**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review**
I enjoy a good graphic novel and this was a delightful read. It was a quick yet heartwarming read that dealt with friendship, family, self discovery, and more. From the first page, I was mesmerized by the art panels. I cannot put my finger on what made the art stand out to me but it did. It felt as if it was on another level than just a graphic novel. The story itself was captivating, the dialogue flowed easily and everything worked in great harmony. I felt the characters were well developed and have a nice arc as the story continues. A lot of readers will find this a necessary story and will be able to relate to the characters and their story.
I highly recommend this to all readers when it publishes! I feel a lot of readers will enjoy it so much.
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Sequential Art, Superheroes, Comics
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.
After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.
When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.
With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!
What does your typical writing day look like? – Do you outline or are you write in whatever order?
There is no typical writing day. When I’m on deadline, I write for 16 hours a day, every day until it gets done. That’s usually the last two-three weeks before deadline and I would say about half the book is written then, or the book makes a huge leap forward toward final draft at that moment.
Before then, I usually work maybe three days a week, from 8am to about noon or so, and then again at around 5pm to about 8pm to until 11pm depending on how much energy I have. I try to write about 2,000 words a day for a first draft, or 10,000 a week. Sometimes because I can, I won’t write anything for 4 days and then write all 10,000 words in one day. So like I said, no typical day.
On the other days I outline and do meetings and administrative stuff. On weekends I am present for my family, and I’m pretty strict about that. But on Sundays I usually try to get a head start on Monday’s work.
I work from home and I have an office outside of it too, so I am able to do a lot of work without distraction, and I can get a lot of work done in a few hours because I am able to focus.
I heavily outline my books, usually I’ll write a paragraph synopsis for my editor, then I’ll write maybe a 3 page rough outline, and then a 20-30 page chapter outline. Then a quick first draft that takes as short as 2 weeks or as long as 3 months. Usually in about a month I can get a first draft down. Then I rewrite rewrite rewrite until it’s done. Sometimes it takes a full year to rewrite. The real writing comes in the rewriting, and I move chapters around, figure out where the holes are, and write those missing chapters. The book does not look like the outline at all, it is an organic process, the outline is just for the first draft. I can also always tell when authors have just written their first draft and they didn’t rewrite after. Those books usually are pretty flat. Writing at some point is alchemy, you have to tap into that subconscious magic. And the only way to get there is through. 🙂
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
I have always liked graphic novels but always struggled to find good graphic novels. Spinning by Tillie Walden is new this year and I was surprised at the end to find out this was a memoir.
This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated. There is no doubt that Tillie Walden is talented. What did bother me about this was the overall story. There where HUGE themes that were never expanded upon or addressed properly. The themes I am talking about are attempted physical assault by an adult, physical assault by a minor, bullying, family neglect, and more. There are some heavy topics that the author/illustrator went through but they felt brushed over. Tillie was advanced upon by an adult that was her tutor – yet she never told anyone nor did she do anything about it. She was also bullied by a fellow classmate/skater to the degree that physical things happened but, again, Tillie never told anyone. Her parents were in a rocky marriage and Tillie paid the price. She wanted to continue skating but chose to be a bitch to her parents about the entire thing. They sacrificed so much for her to continue but she came across ungrateful for what they did. She was stand-offish to her friends and worse to her teammates. All of these topics/themes really could have or should have been expanded upon more. The author/illustrator had the perfect opportunity to speak to her audience about the dangers and what should be done but nothing like that happened. Now I know this is a memoir about her real life and real life isn’t always pretty, but I just wish she had given an epilogue or something about who to contact or that people should speak out if these things happen.
This is a quick read but it is not an easy read. Tillie is not always nice to the people around her. The only person she really connects to is a fellow skater that she develops a crush on and realizes that she is gay. She started a relationship with this girl and for the first time I saw her happy. But things happened and they were not allowed to be together. Maybe that is where some of the bitterness came from but still, it was never again talked about.
Would I recommend this? Eh, maybe? If you do read this, do not go into it thinking that it is just a book about ice skating. The MC clearly wanted to skate by herself and win but she did not want to go to the training. She whined about getting up at 3 or 4 every morning yet threw a fit if she couldn’t continue skating. It felt inconsistent at times. Then with the mature themes I mentioned, it is not for the faint-hearted. I had to put the book down a couple of times and walk away. It was even too much for me to read.
Let’s be honest, who hasn’t been excited for the new graphic novel from Marissa Meyer?! I was over the moon when I heard she was continuing this amazing storyline with a graphic novel. Be still my heart! This is a 240 story that does go by quickly, but I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. Maybe I had my hopes too high.
Wires and Nerve picks up almost right where Winter left off. Cinder is now the rightful Queen of Luna and things are slowly getting back to normal. The new threat is the rogue hybrid wolf packs that are roaming parts of Earth. They were left to fend for themselves after the battle ended and with nowhere to go, they chose to become a terror to people. Iko is the one that chooses to hunt these packs down and bring them to justice. Why Iko? She feels she is the most expendable one of the bunch. Iko does a pretty good job finding all of the packs but one Alpha chooses to hunt Iko down and use her as leverage to get Queen Cinder to reverse the horrid things that were done to make him an Alpha.
I will say this – this is a quick and interesting read but I just did not jive with the story line. I liked Iko’s character in the Lunar Chronicles but I didn’t see her as a lead character. She felt super whiney and “woe is me” throughout this entire story. She chose to leave on her own to hunt the wolves down because she was the only one who didn’t have a love interest. Uh… what? That didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Plus, it seemed Iko focused a lot on the fact she didn’t have a significant other, she wanted someone to love, and she wanted all of the attention. Make up your mind – is this a contemporary where Iko finds someone or is this an adventure where Cinder and the crew track down bad guys? The answer is neither. Cinder never leaves Luna; Thorne and Cinder travel everywhere; Wolf and Scarlet are on the farm in France; Winter and Jacin travel everywhere as well; Kai is on Earth still trying to deny his feelings for Cinder when they are pretty crystal clear from the original series. I did enjoy how the rest of the original group was brought back but it felt like too much. They never truly got back together. Each stayed where they were when Winter ended and that’s it. Every one of them had a scene or two but it felt forced, as if Meyer felt they all needed to have a presence. That’s an awful lot for only 240 pages.
Maybe I am let down because I had really high expectations for this graphic novel. That’s my fault. I expected more than what was delivered. I was underwhelmed to say the least. Plus, am I the only one that gets images in my head of what the characters should look like, then to see them completely different in a graphic novel makes me upset? I did not picture any of the characters to be drawn the way they were. That was another let down for me. Again, my expectations were just too high.
I am bummed out that I did not enjoy this as much as I wanted to. I read it in just an hour or so. It is a quick read but it felt like everyone was forced to make an appearance in this story for the sake of saying they are in the story. They didn’t all add value to the overall storyline and that bothered me. I know I’ll still pick up the next installment of this graphic novel but I know I will go into it with much, much lower expectations.
“In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.
In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.”
I don’t know about you – but I am BEYOND excited for this graphic novel to come out!