Book Blind Date | Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handleland

Shakespeare UndeadShakespeare Undead by Lori Handleland
June 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
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Synopsis: William Shakespeare was one of history’s greatest writers, a master of words with a body of work that is truly impressive . . . some may say a little too impressive for a single man to accomplish in one lifetime. Perhaps, as many have speculated, he had assistance. Or perhaps the explanation is more . . . unusual.

Who was William Shakespeare?Who was the Dark Lady of the Sonnets?Why are the undead stalking the alleyways of London? And can they be stopped? Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark. So brace yourself for a wild ride through twisted streets and shadowed graveyards of Elizabethan London, where you’ll discover how the Bard got his Bite.

My Thoughts

I’ve mentioned it before, but I go in “blind” with almost every book I borrow from the library. It encourages me to select books I never would have otherwise because of perceptions of a genre or a style. This was the case for Shakespeare Undead by Lori Handeland. I picked up this novel for two reasons:

  1. I needed spooky books for my October “horror” series, and well…this book does have “undead” right in the title.
  2. The book cover features Shakespeare with vampire fangs, and apparently that’s all the convincing I need.

Shakespeare Undead certainly did not sweep me off my feet like other books I’ve picked up from the library. The writing was inconsistent; one chapter the language is strong, charming, and poetic, and the next it was lackluster and too modern for the Elizabethan era. There were not nearly enough zombies for my personal taste and the vampire lore seemed pretty standard, although luckily Billy Shakes didn’t sparkle in sunlight. And then of course there was the romance, which I acknowledge is my fault, not the authors. I just find it hard to get swept up in the fantasy of romance novels. Maybe I’m just cynical, but I usually become overly critical about romantic tension in books. Like, how does sexytime with vampires even work? He doesn’t have a heart beat, which means blood isn’t pumping, so then how does…nevermind, nevermind…BUT REALLY, HOW?!

Despite my issues with the book, I still really enjoyed it.

I appreciated the novelty of it. Had the story been about any other vampire, I would have given up at the first hint of lust or blushing cheeks. But, it wasn’t just any vampire. It was William freaking Shakespeare, which means the reader gets special insight into the bard’s mind and inspiration for his plays and sonnets.

I appreciated that this book didn’t fit in with just one genre. At its core Shakespeare Undead is a romance, but it also features elements from horror, historical fiction, and fantasy.

I appreciate the dual narrators— William Shakespeare and his dark lady, Kate. Although, I wasn’t really certain why Kate’s narration was in first person, while William Shakespeare’s was in 3rd person limited.

Most of all, I appreciated Kate, the female lead. She totally kicks butt! Actually, she’s a zombie slayer, so she beheads zombies, but that’s not the point. She’s up for adventure and saving the world; how can I resist?

Had I read reviews for Shakespeare Undead, I never would have picked up the book. Had I known Lori Handleland was a best-selling romance writer, I would have shrunk back like a spooked black cat and hissed. And that would have been unfortunate; this book is absolutely worth a read!

Have you ever read a book from a genre you’re reluctant to read only to find yourself enjoying the book?

Autumn, You’re Just My Cup of Tea

Via Macide Damla Esen @ Society 6

I used to love September, but with each passing year of adulthood, I’m learning to love the month less and less. I used to know it for fresh school supplies, back-to-school clothes shopping, and cracking the spine of newly assigned textbooks. Now, I know it as that awkward month between busy season and festivities, when nothing special happens. When the mornings are nice, but the afternoons are sweltering. When the sun sits just above the horizon, blinding me during my commute in to work, yet sinks so fast at night that I think it must nearly be bedtime, when really it’s only 7:00. Thank goodness it’s October!

October is the month when Autumn truly settles in. When the leaves change to vibrant shades of red and yellow and orange. When the mornings, afternoons, and evenings are crisp and require chunky sweaters and scarves for coziness. When families flock to cider mills to consume fresh apple cider and donuts and stalk corn mazes. It’s also perfect weather for sipping hot tea, which is what I had in mind when I searched the web for these sweet mugs.

