Review: ‘She-Hulk, The Complete Collection: Volume 1’ by Dan Slott

Some of you may recognise this from one of my hauls earlier this year. I’ve read bits and bobs about Jennifer Walters, but never picked up one of her own comics. But I totally loved the idea of her as a character, and was super keen to get into Dan Slott’s She-Hulk, The Complete Collection: Volume 1.

For some reason, Dan Slott’s She-Hulk really just didn’t do it for me. Chiefly, I didn’t find myself loving the character as much as I thought I would. Even though I still adore the concept, I found myself getting more and more irritated with Jen. I didn’t find her humorous or endearing. I didn’t feel sympathetic towards her and I certainly didn’t feel as though I connected with her on any level. I just wasn’t invested in her.



The art was nice. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t fall in love with it either, but that’s fine. It was just nice.

As for the issues themselves, there were some hits and misses. That’s always expected. The collection starts with Jen as a hot mess. She’s partying hard, shirking her responsibilities as a lawyer, and annoying her fellow Avengers to the point that they decide to boot her from the team. The rest of the collection follows her as she… well, as she gets her shit together. She learns to balance Jennifer with She-Hulk, and combine her abilities as a lawyer with her superhuman strength.

I particularly enjoyed reading the parts where She-Hulk and Spiderman got to interact. Although I wouldn’t call any of the collection overwhelmingly serious, their conversations and quips brought a nice light-heartedness – a nice humour – to the collection. I also really loved the dynamic between She-Hulk and Southpaw. Again, it brought a great humour to the collection.

Overall, I guess I didn’t dislike this collection. There were some really excellent issues. It had me smiling, it had me laughing. Jennifer Walters was totally kickass as She-Hulk and totally kickass as her lawyer human self. But it took me a long time to read, y’know? I wasn’t dying to pick it up whenever I had a spare moment.

But even if it didn’t reel me in, I’d still recommend it to anyone who wants to find out a little more about Jen. It’s a mammoth collection and includes nice little snippets about her origin story and all that good stuff.

There was humour! There was action! There was even a little bit of sex. It had all the right ingredients for a wicked awesome story. So sure, it didn’t exactly hook me, but I did enjoy reading it and I imagine that many people will enjoy it way more than I did.

Let me know if you’ve read this and enjoyed it! I’m tempted to pick up Scott Byrne’s The Sensational She-Hulk, because I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’m hoping that I fall in love with his run in that same way I’d hoped to with Dan Slott’s!


A Chatty Review: ‘Micro’ by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston [Spoilers!]

Warning, warning! This review contains spoilers! It’s also going to make more sense if you’ve already read the book!

I picked up up Micro on a whim. I knew of Michael Crichton, but had never read anything up him. Besides, it was on sale. It seemed like a win-win.

Micro follows the story of seven graduate students. Peter, under the impression that powerful CEO has arranged his brother, Eric’s, death, goes after said CEO. Vin Drake doesn’t respond to this too kindly, and shrinks Peter, the other graduate students, and an employee, down to a size that is smaller than an insect’s. Desperate to get back to their normal size, they struggle through the Hawaii’n forest. But the students are essentially easy prey in this new world, and Vin Drake will not rest till they are all dead.

It follows the same formula as many other stories of its genre: each student gets picked off… one by one. So while I was scared that the sci-fi element would put me off this book, I was soon thoroughly enjoying it.


I liked reading about all the students as they battled giant bugs and whatnot. I thought it was fun and exciting. And, much to my surprise, I actually really enjoyed the characters. I liked that Peter became brave enough to take on a leadership role, that Danny was revealed to be a total butthole when he let Jenny die, that Karen and Rick had an undeniable chemistry the entire way through.

But can we just talk about the deaths for a moment? I mean, it’s not like I expected everyone to make it through alive, but some of deaths really upset me. …okay, only one death really upset me. So, the students are basically in the mess because Peter believes that Drake has killed his brother, Eric, right? When I realised that Eric was actually alive? And then when Peter died? Honestly, I almost lost my mind. It was also when Peter died that I realised that anyone was fair game. It became much more exciting to me. I’d always assumed that Peter, if anyone, was going to make it out alive, so his death made the rest of the book feel more unpredictable.

