Book Review | The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Title: The Best We Could Do
Author: Thi Bui
Genre: Graphic Novel / Memoir / Nonfiction
Publication Date: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Best We Could Do, the debut graphic novel memoir by Thi Bui, is an intimate look at one family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent — the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through.

With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home. The Best We Could Do brings to life her journey of understanding and provides inspiration to all who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.” (Goodreads)

I picked this one up for a reading challenge but realized that it was something I needed to read and gave me another perspective on atrocities that happened in Vietnam.

The graphic novel is told from Thi’s point-of-view but also shares stories from her mother and father from their time in Vietnam to a bit of their life in America. Thi’s family dealt with so much. I didn’t realize that there was a land owner reform and many people lost their lives and had their land stolen. I also only knew the perspective of the Vietnam War that is told from our history books and not from those who called Vietnam home. It really enlightened me but also made my heart hurt for those who lost so much.

I hadn’t heard of this book until searching for a nonfiction graphic novel but I am glad I found it even if it was an emotional read.


Book Review | My Little Pony Vol. 1 by Various Authors

Title: My Little Pony Vol. 1
Author: Celeste Bronfman, Robin Easter, Casey Gilly, and Mary Kenney, with art by Amy Mebberson, Trish Forstner, and Abby Bulmer
Genre: Graphic Novel / Middle Grade / Teens
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“With magic returned to Equestria, the ponies are more united than ever—at least, until one of the Unity Crystals is stolen! Can Sunny, Izzy, Zipp, Pipp, and Hitch—plus trusty sidekick Cloudpuff—find the culprit before magic is gone for good? And where’s Cloudpuff leading them, anyway? Is this…Canterlot?!” (Goodreads)

This was a cute read and my daughter enjoyed listening and looking at the illustrations as I read. It was a fun time!

The book starts out with magic being tested once again, this time because one of the Unity Crystals has been stolen. The Mane 5 are off on another quest to save magic while also learning more about themselves and the ponies they call friends. This graphic novel helps build on what Netflix started and I think it works really well.

I think my favorite character is Izzy. I like that she can be unsure of herself and also on the weirder side. She is hilarious and keeps the jokes rolling. Each pony has their own personality though and I think we can learn something from each one.

My daughter was very invested in the story and kept asking me to read on even when it was coming up on lunch time. She didn’t want to put it down!

The illustrations are also nicely done. I just love the vibrant colors.

Overall, this was a fun read as me and my daughter both liked it. It could be a bit dry at times only because it’s hard to fully see the ponies personalities when it is written but it is still good.

Book Blog Tour: Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews (Promo) | 11-8-22

Title: Terry’s Crew
Author: Terry Crews and Cory Thomas
Genre: Middle Grade / Contemporary / Graphic Novel
Publication Date: November 8th, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

—->Click Here For Tour Dates!<—-

Thank you to the publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours for a complimentary earc and a chance to help promote this book!

“Young Terry Crews has a Big Dream Plan: He wants to become a MULTIHYPHENATE. That means he wants to be an artist. And a football player. And a musician. And maybe a NASA scientist, too! OK, maybe it’s ambitious, but his parents worked hard so he could go to a new school—Rock City Academy, a prestigious institution (read: rich kids go there) where he’s sure he can make his mark at the talent show. He plans an elaborate performance with his new friends, Rani, a passionate engineer, and Xander, a shy kid with a head like an encyclopedia.
Along the way, Terry’s plan is threatened by his grades, which slip below Mom-and-Dad-approved levels, as well as the schemes of the school’s football star, Rick, who won’t stop until Terry quits the talent show altogether. No matter what challenges he faces, though, Terry knows that he always has his crew to back him up.” (Goodreads)

 Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indigo IndieBound

Terry Alan Crews (born July 30, 1968) is an American actor and former American football player. He is best known for playing Julius on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, Sergeant Terry Jeffords on the NBC comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and for his appearances in Old Spice commercials, as well as films such as Friday After NextIdiocracy, and The Expendables series. He is a host of America’s Got Talent.

Twitter | Instagram Goodreads Facebook

After listening to his latest book about his life, I couldn’t help but want to promote this book! I’m looking forward to diving into my copy and sharing it with my daughter. I love a good graphic novel.

