Review: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney

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I’ve had my eye on this particular graphic memoir before, but decide just this past week to finally give it a go. I was beyond grateful to see myself so easily immerse into the intensely personal world presented in Marbles.

Darkly funny and intensely personal, Forney’s memoir provides a humorous but authentic glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through black-and-white graphic images and prose.Marbles 12-- bookspoils

I went into this expecting a similar kind of storytelling presented in Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, but this graphic novel ended up differing for me in its achingly honest representation of living with a mental illness, along with exploring the author’s bisexuality. It also raises to light the significance of answering questions through a mix of research, storytelling, and honesty. From exploring the stereotype behind the “crazy artist” to questioning if bipolar disorder & creativity are actually linked, and answering the big one of: “If I take meds to prevent my mood swings, am I choosing to be less creative?”.

This is a deeply complex, dark, personal, raw, fully fleshed graphic memoir unlike anything I’ve read in the past. Towards the end, in particular, when the issues raised were part medical, part philosophical was when the memoir left me most grounded.

“It was a relief to discover that aiming for a balanced life doesn’t mean succumbing to a boring one.”

And I think now is a good place to let the work speak for itself by sharing some of my favorite pieces:

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I’ll cherish this educational, eye-opening, and personal read for a long time to come. By the end of it, Ellen Forney even shares an accurate visual of reaching that dreaded ending in your favorite books:

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4/5 stars

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


Review: Happiness Is … 500 Things to Be Happy About by Lisa Swerling, Ralph Lazar

Happiness Is 16-- bookspoilsI came across this cute yellow collection in the bright tweet below and decided in that instant to hop on to read it as soon as possible. And since I’d already read (and reviewedHappiness Is … 500 Ways to Be in the Moment, I went on knowing what to except, more or less. Plus, these kind of vibrant collections somehow always arrive at the right exact time for my headspace.

This adorable gift book illustrates 500 things to be happy about. Happiness is . . . an unexpected bouquet, watching the sea, fixing something, a good high five, and so much more! The charming, make-you-smile illustrations hit just the right note—not too sappy, not too sweet—and remind us that there are dozens of things to be happy about every day.

Some of my favorite little moments captured in this book include:

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My face right now.

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I read through it in a whirlwind. These kind of collections never fail to brighten up up my day, and I’m beyond thankful that they exist. Plus, the ongoing use of the color yellow throughout this happy book fit like a glove.

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Happiness Is … 500 Things to Be Happy About, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

Review: Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 by Carly Usdin

I found this girl-power comic at the back of Misfit City #2 nearly two months ago and was immediately intrigued by the beautiful cover and premise of “a music-infused, action-adventure series that takes rock ’n’ roll fandom out of the record store and into the streets.”Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 1-- bookspoilsNew Jersey, 1998. Chris has just started the teen dream job: working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store. She’s prepared to deal with anything-misogynistic metalheads, grunge wannabes, even a crush on her wicked cute co-worker, Maggie. But when Rory Gory, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show in town, Chris finds out her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl…her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!

So my expectations were set pretty high for this first issue, just because Hi-Fi Fight Club had such a unique and promising setting. Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 2-- bookspoilsBut this introducing piece felt more like a setting-everything-up-for-future-issues than something of its own where we get to see the girls together just talking and hanging out. But since it’s only issue #1 and I know that my expectations are way too high, I’m going easy on it.

I am excited, however, to see what the follow-up pieces will entail for our group of strong female individuals. I’m just hoping we’ll get to see some character building between the girls. (I’m pretty stoked about Irene, Kennedy, and Dolores.)

3.5/5 stars

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying Hi-Fi Fight Club #1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!