A fresh take on a coming-of-age story with uneven execution.

A teen drifts apart from her best friend and toward activism.

Dana Drucker is halfway through her senior year in Boca Bella, Florida, when one of her gory social media pranks with best friend Lily Villaseñor nearly gets them expelled. As punishment, the principal sends them to a community college film class to learn to channel their creativity more productively. Now Dana is balancing schoolwork, the college class, her strained relationship with her mom, and the possibility of losing Lily. As Lily finds her space as a natural cinematographer and starts dating Wye, their nonbinary classmate, Dana feels more and more lost. On top of that, the red tide caused by toxic algae that thrives in a warming ocean filled with pollutants is wreaking havoc. Wye suggests they create an eco-horror film about it, but as Dana struggles to find her role in the group, she becomes increasingly connected to Daphne Ocean, a self-entitled elemental witch, and the environmental group Daphne volunteers with. With a color palette reminiscent of old comics and an artistic style that will evoke strong reactions from readers, Dana’s friendship drama is one that teens will easily relate to, although the activism aspect of the story is lacking in depth. Dana appears white; Lily has brown skin, Wye reads Asian, and there is additional racial diversity in background characters.

A fresh take on a coming-of-age story with uneven execution. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023

ISBN: 9781728430362

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023


Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010


A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar.

A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relationship.

Biracial (East Asian and white) high schooler Freddy is in love with white Laura Dean. She can’t help it—Laura oozes cool. But while Freddy’s friends are always supportive of her, they can’t understand why she stays with Laura. Laura cheats on Freddy, gaslights and emotionally manipulates her, and fetishizes her. After Laura breaks up with her for a third time, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and, at the recommendation of her best friend Doodle, (reluctantly) sees a psychic who advises her that in order to break out of the cycle of her “non-monogamous swing-your-partner wormhole,” Freddy needs to do the breaking up herself. As she struggles to fall out of love and figure out how to “break up with someone who’s broken up with me,” Freddy slowly begins to be drawn back into Laura’s orbit, challenging her relationships with her friends as she searches for happiness. Tamaki (Supergirl, 2018, etc.) explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s (Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks, 2018, etc.) art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. Freddy and her friends live in Berkeley, California, and have a diversity of body shapes, gender expressions, sexualities, and skin tones.

A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar. (Graphic novel. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-259-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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