Graphic Novel Reviewlettes 2

Posted 10 March, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 9 Comments

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By the way, have I mentioned how glad I am that it’s March? I’m not thrilled that we didn’t have a single hard freeze this year (zomg the bugs we’ll have this summer!), but the trees are in bloom and budding and the weather is getting warmer and we’ve even had our first round of spring storms. Bring on spring!!

Below you’ll find snippets for the second half of my Comics in February month. Read about Saga, I Remember Beirut, The Shadow Hero, and The Sculptor here. Feel free to click on the panel pictures to enlarge. All links for Amazon are affiliate and I’ll get a tiny commission if you purchase anything using my link (and thank you if you do!)


This One Summer

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Published: 2014 | Pages: 318 | Genre: Young Adult

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Quick Take: Every year since they were little, Rose and Windy reunite as summer friends at their cottages in the lake country. Rose is a little older than Windy and she starts to feel their age difference as Rose is going through changes of her own. While this is very much a coming of age story, there is also a side story with Rose’s parents and their failure to have another baby that colors much of the book.

this one summer sample

Bottom Line: A lot of This One Summer felt familiar to me–the curiosity about boys and wanting to be noticed but wanting to remain invisible, the awkwardness of growing older while others still seem to be more innocent, the pain of your parents fighting but not really understanding the whole of it (my parents divorced when I was 14). I wish the story would have focused more on Rose and Windy rather than bringing the parents into the mix, but I suppose that’s all part of life! I really liked the illustrations in This One Summer–there were a few full page spreads that were just gorgeous–but the depiction of the skinny blonde and the rounder brunette bothered me for some reason. In the end, this read was just OK for me.



Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Published: 2015 | Pages: 266| Genre: Young Adult

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Quick Take: Nimona, a young and precocious shapeshifter, offers her services to villain Lord Ballister Blackheart. As she starts to unfold her plan for widespread mayhem, she and Blackheart uncover a potential conspiracy within the kingdom.

Nimona Sample

Bottom Line: While I found Nimona the character to be a little pesky, I loved the way that this book subverts the notions of good and evil–of the villain and hero. The book was full of surprises and fun, but also a lot of heart where it wasn’t expected. By the end of the book I wanted more of the backstory between Blackheart and his nemesis Goldenloin. Stevenson hints at some of their relationship in the endnotes of the book and I hope that we’ll be seeing more of them in the future. My biggest complain is how small the lettering is–I had a tough time reading it! Otherwise, lots of giggles and a thoroughly enjoyable read!



Habibi by Craig Thompson

Published: 2011 | Pages: 660 | Genre: Fiction

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Quick Take: Dodola, a young escaped slave girl, takes a child Zam under her wing as they fight to survive in the desert of the Middle East. Alone together, she consoles him at night with stories from the Qu’ran (which we also see as parallels in the Biblical stories) until Dodola is taken as a concubine of the Sultan and Zam meets his own fate. Above all, this is a story of sacrifice and love.

Habibi Sample

Bottom Line: Wow! Habibi is both ambitious and impressive. Apparently it took Thompson six years to write Habibi and it shows in every one of his illustrations–from the intricate scrolls to the puzzle pieces that fit together in each drawing. I was constantly in awe at each turn of the page (all 660 of them!). While the story didn’t capture my heart like Blankets did, I was mesmerized while reading the tale. There is a lot of religious background within the book and it made me want to learn more about the stories of Islam and the Old Testament. Some of them were familiar to me, but I honestly had no idea that there were so many similarities between the different faiths. While the other two books featured on this post are young adult, this one is decidedly not. There is quite a bit of nudity and mature adult subjects. Not without faults, it was still a captivating read.


Want the super short version? Read Nimona for the fun, This One Summer for the nostalgia, and Habibi for the gorgeous art. Enjoy!

So dear reader, which graphic novel MUST I read next?? What have you read lately?


9 Responses to “Graphic Novel Reviewlettes 2”

  1. I had the same reaction as you to This One Summer. I thought the drawings were very pleasing to the eye and the story of re-visiting the same cabin on a lake every summer reminded me of various camping trips from my youth. However, the adults seemed to get in the way of the story and the profanity was a bit harsh at times. I know it’s nothing preteens haven’t heard in school… I might see if my granddaughter wants to read it this summer when she’s visiting.

    I can’t remember. Have you read Anya’s Ghost? I didn’t like it as much as this one, but it’s a quick read.

    Hooray for spring! We’ve had such great weather this past week (60s to 70s) and I’ve gotten back on the bike trails. I’ve ridden 4 out of 5 days so far this week. Wish it would stay this mild all year long. :)

  2. I thought Nimona was fantastic. I loved her spunk. I haven’t heard of Habibi – definitely new to getting into graphic novels but I’ve added that to my TBR for sure.

  3. Jenny

    I’m not a big GN fan. I’ve tried getting into them but just can’t. If I were to try any of these it would be This One Summer. I read and liked Smile so I might like this one.

  4. I’m so glad you liked Nimona! It was such a great book! It’s so funny you mention the font size … that’s my biggest pet peeve with graphic novels and comics. Sometimes the lettering can be a little too creative that it’s hard on my old eyes. lol

  5. I’m not usually a fan of graphic novels but recently I did read Superman: True Brit and it was pretty cool. I posted it on my book blog. This one looks good and I certain,y like the artwork.

  6. I still haven’t had a chance to read Nimona. I had planned to in February, but never got to it… Maybe in March. You should check out PRINCELESS. I just read Volume 1 and 2 and it is so fun!!

  7. Agreed! I would be up for a second book of Nimona any time that Noelle Stevenson decides. :)

    Congrats on a great Comics February!

  8. Habibi is high on my list to read. I loved Blankets but it is taking me a while to get to habibi. Oh, and I felt the same way about This One Summer – I liked parts of it but overall it was underwhelming for me.

  9. Habibi looks AMAZING! I would put it on hold but apparently I have 100 books on hold and can’t put anymore on hold?? What! They need to order some of those books so I can get some more books on my list.