Check out the dapper squirrel wearing a yellow sweater!

What are you excited for this October?

A Spooktacular Coffee Table Book | Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse

Dead insideDead Inside: Do Not Enter: Notes from the Zombie Apocalypse from The Lost Zombies Community
September 2011
Publisher: Chronicle Books
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Synopsis: Post Secret meets World War Z in this chilling vision of the fallout following a global zombie pandemic. A gradual mutation of a virulent strain of super flu gives rise to millions of the undead, who quickly overwhelm treatment facilities and swarm cities around the world, leaving survivors on their own against a legion of the infected. This chilling story is told through the scraps of paper, scrawled signs, and cryptic markers left by survivors as they struggle to stay alive and find those they ve lost in a world overrun by zombies. Through these found notes and messages letters to loved ones, journal fragments, confessions, and warnings readers can uncover the story of what went wrong, and come to know the individual voices of those affected by the zombie crisis.

My Thoughts

When I was a pre-teen, I was a horror novel fanatic. Each trip to the library, I would bring home a stack of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books or Give Yourself Goosebumps (a choose your own adventure series) and devour them in one sitting. I’m not sure if I burned myself out or what, but I drifted away from this beloved genre shortly after puberty, and I haven’t looked back since (with the exception of Rot & Ruin and Dearly, Departed). This season though, I felt particularly festive and brought home stacks of spooky novels and two bags of candy corn (mostly untouched at this point and no, I don’t know why I thought two bags of candy corn was necessary). Not all the books I read gave me the heebie-jeebies, but they all succeeded in making me feel excited to celebrate October. Of course, all the 31 days/13 days of Halloween specials on teevee help, too (ABC Family has Hocus-Pocus and Casper on heavy rotation at the end of October, in case you’re a fan).

I was actually a little weary when I started this project. I’m such a moody reader, so I wasn’t sure how well I would be able to stick to my plan. Fortunately, my library book choices are usually a win. Plus, I had a diverse mix of novels/graphic novels/genres to keep me entertained. The first book I cracked open was Dead Inside: Do Not Enter. In my post title, I’ve called it a coffee table book, although I’m uncertain of the type of person that would feature this on their coffee table. I would say myself, but I don’t have a coffee table, so it just sort of sat on the floor until my next library visit. Goodreads calls it a graphic novel. It’s both? Anyone could be entertained as they flipped to random pages to find photographs of notes scrawled on napkins or cardboard scraps. Yet, the artwork in this book is sequential, and it does tell a grim and heartbreaking story about humanity falling apart one zombie bite at a time. This book contains artwork and inspiration from the Lost Zombies website– a social media site that encouraged users to set up a profile and upload audio, video, and photographs to contribute to the Lost Zombie timeline. Unfortunately, the Lost Zombies community is more dead than the antagonists in this book (ie. the website is defunct). Dead Inside: Do Not Enter was a fun read though, and although it is brief to the point where I almost felt guilty adding it to my Goodreads Challenge, it would be a spooktacular gift for the zombie lover in your life (even if they don’t have coffee tables).

What are your favorite zombified books, games or movies?

Earl Grey Lavender Tea is a Fickle Fellow

via the Books & Tea instagram
via the Books & Tea instagram

During college, I had a waxing interest in the Steampunk subculture– not to the point where I wore Steampunk-inspired garb– but I did have a handful of Steampunk bands loaded onto my iPod. Abney Park was my favorite. I also frequented Steampunk blogs, and it was through them that I discovered a webcomic called Wondermark by David Malki !. The comic wasn’t really Steampunk, although it did make the occasional reference:

Read more comics at Wondermark
Read more comics at Wondermark

For the most part though, I would describe it as modern-day pop culture and political references set against a backdrop of old, Victorian-era scenes. I would also describe it as hilarious, which is why I yanked Wondermark vol. 2: Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death from the shelf and added it to my nearly toppling stack of library books.

