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The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

My Review:

The Great Gatsby is one of the classics that I somehow missed in high school, and though it is well-loved it was one that I never felt compelled to read. Maybe I just wasn’t that interested in the roaring twenties, but there was nothing about the various descriptions that I had read that pulled me in. I even skipped the film adaptations, I just can’t explain why I had no interest in this story.

Despite that, when I was offered the opportunity to read a graphic novel adaptation, and my husband expressed to me how much he enjoyed the novel, I decided to give it a try. Heavens how wrong I was to skip over this story for so long! I ended up flying through the graphic novel, I ate up the story and immediately ordered a copy of the novel as soon as I finished.

Since this is an adaptation of a piece of classical literature, I will not comment on the story itself since I have yet to read the novel. However, I do want to cover how well this graphic novel does at adapting the story.

The art is excellent, it reminds me of older drawing styles that are fitting for the time period. The pages are beautifully watercolored and are bursting with fun details and color, Gatsby’s parties look whimsical and wild. Where the adaptation suffers is in the format itself, where much of the story is shown to us in pictures instead of told through narrative. There is some dialogue to carry the story, and random blocks of narration, while artfully placed in the background, make the story feel like there are some holes. It makes the reading experience feel a bit like an abbreviated version of the story, showing the major events like a storyboard without any of the detail in between.

Despite this, I feel that a graphic novel adaptation is great because it introduces a wide audience to classic literature in a way that is easy to digest. It helped an uninterested reader like me to take an interest in reading the original work and that I feel is the major goal of any adaptation. In all, I’m thankful to this graphic novel for expanding my horizons, and it is one that I would gladly recommend.

“She was appalled by West Egg⁠—appalled by the two obtrusive fate that herded its inhabitants along a shortcut from nothing to nothing.”

Trigger Warning: Mild Violence, Infidelity

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Makeshift Miracle

Makeshift MiracleTitle: Makeshift Miracle
Author: Jim Zub, Shun Hong Chan
Series: Makeshift Miracle #1
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
First Published: June 5, 2012
Pages: 120
Genres: Coming of Age, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: ★★


A young boy named Colby Reynolds searches for meaning in the world around him and discovers a place where dreams can come true ― if he's willing to pay the price! Along the way he'll see sights he's never fathomed and encounter hidden truths about himself he'll wish he never knew.

The hit online comic is now a beautiful, high-quality hardcover graphic novel, perfect for teen readers and manga fans with a durable, library-quality binding.

Rating Breakdown:
Volume 1: ★★☆☆☆
Volume 2: ★★☆☆☆

My Review:

This comic was a little bit difficult for me to decide what I thought about it. I was really digging the first few chapters and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I loved how the main characters were the only colored parts of the panel, it made for really striking visuals. As the first volume wore on, however, I started to wonder where the plot was going. There were characters introduced and a few events, but nothing of substance was really happening.

There was a convenient amnesia plot which is a trope that I really dislike because the entire plot is withheld intentionally. I hoped for more answers from the second plot and it quickly became a bore waiting for some answers to finally be given to the reader. There are chases and a little bit of action but everything felt rushed. Characters are taken out just as quickly as they are introduced, somehow an important piece of the plot but readers are never given any real time to care about them or their fates. There is little to no development of the plot or its characters at all.

Things pick up at the end when the antagonist basically tells the main characters the big secret around the amnesia plot, which again, goes back to why I don’t like these sorts of stories to begin with. Nothing makes sense until the big reveal which means that the plot will be weak without it. While I liked the revelations at the end, it was so out of left field it didn’t have a strong impact. I just wish that the plot could have been fleshed out better and more attention could have been paid to the characters to make me care about them more. There’s a romance but it makes no sense and I couldn’t really feel it.

The quality and detail in the art also went down in the second volume as compared to the first which just added to the feeling that this series was a little rushed. I did like the central message about dreams, desires, and aspirations, even if it wasn’t developed well. It’s a very good message about how dreams can be both good and bad and how easy it is to hold yourself back with fear. I just wish this story could have been executed better because it had a lot of potential.

“I won’t say I’m not nervous… Because I am. Nervous about growing up and taking hold of the things I want out of life.”

Trigger Warning: Nudity