So, I live in Krasnogorsk. I wouldn’t call it a city as it still has areas which remind you of the time when all the people lived in small houses. Of course, we have modern soaring in the sky blocks of flats, and some parts of the town are like jungles made of concrete and glass, but still, my family and I call the town our lovely “деревня”. If you translate this word into English, the result will probably be “village”, however, I don’t think that this English notion has the same meaning as our “деревня”.
Actually, my hometown is not that far away from the capital of Russia. If the weather is fine, and there are no construction works on the roads, you can easily reach Moscow by car in 15 minutes. However, the situation is never like this.
What I like about my hometown is that it is really green. There are several parks and forests where people spend their free time walking, eating ice-cream and hanging out with family and friends. Recently, they have been renovated, and as a result, there are new benches, pantones, and play and sports grounds. I always walk there with my family and pug. In spring and summer, lilac and apple trees bloom and streets are filled with their scent. In autumn, the trees turn yellow, red and gold, which makes the parks wonderful. When winter comes, ponds turn into ice, and children and adults skate on them.
However, people in my town kind of suffer from the lack of light. The streets are really dark in the evening, and it is uncomfortable. In Russia, where during the autumn-winter period it can get dark starting from 3-4 p.m, unfortunately, the town administration cannot resolve the issue.
Another thing that I love about Krasnogorsk is sunsets from the apartment’s windows. They are miraculous and never the same. The colours are unbelievable: purple, pink, red, yellow; and these are only the ones that I can describe in words. In summer I usually spend evenings on the balcony admiring this beauty.
Also, I could speak about the malls that we have in Krasnogorsk, but they do not differ from those in other towns and cities. There is one cinema and many shops.
As well as that, there is music, drawing schools and various clubs where children and teens can develop a wide range of abilities. By the way, since childhood, I attended English, dance and music classes in my town. Thanks to them, I was able to learn a lot, constantly develop and meet different interesting people.
Moreover, there is the Palace of Culture in the centre of my hometown. When famous people come to Krasnogorsk, they perform there. Likewise, concerts of art clubs are held in this Palace. So, I live in a nice town. If you visit Russia, welcome to Krasnogorsk.
The things I do for my friends…I was putting the finishing touches on my review of “Gone girl” (the movie, not the book) when a friend of mine called me up. After a quick catch-up session, the conversation turned to how bloody scary life is right now. And no, not cause of Covid, we’re kind of used to it by now. But because on top of the global pandemic we are being tested by Mother Nature herself. Of course, it’s our own fault and all that, but still… several volcanoes that lay dormant for centuries starting to erupt at once is an unsettling occurrence. And then my friend, knowing how much I love movies, said, “Hey, let’s watch a disaster movie together!” – “Um.. I have concerns. First off, we are in different cities right now. Second, why would we want to do that? Isn’t our life disastrous enough?” – “But if we see the worst case scenario, maybe our current situation won’t seem so bad in comparison?” I agreed that she had a point, yet a volcano movie was not something that I was in the mood for… And then she remembered “The Impossible”.
The movie that I watched soon after it came out, couldn’t get it out of my head for days, shuddered at the thought of it, and promised myself I’d never watch it again. That “The Impossible”.” Oh, come on, it can’t be that bad! It’s just a movie,” my friend continued, stating that she couldn’t watch it without me, yet couldn’t NOT watch it… What choice did I have?
“The Impossible” (2012), directed by J.A. Bayona, is based on a true story of a Spanish family Belon (Maria Belon has a writing credit), who survived the horrific 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Filmed partly on location in the actual resort that was rebuilt after the event, “The Impossible” works like an eye-witness account of a natural disaster, a survival story, a family drama, and a love story of a mother and son who, while fighting for each other, fought for their own lives.
It’s difficult to put into words the effect that this film had on me. This time around (my second) I knew what to expect, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional tsunami (not a pun, sorry) that would hit me nonetheless. “The Impossible” uses green screen, CGI, and practical effects to immerse the actors (and the audience) into the all-consuming fury of Mother Nature. It’s amazing how helpless we are in the face of a natural disaster. Just like it’s amazing to realize how petty our worries and troubles are in the grand scheme of things. In the first peaceful minutes of the film, Henry is worried about possibly getting fired from his job – a problem that loses all meaning seconds later, when the actual problem crashes into Henry and his entire family.
