For Graham Posner, a geeky, bespectacled white teenager from Long Island, the love he feels for Roxana Afsari, the Persian girl next door, is as epic as Peter Parker’s for Gwen Stacey—without the whole dying bit.
A self-respecting comic-book devotee cannot simply blurt out his amorous feelings; the moment has to be hero-worthy, and Graham knows that New York Comic-Con during a Q-and-A with their favorite comic creator is the perfect opportunity. How to make that epic moment happen is the subject of Tash’s witty third novel (The Mapmaker and the Ghost, 2012, etc.), and what follows is an unabashed love letter and delightful inside joke for comic enthusiasts who were fans long before Hollywood made geek culture chic. The author perfectly captures the earnestness and grandiose sentiment of a love-struck teenager whose life is fueled by and intertwined with geek culture, and the narrative’s diverse cast is a testament to comic books’ universal appeal. Teen issues such as violating curfew on a school night or missing out on coveted tickets to an event receive the same gravitas with which the X-Men save the world and race home in time for dinner. Best of all, the novel captures the joyous spirit of Comic-Con and fantasy’s ability to provide its devotees with a community through which to contextualize their joys and sorrows.
A lighthearted and engaging romp for anyone who loves Spidey and Mary Jane's upside-down kiss in the rain. (Fiction. 13 & up)