Review: Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt, Isabelle Arsenault

In this powerful new graphic novel from Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault, we meet Louis, a young boy who shuttles between his alcoholic dad and his anxious mom, and who, with the help of his best friend, tries to summon up the courage to speak to his true love, Billie.Louis Undercover 5-- bookspoils

I’ve been eyeing Fanny Britt’s work for awhile now, so I jumped on the opportunity to read her newest release in collaboration with Isabelle Arsenault’s vivid and evocative art. Plus, the promise of exploring a topic as critical and crucial as having an alcoholic parent in graphic novel format had me on my toes.

Speaking of which, here’s some pieces that had the same heart-stopping effect on me:

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Louis Undercover 4-- bookspoilsThe shop window in the background had me hypnotized.
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Louis Undercover 10-- bookspoilsI weeped when he described her as “a gorgeous cactus.” Nothing but the highest of compliments.

All this to say that the author and illustrator have really outdone themselves with this one. Both the art and the accompanying text had me encompassed within the graphic novel. The tone and themes explored in here delivered everything I wanted, from love to hatred to indifference and so much more.

I’m eager to see what Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault will collaborate on next; you can count on me to keep up.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: October 1st, 2017

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Louis Undercover, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

I went into this graphic novel a bit wary, since I had read Telgemeier’s Smile and wasn’t the biggest fan… But with this newest addition I was ecstatic to find that Drama was nothing like I’d anticipated.Drama 8-- bookspoilsCallie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

The characters in this comic seemed a lot more mature to me than the ones in Smile, so I was surprised to find that they were mostly just 7th and 8th graders. On a totally separate note, Drama had a number of enjoyable moments that left me grinning from ear to ear. The tons of laugh-out-loud moments, plus the cast of characters being a bunch of loving and dedicated kids kept me satisfied from start to finish.Drama 4-- bookspoils

Also:

  • The color schemes and palettes in Drama were vibrant, spellbinding, and incredibly fitting to the ongoing theme.

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  • I loved getting an inside look to what happens behind the theatre stage. It reminded me a lot of this incredible video I watched awhile back but still think about:
  • The exploration of sexuality and coming out. I’m sad we didn’t get to see it from the character’s perspective, but still… I loved the turn of events that lead to this iconic moment:

Drama 6-- bookspoilsDream big, kids.

  • This iconic clap-back:

Drama 11-- bookspoilsThis Callie girl is bold, like the time she auditioned for fun in front of everybody to calm down Jesse’s nerves. I love her. Drama 10-- bookspoils

On that note, I’ll wrap up my review to say one last thing: Drama is a noteworthy graphic novel jam-packed with kids full of talent, courage, and dedication. I’m excited to check out more works by Raina Telgemeier in the near future.

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Drama, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann

I was looking for something comforting and light to read when I couldn’t fall asleep in the middle of the night, and then I see the completely stunning cover of this picture book and was instantly enchanted…Leaf-- bookspoils

When a polar bear arrives unexpectedly in the woods, the animals fear and avoid him, suspecting him to be dangerous – and his habit of collecting leaves only adds to their distrust. Then one day, they watch as he attempts to fly over the water with wings made of colorful leaves…just trying to go home.

Maybe he needs some help?

This tale of acceptance gently highlighting the plight of polar bears in today’s changing climate had me enraptured from start to finish.

I genuinely can’t stop thinking of the utterly vibrant illustrations in here. Like, I tried to close my eyes after reading and all I could see were the lively colors springing up in my mind over and over. Here’s a handful of examples of said occurrence:Leaf 1-- bookspoils

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Sandra Dieckmann’s debut picture book about helping outsiders is one heart-warming tale I’d highly recommend.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication: October 10th, 2017

4/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Leaf, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!