quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green




I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour from Rockstar Book Tours for BONDING, a sci-fi/romance that asks questions about love and existence.  Check out my review below, and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Book Information

Title: Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites
Authors(s): Matthew Erman and Emily Pearson 
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Edition: Hardcover, eBook; 208 pgs
Publisher: Vault Comics
SourceRockstar Book Tours
Find ItMajor Retailers
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
1/16/2023 - Sadie's Spotlight - Excerpt/IG Post
1/17/2023 - Bookish Trisha - Excerpt/IG Post
1/18/2023 - Writer of Wrongs - Excerpt
1/19/2023 - The Clever Reader - Excerpt/IG Post
1/20/2023 - A Dream Within A Dream - Excerpt
1/21/2023 - Two Chicks on Books - Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two
1/22/2023 - Nagma | TakeALookAtMyBookshelf - IG Review
1/23/2023 - Jeff_of_allmedia - IG Review
1/24/2023 - GryffindorBookishNerd - IG Review
1/25/2023 - @bubbles_books09 - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/26/2023 - travelersguidetobooks - IG Review
1/27/2023 - Eli to the nth - Review/IG Post
1/28/2023 - Nerdophiles - Review

Week Three
1/29/2023 - @coffeesipsandreads - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/30/2023 - Brandi Danielle Davis - IG Review/TikTok Post
1/31/2023 - brittreadsalattebooks - IG Post
2/1/2023 - Jenguerdy - IG Post
2/2/2023 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review/IG Post
2/3/2023 - A Blue Box Full of Books - IG Review/LFL Drop Pic
2/4/2023 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - Review/IG Post

Week Four
2/5/2023 - See Sadie Read - Review/IG Post
2/6/2023 - Mallory Books - Review/IG Post
2/7/2023 - @just_another_mother_with_books - IG Review
2/8/2023 - Nonbinary Knight Reads - Review/IG Post
2/9/2023 - Novel Novice - IG post
2/10/2023 - Two Points of Interest - Review 
2/11/2023 - The Momma Spot - Review/IG Post

Week Five
2/12/2023 - onemused - IG Post
2/13/2023 - @jacleomik33 - IG Review
2/14/2023 - @thebookishfoxwitch - IG Review

The Summary

“Wear your heart on your sleeve.”  That’s the saying. But in BONDING, people wear their anxiety on their chests – in the form of a  parasite that shows everyone just what you’re feeling on the inside …


A man, a woman—and their parasites. Marcus has been alone since the loss of his closest friend and has just recently entered into the dating scene, while Laura has drifted in and out of relationships since high school. They meet, they have a great first date, and Marcus almost dies—because the slug-like parasite that everybody carries in this world nearly rejects him, its host. BONDING is a funny, quirky, and honest look at love, in a world where everyone wears their anxiety, not on their sleeves, but on their chest like big ol' leeches.

Fans of Matthew Erman's work on Vault Comics' WITCHBLOOD and Archaia's JIM HENSON'S THE DARK CRYSTAL: AGE OF RESISTANCE will find lots to love in BONDING. Fans of Image Comics' ICE CREAM MAN VOL. 1, DC Comics' COLLAPSER and even books like THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer and THE PARASITOLOGY TRILOGY by Mira Grant will enjoy this foray into all the stressors of dating...where a parasite is the least of your worries (unless it kills you, that is.)

“Erman and Pearson skewer genre norms in this sweet and casually unsettling comics romance-dramedy…”- Publishers Weekly

My Review

What I think makes reviewing graphic novels a bit harder than books is the fact that the visual aspect is just as important as the story.  A graphic novel can have an amazing plotline, but if I don't like the art, I can't read it.  Conversely, if the art is gorgeous, but the plot is horrible, I can't read it.  Luckily, Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites by Matthew Erman and Emily Pearson has both beautiful art and an engaging plotline.

Erman and Pearson come together to write one weird book, but it is weird in the absolute best possible way.  The Earth has been taken over by aliens, little slug-like parasites that have to use human plasma to survive.  So every person has a slug, and if the slug dies, you die.  Can you imagine your whole survival is reliant on this alien AND you have to move through the anxiety that is being a human being?  That is exactly what is explored in Bonding.

The storyline is generational, so we start off two generations after the invasion, where we meet our couple Marcus and Laura.  Both are young enough not to remember a time before the slugs, but old enough to know the changes within culture (such as chlorine now being completely illegal due to its' harmful effects on the slugs).  We follow their love story, trying to navigate the regular trials of dating/relationships, but within this sci-fi world of slug reliance.  We then fast-forward to their son, Ira's, story.  He, too, is in the first stages of a relationship when a catastrophe involving the slugs starts to occur.  I liked to see where Marcus and Laura end up, as well as the further development of this Earth living with slugs.  

The mix of sci-fi/romance/body horror gives you such creepy vibes.  One minute it will be a traditional "does he/she like me?" and then the next will be a race to stop one's slug from killing their host.  With each page, you don't quite know what to expect, which kept me glued.  I think that this isn't the story for everyone, especially straight romance readers.  But if you're a sci-fi reader who likes a little romance, then Bonding: A Love Story About People and Their Parasites will be right up your alley.

Final Rating


About the Author(s)

About Matthew Erman:
Matthew Erman is a comics writer from Columbus, Ohio. Alongside Lisa Sterle, he co-created the critically acclaimed comic horror series, Long Lost, which was optioned for Film/TV by Producer Jenny Klein (The Witcher, Daisy Jones and The Six). Erman has since worked on the comic book series Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and graphic novel Power Rangers: Sins of the Future with BOOM! Studios, series Care Bears: Unlock the Magic with IDW, the upcoming science fiction/horror/humorous romance original graphic novel Bonding, with artist and co-creator Emily Pearson for Vault Comics, and the smash supernatural action adventure comics series (with artist/co-creator Lisa Sterle) from Vault Comics, Witchblood. His short work can be found in anthologies such  as Corpus (2018), Dead Beats (2019) and Everything is Going Wrong (2019).

About Emily Pearson:
Emily Pearson is a freelance comic book artist from Davis, California.
She has previously worked for Black Mask Studios; “The Wilds”(2018) and “Snap Flash Hustle”(2018-19), Oni Press’s “The Vain”(2020), and the upcoming “Bonding” coming to Vault Comics in 2022.

In addition to comics series, she drew a short story for the Ringo Award Winning “Mine!” an anthology for Planned Parenthood, Vault Comic’s “Cult Classic Zero Short”, “CORPUS” curated by Nadia Shammas, and “Everything is Going Wrong: Comics on Punk & Mental Illness”.  She has illustrated various covers for comic books including: “Stranger Things: SIX” from Dark Horse Comics, “Calexit: Emmie X”, “The Devil Within”, “Sweet/Vicious”, “The Wilds”, “Snap Flash Hustle” from Black Mask Studios, “Going to the Chapel” from Action Lab, “Atlantis Wasn’t Built For Tourists” from Scout Comics and many more.

2 winners will receive a finished copy of BONDING, US Only.

Ends February 18th, midnight EST.


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