Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto
This book was decent. It has a lot of exposition and run-on information rather than descriptive story or dialogue, which made this short novel hard to read. Once I made it past page 35 or so, it started to get good.
The story is told from the perspective of a Lolita, Momoko, who describes her move to a new area as well as her love of Lolita. When she finds she needs more money to buy more Lolita stuff, she puts an advertisement in a magazine to sell knockoff Versace clothing and accessories, stating they are fake. When a Yanki girl shows up at her door, she cannot believe it. Interestingly enough, the two become friends and make quite the scene to be stared at, especially when Momoko continuously wins at Pachinko. Who knew a Yanki and a Loli could hit it off so well?
This is a slow-starting, yet fun and comical story about friendship and one of the forms friendship can take. I would recommend it to people interested in female-based novels or Japanese culture, but it is a fairly selective audience, to be sure.
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Although I liked the animated version a bit more (it was fun to see and hear the action, although the animated version is pretty much word-for-word this comic, with the exception of the added stuff for the first hour or so), the comic was good too. The art is interesting, and so is the Joker’s back story as presented in this comic. The writing itself is a bit fry, but Joker fans will love the exploration of the Joker’s life before he became the insane man who hates Batman.
I would recommend this comic to an older audience (16+) and any Batman/Joker fan. The special edition is nice in that it has a special forward and some extra notes on the comic from the writer and illustrators. All-in-all, fairly interesting, but I wish we could see a bit more of Barbara Gordon, but it isn’t really about here, now, is it?
Halfway House by Katherine Noel
This is a more serious book for a more adult audience. This book is about a girl named Angie who attempts suicide through drowning on multiple occasions. As she becomes more and more manic, she is in and out of psych wards and group homes, and nothing seems to be working for her. This book demonstrates the pull on Angie’s parents as well as her brother, and how her condition is affecting their lives. Her brother, Luke, seems to care about her more than anyone, and becomes a good friend as he fights with Angie through her mental illness.
This book was interesting, but very slow-paced. I enjoyed the main character, Angie, and Luke was interesting too, but there was a lot of back story and details about the parents that I, as a reader, just did not care about that much and did not involve Angie directly, but did lead into where the family ends up in the end. I wouldn’t recommend this book to just anyone, rather, I would suggest this book for people 14-18+ who are either going through a similar experience like Angie, or who have a friend or family member who are experiencing and going through a similar experience, because these kinds of things can often be misunderstood and hard to understand; you never know what is going on in someone’s head, or what their life may be like, but the best thing to do is find a way of accepting and understanding, in the way that this book demonstrates.
Kalona’s Fall by P. C. and Kristin Cast
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
This is a companion novella for the House of Night series. One of the main antagonists (turned protagonist?) in the series is the fallen immortal, Kalona, a being created with his brother, Erebus, to be a warrior and lover to the goddess Nyx. This short novella features the birth of Kalona, his feats with his brother to prove himself to Mother Earth and Nyx, and the anger that grows into darkness that brings itself to the Otherworld. This is an interesting origin story for a likewise interesting character.
One of the things I like about this novella is that is is perfectly short. It is not too long, and not too short. One of the other nice thing about this book is the illustrations; each chapter has its own pencil illustration of some character or event in the following chapter, which adds just a small, extra dynamic to the reading experience.
Trojan War by Roy Thomas and Miguel Angel Sepulveda
This is a part of the Marvel Illustrated line of graphic novels. It is an interesting visual way to learn the story of the Trojan War. It features the cause of the war, Helen of Troy, as well as the rise and fall of Achilles. Odysseus is also a participant in the Trojan War, and you get to see some of the events and things that happen before the events of Homer’s The Odyssey. The involvement of the Gods and Goddesses is portrayed well and gives a good feel for their involvement in war affairs as well.
Overall, this was an interesting graphic novel. It was a bit hard to read in that the Greek names and contexts can be hard to think and work with. The art is good with fine details for both people and backgrounds that really make the setting come to life. A good graphic novel to introduce someone to Greek mythology and history.