Monday, March 2, 2015

Saga Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Title: Saga
Series: Volume #1 in Saga
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Genre: Graphic Novel
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: Purchased 


When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. 

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. 

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make."

Collects Saga issues #1-6.


Okay, so this review is going to be short and sweet, because I don't really have much to say. I went into this graphic novel with high expectations. Everybody seems to be head over heels in love with it. But, the further I got in the first volume, the less I was feeling the story. I guess it was the wild out there characters, or just the all over the place feel I got while reading the volume, but it just didn't connect with me.

I loved the art. Hands down, some beautiful art. While graphic at times, Fiona Staples has undeniable talent. I would definitely look into more series that she illustrates, because I just loved it. With that said, it doesn't give me enough reason to drop upwards of $15 a volume for the future installments of this particular series. I see this as being one of those that I just finish by eventually checking out from the library. I hate deeming that this early on, but as a graphic novel, I feel it should have grabbed me by now. They are normally published in single installments, and I was nowhere near hooked after the first "Chapter" of this volume. 

One of my main problems was the jumping around. I was confused about the different planets and who belonged on what side. I found myself having to flip back to see if one character was on what side of the war and all that. That definitely took away the majority of my enjoyment for this graphic novel. And the fact that nothing was really and truly answered in this entire volume made me so confused. I don't mind cliffhangers (which this one kind of has), but being completely still in the dark by the end of the first installment isn't something I find redeeming in a series.

I do hope that it gets better with each installment, and I do want to find out what happens to Hazel, Marko, Alana, and Izabel. I just wasn't in love with it as much as everyone else, and that just bums me out, seeing as this was my first real foray into graphic novels. Hopefully, as the story progresses and more is revealed, I start to enjoy it. But for now I am just meh.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane

Title: Ex-Factor
Series: Book #1 in Diamond Girls
Author: Elisa Dane
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Purchased E-book

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl. 

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it. 

But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died. 

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself. 

Ex-Factor is book 1 in the Diamond Girls series from Elisa Dane.

Okay, this is going to be my revises review. I have had some more time to think, and hopefully better form a better review! I would like to start off by saying that this book has so much in it, that to sit here and list it all in this review would take ages! It has so much depth and realness, and the writing is so well done that it makes you feel what the characters are feeling, and you feel like you are right there with the whole group of them! I haven't enjoyed a book in so long, heck, this is the first book I have finished in over 6 months! I was in such a huge reading slump, that no matter what I picked up, I couldn't get past the first few pages. I remember picking this trilogy up for super cheap on my kindle, and just decided that in February I was going to try and get through the first one, and I am so glad I did! I knew it was different when after about 4% I had to force myself to put it down to go to sleep! 

This story centers around Nevaeh Evans, and her journey. She has come to live with her Aunt and cousin Livvie. The circumstances behind why are revealed slowly throughout the book, so I will keep to what you know from the blurb. Her mother is hospitalized, or sent to live in a permanent home due to health issues, and her father has passed away recently. Nev has some guilt about events from her past, and it keeps her from living her life. She does her best, for her Aunt and cousin, and tries out for the cheer team that her cousin is a part of. This is a fairly small aspect of the book, but I think it adds a layer to the story. She meets new friends, as well as a few enemies. And through it, there's Bodie. Bodie Scott has his own past, and again, the details are slowly given to the reader, so I won't say much. At first Bodie seems to hate Nev, but as the story progresses, their relationship changes.

About the relationship. It did feel as if they rushed into things. One second Brodie was giving her nasty looks and snide remarks, and the next it was completely opposite. But honestly I don't feel as if that took from the story. It was a story about two high school students, and I felt as if they acted like they were high school students. The relationship was believable, and I felt that it played out well. I loved the fact that Elisa Dane included back story of more than just these two characters, and gave the 'side' characters depth as well. So much so, that I honestly hope there is going to be more than just three books, because there are so many other perspectives I would like to hear from (including Jackson and Haley, even Eli). Elisa Dane made each of the characters in this book real and well developed. It never felt like the story and the characters were purposefully placed for an overall outcome for Nev and Bodie. It felt as if Nev and Bodie's story evolved with the surrounding influences, and that was a huge selling point for me.

As I have said, this book is about Bodie and Nev. And these two characters have so much baggage, that you think they can't possibly overcome it. But this book, their journey, is so wonderful to read, even the horrible upsetting parts makes you want to keep reading. I fell for these two, and was rooting for them and crying with them the entire time. Bodie and Nev's story was amazing, and I highly recommend this book!

If you are thinking about reading this book, but think it's just another contemporary love story, think again. This book deals with some heavy issues,
like drunk driving, and it does it with grace. There is, like I mentioned earlier, a cheerleading aspect to this book, but honestly, it isn't the focal point. And it was so well incorporated into this book that is as just another part, and it didn't over power the storyline. I found that I enjoyed reading about the competitions, and looking up the moves the girls did. It was fun.

Short and sweet: read this book! It was great! I can't wait to continue on with Livvie's story. And look forward to many more future releases from this author! Elisa Dane might be my first contemporary auto buy author! She is an author that is highly talented and should be on each of your lists to look out for! :)