A teen copes with home-life troubles by cosplaying her favorite comic-book character.
Edan Kupferman’s father is being sequestered during an inquiry into shifty accounting at his workplace. Needing an escape from reality, she heads to the Angeles Comic Con for a panel with the cast from the upcoming film of her favorite comic, Team Tomorrow. (Between chapters, history and analysis of the fictional comic book are given, including parallels to Edan’s life.) At the con, she connects with her crush, Yuri, whose friends constantly quiz her to check her nerd-cred. In fact, Edan struggles throughout against geek sexism, objecting to the “fake geek girl” label and telling a male jerk that “cosplay is not content.” A costume contest to be an extra in the movie’s sequel prompts Edan to start a cosplay club at school. One member is Spanish-speaking Kirk Gomez, who is Han Solo–handsome and ethical enough for one of Yuri’s goon friends to accuse him of being a “social justice warrior.” Edan tries to ignore both Yuri’s complacency in the sexism she faces and her growing connection with Kirk in a frustrating love triangle. A final plot twist that coincides with the revelation of her father’s troubles is engrossing, but its resolution’s glossed over in favor of the inevitable romantic conclusion. Edan and Yuri seem to be white, though people of color populate the diverse secondary cast.
This authentically geeky and feminist romance nails the con scene. (Fiction. 12-16)