Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: The Universe is Expanding and So Am I







Title: The Universe is Expanding and So Am I

Author: Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Pub Date: May 29






This book was sent to me by Net Galley for my honest review. Virginia Shreeves is still trying to figure out how to deal with her brother's date rape charge and suspension from Columbia. Meeting Sebastian, a New York tourist/artist, helps a bit--and the two make a pact not to share their personal dramas. But hiding their personal lives starts to take a toll--one that might end their relationship forever.

Virginia's voice feels very realistic throughout the text, from her insecurities to her nerdy love of popular culture. She constantly feels like she doesn't fit in, with her classmates and her own family. Her story is one of triumph, finally finding her voice and that she fits into her family in ways that she never though possible. Virginia's, and her family's, growth within this book is what makes the story most appealing.

Though the romance at the core of the story feels a bit fairy tale-esque, readers will get swept up in the New York adventures that Virginia and Sebastian have. They are scenes almost taken right out of a romantic comedy, which definitely will make this book a fun summer beach read.

4.5/5 stars

Review: Dear Martin

"You can't change how other people think and act, but you're in full control of you."
-Nic Stone, Dear Martin

Despite being at the top of his class and on track to go to Yale in the fall, Justyce McAllister still finds himself in handcuffs when he was just trying to help a drunk girl home safely. He can't escape the implications that come with the neighborhood that he grew up in. So he seeks wisdom from Martin Luther King Jr., but does the wisdom still stand up in present day? And will it help when he's caught in the fury of an off-duty white cop?

In line with authors like Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas, Nic Stone doesn't shy away from the truths that exist within our own society when it comes to race. Justyce's narrative feels real--and gives voice to a population that is still lacking in young adult literature (though not as much as in previous years). Not only will they be able to see themselves within a fictional narrative, but it can also be eye opening to those that don't experience this kind of discrimination.

Parts of the narrative feature letters that Justyce writes to Martin Luther King Jr., trying to figure out exactly what he's supposed to do in reaction to those that treat him as lesser. Ultimately, Dear Martin is about Justyce finding his voice against the injustices he sees and experiences in the world. Lyrical and powerful, this is a book that everyone should read.

5/5 stars

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Review: Leah on the Offbeat

"That has to be the best part of being in love--the feeling of having a home in someone else's brain."
-Becky Albertalli, Leah on the Offbeat

Picking up where Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda took off, this time we get to live inside Leah's brain. Generally less privileged than those in her friend group, Leah has yet to gather the courage to come out as bisexual. Which makes her crush on Abby Suso increasingly difficult. As they get closer to graduation, their friend group begins to falter. As relationships start to break, Leah doesn't know whether or not to act on her own feelings.

Let me begin with this: Becky Albertalli is one of the best at accurately capturing the voices of teenagers. Leah is snarky and honest and and her voice absolutely carries you through to the very end. The appearance of other characters from Simon help to make the world even stronger and easier to fall into. Those who loved Simon will absolutely love Leah.

Leah on the Offbeat is also packed with a lot of humor and typical high school drama. Leah is desperate to find a relationship like Simon's. Leah is having difficulty learning how to say goodbye to the friends she's surrounded herself with since middle school. Her feelings of being an outsider are extremely relatable as well, and Albertalli also gets props for her portrayal of bisexual characters.

Overall, I blew threw this because I absolutely love Albertalli's writing style and her characters are always well rounded, even the ones included in the background.

4.5/5 stars

Friday, May 11, 2018

Review: Violent Ends

"To realize it's not really about Kirby now, it's about what's left. And if you don't deal with it, it will deal with you."
-Violent Ends

Violent Ends follows the story of a school shooting, covering it from 17 different points of view. Instead of following the shooting itself, the different stories focus on the aftermath and the way that the shooting affects the victims. It only took Kirby Matheson 22 minutes to kill 6 students and injure 5 others before taking his own life. Featuring a variety of well-known young adult authors, all the characters are related through one thing: Kirby Matheson.

I thought the premise of this book was fascinating; having so many points of view gives you a lot of perspectives on one particular situation. It lets you get to know the setting, the high school culture, the other students involved, and the community surrounding the school. Each of the different authors gives all the characters a unique voice following their unique writing style. My favorite aspect of the story was these different voices, reflecting an actual high school community.

