Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Last week Marshmallow reviewed Smile by Raina Telgemeier. This week she continues her Telgemeier streak with the next graphic novel by this prolific author: Sisters. Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow you have been reading graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier for a while now. And finally you got to Sisters.

Marshmallow: Yes.

S: The cover says this book accompanies Smile. I seem to remember that you wrote that that book was quite self-contained. How is this related to it?

M: They are related by the fact that both are about the same characters. The main character is the author herself, once again. But the main story line of this book is different. And it is a different time in her life. Instead of the school year, this is about summer time, about a summer when the author and her family took a road trip from California to Colorado to visit relatives.

S: I see. What is the main challenge this time?

M: The author and her sister are arguing too much. They are not in good terms. And there is a snake in their truck. And there are some problems between their parents.

S: I see. Seeing how the title mentions the sisters, I am assuming the book is mainly focusing on them getting their relationship in order?

M: Yes mostly.

S: So did you enjoy reading this book?

M: Yes. I always like Telgemeier’s drawings. She has a unique style. The faces of the characters are always very expressive. I like the color palate too. There is someone else who adds the coloring I think, Braden Lamb. I think the color choices add to the specific moods in each panel.

Marshmallow is reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

S: Did you find this book helped you think about your relationship with Caramel a bit?

M: No, not really. Caramel is my brother, and we don’t fight that much.

S: Really? So these two sister fight more than you two? Hmm, that is some serious discord in the family then. Okay, so what else do you want to tell our readers about this book?

M: If you do have a sibling, this book might be helpful to you to think about your relationship with them, and see if you can be a better sibling yourself. So actually, maybe the book did make me think a bit about Caramel and me. I am thinking of how I can be a better big sister to him.

S: That is nice Marshmallow. I think you are a good big sister. And Caramel is a good young brother. So is the author the older sister or the younger?

M: She is the older one, like me.

S: I see.

M: But she is not totally like me. She is detached from her family at the beginning of the road trip. But through the book she starts feeling closer to them.

S: That is nice.

M: Yeah, I thought the book was pretty good. On thing I was not too keen on was that one of the story threads about the parents and their problems was not completely resolved. I wanted some more closure.

S: Well, you said this is a book about the author’s own life. Sometimes in real life, we don’t get closure, especially on big issues.

M: Yeah, I guess I wanted that part to be more like a book than real life.

S: I can see that. So the book was at times too much like real life! Anyways, it seems like this was all around a very good book. How would you rate it Marshmallow?

M: I’d rate it 95%.

S: Cool. And what do you want to tell our readers as we wrap up this review?

M: Stay tuned for more amazing book reviews from the book bunnies!

Marshmallow rates Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Sisters by Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Caramel reviews The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Caramel has always found robots fascinating. Today he talks about The Wild Robot, a 2016 book by Peter Brown with a robot main character. As usual, Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviews The Wild Robot by Peter Brown.
Caramel reviews The Wild Robot by Peter Brown.

Sprinkles: So Caramel I know you like robots, but I don’t remember you reading many novels about them. Is this the first one?

Caramel: I think so.

S: So can you tell us what the book is about?

C: In the beginning there is a ship in the sea. The ship sinks in a hurricane or some type of storm. And thousands of robots are lost to the sea. Six of them land on an island. One box survives totally unharmed.

S: What happens to the other five?

C: They are destroyed. The only survivor is the robot who is the main character of the book.

S: So this robot is all alone in an island. Is the island inhabited by humans?

C: No. There are other animals though. Forest animals, like deer.

S: Does the robot interact with them?

C: Yes. At first they are scared of her. But seriously, wouldn’t you be scared if a giant robot appeared out of nowhere?

S: Wait, so the robot is a ‘she” and she is huge!

C: No she is not too big, she is human-sized, but the animals are not used to seeing humans either. Some say that the island was a mountain that had contact with the mainland but not anymore.

S: Hmm, so the robot is wild because it is in the wilderness?

C: Yes, and also because she also learns to speak with the animals.

S: Wait I am sorry. The robot is a ‘she”. How do we know that?

C: She calls herself a “she”. And her name is Roz.

S: That’s enough for me.

Caramel is reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown.
Caramel is reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown.

