Saturday, October 26, 2019

Graphic Novel Review of Gris Grimly's Frankenstein

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge & my love of Frankenstein (& highly recommended)

Synopsis: "Gris Grimly's Frankenstein is a twisted, fresh, and utterly original full-length, full-color graphic-novel adaptation of Mary Shelley's original text, brought to life by acclaimed illustrator Gris Grimly. The first fully illustrated version to use the original 1818 text, this handsome volume is destined to capture the imagination of those new to the story as well as those who know it well.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly has long considered Frankenstein to be one of his chief inspirations. From the bones and flesh of the original, he has cut and stitched Mary Shelley's text to his own artwork, creating something entirely new: a stunningly original remix, both classic and contemporary, sinister and seductive, heart-stopping and heartbreaking."

My Review: So this book came highly recommended to me by a fellow Frankenstein fanatic, but I have held of picking it up because the art style isn't really to my taste. I did finally find it at a discounted price, second hand and thought I might as well give it a shot. While I wasn't really a fan of the art style at all, I did really love the way the original work was adapted. The way the text is written in this graphic novel makes it very approachable, but yet stayed true to the tone and flow of the original work by Shelley. The way Grimly adapted the novel made is so much more approachable for all readers, it is easy to read (other than the letters which the script is so small it is sometimes hard to see) and seems a bit shorter (I read it in a single sitting). All and all, I can see why this is a favored graphic novel adaptation of Frankenstein and I would recommend it to readers who have been intimidated by the original work.

My Rating: Thanks Jenny for repeatedly pushing me to pick this one up! I really enjoyed the journey of this book even if I wasn't a huge fan of the art style (kind of steampunk in a Tim Burton/Nightmare Before Christmas).  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Bedtime Story: Does Frankenstein Get Hungry? by John Solimine

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Tucked up in her bed, a little girl wonders about the creatures rumored to go bump in the night. But instead of pulling the covers over her head, she comes up with a list of important questions, like:

Does Frankenstein get hungry?

Does Dracula floss his fangs?

Does the boogeyman have boogers?

Does the thing that lives beneath my bed get lonely under there?

With each inquiry, the little girl's confidence grows--proving monsters are no match for her imagination! From debut talent John Solimine, this laugh-out-loud picture book has all the silly and gentle reassurance kids need for a good night's sleep."

My Review: I was on a hunt for the perfect book for Frankenstein week (one that I haven't read before) and while this one didn't end up being really about Frankenstein or his monster specifically, it was still really too good not to share. I love this approach of using silly but still logical questions to combat fear of those bumps in the night. I have come across many books in the past that have tried to accomplish the same thing but none that would work quite as well for Munchkin. We had a blast laughing the silly art work and crazier questions. It got the logical part of the brain going that pulled away from those fantastical fears. Of course the silliness also helps in those minutes before the lights go out.

My Rating: While this isn't exactly the Frankenstein inspired book I was looking for, it really surprised me, as it was a perfect book for Munchkin! I would highly recommend it if you are struggling with your little one being afraid at night and nothing else has really worked.  We give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review of Strange Star by Emma Carroll

Read for: Recently Added & Frankenstein/Mary Shelley Inspired

Synopsis: "From the critically acclaimed author of In Darkling Wood comes a spine-tingling novel inspired by Frankenstein with more than a hint of mystery and suspense.

One stormy June evening, five friends meet at Villa Diodati, the summer home of Lord Byron. After dinner is served, they challenge each other to tell ghost stories that will freeze the blood. But one of the guests--Mary Shelley--is stuck for a story to share.

Then there's an unexpected knock at the front door. Collapsed on the doorstep is a girl with strange scars on her face. She has traveled a long way with her own tale to tell, and now they all must listen.

Hers is no ordinary ghost story, though. What starts as a simple tale of village life soon turns to tragedy and the darkest, most dangerous of secrets. Sometimes the truth is far more terrifying than fiction . . . and the consequences are even more devastating."

My Review: I am always on the hunt for books inspired by Frankenstein, and I have grown more interested in those inspired by Mary Shelley herself, so I was excited to find this middle grade book I had never heard of before. While we do get to see the crew that set out to write their stories at Villa Diodati, most of the book is a tale told by another character. This story is pretty slow to develop and honestly I got a little bored, it may be more intriguing to a younger audience who hasn't read quite as many books to compare it too. With that said it does develop an interesting tale and a creative way to link back the intent of telling what might have inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. Even I didn't make some of the connections until the end of the story. This was a rather unique book compared to the others I have picked up so far and it is a great spookier read for a younger audience, without being overly scary.

