Weekly Round-Up! #48

Hello everyone! This week’s post is going to be a little longer than usual. Things have been a little stressful at work but nothing that we can’t handle (we’re just short staffed again – yay!). I also got into a car accident (not my fault) so that was scary. I’m ok and so is the other person, just the cars got a little banged up. But that’s what insurance is for right? So it’s been stressful dealing with all that. Going back and forth between the insurance, the towing company, and the body shop has been lots of fun. And I’m about to run out of my migraine meds which I need a new prescription for and my neurologist won’t call me back. But anyway, I did read a lot of good books the last two weeks! So let’s talk about those instead of all the stressful things.

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The first book that I want to talk about is A Witch’s Love at the End of the World, vol. 1 by Kujira. In a world where magic rules from the shadows, there exists a school for witches. This mysterious academy trains young witches on a path of revenge against those who have used them only as tools. Alice, a magical prodigy, has lived her life by this goal only to have her world turned upside down when Mari, a magic-less human, enters the school and her heart!

This was such a great book you guys!! I cannot wait for the next volume to see what happens after that cliff hanger of an ending. We didn’t get much background info on pretty much anyone so I’m curious to find out everyone’s backstories too. Overall, a really interesting manga that I’m excited to continue.

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Next up we have the j graphic novel, The Leak by Kate Reed Petty and Andrea Bell.

Ruth Keller is brash and precocious; she argues with her dentist, her parents, and her teachers. So, when she discovers a strange black slime in the man-made lake of her suburban neighborhood, she decides to investigate. Fortified by the encouragement of those around her, Ruth seeks the truth at all costs, even if it means taking on the rich local country club owner, who she believes is responsible for the pollution.

Between the teasing of former friends, and a sudden viral spotlight, Ruth discovers how difficult it is for a journalist to take a stand for what’s right in the face of critique and controversy. From writer Kate Reed Petty and illustrator Andrea Bell, comes a story about corruption, pollution, and freedom of the press, and the young journalist at the center of it all.

This was such a amazing graphic novel! I loved every second of it. This might be another one that I add to my personal collection. I loved Ruth. She was a great main character. I enjoyed watching her grow and learn about the dos and dont’s of journalism over the course of the book. It was really fun to watch her love of journalism just grow from a fun hobby to something more serious. I would highly recommend checking this graphic novel out – it has been one of my favorites so far this year.

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The next graphic novel that I read last week was Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright.

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran — a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!

Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?

This was such a cute graphic novel! I really enjoyed reading this one and I think it would be a good fit for middle schoolers. It has a lot of great lessons on getting along with siblings that didn’t really pertain to me (only child here), but I think that it was a great read regardless of having siblings or not.

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Tokyo Tarareba Girls vol. 8

Next up we have a manga, Tokyo Tarareba Girls vol. 8 by Akiko Higashimura. (SO MANY SPOILERS FOR THIS SERIES I’M WARNING YOU. TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS!) Rinko has finally found happiness in a relaxing, stable romance. But then comes a “Four Alarm” call that will shake her life at its foundations?!?! Should she go down this path to a future with zero guarantees, even at the cost of her long-sought happiness?! The Tarareba girl’s greatest choice has come.

I can’t believe that there’s only one volume left you guys!! Spoiler alert: I already have the last volume at my house and I will be reading it very shortly. I’ll probably have already read it by the time this post goes up. But I’m only going to be talking about this volume for right now.

I hope that Rinko doesn’t end up going with Key and I’ll tell you why. He’s been nothing but rude and down right mean to her for most of the time they’ve known each other. Yes I understand why but just because someone looks like your dead wife doesn’t mean that you can be cruel to her?! I also understand that he’s younger than her and has a tragic past but honestly that doesn’t give you the right to be an ass. Deal with your own shit instead of projecting it on to someone else. You do the work to better yourself, don’t belittle another person because you’re sad and bitter. You shouldn’t have to fundamentally change who you are for someone to love you. Can you tell I don’t like where the ending is heading?? I’m hoping against hope that this wonderful series doesn’t end up where I think it’s going to.

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Honor Girl

Next up we have a graphic novel that I got via Inter-Library Loan from the library. Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash is a graphic memoir detailing the authors summer spent at an all-girls camp when she was 15.

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.

I can’t quite decide how I feel about this one. While the story was interesting the artwork was so distracting. It kept taking me out of the story because of that aspect. Honestly though, I think the story was strong enough that I would recommend checking this one out.

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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me

The next graphic novel I also got as an ILL from the library. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney details the time in the author’s life when she got diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and the years following that diagnosis.

Ellen Forney gets diagnosed with bipolar disorder right before her 30th birthday. She struggles with the decision to be medicated or not because it might take away her creativity. We follow her from her diagnonsis to a few years later when she’s more settled in her life. This was a very intersting book. I know a little bit about bipolar disorder but not much and this was very eye-opening. It goes into depth about medication, therapy, and a lot of other things that I didn’t necessarily think would “go” with bipolar disorder. On the topic of medication and wondering if it will kill your creativity: I have anxiety and depression. I struggled with the same decision about being medicated or not. Eventually, I realized that depression and anxiety weren’t helping me be creative, they were actaully doing the exact opposite. You can’t really be creative when you can’t even get out of bed. Of course that is just my experience – everyone is different and the choice about medication is one you can only make yourself. Overall, this was a very insightful book and provided a deep dive into the author’s relationship with her bipolar disorder. I would highly recommend this to anyone.

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Secrets of Camp Whatever vol. 1 by Chris Grine

Next up we have another graphic novel called Secrets of Camp Whatever vol. 1 by Chris Grine. Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family—and fate itself—seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called.

This was a fun graphic novel mystery. I enjoyed the plot and all the interesting characters. I thought that this was going to be your typical kid goes to camp story – which it mostly was – but it did have a few twists and turns that kept me invested. I don’t want to give away any of those twists and turns but let’s just say that the camp and the people that work there aren’t what they seem.

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Skim by Mariko Tamaki

And lastly we have Skim by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki.

“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When Skim’s classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.

And falling in love only makes things worse…

This graphic novel deals with a lot of different issues. Suicide, depression, figuring out your sexuality, unrequited love, not being a skinny blonde girl in an all girl’s school, and some usual high school angst thrown in for good measure. A lot of things that if I had read this in high school I would have easily related to. Even now as an adult I still relate to some of the issues that Skim goes through in this book. Honestly, I feel like most people can relate to something in this graphic novel. We’ve all been teenagers in high school, we’ve all probably had at least one of these issues come up, right? At least I hope so and I’m not just super sad over here.

That is it for this week! I hope you guys had a better week than I did the last few weeks. I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Happy reading everybody!

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