Thursday, July 2, 2020

Mini Reviews: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang and A Taste of Sage by Yaffa Santos

I am back with another round of mini reviews. I like to be able to do these in between size reviews--not as long as my full ones and not as short as the new Twitter Reviews I am doing.  Up this time are a graphic novel review (in time for Pride month) and an adult rom-com review.

The Prince and the Dressmaker
By Jen Wang
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a delightful graphic novel that is beautifully drawn by artist Jen Wang. I love the message behind this story: be who you are because otherwise you are not true to yourself. Prince Sebastian has a secret: he loves dressing up...but in dresses. He seeks out a designer who can make him the dresses of his dreams. Enter Frances, an overworked tired seamstress at a fashion shop in Paris. She longs to be able to design dresses for clients that bare her name and when the Prince's valet arrives when an unbelievable offer, she leaps at the chance.

Through their relationship, Prince Sebastian begins to accept his Lady Crystallia side, becoming embolden to go out into society dressed as her (most of the time accompanied with Frances). Their relationship evolves into more as the story progress but is put to a challenge with Sebastian has to decide who he really is and Frances has to decide what she truly wants.

I enjoyed this and of course as a graphic novel it is perfect for reluctant readers in my library. I appreciate that it challenges people's perception of gender roles and I think the pacing of the story is great. I love the overarching theme of being comfortable with who you are, even if it is not what you think everyone wants of you. I think that is an important message our teens need to read--especially during these pivotal formative years. 

A Taste of Sage
By Yaffa Santos
My Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

Chef meets chef, fall in love, & live happily ever after--what could be better than that? This is a rom com with Dominican roots that sadly did not translate into as much richness as I hoped. It blends magical realism, tragedy & romance, but ultimately l wanted more from it. I liked Lumi and the other main character, Julien grew on me as well. I felt like the flow of this book was off--it bounced forward in time so quickly and the recipes were interspersed at weird points. Perhaps if I read it as a physical book instead of an eBook, maybe it would have been clearer. Even though parts of it did not work for me, I read it in one day.

Despite not getting out as much as I hoped, I do look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I hope in her next book she is willing to explore her Dominican roots further so it translates more fully into the story and does not feel as just a small part of it. 

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