Friday, October 20, 2017

Ivy Chronicles ,by Karen Quinn

The Ivy Chronicles, creatively and humorously written by Karen Quinn, details the struggle of Ivy Ames, a New Yorker living the extravagant life - until she gets fired from her well-paying corporate job and finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with a colleague's wife. Ivy scrambles to piece her life back and tries to downscale her luxurious life. Trying to pull her life together - and her kids - she dreams up the business of arranging clients' little kids into exclusive and first choice kindergartens of their liking, with the help of her new neighbors, Philip and Michael, and her best friend, Faith. In this hilarious take on the difficulties of dealing with over-demanding parents and a new perspective on top-tier schools, Ivy is the unnatural but good-natured heroine with possibly more than a few tricks up her sleeve.

At first glance, it may seem as if Ivy is an annoying, stuck-up woman who should take more time to appreciate the world around her and how worse she could be living. Soon, however, you grow to love her antics and quirks as she faces the world with her courage and determination. I admired those two specific qualities of her and made me root for her all the way through. I unquestionably had my moments when I cringed at her behavior and controversial judgment. Nevertheless, it was difficult to not burst out laughing at when she got herself into an unlucky situation. At times, there were a few mature themes that were presented, but it wasn't incorporated often. All in all, I amazed myself by looking up to none other than Ivy Ames, the woman who could single-handedly take care of her kids' lives - and hers too - through all the hardships she was presented with.To conclude, I really enjoyed reading this novel. If you're looking for an entertaining and comical read, this is it. It kept me on my toes, and I'd be lying if I said that the plot didn't surprise me with its twists. There are slightly mature themes throughout Ivy Chronicles ,by Karen Quinn, but it is lighthearted enough that it really didn't bother me. I would wholeheartedly recommend this story to any one of my friends.

Reviewed by Alena, Grade 9
Downtown Central Library

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Yellow Wall Paper and Other Stories, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Yellow Wall Paper and Other Stories published during the 19th century by the author Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The Yellow Wallpaper particularly is one of the most chilling and mystifying short stories of Gilman. Specifically written from a feminist pint of view, the story follows the doings of one typical housewife’s climatic turn to madness. Another story “Turned” is about the sardonic tale of a husband seducing and ending up impregnating a maid. Through this and the stories Gilman tries to prove to the readers of the inferior role of women in society and the neglects that they receive.

The Yellow Wall Paper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is quite an interesting compilation of feminist short stories. The stories are not only out of the ordinary but they also made me very ambivalent about my reaction afterwards. Even though these works of Gilman are highly praised among the feminist realm, I still found it hard to adjust to this odd type of stories which are no doubt depressing. Despite how true they may be it is still hard to actually admire and connect to them.

Reviewed from Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

One Punch Man, by One

After saving a child from a monster, the then-unemployed Saitama, realized his calling. He wanted to be a hero! After three years of intense training, Saitama became strong enough to defeat any enemy with only one punch as well as lost all his hair. But with such overwhelming power, fighting villains is no longer exciting and he has become emotionally numb. It is only until Saitama met the rash cyborg, Genos, that his life started to become interesting again.

This is probably one of my favorite manga of all time! 

All of the characters are so well created, coming packaged with creative backstories, amazing designs, and a very unique quirkiness. There wasn't a single character that was alike, and that includes all of the hundreds of villains. The monsters that appear are so amusingly silly and interesting, unlike those from more "intense" manga that trade memorability for a darker tone. 

One Punch Man, by One, obviously doesn't take it's self too seriously, which lets it break away from cliché tropes in the genre. It is very different spin on an Shonen manga.

Reviewed by Matty, Grade 12

Montrose Library