The Only Survivors

by Megan Miranda


Date published - April 11, 2023

Date reviewed - April 7, 2023

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The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda is a slow-burn thriller told in two timelines.

The main character, Cassidy, tells the story of present-day events: how she and a group of her high school classmates who survived a tragic accident reunite for a week, as they do every summer, at a beach house on the Outer Banks.

Interspersed throughout the forward-moving narrative are retellings of the accident itself that happened ten years ago from the perspectives of other survivors.

There are two intertwined mysteries at play: (1) what really happened that night long ago when two vans plummeted into a river and 12 people died, and (2) who’s behind the threats the survivors are now facing that could expose their misdeeds on that night.

The pact that they’ve made to protect one another seems to be falling apart and lives are at stake.

Miranda’s writing is clear and engaging. This particular story, though, did not hook me. I had a hard time caring about the characters staying at the beach house, though I did feel drawn to Ian and Clara, who have each died since the accident. I was most interested in learning the truth about what happened when they were teenagers, and on that front, the author delivered a satisfying reveal!

In all, the revealing *gasp* moments were few and far between and made reading most of the book a slog. The plot only got to be page-turny at about 75%, and even then, the suspense didn’t sustain.

Other readers may have a ball with this one, but it was just okay for me. I’m certainly willing to try more books by this author! I love the sounds of some of her other titles and will give them a chance in the future.

Thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for this ARC! The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda comes out on April 11, 2023.

Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story

by Sarah Kuhn & Arielle Jovellanos


Date published - April 18, 2023

Date reviewed - April 1, 2023

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Lois Lane is a young woman with GOALS. It's just her and her Life Plan notebook against the world. Next step in the plan: a summer internship in National City at CatCo, a lifestyle publication headed up by the most badass woman in journalism, Cat Grant—an opportunity that launch her dreams into reality as a reporter.

That is until...the plan falls apart

In this YA graphic novel, Lois gets her own absolutely charming, engaging, and inspiring story. She is a fully 3D character with layers and complexities, one part of which is her experience as an Asian woman. This is Lois before her time with the Daily Planet or Clark Kent. Her story is full of heart and grit and unbelievably powerful relationships with family and friends and maybe even a boyfriend? (Hint: It's not just Lois and her notebook against the world.) I absolutely love Lois' support system: her mom, her cousin/roommate/frenemy Miki, and her fellow interns Jasmin and Noah. We see her navigating racism on personal, professional, and societal levels, and we also see her experiencing pure joy. More than anything, this story is a GIRL POWER ANTHEM about truth and justice.

Sarah Kuhn's story and Arielle Jovellanos' artwork are made for each other. I was immediately smitten with the cheerful colorwork by Olivia Pecini. All the little nuanced details in the imagery and language made me smile. The design of Lois' Life Plan notebook was clearly done with love by someone who gets it: sticky notes and highlighters and washi tape OH MY! I saw a billboard for tarot readings somewhere in National City. ☺️ One of my favorite lines is when Miki says to Lois, "Lo! Now is not the time to do a journalism!" Hehe.

I am going to make sure my library has this on the shelf, and I'll be recommending it left and right!

Note: I don't know the whole Superman story that well, so that I means I also don't really know adult-Lois that well, either. That knowledge is definitely NOT a prerequisite for enjoying this comic. I don't know if this story contradicts Lois' character throughout DC canon, but it certainly adds awesome depth to her as an independent woman.

Thanks to DC Entertainment and NetGalley for this ARC! Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story by Sarah Kuhn and Arielle Jovellanos comes out on April 18, 2023!


by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips


Date published - July 29, 2020

Date reviewed - March 29, 2023

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I read this one for a staff genre study at work—this month's assignment being westerns.

Westerns haven't ever really appealed to me, but that's kinda the whole point of the genre study: to get out of your reading comfort zone. So my buddy Rachel grabbed Pulp off the library shelf and handed it to me. I couldn't argue. A graphic novel western...and a short one at that—a little spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

This was also my first Brubaker read. (I know.) Even more so my first Brubaker/Phillips read. So it was a lot of firsts for me.

And I liked it! At first, I preferred the "real" story of writer Max Winter as opposed to the wild west pages of the Red River Kid and his sidekick Heck. But of course, their stories are deeply intertwined, and I loved the way the art styles alternate depending on which aspect of the story is being represented, the writer or the western—and ultimately, how they start to bleed over into one another. (Operative word: bleed.)

This was fun, fast, compelling, and artful introduction to westerns. While I don't know if I'll intentionally venture back into this genre (except maybe to finally read the Dark Tower series...), I was happy to visit it this evening.

Zatanna and the House of Secrets

by Yoshi Yoshitani


Date published - February 18, 2020

Date reviewed - March 28, 2023

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A cute middle grade comic!

Zatanna lives in the House of Secrets. When her magician dad goes missing on Halloween, she ends up on a magical mission with the family rabbit, Pocus! What secrets does the enchanted house hold? Does Zatanna have what it takes to find her father and defeat the Witch Queen and her son Klarion?

I knew nothing about the DC character Zatanna before reading this, so I will have to check out other comics featuring her.

I knew Yoshi Yoshitana’s artwork from the Tarot of the Divine, so it was cool to see their unique style in a different context!