This is a qualified rant. I often like to read graphic novels because I like the kinds of stories that graphic novels lend themselves to, which is a fancy way of saying I like superheroes. Of course, there are also graphic novels I like for the beauty of their stories–things like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Persepolis. I like graphic novels because they are often innovative, even though I am not a very visually-oriented person. I often miss important details in the images of graphic novels because I was too focused on the text. So when I heard about Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral, I knew I wanted to read it–but I also knew its format would be challenging for me.
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I admit it: I picked up Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz because they wrote the screen plays for X-Men: First Class and Thor, two superhero movies I very much enjoyed. If it hadn’t been for that piece of trivia, I probably would have said “Oh, that sounds like a ripoff of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and moved on. Instead, I read it, and now I will write about it.
As a modern gladiator’s daughter, Lyn and her family live by the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association. But those rules can turn against you. When Lyn’s seventh father dies in the ring, his opponent, Uber, captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet—and her hand in marriage. To win her freedom, Lyn will do what no girl has done before: enter the arena and fight her father’s murderer—even though she’s falling in love with him.
I had high hopes for this book. I chose to read it because it was on several lists of books that are similar to The Hunger Games and because the five-sentence synopsis I had read (the one above) sounded so great. As it turns out, the synopsis was better than the book.