Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Color of Earth by Dong Hwa Kim YP FIC KIM

In a small rural Korean village, Ehwa lives with her widowed mother. They are as close as two people can be. But as Ehwa’s starts her journey from child to woman and her mother begins to open her heart with a new man will they be pulled apart?

This is the first of a trilogy. Color of Water and Color of Heaven complete the story of Ehwa growing from child to woman and her mother’s new love. This is another Korean Manhwa and I really was grabbed by the unique art. It reminded me of very early Japanese manga, because it has a very simple and graceful art style. Kim’s simple style is graceful and conveys a lot of emotion and depth with very simple images. It is clearly inspired by classic Japanese and Korean art. The story in this trilogy is really romantic and beautiful. I think Ehwa’s transformation throughout the trilogy from child to woman is told incredibly well. The mother-daughter relationship is really powerful and moves the story along very well. I think this is a great read for young women that like stories of love and romance and comics or manga. Check out the whole trilogy.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer Art and Adaptation by Young Kim YP FIC MEYER

For those of you that have spent the last years living under a rock in a cave on the moon, Twilight is the story of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Bella moves to the small gloomy town of Forks, Washington to live with her father. She makes friends at school but meets a young man that seems to hate her at first sight, the beautiful and mysterious Edward Cullen. Edward both pursues and pushes Bella away and she finds out why when he saves her life using abilities no human should possess. Who or what is Edward and what will Bella do now that she’s in love with him?

Twilight: the Graphic Novel will absolutely win over the fans. The art is absolutely spectacular in every single panel. Young Kim is an excellent artist and the Manhwa (that’s Korean Manga!) works very well for the story. Both Jacob and Edward look super pretty and Kim does a great job with Bella too. The story moves at a very brisk pace, so it may irk some fans that want a bit more detail. I liked it though, because it helps people jump into Twilight that are unfamiliar with the world very quickly. This is a good book for Twilight fans or for readers that think they may like Twilight. If you want to jump into Bella and Edward’s world but don’t want to read a huuuuuge book to see if you like it, here is the place to start.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Center Field by Robert Lipsyte YP FIC LIPSYTE

Mike Semak knows his Junior year is going to be his time to shine. He’s dating Lori, one of the prettiest girls in school (the other being her twin Tori), he’s the top choice for center field, and is respected by the whole school. Everything changes when a new kid from the Dominican Republic joins the team and takes Mike’s shot at center field. Mike’s frustrations lead him to lash out at an unpopular student. This gets him community service working with the Cyber Club where he learns his coach isn’t the man he thought he was. Now his coach wants him to be a spy against the club and Mike isn’t sure if he can, especially since he has developed feelings for a strange and troubled girl in the club. As his life on and off the field becomes more and more complicated Mike has to decide what kind of team player he wants to be.

This book is (forgive me but I truly cannot help myself) a home run (again, sorry)! The baseball scenes are exciting and so is the off field action. I picked this up because its baseball time and I was looking for a good baseball book, but this is just a great read all around. The central conflict between Mike and his coach gets very tense and had me racing through the last chapters. Mike’s character changes a lot through the book, but he’s not a boring boy scout. He’s a great example of the dangers of wanting to win for winnings sake. But it’s really the adults that have caused all the problems that Mike and his friends are grappling with. This is really a story about the abuse of authority and what harm it can cause even on a small scale, so it really fits well with the world we live in. A great read for baseball fans or people that like good drama.