Comics, diverse books, LGBTQIA+

Goldie Vance Vol. 1 Review

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Goldie Vance has some pretty great artwork. I really like the character design. The art is really colorful and Bold. I need to check out more comics that Brittney Williams has done illustrations for. Kind of want to do a post highlighting some artist of color from the comics I’ve enjoyed in the past. Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing that.

From the first issue, I was intrigued. Goldie is a pretty great character. She’s a 16-year-old girl solving crimes and helping people out at the hotel in Florida that her father manages. It seems like she’s basically grown up in the hotel. She knows the language the staff uses and other things that it seemed like the private investigator (Charles) she works with didn’t know.

It seems like Goldie puts herself into the cases Charles gets sometimes. Charles trains her and in turn he gets use of her skills and to use her familiarity with the staff. Gave me a Veronica Mars vibe but much lighter in tone. I love Veronica Mars. It was fun to see Goldie’s process. She’s a good detective.  Goldie takes some risk s that pay off but also some that don’t. She takes some that she really shouldn’t take when she has a nemesis like Sugar Maple hanging around.

Sugar Maple reminds me a little too much of Cheryl Blossom. I was having flashes of the Archie comics when she was introduced. She’s going to be a thorn in Goldie’s side for a while. I can already tell.

The main cast is filled with people of color.  Our main character Goldie is biracial. We get to meet both of her parents in this story. They are divorced before the story starts and I wonder how often we will get to see her with each of them. Goldie’s best friend Cheryl wants to be an astronaut. She loves Alan Shepard. She’s a great asset to this little team. She has a wide knowledge set. I just love her character so much already so far.

Goldie Vance also has some LGBT representation. Goldie is queer. We see her crushing on a girl in the second issue in this volume. I really love when the comics give me gay.  I am so here for the gay that happens at the end of this volume too. It made me happy.  Don’t know if Goldie is a lesbian or bisexual yet but I’m just happy we have a queer person of color as the main character of this story.

 

 

Book Reviews, LGBTQIA+, Nonfiction

Note To Self by Connor Franta

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When I read A Work in progress I was surprised by how much I was able to get out of it. I’m always skeptical with memoirs written by younger people. Especially someone younger than I am if only by one or two years. I was again impressed by Connor Franta with this second book.

I like the way Connor tells a story. He has an open and honest feel to him. He states his opinions without them feeling like he’s trying to force you to agree with what he feels. He can look at moments of his life and in reflecting on them pull out a lesson that he gained or wish he knew at the time. He has a wiseness that is beyond his years.

Plus there is the photography. The photos in this book were extra striking. Like I wish I could take photos as good as the ones Connor takes. In some books with photography. The photos are glanced at and you move right on to the writing. I really stopped to look at the photos here. Especially when they linked in really well to the prose or poetry Connor had with it. By the way, Connor’s poetry was excellent in this book.I would read an entire poetry book from him. I was so there for it.

A lot of what Connor talks about in this book is really relatable for me too. I’ve talked about an experience that many queer people have in common in the past that Connor also addresses here. Having your first relationships, romantic or otherwise, in much later years than your straight peers. Possibly because you weren’t out or because you weren’t in an environment with anyone else to start those relationships with in your high school or college years.

Connor talks about experiencing that here and I could definitely relate to the way he talked about it. He wasn’t out in high school. He came out in the last few years. It’s a different experience just because of where you are in your life.  The emotions involved in those first relationships and the way you approach people you are interested in changes for people over time.Plus the way you experience break ups and heartbreaks. Connor experiences a major breakup while writing this book.

Connor experiences a major breakup while writing this book. The emotional devastation he experiences is written about in such a grabbing way. He’s just honest about what he was feeling and you can tell he hoped writing something would help him. I think anyone who has experienced a breakup that really affected them can relate. The poetry and photos in that section shined even more. This is a book where I could not contain my emotions as I read. I let out a bit of a scream at one point because I was relating and empathizing too much with what was happening.

Connor also talks about his experience with depression. He talks about his first time going to therapy. I love seeing people talking about these experiences and letting people know it is okay to do that. I think a lot of people don’t like the stigma associated with things and are afraid to talk about their problems. Some people are afraid to try therapy because of some of that stigma. I always appreciate seeing this in books. Loved seeing a real person talk about their experiences with it.

