Queen of the Sea Blog Tour Plus Review

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 5 – 9
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Walker Books US (June 25, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1536204986
ISBN-13: 978-1536204988



Praise for QUEEN OF THE SEA

The art, reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s style, creates levity during perilous situations. The book is dense with dialogue, often feeling more like a work of prose than a graphic novel. As a result, this complex work will be more accessible to those familiar with graphic novels…Certain to charm sophisticated graphic novel devotees. —School Library Journal (starred review)

Meconis offers an atmospheric alternate history inspired by the childhood and succession of Queen Elizabeth I in this quietly ambitious graphic novel…Art in soft, earthy colors brings this singular story to life in styles ranging from simple line drawings to elaborately styled text illuminations. The island world is richly developed, both in its physical particulars and its close-knit community (fascinating digressions into topics such as convent time, hand gestures used at table, and chess and embroidery flesh out daily life), and Margaret proves herself an endearing heroine with a strong voice full of humor and wonder. Her perspective transforms a storm-wracked rock into a vibrant world of hidden treasures. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Meconis’ humor and storytelling gifts here wed seamlessly with her evocative pen-and-ink and gouache illustrations, which are rendered in warm earth and sea tones and brim with movement, expressively capturing even Margaret’s interior monologues. With its compelling, complex characters and intrigue-laden plot, this will have readers hoping it’s only the first of many adventures for Meconis’ savvy heroine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Weaving faith, love, statecraft, and self-discovery into a tale of palace intrigue relocated to the halls of a convent on a remote island at sea, Dylan Meconis uses the trappings of the history we know to create a high-stakes adventure in an alternate past that feels so detailed and so familiar, you’ll find yourself wondering why you never read about it in school. This beautiful book swept me away from the first page.” —Kate Milford, author of the Greenglass House series

“Dylan Meconis is at the absolute top of her game. A gorgeously rendered, lovingly realized alternate history, full of personal revelations in the midst of political intrigue. A tale of growing up, and of understanding that the world is larger and stranger than it once seemed. (Plus it has a Terrible Recipe for Terrible Gruel.)” —Ben Hatke, author-illustrator of the Zita the Spacegirl series

“This is the book I was always trying to get my hands on in high school that never seemed to materialize. An adventure to lose yourself in, with an attention to historical detail to please the nerdiest among us. I fell easily and completely into this world and its characters, knowing I was safe in Dylan Meconis’s hands, and I’m really excited for more people to find out what I’ve known for a long time—that she is one of a kind.” —Kate Beaton, author-illustrator of Hark! A Vagrant

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

You can purchaseQueen of the Sea at the following Retailers:
       
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Margaret has lived on an island with nuns and servants her entire life. The nuns are of the Elysian order, and their job is to pray for the sailors that sail on the waters near their island. They also take in those that need shelter who come to the island, and help those who are washed ashore from a shipwreck. Margaret knows that she couldn’t have been born on the island, but none of the nuns are willing to tell her where she came from. She was also the only kid on the island, at least until William came. This book tells the story of her adventures on this island as she learns about her family, true family, and friendship.

I love graphic novels, but I have never read a historical fiction graphic novel. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this book completely blew me away. Margaret was such a lively character, she reminded me of the girls that I grew up reading in the classic novels at the library like Pippi Longstocking and A Little Princess. She was full of life and lit up the rooms she was in, even on an island full of nuns and servants. She was imaginative, but she wanted to grow up to be a nun so she could help people. She never even thought of life off the island until more people from the mainland started coming to the island, but then she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even when she thought about mainland life, she didn’t start to rebel against the people who had raised her. Which I took as a breath of fresh air. Not all preteen/teenaged girls are crazy and rebellious, some really enjoy their lives like Margaret did. You can be imaginative without trying to run away every 2 seconds.

This had to be one of the most fun yet even still historically accurate graphic novels I’ve read yet. I learned small things about living on an island full of nuns in the 16th century as I read about Margaret’s life there as an outsider. There were traditions that these nuns upheld, stories that these nuns told, that I had never even heard about as a non-Catholic Christian. Even so, the book wasn’t so forcibly religious that a non-Christian person would feel uncomfortable reading it. The historic religious events were woven in with brilliant storytelling and beautiful pictures.

I read this entire book in about 2-3 hours, while on buses and trains commuting to and from NYC. This book was so addictive that it took me out of that uncomfortable and annoying commute and made me think about a completely new world while I was reading it. I can say that I definitely have not had that experience while reading a graphic novel before.

I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new historical fiction book or a new graphic novel to enjoy. I cannot wait to read more by this author!

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Photo Content from Dylan Meconis

I’ve been writing and illustrating my own stories since the first grade, and I’ve been making comic books since middle school (no, really! Seventh grade was a tough year for me socially, so I had a lot of time to draw). I started my first book-length comic (graphic novel) in high school.

Unlike a lot of people who become professional artists and authors, I didn’t go to art school or a creative writing program in college. Instead, I mostly studied history, literature, philosophy, and French in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. This means I have a brain full of weird facts, old books, strange art, and the extremely useful ability to read The Tales of Canterbury in the original Middle English. Except for the Middle English bit, it’s all come in very handy for writing and drawing historical fiction and fantasy.

