June 15, 2015

Recent Reads

65. Roller Girl
This graphic novel targeted at the middle school reader is a wonderful story about the complexity of friendships, and the grit to go after your dreams.

Twelve year old Astrid is smitten when she attends a Roller Derby event, and decides to sign up for derby camp. Turns out her best friend Nicole plans to attend dance camp instead. Astrid has to negotiate new challenges, face her fears, and negotiate some tough stuff. This is a fun and fast read that explores some complex themes, and would make a great gift for tween girls.
  Rating: 4 stars.

66. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why
This volume collections Ms. Marvel #6-11.

Our Pakistani-American super heroine is getting more comfortable with her powers, but that doesn't mean that all is going smoothly on the home front. I really like the exploration of the struggle Kamala has being her bad-ass self, while trying to be the good girl her family expects her to be. In this installment, the Inventor has a nefarious plan. Will he succeed? While I was not really enamored with him, I did like how Kamala goes all fan girly upon meeting Wolverine, and though I am not a dog person, I loved Lockjaw.

This continues to be a fun series and I look forward to seeing what (mis)adventures our girl gets into next. Rating: 3 stars.

67. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral
My thoughts about a quarter way through: I suddenly feel underdressed without a couple of guns slung on my hips.

My Dad is a huge fan of Westerns, so as kids we watched every one at least a handful of times. I grew up knowing all about the gunfight at the O.K. Corral - though I could not have found Arizona on a map, and had to look up the word corral. 

It is often said that history is the tale told by the victors; well, sometimes it can be the tale told due to a very persistent wife. This historical fiction is a tale many of us heard as kids - the one about Wyatt Earp, the super-hero style lawman, and the events leading up to that fateful battle, when only the good remained standing. Well, the facts do not exactly match the mythology, and it was interesting to read some of the back story of the Earp brothers, Doc Holliday, and the various women in their lives. 

I am fascinated by the subject matter, but I did not find the book as compelling a read as I expected when I first started it. Many of the characters important to the story play key roles in the book, but I often found them a little too thinly sketched, and interchangeable. The plot itself drags in the middle of the book, and the last several chapters were rather strange, though important to telling (emphasis on that word) about how the mythology was spun. It also turns out that I was more fascinated by the women in this story, and would love to read a book about them. Still, I look forward to meeting the author this weekend at Booktopia, Vermont, and discussing this famous American story. Rating: 3 stars.

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