Though I liked the anthology aspect of this book, I'm not sure this particular kind of story lends itself to this style of writing. I enjoyed the different voices included, but I didn't feel like I could get invested in any of the characters specifically. Since I'm someone who reads for character, the small snippets didn't allow me to get invested in their story.

The subject matter also felt a bit out of touch to me, especially given how much attention school shootings have gotten in the media lately. It felt as though it lacked diversity, and any characters who were from diverse backgrounds and such are the ones that were killed. 

Overall, I liked some of the chapters, but all together the book didn't quite work for me.

3/5 stars

Friday, May 4, 2018

Review: What I Leave Behind






Title: What I Leave Behind

Author: Alison McGhee

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's

Publication Date: May 15, 2018







This book was sent to me through NetGalley from Simon and Schuster in return for an honest review. At first, the format of the book threw me off, but by the end, I was impressed that the author was able to stick to these short bursts of story--and how well they worked together.

Will spends most of his days at his job at Dollar Only with Major Tom, stocking the isles with all sorts of new goodies. At night, he desperately tries to replicate his dad's cornbread recipe, working through his grief after his father's suicide. When he finds out that Playa was raped at a party where he was at, he begins looking for ways for to help her through her trauma as well. Through small acts of kindness to those around him, Will begins to learn how to cope with his own grief.

Told in series of one hundred words, Will's story is presented in a unique way that keeps you reading throughout the entire book. The writing itself almost feels like a graphic novel, without the images supporting the text. However, it didn't feel like the book was missing anything--in fact, the format felt refreshing to me.

The only critique I have of the text is that I could have used a bit more context at the beginning. Though the format makes it difficult to portray any background information, adding a section or two would help the reader to be better oriented right at the beginning of Will's story.

Despite the disorientation, I enjoyed Will's story, especially his desire to reach out to those that seem lost like him. Will's story shows the affects of little acts of kindness--and how much they mean to those that are hurting.

4/5 stars

Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: And She Was


As Dara begins making preparations to pursue her dream of becoming a career tennis player, she goes digging around in her mom's room in order to find her birth certificate to get her passport. But what she finds is something she was never expecting. Her mother, Mellie, is transgender. Feeling betrayed, Dara heads out on a road trip with her best friend in order to find her lost family--a trip where Dara discovers more about herself than she could have ever imagined.

I'm torn about this book. As someone who doesn't identify as transgender, I was curious about what others said about this book online. The reactions to this book are mixed, mostly because there is a lot of transphobia portrayed in this book, especially through Dara's grandparents. I do think this was done in order to illustrate how many people talk about and to transgender people. At times, though, it felt like it was a bit much and definitely could be triggering to people who read it.

The other thing that bothered me about this story was the main character. As soon as Dara finds out about her mom, she becomes incredibly selfish. Literally everything is about her--probably up until the last 20 or so pages of the book. And while I get that this experience was a growing/coming-of-age moment for her, it took her a little too long to get there. Especially if she was as close to her mother as she proclaimed. To me, it felt like it should have been much harder for her to just suddenly up and leave her mother.

What I did like about this book were the secondary characters and the sources provided at the end. It is clear that Verdi did her research about the transgender community, which I appreciated. I also though Mellie's story, told in emails to her daughter, was really compelling. I wanted more from this story--and almost wish the story was focused there.

Overall, a mixed reaction and a mixed review. I do caution those looking to pick up this book if you might be triggered by excessive transphobic language--there is a lot within this story.

3/5 stars

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In

"I've squeezed as many bookcases in this tiny space as possible. Being surrounded by books and magazines makes me feel calm. It makes the room seemed wrapped in a layer of protection. As if nothing or no one can get to me."
-Angelo Surmelis, The Dangerous Art of Blending In

Evan Panos is constantly seen as a disappointment by his Greek-American mother. His non-confrontational father never steps in and defends him, so Evan spends most of his days trying to be invisible and do the right thing. But hiding is becoming exhausting, especially since Evan kissed a boy over the summer. And his best friend Henry is becoming more and more attractive to him. As the end of high school nears, Evan has to figure out how to live with his own voice.

