You Brought Me the Ocean
Jake Hyde doesn’t swim––not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.There’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future—not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that glow when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive headfirst into the waves?

You Brought Me the Ocean Details

TitleYou Brought Me the Ocean
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 9th, 2020
PublisherDC Comics
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, LGBT, Comics, Romance

You Brought Me the Ocean Review

  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This was a heartfelt origin story that tackles identity and sexuality. Prior to reading this, I had no idea who Jake Hyde (aka Aqualad) was so I had no expectations going in about his origin story. I was pleasantly surprised. The superhero element was a lot more subtle than I thought it would be. Jake trying to figure out the mystery behind his I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review. I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This was a heartfelt origin story that tackles identity and sexuality. Prior to reading this, I had no idea who Jake Hyde (aka Aqualad) was so I had no expectations going in about his origin story. I was pleasantly surprised. The superhero element was a lot more subtle than I thought it would be. Jake trying to figure out the mystery behind his powers and coming to terms with his sexuality were both given equal weight. I liked that the book didn’t go too overboard with the superhero aspect because that could have easily overshadowed the coming-out story. The plot is very basic (it’s not the most exciting superhero comic you will read), but it works well for what the story was trying to accomplish. Sometimes less is more, and this book proves that. As for the characters, I loved Kenny. He was hands down my favorite character. I also loved the diversity in the characters. Jake is black. His best friend, Maria, is Latina. Kenny is Asian. The teacher, Mrs. Archer, is Native American. At first I wasn’t a fan of the artwork. I saw a sneak peek of this in another DC Comic and I was a little hesitant. The artwork seemed a little incomplete. But as I started the book and kept reading, I grew to love and appreciate it. There was actually a lot of detail in the sketches. I loved that at the end of the book there was sketches from the illustrator explaining the thought process behind them. Overall, I really enjoyed this beautiful superhero comic and its coming-out storyline! #RepresentationMatters
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  • Juan
    January 1, 1970
    Okay I'm sorry I'm sure this comic will be cute but this has been bothering me for weeks now. Miami University is not a "college on the coast". It's in Ohio. Ohio is landlocked. I'm going to start losing sleep over this I s2g DC please fix itEDIT: I have been informed that this was fixed in the ARC so now I can sleep at night again
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  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    This could have been something special, but the execution of all these themes and ideas is mediocre. The dialogue is straight up awful, the characters are unbelievably stupid for plot reasons, and the art style wasn’t for me most of the time. This reads very juvenile, overall. With a different writer and an extra hundred pages, this could have been spectacular. The combination of sexuality awakening and super powers awakening is golden. Instead of exploring those topics maturely and logically th This could have been something special, but the execution of all these themes and ideas is mediocre. The dialogue is straight up awful, the characters are unbelievably stupid for plot reasons, and the art style wasn’t for me most of the time. This reads very juvenile, overall. With a different writer and an extra hundred pages, this could have been spectacular. The combination of sexuality awakening and super powers awakening is golden. Instead of exploring those topics maturely and logically though, I hope you enjoy water puns and coming out stories stuck in the 2000s. 2.5/5 stars.
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  • Kali Cole
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow! I read this in one sitting and it was so wonderful! I loved the relationship between Jake and Kenny and I really enjoyed the illustrations. I’ve been getting into more comics lately and I’m very thankful to DC Comics for sending me a copy of this. I think in terms of how fulfilling the story is, I’d probably give it about 3 stars just because it went way to fast paced. I’m not used to the pacing of comics so that could be why. However, I love Aquaman and I think this story is a really in Oh wow! I read this in one sitting and it was so wonderful! I loved the relationship between Jake and Kenny and I really enjoyed the illustrations. I’ve been getting into more comics lately and I’m very thankful to DC Comics for sending me a copy of this. I think in terms of how fulfilling the story is, I’d probably give it about 3 stars just because it went way to fast paced. I’m not used to the pacing of comics so that could be why. However, I love Aquaman and I think this story is a really interesting spinoff. I hope to see more comics surrounding Jake Hyde.
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  • Carly Faith
    January 1, 1970
    this was so cringey. maria was beyond annoying and selfish. only character i liked was kenny. he was the only decent one.this entire book kinda made no sense either. very weird plot and kinda childish, didn't come out strong in the writing either. overal not what i expected when i went in to this book. cute lgbtq+ rep but uh that's really it. i wish i didn't read this.
