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The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl 2015

Often I take the internet’s word for things. If something is called a graphic novel or a comic book, then I take it at its word. I added this movie to my watch list because it was listed as being based on a comic, but when I looked at the credits, I saw that it was “based on the novel”. So in rare form, I decided to check it out myself since my library had both the DVD and the original book it was based on. Personally, I wouldn’t quite call the book a graphic novel but I will still include it here on my site. It would be more apt to call it an illustrated novel with some comic pages included. There are large pictures on about every third page, and there’s about a dozen 1-3 page sequential comic book pages throughout the book that’s structured more like a diary, as the title implies. That said, it’s still a fascinating look at the life of a teenage girl in the 70’s who is obsessed with sex and jumps into that world with both feet.
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Book Nights: Overtaken

Overtaken by Mark H. Kruger

After finishing up the first book in this series, Overpowered I was very excited to move onto the sequel. Even though it took me a bit longer to get into the book, once I got about halfway through I really wanted to rush through to the end. I’m glad that I was able to dig into this series which has really brought me around on the superhero novel, as the first couple I read were bad to mediocre, but these last three have all been a real treat to read. Not quite enough for me to go seeking out more on my own, but I won’t be turning down any future offers to review if they come my way. Here, Kruger is able to take the hero that he built up in Overpowered and change the situation in an unlikely and fascinating way. As usual, there will be some spoilers in this review so fair warning.
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Book Nights: Overpowered

Overpowered by Mark Kruger

My track record with superhero novels has been hit or miss, but somehow I keep getting asked to review them. If only filmmakers or studio PR were this forthcoming. But after my very pleasant experience with The Heart Does Not Grow Back, I was offered another opportunity to review a superhero novel. Largely because it was the same people I happily accepted, and since the book was the second in a series they graciously included this one which was the start of this series. There have been a lot of films centered around young adult book series lately and I have seen very few of them, at first glance Overpowered with its young heroine Nica front and center seems like it might just be another blip in a sea of similar books. But I really enjoyed this story about a small town with a sinister secret, it had elements of Disturbing Behavior (in a good way) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and after I finished, I’m glad I’ve already got the second book ready to go.
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Book Nights: Super Born: Seduction of Being

Super Born: Seduction of Being

by Keith Kornell

I was initially reluctant when I got an e-mail asking me to review a superhero novel, I was even more reluctant when I read the initial synopsis for it mentioning the main character as a single mom and a review blurb calling it “hypersexualized”. I also don’t own an e-reader which made me turn down a previous offer at reviewing a superhero novel, but even with my doubts they were still willing to send me a physical copy of the book. It was a rough start, I wasn’t fond of the overly sarcastic humor nor the frequent talk about sex which wasn’t helped by the cover that looked like I was reading a cheesy romance novel. The science mumbo-jumbo was equally over-specific and absurd, and the characterization of the superheroine main character felt like it was written by a man who was not a feminist by any stretch of the imagination. I soldiered on through the rest of the book was rewarded with much of the same, but underneath all of that there was an interesting plot that kept me wanting to know how it was all going to end up.
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Words without pictures: A Superhero novel

Infinite Crisis by Greg Cox

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve moved to the Chicago area and am now facing an hour’s train ride each way to work. To my surprise, my sister is a moderate fan of superheroes as well and she lent me her copy of Infinite Crisis: A Novel to read. I was familiar with the storyline and the previous event Crisis on Infinite Earths in name only. This is the first superhero novel I’ve ever read. When I was in my teens/early twenties I read a ton of fantasy books, mainly all of the Forgotten Realms series that was published at the time, as well as the Weis/Hickman written Dragonlance novels and Robert Jordan’s massive Wheel of Time series. One of the things I noticed fairly early on is how much is lost without visuals. Comic books and superheroes are very much a visual medium. And I understand that fantasy can be very visual as well, but for some reason reading about superheroes without the visuals to back it up felt a lot more silly to me. Especially when you get to the fact that this novel covers a huge crossover comics event that features literally hundreds of heroes and villains and has about a dozen main characters. And on top of that, seeing Batman survive being strangled by some superhuman villain is one thing, but reading several times how he’s only surviving because of his armored neckpiece just sits the wrong way with me. But aside from a few qualms, I generally enjoyed it.

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