Some HAPPY Books to Brighten Up Your Day!

orangutan list

You know me, I love my dark books. But today, I figured it was about time I shared some books with a lighter touch. These are just some of the books that make me happy:

the martian

The Martian– starting with a book based around the catastrophe of being stuck on Mars with a depleting air supply, I absolutely expect you to read that synopsis and think has this monkey gone bananas? Why has she put this on a happy books list? Well, for all the tension in this book, there’s an equal amount of humour, thanks to the hilarious protagonist Mark Watney! I guarantee if you pick this up, you’re in for a bundle of laughs

the hating game

The Hating Game– with a book title like that, you might not expect to see it on a list like this- but this quirky, funny contemporary is practically the definition of a HAPPY book 😀

isla and the happily ever after

Isla and the Happily Ever After– the clue is in the title 😉 I am a sucker for “happily ever afters” and this delivers for sure!

to all the boys

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before– Lara Jean and her family never fail to bring a smile to my face.

simon vs the homosapien agenda

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda– do I really need to give any introductions for this book at this point? While this deals with some serious issues, Albertalli’s lighthearted touch make Simon a pleasure to read.

carry on

Carry On– I mention this book *a lot* but I can’t help it if this brilliant parodic fantasy fills me with the utmost joy!

going postal

Going Postal– One of my favourite Discworld books- need I say more? Also, it happens to be one of the funniest.

nimona

Nimona– this is a newish one for me- but as another twist on its genre, I thought it fit perfectly. Playing with ideas of supervillains vs superheroes, this graphic novel is a whole lotta fun!

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– I adore this fresh take on alternative history. A completely unexpected ride, this doesn’t just toy with historical accuracy, it laughs in its face and rewrites the history books- in the best possible way!

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– I mean, it’s Austen- do I need a reason? I also happen to love Mr Knightley the most of all Austen’s male leads (oh and there’s great character development- but pff- we’re talking about what makes me smile)

little women

Little Women– rounding off with possibly an unusual choice, this certainly has its poignant and sad moments- HOWEVER for every bit of sadness this book brings, it also delivers its equal parts of joy. I would have felt remiss not to include it.

So do any of these books bring you joy? And what are your favourite happy books? Let me know in the comments!

Graphic Novels Wrap Up #2

graphic novel mini reviews 2.png

One of the *coolest* things about blogging is that it’s introduced me to genres I never would have considered otherwise. The biggest change in my reading since I started is that I now read graphic novels- which now that I think about it makes sense, because I love art and I love stories, so in the words of Joey from Friends…

put your hands together

Anyway, way back when I did a wrap up about my first foray into the graphic novels and now that I’ve accumulated a few more graphic novels in a row, I thought it would be fun for round two!

nimona

Nimona– gosh this was good. It was funny, it cleverly subverted my expectations to add to the humour and had some excellent character development. Somehow, this story about villains also managed to have a sweet ending. I thought the illustrations were a lot of fun as well. My one niggling thought with this though was that it was a little young for me. But I happily gave it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

sleeper and the spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle– I wasn’t crazy about this Sleeping Beauty retelling. It was basically another *strong woman saves the day* story- and if you’ve been reading a lot of my posts in the last few months, you may be able to tell that I’ve grown bored of this trope. There’s a lot of the typical tropes that go along with that of course like the useless prince- which at this point are becoming worthy of an eye-roll. However, the writing was beautiful and I really liked the evocative world. Evidently, this was not the best Gaiman I’ve read- but let’s face it, even the not-so-great Gaiman is gonna be a decent read. And in true Gaiman fashion, there was a pointed ending with a bold twist.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Monstress Volumes 1-2– first of all it has to be said: the artwork is stunning. I was *blown away*by how beautiful it is to look at. The imagery also lends itself to some extensive world building. I will say that in volume 1, the story didn’t grab me and I was a little lost at times. However, the expansion of the story in the second volume really grabbed my attention and by the end it left me breathless. So I do think that if you weren’t blown away by the first one, just know it gets better! The one thing I wasn’t keen on throughout was the use of lectures/history lessons to infodump points about the world. I don’t see how talking about trade routes is interesting at the best of times and for me this wasn’t the way to do it. Other than that, it was a compelling graphic novel series I’d like to continue. Also, this was the first graphic novel I tried on my kindle and I was a bit worried about how that would turn out at first- but I needn’t have worried, because the way you can click on panels worked brilliantly for me.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

persepolis

Persepolis– this was another brilliant graphic novel and I think the type I lean towards the most. As an autobiography, it worked superbly well. I appreciated the insight into Satrapi’s life and found it very educational with regards to the Iranian Revolution. Split into two parts, the story of childhood and the story of return, I ended up preferring the latter as Marjane had more room to grow and faced greater personal struggles. By the end, I was engrossed in her story and felt like I’d seen first-hand the conflict between liberation and oppression. What was especially bold was that it didn’t shy away from some of the more unpleasant things she did to stay alive and free- like getting a randomer arrested when she nearly got caught wearing lipstick. While this troubled me deeply, I also thought it was brave to present her flaws, as raw and real as they were. The artwork, while not my favourite style, was solid and did convey strong emotions. Ultimately, I was glad I picked this up.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana 

wicked and divine

Wicked + Divine– this was another one I unfortunately didn’t love. Initially, I was digging concept and that it was set in London. I also liked Lucy and the chapter titles. HOWEVER I did not like the main character at all- and the fact that she was self-aware about her celebrity obsession didn’t disguise this unlikeable trait. I also felt a lot of characters weren’t characters but reduced to traits. I didn’t feel like these characteristics were blended seamlessly into the story and consequently they ended up feeling gimmicky. The artwork was simple and colourful- but unfortunately not to my taste at all (I’m afraid I can’t pinpoint why, it just wasn’t doing it for me). Ultimately, this is a one and done situation. There are definitely reasons to like it, yet I didn’t connect with it and I don’t feel any urge to continue.

2½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

So have you read these? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!