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March reads by Saleena

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  Cat Massage Therapy is exactly what it looks like it will be....a sweet, adorable story filled with cute cats and people who adore them.  The basic premise is that these cats (who can talk) give massages, complete with purr therapy and other cat-like cute behaviors and when one man discovers their talent at relaxing him.....he can't help telling everyone.  As their popularity skyrockets, bodegas nearby are finding it hard to stock any tasty treats that the cats might like (they are paid in food, as is proper...don't ask about how they pay rent or how they sign paperwork....you are thinking too much). If you want a fun, silly read to take you away from the problems of the world; this is an excellent choice with really beautiful artwork and a fun, silly story. Adventures in Arden High continue with King Cheer.  Cheer Captain Leah is having trouble with college admissions and is really stressed out.  She decides the best course of action is to step down as Captain and focus on f

Fun stories for the younger teen, or the young at heart

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  Mia is adjusting to life with her mom and stepfather.  She is learning a lot about her Jewish heritage from her school and her family but she years for a connection to her father and her Native heritage.  When her mother refuses to allow her to visit, Mia sneaks off and goes to meet her father and his new family.  She finds herself learning all sorts of things about the other side of her family and their traditions.  Now she just needs to convince her parents to allow her to continue to be a part of both families and not just ignore half of herself. This was a really interesting story that tackles some heavy issues but remains grounded in what knowledge (or lack of it) means to Mia and how she handles figuring it out.  Prejudices and racism are discussed but are not overshadowed by the joy of finding ones' self through ones' heritage and family connections. Maisie is super excited to be going to Fancon.  She meets Ollie, a Fancon volunteer, and sparks gently fly.  This new cr

long delayed list of awesome books to check out

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Klaus by Grant Morrison is an amazing superhero remake of the classic Santa Claus origin story.  As you can see from the cover this Klaus is not overweight and eating cookies, but he DOES magically make toys and defeat evil.  Morrison's classic art makes this into the most fun with a cheesy premise (that actually makes a good, not so cheesy story). Enjoy anytime, don't wait for Christmas to read! Family Style is a biographical tale of a refugee from Vietnam.  It is a touching story told both from the viewpoint of a child and an adult.  It has won some awards in the recent awards season, and is definitely recommended for you to try. Oseman continues the story of Nick and Charlie in vol 5 of Heartstopper.  I do love how Oseman continues to show us not just the main character's stories but the family and friends around them .....and this was very well done. Look on the Bright Side is the continuing story from Go With the Flow and jumps us right back into the character's li

Spooky titles for the season

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  To sum up this quickly.....what if being in the popular crowd meant more than just being exclusive and meant changing who you are....literally?  Granted it seems like justice when the "squad" explains that while they are werewolves, they only prey on "slimy boys".....but as Becca discovers; who decides what is slimy and who deserves to die? What happens when being a "demi-human" means being immortal but also being hunted?  What does it mean when one doesn't know they won't know until they are in a fatal situation but don't die?  That's what happens to Kei Nagai and he is now hunted and scared......one day, over-achieving high school student, the next hunted and turned into an immortal creature he doesn't understand. Death Note is everywhere, but if you haven't read it, you really should.  It's cool and creepy and fun. Have a Happy Halloween, Saleena   =)

A wide range of stories read and reviewed by Saleena

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  Lost in Taiwan is an interesting adventure where you get to watch a scared, lonely (and a little bit of a selfish jerk) of a teen go out and get lost.  While lost he is forced to interact with and experience things he never thought he would but he is also forced to reconnect with himself and who he wants to be as he navigates his way back to his brother's home. This is a fun adventure story with a heart, definitely recommended. Basil and Oregano meet at a magical culinary school.  Readers follow them through the school year until the finale, a cooking competition in which the winner receives free tuition and the prestige of being "the best" culinary wizard.  The author explores the callousness of the school being so focused on the competition and the lack of resources for the many students who cannot afford tuition as well as the atmosphere of desperation which happens when everyone is vying for a limited opportunity and all for very good reasons.  There is a beginning

Exploring diversity in comics

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 This month I made a conscious effort to read stories told from outside my own frame of reference, from authors of various ethnic cultures.  I love exploring and learning and with comics, you get the added benefit of art as well.  Here are my 3 titles, and spoiler alert...they are all awesome! The story begins when the avatar of Death is fired and sent to Earth because a human has found the secret to immortality; so Death is irrelevant.  Death finds the body of Laila Starr and takes it over so that she can find and kill the human who has made her job unnecessary.....but when she finds him as a baby she finds that she cannot kill him.  So, the story continues with her continuing to look for the man, and each time being unable to kill him....but also each time learning more about what it means to be human.  She is slowly learning about life and death and feelings and isn't sure what to do with all of it.   This book is a remarkable look at life and death through the eyes of someone o

New & Fun Fiction Stories

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  This book just called to me with it's colorful art and an interesting premise.....I mean who else besides a custodian cleans up messes of the multiverse?  I love that this important job sounds so......simple.  I adore that the main character had no idea what he was in for and so we got to discover it all alongside him.  Waiters built a story and solid, realistic characters but kept a sense of humor and a bit of common sense for his main character of Vern.  I would definitely recommend this book, it was really a delightful read. I am always a sucker for twisted fairy tales, so seeing this, there was no question of reading it.  I really was surprised at the combination of simplicity and depth to the stories and the art.  On the surface it seems just some simple stories with an LGBT twist, but it goes deeper if you look.... I am constantly learning about how what you expect a story to be is part of what we expect the world to be....and what speculative fiction gets to do is to exami