A Trio of Small Book Reviews

Over the holiday season, I didn’t stop reading, but I did stop reviewing most of what I read. I did, however, write three small reviews for three books. Enjoy these extremely short, paragraph-long reviews!

Lore Olympus Volume 1 by Rachel Smythe

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I would have liked this way more if the coloring wasn’t so dark and muddied. I’m not sure if this is an issue of the coloring not translating well from computer screen to on-page; maybe it looks fine online. But here, it was almost impossible to see things like expressions on the characters in the first few episodes. It was frustrating; the art style is interesting! Let me, you know, actually see it!

It did get better in later episodes, somewhat. And Smythe has a good sense of comedic timing and comedy in her drawings. I’ll still look into the next volume, but I may have to bring a flashlight.

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’m not sure how, exactly, Daryl Gregory is able to make Lovecraftian horror actually interesting to me, but he manages somehow. This is the first book where I really got how terrifying Lovecraft mythology can be.

Time to tear through the rest of his backlog.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (reread)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

So glad I decided to ignore my library stack and reread this one. I first read it in 2012, a year after it released. Ten years later, I approached it a very different person than I was then, and Deathless rang with new meaning for me. I could understand it better than I did ten years ago, feel it more deeply. I haven’t gone through anything as traumatic as Marya and the cast have gone through, no, but the last few years have done a number on me, and it was interesting to look at a favorite book from a newer, slightly more tarnished lens.

Joint Book Review: Oddball (Sarah’s Scribbles #4) by Sarah Andersen

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McHeel Publishing
Publication Date: November 30th, 2021
Pages: 112, paperback
Source: NetGalley

The newest Sarah’s Scribbles collection from New York Times bestselling author Sarah Andersen

The fourth book in the enormously popular graphic novel series, the latest collection of Sarah’s Scribbles comics explores the evils of procrastination, the trials of the creative process, the cuteness of kittens, and the beauty of not caring about your appearance as much as you did when you were younger. When it comes to humorous illustrations of the awkwardness and hilarity of millennial life, Sarah’s Scribbles is without peer.

Gina’s review:

Oddball, the latest of Sarah’s Scribbles by Sarah Andersen is another great collection of her work. As a fellow introvert and cat lover, I’m predisposed to like her “scribbles,” and this book was a joy from cover to cover. I think my favorite cartoon was when she went to Heaven and saw all the dogs, and then wondered where all the cats were. No spoiler, so I’ll just say they were having a GREAT time.

Sarah’s cartoons are very relatable and always enjoyable. Lots of people struggle with social interaction and want to stay home and avoid it all. Sometimes these people also have cats. This is a Venn diagram of the two groups. A good chunk of these have appeared online, but this is a great collation of her work, and you don’t need to have read/seen any of her cartoons before to thoroughly enjoy this book.

Miranda’s review:

Sarah Andersen is one of those artists whose work speaks to my soul. I, too, am an introverted oddball who prefers the company of my cats and books/fanfics rather than other people. I would love to have some of her comics framed and hanging on my walls, such as my favorite from this collection, the comic where Medusa adopts a blind cat.

This is yet another great collection of Andersen’s comics. Since I sometimes don’t see these when they’re posted on Twitter, I appreciate having them collected into a book to keep forever. Andersen’s understanding of comedy in her art style, from expressions to body language, is topnotch as always. Her ability to use a comic format of only about four to six squares to get her ideas across in funny, heartwarming ways is always amazing.

I hope these collections continue, as I love having them on my shelf.