Mar 30, 2022

Early Reader Review: Season of the Bruja by Aaron Duran

Source: From the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. 

Season of the Bruja by Aaron Duran and Sara Soler (Illustrations) 

Series: Season of the Bruja #1
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  March 29, 2022


  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: EBook


Rating:


Synopsis: 
Althalia Cabrera might seem like any other witchy Portland hipster whiling away her days behind the counter of a freaky occult museum, but there's more to her whole deal than a trendy pursuit of the craft. Althalia is a bruja by blood-the youngest in a long line of powerful magic users from a long-ago culture indigenous to Mexico. In her twenty years, Althalia has studied with her loving abuela by her side, supporting and mentoring her use of the family magic, and protecting her from the darkest parts of their practice's history. But just as Althalia's inner light and power begins to shine, the darkness of the past finds its way into her world and strikes a tragic blow, testing Althalia in ways she might not be prepared enough to survive.
Review: 
Such an action packed first issue! There is immediately a fight scene to set the stage for this comic series, with a demon, a witch, a lizard man, and another teen that can shapeshift. Such an interesting way to begin a comic, we are thrust into a fight with characters that we dont' yet know but at least I was invested already.

The story itself is about a young witch (bruja translated to English for those that weren't sure), she is learning about her culture, heritage, and what it means to be a witch. Althalia seems so normal, but there is a lot to her background and we learn that she has a fair amount of pent-up anger as well. 

In this first comic installment, we meet Althalia's grandmother who wants to go to a museum and while they are there horrible things happen, although I am not going to spoil it for you. This interaction left me with a lot of questions though, and I hope the series follows up with more action but also more depth and answers. 

Overall, this was a fun comic, the illustraions were great and so vibrant, and the history molded with fantasy elements and legends were well done. I can't wait to read more from this series. 

Mar 28, 2022

Recent Reads: We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding

Source: From Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

We Used to be Friends by Amy Spalding 
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date:  January 7, 2020 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating: DNF at 58%


Goodreads Synopsis:
Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel
 
Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.
Review: 
I have been sitting on this book for a while and finally took the time to pick it up. I had heard a lot of good things about it when it was released but it just wasn't for me. I ended up deciding to stop reading around the 58% mark. 

This book is told through alternating point of view - James and Kat, but it is also told in two directions, so one story moves forward in time and the other one moves backward recapping events. When we meet James, she and Kat are no longer friends and James is about to go to college and in Kat's story we start at the beginning of their last high school year.

The reason that I decided to give up on it is because I am not sure where this story could go that would make me want to finish it. It is all about their friendship but I was not really invested enough in either character to really give it my all. From what I read, both Kat and James are flawed and their friendship suffered because of both of them. 

Kat is the popular girl, seemingly self-centered, and her dialogue was written too well there were a lot of "likes" and "duhs" when she speaks which was very annoying to read and very stereotypical. Although I know a lot of people talk like this is was off-putting to read. James is part of the track and field tiean and quiet, almost nerdy. It was a little weird that these two were friends and it was hard to tell how they got there becuse of this story. Kat also would probably have more of a clique is she was popular, before she befriends all of Quinn's friends. (At least this is how it would have been when I was in High School). 

Although I liked that there was a focus on LGBTQ+, it felt fast and forced at times, at one point Kat had no idea she liked girls, and then she is all in. That is great, but seemed a little unrealistic. Overall this romance seems forced. 

While I found these things problematic, the biggest issue was the friendship between Kat and James. James did not give enough of herself to the friendship and Kat was too self-centered to even notice that James was detaching. Both were at fault in their own ways, but I was able to figure this much out at 58% and decided I didn't need to read any more. I didn't really like how either character was handling it or themselves.

Mar 20, 2022

Building the Book Pile #392


Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

I don't want to jinx us... but I thiiiiiink that we are above freezing during the days for the next week or so... so maybe it is Spring now? Or at least Mud Season here in NH, certainly muddy that is for sure. We had a good amount of rain this weekend and that combined with the warmer temps means lots of water, melt, and so mud. I almost sank into my yard the other day just walking around and Charlie is trying to find the remaining snow to walk on because he doesn't the the squish under his little paws.