When I returned home, I had a brilliant idea to brew myself a cup of Adagio’s Earl Grey Lavender tea to enjoy alongside an old favorite. You may not think so, but Earl Grey Lavender was a daring choice. Prior to this weekend, I had tried brewing myself Earl Grey Lavender three different time, and all three times it was undrinkable– bitter and overly perfume-y and more appropriate for the drain than my taste buds. But, ever the optimist, I decided to give Earl Grey Lavender once last try, and I’m glad I did. I have a bad habit of  “eyeballing” a tablespoon, so this time I actually used measuring spoons– one rounded tablespoon for about 8 oz of water. Just by reducing the amount of tea leaves and time to steep the leaves, I somehow brewed the perfect cup. I finished off the cup with some sugar, and when I took my first sip, I was immediately transported to an English garden in early summer, where red Trumpet Honeysuckle climbs up trellises, the pink and purple, bell-shaped blossoms of Foxgloves and Canterbury Bells are in full bloom, and a light breeze carries the scent of lavender with it.

I then proceeded to make myself two more mugs of Earl Grey Lavender while finishing up Wondermark vol. 2, which was, as I suspected, still hilarious.

Have you ever tried Earl Grey tea or a variation of it? Did you enjoy it?

Going to the Library with a Theme in Mind is Like Going on a Scavenger Hunt

via the Books & Tea instagram

I had better success reading through my last batch of library loot. I only returned one book unread– Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton. I think I knew the day I pulled the book from the library stacks that I probably wasn’t going to read it. The premise of the book sounded interesting enough– a boy enters a house he thought to be abandoned only to find twelve people sitting about, and they end up exchanging ghost stories– but honestly I only picked it because there were not that many YA novels that fell in to the horror genre.

The due dates for my batch of spooky books came at a most inopportune time though. Oh! Don’t get me wrong! I still eagerly traipsed on over to the library today (and this time with Jon by my side!). But, the night before, I started NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, and I knew these new books would be quite the distraction. Nosfera-who? I wanna read Etiquette and Espionage! If I can finish up NOS4A2 this week, and devour Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel, a graphic novel, I think I will be set for October reviews. Then I can start reading and prepping for Sci-Fi Month hosted by Rinn Reads. For now, I will try to tackle these books:

And, in case I get bored with horror and sci-fi, I snagged

How do you decide which books to check out from the library or buy from the book store?

What I’m Really Doing When I’m Reading

Aside from being a notorious book polygamist and a moody reader, I am also a distracted reader. This explains why I’m 17 books behind schedule for my Goodreads Reading Challenge. That and Dragon Age: Inquisition, other blogs, and the sudden desire to binge-watch episodes of Supernatural on Netflix every time my hand touches a book. Unlike many passionate readers though, I have a hard time getting sucked in to the world between the pages because I have an attention span of a gnat. This is what I’m really doing when I’m reading:


I am a curious person, so I frequently look up people, places, and ideas on Wikipedia. Reading only fuels my curiosity. When I was reading the Carnival at Bray, I spent a lot of time gazing at photographs of Ireland, which prompted my Wandering through Ireland post. Now, I’m reading Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and I find myself researching Greek mythology. I haven’t studied Greek mythology since high school, so I’m a little rusty, and while Riordan does an amazing job at conveying the mythology in his writing, I still cannot quench the thirst for more knowledge about the subject. (Digression: I’m pretty sure I’m a Ravenpuff).

Browsing instagram

I’ve had the instagram app on my phone for about two years, but I never really used it until I discovered book bloggers had instagram accounts too. Now I find myself flicking through the #bookstagram and #currentlyreading tags between chapters. I also browse the #booksandtea tag (so meta) even though I actually post under the #booksandcoffee tag more often.

Thinking about work

One of the biggest challenges I face when reading is my inability to completely forget about work. It’s such a buzz kill! Nothing ruins a feast in the Great Hall with Harry, Hermione, and Ron like the sudden realization that I forgot to reach out to a customer about their billing concerns. Almost immediately, I grab for my phone to e-mail myself a reminder, and then of course I have to check instagram again because my feed has new content.


