For What It's Worth

Thursday, October 19, 2017

review: ms. marvel, vol 1: no normal

23433847Collects Ms. Marvel (2014) #1-5, All-New Marvel Now! Point One (Ms. Marvel story).

Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she's comin' for you, New York! ~

Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited


A few things to keep in mind before you read this review…I’m not a comic book/graphic novel/manga reader (this is only my 3rd one), and I’m not a huge super hero movie fan so my knowledge of the Marvel universe and such is limited. As a fan of those things – you could have a very different opinion.

While there's nothing groundbreaking with Ms. Marvel as far as super hero origin stories – a strange event (in this case an ominous fog) leads to new powers, a sidekick/potential love interest who knows her secret/helps with costume, how to balance family and being a secret super hero - the writing is wonderful, warm and funny. I was giggling so often and that was so unexpected.

I could totally relate to young Kamala and her wanting to break free of parental constraints and desire to be someone different in order to be popular. She initially desires to be the stereotypical female superhero - white, long blond hair, revealing costume - what she considers the standard for beauty - but then settles into the best version of Kamala as Ms. Marvel instead of a mini Captain Marvel clone.

A+ for diversity - Kamala is a Muslim American, gender swapping the roles where she saves the boy and I adore Kamala's family including her smothering mother, dad who struggles to see her side of things and slacker brother.

It was super easy for this novice comic book reader to follow the story and I loved the art work – although whenever a panel shows a faraway view the characters look more cartoonish and less defined and while it's an artistic choice - it was unnecessary and odd. A few times I didn't even recognize the characters.

I was a little lost as to references to the Marvel universe (I had never even heard of Captain Marvel lol) but it wasn't too big of a deal. Ms. Marvel can stand alone and was a great entry point for me.

Ms. Marvel really took me by surprise with how relatable and heartfelt the story and characters were. Volume 1 ends with the introduction to the Big Bad and I quickly downloaded volume 2.

If you have Kindle Prime or Unlimited Volume’s 1&2 are both available with your subscription.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

tell me something tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

For the month of October she has fun Halloween themed questions so go check out her blog for upcoming topics.

If you could have any paranormal gift what would it be?

I was struggling to think up all the possible paranormal gifts that I could have and found a website to help me at least narrow it down.

I know I wouldn’t want to be an empath or precog. Those seem awful. Feeling everyone’s emotions or seeing the future must be physically and emotionally draining.

Regeneration is interesting for obvious reasons and shapeshifting would be kind of cool but I think I would get bored with it and not have much use for it in my life.

I’m very tempted by mind control lol But would I use it for good or end up thinking I know better than everyone else and become a super villain?? Yes, I think I would.

The other gift that tempts me is invisibility. I could use it to travel around yet not have to talk to everyone and remain my anti social self. I could check up on people who I think are lying and call them out. I think I have super villain tendencies. 😈

I talked to Kevin about this question and he wants mind control AND telekinesis. Se he can bend everyone to his will and toss them out of the way lol

This seems like one of those questions that I’ll come up with way better answers once I post – so I’d love to hear what your paranormal gift would be. Or name a few that I might not have thought of.

*Note: Teleportation is a gift I would like but that's part of next weeks TMST question so I decided to leave it out of this post.

Monday, October 16, 2017

monday minis: The Great Hibernation & Pashmina

IMG_20170801_102820_391The most important tradition in tiny St. Polonius-on-the-Fjord is the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver. Each citizen over twelve must eat one bite of liver to prevent the recurrence of the Great Hibernation, when the town founder's fell asleep for months.

This year is Jean Huddy's first time to taste the liver. It doesn't go well. A few hours later, all the adults fall asleep. And no one can wake them.
The kids are left to run things, and they're having a blast. That is, until the town bullies take over the mayor's office and the police force.

Jean suspects that this "hibernation" was actually engineered by someone in town. She starts to investigate, and inspires other kids to join her in a secret plan to save St. Polonius. ~
Goodreads (Mid-Grade)

Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts: I adore Dairman’s mid-grade All Four Stars trilogy about a pint sized chef becoming an undercover food critic so I was excited to dive in her latest mid-grade, stand alone novel.

Combining folklore, tradition, science, and of course…food, Dairman has crafted an exciting mystery after all the adults fall into a coma like sleep after the annual Tasting of the Sacred Bear Liver festival.

The children are left to keep the town running, assuming their parents positions in society. Some let the power go to their head, others want to make their parents proud and a few want to forge a new path and break free of expectations.

This got a little darker than I was expecting at times. A little Lord of the Flies-ish – albeit at a mid-grade level so nothing too dark and there are also references to killing and eating endangered species. All can be used as a starting point for important conversations, but something to keep in mind for sensitive readers.

One thing I love about Dairman’s writing is that she never talks down to children and she seemlessly weaves new vocabulary, cultures and ideas throughout.

IMG_20170825_115445_468Pashmina tells the story of an Indian-American girl who struggles to fit in at high school, then discovers more about her family's history with the help of her mother's magical pashmina. ~ Goodreads (YA)

My thoughts: This was my first graphic novel and what a sweet little story. An Indian American girl named Priyanka lives in the US with her mother, who left India at Priyanka’s age and is reluctant to tell Pri about her Indian heritage or her father. Pri’s imagination of a vibrant India vs her mother’s not so happy memories lead them to clash quite often.

Pri discovers a pashmina in her mom's belongings that allows her to magically travel to India and experience it as Pri imagines it to be.

The illustrations are  beautiful and switch from color panels for Pri in the real world to monotone – grays for the fantasy world, although there are whimsical animals that act as her guide. This seems like an odd choice, since Priyanka’s idea of India is bursting with color and life but it works, especially after she realizes her dream of visiting India in real life.

When Pri finally does make it to India and finds out the truth about the country and her mom's difficult past, the story takes a wonderful turn that explores culture, feminism and familial bonds.

If I have any negatives they would be that there were abrupt turns in the story at times without adequate transitions. Maybe this is a common thing with graphic novels and I need to learn the how they flow a bit more or a genuine issue – I haven’t read enough graphic novels to make that call and the story read a little young, almost mid-grade, at times but that's a very minor issue.