12 November 2016

Review: I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After

I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my favorite comic in a while.

The idea is very simple. A girl slips into Fairyland and is placed on an adventure to get back home. The problem is that she is exceptionally bad at the quest, and is still stuck there 20-odd years later. Basically, she has become Fairyland's worst nightmare, and her reign of terror is basically ceaseless.

The comic is basically terrible things happening to fantastical creatures and the terrible ways they try to reply. It's super violent, but hilariously so, and I am more of the "sensible chuckle" style of reader when it comes to funny stuff and this one had me legitimately laughing out loud. The art is great, the jokes funny, and the plot unpredictable.

I can't wait for volume 2. Get your hands on this one.

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Review: The Best Possible Answer

The Best Possible Answer The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Closer to a 3.5.

There's a lot of room in the "life is falling apart" for teen reading these days, and The Best Possible Answer takes a slightly different path, highlighting a girl who is smart and can achieve a lot, but much of her life is spiraling out of her control and she needs to do what she can to cope.

I liked the realism and the way she dealt with one of the key issues of the book. I didn't love that the way the narrative is structured means that there wasn't enough time to really dive into a lot of the scenes. I found the characters surrounding our main character not all that realistic, but I enjoyed the read enough on a whole to let that go by.

This is a solid read, and much better than Kottaras's last book. I want to love her books and I have a lot of hope for the next one, but this one might require some care.

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Review: Crosstalk

Crosstalk Crosstalk by Connie Willis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I hated this book.

I shouldn't be so harsh, but it's true. This is a great idea by a great author that would make a great short story - people getting implants of a sort to forge a more significant bond with their loved one, and the bond goes a little wrong. The idea has intrigue, corporate malfeasance, societal questions, and all sorts of goodies.

It also has about 400 pages of extra fluff that add little to the story and pull us away from the best parts.

The flaw in this book is that this is a tight tale with a lot of positives going for it, but the middle drags so much. It's meant to flesh out the setting and the characters, but it was wholly unnecessary and ended up pulling the entire narrative into a slow, plodding mess. By the time things picked up again toward the end, it was harder and harder for me to care.

Willis is a great author because she creates rich worlds with rich characters to inhibit them. The problem here is less what's good about this story and more about the overall misfire. I would love to read this book in a shorter format, but, as it is right now, I'd argue it just needs to be avoided.

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