Saturday, December 29, 2018

Review - Sanity & Tallulah

Sanity & Tallulah
by Molly Brooks
Date: 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Reading level: MG
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 240
Format: e-book
Source: library

Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn't long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it's too late?

Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Sanity & Tallulah seemed like it should check all the boxes for me. But, due to a number of factors, I ended up not enjoying this one very much at all.

First, this is a graphic novel that really needs to be read in a larger format. I read the e-book on my laptop, and even then, I couldn't clearly see some of the pictures or read all the text without zooming in. This would be impossible to read on something like a Kindle. It doesn't help that the actual innards of the book only use a couple of colours (navy and dull red). Sometimes it was difficult to make out what I was looking at. (It's always disappointing when the cover promises something other than what you actually get. I might have liked this a bit more--and been able to see it better--if it had been in full colour like the cover.)

Second, I'm not a fan of the way the punctuation was used. Question marks versus periods were used not so much to differentiate between questions and statements, but to indicate inflection. Unfortunately, a lot of those characters are the kind of people who make everything sound like a question, making their voice go up at the end of every sentence. So there are question marks everywhere. I was not a fan.

Third, I didn't really like the way the book couldn't decide whether or not the adults were stupid or smart. When things started to go really wrong on the station, there were engineers and specialists running around all over the place trying to find the source of the problem. It wasn't until the girls found the problem (in a place that seemed like a really obvious place to start looking, given the situation) that the plan for saving the station could be put into place. I thought that was kind of stupid. On the other hand, some of the adults were also portrayed as capable, loving parents, which is a nice change from some middle grade books where parental involvement is almost nonexistent.

The main problem I had with this book, however, was simply that it was boring. The plot was quite thin, and it seemed like there was quite a bit of filler. (Searching for the escaped mutant cat took up way too much of the first part of the book, in my opinion.) There were some fun touches like the taffimatter (no matter how scientifically implausible it might be), duct weasels, and plums that could power light bulbs, but there weren't nearly enough of those kinds of things to hold my interest. I honestly thought I might DNF this one because I was just so bored.

A science fiction graphic novel for middle graders featuring two young girls as the main characters sounds like it should be great. Unfortunately, it wasn't... and I'm just glad I'm done.

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Illustration: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.25 out of 5 ladybugs


  1. Ooh...sounds like this one has some room to grow for adult audiences at the very least. Thanks for sharing your adventure through the pages! Better luck next book.

    1. Goodreads doesn't list a sequel, but the back cover of the book hints at one. The series definitely has room to grow!