In regards to the plot itself, I’ll admit that I could take it or leave it. Like I said before, it’s very typical of its broad genre. A few people are in a scary situation, and some of them die. The ins and outs of it all don’t really matter, do they? But all the bug stuff was super interesting. I mean, I was cringing the entire time and desperately trying not to imagine it (ew!), but it felt new to me. I’ve done the shark-invested waters, the dinosaurs, the abandoned house… bugs? Not so much.

I’ve since looked up a few reviews, and was surprised to see that a lot of people really hated this book. Like, hated it with a passion. People hated Preston’s voice in the novel, they hated the plot, they hated the characters…

I didn’t have such problems. I really liked a lot of the characters. Karen and Rick? I thought they were a super cute couple. A bit predictable, maybe, but cute all the same. Sure, the characters weren’t super developed. But there were quite a few of them… and it’s a novel fewer than 400 pages that’s more guided by a sense of adventure than character. For a novel of its kind, the characters were distinct enough for me.

My major qualm with this book was that the major villain, Vin Drake, had no real motive other than greed. And I know! I know. That’s a legitimate motive. People kill for money. But it’s also the most boring motive, in my opinion. I mean, come on. Surely we can do better than that?

So overall, I ended up really enjoying this book. A bit formulaic and simplistic, I can see why some people didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but I just thought it was a really fun read. I thought the characters were cool and had interesting relationships with each other and I totally loved the concept. All in all, I’m super glad that I picked this up and can’t wait to hunt down more of Crichton’s works.

Did you enjoy Micro? Or do you think it pales in comparison to Crichton’s other works? 

Review: ‘Batgirl (The New 52)’ by Gail Simone

I recently bought all five volumes of the beautiful hardback editions of Batgirl (The New 52) by Gail Simone. I’ve heard so many people talk about how this is one of the better runs in the New 52, so when I saw these secondhand copies up for a decent price, I couldn’t help myself.

In Volume 1: The Darkest Reflection, we are introduced to Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. After being shot and paralysed by the Joker, Barbara Gordon has only just got back on her feet. Still, she’s way out of practice and suffering from PTSD.

In this volume, Batgirl takes on two main villains: Mirror and Gretel. For reasons I can’t explain, I found myself a little bit disappointed in them. Mirror’s motives just didn’t fly for me and I found Gretel a bit dull.

That being said, this volume really hits the ground running. There’s no faffing about, and I was excited to pick the next volume.

The next volume, Knightfall Descends, is just as exciting, if not more so. In this volume, we’re treated to a little bit more of Barbara’s backstory, which I think those who are newer to DC characters will really appreciate.

Most exciting is the introduction of her younger brother, apparently a convicted serial killer. It added a nice element darkness to the story, typical of Bat Family stories. I found this volume more exciting than the first, and it ended up being one of my favourites of the set.

Death of the Family is the third volume. Barbara is finally forced to face her PTSD head-on when the Joker captures her mother. I thought this volume had some really great moments. My lower rating comes simply because I thought it had just as many moments that fell flat for me.

Wanted was my definite favourite of all five. Detective Gordon is on the hunt. For Batgirl. Barbara Gordon. His daughter. Seriously. Is it even possible to get a better a premise?!

The run concludes with Deadline. This volume didn’t end the series as well as I’d hoped it would. To be fair, it’s a perfectly acceptable volume. There just wasn’t a lot of oomph, if you know what I mean. The collection felt a little disjointed, and the ending felt overdone and a little anti-climatic.


Still, I still really enjoyed everything. What can I say? I thought it was a really solid read. I enjoyed most the storylines and most of the art. What more can a gal ask for?

Have you read these? If so, let me know your thoughts!

On the Books I Read for High School: Year 12

I recently posted about the books I read in my first three years of high school. By Year 12, we were expected to put a little more effort in than just one book a year. Not much more, though. For Year 12, I read four books for school. Of my subjects, the two that I read for were History and English.

History didn’t have required reading, as such. Sure, we had a lot of research, but we were never told to sit down a read a whole book. But in the pile of recommended reading, I managed to find two novels which I opted to read after I’d done all the research I could be bothered doing.

