[Book Review] Peter & Max: A Fables Tale by Bill Willingham

Peter-And-Max-A-Fables-Novel

 

This is an old review*, though I still feel the same about it now as I did then. As always, I add my current thoughts on the title at the end of this review, so you should still check it out! 🙂

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


Peter & Max: A Fables Tale by Bill Willingham • 2009 • Vertigo • 400  pages

“Unmissable, especially for lovers of fairytale revampings and extrapolations.”

– Booklist

“Dark, fast-paced, moving and entertaining, with a few surprises along the way.”

– Publishers Weekly

Genre/Theme: Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy, Young Adult/Adult Fiction, Graphic Novel, Fairytales Retold, Fables, War, Diaspora, Family, Sibling Rivalry, Music, Revenge, Fairy tale creatures

Brief Summary: “Set in the imaginative realm of the award-winning comic book series FABLES, the book takes place long ago, in the deepest dark of The Black Forest. Two brothers — Peter Piper and his older brother Max — encounter ominous forces that change them both irreparably. Thus begins an epic tale of sibling rivalry, magic, music and revenge that spans medieval times to the present day, when their deadly conflict surfaces in the placid calm of modern day Fabletown.” – taken from Amazon

Evaluation: 5 of 5 stars

1-2 things you liked:

  • The interior design.
  • Illustrations throughout the book
  • Style of writing
  • The characters

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • That it didn’t belong to me and thus I had to return it to the library (lol!) No seriously. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like in this book. It was awesome.

Would you recommend this book?: Oh yeah! XD And if you’re asking, WHO I’d rec it to…? Well, this would be a good read for reluctant readers, avid readers, comic book readers, fantasy readers, and those who love fairytale retellings and anything DC Comics/Vertigo. Also, anyone who enjoys illustrations in their books.

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): Building upon the likes and dislikes of then, I’d have to say, the interior design really stuck me even after all this time and floored me too! (Because I’m always looking for stellar book designs and layouts) See for yourself:

fables

I wasn’t expecting that when I originally picked up this novel. Although some might think it childish or at least not “adult material” to have illustrations — either scenic or otherwise — throughout a book… I quite disagree! I can’t imagine WHY, in heaven’s name, people would think that! The illustrations were very influential to the storytelling, grabbing and holding  my attention throughout as I read. They weren’t just arbitrarily placed. These images had meaning and significance and implicitly enhanced the whole reading experience. Like the illustrations of illuminated manuscripts & books, there was so much more to these images, which easily engaged the reader with the story (not to mention delighting the eye along the way). I think I might have lost interest at some points without those images there to grab my attention again and pull me back into the story. So super well down there. 😉

The style of writing  was phenomenal to me, because of how smart it was story-wise. You can accomplish a lot, telling two stories at once. Past and present. Keeping the reader captivated through the use of utterly gorgeous illustrations, the smart and witty commentary throughout the book, and the cohesion of everything else.  I absolutely loved that the storytelling moved us between time periods — back and forth between their world Hesse, and our own mundane one. In a weird way, thinking back on it now, this Fables novel was written much like how the show Once Upon A Time is crafted and filmed, with this alternating narrative between past and present. It’s likely the idea was to mimic either/or.

As for the characters. Okay! Confession! This was my very FIRST Fables novel and/or graphic novel. *nods solemnly* I know, I know. The horror. XD But it was still a good choice as it got me into the series! (That’s right! You heard right. SERIES.) For those of you who don’t know, the Fables series is not only in novel format. In fact, it is actually a comic book/graphic novel series, and the story is quite long. It’s nowhere near the length of some of our more iconic Marvel or DC Comic stories like Batman, Thor, etc… But it does have at least… 140-…something, issues, already? (Which is around 20+ books, I believe.) And several spin-offs, including this one, in novel form. Because of this… there are A LOT OF CHARACTERS. And I honestly, love em all. XD (There’s a couple that I want to strangle, but…) In this book, we got to follow along with the Piper brothers (Peter Piper and Max Piper) and see all the shenanigans, betrayal, and heartache that ensued. Speaking objectively here, I think if I didn’t like the characters (and illustrations) as much as I do, this book — in terms of actual writing — might have been a bit flat for me.

So thank the universe everything fell into place.