What Do you think about this one?

Manga Review: Manga Classics: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Crystal S. Chan, Kuma Chan

Title: Manga Classics: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L.M. Montgomery, Crystal S. Chan, Kuma Chan
Genre: Graphic Novel / Classics / Children’s Fiction
Publishing Date: September 1st, 2020
Publisher: Manga Classics Inc.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this e-copy to review. All opinions are my own.

“Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables – instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear.

Manga Classics® is proud to be the only authorized manga adaption of Anne of Green Gables by the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, with a foreword by Kate McDonald Butler – granddaughter of the original author!

This volume presents a faithful recreation of this classic kids novel, from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Dryad’s Bubble!” (Goodreads)

I have heard many good things about Anne of Green Gables but have never picked it up myself because it’s just not a book I would usually pick up. Until, I saw this one on Netgalley.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for mangas.

Since I have not read the original I can’t say how well it follows it but what I did read I liked.

Anne is definitely a mood. She has a temper, talks a lot, and is just emotional in general. I can definitely see myself and my daughter as her, haha. Although my daughter has red hair so she is definitely winning on who is more like her!

At times I did find myself a tad bored but it’s just because it isn’t my usual read. I am more of a fantasy type person and that’s okay. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this book. I loved the artwork and can understand why people enjoy this story so much.

Did it make me want to pick up the actual book? In a way, yes. I think I would have to listen to it as an audiobook but I could still get through it.

Overall, I thought this was a good story and a nice introduction into the world of Anne.

E-Arc Review: The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel by by Fred Fordham (Adapted by), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aya Morton (Illustrations)


48590166Title: The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel
Author: Fred Fordham (Adapted by), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Aya Morton (Illustrations)
Genre: Graphic Novel / Classics
Publishing Date: June 30th, 2020
Publisher: Scribner

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
A gorgeously illustrated, first-ever graphic novel adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved American classic.

First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby has been acclaimed by generations of readers and is now reimagined in stunning graphic novel form. Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, and the rest of the cast are captured in vivid and evocative illustrations by artist Aya Morton. The iconic text has been artfully distilled by Fred Fordham, who also adapted the graphic novel edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Blake Hazard, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great-granddaughter, contributes a personal introduction.

This quintessential Jazz Age tale stands as the supreme achievement of Fitzgerald’s career and is a true classic of 20th-century literature. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy is exquisitely captured in this enchanting and unique edition.” (Goodreads)

I wanted to read this one because I love the original and graphic novels. Combining the two was just a perfect combination!

This graphic novel is nicely done and follows the original story. The artwork is very reminiscent of the time period which I thought was a cool aspect but I just wanted a bit more from it. It just felt a bit underwhelming at times.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable read. It would be perfect for someone who wants to reread or someone who wants to dive into this classic with pictures. You can find my review for the original here.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Graphic Novel Review: Piper by Jay Asher and Jessica Freeburg


34272550Title: Piper
Author: Jay Asher, Jessica Freeburg, and Jeff Stokely (Illustrator)
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling / Graphic Novel
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill

synopsis header
“Long ago, in a small village in the middle of a deep, dark forest, there lived a lonely, deaf girl named Maggie. Shunned by her village because of her disability, her only comfort comes from her vivid imagination. Maggie has a gift for inventing stories and dreams of one day finding her fairy-tale love.

When Maggie meets the mysterious Piper, it seems that all her wishes are coming true. Spellbound, Maggie falls hard for him and plunges headfirst into his magical world. But as she grows closer to the Piper, Maggie discovers that he has a dark side.

The boy of Maggie’s dreams might just turn out to be her worst nightmare…” (Goodreads)

I picked this one up from Book Outlet a few months ago I believe. The art on the cover really caught my eye and I had never read a retelling before about the pied piper so I thought this would be an interesting read.

First, I want to say that the artwork is beauitful! I loved the colors that they used and it all just popped off the page.

Piper_interior spread

The plot is your typical pied piper where a stranger comes in and does his music playing to get rid of the rats. I’m not sure how the original goes since I haven’t ever read it but some of the things in this one are pretty dark. Probably not the case for most people but I’m a chicken who pretends to be brave, so. 🤷‍♀️🤣

The one thing I didn’t understand and didn’t even realize but then things made a bit more sense after that was that Maggie is deaf. It wasn’t apparent until they spelled it out for me because she must be really good at reading lips if she isn’t even looking straight at the person.