On the reading front, I had ample time to read this week... and didn't. I was tired from the tims shift, my anxiety was high because of world events, and I lost myself in TikTok for too long. I also started a book and decided at 58% to call it quits because I wasn't feeling it. 

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads/ DNF Review: We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding (YA)

Recent Reads: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Game #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (YA)


Books Received Recently...

N/A


Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Mar 18, 2022

Recent Reads: Spectacle Volume 4 by Megan Rose Gedris

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.  
Spectacle Volume 4 by Megan Rose Gedris 
Series: Spectacle
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  December 14, 2021


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis:
Anna's supernatural powers are increasing, but so is her worry that they come from a terrifying source. Everyone in the circus has developed mutations, and they're dropping like flies. Anna thinks she's found a cure, but a smooth talking faith healer insists he can save everyone... for a fee. Can she fix things before anyone else dies?
The fourth and penultimate volume in the Spectacle series.
Review: 
And still not the final book yet... this is the fourth book in the Spectacle series and we learned so much but have not wrapped yet by the end of this book. Those cliffhanger endings are so interesting but annoying. 

In this installment we get answers to a lot of the questions that have been hanging out there in the previous books. Anna's power is growing and I am surprised that this is the first time in the series that she is so threatened given how the whole circus has been on edge with all the weirdness. Anna and Kat's relationship is ever-growing and their dialogue is great, they are sisters so it is snippy but fun and pretty realistic given their supernatural circumstances. 

I really don't want to talk about the plot all to much in this review, since we are 4 books deep and I don't want to spoil too much. However, Anna and Kat figure out who the killer is and the killer is even given pages as a backstory, which was so great to read. I really liked teh backstory of them.

As with the previous issues, the illustrations throughout are bright, patterned, and detailed in a whimsical way that highlights the circus backdrop and the supernatural creepiness of the story. 

I enjoyed this book, and while not available yet, I hope to reach book 5 when it is available to round out the series. 

Mar 16, 2022

Recent Reads: Gallant by Victoria Schwab

Gallant by Victoria Schwab 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date:  March 1, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Audiobook
Source: Pre-Ordered on Audible.


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Everything casts a shadow. Even the world we live in. And as with every shadow, there is a place where it must touch. A seam, where the shadow meets its source.

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home—to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home, it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him? 
Review: 
I don't pre-order a lot of books, I am a bad book person in that way. Most of the time I forget when things are coming out and it wasn't until very recently that I had the income to buy so many books. BUT, when I saw this book in an anticipated reads list, I jumped at the chance to use one of my yearly Audible credits to pre-order it. I started listening to it very soon after it came out and while I know that the hard-copy has illustrations, the reader was wonderful and the audiobook experience was great! 

This book follows an orphan named Olivia, she is mute, and she can see ghouls. The only information about her family comes from her mother's journal that seems to spiral into maddness as it progresses and now she has been given the opportunity to leave the orphanage and meet what is left of her extended family. This outcome isn't all sunshine and rainbows though, when she arrives, her cousin doesn't want her there, there are still ghouls, and there is a mysterious door in a garden wall. 

As she comes to learn more about her mother and her family, she is thrown into a world of good versus evil, and life and death and a creepy parallel plane of existance.

I really liked Olivia, she is stubborn, young, but curious and determined. She is so strong-willed that I really loved her style and how she held herself. She doesn't take anyones crap and she is already strong and can fend for herself given her background. The other characters weren't as well fleshed out but her cousin acts the way he does for good reason, but I wanted to learn more about the overall family and their time at Gallant. 

The story is creepy and a little horror focused, but in a whimsical middle-grade/ YA cross-over kinda way. I really enjoyed this book so much it was entertaining, I was on the edge of my seat and couldn't put it down after the half way point. Before that there was very much a slow-build. I would love to see this setting appear again and learn more about the characters; however, this was a wonderful way to showcase them and I really enjoyed it.

Mar 14, 2022

Recent Reads: Spectacle Volume 3 by Megan Rose Gedris

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.  
Spectacle Volume 3 by Megan Rose Gedris
Series: Spectacle
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  December 8, 2020


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis:
The third and final installment in the Spectacle trilogy by Megan Rose Gedris!

