These are my last two books read in November.
#242 - We Were There Vol. 1 by Yuki Obata. (Nov. 2008), (2002 orig. Jap.) 187 pgs. Age 13+ - This back to front Japanese manga did nothing for me. I almost didn't read past my obligatory 50 pgs but figured it wouldn't kill me to see it through to the end. Basic story line is girl starts high school and falls for popular hunk, also new to school, but his girlfriend died last year. Which I guess gives the guy a right to be a major jerk, cruelly teasing Nanami and then turning around and being nice for a moment. Despite the 99% jerkdom, Nanami falls for the 1% nice guy and keeps trying to be friends with him no matter how nasty he is, savouring the few close connections they make. Yick!! Not even going to bother with a rating.
#243 - The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks (Oct. 2008) 156 pgs. Ages 12+ - Juniper has won a scholarship to attend a prestigious private school. She has done this herself as she is determined to make something of herself, make her single mother proud and follow in her deceased father's footsteps by becoming a doctor. Upon arrival, immediately the "it" girl, focuses on her, calling her "Project" and sets out to taunt her; only problem is she didn't count on Juniper having just as much attitude to throw back. But that doesn't stop the snooty girl from making her life's mission to finding Jun's weak spot. Fortunately, Jun becomes fast friends with her quirky roommate and learns about the legend behind Ellsmere of the disappearance of the Ellsmere brothers and the large white deer that roams the woods. A truly wonderful story, shows the real life ugliness of a popular girl bully and the formation of a friendship of two outsiders. Jun, in her own way though has similarities with both her quirky friend and the bully who is trying to ruin her life. A realistic story with a legend hiding in the background bring about a fantastic and surprising ending. I read this one very quickly and really enjoyed the story. The artwork is black and white and while it didn't particular grab me I love the artist's facial expressions. Her character's say so much even when they are not speaking any lines. I was thrilled when I finished the book to read the author blurb to find that the cartoonist is a Canadian, as I haven't read many Canadian graphic novels to date. 4/5