Comics Roundup #69: “Isla to Island”

I’m so happy I gave this one a chance, since I downloaded it entirely at random from my library. I just liked the cover and the description, believing I’d find it relatable (which I did), and decided to give it a go.

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos (illus.)


MG Historical






Set in the 1960s, Isla to Island is a wordless middle-grade graphic novel about a girl named Marisol growing up in Cuba. When Fidel Castro began taking over the country, Marisol’s parents sent her away to live in the U.S., in New York City, to ensure her safety. Marisol has a hard time adjusting to the new environment, language, and culture, but eventually her new family are able to help Marisol make her new space feel like home. (Goodreads)

My thoughts

This was a good read. I have a soft spot for wordless picture books and comics because readers have to rely on the art to understand the story, as well as the nonverbal ways in which we communicate and express ourselves. There are some words in Isla to Island, seen in written materials such as letters, but we do not get any verbal dialogue in the story.

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“Ring Shout” by P. Djèlí Clark

This novella received a lot of praise when it was published, and I can see why. However, I procrastinated on reading it myself until it popped up as a pick for my book club. I expected to love it — and normally I would — but unfortunately, the reading experience didn’t go as I’d hoped.


Horror, Fantasy





Quick summary

Set in early-1920s Macon, Georgia, during the Prohibition era, Ring Shout is about a young woman named Maryse Boudreaux hunting demonic members of the Ku Klux Klan with her two friends.

The demons are attracted to the hatred that fills members of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were able to cross over to this world during a ritual that took place in November 1915, when The Birth of the Nation (a real and controversial film) was shown. Only a few people have the ability to see the demons, which disguise themselves as White men and are all members of the Ku Klux Klan.

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“The King of Crows” by Libba Bray

Here we are at the last book in the Diviners quartet, a YA series I’ve been enjoying since 2019, managing to read a book a year with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile.

So far, I’ve enjoyed each book in the series more than the one that precedes it. But after completing the third book, Before the Devil Breaks You, I became worried that the last book wouldn’t measure up to the previous books and successfully wrap up all the plot threads. Well, now that I’ve completed the last book, it certainly wasn’t the reading experience I hoped for or expected.


YA Historical Fiction; Paranormal


Diviners, book 4



Quick summary

The King of Crows picks up immediately after Before the Devil Breaks You. Will and Mabel are dead. Jake Marlowe is gaining more influence and painting the Diviners as threats to society by posing the deceased Sarah Snow as some sort of saint. The Diviner Crew are at a loss and are running out of options on how to figure out their powers and defeat the King of Crows.

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“Before the Devil Breaks You” by Libba Bray

I really enjoy this series. I’ve even started to consider it a favorite. I own none of the books, but believe me, I will get myself the boxed set, if there’s one, soon.

I also want to read more books by Libba Bray. Does she only write YA novels? I’m not big on YA, but I’ll read whatever she has written because the Diviners books are SO good and I need more.

I have one more book to go in this series, which I’ve been buddy-reading with Rachel at Life of a Female Bibliophile and which we’ve both been enjoying and having loads of great discussions about. Things have built up to such a height in this book that I wonder how we’ll get down from it. How will things be resolved? I’m a little anxious that I won’t like the last book, but… I’m trusting Bray on this. Trying to stay positive here, and I NEED to get my own copy of these books!!


Historical Fiction; Paranormal


Diviners, book 3



Quick summary

The sleeping sickness has stopped, but all is not back to rights. Ghosts are roaming the city, some of them malicious, and the Diviner crew is even more curious about their abilities, how they got them and to what extent can they use them.

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“Grave Mercy” by Robin LaFevers

I read this back in May for a book club I have going with some friends. A mutual friend who read and loved the series highly recommended it to us, so we went in with high hopes expecting an exhilarating story about assassin nuns. But unfortunately, this one didn’t work out and was a total bore for us.


YA Historical; Fantasy


His Fair Assassin, book 1



From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

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“Drowned Country” by Emily Tesh

Here’s to show how very trivial it is for me to rate things. I enjoyed Drowned Country much more than I did Silver in the Wood, but I gave Silver in the Wood a half star higher rating than Drowned Country. Why? Because Drowned Country felt like a 3 star and Silver in the Wood felt like a 3.5 star…? Basically, not much reason at all. Anyway…




Greenhollow, book 2


August 18, 2020

Goodreads summary:

Drowned Country is the the stunning sequel to Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh’s lush, folkloric debut. This second volume of the Greenhollow duology once again invites readers to lose themselves in the story of Henry and Tobias, and the magic of a myth they’ve always known.

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Illustrated Books: “The Book with No Pictures,” “Hello Lighthouse,” and “Spot & Dot”

I read these three picture books for the OWLs readathon back in April. It had been a while since I’d read a picture book and since I had one out from the library and many unread on my bookshelves, I decided to give in and read some of my favorite types of books.

These three are very different from each other. Spot & Dot is a wordless picture book and the second in a series, while The Book With No Pictures has nothing but words. However, Hello Lighthouse is like your typical picture book that uses both pictures and words to tell the story.

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak


Children Humor



Goodreads summary:

At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share — and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Of the three, The Book with No Pictures is my absolute favorite. Oh my gosh! It’s charming, it’s simple, it’s funny. It was a delight to read and is even more fun when read aloud. I didn’t have anyone to read aloud to, so I read aloud to myself. 😥

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