This was another excellent book from Connor. Excited to see what he does next. Just started listening to his curated music playlists on Spotify. They are so good. Plus, I am now checking out his Instagram whenever I can because those photos are just too good. Wishing him the best in his next few years. I hope he is able to keep growing and learning from life.

 

LGBTQIA+, YA

Girl Mans Up by M.E Girard

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I feel like this is an important book. I don’t think I was ready for how heavy the book would be. There is sexual assault (non-consensual kissing) and mention of sexual harassment that happened earlier in Pen’s life. There is Colby and all of his mess that happened in the story. The turmoil Pen goes through because of her family was so stressful to follow at times.

Johnny isn’t perfect but he does the right thing when he can. He’s a good brother. He’s really the only one in the family who constantly supports Pen being who they are. I appreciated his character. He was a hard worker who didn’t take anyone’s mess.

Blake is amazing.  I thought of Blake is pretty cool. Love how much of a gamer she is. I could ship Blake and Pen for sure. She supports Blake. She genuinely supports Blake. Then she surprised me by doing the right thing even when it would make Pen a little upset. She did something that would keep her safe.

She also supports Olivia without even knowing exactly what happened to Olivia. I love girls supporting other girls in stories. There are just great female friendships presented here. It made me so happy to see.

Blake’s parents are also pretty amazing. There is one particular scene where I loved seeing the way they interacted with her and the way they interacted with Pen. It was a great contrast to Pen’s family.

The story talked a lot about other’s expectations when it came to gender expression. Pen’s parents worry because of what other people will think constantly. Pen worries at the time. At the end, I feel like Pen is able to start focusing on who she is and not on who other people want her to be or thinks she should be. It made me think about those expectations as well.

 

 

 

Shakespeare

Richard II – Shakespeare Review

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I really don’t talk about classics enough so I think it’s time to talk about some of the Shakespeare I’ve read this year. First my most recent read. Richard II. I’m gonna be honest with you. I picked up my Complete Pelican Shakespeare just because I wanted to read Richard Ii this time around. I knew I wanted to see the movie because one of my favorite actors play Richard II. I’m obsessed with Ben Whishaw and so I needed to get through the play before watching the film.

I have to say the play did make me pretty excited to see the film. Richard II was another ruler who became too focused on the things that ruling brought him.  He makes some decisions that seem unjust. These actions ultimately lead to him being usurped of his throne. I didn’t fully see Richard as a bad guy in this. He seemed misguided by his notions. The belief that God chose him to rule affects things.

I love Shakespeare’s morally gray characters. Richard makes decisions that don’t really seem at all planned. I really don’t think Richard thinks ahead to the consequences his actions could have or cares. All his decisions are the right ones to him. He sees himself as God’s chosen king. God can’t be wrong so neigh can any of Richard’s actions. It’s probably a fun way to rule. Richard definitely seemed to enjoy it while it lasted. I feel like He’s such a complex character. I really enjoyed following him in this story.

When he banishes Bolingbroke he is somewhat backed into a corner with not many options. I was really rooting for Bolingbroke, though. I love a good revenge story. Take back your fortune and the crown too since everyone is backing you for that now.  he just wanted what was rightfully his. I find it ironic that Richard uses this ideology to convince himself of all the decisions he makes being righteous in order to take away what is rightfully someone else.

I have to question why the people are so quick to rally to Bolingbroke’s side. There are the unjust decisions to look at but I wonder about other things with Richard. He is a King that shies away from violence or sentencing people to death. Instead, he will banish people. At times where it would be best for him to kill them outright. He would have kept his throne much longer if he got rid of Bolingbroke instead of letting him flee for instance. I don’t even fully know where I’m going with this but I just would love to see more theories about Richard and his council.

I love Shakespeare’s language. This play was not an exception. Really nice sounding lines. I can’t wait to watch thew movie and see what the actors do with this play. Especially excited for some of the speeches. The last monologue we get of Richard in particular. So excited to see Ben Whishaw’s delivery.