So I saw this book at work, as well as Jeff Zentner's mention of it on Twitter, and I knew that I had to pick it up. I mean, just look at the cover. It's gorgeous. This is Angelo Surmelis's debut novel, and I'm hoping that this means we'll get more from him. His writing is so emotionally driven, crafting an impressive amount of empathy in the reader. You want good things to happen to Evan, someone who is constantly beaten down by his mother. His story is absolutely heartbreaking; but it is also ultimately a story of hope.

One of the only things that threw me off about this story was the jump in time in the middle. I think it was like three months or something, but the jump in time felt a bit out of place. I wanted to know what bridged this jump into the future. There were also scenes with Evan's mom that were difficult to read, but that was the point, I think. There are many teens that find themselves in these abusive situations because of their sexuality, and it's important that these stories are getting published.

Surmelis's debut is heartbreaking, brutal, and hopeful. It's this thread of hope that is the most important part. Evan has hope, and is eventually able to craft his own family.

4.5/5 stars

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Review: Love Songs & Other Lies






Title: Love Songs & Other Lies

Author: Jessica Pennington

Publisher: Macmillan-Tor/Forge, Tor Books

Release Date: April 24, 2018







I'm back reviewing books for Net Galley! Honestly, I had forgotten about this website until I saw someone mention it on Instagram, and I immediately went and requested some advanced copies. This is one I got approved for almost instantly, and I was really glad; the synopsis sounded interesting and the musical twist on their relationship grabbed my attention right from the beginning.

Virginia (Vee) Miller is looking forward to her summer on the road with her high school rock band friends, now known as Your Future X. What she doesn't know when she decides to join their tour is that her ex will be there; and those wounds definitely haven't healed yet. Now, Vee and Cam are forced to work through the problems that ended their relationship while the entire world is watching.

The structure of this novel is absolutely what works the best. Told in a then/now format, Pennington slowly reveals the beginnings of Vee and Cam's relationship, switching back to now to create even more intrigue. It made the plot more interesting, making the reader desperate to get to the end to figure out what put an end to what seemed like an incredibly compatible relationship. What may have been a predictable plot in a more straightforward novel becomes more interesting with this structure.

Having two points of view also helps in giving the reader a fuller picture of the relationship; if we got only Cam's or only Vee's point of view, we would be likely to be biased toward one or the other. The inclusion of both their voices makes the reader feel empathy for both sides of the relationship. They both have reasons for doing what they do.

With a cast of extremely relatable characters and an immersive plot structure, fans of summer romance and rock bands will find a home in Pennington's story.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Review: Thornhill

"I froze as I heard those sounds. Fear tingled into my neck and down my back as the old feeling seeped into my bones. I don't believe it. What will I do now?" - Pam Smy, Thornhill

In 1982, Mary is an orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children just as it's getting ready to close. In 2016, Ella has just moved to a house next door to the closed Thornhill where she keeps seeing the ghostly image of a girl. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella begins to learn about Thornhill's past--uncovering its shadowy secrets.

The prose and graphics in this book work together to tell the story of Mary and Ella; Mary's story is all in prose, Ella's story is all in images. The format works really well to show how these two stories are parallel: both girls are incredibly lonely, just looking for someone to be their friend. They're both isolated, though in slightly different ways. Their loneliness and isolation is emphasize through the images and the text, making the reader empathize with both girls.

Though this graphic novel is intended for children, the overall tone of the story is really dark for the intended audience. Especially once you get to the ending. Mary's story in particular shows how terrible children can be to each other, with all the other girls at Thornhill turning against her, making her existence there miserable. Even when she tries to reach out and get help, she's thwarted by the girl in charge.

The images created by Smy also emphasize this dark story; when you look closely at a lot of the images, there are hidden gems that add to the tone of the story. Everything works together seamlessly to create the story of Mary and Ella. 

5/5 stars

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Review: Speak the Graphic Novel

"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time."
-Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak

Melinda starts out high school as an outcast; she was the one who called the police at the summer's biggest party, and no one is going to forget that. But she's afraid to speak up about the reason why. Her art is the only way she's able to express herself and finally get her story told.

