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The Princess Diaries
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God Save the Queen - Mike Carey, John Bolton
God Saves The Queen is a high concept story about fairy heroin, a mythic revolution and the 70s punk scene (well, it's supposed to be about the modern punk scene-but really, the author didn't have time for any research). Unfortunately, its concept falls flat on its face. This is partly due to Carey's writing, and partly due to Bolton's illustrations.

Let's get this out of the way- Bolton's illustrations are gorgeous. They're like paintings, really-but they have no movement. This doesn't lie solely in Bolton's hands, of course, as he wasn't given much room to make them move (even the climatic battle scene hardly starts). I felt that if Bolton could have added a little more movement, it would've made the entire book better, though there could have been a better distinction between Fairy and... the real world?

The lettering certainly doesn't help things. I hate any font I have to strain to read, which includes literally every handwriting font ever. Seriously, who writes in those things? I would've preferred Comic Sans for her diary.

As for the story? It just... didn't click. There were so many individual elements I should've loved (seriously, heroin with half-human half-fairy blood in? That's so out there it's in a league of its own), but when packed together into a 92-page comic didn't feel deep enough. I wanted to know more about... horse, or whatever the drug was called. I wanted to know more about the previous revolution. I wanted to know more about the inhabitants of Fairy. I'm sure some sort of author could have balanced these elements, but Carey isn't that author (which is strange, as I thought the first Tommy Taylor volume- I haven't got onto the rest-was pretty great). Also, I was fairly sure it was supposed to be about punk at first, but it kind of discarded that element pretty quickly, and left us with an outdated relic of a title.

I don't know what made God Saves The Queen fall so flat to me while others loved it. Maybe it was the characters, or the art, or even the lettering. All I know is that it just never fully clicked.

Rating: one star out of six

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The Animals of Farthing Wood - Colin Dann
[This review is part of my 30 Day Book Challenge - a book that reminds me of someone]

The Animals of Farthing Wood is an epic. An honest-to-god lengthy-narrative epic poem, except without the poetry part. Which maybe defeats the entire purpose of calling it an epic poem. In any case, it feels like an epic. It's to do with a bunch of animals, foxes and badgers and mice, having to relocate from one park to another. That makes it sounds really simple, which it isn't. It's an epic.

It draws these vivid characters; wise, cocky, mysterious characters (though not all at once-for example, with Badger, the wise man, if I remember correctly, he's not so mysterious-that's reserved for Vixen-Fox's true love). The journey takes them through thick and thin, through times that suck, and times that don't-and it takes them through the city. It forces them to confront what the natural world has become-man's world.

It sounds moral-heavy, and it probably is, but when you're a kid, you don't focus on that. You don't focus on anything of the sort. Just the journey they're taken on, and the characters that go along with it.

What I remember most, however, isn't the characters, or the plot. This book was the last book my parents read to me (not because of any tragedy, I was just getting a little too old for it), and, in some ways, it was the perfect book to stop on. It was about heroes, and death, and most of all, the end of innocence.

Rating: four and a half out of six stars.

The Islands of Chaldea - Diana Wynne Jones

The Islands of Chaldea - Ursula Jones, Diana Wynne Jones

The Islands of Chaldea is a bittersweet little book-mostly because it is Wynne Jones' last. It was published posthumously, and it wasn't completely when it was found, and thus it had to be completed by her sister, herself a children's author. It takes place in an alternate universe Great Britain, where all the countries are separated by water-but water is not the only thing that separates them. Culture does too-and a magical barrier put up by Logra (England) ten years before. It concerns a quest involving the heir to a powerfully gifted (in magic, of course) family named Aileen, and her companions-Ivar, a prince of Skarr (her Scotland), Aunt Beck, her aunt and a powerfully gifted wise woman, and Ogo, an stranded Logran-to take down Logra's barrier. Well, originally. They also pick up passengers from the three islands they visit in the meantime (Bernica, her representation of Ireland, Gallis, her representation of Wales and Lone, maybe a representation of Orkney and the Isle of Man).

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iZombie Vol. 4: Repossessed

iZombie Vol. 4: Repossessed - Chris Roberson [This review is part of my 30 Day Challenge - a book that made you laugh out load]

[This is a review of the entire series]

iZombie is a quirky supernatural romp, that had me laughing at several points - especially the introduction of Spot/Scott as a wereterrier. It starts off with the introduction of Gwendylon "Gwen" Dylan (and yes, I'm fairly sure that is meant to be an awful pun-I was hoping that would be brought up at some point, but it was just taken at face value).