I first started to get paid for making comics when I was still in college, when my first graphic novel was published online. After college, I worked as a graphic designer and visual communications consultant (which means “person who helps teach adults complicated stuff in cool new ways using pictures”). I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, global charities, technology companies, libraries, and a lot of other interesting organizations. I’ve made illustrations, animations, information graphics and cool presentations, explaining everything from how microchips work to the ways that clean drinking water can help communities in the third world.

For the last ten years, though, I mostly work as a writer, comic book creator and illustrator! Sometimes I make books totally by myself, and sometimes I get to team up with other writers or artists. It can be lots of fun, but it can also be very hard work. Luckily, I never get tired of making new stories.

 
       
WEEK ONE
JUNE 24th MONDAY JeanBookNerd INTERVIEW
JUNE 25th TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream TENS LIST

JUNE 26th WEDNESDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW & INTERVIEW 

JUNE 26th WEDNESDAY Triquetra Reviews EXCERPT

JUNE 28th THURSDAY Cover2CoverBlog REVIEW

JUNE 27th THURSDAY Wishful Endings FILL IN THE BLANKS

 

 

JUNE 28th THURSDAY TTC Books and More TENS LIST
JUNE 29th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 
 
WEEK TWO

JULY 1st MONDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW

JULY 2nd TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW 

JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW

 
JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JULY 4th THURSDAY Wonder Struck REVIEW

 

JULY 4th THURSDAY Such a Novel Idea REVIEW & PLAYLIST
JULY 5th FRIDAY Bri’s Book Nook REVIEW
JULY 5th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
 
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Webtoon Wednesday: AMuslimMamaComics!

I love supporting amazing artists on Instagram. When I first started reading Asbah Alaena’s comics, I fell in love with the art style. Soon, I started following the story of herself and her family. Her name on Instagram is @amuslimmamacomics, and she writes about her everyday life raising children, being a wife, and being a Muslim woman.

I am not Muslim, so I didn’t know what to expect coming into it. Soon, I kept reading her older comics just to learn more about the religion and to understand my Muslims friends better. She writes about the peaceful, amazing, funny, and difficult parts of being a Muslim in today’s world. One of my favorite inspirational comics of hers was this one. I never really understood what Ramadan was truly about until I saw this comic, and it made me so happy to know that this was how my friends were going to be feeling for that month.

A lot of her comics are simply relatable if you have kids or have been around kids for any period of time. She discusses the good, bad, and the hilarious of being a mother. One of my favorite motherhood-related comics of hers is this one!

I would definitely recommend you check her out and read even more of her comics, she even writes about some political/social and humanitarian issues in comics such as this one!

I hope that you check her out and enjoy her comics as much as I did! Let me know who your favorite Instagram artists are in the comments!


Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 paintbrushes

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Webtoon Wednesday: MadHattey!

This Webtoon Wednesday, I’m highlighting MadHattey from Instagram! She draws comics based on characters from the plays Dear Evan Hansen, Be More Chill, and writes unique stories for her own characters. Many of the characters she writes are LGBT+, and she explores who each character identifies as in different comic arcs. I love all the couples that she writes because they are all just so positive and supportive of each other! Even though I am always surprised by the new couples she creates, I always end up loving them in the end! She has even gender swapped a few of the couples she created, and I just…I loved it.

My personal favorite pairing is Timmy and Rich. Timmy is MadHattey’s own character, and he is autistic. Rich is a character from Be More Chill. He had the SQUIP and was the one who told Jeremy how to get one, and he burned down a house accidentally while trying to get rid of his SQUIP at the end of the play. They make the cutest couple, as Rich helps Timmy through his sensory overload issues and bad memories of his father and Timmy helps Rich through his post-fire PTSD. Here are two of my favorite comics of the couple!

A color version!

And here is my favorite gender swapped version of this couple.

Nevertheless, not everything she writes is romance. Some of the stories she writes are about family and issues that come with that. There are other characters in her universe that have stories about dealing with mental health issues, ADHD, abuse, homophobia, and many other things. Honestly, a lot of these comics can get pretty angsty, but I love angst so that’s no problem for me. If you aren’t into angst, there is plenty of fluff to go around. You won’t be bored!

If you like LGBT+ and neurodiverse webcomics or are a fan of the play Be More Chill, you should definitely follow MadHattey on Instagram. She comes out with new content on a very regular basis, sometimes almost daily! I am always excited to check and see what else has come out of her amazingly creative mind.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 paintbrushes

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Webcomic Wednesday: Be More Chill Fanfiction

Be More Chill is a really amazing musical that I hope to see someday in the near future! It portrays high school in a way that I think no other play has done before, it is so realistic. It doesn’t treat high schoolers as overgrown middle schoolers, but it also shows that high schoolers do need emotional support and aren’t just completely unfeeling and lazy young adults like some musicals portray them. Be More Chill has such an amazing balance, and you can feel it just by listening to the soundtrack on Spotify.

