Review: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

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dramaTitle: Drama
Author:
Raina Telgemeier
Date(s) read:
March 7, 2013
Genre:
MG Graphic Novel
Source:
Library (Paperback)

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Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

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After reading Raina Telgemeier’s awesome book Smile, which brought back memories of my own youth, I knew I had to read more of her graphic novels. Seeing that a lot of people were recommending Drama, I picked it up to give it a try.

I loved that this story had the same kind of feel as the first book I had read. I still love Raina’s illustrations and that they’re so bright and colourful, and fun to look at. I liked the idea of the story’s setting being around a theatre class in school — though, I really couldn’t identify with it myself since I really wasn’t a drama person in school.

I think part of the charm of the first book, of Smile, was that the main character was Raina. It was so interesting to kind of connect with the author through the things she had to go through as a child. In Drama, we get Callie, who looks quite similar to Raina. I had wished that they were the same character in both books, since I felt slightly disconnected with this story.

I did like that this story revolves around first loves and the shyness that surrounds it. It also deals with coming out of your shell and trying something new, even if you’re scared to try it. But I felt like a lot of the themes were too neatly tied up, whereas in real life they would probably be more complicated. Still, it’s a very short, easy read, so if you’re looking for something to read in a short amount of time, this could be a nice one to try.

I am definitely interested in trying out more of Raina’s work, but I do think that Smile will remain the favourite for me.

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Author Links
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BOOK REVIEW: Smile, by Riana Telgemeier


smile
Date(s) read
: January 7, 2013
Genre: MG Graphic Novel

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SYNOPSIS

From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

My Thoughts
One of the goals I set for myself this year was to read more books that are either award nominees or winners. At the library, there is a display of books that are nominated for the Young Readers Choice Awards. Smile was one of the books on that display, and since it was a graphic novel and looked like a pretty quick read, I thought it would be a good start to tackling this category of books. 

Of course, when I picked up the story to begin with, I never expected how much I would relate to the struggles of young Raina as she goes through middle school. I didn’t even realize that a lot of the story — despite the title — deals with Raina falling and knocking out a few teeth. I may be way past the middle grade age, but boy did I squirm during a lot of the dental surgery parts! I would suggest if you’re not the biggest fan of the dentist that you tread lightly with this book because I winced many, many times. Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick

Released: September 13, 2011 (Scholastic)
Author LinksWEB | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK
Source: Library

Genre: YA Fantasy Graphic Novel

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Synopsis:
From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

My Thoughts

After reading Selznick’s amazing novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I knew I had to read this one. I know of a few people who have read this and thought it was much, much better than Hugo, so I had to find out for myself.

Unfortunately, while I did like the book, it paled in comparison to Hugo!

Let’s start with what I loved. The whole outline of how the story is told, with main character Ben’s story being told in words, and a story about Rose from the 1920’s being told in pictures, was wonderful. The entire story flowed right from page one. There are no chapter breaks to break the flow, though the story is in three parts.  Continue reading