Jen Dik Seong, known as Dixie to her friends, well really friend (singular), is a first generation Korean American girl, who has a black belt in Hapkido - an ancient marital art. She has her first major crush, and this has left her not only distracted, but she has lost her Ki. Will she find it again?
This graphic novel targeted at the teen reader is a lovely exploration of first loves, friendship, and the struggle to figure out who you are. The black, white and grey illustrations are fun, and I especially liked that the story explores themes of immigrant culture, money, positive female friendships, and how we often find what we are looking for in unexpected places. The story line is a little predictable for the adult reader, but I loved that this was a very girl positive book. Isn't it about time we had more of that? Rating: 4 stars.
69. My Pen
This picture book for young kids is filled with wonderfully detailed drawings, but I was not drawn (pun intended) into the text on the pages. Ah well. Rating: 2 stars.
70. The Love Bunglers (Love and Rockets)
Let me start by saying that I've spent zero time reading the Love and Rockets books that this graphic novel draws upon, and I have little doubt that it affected my reading. Even though I had no idea who these characters were going in, I was still sucked into the story. A tale of family secrets, and the havoc that they cause in the lives of everyone concerned. I liked that the tale was told from various points of view, but all centered around Maggie. There were a couple of wordless pages that I was totally lost during - I assume that it was me. The art is really good, and evokes the right mood for this story. I'm now curious about the Love and Rockets series and plan to read them as well. Rating: 3 stars.
71. Fall of Kings (Troy #3)
This, the final book in the Troy Trilogy is a rollicking good ride. The author died before completing this one, so his wife took over, and while I can tell where the transition happened, I enjoyed every moment of this story.
The authors change some of the "facts" of the story, but I was OK with it. I particularly liked how the death of Hektor was done in this version (that should not be a spoiler people). Since that was one of the tough parts of the story for me (never mind the hundreds of thousands of deaths!), I appreciated this touch. Pages before the battle between Hektor and Achilles, I found myself slowing way down, as I did not want to get to that scene. There are tie-ins with some other myths that I also found interesting - the plagues of Egypt in particular. The ending was a little too happily-ever-after for my tastes - but after all those battles and death, I guess a little happy isn't too much to ask for.
The epic saga and the age of heroes draws to a close in this book. There are acts of bravery and courage, betrayal and cowardice, insanity and beauty, love and loss. Those Greeks sure knew how to capture the essence of the human condition. So good. Rating: 4 stars.