Review: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

29069374Verdict: My heart hurts.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Genre: Graphic Novel; Horror, Noir

Published by Fantagraphics, February 2017

Find it on Goodreads.

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge. Full-color illustrations throughout.

I adored my reading experience with this. I don’t read enough graphic novels because when I do, I more often than not love every second of doing so. This one was particularly stunning

I am also struggling with reviewing graphic novels because I find describing what works for me very difficult. In this case I could not stop staring at the wonderful way it is all laid out. This is Karen’s story and she happens to tell it in a series of scribbles in her notebook and the graphic novel mirrors this. I found the art beyond perfect for the story. I especially adored her renderings of classic paintings that were just a wonder to behold. I spent hours looking up the originals and comparing them to Emil Ferries renditions. I have seen people reacting negatively to the art but I thought it was just perfect. I loved the little splashes of colour and the way different people were drawn in different styles.

Karen’s neighbour, a woman who has survived the Holocaust, has died and Karen is convinced something is amiss. So she does as one does and dresses up in classic detective gear to try and solve the case. But at the core, this book is mostly about Karen growing up and trying to find a place for herself. Her relationship to her older brother is wonderfully drawn and his character intrigues me to no end. I also found the way in which the flashbacks to Anka’s experience during World War II were incorporated, extremely well done and I thought the book dealt with this period in time that literature has used extensively in a really interesting and nuanced way.

Beware though, because this book is dark. Very very dark with themes of not only xenophobia and anti-semitism but also of sexual assault and forced prositution and homophobia and everything else nasty. But if you can stomach these things, this is well worth your time. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Wrap Up: May 2018 or Finally.

I had a really good reading month, especially compared with the last two. I read 10 books which I mostly enjoyed.

Books read in April:

  1. An Abbrevitaed Life by Ariel Leve: 2,5 out of 5 stars
  2. Not That Bad eNotificationsdited by Roxane Gay: 5 out of 5 stars
  3. The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh: 4 out of 5 stars
  4. Florida by Lauren Groff: 4 out of 5 stars
  5. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: 3 out of 5 stars
  6. The White Book by Han Kang: 4 out of 5 stars
  7. Women & Power by Mary Beard: 3 out of 5 stars
  8. Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells: 4 out of 5 stars
  9. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferries: 4 out of 5 stars
  10. Caliban’s War (The Expanse #2) by James S. A. Corey: 3 out of 5 stars

Continue reading “Wrap Up: May 2018 or Finally.”

2018 Book Haul #1: I bought too many books

Oh boy, it has been a while since I have done one of these posts and well, let’s just say, I bought way too many books. Which on the one hand is super cool because I like books and I like owning them and looking at them, but on the other hand, I am not making it any easier for me to choose which book to read next. I have also recently written a blogpost about the novellas I bought. I obviously feel like reading genre fiction and memoirs more than anything else.

These are the (physical) books I have bought:

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

34666764Blurb: I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference – the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman’s life in near-death experiences. Intelligent, insightful, inspirational, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life’s fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell.
It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

Why I Bought This: I have been wanting to read this FOREVER and was declined for an ARC more than once. But, now I own it, and it is pretty, and I cannot wait to read this.

Continue reading “2018 Book Haul #1: I bought too many books”