Comic Review: Deadly Class

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Deadly Class by Rick Remender

5/5 stars

Deadly Class is packed with so much content that I love. It’s set in the late 80s and follows our main character Marcus Lopez during his entrance into King’s Dominion School for the Deadly Arts. I’m a sucker for the time period and the conventions of the high school setting. Anytime I can get a montage of a veteran at a school giving the new kid a break-down of the various cliques and VIPs, I’m in. The fun twist to the genre here is that King’s Dominion is a school that selects and trains the next generation of assassins. The groups here are mostly determined by the student’s family ties–we have “the preps,” rich children of CIA/FBI agents and another group, “sotos vatos,” hail from various cartel families. Marcus is immediately drawn to a group of misfits and the story is off and running.

I read through Volume One in a day. The action (pretty graphic stuff) takes off quickly and the character development is really done well. Lots of threads have been started in this first installment–Marcus’ mental health issues, a self-proclaimed “mortal enemy,” and even the very beginnings of a romance. Think Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters/Mean Girls school setting meets kickass action story and throw in a lot of darkness and moral ambiguity. I’m a big fan of Remender’s Black Science and despite several people recommending Deadly Class to me, I’m just jumping in now and I’d encourage any of you to check it out!

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Book Review: Ms. Marvel — No Normal

I took a break from reading from my list today and spent a few hours in my local library. I couldn’t help but pick up the Ms. Marvel series.

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Ms. Marvel written by G. Willow Wilson, drawn by: Adrian Alphona

5/5 stars

No regrets. I am in love with Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel and protagonist of this comic. It only took me reading the first two pages to know that I was a goner. Quickly, we learn that Kamala and her family are Muslim. Kamala exists in a weird space; she is an American teenager, a nerdy fan girl who wrote a freakin’ Avengers fanfic, but her peers see her family and her skin and her “strange” food rules and they mark her as other.

The fact that Kamala is an outsider to both her Pakistani family and her American peers makes her crave normalcy. So when Captain Marvel seemingly grants Kamala what she wants, to be able to look like whomever Kamala desires, it’s perfect symbol of Kamala’s desires and the issues that go with them. First, she appears as a blonde, white attractive copy of Captain America. Spoiler: But by the end we have our brown skinned Muslim superhero.

Kamala’s father is a really great, nuanced character. He is Muslim but not as strictly religious as his own son. He doesn’t like that his son’s religion gets in the way of him being productive and finding a job. At the same time, he is really controlling of Kamala and does not allow her much freedom because she is a girl. He tells Kamala that she is “perfect just the way she is” but this rings false because he is so preoccupied with maintaining her chastity that he can’t possibly see her as a person.

I have an other hour off of work right now and I’m gonna power through the next installment. I will post a review by Wednesday of the remaining three. This installment got me really excited about Ms. Marvel and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

Book Review: Hot Dog Taste Test

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Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt

Rating: 5/5 stars

Guys, read this graphic novel. I kid you not. Even if you’ve never read a graphic novel before. Especially if you’ve never read a graphic novel before. This book is funny, weird, completely over-the-top and filled with some real depth. Hanawalt focuses in on foodie culture (deconstructed food, perfectly edited Instagram shots of fancy breakfast foods) and our relationship to food (filling your shopping cart with healthy foods and wondering if people assume you’re super healthy and put together, a food diary that keeps track of how many chocolate-covered almonds you consume in a day). It’s freakin’ great social commentary that never feels preachy, only cutting and hilarious.

I’m going to include a few excerpt here so that you can get a feel for the book without me spoiling a bunch of great stuff. Check it out:

I received Hot Dog Taste Test in my monthly Landfall Freight subscription box, but you can get it over on Amazon. Please let me know if you read it because I don’t know anyone else who has!

What I’m Reading In June

So here is my To Be Read for the month of June list!

I downloaded an awesome little app on my Android called “To-Read” and it lets me set goals for what I will be reading during a given time period.

First, let me just say that while the books I’m reading in June span over a whole lot of different genres…there is a theme. I didn’t intentionally set out to read so much on one subject, but it’s a subject that I have loved for years and it looks like that love isn’t going away any time soon.

So the theme for June is….WITCHCRAFT

I finished reading all the Harry Potter books a couple of months ago and I just finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and I just can’t bear to let the magic go.

Okay, on to the books.

Eight books in June. I know, a bit of a crazy amount. As it’s already June 8th, I have already finished A Discovery of Witches, and The Witches. So I’m off to a good start!

Here is some information on the books I’ve chosen. If any of them sound interesting to you, feel free to read along and we can discuss. The books are ordered in the lineup I will be reading them:

  1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Genre: Fantasy. This book is about a female scholar who though aware of her ancestor’s magical history and her own powers, has turned away from magic. The story deals with her being forced back into that world. I don’t know much else as I’ve been actively avoiding spoilers. An internet friend told me I would love it because it’s a sort of HP for adults.
  2. The Witches: Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff. Genre: History. I picked this book up at my local library because the cover caught my eye. I then did a bit of research and found that Schiff had one a Pulitzer another historical book, Cleopatra. I like to explore new genres, and what a great way to dive in: reading an in-depth historical look at the Salem Witch Trials.
  3. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Genre: YA High Fantasy. I love Sarah. I am so happy to jump back into the Throne of Glass series. I only took a break because I needed to read ACOMAF, which is the second book in her A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, because I knew that spoilers for it would be everywhere and seeing them would break my heart. If you haven’t read any books by Sarah J. Maas I suggest you read the first two books of her ACOTAR series. And then of course Throne of Glass. She has kickass feminist characters and lots of awesome magic, mythology and romance.
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. Genre: YA Fantasy Okay. This book. This book was all over booktube and bookstagram and all booklover parts of the internet. So I bought it and I read it and…I didn’t understand the hype. I haven’t been able to finish this book because the writing is so poor but I am committed to finishing it this month, because I feel the need to give it one more chance. We shall see. I’m going to try to make it past the first two chapters.
  5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by. Robin Sloan. Genre: Fiction. A book about a bookstore with lots of secrets. That’s all I have for you. Everyone was reading this book a few years back and it’s been sitting on my bookshelves for almost a year now and the time has come.
  6. Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Genre: Short Stories, Fiction. Joyce Carol Oates is a prose master. I’m steadily making my way through all her writings. This collection contains ten stories that take a fascinating look into the darker sides of being human.
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Genre: Fiction, Gothic. I need more classics in my life. I miss the life of an English major, so I am adding one classic novel to my monthly reading and this month’s is Jane Eyre.
  8. UFOLOGY by James Tynion IV, Noah J. Yuenkel, Matthew Fox, and Adam Metcalfe. Genre: Graphic Novel. This is the Landfall Freight Box book of the month and I am psyched to read it.  

Okay, I have to run, but I wanted to make sure this went up today. Happy reading!

Let me know what book you guys are reading now, in the comments.