Speak was first published in 1999 and has long been considered a classic of young adult literature. Laurie Halse Anderson wrote about rape before the time of the #MeToo movement, and she did so effectively and accurately. Reading this story, you feel immense empathy for Melinda--you just want her to be able to get the help she so desperately needs. You want her to find friends; you want her to fit in. Anderson creates such emotion with this story, and it's important that everyone reads it.

The graphic novel version just came out this year, and the images compliment the text beautifully. Emily Carroll does an excellent job with her artwork and does justice to the love Melinda has for art in the book. One of the things I liked the most about the art is the way that Carroll plays with shadow throughout. Melinda is haunted by what happened to her at that party, and this is portrayed through the shadow of her attacker. Everything works together really well in order to bring this story to another level.

After reading the graphic novel, I definitely want to revisit the book. I'm interested how close the text is between the both of them. Overall, I absolutely loved this and believe it's a great adaptation of a great book.

5/5 stars

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Modern Romance

"Why do we all say we prefer honesty but rarely give that courtesy to others?"
-Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance

The reason Aziz Ansari gives for writing this book is that he was looking everywhere for a modern book about dating, but couldn't find one. So this is where his book comes in! In Modern Romance, Ansari examines the ways that dating has changed over the years with the implementation of technology. His driving question was: since technology has theoretically made dating easier, why are so many people frustrated?

A lot of the points that Ansari brings up are interesting and valid. One of the sections I found most interesting was about the power behind texting conversations. Since texting is many people's main mode of communication, there are a lot of implications behind a variety of things in text messages, especially when it comes to time. How long do you wait before texting someone back? What does a wait to return a text mean when you're dating someone? Ansari examines all these questions, and I just found the communication patterns fascinating.

The book was a bit tainted, though, with the recent allegations that came out against Ansari. If you're someone that's seen Ansari's show, Master of None, he didn't seem like one of those people who would have these sorts of allegations come out about him. Even his comments about dating in his book seemed that way, so learning of his behavior on that date tainted the book slightly for me. The information he was presenting was still interesting, but perhaps I won't take some of his advice to heart.

Overall, a fascinating look at the modern dating realm.

3.5/5 stars

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Otherworld

"My tongue produces words faster than my brain can approve them." 
-Jason Segel, Otherworld

Everyone claims that Otherworld is amazing--it's a video game unlike any other. It's so good, in fact, you'll never want to leave. At first, Simon believed them. But when his best friend is pulled into the dark side of the game, Simon will never see the game the same again.

To be honest, I struggled in reading this book. I picked it up because as I've mentioned before, I'm interested in young adult dystopian texts, but this one just didn't do it for me. It felt very formulaic, not really straying from what you would consider the typical dystopian story line. Nothing about the plot really surprised me.

Additionally, the characters were flat and I couldn't bring myself to really care about what happened to them. I'm all about the characters when I'm reading books--characters are what make me interested in the story. Simon, the main character, was particularly bad for me. He was full of himself, centrally focused on his needs and not really caring about who had to sacrifice in order for him to get what he wanted. He irritated me throughout the whole story, which was a contributing factor into how long it took me to get through this book.

All in all, I definitely won't be reading the second book when it comes out. Simon can finish his adventures without me knowing what happens.

2/5 stars

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Review: Champion

"Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don't last forever, you know. But I'll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that."
-Marie Lu, Champion

June and Day thought that they had finally been able to work on an effective peace solution for the Republic and that all would be quiet. At least, until a new plague breaks out in the Colonies that they blame the Republic for. Now, the Republic is on the brink of war once again--and they don't have enough resources to win. The only thing that can save them is Day's brother, Eden, but Day isn't willing to give him up to the Republic once again. Will Day and June be able to save the Republic, or will it end in destruction?

Possibly the strongest book in the trilogy, there are new developments at every turn that Day and June have to navigate in order to save their country. But the complicated past of their country makes Day question whether saving the Republic is the right thing to do, or if they should just let it crumble and a new government take over. Lu raises some very valid questions within this ending that could apply to any country or government that is crumbling--and I think the characters within this society deal with it in a very realistic way.