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Norwegian wood. Tokyo blues

Norwegian wood. Tokyo blues - Giorgio Amitrano, Haruki Murakami This feels like a spiritual successor, of sorts, to [b:The Catcher in the Rye|5107|The Catcher in the Rye|J.D. Salinger||3036731]. While Catcher is most certainly a breezier read, taking place over a few days and 277 pages, as opposed to Norwegian Wood's year and 386 pages, it's hard to tell which has more emotional depth; Catcher's depressive crisis or Norwegian Wood's slow, mellow depression.

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Runaways, Vol. 10: Rock Zombies

Runaways, Vol. 10: Rock Zombies - Takeshi Miyazawa, Terry Moore [This review is day two in my 30 Day Book Challenge - my least favourite book]

With Runaways: Rock Zombies it is no hyperbole when I say it is the worst book I have ever read. It is about an evil radio DJ who uses a piece of techno music to turn everyone with plastic surgery into a zombie. It is as ridiculous as it sounds, if not more. Perhaps this would work better as a stand-alone, and not almost directly after an incredibly good 48-issue run.

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Sorta Like a Rock Star

Sorta Like a Rock Star - Matthew Quick I've been putting this off for a long time, and perhaps for a good reason (since May 22nd, apparently). This is one of the two books that have ever made me cry; the other is [b:The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie|82781|The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie (Ashbury/Brookfield, #3)|Jaclyn Moriarty||1006125], which, in hindsight, is probably a dumb book to lose your book-crying virginity too. I have no idea what about that book hit me that hard, but, goddamn, I know what hit me about this one.

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Daytripper - Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, Craig Thompson, Dave Stewart, Sean Konot Daytripper is a book that starts off quite simply and, to be honest, it ends simply. It's about Brás, an obituary writer turned author, and the cast of characters that make up his life; Ana, Jorge, his parents, his son, his dog. I'm probably understating it a lot.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak why does this book exist? let's see what's first of its many sins... how about encouraging muteness and tantrums in young children? how about encouraging children to run away? my fifteen year old immediately ran away from me after i let him read this book... max in this book was clearly in a drug-induced wet dream.

Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss why did sam i am make the man eat green eggs and ham? were green eggs and ham a new drug? why did the man give in? is he going to live alone? sucking cock for a taste of the sweet sweet green? or go even further...?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle well... i think the hungry caterpillar is a little too hungry to be believable. am i supposed to believe that this caterpillar can just turn into a butterfly whenever the fuck it wants? overall, too cutesy to be believable. rating: no stars

A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today

A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today - Kate Bornstein I've never read anything else by Kate Bornstein, and honestly? I don't think I'll ever need to. This biography is tell all as looking straight into her mind (I hope? What more fucked up things could she have in there?). She's writing this for her child and grandchild and they've certainly got some things to catch up on (like the fact their mother/grandmother became a willing sex slave, I suppose)!

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Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell [This review is part of my 30 Day Book Challenge - a comfort read]

While I'm tempted to say Fire & Hemlock as my comfort read just for the laziness, I have to admit a better comfort read is Fangirl. Fangirl is a short and sweet read, and it quickly drags you into its world, where sweetness reigns and struggle is rarely seen.

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The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie

The Murder Of Bindy Mackenzie - Jaclyn Moriarty Becoming Bindy Mackenzie is the first book that made me cry (that I can remember, anyway- perhaps The Cat in the Hat was a real tearjerker when I was young). This was probably for a variety of reasons-most importantly, that it was very early in the morning when I read it. It's not a good book to cry to-it's a funny book with small smears of sadness, about a socially awkward girl who gets put in a class she didn't want to be in.

It starts off incredibly slowly, and it's fairly boring at that point-as you would expect for a book about a girl with no friends. Bindy makes mountains out of molehills (she hates just about everyone in her FAD group-mostly for being loud), and molehills out of mountains (she refuses to go to the doctor for some ongoing illness, as she doesn't believe glandular fever exists). At this point, the book is a strange look into some poor girl's head.

However, it picks up the pace as we learn of the cause of Bindy's mysterious illness, and the details of her family life. We learn about all of the students in the FAD group with Bindy, and Bindy herself grows into someone who could have friends-as opposed to her original, brisk self.

The greatest thing about Becoming Bindy Mackenzie to me was its ability to switch from sad to funny. At one minute I was laughing at Bindy's messed up worldview, and then crying at the way others treated her (like I said, I was very tired).

Rating: four and a half stars (mostly taken for the incredibly lengthy first half)

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Fire and Hemlock

Fire and Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones [This review is day one in my 30 Day Book Challenge - my favourite book]

I first read Fire & Hemlock when I was around nine. Since then, I'd estimate that I've read it anywhere between five and seven times. Each time, it has enthralled me, and, on my third reading (probably around ten), I promptly decided it was my favourite book-because some people don't reread any book twice, and I've read this one three times. While this was not the most times I'd reread a book (it was tied with my Hans Christian Andersen treasury), it was certainly the most times I'd reread a book and enjoyed it so much.

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