An entertaining romance that leans into tired tropes.

At a young age, teens Victor and Nora became all too familiar with death.

Several years ago, Victor lost his brother and Nora her mother. Now, Victor interns at a lab where he is working on a technology to freeze and reanimate living things, work that has led his colleagues to call him a genius. Nora, on the other hand, is battling a degenerative neurological disease that will result in her untimely death. Determined to enjoy what is left of her life and to die on her own terms, Nora decides to take her life on her 17th birthday, before the disease makes her unrecognizable to herself and her loved ones. But then she and Victor fall in love, and Victor proposes an experimental strategy that could give them extra time together—or could ruin their relationship forever. While the book’s dialogue and characterization are compelling, the plot leans on predictable romantic tropes—most notably a quirky Manic Pixie Dream Girl pulling an awkward, brooding scientist out of his shell—leaving little room for surprises. The book’s illustrations are stunning, brilliantly moving between sepia- and blue-toned palettes to heighten the story’s mood. Victor appears White. Nora, her father, and brother have brown skin and wavy, black hair; her late mother’s name was Sulani Faria, but there are no clues to the family’s cultural or ethnic identities.

An entertaining romance that leans into tired tropes. (Graphic romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4012-9639-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020


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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