I also thought the romance between Day and June became even more realistic in this one. Given Day's health issues, he tries to distance himself from June to no avail. Their romance also doesn't necessarily have that happy romantic ending that a lot of people expect in YA books--and I like that. Things aren't tied up perfectly in real life, and Lu reflects that within this final installment in her series.

Overall, I'm glad that I finally finished this series--and I'm glad I read them when they were all published! That meant waiting for no cliff hangers.

4.5/5 stars

Review: Prodigy

"All it takes it one generation to brainwash a population and convince them that reality doesn't exist."
-Marie Lu, Prodigy

After the events in Legend, June and Day are now on the run from the Republic--and the Patriots might be their only way to survive. But trusting them might put them in even more danger, especially since the Patriots are willing to go to any length in order to bring down the Republic. Will June and Day go along with their most recent plan, or will they take a different path?

Marie Lu keeps up the action of the first book in this second installment of the trilogy. Day and June's relationship becomes more developed in this one, despite the complications that Lu throws their way. I favor Day's narrative over June's, I think because I like Day as a character better. To me, he has more likable qualities than June has--but that's just personal preference.

The only thing that tripped me up about this installment was the pacing; at times, it felt slightly off to me. The pace overall didn't feel even, making the timeline included within the book slightly difficult to follow. But the end left room for the final book in the trilogy, and left enough open to make me want to read the final book. Overall, the characters made up for the flaws in the plot and the formatting still helped to build the voices of both June and Day.

4/5 stars

Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: Legend

"If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That's much more powerful than rebelling outside the system." 
-Marie Lu, Legend

What was once the United States has now become the Republic, a country that's always fighting both inside and out. June is the Capitol's prodigy--groomed to be an important part of the government from the beginning. Day is the Capitol's most wanted criminal--stealing in order to help his family survive.

When June's brother is murdered, Day is the one wanted for the crime. But as their paths cross, June begins to learn about the Republic she's always defended and the secrets that it is desperate to keep hidden.

Told in alternating points of view, we get two extremes from the Republic--one that has everything and one that has nothing. This helps to not give the reader a biased view of this society, giving the reader a clearer overall view of the new society. As someone who reads a lot of dystopian fiction, this book was able to utilize a different take on the post-apocalyptic future, and one that I'm interested in learning more about in the later novels.

Not only is this book fast-paced, its characters are also well-developed and contribute a lot to the world-building. June is someone who's been groomed by the Republic, so we're able to see a lot of their beliefs and values in her, especially in the beginning. We're able to also see the negative side of the Republic though Day, who has only been hurt by the government who is supposed to be protecting their people.

I also loved how this book was formatted. June's story is told in black, Day's story is told in gold. This is continued in the other books--Day's story is also told in the color of the cover. I like when books do creative things with the formatting, and this one works really well, especially to remind me which character I'm reading. Definitely always helpful for the reader.

4.5/5 stars

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Review: March

"Fury spends itself pretty quickly when there's no fury facing it."
-John Lewis, March

These three volumes follow John Lewis's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, book-ended by the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Lewis starts when he was in school and shows the reader how the Civil Rights Movement was created and worked against the power structures in the United States. Lewis himself had a large role in the movement, eventually earning a position in Congress.

A graphic memoir was a really effective way to tell this story, as the images really help to portray the significance of the Civil Rights Movement. Utilizing the Obama's inauguration also put into perspective all the work this movement did--and, in a current context, all the work it still needs to do. 

If nothing else, these books show that young people have the power to create change. Many of the first participants in the Civil Rights Movement were college students, and their fight created the change they wanted to see. It reminded me of the high school students arranging a march for stricter gun control; marches were partly how the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum as well.

This book would be an effective tool to use in schools because of its style and the amount of information that is packed throughout. Giving a first hand account of the Civil Rights Movement in a history class in high school would definitely help to give students perspective.

5/5 stars

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review: Wingless

"My teacher told me
I was mythology, said I needed a doctor."
-Zachary Riddle, Wingless

Wingless is Zach's second chapbook of poetry, building on the world of mythology that he's created. As a collection, the poems work together in creating a chilling, haunting atmosphere that lingers long after you read it. Zach doesn't shy away from dealing with difficult issues, like grief after a significant loss in life.