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  • Lu
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. An HUGE thanks to DC comics for this free book. All opinions are my own.TW: homophobia, homophobic slurs, physical assaultJake Hyde lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a city in the desert, with his overprotective mother, eager to keep him safe and away from the water, since his father drowned. But Jake is attracted to and longs for the ocean, he wants to leave his hometown where he feels suffocated and go to college on I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. An HUGE thanks to DC comics for this free book. All opinions are my own.TW: homophobia, homophobic slurs, physical assaultJake Hyde lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a city in the desert, with his overprotective mother, eager to keep him safe and away from the water, since his father drowned. But Jake is attracted to and longs for the ocean, he wants to leave his hometown where he feels suffocated and go to college on the coast, while Maria, his best friend and neighbour, wants to stay there and Jake's mom wants him safe and sound with her.But Jake isn't safe, not when he starts to question his sexuality, not when he applies to Miami University without telling anyone, not when he's attracted to the swim team captain, Kenny, who is out and rebel and stick out in their hometown, bullied for being himself. Jake's life is complicated and full of secrets, secrets he hides from others and secrets he doesn't even know about himself. When the time comes to face them, will he be ready?I loved You brought me the ocean. I already knew Julie Maroh and Alex Sanchez and this graphic novel is simply amazing. The artwork is so beautiful and evocative, I was really in love since the first page. The plot is captivating and I was right away able to relate and connect to the characters and their struggles.Jake feels trapped in his hometown and his eagerness to get away and explore the world and the oceans, his dreams, fears and secrets are drawn and written skillfully. So his relationship with his overprotective and kind mother, with sweet Maria, with rebel Kenny. It was so sweet reading how slowly Jake starts to understand his own feelings and decided to be himself around himself and others. How Jake starts to question his "birthmarks" and his affinity for the water, how he discovers his powers and past.I was able to feel how he felt, his being trapped and eager to explore, to move, to be true and honest to himself.Maria and Kenny are also amazing characters, Maria with her secret feelings and the difficulty of being honest with herself and her best friend, Kenny with the fact he didn't want to conform to anything and pretend to be anyone, with his complicated relationship with his father, who is struggling to accept his sexuality.It's beautiful and intense reading about Jake's journey, in discovering his identity, his sexuality, supported by his friend, love and family.You brought me the ocean deals with a lots of important themes, like homophobia and bullying (since first Kenny then Jake too are bullied by the bigots of the town), coming out, the difficulties of following your dreams, the loss of parents, friendship issues, physical assault.It's a book about the difficulty and strength in being true and honest to oneself, friendship and first love.I recommend to everyone who wants to lose her/himself in a wonderful graphic novel about identity, love, courage and friendship.
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  • Mae Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    I feel very weird about this one, and waiting two weeks before writing the review really isn't helping anything. I'm not sure that the rating I have on this is final - I'm hovering between 2 and 3 stars - but considering that part of the reason I want to bump it to three is the art style and thematic application of colors and I generally review story above art because that's what I look for first...Well. I went with two for now.You Brought Me the Ocean had a chance to be really cute. I read it b I feel very weird about this one, and waiting two weeks before writing the review really isn't helping anything. I'm not sure that the rating I have on this is final - I'm hovering between 2 and 3 stars - but considering that part of the reason I want to bump it to three is the art style and thematic application of colors and I generally review story above art because that's what I look for first...Well. I went with two for now.You Brought Me the Ocean had a chance to be really cute. I read it because I was in the mood for a cute little story, an easy read, something short and I just... Speaking as a queer woman, it kind of made me uncomfortable. The story really does seem to push the theme that secrets are bad and choosing to stay closeted is selfish. That's not a message any LGBTQ+ kid needs to hear, because you'd better believe that thought already passes through their head on a regular basis. And as a college student who constantly deals with the ramifications of being out at school but closeted at home, reading a story that suggests that my choice is selfish isn't pleasant, despite knowing that it's not true.I will say this: I don't think this theme was truly intended by the author. The characters who perpetrate much of this theme ultimately admit that they had no right to make those demands of the main character, but it was almost a throwaway, which isn't enough after Jake (and the reader) spend the majority of the book internalizing this notion of being selfish for not being out. If it was handled better, it would have been great commentary on how being out or being closeted is ultimately a choice that no one else has the right to comment on - unfortunately, the imbalance of time spent on the accusations vs. the apologies means that it falls to the wayside.You Brought Me the Ocean has a cute art style with intelligent use of color. Unfortunately, a story that had the potential to be equally cute was overshadowed by damaging themes produced by an imbalance of story focus.
