Small Spaces, DCeased, & Quiet Girl in a Noisy World – Review Quickies #2

Review Quickies

Between working massive amounts of overtime and dealing with the normal ups and downs of life, I haven’t had a lot of time to write reviews. In order to catch up, here are a few quick reviews of books I’ve read lately.



Small Spaces Katherine Arden

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Middle Grade | Horror | Fantasy
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Released September 25th, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_and_a_half_stars

I don’t often read middle-grade books, but I wanted an audiobook that would be easy to listen to and found Small Spaces on Scribd.

The story follows eleven-year-old Ollie who joins her class on a trip to a local farm. There’s quite a bit more going on, though, as Ollie discovers a bizarre scene with a crazed woman attempting to dispose of a mysterious book. Ollie starts reading the book and notices strange parallels between the story in the book and what’s happening on the farm. Ollie, along with two of her classmates, has to work together to save the rest of their class as the night takes a supernatural turn.

Small Spaces was super adorable and fun. I know this is the type of book I would have loved had I read it in middle school. The story touches on difficult topics such as grief, yet it is also a rich tale of friendship. It’s a short novel but packs a lot of punch. I’ll definitely be reading the sequel, Dead Voices.


DCeased Tom Taylor.jpg

DCeased by Tom Taylor
Art by Trevor Hairsine & Stefano Gaudiano
Horror | Graphic Novels/Comics | DC Universe
Published by DC Comics
Released November 26th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars

Tom Taylor is my favorite comic book writer. He has a unique ability to combine humor with darkness, and I absolutely love it. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the DC Universe (I much prefer Marvel), I’ll read anything that he writes.

DCeased is an apocalyptic story involving a disease spreading across Earth, turning victims into zombies (essentially), and even superheroes aren’t spared.

What really struck me about DCeased is how dark it is. One of the reasons that I don’t read many DC comics is that the stories and characters often seem a little cartoony for me, but DCeased is dark and serious. I’m not going to spoil the story and say how it ends, but let’s just say that I wasn’t expecting it to end like it did, and I thought that it was great.

The only downside to this collection is that, for many of the characters, I had no real idea of who they were. Obviously, the big names like Batman and Wonder Woman are obvious, but to someone unfamiliar with the DC Universe, there were a lot of less well-known characters who I didn’t care about. If you’re a DC fan though, you won’t have that problem.


Quiet Girl in a Noisy World Debbie Tun.jpg

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung
Graphic Novel | Memoir
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Released November 7th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Debbie Tung’s newer graphic novel release,  Book Love. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World is a collection of black-and-white comics about life as an introvert. I felt as though I was reading about my own life. All of Debbie Tung’s work is adorable and perfectly captures introversion. This would make a perfect gift for your bookworm friends.



Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Review Quickies #1

Sometimes I read small books or graphic novels that might not warrant a full review. I’ll post about these books periodically in Review Quickies, starting with a few graphic novels I read while moving this past week.


Super Chill Adam Ellis

Super Chill: A Year of Living Anxiously by Adam Ellis
Graphic Novel | Humor
Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Released October 23rd, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

I won this short graphic novel in a contest hosted by Andrews McMeel Publishing along with several others. I’ve been following Adam Ellis, a former Buzzfeed contributor, for a while on Instagram, so I assumed that I would enjoy this. Unfortunately, though, I was mainly just bored while reading this. There were one or two short comics in here that I could identify with, but as for the majority of them, I’ve actually already forgotten what the comics were about. I do love his art style, however, so an extra star for that. Overall though, it really missed the mark for me.


Total Jazz Blutch.jpg

Total Jazz by Blutch
Non-Fiction | Graphic Novel | Jazz
Published by Fantagraphics
Released February 14th, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_0_and_half_star

I can’t remember the last time I rated something less than one star, but this short graphic novel 100% deserves it. When I came across this title on Hoopla I got excited because I adore jazz and was fascinated by a graphic novel about famous jazz musicians. What I got, however, was a racist, nonsensical jumble of bad art and few words.

What do I mean by racist? The book starts off with some Native American caricatures, drawn by a Frenchman:

butch total jazz native americans

These caricatures serve no purpose and I was confused about why the author/artist would even include this. Once he started talking about jazz, things didn’t get much better. I was almost angry to have wasted my time on this book.

Even if you’re a jazz fan, do yourself a favor and skip this.


Waves Ingrid.jpg

Waves by Ingrid Chabbert
Illustrated by Carole Maurel
Nonfiction | Memoir | Graphic Novel | LGBT
Published by Archaia
Released May 14th, 2019
Originally published in France, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

We’re finally getting to the good stuff! This graphic novel was poetic, heartbreaking, and beautiful. The story is based on author Ingrid Chabbert’s own experience and follows a young woman and her wife as they try to conceive. It’s a difficult pregnancy, however, and they have to face a loss neither of them could prepare for. While the story is simple, it’s immensely powerful. Carole Maurel’s beautiful artwork adds a lot to the story as well:

waves art.jpg

I can’t recommend this graphic novel enough. I was able to find it for free on Hoopla, but regardless of how you have to get your hands on it, be sure to read it!


A Fire Story.jpg

A Fire Story by Brian Fies
Nonfiction | Memoir | Graphic Novel
Published by Harry N. Abrams
Released March 5th, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

To end this post, we have another five-star read. As you can probably tell, I was on a bit of a non-fiction graphic novel kick the week before I moved (keep an eye out for my last non-fiction graphic novel review – They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, which is getting its own post).

A Fire Story caught my eye because it was something that I could relate to, as my family’s house burned down in February 2006. It was a surreal experience to lose everything you and your family had ever owned, but thankfully everyone was okay.

Brian Fies’ own experience with losing his house involved the massive California wildfires of last year when his whole neighborhood was quickly consumed by flames. The emotions he experienced felt so real to me and reminded me of everything my family went through when our own house burned down. With wildfires becoming the new normal in California (as well as in other parts of the world), now’s a good time to give this graphic novel a read.



I really enjoyed reading all of these non-fiction graphic novels, although I do wish I could take back the fifteen minutes I spent on Total Jazz. If you have any recommendations for other great non-fiction graphic novels, please let me know in the comments!!




Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!