The poems presented here are lyrical and full of vivid images that transport the reader into a completely surreal world. One of the poems that best represent this is the titular poem, "Wingless," which begins with a startling image: "Wings burst from my back when I was ten years old." It's images like these that pull the reader into this mythological world, and also keep the reader thinking long after the book is finished. The images contribute to the horror-themes seen throughout the book, emphasizing the nightmarish quality of grief.

Raw and unforgettable, Wingless is an emotional journey filled with vulnerability that is sure to haunt your dreams.

5/5 stars

Wingless is currently available for preorder from Finishing Line Press, and you can get Zach's other chapbook (written with Riley Nisbet and illustrated by me!) here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Review: King's Cage

"There are pieces of me, small pieces, still in love with a fiction."
-Victoria Aveyard, King's Cage

In the third book of the Red Queen series, Mare Barrow has found herself a prisoner of Maven, giving herself up to save the rebellion. With Maven constantly suppressing her powers, Mare quickly begins to lose hope. But Cal will stop at nothing in order to bring her back.

Similar to the way I felt about Glass Sword, I was also lukewarm about King's Cage. Quite honestly, the only reason I keep reading these is because I want to see how the story ends. The world is intriguing, but there are flaws and parts of it feel ripped off from other young adult novels (like The Hunger Games). I can see the appeal, in the drama and the intrigue, but it just doesn't seem to hold my attention.

One thing that bothered me about this volume in particular was the sudden switch to multiple narrators. The other two books were just narrated by Mare, and while I understand Aveyard wanted the reader to see what was happening in the rebellion, I'm a firm believer in series staying in the same narration style. Let's use Allegiant as an example. That book changes to multiple narrators in the last book, which gave away a huge plot point. I'm not sure if something similar is happening here, but I think we could have stayed with Mare and the story would have still worked just fine. 

This book just felt like a lot of filler in order to get to the last book, and I think the story could have done without it. Maybe the last one will be better--we'll just have to wait and see.

3/5 stars

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: Spill Zone

"People think there's something hidden in the Spill, fairies in those wisps of light. They're wrong...The Spill Zone shows everything."
-Scott Westerfeld, Spill Zone

No one really knows how the Spill came about. Since no one can figure out its origins, only government scientists are allowed inside. But Addison knows how to get in, and she uses the images she creates to her advantage. It's the only way she can support herself and her little sister. She's desperate to find out what happened the night the Spill Zone was created.

I was intrigued by the concept of this, and it definitely was a quick read. You're thrown into the world almost immediately, and are forced to use visual clues in order to figure out what's exactly happen in this dystopic universe.

On its own, I don't feel like much happens in this volume. You're introduced to Addison's world, and introduced to future conflicts, but that's pretty much it. I was frustrated with the lack of explanation we got in this volume, explanation that I know will probably come later. There wasn't much wow here for me, but there is enough interest for me to pick up the next book and see where it goes.

Overall, there were too many threads that weren't tied up here, and while I'm usually a fan of that, this felt too incomplete to me.

3/5 stars

Monday, February 26, 2018

Review: Watchmen

"All we ever see of stars are their old photographs."
-Alan Moore, Watchmen

Superheroes have been banned from the US, forced to go back to their lives as civilians. But a killer starts to stalk those who have previously lived lives as vigilantes; and Rorschach is determined to find them. As he tries to unravel the mystery behind the killer, the lives of other superheroes are brought to light.

This is a layered narrative that absolutely deserves all the praise that it gets. All of the layers work together in order to give you the full picture of the characters, and of the desperate situations that they're facing. The influence of the narrative is absolutely apparent, given that the book itself was written in the 80s. We owe a lot to Watchmen, especially if you're an avid graphic novel reader.

As an exploration of the superhero genre, much of the story is dark and doesn't include much hope. All of the characters are psychologically complex, and none of them can be labeled as completely good. Adding all the elements together, the narrative is complex and it's clear why this graphic novel is studied so much more than all the others.

5/5 stars