“The Impossible” doesn’t waste time getting to the main event – but you kind of wish that it did. I don’t think any viewer is prepared for the crashing waves that flood the Thailand – and the screen. Our titular family is literally torn apart, with Maria and Lucas, the eldest son, being swept up and carried into the mainland, while the fate of Henry and the two younger boys is unclear for the time being. It becomes apparent that mother and son are the main heroes of the story, the true survivors.
Naomi Watts, once again, gives her all in an incredible performance. She perfectly captures Maria’s devastation, despair and solemn resolve to survive for her son, no matter what it takes. When we first see Maria after the tsunami hits the resort, she is clinging to a tree, screaming in shock and pain, but at least she’s relatively safe. But when a few seconds later Lucas wizzes by in a wave of ocean water and debris, Maria abandons caution and throws herself back into the merciless water, with just one goal – to save her son. This desperate act is the cause of most of her horrific injuries, and we painfully understand her choice, which is not really a choice for a mother. Her life means nothing if her son is in danger.
Tom Holland, our resident Spider-man, plays the role of Lucas. It’s his film debut, not that you could tell from the convincing performance that he gives. Lucas goes through a roller-coaster of emotions and ages 10 years in the span of three days. He goes from being a scared little boy, who can selfishly leave a crying child behind to save himself, to being the head of the family, taking care of his mother.
Ewan McGregor rounds out the cast as Henry, who doesn’t get as much screen time, but makes an impression as a father trying to balance taking care of his little sons and looking for his wife and older child. McGregor’s role is less meaty than Watts’ or Holland’s but Ewan is the actor of undeniable talent, so he makes an impression despite the lack of screen time.
All in all, “The Impossible” truly deserves its name. For it’s Impossible to survive a crashing tsunami, it’s Impossible to find your family in a sea of lost and broken people… and it’s Impossible not to be profoundly affected by this film.
It was May 9th, 2018. Most people celebrate Victory Day on May 9th, but I was celebrating for a different reason. You see, two days before that my best friend Victoria turned 18 but refused to make a big deal out of it. So, being the great friend that I am, I decided to take the matter into my own hands and throw her a surprise party.
I woke up around 8 a.m. and immediately got on my phone to finalise some details and get everyone else who was supposed to attend the party on the same page. We were planning to have a picnic in the park several train stations away from our school, where we booked a gazebo near the lake. We agreed that everyone would pitch in and bring something for the picnic. I took it upon myself to provide beverages and fruits, so at about 10 a.m. I loaded everything in my backpack and left to catch a train to meet up with the others. As soon as I stepped outside, I realised that it was going to be an incredible day. Springs are quite unexpectable here, so you can never be too sure what kind of weather you’re going to get, so we definitely got lucky that day. The sun was shining bright, spreading its warm rays across the land, and the sky was a pretty baby-blue colour. It was certainly a great start for such a special day.
When I got to the station, I met up with some of my friends and handed over the drinks and fruits, so that they could go ahead and set up the table before Vika and I arrive. I thought it would be better if everybody was already there to surprise her. After they left to prepare, I was sitting at the station, waiting for Vika with excitement and adrenalin building up inside of me. The anticipation was killing me! I couldn’t wait to see all the emotions on Vika’s face when she saw what we prepared for her. I was sure that she would love our surprise, although it was a shame that some of our friends couldn’t make it. But still, I was determined to give Vika the best birthday I could.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait at the station for too long, and Vika showed up on time, which already made that day stand out from the rest. After struggling to find the ticket office, she finally managed to buy a ticket and make it to me. At that moment, I started filming her because I already knew that it would be a real treat – watching her reaction later. Naturally, Vika seemed confused about why I was filming her all of a sudden. From her point of view, we were only going for a walk, and she was oblivious to what was about to happen. But when I handed her a sleep mask that I brought for the surprise, the confusion in her eyes grew even more. She looked at the mask, then at me, then back at the mask and said: “Okay”, as if she accepted her fate not knowing what lay ahead. At first, I tried to insist that she put the mask on right there at the station, but then I decided to have a little mercy and postponed this torture for her peace of mind. When we finally got to the station, where the picnic was taking place, Vika had to put the mask on and let me take the lead. The poor thing was so scared of what I had planned for her, that I almost took offence. Obviously, I would never do anything dangerous or unpleasant to my best friend, so why would she be so afraid? But when I look back at it, I think I’d probably be somewhat on edge as well, so I get it.