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  • Sasha Zatz
    January 1, 1970
    You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh is a gorgeous and vivid story about identity, incorporating superhero aspects into a character-driven and emotional story. Jake Hyde lives in a small town in the middle of the desert - he longs to move to the sea after his last year of high school, but in the mean time he deals with the difficulties of friendship, first love, prejudice, family and finding out that he’s, well, a superhero!
I really enjoyed this comic. It wasn’t perfect and You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh is a gorgeous and vivid story about identity, incorporating superhero aspects into a character-driven and emotional story. Jake Hyde lives in a small town in the middle of the desert - he longs to move to the sea after his last year of high school, but in the mean time he deals with the difficulties of friendship, first love, prejudice, family and finding out that he’s, well, a superhero!
I really enjoyed this comic. It wasn’t perfect and I do understand some of the criticism of it but for me it was a perfect escapist and enjoyable story. I really love how character focused it was - I know it is a superhero story, but that’s just another aspect that plays into Jake discovering and accepting his identity. Obviously, I love the super power and fighting stuff, but what I love even more is the emotions in this comic. It’s topics of acceptance are so beautiful and the blossoming relationship between Jake and Kenny is so adorable and sweet! I liked Maria too, and her friendship with Jake, as well as all of their parents. This was a story about super powers but most importantly it was about relationships of all forms. I liked all the characters so much, and the art captures their personalities so well. I love it’s pale hues with vivid aspects, the emotive expressions that make the characters so relatable and loveable and the gorgeous scenery. The art overall was so expressive and stunning.I love Jake, he is a mix of sweet, sensitive and funny that makes him so likeable and such a great main character. His personality was so clear in such a short comic, which I really appreciate. Kenny was so cute and the chemistry between him and Jake was so real! I also really liked Maria, Jake’s best friend, who is kind, hopeful and fierce. The plot wasn’t super exciting or fast paced, but I still got totally lost in it, and I’d really like to see more of these characters! You Brought Me The Ocean was a beautiful story of identity and relationships that shone from the page, and I’d definitely recommend it as the perfect graphic novel for pride month. -really good, character focused n GAYYYY! review soon :)
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  • Murphy
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for providing me an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.I thought this was a very sweet story. Each of the characters were developed with realistic thoughts and emotions and I appreciated that the protagonists and their parents were written like individuals and not plot elements. I enjoyed the romance and how it expressed that romantic feelings and relationships can be complicated and confusing, and effort is required to furthe Thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for providing me an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.I thought this was a very sweet story. Each of the characters were developed with realistic thoughts and emotions and I appreciated that the protagonists and their parents were written like individuals and not plot elements. I enjoyed the romance and how it expressed that romantic feelings and relationships can be complicated and confusing, and effort is required to further understand your partner. I felt the teenage characters were written with a good balance that some other storytellers fail to capture. Their emotions could be extreme, but they never read as melodramatic. They process hurt and betrayal with emotional intelligence and empathy that often is simplified in young adult stories to move the narrative along. I was also glad that none of the central characters or their parents were portrayed as outright villains, even when they're unfair towards each other. While the parents make mistakes and hide important knowledge from their children, they're given reasonable motivations and eventually increase their efforts to respect how their children need to be supported. The only one-dimensional characters were the homophobic bullies, as it wouldn't have been appropriate to characterize them otherwise.It seems like the largest criticism of this book given by other reviewers was that including homophobic bullies who receive little to no punishment from their school administration for being violently bigoted "dated" the story. Unfortunately, in my own experience and from hearing about my sisters', I don't feel this is an inaccurate depiction. At our high school, bigoted students would spout slurs and dehumanizing statements regularly, and within teachers' realm of hearing. Yet they were never met with disciplinary actions or even criticism. It's insensitive to decide that bigoted aggression in a public setting is something young people aren't threatened with anymore, just because you have not encountered it recently or ever. Overall, I felt this story was definitely created with care. Each of the graphic novels in this new imprint seem to suffer from the briefness demanded of them, but I thought this was one of the better ones. Self-discovery is the central theme of this narrative, and explored from multiple angles. I do hope this book receives a sequel since it only scratches the surface of Jake's origin as a hero.
