Final year of university has been super hectic, so I haven’t posted any original content on this blog, but summer is here in Toronto and what better way to spend the dog days than with a book? And in this post, I review two, you lucky ducklings!
I am privileged enough to live at a walking distance from my LCS and last week, the very nice store manager, Doug, lent me “The She-Hulk Diaries” and “Rogue Touch”, Marvel’s novelizations of two of their most popular superheroines. While I am a DC girl at heart, I was intrigued by the fun-looking covers and the fact that I adore discovering new books especially during the summer.
Before I dive right into the reviews, I would just like to say that I went into reading these books without knowing anything about She-Hulk at all, other than the fact that she’s Bruce Banner’s cousin who can also turn into a powerful green crimefighter. And pretty much the only thing I know about Rogue, I learned from the X-Men cartoons and Anna Paquin’s portrayal.
First up, Marta Acosta’s “The She-Hulk Diaries”, which I read first because I just wanted to get it over with. My theory was that because I was more familiar with Rogue, I should save her book for last since I was more likely to like that one. Boy was I wrong. I absolutely adored this book. Jennifer/She-Hulk or Shulky is a joy to read about. I loved the diary format, the supporting cast, the few Marvel references I was able to catch, the plot, the red herrings, the romance component, the bad guy. I could go on and on about this book but let me just say that I highly recommend it if you’re looking for light summer reading. Now, I’m not too sure, but I think I read some reviews out there about the confusion between how Jennifer and She-Hulk are portrayed as completely separate beings that whenever Jennifer transforms into Shulky, she is basically “trapped” inside Shulky’s body. I don’t know if that’s the case in the comics, so I can’t really comment on it aside from the fact that it can be pretty funny at times, which is maybe why they decided to go in that direction. Sometimes I found the humor to be a bit too much with the punny songs sung by the main love interest or the overuse of abbreviations (OMG) but all in all, it’s a very enjoyable read with plenty of action and romance. Shulky is such a blast, I dare you not to want to hang out with her and Jennifer’s diary entries are so relatable, you can’t help but cheer for her. It definitely made me want to discover more about Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk, so mission accomplished Marvel!
Now for Christine Woodward’s “Rogue Touch”. I’m not going to sugar-coat it but I strongly dislike this book. It wasn’t the 1st person narration that bothered me, it was the plot that seemed to revolve around Rogue’s love interest Touch, who is supposed to be a secondary character, rather than Rogue herself. I felt that Rogue was treated as a supporting character in this book and it pissed me off to the point that I had to force myself to finish it and I almost didn’t. I have no idea why the author chose to bring on an original character in this book as opposed to using oh I don’t know, the hundreds of other characters in the Marvel universe. I don’t know if I’m just too much of a noob to catch them, but I found zero reference to any other Marvel character. No mention of any other X-Men. I think Touch was referring to a school of mutants or people with special powers but really, it was such a disappointment. The “twists” in the story felt forced to me, like the author was trying to convince the audience that this was an “OH MY GOD, NO WAY!” moment but by that point, I didn’t really care for Touch or even Rogue for that matter anymore. In the end, I felt there was no character development at all, the love story did not draw me in and the action scenes were so meh, I can’t even remember them much to even comment on them. This book just seriously made me miss the super fun to watch Rogue from the cartoons.
Verdict: The She-Hulk Diaries is perfect for beach/pool-side reading. Reading about Jennifer’s attempts at balancing her career, love life and crime fighting is best enjoyed with a bright cocktail or a cold beer. Or you can also read it while you’re recovering from a hangover after a wild night of partying, I’m sure Shulky would approve.
Rogue Touch aka Touch’s Story with A Side of Rogue is best enjoyed if you’ve absolutely ran out of things to read.