Besides that, I really enjoyed the story and how the plot went. I wasn’t sure what to expect for an ending but it was pretty wild.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

E-Arc Review: The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel by Michael Moreci


52121655._SX318_SY475_Title: The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel
Author: Michael Moreci, Sas Milledge (illustrator), Phil Hester (illustrator)
Genre: YA Graphic Novel / Superheroes
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
Before Batman trained him to be Robin, Dick Grayson discovered the power of young love–and its staggering costs–at the dangerous, magical, and utterly irresistible Lost Carnival.

Haly’s traveling circus no longer has the allure of its glamorous past, but it still has one main attraction: the Flying Graysons, a family of trapeze artists starring a teenage Dick Grayson. The only problem is that Dick loathes spending his summers performing tired routines for a dwindling crowd.

When the Lost Carnival, a wild and enchanting new attraction, opens nearby and threatens to pull Haly’s remaining customers, Dick is among those drawn to its magical nighttime glow. But there are forces ancient and dangerous at work at the Lost Carnival, and when Dick meets the mysterious Luciana and her carnival workers–each stranger than the last–he may be too mesmerized to recognize the danger ahead.

Beneath the carnival’s dazzling fireworks, Dick must decide who he is and who he wants to be–choosing between loyalty to his family history and a glittering future with new friends and romance. Writer Michael Moreci and artist Sas Milledge redefine Dick Grayson in The Lost Carnival, a young adult graphic novel exploring the power and magic of young love.” (Goodreads)

I’ve always loved Batman and Robin. Those movies have always been my favorite to 1watch. When I saw this cover and then saw it was story about Dick before he became Robin, I was sold!

The artwork is very nice and I liked that the colors switch from a grey/blue to a golden/orange color. It’s definitely pleasing to the eye.

The setting is a carnival and Dick and his parents are trapeze artists. There is also another carnival that is surrounded by mystery and magic. They have different acts and it was cool to see how each one entertained their guests.

The plot is filled with first love, wonder, and figuring out how to help his friend before it’s too late. I didn’t figure out who was the villain until it was revealed!

Overall, it was a great graphic novel that kept me engaged until the end.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)


Blog Tour: Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz & Thomas Pitilli (Review)


a9jcEFwgTitle: Gotham High
Author: Melissa de la Cruz & Thomas Pitilli
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Publication Date: April 7th, 2020

Thanks to the publisher for the free copy! (I received a copy for reviewing. All opinions are my own.)

Look out for my instagram post too!

*Click the banner for all other tour dates!*

synopsis header
“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Alex and Eliza and The Witches of East End comes a reimagining of Gotham for a new generation of readers. Before they became Batman, Catwoman, and The Joker, Bruce, Selina, and Jack were high schoolers who would do whatever it took–even destroy the ones they love–to satisfy their own motives.

After being kicked out of his boarding school, 16-year-old Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham City to find that nothing is as he left it. What once was his family home is now an empty husk, lonely but haunted by the memory of his parents’ murder. Selina Kyle, once the innocent girl next door, now rules over Gotham High School with a dangerous flair, aided by the class clown, Jack Napier.

When a kidnapping rattles the school, Bruce seeks answers as the dark and troubled knight–but is he actually the pawn? Nothing is ever as it seems, especially at Gotham High, where the parties and romances are of the highest stakes … and where everyone is a suspect.

With enchanting art by Thomas Pitilli, this new graphic novel is just as intoxicating as it is chilling, in which dearest friends turn into greatest enemies–all within the hallways of Gotham High!” (Goodreads)

Amazon / B & N / Book Depository / Google

Eg0UWkdQMelissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files:Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour,Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue,CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trendsand fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews. Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / Tumblr



I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The graphics inside are just as good as the ones on the cover. The colors are amazing and obviously as someone who enjoys DC characters I had to give this one a try.

Overall I had a good experience with this one. I liked being reintroduced to Batman, Catwoman, The Joker, and Poison Ivy in a new way.