I always keep a notebook nearby in case I feel compelled to write down a thought about the book I’m reading or a passage that resonated with me, but instead I find myself brainstorming. Most of the time I’m jotting down a list of blog post ideas, which I intend to publish one day, but you know…procrastination. Sometimes I even get an inkling of a story idea, and I jot those down too. Of course, I intend to write about those one day, but you know…procrastination.


It’s possible to be too cozy when reading a book, which is why I prefer reading on the couch instead of in bed. As soon as I sink into my pillow top mattress and surround myself with pillows and blankets, I start to nod off. I’m lucky if I can even make it through a full chapter.

Chasing Fargo away from my tea

Both Fargo and I love mint tea. I think it’s soothing, but it also keeps me alert. Fargo thinks it’s liquid catnip. He stalks and paws at my mugs of mint tea, so I have to  constantly push him away, toss around toys, or let him chase me around the living room.

Cleaning my apartment

Nu-uh! I’m not even lying, mom! When I have the apartment to myself on Saturday mornings, I reward myself with a chapter of a book each time I complete a chore. It’s a great system! Unfortunately, it’s not applicable to laundry.

Are you an easily distracted reader, or can you tune out the rest of the world and immerse yourself in a book?

A Very Cozy Book Club

Getting cozy via the Books & Tea instagram
Getting cozy via the Books & Tea instagram

I was recently introduced to a website called Paperless Post, which allows users to send both online and paper stationary for special events or just because. You have the option to upload your own design, or you can use one of their pre-made designs and customize anything from font face and color, text, logos (if only I had one for Books & Tea!), envelope linings, and “stamps”. I mean, just look at all the invitations you have to choose from! There are hundreds of templates to browse though for events like weddings, birthday parties, holidays, fundraisers, and…Book Clubs! Check out this charming Library Card invitation! Naturally, I began imagining hosting my own book club– a Very Cozy Book Club.

The Invitation

Fall is right around the corner, so I couldn’t resist this invitation with a simple orange bow. Plus, I customized the lining of the envelope with a sweet acorn print.

The Books

For our first meeting, we would start off with a classic– Murder on the Orient Express by the queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. I’ve wanted to read one of her books for a while now, but I have such a poor track record with “classics”. I think the book club would definitely keep me on track though. Runner-ups included: the Hound of the Baskervilles by Sherlock Holmes, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke. What can I say? I was starting to get hungry…

The Tea

Autumn is a perfect season for hot tea (although admittedly, I drink hot tea all year round, even when it’s 90 degrees outside). To make the occasion extra cozy, I chose a spicy masala chai, although a simple mug of breakfast tea with a splash of milk and sugar is also an Autumn staple for me. What kind of tea do you like to drink when the temperature drops and the leaves change colors?

I hope one day the Very Cozy Book Club will come to fruition, but for now it’s just a dream. In the mean time, check out the Paperless Post, and gaze upon the beautiful stationary. Then sign up! Because you’ll get 25 free coins, which is plenty to get you started as you plan and organize your next event. And, if it happens to be a book club, please invite me!

Do you participate in a book club? How did you get involved, and what kind of books do you read?

P.S. The candle featured in my photograph is maple bourbon scented. So. Much. Yes.

Halt You Villains! Unhand That Review! Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson book coverNimona by Noelle Stevenson
October 2014
Publisher: Marvel
Age Group: Young Adult
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Synopsis: Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

My Thoughts

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is one of those books that makes me questions my rating scale. I’ve been thinking all week about how fun this book was, how I wish I could trick Jon into reading it, how the artwork was fun and quirky, and how the characters in this book turn our hero/villain archetypes on their heads. It almost appears to be a book that has the qualities of a five-star read, yet…it’s not? What then is it lacking that prevents it from five-star status on this blog? Is it something that I cannot quantify in words? I mean, I can hardly think of a flaw! In fact, here is a list of why you should read Nimona:

