Book Review: Gray Horses

Gray Horses

Hope Larson

Oni Press

112 pages

Noemie is an exchange student from France living in the US.  The plotline is pretty simple and uninvolved.  Noemie meets a baker’s daughter, Anna, and attends art school.  She also has some odd dreams involving Anna.

The text, although very simplified, has some French thrown in, which was a fun touch.  However, I know absolutely no French, so I admit to just skimming over it.  For those of you that do know even a bit of French, it is definitely a fun touch.

I didn’t like this book at all.  I read it during the read-a-thon and I was glad to pick up a graphic novel to break up the monotony in the later hours, but I was ready for it to be over as soon as it began.

My biggest problem with this book was that it just did not have a cohesive plot.  I finished it wondering what the point was, as it seemed like everything was just jumping around.  The dream aspect was especially confusing to me and I just didn’t “get it”.

With a lot of graphic novels, the text takes a backseat to the images, and up until now I have been appreciative of that, but the text and plotline were so sparse that even the artwork couldn’t save this book for me.  So yes, I am sorry to say there really wasn’t much about this book I enjoyed.

Other Reviews:

A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy

The Zen Leaf

I borrowed this book from my local library.

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Book Review: Shortcomings

Shortcomings

Adrian Tomine

Drawn & Quarterly

104 pages

Ben Tanaka is a your typical twenty something.  He lives with his girlfriend Miko in San Francisco and works as a manager in a move theater.  He is not quite content with his life though.  Miko is doing her best to keep their relationship alive, but Ben is having none of it. He puts no effort into his relationship, yet is suprised when Miko decides to move to New York for film school.

Although he was against her leaving, Ben is quite the playboy.  In fact, one of the issues in his relationship with Miko is the fact that he has an attraction to “white” girls, ie non Asians. He quickly tries to pick up a young girl who works in the same movie theater as he does.  When that doesn’t work, he moves onto a bisexual woman, who ends up dumping him to return to her ex girlfriend.  Eventually Ben realizes he misses Miko, so he follows her to New York . . .

My experience with graphic novels is extremely minimal, so I am still finding my ground and discovering what I enjoy.  I enjoyed Shortcomings immensly.  I am always amazed at how much can be conveyed through a short graphic novel, and this was no exception.  I was completely drawn into Ben’s life and his relationships.  I rooted for him but I also chastised him.  Like a lot of twenty something men, Ben had no idea of what he wanted and was not mature enough to give Miko the respect she deserved, even if he was unable to provide her with a loving relationship.

Shortcomings has only whetted my appetite for more graphic novels.  I would also be interested in reading more of Tomine.

Other Reviews:

Avid Book Reader

Booklust

The Zen Leaf

Jenny’s Books

I borrowed this book from my local library.

This book counts towards the GLBT challenge.

Book Review: French Milk

French Milk

Lucy Knisley

Touchstone

208 pages

I admit it–until yesterday, I was a graphic novel virgin.  In fact, as far as graphic novels go, it would never have crossed my mind to read one until I started this blog.  I wasn’t familiar with the genre and I never really came across them until a few months ago.  So I decided maybe it was time for me to go ahead and bite the bullet.  French Milk came into play because I am traveling to Florence in a few weeks.  Knisley was in Paris–not Italy, but I still thought reading about Europe in general would get me in the right frame of mind.

French Milk is basically a travel journal and is, in one word, charming.  Knisley was in her early twenties when she travelled to Paris with her mother for four weeks at the end of 2006/beginning of 2007.  They live in a Parisian flat and spend their time eating and exploring Paris.

When I say that Knisley and her mom ate, I am not kidding.  A good portion of French Milk had to do with the delicassies around Paris, including–you guessed it–French milk.  Now there is nothing about French milk that interests me, being that I am not a fan of milk at all, but the rest of it made my mouth water.  Part of the reason I’m so excited for Florence is all the great food, so I could understand Knisley’s excitement over all the delicious food she could eat.

My only issue with this book was Knisley was a bit too whiny.  Half the book dealt with her missing her boyfriend and being homesick in general, along with her being sick or feeling unwell every few pages.  At some points I just wanted to shake her and tell her to enjoy the time she had in Paris because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I am not a traveller–I get homesick, I get anxious.  I am nervous for my trip to Florence, but still–her whining went overboard even for me.

And now, here are two frames for my readers to see what the style of French Milk is like.

I am glad I chose French Milk as my inaugural graphic novel because I enjoyed it immensly and it whetted my appetite for more graphic novels.

Other Reviews:

BermudaOnion’s Weblog

My Cozy Book Nook

Estella’s Revenge

Ms Bookish

Pop Culture Junkie

One Swede Read

Boston Bibliophile

Fizzy Thoughts

I borrowed this book from my local library.