Friday, March 16, 2018

Really Short Reviews: Ghosts, Cats, and Dressmakers

The Prince and the Dressmaker
Jen Wang
Release: February 13, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

This graphic novel is the most heartwarming graphic novel I've read in a while. There's something so delightful and whimsical about this story of a seamstress with dreams of being a great fashion designer and a prince with dreams of wearing those designs. The friendship in this books is what makes the story as magical as it is. I loved how this book approached the topic of identity and deconstructed accepted gender norms. Also, the illustrations were very excellently done and complimented the story well.

  4 / 5 Stars

Archival Quality
Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz
Release: March 20, 2018
After losing her job at the library, Celeste "Cel" Walden starts working at the haunting Logan Museum as an archivist. But the job may not be the second chance she was hoping for, and she finds herself confronting her mental health, her relationships, and before long, her grasp on reality as she begins to dream of a young woman she's never met, but feels strangely drawn to. Especially after she asks Cel for help…

As Cel attempts to learn more about the woman, she begins losing time, misplacing things, passing out—the job is becoming dangerous, but she can't let go of this mysterious woman. Who is she? Why is she so fixated on Cel? And does Cel have the power to save her when she's still trying to save herself?

I've been waiting to get my hands on this graphic novel since it was announced. As much as I was into the story of a girl working at a haunted museum and trying to find out information about a ghost that is haunting her, I unfortunately I found the execution pretty meh. I wanted to love it. I did. But I just was bored throughout the whole thing. Plus, the ending felt rushed and anti-climatic.

I did love the character designs and how diverse the cast was though. Unfortunately, they just felt flat to me. I also liked the mental health rep in this graphic novel and how the author explored how people with mental health conditions have been treated and mistreated throughout psychiatric history. I can see lots of people really liking this but it just wasn't for me.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  2.5 / 5 Stars

Herding Cats
(Sarah's Scribbles #3)
Sarah Andersen
Release: March 27, 2018
Sarah's Scribbles,  Goodreads Choice Award for 2016:  Best Graphic Novels & Comics

". . . author Sarah Andersen uses hilarious (and adorable) comics to illustrate the very specific growing pains that occur on your way to becoming a mature, put-together grownup. Andersen’s spot-on illustrations also show how to navigate this newfound adulthood once you arrive, since maturity is equally as hard to maintain as it is to find … "
--The Huffington Post

Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah's Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing.

I have loved each and every Sarah Scribble's collection made and this one was no different. I always find her content to be funny, relatable, and relevant. I know when I pick up a book by Sarah Andersen that I will come out of reading it in a better mood and with sore sides from laughing. I'd recommend these comic based on their hilarity alone.

This collection also included an essay portion about Making Stuff in our Modern Era that I found to be an interesting read and super relatable. We've all come across trolls on the internet but it was interesting to see the creator side of things as the author talked about her anxiety and exposing one's self on the internet when everyone is a critic. It made for a thoughtful read.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen
Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen

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