Bitesize Reviews Vol. 16

It’s bitesize review time again! You know how this works: there are 4 mini reviews for books that won’t get their own full length one!

Enjoy! (and also check out my past library of Bitesize Reviews!)


Hexed #0 – Michael Alan Nelson 4.5/5
Well, this was an unexpected surprise!
I went into this graphic novel knowing absolutely hee-haw about it and I think that’s probably for the best.

Whilst I was a little confused in the beginning due to the art style and the breakneck speed of the narrative, I quickly got the hang of it.

This is a ‘handled in one’ standalone graphic novel with a shit tonne of room to expand on in the future if it was successful – which I’m guessing it was because there are 3 more volumes that I’ve seen and I’m going to be reading them sometime soon too because I ended up really enjoying this graphic novel!

This is full of magic, mystery, witchcraft, demons and one badass female MC who I’m dying to know more about! I really did enjoy this one!

A Song Below Water

A Song Below Water- Bethany C. Morrow 3/5
I’m so disappointed to be so disappointed with this book. Know what I mean?

Obviously this was a total cover read for me- it’s absolutely stunning! I’m also trying to diversify my reading and I’d heard so many things about this book!

However, I have to say it really wasn’t that good for me. I found the characters to be so easily confused with each other. I audiobooked it and there was a single narrator, which probably wasn’t ideal, but good writing should easily be able to differentiate between characters. Despite how different they were supposed to be, they just read with the same voice and it was really confusing.

Also, the world-building was zero to none. There were supernatural (is that the right word?…fantastical?) either way, there were those types of elements in the story and none of that was really explained.

But the big thing for me was ‘twist’ after ‘twist’ was added on top of each other with no exploration, no depth and no reasoning. It was just there and it was super messy.

The messages in the book are undoubtedly important, and I’m here for them, but I struggled so badly with everything else that the importance was almost lost.

I wish the book was more refined, but the ‘bare bones’ of the story was entertaining and fun. It just wasn’t as polished as it could be.

Dancing at the Pity Party

Dancing at the Pity Party – Tyler Feder 3.9/5
This is an incredibly difficult graphic novel to review because it’s something so deeply personal and specific. Yes, this graphic novel is an exploration of grief, but it’s so specific to the author and illustrator that it almost seems unfair to critique it. It feels like trying to comment on someone’s experience. However, I will try my best and I aim to be respectful all the way through.

This book is important, as I think it should be normalised to explore and talk about grief. This is a graphic memoir of Tyler’s experience losing her mother to cancer.

We are given an intimate and candid look into the experiences of Tyler and her family as they lose their mother to cancer. It’s unrelenting in its depiction of how grief can completely derail a life. but it also shows how different people cope with grief through Tyler’s sisters.

The art style to me seemed a little basic, which is one of the reasons for me dropping a star. I found the art too simplistic for my own personal tastes, but it works really well for the graphic novel.
The only other thing that dropped a bit of a star for me was that I felt that some aspects were dwelled on for slightly too long.

But again – this is a MEMOIR. So I already feel crappy critiquing it and giving any negatives.

However, I do think that this is an important book and could be helpful for anyone suffering from grief. 

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Lullaby- Leïla Slimani 1.8/5
I think I’m just going to have to come to terms with the fact that I don’t really much like ‘family or domestic dramas/thrillers’. Because I’m just not getting this – at all. I was left with a bit of a ‘where’s the rest of my story?’ feeling.

I mean, sure – the story is tragic, but I just didn’t care. And I’m not going to blame the writing OR the translation (I’ve read another french language novel translated by Sam Taylor and gave that a 5 star – so I don’t think it’s a lost in translation thing). I just don’t think I connected to the characters the way I was supposed to. I also didn’t get the parts of the stories I really wanted.

Personally, I feel like if you’re going to write about ordinary people in the ordinary world – you need to make the characters extraordinary, otherwise, what’s the point? It might as well just be a ‘News at 10’ piece.

Honestly, I was super bored for most of this book. Ordinary characters with ordinary boring lives – sure there’s child murder but it’s like – the first chapter and the last. I was super bored on the in-between. I kinda feel cheated out of a good story.

But hey, that’s just my particular opinion – loads of other people seemed to like it.

And we have reached the end of another batch of bitesize reviews! I hope you enjoyed them and if you’re after more mini reviews feel free to check out others I’ve done!


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