coming of age, Queer, romance, Uncategorized

Webcomic Review: Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

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Title: Check, Please!
Author: Ngozi Ukazu
Genre: Comic, Sports, Romance, Queer, Coming of Age
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Blurb (Taken from the Check, Please! tumblr):
Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one?

There’s checking.

It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.

Review:
I was scrolling Tumblr a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon one of the frames from this comic. It was a mere 3 hours later that I had completely caught up with the comic and subsequently followed tons of blogs dedicated to Check, Please! I have become a bit obsessed with this cute webcomic and wanted to share it.

Eric “Bitty” Bittle is one of the most adorable and endearing characters I’ve ever encountered. It’s very hard to present a personality in a few quick comic frames but Ngozi does such a wonderful job of it. All the other side characters in Check, Please! also have amazing and decipherable personalities which is such a hard feat to accomplish with such little writing. I’ve fallen in love with all of the characters.

I’d say the main theme of this comic is friendship and growing up. It does have a romance aspect (that I won’t spoil) but the comic truly shines when revealing friendship dynamics and how much the hockey team supports and loves each other.

The art style of the comic is also super cute! I mean, just look at these adorable characters.

Bitty has a Twitter (that’s currently locked so spoilers for the current season don’t get out) and it’s interactive. Transmedia (as made popular by The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) is such an interesting thing to pursue. I love that transmedia is now being used for media other than videos.

The only thing that doesn’t make this a 5 folded pages review is that the series isn’t finished. It’s an ongoing series that mostly follows real-time. I don’t know if I’ll love where the series will go in the future and I’ll probably do an update review whenever it finishes but for now. This comic is AMAZING and I need more people to read it and love it as much as I do.

Here is a “slideshow” that can give a more in-depth description of Check, Please!

Here is the beginning of the comic. Beware you’ll become obsessed. Feel free to gush with me on Tumblr once you are hooked!

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coming of age, new adult, romance

Book Review: Unlit Star by Lindy Zart

unlit star

Title: Unlit Star
Author: Lindy Zart
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Length: 299, Kindle Book
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Coming of Age
Rating: 1 folded page

Blurb:
We are not guaranteed anything, not even this life.

Rivers Young is the popular guy untouchable by reality. He is like a star—bright, consuming, otherworldly. The thing about stars, though, is that they eventually fall, and he is no different.

He falls far and he falls hard.

Delilah Bana is the outcast enshrouded in all of life’s ironies. Alone, in the dark, like dusk as it falls on the world. When Rivers hits the ground, she is the night that catches him. In the darkness, they meld into something beautiful that shines like the sun.

Only, the greater the star is, the shorter its lifespan.

Review:
I’m pretty sure Zart tried just a little too hard to make Delilah a special snowflake and not hard enough to give Rivers a real personality. I have a hard time sugar coating my dislike (or like when that happens) for things and especially for books. I have no qualms in saying I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I actually got about halfway through before deciding that I couldn’t read another word and that I wasn’t enjoying the book in the least.

The plot was interesting enough. Loner girl ends up babysitting cool jock after a horrid accident left him “deformed” and unable to walk well and stuff ensues. Normally I would love a book like this. It screams my name! If only the characters weren’t so annoying. Delilah is all about being herself and doing what she wants when she wants and blah blah blah. Honestly, I was so bored with her straight forward personality when I was only 25% of the way in.

At that point, Rivers’ was still kind of mysterious so I decided to try and stick it out to see if it would get better. But once Rivers wasn’t mysterious he simply didn’t have a personality outside of Delilah. It was frustrating. I kept reading to see if maybe the rest of the plot would work out interestingly because they were together and happy by the 50% mark.

Delilah kept hinting at not living past the summer and her relationship with her mother isn’t good. And for a fraction of a second I was slightly curious about these things. But the way Zart pushed them made me feel less and less curious and more and more annoyed that we didn’t have answers yet.
I think this novel could have made a good novella. I probably would have finished it if it were shorter and we were given answers sooner. But with characters like this and a plot I didn’t have any investment in I dropped it. This novel has pretty great reviews on Amazon so I’m disappointed.