My Rating: I struggled a bit with this one as it is clearly meant for a younger audience so the story moved slower and it had a pretty simple plot but by the end I was really happy with the complete story. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review of The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedwick

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "'Do monsters always stay in the book where they were born? Are they content to live out their lives on paper, and never step foot into the real world?'
The Villa Diodati, on the shore of Lake Geneva, 1816: the Year without Summer. As Byron, Polidori, and Mr and Mrs Shelley shelter from the unexpected weather, old ghost stories are read and new ghost stories imagined. Born by the twin brain of the Shelleys is Frankenstein, one of the most influential tales of horror of all time.
In a remote mountain house, high in the French Alps, an author broods on Shelley's creation. Reality and perception merge, fuelled by poisoned thoughts. Men make monsters; but who really creates who? A book about reason, the imagination, and the creative act of reading and writing. Marcus Sedgwick's ghostly, menacing novel celebrates the legacy of Shelley's Frankenstein."
My Review: I picked this book on the basis of being a Frankenstein/Mary Shelley inspired book and that cover is amazing! It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that it isn't written as a traditional novel, it is more like journal entries but not entirely. I kept waiting to find the story in it but it never really came. It was a bit of an unusual reading experience but once I got over the missing narrative I was expecting, I really got into this book. It was appropriately eerie and spooky. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about the narrator/writer picking apart my favorite book in ways I had never really noticed before but I still really appreciated the different view. As the book progresses and spirals more into the obscure, it gets difficult to follow but at the same time is so engrossing that you can't put it down. I really appreciate that Sedgwick didn't attempt to re-imagine the original work but took this unusual approach to it and gave us this odd but thrilling book.
My Rating: Even after having sat on this book for a couple weeks I am still completely at a loss with whether I really loved it or whether I am still irritated and confused.  It was such a unique book and not at all what I expected, I think I have to give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
The Missing Bookshop by Katie Chapman
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Lunch or What's That? by Julianne Moore ( Early Reader)
Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau (Date Night/After Dark)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Christmas Angels
Mrs. Miracle Christmas
Frankenstein A Parody

Currently Reading:

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda - Ebook - on page 36 of 448
Secret Hunger by Satin Russell - Print - on page 86 of 361
Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco - Audio/Print - 42%
A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed - Print - on page 17 of  226

Pages Read/ Time Listened
518:04 Hours Listened (5:37 listened this week)
28,237 Pages Read (400 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Storm and Fury
Honeybees and Frenemies
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow
The Bridge Kingdom
A Crash of Fate
Black Spire
Capturing the Devil
The Testaments
The Missing Bookshop
The Warrior Moon
A Thousand Roads Home
The Sasquatch Escape
The Lonely Lake Monster
The Blacksmith Queen
Klaus Vol. 2
Molly and the Cat Cafe
Plum Crazy Vol. 2
Plum Crazy Vol. 3
Plum Crazy Vol. 4
A Walk One Winter Night
Loving My Actual Christmas
A Family Under the Christmas Tree
The White Christmas Inn
There Will Come a Darkness
Shadow Frost
How to Love a Duke in 10 Days
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount


Boy does having hubby at home really cut into my reading time! Granted I absolutely love having time with him again but gosh darn it when I am ready to settle into a couple chapters, he insists upon interrupting me ever few minutes! Oh well, we will figure out a balance again.  It was a hectic week last week too, it was a short week in the office so was super busy there. And it was a short week at home too since I left on Friday morning for the Fall in Love with New England romance convention and was there all weekend. I had a great time and really enjoyed some quiet time and fun with fellow book lovers.  It was great to reconnect with others I have seen in the past and to meet some new people as well. I did go a little nuts at the book sale and ended up picking up 26 new books (yikes I think I am cut off for the year now)!  I returned home on Sunday to scrambling to clean up the house for the week (never leave guys at home alone) and got to meet my nearly 1 year old niece for the first time!!

Even though last week was utter chaos, it was a great week and one that certainly rekindled the soul a bit!  Now I am looking forward to getting some more reading in and getting busy on wrapping up some of the construction on the house before winter catches up with us.  I also have to get cracking on my Christmas cards!

In the mean time, I will be starting to post a few Frankenstein inspired books later this week!!