153. The Conference of the Birds
This is essentially a picture book; an illumination of the twelfth-century Persian epic poem that tells the story of a flock of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh, who lives on the mountain of Kaf.
I read someplace that this was a classic poem, but I had not heard of it before, and did not particularly love it. But oh the art. The art is simply stunning. Each and every page would make a wonderful poster or card. This book is worth picking up just to soak up the art. Rating: 3 stars.
154. Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story
This graphic memoir tells the story of how the author, Fred, met Cati at a party. Time passes. They meet again, and this time connect. As their relationship deepens, Cati tells Fred that she and her three year old son are HIV positive.
Relationships between people are ever so personal, and yet there are universal themes we can all relate to. I really liked the honesty in the telling, and while the black and white brushwork evokes the right mood, I did not love the art. I also think there might be things lost in translation as the language seems clunky in parts. Rating: 3 stars.
155. Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir
Book blurb: Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment.
This graphic memoir is targeted at a teen audience, and is a sweet and angst filled story of the summer that the author fell in love for the first time - wait for it - with a camp counselor who is a girl.
I liked the story, the honesty of it, but was not particularly enamored with the illustration style, especially those strange round empty eyes. Rating: 3 stars.
156. Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice
Book blurb: Tony Chu is a detective with a secret. A weird secret. Tony Chu is Cibopathic, which means he gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. This volume collects issues #1-5.
I love the premise of this graphic novel series - how can one not love the idea of a Cibopath? I also love that Tony is not your typical Asian American, and that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is the most bad-ass crime fighting organization in the US - maybe our current FDA will be inspired by this series.
The story is set in a post apocalyptic world of sorts where a bird flu wiped out large swatches of the human population. Since then chicken is outlawed - but you just know there is a black market for all things chicken.
This is a fun and rather violent story, but it does not quite deliver on the promise of such a great premise. The characters are not well fleshed out, and there is a bit too much wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am to the pacing of the story, and I do hope that the rest of the series (which I have requested) delivers. A word of caution, do not read this while eating. Trust me. Rating: 3 stars.