S: So is the whole book about the robot and her adventures in this island with these animals?

C: Yes, more or less. Eventually she finds a baby goose, a gosling, and she raises it as her own child.

S: That’s interesting. Does she not need fuel or energy or something? How does she charge herself?

C: I don’t know really. Maybe she is solar powered. She does have solar packs.

S: I see. This is a very interesting premise for a story Caramel.

C: Yes, she likes the island and gets so used to it that she calls it home.

S: That is cool. So did you enjoy reading this book?

C: Yes. And it ends with a big cliffhanger. So I have to read the second book!

S: Oh, so there is a second book. But this story does have some sort of a resolution, right?

C: Yes, I guess. But the end makes you curious about what will happen next. We learn a lot more about Roz and her past. There are three other robots! They are called the Recos I, II and III. And so I want to read the next book. Can I be done here so I can start reading that one?

S: Okay, then why don’t you tell me three words you would use to describe the book before we wrap this review up?

C: It’s exciting, it is funny. There is adventure, and lots of curious things happening. And cliff-hanging.

S: Hmm, not sure that last one is a word, but I know what you mean. Let us not keep you hanging any longer. So what do you want to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel loved reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and is eager to read about the next adventures of Roz.
Caramel loved reading The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and is eager to read about the next adventures of Roz.

Marshmallow reviews Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Marshmallow has reviewed three books by Raina Telgemeier before: Ghost (2006), the graphic novel version of Ann N. Martin’s Kristy’s Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #1) (2006), and Drama (2012). For her first review after her summer break she chose to write about a fourth Telgemeier book: Smile (2010).

Marshmallow reviews Smile by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow reviews Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about friends, friendship, and school, or if you enjoyed any of Raina Telgemeier’s other graphic novels, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): When Raina Telgemeier fell after her Girl Scouts meeting, her front teeth fell too. Unfortunately, they were her adult teeth and they weren’t going to grow back. This leads to a long process that continues for years. Her teeth must be fixed through braces, headgear (only during the night), and more. Raina is extremely self conscious of her image at school, and fears that her braces will make her look like a “dork” or a “nerd”; her friend group doesn’t help at all. In fact, several of her friends tell her that, “cool just isn’t the word to describe you.” In addition to all this, Raina has, what the book cover calls, “boy confusion”. ’nuff said.

Raina feels overwhelmed by middle school, and eventually high school. She is frustrated by the teeth issue, and struggling to find out what real, true friendship really is. I can’t spoil too much, but I can say that by the end, Raina can finally smile. 

Marshmallow is reading Smile by Raina Telgemeier.
Marshmallow is reading Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

Marshmallow’s Review: I thought that this was a very interesting insight into the author’s childhood, and her experiences with middle and high school. This book is about the author, Raina Telgemeier, herself, and spans several years of her teenage experience. 

Though I couldn’t associate myself with all of the feelings the main character had, I can still sympathize with her problems, because the character is shown in such a real way. She is almost like a real person. (Oh, wait, she is.)

This is a graphic novel, and one of a series. However, despite the fact that there are two other books, this can definitely be read as a stand-alone book. But it doesn’t take too long to read, so you can probably read the books all at once and it makes a nice story all together. (I might even review the other books for the blog some day.) However, as I said, this could be a stand-alone, because the story ends at a satisfactory point. (Furthermore, the story arcs of the other two books are all different and the plots are all unconnected. I would of course say more if I do end up reviewing them, too.)

All in all, Smile is a good book that can be enjoyed by all. But I would say that probably a middle school / middle grades reader would find it more exciting than younger or older bunnies.  

Marshmallow’s Rating: 95%.

Marshmallow rates Smile by Raina Telgemeier 95%.
Marshmallow rates Smile by Raina Telgemeier 95%.

Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland

And the book bunnies are back! Caramel starts the new season with the last book of Tui Sutherland‘s Wings of Fire series: The Flames of Fire. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions.

Caramel reviewed the first fourteen books from the series for the book bunnies blog. Before moving forward with his review of this fifteenth book, you might like to check out his reviews of these earlier books:

Caramel reviewed both the original version (The Dragonet Prophecy) and the graphic novel version (The Dragonet Prophecy of the very first book. He reviewed only the graphic novel versions of the next four books: The Lost Heir, The Hidden Kingdom, The Dark Secret, and The Brightest Night. These five make up the Dragonet Prophecy story arc.

