Sunday, December 30, 2018

Review: Book Love

(An advance reading copy of this book was provided to me via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review)

And here I thought I wouldn't be able to fit in another book before the end of 2018; Then came along this little gem which I can easily declare to be a love letter to every bookworm on the planet 💌 😊📚

Book Love is a graphic novel that can easily be read by anyone, whether they're an avid reader or not. It's a super quick read, one that I finished in the span of maybe 90 minutes while multi-tasking XD Since this book is a collection of comics centred around the theme of an undying, life long love for books, there's no complicated plot or massive cast of characters to keep track of. This might just be the perfect book to start you off on the right foot for your 2019 reading list!

Let's talk art style: it's adorable. That's all that really needs to be said about Debbie Tung's illustrations, but of course I'm going to gush about the art for a little while longer XD There were numerous full page images and panels in this book that I could easily picture turning into a framed print in my home, not just because of how pretty and whimsical they are but because the actual narration about the author's love for books are what make these illustrations so lovable and relatable.

Here is a prime example!
Food fills your tummy, but books feed your
mind & soul 💕
I'm sure I'm not the only person who will pick up this book and find one or more panels that must make us think, "Oh my God, this is so ME!" - one comic in particular that I related strongly to was one where the image of Debbie Tung has just finished reading an amazing book that they know they'll never forget and is wishing that she had someone to talk to who has also read the book - she then proceeds to literally shove the book in her husband's face and yell "I NEED YOU TO READ THIS NOW!" 😂 Not only did I laugh the hardest when I reached this page, but I also found myself relating to it, although in a less drastic way XD

Every year around Christmas, I try to re-read my favourite book, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, and its sequel, The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, at least once. Not only are both books set around the holidays, but it's a tradition I've made for myself and it just doesn't feel like Christmas time until I've closed the book on Dash and Lily after another journey through its pages. This book is very important to me, and this year for Christmas I decided to ask my boyfriend Kurt if he would be willing to read it as well. I didn't expect it to become his favourite or anything, but I knew he would enjoy it (because it's simply hilarious) and because it felt like having him read my favourite book was a way of sharing something about myself that I wouldn't be able to express with words. He agreed to read it, which made me extremely happy 😍 The moral of this tangent is that our favourite books become an extension of ourselves. And when you get to share that connection with somebody else, they then have the chance to understand that part of you, which is something very special.
You can find earlier sketches from Book Love
& other comics on Debbie Tung's Tumblr:

Going back to this book being for bookworms everywhere , there were quite a few comics in here that I related to, and some of them were about things that I never realised happened or occurred to other people besides myself. Who knew that I wasn't the only one who used receipts as an impromptu bookmark, or that I wasn't the only person who carefully selected their bags and purses to be able to bring at least a couple of books with me at all times? 😛 I was also quick to relate to the illustrations of Debbie preferring the company of books to small talk with strangers or big crowds at a house party.

More than anything, what all book lovers will be able to take away from this collection of comics is a reminder of the many reasons that they fell in love with reading in the first place. The words and illustrations in Debbie Tung's graphic novel showcase everything from the magic hidden behind every hardcover to the small pleasures of a night alone with some tea, a fluffy blanket and a good book. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at a page where the author wrote about the reasons she loved well-loved second-hand books, because her reasons are the same as my reasons for loving the tomes I find at my local used book store. A few of the used books I have in my collection have a handwritten inscription on one of the first pages, and it's always fun to think about the person who originally purchased this book when it was new and their reasons for picking out that particular book, and also to try and imagine the person they were buying this book for and whether or not they ended up loving it, hating it, or if they even got around to reading it at all.

Book Love by Debbie Tung will be published in the US on January 1st 2019, and according to the author's website it should be released worldwide a few weeks after that. I truly adored this book, and even though I have a free copy of the e-book, I'll be buying a physical copy for my collection as soon as possible 💖

Debbie Tung has also released another graphic novel, the critically acclaimed Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Story, as well as smaller collections of her comics printed and bound as small zines on her Etsy shop, titled Melancholy and Letters to Myself. 

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