From fake psychic to true believer, circus performer Anna finds herself dealing with the supernatural more and more, and is determined to use her growing powers to confront her sister's murderer. Has she finally figured out whodunit, and can she prove it before a demon does her in?
Review: 
I had a little laugh about the Goodreads synopsis for this book...because the reason I am reading these is because I was sent the 4th installment for review as well. So I am pretty sure that this is not the "final installment" of the series. It is also quite obviously not the end of the actual story, there are no resolutions by the end of this installment.

Book 3 was a great improvement over book 2, it was everything that I wanted book 2 to be and that it wasn't. It has some answers to the many questions that last two books have posed. There was a lot of focus in this installment about relationships, Kat wants Anna to talk to Isabel about her being there, the reader learns more about the twins' background, and there are a lot of character connections that come up in this issue as well. 

Like I mentioned, I liked this installment more than the 2nd one. We didn't get a conclusion like the synopsis suggests but Anna is working on the murder case again and really taking it it heart. In the mix we learned interesting information about the twins and their background that might be part of the reason for all the weird things that are happening to their circus troupe. On that front, everyone is still growing appendages and some are disappearing or dying because of them and it was a little creepy and upsetting. 

Overall, I found that there was more character development this time and I found myself connecting with more of the characters because of it. There are a lot of characters in this book, so if you are off-put by a large cast, this series might not be for you, but the author/illustrator does a good job both showing and telling which is great for a graphic novel. 

I am excited to read the next installment, and we will see if it is the comclusion...

Mar 13, 2022

Building the Book Pile #391


Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Woooboy... Daylight savings... how you torment me. No clue what time it is or when I should wake up... today is always a weird day. I hope your Spring Forward was enjoyable. 

In addition to my reading/ hoarding books hobbies, and the blog, I am also starting my seed for a big veggie garden this year. I have started a bunch (wishful thinking) and they are doing well thus far. 

In family news, Charlie (the pup) turned 1 on Monday. I can't believe he is a year old already! This year had flown by. 

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

A few of these from last week I didn't get to review yet... so they should be up this week.

Recent Reads: Gallant by V.E. Schwab (MG)

Recent Reads:  Spectacle Volume 3  by Megan Rose Gedris (YA, GN)

Recent Reads:  Spectacle Volume 4  by Megan Rose Gedris (YA, GN)

Books Received Recently...

    

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Purchased with Audible Credits about to expire
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Purchased with Audible Credit B1G1 sale!
The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Purchased with Audible Credit B1G1 sale!

I hope I like the series 💁


Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Mar 11, 2022

Recent Reads: Spectacle Volume 2 by Megan Rose Gedris

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Spectacle Volume 2 by Megan Rose Gedris  
Series: Spectacle
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  May 21, 2019



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Sisters Anna and Kat return for the second book of Megan Rose Gedris's paranormal circus murder mystery, Spectacle!

A murder is tough thing to solve, even without temperamental performers, supernatural occurrences, and the ghost of the victim giving commentary. But as Kat's only link to the living world, it's up to scientifically-minded Anna to figure out who killed her sister—before any more murders rock the small traveling community. Yet as she gets closer to finding a lead, even more unbelievable events obscure the truth: roustabouts start sprouting horns, performers grow forked tongues, and a demon visits Anna's sleep at night. Does Kat know more than she's letting on? And can Anna keep the circus—let alone herself—safe? 
Review: 
Volume 2 of Spectacle was still interesting but it didn't really further the plot as much as I would have like it to. There were no questions answered only more and more added and no solutions. Anna is still trying to figure out who murdered her sister but really there isn't any progress there and other weird things are happening but again, nothing is resolved. 

In this installment, Anna and Kat learn more about each other, and Anna makes a few more friends whih is nice to see but we really haven't learned much about why she doesn't have a lot of friends in the first place. I would be interested to learn more about her time at the circus up to this point for a bit more context. We are also getting snippets in dream about Anna and Kat's past that I think is very interesting but hasn't played into the plot yet. 

I was left with more questions than answers and it was a little discouraging but I have the next volume so hopefully it allows me some closure on some of the issues.