It was interesting to see how they diversified the characters and story from the originals. It was kind of hard to separate the two at first but as I continued reading it got easier and left me intrigued by the plot.

The plot was definitely engaging throughout the book. I had a couple of guesses on how it would play out and I definitely wasn’t close. The ending was good and sets the stage for this to be a series.

My only complaint would be the vaping done by two of the kids. I think that it was unnecessary and shouldn’t be portrayed in books to a young audience.

If you are a fan superhero/villain origin stories then I would definitely recommend this new take on beloved characters.


Win a copy of GOTHAM HIGH by Melissa de la Cruz & Thomas Pitilli (US Only)

Starts April 7th, 2020 and ends April 21st, 2020

Click Here to Enter Giveaway!


I hope you enjoyed my blog tour spot for Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz and Thomas Pitilli! Make sure to check out the other blogs as well!

Tour Schedule

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)


My Dear Cold-Blooded King: Manga Review


35008226._SX318_.jpgTitle: My Dear Cold-Blooded King
Author: LifeLight
Genre: Fantasy/Romance Manga
Publication Date: March 12th, 2017

This manga can be read on WebToon.

synopsis header
“Born a humble peasant, Kihara Mei has lived simply day by day as a merchant in the capitol, and never assumed things would change. But, one fateful day would change the course of her life, when faced with a deadly challenge against dangerous royal assassins. Now, with the eyes of the dreaded Blood King upon her, her life of simplicity would now become a tangled web of secrecy, deceit, and desire.”

I binged this series in two days, guys! Two days!

Once I started, I couldn’t stop.

If you haven’t downloaded the WebToon app or looked on their website then look away from this review. It is a black hole that will suck you in!

But anyways, let’s move into talking about this amazing series!


The first thing I want to say is that the art is beautiful. I enjoy looking at it every episode and she can make non-existent men sexy.

Kihara Mei is a very strong-willed girl who wants no one to dictate her life. She plays by her own rules and wants to protect herself and so she trains in combat. She may not have come from a troubled past like the other characters but she does know loss. She also struggles with trusting men and it play into the plot a lot. I really liked reading about her and wish I was in her position. Everyone falls head over heels for her.

Ryusaki and Katsu are beautiful creatures. They are brothers and that is one way to my trashy heart! I could never decide who I wanted her to be with because they each have different personalities.

As for the plot, it was filled with drama, romance, and fighting! The plot twists I never saw coming. I always found myself either being quite angry or smiling stupidly at my phone. It is so intriguing and glorious!

Little did I know that this series isn’t finished and now I must wait until January to find out what happens next. *sigh*

Oh well, I’ll just find art of them to stare at in the mean time.


Little Witches: Mini NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review


43252652Title: Little Witches: Magic in Concord
Author: Leigh Dragoon
Genre: Children’s/Middle-grade Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: August 27th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

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Synopsis: “Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg March are four sisters living in Concord with their parents—Father, who’s tending to soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and Marmee, who teaches the girls simple but effective witchcraft. The Marches have to keep their craft quiet, as there are many in Concord who see magic in a bad light—especially after things have begun disappearing.

When Mr. Laurence, a witchfinder, moves in next door to investigate the missing objects, the girls fear for their livelihood. But he turns out to be a kind old man, and his grandson, Laurie, quickly befriends the Marches. As the cold winter blusters on, the girls continue their education, even as missing objects soon turn into missing people.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jo and Laurie try investigating on their own, and a dangerous storm takes hold of Concord. There’s powerful magic at play here—stronger than anything the Marches, or even Laurie, has ever seen before. Can they hope to defeat it? Or has the magic already become too strong for them to fight against?” (Goodreads)

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This magical retelling of a classic, Little Women, features your favorite March sisters but with a delightfully witchy twist.

I haven’t ever read Little Women but I have always enjoyed the movie. I saw this title and was instantly drawn in because who doesn’t love a story about witches? The cover is gorgeous as well.

I thought that the story of the March sisters was very cute. There was a touch of magic and also had important lessons, like working together and not judging a book by its cover. Although it was a little on the short side, the plot was interesting and it wrapped up quite nicely by the end. The illustrations are great as well!

Overall, it was a cute children’s graphic novel and one that I would read to my daughter as she gets older. If you would like to read a magical retelling of Little Women then give this book a try!