Eerily good.

READ REVIEW

GRAVITY'S PULL

From the Life on Earth-Marinaomi series , Vol. 2

Everything changes once Claudia Jones comes back to Blithedale High.

Nigel becomes smitten with the mysterious girl whose dramatic return stirs everyone’s interest. The new Claudia appears much more untouchable and otherworldly than the previous one, and Nigel can’t seem to approach her without coming off like a doof. Free from her abusive ex-boyfriend, Paula finally confronts her blossoming sexuality by beginning a sort-of romance with Johanna, whose friendship with Brett is on the rocks. Forgoing school, Brett must take care of his remorseful mother, who is in home hospice care. Emily, meanwhile, thinks she’s met a perfectly sweet boy during a party, but her initial feelings prove false as the night rolls into a nightmare. Volume 2 of the Life on Earth series builds upon its off-kilter and subversively charming foundation, widening its emotional core in subtle, effective ways. This slim sequel mirrors its predecessor’s diverse artwork—rough, exaggerated, and expressive—and the multifaceted narrative focuses on its multiracial cast. There is an abstract chapter from Claudia’s perspective, illustrated in colored pencil in contrast to the mostly black-and-white art of the rest of the volume. Everything remains more or less unsettled, exactly as it should be, with a cliffhanger ending thrown in for good measure. MariNaomi’s (Losing the Girl, 2018, etc.) attention to life’s uncanny aspects feels more urgent than ever.

Eerily good. (Graphic novel. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4911-2

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Jan. 8, 2019

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THE ODYSSEY

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

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

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME

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 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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