Reviews by PizzaPuppy
'Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock' is a great read, but definitely recommended for older teens due to language and subject matter (this book tackles many difficult topics, such as suicide, school shootings, and bullying, among others). I found this book to be very polarizing, and whether you like it or not will hinge on how closely you relate to or have empathy for the main character, Leonard. Leonard is not always likable (or particularly believable), but he grows on you as the book comes together. 'Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock' is vaguely reminiscent of 'Catcher in the Rye', particularly in the formatting of events within the novel. Leonard Peacock reminded me of Holden Caulfield at many different times throughout the book, but especially because of his unique brand of sarcasm and the humor used in dialogue. This book took a little time for me to get used to-- the subject matter made me fairly uncomfortable for the first half of the novel. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book tremendously, and found that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough when I got to the end of the book. The writing is beautiful, and the story line made me stop to think several times during my reading.
As another reviewer previously stated, this CD is not quite as good as "Begin to Hope". However, this is easily Spektor's next best, and it features a variety of stand out tracks, such as "Eet", "Blue Lips" and "Laughing With". Regina's songwriting has clearly improved since her beginning days, and the lyrics and musicality found on this album is top notch. Check out "Dance Anthem of the 80's" for a fun, slightly more upbeat song.
"Begin to Hope" is by far Regina's best album. It features many songs that will be familiar to the average listener, including "Fidelity", "On the Radio", and "Better". Stand out tracks on this album include "Samson" and "Apres Moi"-- the latter includes a verse in Spektor's native Russian! This CD showcases Spektor's talents in songwriting and emotive singing, and is her best production thus far in her career.
This is not Regina's best album (look for Far or Begin to Hope for a better, more rounded album) but this CD includes quite a few good tunes. In particular, 'Chemo Limo', 'Us' and 'Ode to Divorce' are well-written songs (and beautifully sung to boot). 'Your Honor' is an interesting punk-rock addition to the album, as it differs drastically from the genres Regina has become so well-known for. However, this CD is not as dynamic as others Spektor has produced.
"Explorer: The Mystery Boxes" is a collection of short stories by several different comic authors (including the authors of 'Smile' and the 'Amulet' series). Each story is based on a 'mystery box', but the stories are otherwise unrelated to the others. The illustrations are very different in style from story to story, but are otherwise beautiful. The stories are a little short in length, but with illustrations this good it's hard to complain! Overall I was very impressed by this book and would highly recommend it, especially to any young readers interested in trying out graphic novels.