Read But Not Reviewed: August 2012

Like Water for ChocolateLike Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquirel

Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.

I’m so glad that I had a chance to read Like Water for Chocolate. However, this is one of the few moments where I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. Maybe it was the way the novel was translated, but I was just not a fan of the writing. I think that Esquirel did a phenomenal job adapting the novel into a film. I think that the sensual elements and the cooking found in the novel translated a lot better on screen than it did on page.

Anya's GhostAnya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part…

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.

I don’t really pick up a lot of graphic novels, but after reading Misty’s review of Anya’s Ghost a really long time ago, I knew I had to give it a shot. I finally got myself a copy and read it on the same day. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol is certainly creepy, but it also packs a punch by exploring other teenage issues. I tore through Anya’s Ghost and I was shocked by the ending. It was a fun read and it definitely made me wonder why I didn’t read more graphic novels.

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