We were studying the Otago Gold Rush. And so, I picked up Heather’s Gold by Donald Offwood and Ribbons of Grace by Maxine Alterio. I don’t want to dwell too  much on these, simply because I didn’t particularly enjoy either of them. I simply found them both a little bit boring. That being said, it is quite the task to the make the Otago Gold Fields interesting, so I give them credit for trying.

For English, my class read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. The majority of my class absolutely hated this book. Me? I fell head over heels in an instant. If I had to pick a single book that truly changed the way I view the world, this would be it.

I could spend days and days raving about this book. I just thought it was completely haunting and thought-provoking and beautifully written. It changed the way I think about feminisms and the modern world. It made a better and more aware person, and for that I owe it more than I can give.

Some people might find the style hard to read, but I promise you that it’s worth it.

We also always had a film study. That year, we watched Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee. It was recommended that we read the book. And, being the snobby over-achiever that I was, I actually decided to do so.

I enjoyed the film and the book. I probably enjoyed the film more though. The plot itself is a little slow for my tastes, and what really made it for me was all the beautifully done CGI. Obviously, you don’t get that in the book. The book was written by Yann Martel, and he did do a great job. It’s a nice book. I just didn’t love it. The descriptions are lovely and all, but they just didn’t sell it for me.

And there you have it! The four books I read for Year 12, my second-last year of high school. Did you read any life-changing books in high school? Or were you like my peers, who didn’t connect with a single one? Let me know!

British Comedians and their Memoirs: Miranda Hart and David Mitchell

Celebrity memoirs are all the rage, so it’s no surprise that some of our favourite British comedians have released their own in the past few years. A huge fan of British panel shows, there are a few that caught my eye. For each one, I had mammoth expectations. I was then gifted Miranda Hart’s memoir, Is It Just Me? and David Mitchell’s Back Story.

To be honest? Miranda Hart probably isn’t my favourite comedian. That did probably influence my opinion on Is It Just Me?. I didn’t think I was going to like it, and I didn’t.

I don’t want to talk about it that much, because I didn’t like it. There’s just not much point in going on about it, especially because the reason I didn’t like it was the humour. And I know! I know that so many people love her humour.

If you’re already a fan of Miranda and her work, you’re probably going to love this book. There are a great anecdotes and her humour does come out really nicely. I particularly enjoyed the chapter in which she talks about the reality behind the clothes on photoshoots: they never fit and making it look like they do is an experience in itself.

Moving on! I love David Mitchell. Love him. Really, he never fails to make me laugh. And so I was surprised when Back Story disappointed me a little.

It was nice to find out a little more about him. Currently a university student myself, I found reading about his days at Cambridge particularly interesting. My favourite chapter though? By far, it was one of the later chapters that talks about meeting his wife, Victoria Cohen. It’s sweet and romantic and personal. It’s the kind of story that people dream of reading when they pick up a memoir from their favourite celeb.

I think I just found the humour a little disappointing. Sure, there were funny anecdotes here and there, but while reading them all I could think was: Wasn’t this funnier when he told this story on Would I Lie To You? Maybe it was hearing the story for the second time, maybe it was the fact I was reading instead of hearing it… It just didn’t have the same oomph. It didn’t make me laugh as hard as it did before.

So yeah, I did actually really enjoy it. It had the personality and intimacy that you really want in a celebrity memoir. The lower rating is simply because I had such high hopes, and it didn’t quite match up.


I do get the feeling that I would have enjoyed both of these books a lot more had I listened to the audiobooks and am tempted to actually do so, especially in the case of Back Story. Anyway, I wasn’t terribly excited by these two choices, but there is still hope!

There are loads more memoirs by British comedians out there that I’m looking forward to reading. Not to mention, both David Mitchell and Miranda Hart have since released two other books: Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse and Peggy and Me respectively. The former is already sitting on my shelf and I can honestly say that I am very excited to read it.

From My Father’s Bookshelf: ‘Kim’ by Rudyard Kipling

I’ve always liked to consider myself a fairly eclectic reader. But whenever I’ve heard someone call themselves eclectic, my first thought is always: Uh are you? It sounds a little judgey (because, let’s be real, it is), but it’s true. Anyway, the point is that despite running away from the label, I’ve always fancied the idea of it.