As for the single dislike… well… I solved that problem not long after returning the book to the library. Hur hur~

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10 Incredible Covers of Bookish Songs

Alright! So for today’s mix of music and books, I’ve compiled a list of killer bookish songs covered by all sorts of different people. Hope you guys like em! 🙂

(And even if you don’t… well.. Too bad. 😛 )


1. THE HOBBIT ⌊Peter Hollens – Misty Moutain ⌉

2. LORD OF THE RINGS ⌊Lindsey Sterling – Lord of the Rings Medley ⌉

3. LORD OF THE RINGS ⌊Peter Hollens – Gollum’s Song ⌉

4. LES MISERABLES ⌊Team Teddie – Dream + Shout (A Scream + Shout Parody) ⌉

5. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 ⌊Laura Shigihara – Where No One Goes ⌉

6. THE WIZARD OF OZ ⌊Todrick Hall & Pentatonix – The Wizard of Ahhhs (Medley) ⌉

7. LES MISERABLES ⌊Jun Sun Ahn – I Dreamed A Dream (Violin) ⌉

8. LES MISERABLES ⌊Nick Pitera – Les Miserables Medley ⌉

This one is pretty incredible. XD Here’s the song list in order:

I Dreamed a Dream
Who am I
Master of the House
Stars
Red/Black
A Heart Full of Love
One Day More
On My Own
Bring Him Home
Epilogue/Do You Hear the People Sing?

9. GAME OF THRONES ⌊Postmodern Jukebox ft. Dave Koz (on the Sax) – Game of Thrones Theme (“Smooth” Version) ⌉

And if you like this, you should definitely check out more of Postmodern Jukebox’s music. All of it is really phenomenal! You can also check out Scott Bradlee’s channel for even more music.

10. MALEFICENT ⌊Lana Del Rey – Once Upon A Dream ⌉

Okay… so this last one might not have been from a book, per se… But the fairytale is still bookish! So… THERE! XD (Also, it might not be a cover, but it’s GORGEOUS.)

11 Things You Learn Your First Month As A Bookseller (Reblogging from Buzzfeed)

The level of truth in this post is OFF THE CHARTS. Thought I’d share. (And no, I did not write the post , that’s why it’s called a REBLOG. 😉 )


via 

11. Every title and author’s name sounds like “Ssdflkjx Dkfsldkflkjs” over the phone

Every title and author's name sounds like "Ssdflkjx Dkfsldkflkjs" over the phone

And they’re usually calling from the road. While driving through a tunnel. Under construction.

CONTINUE READING →

[TBBR] A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality…. what the–?!

Title: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality
Author: Joseph Nicolosi, Linda Ames Nicolosi
Synopsis (from GoodReads)Homosexuality: is it learned, biological or both?

The answer to this question deeply concerns parents. They want to know how they can best raise their children. A common belief today is that nothing can be done to foster the development of healthy heterosexual orientation in children. But the clinical experience and professional research of Dr. Nicolosi and others indicates otherwise.

In this groundbreaking book Joseph and Linda Ames Nicolosi uncover the most significant factors that contribute to a child’s healthy sense of self as male or female. Listening to moving recollections from ex-homosexual men and women who describe what was missing in their own childhoods, the Nicolosis provide clear insight for identifying potential developmental roadblocks and give practical advice to parents for helping their children securely identify with their gender.

Replete with personal stories from parents, children and ex-homosexual strugglers, offers compassion and hope for all those parents who seek to lay a foundation for a healthy heterosexual identity in their children.


My… thoughts:

Okay.

So I’m gonna explain a thing.

And that thing is:

NO.

Got it?

Great.

Because.

NO.

(PS – No, seriously. I am going to be sick. You have GOT to be kidding me with this book… I want to physically puke my brains out. How the fuck was this even published? I’m calling my lawyers.)

(Also, my favorite of all reviews to this travesty: “Because titling it ‘A Parent’s Guide to making their children commit suicide’ is too harsh” — by GoodReads member, Tami. You literally give me hope for the human race. Also, Heather K‘s WHOLE review because it was sassy as fuck.)

 

[Book Review] Eye to Eye by Vanita Oelschlager

Eye to Eye: A Book of Body Part Idioms and Silly PicturesEye to Eye: A Book of Body Part Idioms and Silly Pictures by Vanita Oelschlager

Synopsis (from GoodReads): Eye to Eye shows children the magic of idioms words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different. Children are curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh (Stick Your Neck Out) or sound silly (All Ears). Eye to Eye uses outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally. The reader then has to guess the real meaning of the phrases (which are at the bottom corner of the spread). At the end of the book, the reader is invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoughts: Thanking NetGalley for my ARC!

