EXPRESS Book Review: Noggin by JOHN COREY WHALEY
Ridiculous plot: Teen boy tragically dies of a terminal illness– but is brought back to life 5 years later with his head attached to another person’s body. Everyone and everything –but him– has aged and changed. Despite the ridiculousness of the situation and a multitude of comedic lighthearted moments and teenage antics, surprisingly deep instances often make it through. Totally recommended YA read. Check it out.
EXPRESS BOOK REVIEW: Eat Brains Love by Jeff Hart
One protagonist has just “gone zombie,” and is now on the lam with the class hottie (who’s also gone zombie) after eating half the kids in the school cafeteria. Our other protagonist is a teen psychic who works for the government’s top-secret zombie hunting operation. Lots of fun, adventure, and cannibalism! (It’s quite endearing). Check it out!
Yay! Another queer indie! Leap is pretty good. The year is 1979 and our protagonist Rowan has just finished high school in her small town and is spending her last summer before college working at the local burger joint. There’s lots of stuff going on (as there always is when you’re 18 and on the cusp of life), but the main thing is that there’s a new girl in town and Rowan’s about to get in her first relationship…
The writing is quite good– the 223 pages give you LOTS of information. There are lots of parallel side plots, the character development is good, and certain things are left unexplained in just the right way. I’ll be looking for more from this writer.
This book has a bummer of a title, but it’s all right. Indeed, there’s a dead best friend– and there’s Cass, who’s still alive. Basically, it’s a story about how Cass learns to deal with the loss– and also falls in (teenage) love along the way.
Chapter-by-chapter the narrative flip flops between past and present, which was a little weird. It was slow and funky at first, but It drew more of my commitment by the time I got to the middle. I didn’t find everything completely believable– but I do gotta support a decent librarian-authored book that somehow brings together bike touring, Quakers, drama, and teen lesbians.
This graphic novel recently got famous, as (an apparently really great film that I haven’t seen yet) is based upon it. I waited for ages for it to come in at the library– and I want to turn it in quick because there are tons of people in line behind me who have been waiting for it for ages as well.
This is one of those tragically sad/beautiful love stories that people like so much. Based on Clementine’s diaries, the story centers around her coming of age as a lesbian, and her (tumultuous) relationship with Emma. But the whole story begins with Emma reading those diaries at Clementine’s (horribly homophobic) parents’ house after she has died. Sigh, I know.
The writing and art is solid enough that a few minutes of reading past this tragic premise (in the first few pages), I’d forgotten the sad part (until the end, of course). The art is totally gorgeous, and the (often really drawn out) sex scenes come as close to being to being hot as cartoon sex scenes are going to get for me. Certain parts of the story seem a little trite (like the conclusion to the beach scene near the end), but over all there’s a whole lot of solid romantic story compressed into a mere 156 beautifully painted pages.