Monday, July 27, 2015

Assassination Classroom Volume 1 by Yusei Matsui

Title: Assassination Classroom
Series: Volume 1
Author/Art: Yusei Matsui

RATING: 3 STARS

Meet the would-be assassins of class 3-E: Sugino, who let his grades slip and got kicked off the baseball team. Karma, who's doing well in his classes but keeps getting suspended for fighting. And Okuda, who lacks both academic and social skills, yet excels at one subject: chemistry. Who has the best chance of winning that reward? Will the deed be accomplished through pity, brute force or poison...? And what chance does their teacher have of repairing his students' tattered self-esteem?

~MY THOUGHTS!~

This was my very first manga, and unfortunately it was meh for me.

The first volume kind of introduces the reader to the scene, and gives us a quick overview of what is happening to the world, and what the villain, Koro Sensei, intends to do. We aren't given a lot of details on the how/why, or when really (that is just a vague date of graduation), and that might be a bit of my first problem. I felt like the assassins were introduced to the teacher, who wants to kill or destroy the Earth, but also wants to teach this class of misfits and outcasts. The students of 3-E are kind of separated from the other students because of poor behavior or lowered academic performance. They are put into this sub par class to kind of scare other students from making the same mistakes.

They were given there ultimate goal, and that is to kill the teacher. But we aren't, and really they aren't, given much else. We are led to believe that there is an organization who are pulling all the strings, but that is only barely touched upon until almost the end of this first volume. 

Another issue I had that detracted from the enjoyment level was the receptiveness of the storyline. Each chapter we started off the same way, and almost the same wording. Introducing the assassins and who there target was and so on. I felt that this was unnecessary and really took from the story. It kind of made the volume read more disjointed, rather than a smooth story arc. 

I am interested in seeing what happens in the next volume, and hopefully it picks up and I fall in love like so many others! I did really enjoy the art style of this manga. I felt that that was a huge selling point for me on this series, and giving it another go. I kind of worry that the receptiveness will continue, if not for the literal word for word repeats that happen at the beginning of each chapter, but also with how the students go about trying to kill the teacher. 

One thing I want to point out that I really enjoyed was that even though Koro Sensei is planning on destroying the Earth at some point in the future, when he teaches the children, his lessons are genuine. And a lot of the times, he "assists" the children in ways to kill him that help that student grow personally. I liked that little aspect of the storyline. 

I do plan on continuing on with the second volume, as well as trying out other manga. This wasn't the best of starts for this series or manga in general for me, but I am ever hopeful! Here is to hoping that Volume 2 is AMAZING! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Title: Smart Girls Get What They Want
Author: Sarah Strohmeyer

RATING: 0 STARS (DNF)

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren't the most popular girls in school, they aren't too worried. They know their real lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents)! But when an unexpected event shows them they're missing out on the full high school experience, it's time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge—and they will totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she'll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . .
 

~MY THOUGHTS~

I really wanted a light contemporary read for the summer. I just had this urge to read cute contemporary books about high school students falling in love. So, I picked this one up. I liked the concept that the main character was a smart girl, instead of your average let's act dumb so he likes me more kind. 

Sadly, this book just wasn't for me. I don't know if my mood changed, or what. But I couldn't connect with the characters or the story. So, I finally cut my losses and DNFed. I hate not finishing books, but at the same time there are so many out there that I will enjoy, that I couldn't keep reading this for another week, because at the rate I was going, it would have taken that long, or more to finish. 

I am adding this towards my Goodreads goal because I got so far in as well as the time invested in reading. But I won't post any ratings, as I didn't completely finish the book.

To add, I will give this author another chance. I want to give her writing a fair chance, so if another book grabs my attention (or  I can snag from the library like in this case), I will pick it up! :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chew Issue #1 by John Layman

Title: Chew 
Series: Issue #1
Author: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory

RATING: 4 STARS

Tony Chu is a cop with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. It also means he's a hell of a detective, as long as he doesn't mind nibbling on the corpse of a murder victim to figure out whodunit, and why. It's a dirty job, and Tony has to eat terrible things in the name of justice. And if that wasn't bad enough, the government has figured out Tony Chu's secret. They have plans for him... whether he likes it or not.

~MY THOUGHTS~

I have been hearing about this graphic novel/comic all over BookTube. So, after I had tested the waters of a few before this one, I picked up the first issue and gave it a go. I really loved the concept of the main character, Tony Chu (I laughed for a bit on that one...clever, clever), being able to find out who committed the murder and why by eating a victim. It interested me, so I picked it up.

