Book Review: Gareth Hinds’, Romeo and Juliet Graphic Novel.

Gareth Hinds’ Romeo and Juliet, based on the play by William Shakespeare, whisks us off into his version of Shakespeare’s era Verona, in this lively graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic. As someone who has read a Shakespeare play in its entirety, I found the colorful panels, drawn by Gareth Hinds’ himself, a nice reprieve for the eyes as I transitioned from box to box of archaic english text. As someone who has never read Romeo and Juliet I found it relatively easy and entertaining to read this story in its graphic novel form. It was much simpler to read it this way than as a play script. The only “New” aspect that this version provides the reader, since Hinds’ uses the original text, is the artwork. I personally enjoyed the artwork, it was not the greatest that I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel, but it was good.

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Hinds’ Graphic Novel is one of thousands of takes on Shakespeare’s timeless tale.

Gareth Hinds, is an artist and a masterful adapter, his website details all the other classics he has transferred to new mediums.

A short simple essay, masterfully detailing why “Romeo and Juliet” is such a timeless tale.

Hinds’ Closes out his work with an Author’s Note, here he describes how he tackled the challenge of adapting Shakespeare’s work into a Graphic Novel. He, of course, has to take liberties on his detailing of the setting, since there was no visual representation of Verona at the time. It is his other stylistical choices that I find more interesting. For example, he makes the Montagues a Black family, and the Capulets an Indian family, in an effort to show that this is a universal story. He also changes the way that the younger characters dress, in an effort to symbolically show that they are a rebellious generation. He does this so all the themes would make sense to the modern reader. He also took some liberties with the text, opting to use no footnotes, and sometimes replacing older, no longer used words, for modern ones, All for the sake of the flow. In the end, I can see how Hinds had to make some changes, not only because he was transferring the play to a new medium, but because he had to reach a wider, and modern audience.

Word Count: 392

 

A Review of Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder”

As a big fan of Sci Fi Fantasy (yes its an actual genre look up this little movie called Star Wars, if you want an example) Marissa Meyer’s “Cinder” caught my attention, Of course i wouldn’t read any science fiction novel, if I lived by that philosophy then I would waste my time reading absolute stinkers. But there is something unique about cinder, it is the classic Cinderella story draped in a cloth of futuristic themes. It is a promising concept, and a very unique one. The question is, is Cinder a good read?  Even after burning through it to reach its very unfulfilling conclusion, I still have no idea. It is an entertaining read, It was simple to get into the story of Lihn Cinder, and her life as a cyborg in New Beijing. But thats only the surface of the story, Lihn Cinder lives in a wildly imaginative world, and sadly this is where my biggest gripe with this novel arises. Reading the first few pages I was genuinely excited, after all thats why I picked up the novel in the first place, the first few pages drew me in. All the talk about A cyborg girl, New Beijing, and the Lunar Empire. “This is going to be an amazing Sci Fi fantasy novel” I thought, but it really wasn’t. I still dont know how Cinder could exactly fall in Love with Prince Kai, she is a robot after all, who are the Lunar Empire people, that question remains unanswered. It seems to me that Meyer decided to not delve into the unique characteristics of the world she created, just to keep Cinder’s story moving at a breakneck pace. Sadly she sacrificed substance and meaning, cinder is a superficial book, yes at points it is entertaining, but I was never transported to a another world through this literature, and ultimately I never gained anything from it.

Word Count: 320

Goodreads, Information on novel

A more positive view on “Cinder”, to contrast my personal opinions.

 

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Cinder is Melissa Meyer’s first in a much wider series.

Books, My Favorites.

As a child i was an avid reader, I would read any book I found, often ignoring quality. My mother would brag about this on any opportunity she had, Often telling her friends “Diego loves to read, he never stops!” For some reason an 8 year old that could eat up children’s novels was a fascinating thing to many, when it should have been common. Sadly my passion for reading faded as books started getting more “boring”, in middle school i was forced to read books i did not like, and once i got to High School i burned through books the day before they were due, I found no fun in reading.

Yes the title of this Post is “Favorite Books”, but I felt like I needed to state the fact that, for most of my teenage years, I despised reading. Because of this my “Favorite Books” are the ones i read during my youth, the whimsical stories that took me to another world, the books that couldn’t drop because i loved them so much. The books that brought a smile to my face. Sadly i dont remember many of these, i just remember how they made me feel, how much I LOVED reading, because it made me so happy. The clear example that comes to mind was the Harry Potter Series, by J.K Rowling . The story of the boy who lived was a fascinating one, underlined with deep adult themes, it was also the most magical setting, literally. As a young kid these books made my imagination run wild, and they made me feel. I cared about Harry, and Ron and Hermione, i cried for them, i smiled for them, I threw my book in the air just because of the sheer anxiety that the most tense moments brought me. I remember this series fondly, the best example of what literature did for me as a kid. In High School i read the classics, 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Sound and The Fury, Animal Farm, and so on. But they felt forced, I was never free to explore literature as I wanted to, and that hindered my enjoyment of the greatest novels of all time. I know that my love for literature is still intact, I blame the system for putting it away for so long. But now that the restrictions of High School English classes are gone, I will be free to fall on love with literature at my own pace.

 

Word Count: 414

A Heartfelt List on what J.K Rowling taught us through her magical Books. : http://time.com/3974157/jk-rowling-harry-potter-lessons/

An Interesting read on how school extinguishes children,s passion for reading

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Harry Potter, helped me and many others fall in love with literature.