Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jenn H.'s Vacation Reads: Part Three

Okay, this is the end of my vacation reads. Just a few GNs left....

First, Beauty Pop by Kioko Arai tells the story of a girl, Kiri, who is truly a fabulous hair stylist, yet uses her powers to secretly makeover desperate girls. In complete opposition, the Scissors Project consists of three boys who publicly makeover a chosen girl on a regular basis. Their hairstylist, Narumi, plans to be the greatest beautician in all Japan; in fact, he has only once been defeated in a competition, by a mysterious girl when he was in the fourth grade. Hmmm, who might that be? I didn't think I would like this one very much, but the characters kind of won me over. I really like Kiri and her friend Kanako and the SP group is fairly intriguing. Plus, there is no way a group could exist in the US like this and not only not be presumed gay, but also have a swooning following of girls. I have to warn you that vol. 1 ends in a cliffhanger, so if you plan to read it, you might want to pick up more than one.

Next, I finished the last 3 volumes of Crescent Moon by Haruko Iida. Mahiru is a normal high school girl who happens to give other people good luck if they need it; sadly the good luck does not reach herself. This all changes when a group of strange older boys reveal that they are part of the "Lunar Race" and she is the reincarnation of the long lost human princess who can help them save their people. What I really liked about this story is that it combined the Western and Eastern "monsters" very well. We have a vampire and a werewolf, but we also have oni, tengu, fox demons, and gender shifters. It is pretty well done and the story actually keeps you interested. There is even a love story embedded (but not overwhelming).

Finally, a Vertigo book, My Faith in Frankie by Mike Carey and Sonny Liew relates the tale of Frankie and her own personal god, Jerivan. Since she was a small child, Frankie has relied on Jerivan to protect her, help her win all games, and do well in school. This has always worked (with one important exception) until Frankie becomes interested in boys. Now, with her jealous god constantly interfering, Frankie finds it impossible to date or even just make out. Jerivan's distractions are hilarious; one poor boy finds himself surrounded by rabbits while trying to kiss (and do other things to....) Frankie. Instant performance anxiety.

What really makes this GN is the side characters and the sharp wit. Her best friend, Kay, has always benefitted from Frankie's god, but in many ways has stayed in the background. She even does this literally by retelling Frankie's childhood at relevant points in the story. Jerivan is also quite fascinating, as are Godtown and his parents. Even Dean Baxter, childhood friend and new love interest, has surprising depths and secret plans for Frankie.

My only issue with this GN is that it might come back to bite the librarian. Unlike Carey's Minx offerings, Frankie contains more language, nudity, and adult situations. Most older teens, and some younger ones, will be fine with it, but their parents might not.

1 comment:

Patti said...

I think APL has My Faith in Frankie in the adult section. I think it would be kind of crazy to put anything by Vertigo in the Y collection. But maybe that's just me!