  1.  Nimona’s got zest, she’s got spunk, she’s fearless, and I loved reading about a female protagonist (or is she an antagonist?) that embodied those characteristics. Nimona is such a force that she drove the plot forward instead of circumstance.
  2. Noelle Stevenson plays with the hero/villain archetype in her graphic novel, which was fun although it was a little predictable. This of course doesn’t diminish my hatred of the Institution for what they did to Nimona and Blackheart and Goldenloin.
  3. Nimona is a shapeshifter AND SOMETIMES SHE TURNS INTO AN ADORABLE CAT. I mean, isn’t that enough?
  4. Something about the artwork and the banter between the characters combined makes this book laugh out loud funny. I lost track of how many times this book made me gigglesnort.
  5. This graphic novel is a blend of fantasy and science fiction, which fascinates me. Weapons of choice are either big plasma guns or trusty swords. I don’t know how this works, it just does.

The only downfall of Nimona is despite the origin stories and despite the scientific research about Nimona, I still don’t understand how she gained her shape-shifting powers or how they really work. Of course reasons 1-5 make up for this, but I still wanted to be able to close the book and be able to say, “Ooooh, so that’s how it happened”.

In the end, Nimona was an excellent read– fast-paced, funny, and a rip-roaring adventure. It also convinced me I need more Noelle Stevenson in my life; during my next library visit, I’ll be searching for the Lumberjane graphic novels, another series Noelle Stevenson wrote/co-wrote.

Have you read anything written by Noelle Stevenson? What did you think of it? Did you know that she illustrated the cover of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl? Awesooooome!

The Secret Life of a Book Blogger

Secret Life of a Book BloggerThe last time I was tagged, I was about 10 years old, and it was during recess. HA! Seriously though. One of my deep, dark, bloggy secrets is that I get a little envious of bloggers and their circle of blogger buddies who tag each other to do these fun little questionnaires. But now is my time! Thank you, Vlora @ Reviews and Cake!

How long have you been a blogger?

ExpageUh. For a really, really long time. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve been involved in the blogosphere for about sixteen years now– that means I started blogging when I was about eleven. I stumbled across a website called Expage, and its there that I starting practicing HTML, creating layouts, and writing about my day. I perused the Way Back Machine and discovered one of my very first layouts. My webpage was called “Blueberri Frazter” (no idea what that even means, I’m pretty sure I just liked the sounds of the words), I loved  Garfield because he was “soooo kool”, and I was obsessed with getting people to sign my guestbook (the equivalent to comments today). I can’t believe I just shared this with you. It’s really quite embarrassing! (Also, that purple marble under my page title used to roll across the screen. I never had enough scrolling marquees on my page).

My design skills eventually improved, especially when my parents bought me Paint Shop Pro for Christmas, and eventually I made an online friend who offered to host me on their domain. Aside from owning your own domain, having a friend offer to host you was the pinnacle of success back in the early 2000s.

Books & Tea is my first and only experience with “niche” blogging. All of my earlier blogs were personal blogs, and I just wrote about the woes of high school (and the excitement of marching band).

At what point do you think you’ll stop?

Considering I’ve been blogging for sixteen years, I cannot imagine life without this hobby. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

What is the best thing about blogging?

Connecting with people, for sure. Back in the day I made some pretty good interweb friends, and we still keep in touch today! Connections in the book blogosphere are a bit more challenging though because this niche is competitive. Still, there are so many bloggers that I admire, and in my headcanon we are BFF4Es.

It’s also great to discover people who are passionate about books. It boggles my mind how often I read that statement when bloggers discuss their favorite thing about book blogging. Sometimes it makes me wonder if most people in the world are closet-readers afraid to admit their love for stories.

What is the worst thing about blogging, and what do you do to make it okay?

We are an opinionated and passionate bunch of bloggers, eh? And sometimes that creates friction. I’ve read many confrontational posts over the years (and of course a bunch of reactions to said post). Sometimes it’s great to see the rallying support of other book bloggers, but sometimes the negativity of the situation is frustrating and overwhelming. I just want this community to be so full of love all the time, but I understand that is unrealistic, so I always try to remain an observer on such occasions.

How long does it take you to create or find graphics for blog posts?

