Like Bree, I also participated in a Graphic Novel reading challenge for the month of July. You can see her post here for even more graphic novel thoughts.
This one was hosted on Instagram by Nat (readalongwithnat on IG) and Cierra (onedetailedteacher on IG). You can check out the challenge here & if you’re on Instagram check out the hosts because they have great content!
They made a bingo board and then the goal was to complete as many of the squares as possible. I completed 7/9 which I was pretty happy with.
The nine squares were a nonfiction graphic novel, a graphic novel with disability rep, a manga, a graphic novel that made you cry, a graphic novel recommended by a friend, a graphic novel with queer rep, a graphic novel with a heroine, a graphic novel written/drawn by a BOPIC, and a graphic novel that made you laugh. I completed # which
Here are my thoughts on each of the titles. Shoutout to my libraries for having copies of these because I borrowed all of them from the library.
So! On to the mini reviews!
NONFICTION – Guantanamo Voices edited by Sarah Mirk
I randomly came across Guantanamo Voice: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison at one of my online libraries and I’m so glad I read it. I learned a lot that I did not know and this offered me a new understanding of Guantanamo. This one came into my life at the right moment as I had already been thinking about morality, human nature, laws, and the intersection of all of that and this book really is the personification of all of those things. I’m going to sit with this one for awhile.
I loved how each person’s story was illustrated by a different artist and the way each story was told. Almost all of them end quite abruptly and they don’t have happy endings because they are real stories.
TW: torture, racism, islamophobia,
I want to include all the illustrators too: Gerardo Alba, Kasia Babis, Alex Beguez,Tracy Chahwan, Nomi Kane, Omar Khouri , Kane Lynch, Maki Naro , Hazel Newlewant, Jeremy Nguyen, Chelsea Saunders, Abu Zubayda.
WITH DISABILITY REP – Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu
This is a cute graphic novel that follows a girl with magic who wears hearing aids and a nonbinary werwolf. I can’t speak on the accuracy of the representation, but it was lovely to see it just accepted on all fronts. I didn’t follow the plot or the magic too well, but the art style was so cozy and gorgeous that I still had a fun time reading this one. It also has been on my TBR forever so it was nice to check it off.
A MANGA – The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondō & illustrated by Yuko Uramoto
Like most people, I am familiar with Marie Kondō and her practices, but I saw this at the library and since I had never read a manga before, this seemed like a good first step. This follows Marie Kondō helping a woman tidy up her apartment as a cute little story and I actually quite enjoyed it. I was familiar with her practices and think that this would be a good entry point if you were not.
HEROINE – Lore Olympus (Volume 2) by Rachel Smythe
The art in this graphic is simply stunning! I adore how Smythe uses color to show who the characters are and it’s such a quick read. I would love a tad more plot and I’m bummed I have to wait to read the rest of the volumes (even though I know I could read them online), but I really enjoy holding a physical copy for this series.
REC’D BY A FRIEND – The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
[recommended by sydneys.books on IG]
This one was so cute and wholesome! I loved how quick I fell into the story and how face paced the story is. There isn’t much text and are tons of gorgeous illustrations so it goes by quick! I loved the ending and the overall message.
ONE THAT MADE ME CRY – The Crossover by Kwame Alexander & illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
ONE THAT MADE ME LAUGH – Heartstopper (Volume 4) by Alice Oseman
Bree reviewed the entire Heartstopper series awhile ago, you can check that out here. I read the first three volumes last year, but never picked this one up when it released. I’m finally glad I gave this one a go because it was so cute and emotional, but in such a good way. I love all these characters and can’t wait to read more from this world.
TW: self harm, eating disorder, hospitalization/treatment for above
Okay I technically didn’t read new graphic novels to meet the last two prompts (Written/Drawn by a BIPOC person or Queer rep), but many of the titles that I read fit into those categories anyways so I’m not *too* upset I didn’t get blackout on my bingo board.
What are some of your favorite graphic novels?