on hold, I assumed it was going to be a book about food — like, a normal book about food — but it so wasn’t! Yeah, there’s food, but the whole premise is that the main character takes a bite out of something and he gets visions of that something’s previous life. Weird, huh? There’s a lot of crazy stuff that happens in this book and it was a whole lot darker than I imagined it would be — and very, very gross. Before I picked it up, I assumed I’d want to read the whole series, but I think I’ll just stop at one. It was an interesting read with great illustrations, but I don’t think it’s a series for me.

Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier

I was so intrigued by this one. I was perusing the list of new graphic novels that the library was getting and this one popped up. It was pretty good. I love finding great books on the holocaust (does that sound weird?), so I was eager to try a graphic novel about it. It’s definitely geared toward a younger crowd, but I really do think anyone can enjoy (?) it. The illustrations are beautiful and the colours match the subject matter quite nice. It’s one of those books that’s meant to open up dialogue. There’s not a lot of depth to it, plenty of what happens is alluded to but not totally discussed, so if kids were to read it, I’m sure lots of questions would be asked, but I think that’s what is meant to happen. Glad I finally read this one! It’s very short and quick to read — I managed to sneak it in before bed.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

If you know me, you know I love food. I wouldn’t say I’m a cook or anything, since I’m more of a recipe reader than someone who can actually wing it in the kitchen. I’m in serious awe of people who can just open a fridge and figure out what to make with the contents (that doesn’t involve putting the leftover chicken onto a bed of leaves — voila! Salad!). This was a fun little book and one that came highly recommended. I wouldn’t say it was my favourite foodie book, but it was still one that had my mouth watering at points. I always thought I was kind of a foodie, but then I read books where people are eating foods that are way out there and I realize that I’m far from a foodie. I just like food. Anyway, there was a lot of “talking” in this book and I felt like it could have done with more illustrations. What was there was nice. I did like the “recipes” that were included. Definitely not your typical recipes! I liked the story of the author growing up surrounded by food, but I felt like there was something missing. Still, after picking this one up a few times from the library already, I’m glad to have finally read it.

Have you read any of these graphic novels? What did you think? 

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3 thoughts on “{Graphic Novel Week} Graphic Novel Review Round-Up #3 (Boxers & Saints, Hark! A Vagrant, and more!)

  1. Pingback: November Recap {A.K.A. The One With a Silly Amount of Books Which Basically Means No Book Buying In 2015 — But Really Who Am I Kidding?} | Reading In Winter

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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