And I did really enjoy this comic...I just felt like something was missing. I don't know what it was, but it just kind of flew under the awesome spectrum for me. I want to know more, and keep reading, and it was above average, especially the artwork, so I gave it 4 stars. I really want to love this series, because I love the concept...and it has outlawed chicken in this world! What isn't to love? 

I think I kind of got a little lost by the addition of Chu's partner in this issue, because as far as I know, he played such a small role that it was almost pointless to include him. As well as the F.D.A. I know they play a HUGE roll in this series, but I just was confused because the organization wasn't well laid out..at least in this issue. So, maybe those were the issues I had and why it was knocked down a star. But I still feel like something else was missing.

I will continue on, at least to the next issue and see how Tony plays into the F.D.A. and what plans they have for using Tony's "gift". Hopefully more is explained!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Big Con Job Issue #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady

Title: The Big Con Job
Series: Issue #1
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady
Artist: Dominike Stanton

Rating: 5 Stars

After working the same convention circuit for many years, a group of flabby action heroes, aging sex symbols, and sci-fi bit players have become close friends as they watch their lines get shorter and their autographs get cheaper. That is, until they hire a cocky new booking agent who offers them their only chance at a comfortable retirement by robbing one of the largest cons in the country!

~MY THOUGHTS~
I picked this up on a complete whim. I was already at the comic store, trying to pick up a lot of different series to test the waters of what I will and will not enjoy. I saw this cover, and thought, why not. And I am so glad I got it! It was such a fun ride! 

When I first started this issue, I was a little hesitant about the story. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but it was a solid 3 stars...maybe 4 since I am so new to comics. That ending, though. It completely turned this story around, and because I loved it and am now completely invested in the story...it is getting a 5 stars from me! 

This story follows a group of aged movie heroes. From the cover, I thought they were actual superheroes...but after the first panel it is clear that they are actors in famous shows, and they play superheroes or scientists in varying different shows that garnered a cult following. It shows them doing the convention scene, and kind of how they have all hit snags in life. As well as not a lot of followers in the new age. 

I loved this concept. It is an interesting one to think about, and I liked that we got to see into the lives of a few of these characters, and more than just a surface introduction, like I was expecting. I would have liked to know more about all the players in this group, but maybe that is being saved for future issues. I think there are 3 more slated for the entire storyline.

I'm new to comics, like I said in my last review (We Stand On Guard), so I"m finding my ropes around what should and will be included in single issues. Since they are so small, we obviously won't be getting the entire picture, so I'm trying to keep that in mind when rating. Usually, in a book series, if I don't get like a TON of information about all my favorite characters and at least a few answers, I knock down a few stars...but with single issues I can't do that because the point is that they are so short and the issues come out monthly, so I won't be waiting too long for my answers.

I am looking forward to getting the second issue and finding out what happens with this crew of old actors trying to navigate the new convention scene.

Monday, July 13, 2015

We Stand On Guard Issue #1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: We Stand On Guard
Series: Issue #1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Steve Skroce

Rating: 5 Stars

SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and MATRIX storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for an action-packed military thriller that will have everyone talking. 100 years from now, a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion...by the United States of America! The hyper-detailed combat between badass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots begins with a spectacular 40-PAGE FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!


~MY THOUGHTS~


This storyline, had me after the opening backstory! I just...words escape me!

I am new to comics, so I'm not well versed on the whole of what should or shouldn't be in a first issue. As well, I don't have a multitude of previously read series to compare this one too. I just have this one, this beautiful introduction into a series that I am eagerly anticipating picking up each day it is released! And I'm fine with that. I love my newness to this medium of storytelling. And I want to share with you all what I thought!

This opens up with what appears to be Canada having bombed the White House...and in true US fashion, the retaliation that ensues. The world that follows seems to be militarian controlled...but it's too soon to say. And we aren't entirely sure if Canada did indeed bomb the White House, or if there is a hidden agenda! But I can't wait to find out!

The technology in this world is way intriguing and scary realistic! I can see these machines cropping up, and I think that is why I took to this series so much! It is just so realistic! 

I thought this was a great opening issue to Amber and the rebellion group. I look forward to more and can't wait until August 5th for the second issue. I say pick this one up guys, it's that AMAZING! :)