Tag Archives: daniel clowes

2 sentence book reviews, part 3 (young adult fiction and graphic novels)

part 1 of this series included reviews of five fiction books, and part 2 included reviews of four general non-fiction books. this time around, i’m covering two categories: young adult fiction, and graphic novels.

my approach: one sentence of summary, and one sentence of opinion.

YA fiction

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
5 stars
(Surely you know) Future world teenage girls fights for her life in a government sponsored death match. Worthy of the hype, completely.

Catching Fire (Hunger Games, book 2), by Suzanne Collins
4.5 stars
Victorious teenage girl from the first book inadvertently launches a revolution. The weakest of the three, but only because it’s primary purpose is to set the stage for the final book.

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, book 3), by Suzanne Collins
5 stars
Teenage girl is the reluctant face of the revolution that may or may not be corrupt. Fantastic wrap-up to the trilogy.

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life, by James Patterson
2 stars
Young teen guy figures out how to survive middle school. A 4th grader might enjoy this offensively juvenile, complete rip-off of Wimpy Kid: really, James Patterson?

Graphic Novels

The Walking Dead, vol. 15: We Find Ourselves, by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
3 stars
The gang settles into a new outlook: thinking about the future (while, of course, avoiding zombies). I love this series; but there wasn’t enough plot advancement in this edition.

The Death-Ray, by Daniel Clowes
5 stars
Less-than-average teenage boy discovers he has superpowers, and a death ray gun – but how to use them? I love Clowes understated style, completely other than “comic books.”

Hark! A Vagrant, by Kate Beaton
5 stars
A (surprisingly long) collection of hilarious comics set in historical settings. Time mag called this one of the best books of last year, which is surprising, but accurate if best means original.

two-sentence book reviews, part 2 (memoirs and graphic novels )

back in the day, i used to post a full review in an individual blog post for every book i read. after rebooting my blog in the late fall of 2009, i changed that practice to posting 3 or 4 “mini reviews” at a time — one paragraph each.

but in 2011, i’ve gotten behind, and haven’t posted any reviews. i kept meaning to, but just didn’t get around to it. so, i’m catching up. and i’ve decided to do it in a different way, since i have 27 to post.


for each review, i only allowed myself two sentences. in each, the first sentence is a summary of the book, and the second sentence is my opinion of the book. i’m still giving 1 – 5 stars (5 means “excellent”, 4 means “worth reading”, 3 means “ah, take it or leave it”, 2 means “take a pass on this one”, and 1 means “do NOT buy or read this book – it sucked, imho).

up first was 7 young adult fiction books.
here, in part 2, i’m covering memoirs and graphic novels:


I’m Not High: (But I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior), by Jim Breuer
2 stars
Jim Breuer of SNL semi-fame pretends to have insight while sharing his life story. Barely funny, self-inflated blah that regularly left me muttering, “Who cares?”

A Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir, by Bill Clegg
5 stars
A rising star as a New York literary agent, Bill Clegg narrates – in real time – his slow and crushing plunge into crack cocaine addiction. Painful and honest, brutally written (in a good way), poignant and cautionary.

Bossypants, by Tina Fey
5 stars
America’s sweetheart tells her story. Drop-dead hilarious while maintaining humility; no wonder everyone loves her.

Graphic Novels

The Walking Dead, Compendium One and volumes 9 – 14, by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
4 stars
The focus isn’t the zombies, but the internal changes of the small cast of characters who are trying to survive. Awesome art and an interesting angle, even if it’s a tad over-the-top at times.
(Note: I’ve since watched the 1st season of the TV series built on this comic series, and it’s fantastic.)

Mr. Wonderful: A Love Story, by Daniel Clowes
4 stars
Insecure, self-loathing middle-aged loser guy seeks love and companionship. A little hard to justify the expense for the length, but a lovely little story.

Black Hole, by Charles Burns
1 star
1970s teenagers live with a parallel-universe version of STDs that turns them into mutants. Verging on soft porn at times, with weak characters and a lame plot.


up next: leadership and theology/christian living