But I am not here before to talk about the musical, as I haven’t seen it yet! I am here to talk about my favorite Instagram fan webcomic renditions of Be More Chill. Here is one of my favorite Be More Chill Webcomic/Fanfiction authors!

Artistic_Hoarder

Artistic_Hoarder has a webcomic/fanfiction going about Michael, Jeremy, and Christine after Jeremy loses the Squip. Jeremy is with both Christine and Michael, but in more recent installments he has been leaning more towards his best friend for life Michael. The Squip forced him to ignore Michael even when all he wanted was to spend time with his best friend, and now they have to heal their friendship and deal with their feelings for one another.

Michael and Jeremy are not together in the play, but Jeremy is crushing on Christine for most of the play, so this webcomic/fanfiction is more canon than some of my other favorites. Jeremy’s mother also shows up for a time, which leads to a few arguments over Jeremy having a boyfriend. This probably wouldn’t occur canonically because Michael has two moms and Jeremy’s mother does not come back, but it is really a nice touch that this author added into this story.

I can’t wait for this story to be continued, I am on the literal edge of my seat! I am just going to constantly be rereading the previous episodes until the next one comes out. Definitely check it out!

Here is where I believe that the main comic arc started, but there is other random Be More Chill little scenes before it that you might want to check out.

You could start from here and still understand what is going on generally. It is also mostly Be More Chill and no Heathers content from this point on. If you like Heathers, read down from this point and check out some cool fanart!

And here is the current feed that you can check out for yourself!

https://www.instagram.com/artistic_hoarder/

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 paintbrushes

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Webtoon Wednesday: No Scope First Impression / Review

I’ve read the first three episodes of the No Scope Webtoon. I’m not exactly sure what to make of it, but I am definitely interested in dedicating my time to read a few more episodes!

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The story is about a Korean kid named Suho who is amazing at this FPS game called No Scope. He sneaks away in the middle of school to play it in the computer lab, and meets this other mysterious Korean kid doing the same thing. This kid is a far lower level than he is, so Suho believes that he will easily beat the new kids in a few rounds. When he loses 0 to 10, he knows that there is something special about this kid named Doyoon. The more he learns about him, the more he wonders how Doyoon got to be so good at the game!  He doesn’t have a gaming computer, he was playing on laggy American servers and still managed to beat everyone, and he barely knows anything about the game. But Suho still trusts him and decides to enter the both of them into a gaming competition.

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Again, I’m not sure what to feel about this webtoon. I don’t even know if they are going to go with the route that Doyoon is somehow a natural gaming genius or he’s just a massive cheater. Will he even succeed in this gaming competition, who knows? I just have to wait until the next episode to find out.

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The one thing that I know I dislike in this Webtoon is the character Juri. She somehow has a big crush on Suho and will do anything to hang out with him, but he keeps blowing her off for Doyoon. She is literally the most popular girl in the school but she is remaining hung up on Suho, it doesn’t quite make sense to me. Many webtoons have this “annoying unwanted girlfriend” trope, and after reading quite a few of them, the trope gets kind of old. I hope that Juri finds someone who really likes her and stops nearly stalking Suho to hang out with him!

Overall, this webtoon seems interesting, but I am not sure if it is my favorite yet. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a new Lit-RPG type of Webtoon to read.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 paintbrushes

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Webtoon Wednesdays: Let’s Play Webtoon Review

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This Webtoon Wednesday is less of a review and more of me just talking about a Webtoon I started reading yesterday. I instantly fell in love with it, but I am only about 5 chapters in. Half of the characters in the picture above I haven’t even met in the Webtoon yet!

Sam is a game developer, and she was originally proud of her first puzzle-adventure game Ruminate. She spent hours and hours on it and was so happy when it had been given positive reviews on the indie game site she published it on. Then a Youtuber named Marshall gave her game a bad review online. He didn’t even read the instructions, got frustrated when he couldn’t get past the game, and ended the video trying to give “criticism” to the game’s developer. His fans then went and review-bombed Sam’s profile on the site until it was taken down for having such a high volume of negative reviews at one time. Then, Marshall moves in next door, and Sam has to figure out how she is going to deal with the neighbor that basically ruined her life.

I love how this comic represents people with social anxiety. Sam didn’t break down meeting Marshall, but then she had a panic/asthma attack with her friends when she was thinking about how to live next to him all the time.

This comic also talks about being a Youtuber or an indie game dev. Marshall had to be up all hours of the night, even when he was tired, just to make content for his viewers. Even when he was tired he would put on a happy face just to try to put out content on a regular basis. Sam put a lot of time and effort into her project, but one big Youtuber getting the wrong idea about her game, and her career was just about ruined in an instant. Review bombed and the original ratings might never return. I have never heard of this happening to someone who actually didn’t do something wrong in the gaming community (like a Youtuber calling out a developer for being a racist or bad to his employees or something), but I am sure that it has happened. I am glad that Mongie, the author, is bringing light to these important issues.

I am not going to give a rating as I am not very far in the episodes, but I will update you all on my final rating in a different post once I am completely caught up. Thanks for reading!