Once Vika put on her mask, I squeezed her hand, and we set out to the park. I was trying to calm her down and reassure her because she was trying to chicken out, and I just couldn’t let her ruin her surprise party.
I’ve never been to that park before, so I didn’t even know the way there. That’s why our friend Elina met us near the train station, took Vika by the other hand and began walking us to our picnic. Vika’s pulse was probably still a race car, even though Elina and I were trying to lighten the mood and persuade her that she’s going to love the surprise. After some time, we finally made it to the park, and it was only a matter of minutes before we joined the others. So, I gave my phone to Elina, who was now in charge of the filming and took out my Polaroid camera, which I got for my birthday about two weeks before that, to capture Vika’s face once she took off her mask. It seemed that the closer we got to the finish line, the more unsure Vika became. She almost didn’t want to know what was about to happen.
But when we came up to the gazebo where all the others were patiently and, what’s more important, silently waiting, it was the point of no return. I positioned Vika in the centre so that everyone would face her and warned her not to peek unless she wanted to let everything she suffered through go to waste. The moments right before the reveal felt pretty epic. Two of the boys were standing on each side of her, holding confetti guns, ready to fire on my command, Elina stood in the back, filming with my phone, I was standing right in front of Vika with my Polaroid camera, ready to catch her priceless reaction and the others were filling their lungs with air to scream “Happy Birthday”. I finally told Vika that she could remove the mask, but she hesitated for a couple of seconds. And when she finally opened her eyes, our plan came to life. The boys fired the confetti guns, the others cheered, I took a picture, and everyone began laughing. It was probably a mix between being excited and being relieved that everything went according to plan. After the reveal, we had a good old group hug and went inside the gazebo to gift our presents and enjoy the rest of the day. I can only imagine the kind of emotional rollercoaster Vika experienced that day: confusion, fear, anxiety, surprise, happiness, gratitude and maybe something else.
Somebody brought the party hats, which were the icing on the cake for us, so we shamelessly put them on. You could see genuine happiness and joy on Vika’s face when she was unwrapping her presents. Everyone did a great job and gave her things that she actually liked and wanted. After going through all the gifts, we could finally have lunch. There was pizza, different fruits and berries, some drinks and of course what is a birthday celebration without a cake?
The rest of the day went smoothly. We were laughing, playing board games that somebody brought along and enjoying each other’s company. Once we finished the picnic, we decided to roam the park together, talking, basking in the sun and having photoshoots, so we would have a little something to remember this wonderful day. Then I remembered to take a look at the Polaroid photo of Vika, which had to have developed by then. And when I saw it, I was so disappointed and discouraged that it seemed that the whole celebration was spoiled. With all the excitement of the reveal of the surprise, I forgot to change the setting on the camera, so almost the whole picture was white, and it was nearly impossible to make out Vika’s expression. And the worst thing was that it was clear enough to be able to make out that it would be a great picture if only it had fully developed. To this very day, I regret not having the coolest picture from that party. But as The Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want, and I realise that having the memory is more valuable than having a photo.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is a wonderful book to read with children who would like to learn any language!The author gives a great example of how raising children in a bilingual (or in this case, multilingual) environment enriches their mind and gives them a great advantage in life. The heroes of this story display excellent problem-solving skills and resilience; they are well-behaved and curious; they have no problem communicating with people and making friends. I love that Mr Santos chose a variety of languages to showcase in this story: our heroes, Isabella and Dylan, speak Portuguese and Ukrainian, and the people they encounter speak Spanish, Turkish and, judging by the illustrations, there are speakers of other languages as well.The illustrations are lovely! People and animals alike are so charming, they radiate happiness and warmth. I loved the color palette and the detailing of each illustration.We get to meet a lot of animals at the zoo, but the main star is Kiki, Dylan and Isabelle’s pet chicken. She gets an adventure of her own when a friendly giraffe chooses her for his new companion. This is the situation where Isabelle uses her wonderful imagination to come up with a creative solution and set Kiki free.I would love to read more books in this series, and share them with my young students who will be inspired to continue their studies of various languages!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Oni Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This is a wonderful collection of comic strips that grows on you as you keep reading. John McNamee has his own outlook on life, and many might find similar ideas to their own in this collection of musings. I would describe John as a hopeful pessimist, who sees life for the epic fail that it mostly is, but still marches on, with a vague hope for a slightly brighter future.John’s insights on life, relationships, work and hobbies are hilarious and relatable. His illustrations are minimalist, bordering on primitive, and that was the one drawback for me at first. I couldn’t relate to the stick figures as well I should have. But then towards the middle of the book, the author gave an explanation to the nature of his style, and that warmed my heart. True, not all people are blessed with natural artistic talents, but anyone who would like to create art has the right to do so, and should be given the chance to succeed in their own way.All in all, this is an an enjoyable book, perhaps not on par with the most brilliant examples of this genre, but still a great collection worthy of your time.