Mar 8, 2022

Recent Reads: Spectacle Volume 1 by Megan Rose Gedris

Source: From the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Spectacle Volume 1 by Megan Rose Gedris Series: Spectacle
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  May 22, 20218



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Fan-favorite webcomic creator Megan Rose Gedris (Yu+Me Dream) crafts a compelling tale of magic, deception, and wonder in this stunningly illustrated graphic novel about the bond between sisters.

Pragmatic engineer Anna works as a psychic in the Samson Brothers Circus, but she doesn't believe in anything supernatural—until her twin sister Kat is murdered and comes back as a very demanding ghost. Sharing a room with her sister was hard, but now they're sharing a body while trying to identify the killer. With few leads, a troupe full of secretive folk, and strange paranormal occurrences popping up around the circus, solving the case seems near impossible. But the murderer in their midst may be the least of their problems... 

"Humorous and heartfelt, creepy and captivating; readers will eagerly hope for another volume." - Kirkus
Review: 
I was not sure what to expect when Spectacle arrived in my inbox. I didn't even read the synopsis, I just was excited to see another graphic novel series pop up for review, which I love.

Spectacle follows sisters Anna and Kat, Kat was murdered and now Anna needs to find out what happened. This story is a mix of murder mystery, paranormal, and maybe a tiny bit thriller. There is drama, suspense, and a lot of great characters to follow along with. 

I liked the illustrations they were vibrant and fun, being a circus theme probably helped with that aesthetic, but it was well done. There are so many characters but they are easy to keep straight and each have their own personalities that shine through the tale. The graphic novel didn't have too much text and dialogue but it was close, there was a lot of telling along with the showing, but I think that it worked well in this case. There is still a lot of mystery left for the next volume(s) and I am excited to see how it all comes together. 

Overall, the graphic novel was engaging and very entertaining. I read it all in one sitting and I am excited to pick up the next one... especially since they left me with a cliff-hanger. If you are looking for a slightly spooky, mystery, and don't mind the circus, this would be a fun one to pick up.

Mar 7, 2022

Recent Reads: Listen to the Language of the Trees by Tera Kelley

Source: From Sourcebooks Early Review program in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Listen to the Language of the Trees: A Story of How Forests Communicate Underground 
by Tera Kelley, Marie Hermansson (Illustrator)
Publisher: Dawn Publications
Publication Date:  March 1, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
This fascinating picture book explores the underground communication system between trees and helps young readers see that the natural world's survival depends on staying connected and helping others—just like us!

Readers will discover that trees have their own social network, and helping one another thrive is trending.

The fascinating mycorrhizal fungi network runs underground through the forest via the roots of trees, allowing for connection and communication.

Listen to the Language of the Trees captures the magic of talking trees that take care of their neighbors (not to mention the mysterious fungi that help them do it).

A lyrical read aloud, Listen to the Language of the Trees is the story of a seedling, newly sprouted at the base of a giant tree. As it stretches its roots into an underground web of fungi, it learns that its fellow trees use the fungi to pass messages and share resources! It will take great luck for this tiny seedling to survive, but it will have help from its friends in the forest. The Douglas fir forest also harbors creatures like a zany Yellow Pine chipmunk gathering and forgetting seed cones, an owl nested in the giant tree, and chattering Steller's jays. And, as we must never forget, no part of the forest is entirely free from danger!
Review: 
This is such a fun and informative book. This book is all about trees and how they communicate with the help of fungi under the ground that is intertwined in their root systems. It is a non-fiction book. 

Such a lovely book. We start off learning about the forest and the animals and some of their communication styles that use sound, then a seed sprouts. The story then teaches us how the trees use th fingi underground to communicate and send needed nutrients to each other. The little sprout gets sun even though he is under the dense cover of other trees. 

It was so interesting to learn about their system and the science of the story. The book includes more info at the end about the science and even about the 'social emotional learning' aspect for young readers... and some activites too!

The illustrations were just as wonderful. So beautiful. The firs re so detailed, and there is so much detail overall - the animals, bugs, forest, forest floor, roots, fungi, it was so intricate and still whimsical too. I loved the images of light through the trees and the littel squirrel. So pretty. I just love a good nature book, they are so information, beautiful, and fun. 

