Over the past few months, I've been trying to read more manga to have a better idea of what a great one would be to nominate for the Mav list, so after some searching, begging and comic-book store and library scouring, I present to you-the first manga I've ever read -RWBY by Shirow Mawa.
The story is simple, four kids attend Beacon academy, where they train to be hunters and huntresses of Grim-monsters that live on Earth and harm humans. The first letter of each team member's name make the team name RWBY for Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang. There is a backstory to each member of team RWBY, but the drawings made it difficult to differentiate between flashback and the actual story.
The illustrations are solely in black and white and there are many KCHA and SNG sound effects that don't seem to make sense unless you read them out loud. The team goes out to hunt (don't know how or why that happened but it did and we later find out that this was a training simulation put on by the "educators" at Beacon) and find a group of four Grim-snakes with impenetrable armor who morph into one super-Grim. Team RWBY must work together (despite their leader who only seems to be concerned with weapons and making up names for combat moves) to save the community from this monster.
Overall, I don't think that I would read this again or continue the series because I was lost in illustrations, but I'm just a manga NOOB.
OOMMGGG!! THE POET X is everything that Hispanic girls need right now. Elizabeth Acevedo tells the story of Xiomara (See-oh-MAH-ruh),a twin born fighting angry. Her mother constantly gets after her for the way that men look at her (which she can't help) and wants X to be a devout Catholic, like she is. The interaction between X and her mom felt familiar in not just a Hispanic family dynamic but with any teenage girl and her mother. X keeps a journal where she writes poems that are never meant to see the light of day.
X has never been interested in the attention that she gets from boys, but when she meets her lab partner, Aman, who is quiet but listens to her poems and doesn't push her to do more than she is ok with, X starts to develop feelings that make her question everything that she's ever been taught.
Xiomara's English teacher, Ms. Galiano notices X's potential and invites her to a poetry club and eventual poetry slam. After some catastrophic events, X finally gives in and allows herself to be heard.
This book will leave everyone teary-eyed and wanting more from X. Her poems are honest and full of life that you can't help but feel what she is feeling and cheer for the outcome that X deserves. This book is a perfect reflection of those crazy mixed-up feelings that we have as teenagers and is a light in what seems like a dark time for Hispanic girls.
Today's vlog is super awesome because it features TWO books:
1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky ALbertalli, and
2. Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova. (Bruja Born was so awesome that I had to review it twice. (Read the blog review here.)
This second instalment of the Brooklyn Brujas series was SO MUCH BETTER than the first! Where the first book felt too fast and missed opportunities, BRUJA BORN was WONDERFUL! I felt so much closer to this character, Lula, then I did to Alex. Where Alex was quick-tempered, Lula was thoughtful. She felt how things would affect not just herself, but her family, which was one of the things that I didn't like about Alex, but all three of the sisters seem to have grown in this book.
Lula, the oldest of the Mortiz sisters, has just been broken up with before boarding the bus to the district championship soccer game with her friends and teammates. On the way to the game, there is a terrible accident and everyone is killed except for Lula. In the hospital, she and her sisters stop death from coming for Macks, Lula's (ex) boyfriend and create a much bigger problem than 28 dead teenagers-they end up keeping them all from fully dying and creating an army of "casimuertos" or non-dead people who live off of human hearts and can't pass on. Lula has to figure out how to help these casimiertos move on from this world BEFORE they destroy all of New York, and free Lady de la Muerte-Lady Death-who is trapped between worlds.
The whole "having to find the Spear of Death" piece of the story honestly felt a bit unnecessary, but I see how it made the family and community have to come together to help Lula. The scenes leading up to finding the spear and returning it to La Muerte felt rushed, but great and anticipatory nonetheless.
Overall, the book had a very familiar feel as the movie Practical Magic, but with more culture and history embedded which I appreciated. Strong female lead characters, a great family theme, and plenty of magic gave this book five stars. My favorite thing about this book that the first didn't have was how there are other magical groups at play in New York that are both for regulatory purposes but also that help keep the non-magical people safe as well as some hinting as to where Lula and Alex' father was while he was "gone."
Zoraida Cordova outdid herself with this story; my only complaint is having to wait for the next one!
I loved I DISSENT! It was very well written and easy for young readers to understand. It beautifully illustrates the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her journey to becoming the first Jewish Woman to be a Supreme Court Justice. I DISSENT not only showed how nothing stopped Ruth from success but that along the way she learned that we don't always get what we want, and "...that sometimes life was like that" (Levy 11). Overall, it is a beautiful biography that many can learn from.
I actually really enjoyed this book! I couldn’t put it down. Mega Princess is super cute and incredibly relatable despite being a princess. Mega Princess shows that a princess can be more than just frilly dresses and riding horses. This princess wants to be a detective and does so by finding her lost baby brother when he has been abducted. She demonstrates strength, good character, and poise in the faces of danger and adversity. She also will show students how to work with others in dire times that they don't normally get along with. She’s Fierce and fearless-just what girls need right now 💛
Five stars! I loved this retelling of The Great Gatsby! As long as you don't focus so much on the Retelling part and focus on the actual story, it's a great one! I loved the attention to detail in the story that really helped me to visualize just how beautiful the settings and people in the book were. I also really enjoyed Naomi's character growth as she enters the Hamptons as a slightly rebellious teen to a young woman who knows the difference between who she thinks she is and who she knows she is. Loved it!