What even is this movie? Is it supposed to be a parody? But a parody of what, Eurovision? Eurovision already is a parody. Is it supposed to be a comedy? It’s not funny. Unless you can laugh at basic prat-fall comedy. And why is this movie so freakin’ long? Why do I have to sit through two hours of this crap?
The story is quite basic. Childhood friends, Lars and Sigrit, spend their ordinary lives in a small town in Iceland dreaming about participating in the Eurovision song contest. All of a sudden they get a chance to perform in the Icelandic song contest, where they fail miserably (I guess their performance is supposed to be funny). After a freak accident involving all of Iceland’s top song talent, Lars and Sigrit are literally the only singers left in Iceland. So the Ministry of Culture (just a guess, I have no idea who these people are) have no choice but to submit this duo for Eurovision. We follow Lars and Sigrit through the whole prep process to the grand finale.
I have so many questions for the movie, some of which I’ve already asked, but there are plenty more left.
Who is this movie made for? Obviously, it’s made for Will Ferrell, it’s his longtime passion project. Apart from him, who in the States knows or cares about Eurovision? And if it’s not meant for Americans, then for who? Europeans? But Europeans actually know and care about Eurovision, so they would have no reason to watch this crap. Over here in Mother Russia we care a lot about Eurovision, and lemme tell you, the actual Eurovision contest is a much better comedy than this snooze-fest. Seriously, how could you turn a movie about a fun, colorful, ridiculous song contest into such a boring, empty experience? It looks like very little effort was put into making it, starting from the cardboard characters, to the generic dialogue, to mild intrigue and backstabbing, to the songs which are much better during the actual contest. The only stand-out song is the final one, but it’s not worth it sitting through two hours of this movie in order to get to the song.
Let’s talk about the acting, maybe? Do we have to? Will Ferrell continues his decline, both in terms of choosing projects and in terms of acting in them. He is way too old to be playing this character, and he looks and acts like an utter idiot. Maybe he could have pulled off this character 10-20 years ago, but not now. I suppose he did his own singing, not that it’s an accomplishment, really… But at least it’s something. Dan Stevens was quite good in the caricature Russian role. In fact, his character is the only semi-interesting character of the film, but I might be reading too much into him, especially his line “I’m not gay, I’m Russian. There are no gays in Russia”. And his accent work is really good, not over-the-top, like most fake Russian accents in movies.Finally, Rachel McAdams is the only saving grace of this garbage can fire of a movie. She is such an angel that I could watch her in almost anything. She infuses her character with so much heart, passion and warmth that it’s impossible to resist her charm. If only she didn’t look 20 years younger than Will Ferrell so that we could believe their relationship even a little bit.
I suppose what should have saved this movie are the songs, and the people who sing them. And that’s another problem. It’s so painfully obvious that Rachel is not doing her own singing that even when I want to believe her acting, I can’t because the dissonance between her actual voice and her singing voice is too great. The singing voice they used for Dan Stevens also didn’t work, but it didn’t matter as much. Too bad they wasted Demi Lovato on, essentially, a cameo.
All in all, this is not worth your time and energy, but at least it’s a Netflix movie so you don’t have to spend additional funds in order to watch it. Your time would be much better spent watching Blades of glory, an actual comedy about another ridiculous event – figure skating and a great Will Ferrell performance.