I really enjoyed this book and could easily see it in a classroom or in the hands of a young reader, helping to broaden their language and learning skills. This book focused on the concept of idioms, which is one of the hardest things to pick up when learning a new language. Many may not know, but there are hundreds and thousands of idioms in EVERY language. (To my knowledge over nearly 25,000 idioms in the English language alone!) That’s a lot of slang to pick up, especially when you haven’t even gotten the hang of proper grammar and sentence structure yet! Eye to Eye starts introducing some basic idioms to readers early on so they can start “reading between the lines” and picking up hints from the slang of the every day.

The only downside to this book was how small the explanation text was at the bottoms of each page. It seemed a bit jarring to me, and would have worked better if it had been incorporated into the image or perhaps typeset in a different font.

Otherwise, a great read! Definitely recommending this book for the classroom (for young children and educators, alike), the library, and the home. Great educational learning tool with fun, whimsical pictures to boot! I’m impressed.

Would You Recommend? Yup

[Book Review] Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

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This is an old review, but I still feel pretty much the same about it now as I did then.

Maybe even more in love with it, but yeah… XD

I added all sorts of different covers because they all capture the essence of the book in different ways. Plus they’re gorgeous and why not share? 😉

*This book was also used in a booktalk for class.


Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin • 1969 • Ace Science Fiction • 320 pages

“[A] science fiction masterpiece.”

– Newsweek

Genre/Theme: Science Fiction, Social Issues, Gender Identity, AGS, Speculative Fiction, Feminism (or so I’ve heard… 😕 )

Synopsis: On the planet Winter, there is no gender. The Gethenians can become male or female during each mating cycle, and this is something that humans find incomprehensible.

The Ekumen of Known Worlds has sent an ethnologist to study the Gethenians on their forbidding, ice-bound world. At first he finds his subjects difficult and off-putting, with their elaborate social systems and alien minds. But in the course of a long journey across the ice, he reaches an understanding with one of the Gethenians—it might even be a kind of love…

Brief Summary: Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender—or both—this is a broad gulf indeed.

Evaluation: 5 thousand zillion of 5 stars XD (I would even give it even more stars because… WORLD-BUILDING UNF)

1-2 things you liked:

  • EVERYTHING GDNLSGnkgdnklgndklsndlsgndSNGDLGNdlkndlgkn *FOAMS AT MOUTH*
  • The theme
  • INSANE WORLD-BUILDING (*PTERODACTYL SCREECHING*) I could NOT put it down!
  • Writing style (especially how the story isn’t linear)
  • The characters (and all their surprises)
  • ESTRAVEN. Nuff said.
  • This is one of my favorite books of all time from waay back when.

1-2 things you didn’t like:

  • The ending (because I was rooting for the main characters to somehow stay together)
  • This isn’t a dislike, but a suggestion and warning: This book is not an easy read and might come across as too clinical or even a bit strange to follow. There are several mini-stories that take place at once, which can throw the inattentive reader for a loop.

Would you recommend this book?: YES. Who would I recommend it to? Everyone haha~ XD I loved this book so much. It does have some sexuality to in it, but no actual sex or make-out scenes so even kids could read it (I don’t know how much they’d be able to understand… but I would have no problem recommending this book to an avid reader regardless of age). As already mention, the book follows closely the strangeness of the Gethens, which are a hermaphrodite race of humanoids that sort of go through a heat cycle every month becoming either male or female ONLY during that time. So… yeah. If the reader is interested in speculative fiction, this is definitely a book they need to have in their mental inventory. 😉

Looking Back (Current Thoughts & Eval): As mentioned before and in many other posts, this is one of my favourite books of ALL TIME for execution of theme, writing style, believability, character development, and world-building. Not too many books get a full five out of five stars from me for those five key areas. There is just something really memorable and… special about this book. It stays with you. It haunts your thoughts. I am and always have been highly interested in the fluidity of gender and sex, so this was a spectacular journey into the extra kind of speculative fiction I love reading about. 🙂

The only that still drives me crazy TO THIS DAY is that ending, because FJLSNGDKANGKLDNAKGNDL WHYYYY and also WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT THANKS NO THANKS 

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But yeah… XD besides that, fantastic book.

EVERYONE GO READ NOW.

emma-stone-excited