And there’s an easy way to become a little more eclectic than you once were. Getting recommendations from your pals. Having recently had a bit of a clean-out of our family home, my father decided that he’d happily give me some of the books that he’d collected (read: hoarded).

I was a bit apprehensive. We agree on a lot of things and enjoy a lot of similar things, but reading-wise, we’ve always had very different taste. But it also seemed like an interesting opportunity.



The first book I picked up was Kim by Rudyard Kipling. It follows the story of young orphan boy, Kimball O’Hara. He befriends a Tibetan monk and the two adventure together before Kim is sent to an English school. He then begins to train as a surveyor. The story eventually comes full circle, with Kim and the monk reunited.

I have been reliably informed (…by the internet) that this is an excellent book. There’s culture, spirituality and espionage. All the ingredients for an exciting story, right? I should have enjoyed it immensely.

…uh. I didn’t. I don’t even know what it was. I just didn’t connect with the characters, I wasn’t drawn in by the plot, I didn’t fall in love with the writing style… There just wasn’t anything there for me. There were nice moments, but not enough for me to actually like reading it.

Funnily enough, my father later told me that he didn’t enjoy this book either. So I guess it was a bust on all counts… I wasn’t sold on it and I didn’t even have the smarts to pick a book that my father actually liked.

So there we go. My first dip into my father’s bookshelf. Not exactly successful, but I’m hopeful that my next choice (though undecided) is going to be a hit.

Let me know if you’ve read Kim and enjoyed it! Even though it wasn’t for me, it would be great to know why other people have fallen in love with it over the years.

It’s Valentine’s Day!

That’s right, people! It’s that time of year. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, there are roses at every turn, and chocolate goes on sale tomorrow.

Yup. It’s Valentine’s Day. Can you see the love hearts in my eyes? Valentine’s Day is my favourite holiday. I don’t care if its too commercialised and not really a holiday. It’s my favourite, and that’s that. It only felt natural to celebrate by sharing some of my favourite books that feature a lil bit of romance.


Be warned! This isn’t going to blow your mind. My choices probably won’t surprise you. Favourites are favourites for a reason, y’know?

It can’t be avoided. I have to talk about an Austen! I suppose Pride and Prejudice an obvious choice, right? But nope. Not for me. For me, Sense and Sensibility is where it’s at.

Focusing on the relationships of Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility is an enchanting that illustrates just how rough the course of true love can be. Marianne is consumed by romanticism and has her heart set on Willoughby, a Byron-esque hero who isn’t quite as he seems. Elinor is an overwhelming practical girl, but madly in love with Edward Ferrars. Alas, she hasn’t much to her name and Edward’s sister would never approve.

…am I selling it to you? Am I? If not, forget everything I’ve said and read it anyway. It’s worth it, I promise.


And let’s talk about another favourite: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Me Before You is a book that has put a strain on a couple of my friendships. Most of us love it. The others… well, they hated it. Don’t listen to those people, though. It’s a great novel.

It follows Louisa Clark, who’s a bit of a mess. Family life is hard, they’re always wanting for money, and she’s just gotten fired. Nevertheless, she’s a positive gal with a wacky sense of style. Enter Will Traynor. Born into a rich family, Will has lived his life adventuring around the globe. Now? Now he’s paralysed and Louisa is the lucky girl who gets to keep him company.

It’s a touching novel. It’s heartbreakingly romantic. It’s complex and beautiful and totally worth a read.


And, of course, I’ve got to a throw a comic in the mix. I’ve gone for Ms. Marvel, Volume 3: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson. Right from the beginning, we’ve all known that there’s a lil something-something going on between Kamala Khan and her bestie, Bruno Carrelli. Or, at the very least, they really want something to be going on.

And you’ve guessed it! Crushed is where that all comes to light. A bit more light-hearted than the other two I’ve talked about, Crushed is all about two besties in high school who love each other. The twist? Kamala’s also superheroine, Ms. Marvel, and she’s not entirely sure that she’s ready for another complication in her life.

Come on. It’s fun. It’s action-packed. And who hasn’t had that heart-dropping realisation that they might feel just a little too much for a friend?


So there you have it! Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! May you be both loving and loved on the most loveable day of the year.