Reading Roundup for December 2022


This month’s roundup includes my first-ever combined review; I’ve woven both of my featured reads into a single review, as I want to share with you what an exceptional double feature they make.
(Also, these were both re-reads for me; I love them on their own, as well as together.)

If you’ve recently read a tale that shined brightly for you, I’d love to hear about it.
Thank you.

Featured Reads:

“The Deep & Dark Blue”

  • Author: Niki Smith
  • Author URL:
  • Related Works: N/A
  • Notes: Please read the “Graphic Novel Double Feature” section below, for a combined review of “The Deep & Dark Blue” and “Galaxy: The Prettiest Star.”

“Galaxy: The Prettiest Star”

  • Author: Jadzia Axelrod
  • Author URL:
  • Related Works: In the parlance of comics, this book is an “origin story,” so you don’t need to have read anything else before enjoying this. However, Galaxy is part of the DC Universe; there’s mention of Superman in this book; and in the future, we hope that Galaxy will be interacting with other DC characters, particularly Dreamer.
  • Notes: Please read the “Graphic Novel Double Feature” section below, for a combined review of “The Deep & Dark Blue” and “Galaxy: The Prettiest Star.”

Graphic Novel Double Feature

In “The Deep & Dark Blue,” we meet the young twins Grayce and Hawke; she’s an apprentice witch, and he’s a proto-swashbuckler.
There’s two threads to this tale; the twins working together to save themselves and their noble house, and Grayce’s journey of growth in her identity and talents.
This delightful and heartwarming adventure reminds me of a Studio Ghibli film.

Teenage years are rough, and they’re made harder for Taylor, as she’s an alien princess disguised as a human boy, living in small town America.
For me, “Galaxy: The Prettiest Star” evoked John Hughes movies, with the familiar joys and pains of adolescence, as Taylor explores her identity and falls in love for the first time, while dealing with the shock and prejudices of those she trusted.

What draws these two graphic novels together is not just that Grayce and Taylor are transgender, but that they’re highly-relatable characters, with experiences and feelings that resonate with many of us.
These two books are a perfect graphic novel double feature for the trans girl in your life; a girl who deserves to see herself reflected in the adventures of a witch and the trials of a princess.

PS: You may want tissues when reading these; even happy moments caused me to cry.
There’s euphoria and catharsis in connecting with people like Grayce and Taylor.

Other Reads

  • “Walking in Wonder” by Colin Kelly Rodriguez (Fiction)
  • “Exile Music” by Jennifer Steil (Fiction)
  • “The Netanyahus” by Joshua Cohen (Fiction)
  • “Give Sorrow Words” (October Daye Universe) by Seanan McGuire (Short Fiction)
  • “The Variants #4 & #5” by Gail Simone (Short Fiction)
  • “Breathtaking” by Paula Holmes-Eber Ph.D, and Lorenz Eber (Non-Fiction)

Judaism Class

Beloved & I are participating in a twenty-week Judaism class, which means both that the number of books I finish in a month has diminished, and that I’ll be reading the class’s assigned books for the next few months.
(In April of 2023, my self-selected reading will hopefully pick up again.)

Book Gallery

Here’s a pair of pictures for you, of books I read this month.
(This “Book Gallery” is a brand new part of my Reading Roundups. Please let me know what you think about it, thank you.)

Wrapping Up

And that’s my Reading Roundup for December 2022.
It’s been quite a journey since the first Reading Roundup (for May of 2022); thank you for being part of this adventure!
Your input is precious to me, and I hope to hear from you in the months to come.

Your Library Girl, Mina
Thank you for reading.

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