Mar 6, 2022

Building the Book Pile #390


Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Good Morning. I hope you are doing well in this strange world we are in right now. I hope everyone is safe. The news lately has been pretty upsetting and escaping into a book feels a bit poor-taste right now, but that is how I am coping emotionally. I hope you are also taking the time you need when you need it. 

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Listen to the Language of the Trees: A Story of How Forests Communicate Underground by Tera Kelley (Youth)

Recent Reads:  Spectacle Volume 1  by Megan Rose Gedris (YA, GN)

Recent Reads: Gallant by V.E. Schwab (MG)

Recent Reads:  Spectacle Volume 2  by Megan Rose Gedris (YA, GN)

Recent Reads:  Spectacle Volume 3  by Megan Rose Gedris (YA, GN)


Books Received Recently...

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Mar 4, 2022

Early Reader Review: Chef's Kiss by Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine (Illustrations), Hank Jones, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Source: From the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Chef's Kiss by 
Jarrett Melendez, Danica Brine (Illustrations), Hank Jones, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  April 12, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel! 

Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right? 

When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.

Chef's Kiss is a New Adult  graphic novel with LGBTQ+ characters and an adorable pig that is so cute and fun. The story follows Ben Cook, a college grad now looking for work. He majored in English and is a writer but finding a writing job without any experience has been a struggle. He is dodging calls from his parents and trying to make living on his own really work. He stumbles upon a cook position and having to make anything work, decides to try it out. 

The story is a lot about self improvement, self confidence, finding your passion, and learning that it is ok to change your mind. Yes, there is a romance, and it is adorable but it isn't the focus of the story, just a lovely added bonus. 

Ben is really fearful about his love for this new position, he is very nervous throughout the book about doing the right thing and his parents approval, but while that was one of the conflicts, the main conflict was passing the Head Chef's challenges to keep the job. I found that the parent struggle was not built up enough to make me fully engage with it. However, the Head Chef and his pet pig were a wonderful conflict, the chef is big, mean, and honestly a bit abusive verbally. I know that might turn off some readers, but I think it is a front that he puts up for some reason, at least that is how it feels, because he is able to have some heartfelt moments in the story too. 

Overall, this was a really adorable graphic novel. The text was well balanaced with the illustrations, the color and details were wonderful, and I really loved the story. I think so many can relate to trying to find parental approval, and trying so hard to find a job that is right for us. 


About the Authors

About Jarret Melendez
Jarrett Melendez grew up on the mean, deer-infested streets of Bucksport, Maine. A longtime fan of food and cooking, Jarrett has spent a lot of his time in kitchens, oftentimes as a paid professional! Jarrett is a regular contributor to Bon Appetit and Food52, and is the author of The Comic Kitchen, a fully illustrated, comic-style cookbook. When not cooking and writing about food, Jarrett usually writes comic books (like this one, Chef's Kiss!) and has contributed to the Ringo-nominated All We Ever Wanted, Full Bleed, and Murder Hobo: Chaotic Neutral. He is currently writing a graphic memoir for Oni Press.

Jarrett lives in Somerville, MA, with his partner, Stuart, and their collection of Monokuro Boo plush pigs. 

About Danica Brine
Danica Brine is walking sass in a leather jacket, forged in the icy lands of New Brunswick, Canada. From her waking hours to the moment she slumps over asleep at her desk, Danica can be found with a drawing tool in her hands. Her work has been featured on the covers of Wayward, Elephantmen, Exorsisters, and Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor. She's also contributed artwork to All We Ever Wanted, featured in the New York Times, and The Comic Kitchen. When not working as a comic artist, she illustrates children's books for a Canadian French-language publisher.

Danica lives in Moncton, NB, Canada, with her husband, Nick, and their shiba inu, Taro. 

About Hank Jones
Hank Jones is a colorist based in Atlanta, Georgia. He loves comics, movies, and really loves video games. He also enjoys a nice cup of coffee during a rainy day.

About Hassan Otsmane-Elhao
Hassan is a British-Algerian letterer who has worked on comics like Quantum & Woody, Red Sonja, First Knife, and more. He's also the editor of the Eisner-winning PanelxPanel magazine, and the voice behind Strip Panel Naked.