The finale of Modern Family aired last Wednesday and… I have feelings. Many feelings, most of which are Cam hysterically sobbing. Why Cam? If you have to ask then you’re not a true ModFam fan. And if you’re not – perhaps my reviews will convince you to give this wonderful show a go? Although I must warn you – all the reviews will contain SPOILERS. For all the seasons. So, non-fans, just take my word for it – go binge all 11 seasons – what else are you gonna do in quarantine? Learn Japanese? Oh please – and then get back here and discuss them with me. This is a preliminary post, an explanation of the whole Nostalgia Review situation. Why am I already nostalgic for the show that just finished? Because right before I watched the final episodes I watched the pilot and oh my God… everyone was so young and smol! Well, the kids were smol and the adults were young, Lily was an infant and Joe wasn’t even born yet, and neither were Poppy and George, and Dylan just started dating Haley, and Gloria and Jay were newlyweds, and Manny had a crush on Haley, and Phil had a crush on Gloria, and Luke kept getting stuck in furniture… It’s weird to watch the passing of time in a fictional story, but at the same time you can trace how the actors have changed over the years, how their own lives have changed, how much they’ve been influenced by the show, how much we all have changed and grown, and had the show to fall back on for moral support in times of crisis. Take my life, for instance. In the past 11 years I have become an orphan, so now more than ever I crave the comfort of a big, loving family. And that’s what I get from Modern Family. As well as a sitcom with no laugh track – bless you, show! I mean, I love FRIENDS as much as the next guy, but I can’t binge it – the laugh track gives me a headache. But Modern Family can just play in the background during those times when I can’t be in an empty quiet apartment. Anyway, this long, rambling pre-review (must all my reviews – even pre-reviews – be rambling?) is my way of saying that I’ll be re-watching all 11 seasons of Modern Family and reviewing them based on the knowledge of how the show ends. I’m not going to compare what was and what turned out to be every single episode, but I will be going back and forth on the timeline, so there will be spoilers for random episodes with no logic or reason. So once again, if you’re not caught up with the show in its entirety, don’t read these reviews! But if you are – welcome! Pour yourself some scotch, grab an empanada, put on your best poncho or unicorn onesie – and let’s revisit one of the greatest sitcoms ever made!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from National Center for Youth Issues through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I feel like the mark of a truly great children’s story (be it a book or a movie) is how well it works for adults. Ideally, you want the story that you read as a kid to stay with you through your life, and not just to stay, but to have you coming back to it, discovering new meanings where you haven’t seen them before. More frequently (and all of us, adults, who’ve had to read too many children’s books or watch too many cartoons, will agree) you want a story that’s at least not so simplistic that it makes your brain slip into a coma.
Or sometimes you could get that special kind of story that speaks so well to kids, but also resonates with adults on every level. There is no secret hidden meaning – the meaning is usually right there in the title – and that’s exactly what we, as adults, lack sometimes: having a complicated problem laid out for us and not having to dig through layers of sub-plot and character development for the solution.
That’s exactly how “Worry says What” works for me. And I say “works” and not “worked” because I’ve read this book over a dozen times. (that’s another mark of a great children’s book – if you, an adult, can read it over and over again and not start hating it) And every time it works for me; every time it reminds me that – long story short – it’s all in the head.
The hero of this story, a Girl, has been living with a monster named Worry. He torments her all day, every day – telling her she’s not worthy of success, she’ll never have friends, she should just give up and not try anything. Will the Girl really give up, or will she learn to stand up to the monster and fight?
Allison Edwards has really found a way to reach kids on their level without simplifying the hardships of anxiety. I’ve read this book to a few kids in the library, and they all saw how easy it would have been to succumb to Worry and how brave the girl was for fighting him. And they all came to the conclusion that the next time they see a kid who looks uncertain or worried, they will reach out to them without waiting for an invitation. Because kids and adults alike know how hard it can be to ask for help when you’re dealing with anxiety.
We can’t forget to mention the illustrations that are expressive and colorful. I think it was a wonderful idea to keep changing the look of the monster as the story progressed. The fact that Worry becomes diminutive and scared when the Girl finds her strength and fights him, really shows how a lot of our worries come from within, therefore we can battle them and win.
This book can serve as a wonderful introduction to living with anxiety for kids who aren’t sure what anxiety really is. It can help kids identify the symptoms not only within themselves, but in their friends. And for adults like me, who have never had to deal with anxiety, but were suddenly, brutally faced with it, “Worry says What” is a great reminder that it’s all in the head.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I finished this book at the end of October, but then the worst period of my life happened, and there was no place for books or reviews. Such a big break offers an interesting perspective on several books that were read, but never reviewed.
“Baby teeth” obviously made a big impact on me, since it’s still fresh in my mind. And my memory is BAD, like catastrophically bad, especially when it comes to books, for some reason. I have a theory that my brain knows how much I love books, so it wants to make reading extra special for me. Like, do you have a favorite book, especially one with some twists and turns; and you wish you could read this book again and be surprised by it like the first time? I actually CAN do that!
