Review of Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

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Venomous is another one of my Dollar Tree finds. This one is about a boy named Locke Vinetti who lives in New York with his mother and little brother. He suffers from intense anger issues that he refers to as “angries” at first and then renames his anger “The Venom” after the Spiderman villain. The book follows his struggle to live a normal life despite the fact that he feels like he has a creature living inside of him waiting to destroy his life.

His best friend, Randall, introduces him to his friends, their tarot club and a pretty goth girl named Renee. Things seem to finally be looking up for him but it doesn’t last long. The book deals with mental illness, drinking, medications, therapy, family issues, anger management, love, friendship and death. It also has lots of swearing and has some sex, so this isn’t for younger kids.

I like that each chapter starts off with a drawing that’s a page from a graphic novel with a bit of story and it’s supposed to be one that Locke is writing. Even though the book can be pretty dark at times, it ends with a hopeful scene. The other thing that I like about the book is that it doesn’t make the idea of taking pills (like Zoloft) or seeing a therapist a weakness. Even though the characters themselves might have some issues with it, their friends don’t.

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Ninth Grade Slays #2: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Graphic Novel by Zac Brewer

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I really enjoyed the Vladimir Tod series and I was pleasantly surprised to find this at Dollar Tree. I liked reading about these characters again and the illustrated version of Vlad is pretty much how I pictured him.

The art is nice and the story is the same as the paperback book, with some stuff thrown in like “That’s right. So and so did this.” Those moments seemed out of place and kind of cheesy, but I’ve seen comic books use that method of storytelling too.

Overall, it was a nice read.

Review of The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

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Cecil Castellucci is one of my favorite authors so, when I saw this at the thrift shop, I had to get it. I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It shows the positive impact that art can have on people’s lives, that art can heal and art can save.
The book is about a girl named Jane who lived in Metro City with her hair dresser parents until she is injured in a bombing. After she gets out of the hospital they move to Suburbia where they think its safer. At her new school Jane meets some other “social outcasts” and they all happen to have the same name, but spelled differently.  After becoming friends, they start doing random acts of art around town and call themselves P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art in Neighborhoods).
I love how the “art attacks” bring the Janes closer together and the effect it has on the town. While the adults don’t get it, the kids embrace it.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys graphic novels, art and young adult stories.