"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Year of the Beasts by Castellucci and Powell

The Year of the Beasts written by Cecil Castellucci and illustrated by Nate Powell is a very clever half graphic/half regular novel. You start off reading what seems to be a cute little coming-of-age story about two sisters and young love. Then you turn the page to chapter 2 and it is a graphic novel with what seems like a disjointed story-line that does not match the action from chapter 1. And so it goes, one chapter regular, one graphic. Soon the reader starts to figure out how the graphic story, more a nightmare, figures in and the stories merge. It was a very clever technique and after my small adjustment period  the story flowed and I found myself looking forward to the artistic interludes.

I was actually quite taken with the title of this book, The Year of the Beasts. I remember the year(s) when I was a beast. Even when I knew I was being mean and nasty to my family I couldn't stop myself. Even when I didn't mean to mean (does that make sense?) and meant to be nice, my actions and words would often come out beastly. As an adult I now look back on those beastly teen years and I wonder how my parents could stand to be around me, let alone how they kept themselves from slapping me. Though the book does touch on the topic of behaving contrary to the way one knows one should, it goes deeper than that. It actually has a very deep and poignant message as Renee, the main character, grapples with her "beast." But in the end she learned "she would not be careless with precious things again."

That's a good lesson.  One we must all learn.

20 books in July Reading Challenge

15 / 20 books. 75% done!

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