Here are Caramel’s reviews for the five books that make up the second story arc (the Jade Mountain): Moon Rising, Winter Turning, Escaping Peril, Talons of Power, and Darkness of Dragons.

Finally here are Caramel’s reviews of the first four books making up the third story arc (the lost continent prophecy): The Lost Continent, The Hive Queen, The Poison Jungle, and The Dangerous Gift.

Readers should be warned that there may be more spoilers in this review than usual. 

Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel reviews The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, here we are, about to start yet another school year, and another season of books and book reviews! You have in your paws the fifteenth and currently the last Wings of Fire book: Flames of Hope. Are we finally done with this series? 

Caramel: Hopefully not. 

S: You mean the book ends with a cliffhanger?

C: To me yes. I’m not sure others would see it as a cliffhanger. I want to see the new world that Luna and Swordtail live in. 

S: Wait, that sounds like a spoiler.

C: No, I think it is already obvious that they would win. But to Tui Sutherland: if you are reading this, please write a sixteenth book. I want to know what happens next. 

S: Okay, let us slow down a bit. I recall that this fifteenth book is the fifth and final book of the third story arch: the lost continent. So is that arc completed and tied up nicely?

C: Yes, I think so. But these dragons will go on and live and do other amazing things, and I want to see them! 

S:  I think you mean that you like this world that Sutherland created and you are not ready to let go. 

C: Yes, exactly.

S: That is sweet. We started listening to the series as an audiobook, and I am already quite amazed at how complete this world that the author has created seems to be. So I understand why you don’t want to leave it just yet. 

C: And you know, we just are listening to the first book, and it gets better and better.

S: Cool. So would you then say that this fifteenth book is just as good as all the previous ones? 

C: Yes. 

S: So tell me what happens in it. Who is the main character this time?

C: Luna. We met her a while ago, first in book 10, The Darkness of Dragons. She is a SlikWing from Pantala.

S: So what is the main narrative arc of this book? What is the main event or challenge or conflict?

C: The main thing is that she battles the Other Mind.

S: What is the Other Mind?

C: It is the Breath of Evil, who took over a dragon and a human, and is using their minds for planning and stuff. 

S: Is the Breath of Evil a plant? I seem to recall that on Pantala there were evil plants. 

C: Yes. Exactly. The Breath of Evil is one of them. It tries to take over the entire world and Luna has to fight it. 

S: She has help from friends too, no?

C: Yes, but only Luna can do the actual thing. Only she can defeat the Other Mind. 

S: This story line sounds a bit creepier than the previous ones. 

C: But it is just as funny. There is an entire page of comic relief. Complete funniness. Pure hilarity. 

S: I see.

Caramel is reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.
Caramel is reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland.

S: So do we see our friends from the first books? Tsunami? Clay? Peril?

C: We don’t see Peril I think, but we see the others. 

S: So do you think this is a clean and tidy ending for the series? 

C: Yes but –

S: Of course I understand you want more …

C: Yes, please Tui Sutherland, please, please, please, write more books about these dragons and their world!

S: I don’t know if she reads our blog, but I can see you feel very strongly about this. That is really neat! I think these books will be with you for a while. 

C: Yes. I will keep reading and rereading and rereading them. For a long time. 

S: I can see that. But for now, this series is over. We are done. Now looking back would you recommend this whole series to other little bunnies? 

C: Yes, of course, without a doubt. I think the first few books have some violence here and there, but overall, I love the world and the characters and everything in these books. 

S: How wonderful to have such a series that you are so fond of! So overall what three words would you use to describe the full series?

C: Hilarious, dragon awesomeness, and adventure, and friendship, and pure amazingness. 

S: Those are a little bit more than three words, but then again, they are about fifteen books. So I guess that is fine. This seems like to good place to wrap things up. What would you like to tell our readers?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews! 

Caramel loved reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, but he thinks he will need a lot more books in this world to be completely satisfied.
Caramel loved reading The Flames of Hope (Book Fifteen of the Wings of Fire series) by Tui Sutherland, but he thinks he will need a lot more books in this world to be completely satisfied.