Mini Reviews: Nimona + Burn Baby Burn

MiniTime for another round of mini reviews. I’ve been lucky enough to pick up some really great reads this year, here are a couple that I didn’t have time to write full reviews for, but that I enjoyed a lot nonetheless. Covers below are linked to Goodreads.

Title: Nimona
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Series: N/A
Pages: 266
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 12th 2015 

      “Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
      But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”

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Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona is my first graphic novel and it won’t be my last. Stevenson’s characters are incredibly lovable from the impulsive Nimona to the strangely ethical supervillain Ballister Blackheart. With a fast-paced story, Nimona was a hard one to put down. Nimona and Blackheart make quite the team as they seek to bring down the Institution of Law Enforcement & Heroics. With Blackheart’s archenemy Sir Goldenloin leading the fight against them, this story is full of humor and adventure with friendship and love at its center. If you enjoy superhero stories where no one is who they seem, where the line between the good guys and bad guys is blurred, be sure to check this one out.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★


Title: Burn Baby Burn
Author: Meg Medina
Series: N/A
Pages: 310
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 8th 2016

      “Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous year 1977 in New York.
      After a freezing winter, a boiling hot summer explodes with arson, a blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, who is shooting young people on the streets seemingly at random.
      Not only is the city a disaster, but Nora has troubles of her own: her brother, Hector, is growing more uncontrollable by the day, her mother is helpless to stop him, and her father is so busy with his new family that he only calls on holidays.
      And it doesn’t stop there. The super’s after her mother to pay their overdue rent, and her teachers are pushing her to apply for college, but all Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. There is a cute guy who started working with her at the deli, but is dating even worth the risk when the killer especially likes picking off couples who stay out too late?”

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“They were eighteen and twenty years old, more or less like us. They went to the movies and found out that the city isn’t huge at all. In fact, it can shrink down to the size of a gun barrel, just like that.”

Meg Medina’s Burn Baby Burn is an emotionally gripping novel. Nora is a protagonist that is easily relatable as she struggles with an uncertain present and an even more uncertain future. It’s 1977 and the serial killer, the Son of Sam, is on a rampage. Nora and her best friend Kathleen are on the brink of adulthood and while this should be the best time of their lives, much of their choices are predicated on the fear that anyone, including themselves, can be the serial killer’s next target. Nora’s homelife is a constant struggle, if it isn’t financial issues that make it almost impossible to make rent every month, than it’s her younger brother Hector, who is spiraling out of control. Trapped between her brother’s rage and her mother’s impotence, Nora is constantly trying keep the peace and not drown in her own despair in the process. Medina does a fantastic job of transporting the readers to 1977 New York and made it impossible to not feel for someone like Nora who has so many unreasonable burdens placed upon her shoulders. It’s the story of a young women who finds courage to stand up for herself, to take control of her own life despite the awful hand she’s been dealt.

Rating: 4/5

★★★★

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23 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Nimona + Burn Baby Burn

  1. Great reviews. I’ve actually not read any graphic novels myself yet. I’m just not sure if I’ll enjoy them and I don’t want to waste money on it. Nimona looks really interesting though so it might be a good place to start!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. New York circa 1970’s sounds like a very interesting time. Medina seems to be able to capture it well, as well as spin a tall of murder and mystery that highlights the setting. I do like the sound of Nora’s character. You know me–I’m all about the struggle into strength types. Great mini reviews, Alicia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read Nimona, but Burn Baby Burn is probably one of the most gripping books that I’ve read in a long time. I really loved the book, from the characters to the plot of the story, and that setting really made it even more exciting. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up: February ’17 | A Kernel of Nonsense

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