Friday, May 19, 2017

Manga Perspective: Beauty Vol. 1 + Beast Vol. 2

Everyone knows this "tale as old as time," and if you have not seen the Disney live version of their animated version, get to the theatre! However, what Tokyo Pop does with this manga is different in that we finally get to see the separate points of view of the two characters. By moving beyond the known tale through the use of manga, the Mallory Reaves offers up a new tale for a new time and a new generation. 

For the most part, the movie focuses on Belle's point of view so the manga version does not share any kind of new insight, but volume 2 from the Beast uses the genre of manga to fully exemplify Beast's fear, depression, anger and self-doubt through its darker drawing style and uneven shaped panels.

Another plus for the manga version is that I was not disappointed by the transformation of the Beast back to human form. He is a typical manga stylized hero. This type of hero does not usually translate well on screen, either animated or live. 

Finally, the "artist" notes at the end of the books are always a nice breaking of the third wall that appeals to me as a teacher who is interested in process as well as reflection on process. 

An advanced copy provided by Net and the publishers for an honest review. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sneak Peek: Once and For All

From the Publishers:
From Sarah Dessen, the beloved New York Times bestselling author of SAINT ANYTHING and JUST LISTEN, comes a new novel set in the world of wedding planning!
Is it really better to have loved and lost?  Louna's summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically.  But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged now that he's met the one he really  wants.  Maybe Louna's second chance is standing right in front of her.

 Sarah Dessen’s many fans will adore this latest novel, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story with humor, romance, and an ending that is so much more than happily-ever-after.

My Thoughts:
This is just a sneak peek so know that I am just providing my thoughts on the excerpt provided, but before I say that, let me tell  you a little bit about why I am even willing to read excerpts.

1. I have read Dessen before and think that she is an easy airplane read. Those kinds of reads are great to give my students who like to read fast and dirty, immerse quickly and then go searching hungrily for the next "ride." In other words, Author Recognition.

2. I live here:
Not literally homeless on the beach at Makena on Maui, but I live in Hawaiʻi. In fact, I live on the outer islands (outer islands just mean any of the islands that are not Oahu). What we lack on the outer islands are chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble. We had a Borders in Hilo, but you know how that story ends. Yes, we have multiple public libraries that offer both e-books and book books, but do you know how we get to live here? We work all the time. Availability.

3. Don't you miss the days when you could read for pleasure, under a tree or a large red umbrella and no one would look for you or bother you? Yeah, I don't have those days anymore and you would think that after my doctorate I could read for pleasure because my formal education is done, but no. That is not how it works. No one told me that being a lifelong learner and reader does not mean that you actually are given time to read what you want to read. What I have learned, though, is that the flight from Honolulu (Oahu) to my home in Hilo (Big Island) is 40 minutes long. With the new regulations that allow passengers to keep their electronics on as long as they are on airplane mode, I find that I can actually finish an excerpt on one leg of a trip. Instead of playing games on my iPad, I now read.  Effective Use of Captive Time.

Back to my thoughts. The main character, Louna, has a summer job working for her mother and her mother's partner as part of a three person wedding planner team. Something happened to Louna's first love but it's not in the excerpt. The result is she acts young, as in not confident and she acts old, as in bitter towards love. This is the biggest issue I have with a story that I really want to get into except for this one flaw. I don't know if I was reading too fast and missed it but I cannot settle on an age for this character. She is both immature or girlish and old and jaded at the same time. If she is right out of high school, is this first love tragedy really a tragedy? Even if she is in college, is this first love tragedy really a tragedy? I am not sure and of course the excerpt ends before anything gets revealed.

What is going for this book though is that it will suck readers in. Dessen has a writing style that is easy on the eyes (and the brain) so the immersion into these people's lives are swift. 

Would I read it when it comes out? Probably. I wouldn't write about it if I did not think I would continue reading. 

Publication date: June 6, 2017

Excerpt provided by Net Galley and the publisher Penguin Young Readers Group


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