Considering most of the images I use are book covers, not very long! But even when I attempt to make my own graphics, it still doesn’t take me that long because they’re usually pretty simple. I use, which offers templates to get the creative juices flowing. Now original photographs? That’s another story! I’m using original photographs more now than I have in the past, and that is time-consuming; plus I have to overcome feelings of self-consciousness because other book bloggers’ bookish photography is far superior to my own.

Who is your bookish crush?


Do you mean what book character do I have a crush on? Honestly, I don’t fawn over book boyfriends because my own non-book boyfriend is such a stud muffin. But, if I had to choose, it would be Ron Weasley. Now, if this question asked me which characters I admired, the list would be much longer, and it would most definitely start with Hermione Granger.

Which author would you like to have on your blog?

The queen herself, JK Rowling!

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

What a strange question. I’m usually found wearing jeans and a sweater, even in the summer time. Sometimes I loaf about in my pajamas, especially on Sundays.

How long does it take you to prepare?

Another strange (and vague) question! I’m going to say not very long, for the most part. Usually I blog on the fly, but occasionally I’ll plan out a series or a theme to write about all month-long. I usually write those a few weeks in advance because I want to make sure I have enough content that qualifies as a “series” before publishing.

How do you feel about the book blogger community?


I’ve stuck around for over four years, and I have no plans on leaving anytime soon. I think that says a lot, right?

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

  • Interact with your community— seek out other blogs and leave them lovely comments. Usually they will return the favor! Participate in events like Alexa’s Book Blogger Love-A-Thon or Rinn Reads’ Sci Fi Month event, or even start your own and invite other bloggers to join.
  • Create original content— which is totally hard, I know. It’s easier to quickly publish a meme post, but it’s more rewarding to spend time creating blog series and “discussion” posts.
  • Be consistent— this is something I struggle with. I always come up with excuses about being busy or being worn out from work, but really I just lack the discipline to sit my tookus in my seat and craft posts. Our community used to be obsessed with blogging every day, which is an unrealistic goal for many of us, but consistent posting or posting a-plenty will keep an audience checking back
  • Get a little personal— as in write about yourself sometimes. You don’t have to share with the blogosphere everything about your life, but I know I stick around a little longer when I actually get to know the bloggers behind the books.
  • Be genuine— your passion for a topic comes through in your writing, and if you’re just in it for the ARCs, readers will be able to tell.

Tag! You’re It!

Jessica from JB & Tea

Syc from The Lit Mermaid

Beth from Fuelled by Fiction

Monica from Tomes Project

Melissa from Readerly Geek


This is Another Five Star Review: Ms Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona

Ms MarvelMs Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona
October 2014
Publisher: Marvel
Age Group: Young Adult
Add to Goodreads
Synopsis: Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

 My Thoughts

Ms Marvel is the first graphic novel I’ve ever purchased, and the reason I pulled it from the shelf is entirely superficial– the cover. I mean, look at it! It’s intense and powerful. If that was any indication of the story inside, how could I resist? And I definitely wasn’t disappointed. First, the artwork was stunning and the colors were bold;  I’ve only read a handful of graphic novels, but the artwork of Adrian Alphona is my favorite yet. Second, Kamala Khan is a powerhouse. I mean, obviously– she is Ms Marvel. But even when she’s not a super hero, she’s still strong. She’s insistent on experiencing teenage-hood despite over-protective parents and the fact that teenage-hood is an absolutely terrifying time. Also, while she seems shy and awkward, she is also unapologetically her own person (and unapologetically geeky!) even though sometimes she’s still trying figure out who that is. Finally, Ms Marvel: No Normal is a thought-provoking story because it challenges a lot of our social norms– what is considered beautiful, who can be considered a hero, what it means to be American. Kamala Khan may start out transforming into a Carol Danvers look-a-like, but soon she realizes Ms Marvel doesn’t have to be a blonde-haired, white woman as she becomes more confident in herself and her identity.

If you pick up one graphic novel to read this year, it definitely needs to be this one. I’m still trying to get my hands on Vol 2: Generation Why but my local bookstores never seem to have it in stock!

Have you read any of the Ms Marvel comics featuring Kamala Khan? What did you think of them?