Yet it appears there are some books that are too good to be forgotten.
“Baby teeth” contains not one, but two alternating POVs that paint a devastating picture of a terrible mother-daughter relationship. I mean, most of us have mommy and daddy issues, but this is some next-level shirt!
Hanna is the seemingly sweet, smart, precocious daughter of Alex from Sweden and his wife Suzette. Hanna loves Alex so much that she wants to marry him one day (she’s seven, so marrying her dad is… sweet? Nope, still creepy AF). Too bad that stupid Mommy is in the way.
Meanwhile, Suzette was raised by an absentee mother whose neglect bordered on abuse. Which makes Suzette all the more eager to be the perfect mother and to raise a perfect daughter. She gives up her career to raise her daughter, she’s pouring all her love and energy into Hanna – and Hanna can’t even talk.
Obviously, as things unfold, we see that the relationship is fraught by more problems from both sides, and it wouldn’t be out of place to use the phrase, Well that escalated quickly.
I was debating whether to write a spoiler-free review – but even discussing the book’s many achievements can be considered a spoiler. So let me just say that I loved “Baby teeth” and this is one of those rare occasions where I would love to get a sequel! The writing of debut author Zoje Stage is engaging and intriguing. She’s dealing with a very sensitive subject and she doesn’t shy away from exploring it, but she’s also not making it too over-the-top. This is the story that seems completely realistic.
Five real stars for Baby Teeth!
AND NOW FOR THE SPOILERS!
From the beginning of Hanna’s narrative I was getting strong Omen vibes, which was both positive and disappointing. Positive because I’m a sick weirdo who loves me some creepy, murderous children. And disappointing because it’s been done before and there aren’t too many ways to go with this character arc.
Or so I thought! It turns out that a masterful author like Zoje Stage can bring the Omen type story down to earth, making it completely believable. What? You don’t know what your kid is thinking, and don’t pretend like you do! In fact, that’s one of the most hypnotizing and scary notions of the novel – you never know what your kid is thinking, so how can you be sure that he’s not plotting your violent death? Yeah, marinate on that thought for a while and you won’t be able to sleep without locking your bedroom door.
Suzette’s horror is amplified by Hanna’s stubborn refusal to speak, and when someone finds a way to communicate with Hanna, Suzette really wishes that she could remain oblivious to what was happening in her daughter’s mind.
Speaking of which, my only issue with the novel was the choice of Hanna’s imaginary (or was she?) confidant, the French Witch. I was so not on board with this narrative choice, and that is what was giving me the Omen vibes, but the way that this particular thread unraveled was, once again, quite believable.
And I loved that the parents followed through with taking Hanna to little kids’ loony bin, cause I was afraid that poor clueless daddy would rather ship off mommy than part with his precious squirrelly girl. But no, common sense prevailed, and that also set this book apart from the others of a similar nature. Too often do the kids go unpunished for the terrible things they do, because grown-ups feel the need to believe in a child’s innocence above all.
Which is why I want the sequel! Preferably when Hanna tricks the loony bin into thinking that she’s been cured and goes on a revenge spree against mommy and possibly daddy – I wonder how strong her love would remain after daddy sent her away…
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Europe Comics through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Mia&Co is the first in (hopefully) a series of graphic novels about the life of Mia and her best friends. She’s just an ordinary teenage girl who gets along better with boys than with girls. The friend group loves hanging out together, playing video games and listening to music. This story doesn’t have any wild adventures, or magic, or vampires – and that is what’s so appealing about it. “Mia&Co” is a slice of life, a look at how us, regular folk, live our lives. And who would have thought that our lives could look so charming?
Mia is the only girl in her friend group, which instantly made me relate to her – I used to get along better with boys than with girls when I was younger. In fact, this whole friend group feels so relateable, the whole book made me nostalgic for my teenage years. I also used to play video games and listen to music with my friends; go to concerts; explore the city; try to venture outside the friend group, but always ended up going back.
The author does such a great job of making the characters feel real with just a few words, and of course the illustrations help tremendously. The color palette is very cozy, it makes the reading experience so relaxing.
Mia&Co is like a very chill episode of a teenage TV show, without any major drama, just some kids hanging out, enjoying life and each other’s company.
I really hope there will be more books in this series!