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  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalleyI do agree with what a lot of other reviewers are saying about this book in that it is kind of awkward and dated, but I also still think there is value to be found in it and I did enjoy reading it for the most part. I have basically no prior knowledge on Aqualad so I don't know how this compares to any other version of the character or origin story but I think it was a [mostly] cute enough take on it for new readers. I could have done without the I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalleyI do agree with what a lot of other reviewers are saying about this book in that it is kind of awkward and dated, but I also still think there is value to be found in it and I did enjoy reading it for the most part. I have basically no prior knowledge on Aqualad so I don't know how this compares to any other version of the character or origin story but I think it was a [mostly] cute enough take on it for new readers. I could have done without the brief moments of actually fairly violent homophobia and a few other things that make this book seem like it's set about 15-20 years in the past, but overall I think it's a good title and I'm glad I read it. I do really like DC's new series of standalone comics for young readers but they are obviously not perfect and hopefully they will listen to reader feedback and continue to make progress in the future.
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  • Deborah Embury
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story that could have been really cool, but unfortunately is dragged down by a lot of different aspects. The writing is weak and incredibly stilted. The water theme is overplayed and nearly every page features some sort of water/ocean quip that feels forced. Dialogue just lacks any charisma or creativity; if feels like I’m reading a hasty draft for a fanfic. I know artwork is fairly subjective, but I thought the art style was weirdly cartoony. Body shapes looked distorted, and facial e This is a story that could have been really cool, but unfortunately is dragged down by a lot of different aspects. The writing is weak and incredibly stilted. The water theme is overplayed and nearly every page features some sort of water/ocean quip that feels forced. Dialogue just lacks any charisma or creativity; if feels like I’m reading a hasty draft for a fanfic. I know artwork is fairly subjective, but I thought the art style was weirdly cartoony. Body shapes looked distorted, and facial expressions were often just WEIRD. Finally, the plot is just lackluster. It’s basic. It offers nothing fresh or exciting, which is annoying because it COULD have been such a fun story! I guess it was kinda funny at points, but that was just me laughing at the bad writing. Oh, and the Big Bad character? The one they make a huge deal about coming? Yeah, this character NEVER shows up. 😑 There is so much hype about this person but nothing comes of it. It’s a letdown, much like the entirety of the novel. (Also, another review points out that Miami University, which our main character wants to go to to be near the ocean, is actually in OHIO! 😂 someone obviously didn’t do their research on that one)
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  • Libby
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome to the year 1999, I guess? This book is a cringe-fest. The plot is moved along via awful dialogue and teenage antics typical of archetypal teenagers from bad 90s films. Aka it’s not realistic at all. The art is not good. And also they randomly live in the DC Universe?? That was the biggest surprise of this book: Superman just flying by in one set of panels early on. Why can’t the protagonist just be genetically modified within a universe where superheroes and evil villains don’t reside? Welcome to the year 1999, I guess? This book is a cringe-fest. The plot is moved along via awful dialogue and teenage antics typical of archetypal teenagers from bad 90s films. Aka it’s not realistic at all. The art is not good. And also they randomly live in the DC Universe?? That was the biggest surprise of this book: Superman just flying by in one set of panels early on. Why can’t the protagonist just be genetically modified within a universe where superheroes and evil villains don’t reside? Got me. The author leaned a little too heavily on this pre-built universe for parts on the plot. Like OF COURSE Aquaman saved the protagonist from a bad, bad man when he was just a baby!Sure, it’s diverse in terms of race and having two gay characters (and they’re the only two gay people in this small town so OBVIOUSLY THEY BELONG TOGETHER OwO), but this book is too underdeveloped and juvenile in a bad way. I wouldn’t recommend it.
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  • Kelsi Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. ARC provided by Netgalley for review. I was hugely anticipating the release of this book and I can't help but feel a little let down.Let's start with the good things. Jake, the main character, has a very loving but tense relationship with his mother. They clearly care for each other, but Jake's mom is overprotective and you can tell Jake is tired of it. His mom is keeping secrets, and the reason behind it makes sense. Jake has big dreams, but is afraid of disappointing his mom. I thin 3.5 stars. ARC provided by Netgalley for review. I was hugely anticipating the release of this book and I can't help but feel a little let down.Let's start with the good things. Jake, the main character, has a very loving but tense relationship with his mother. They clearly care for each other, but Jake's mom is overprotective and you can tell Jake is tired of it. His mom is keeping secrets, and the reason behind it makes sense. Jake has big dreams, but is afraid of disappointing his mom. I think this part of the narrative worked very well. His relationship with his best friend, Maria, started off wonderfully and I loved their fun teasing dynamic. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kenny (Jake's love interest) and Kenny's father. This relationship is a little more complicated, because Kenny is gay and out and his father is homophobic, but Kenny's father is slowly coming to accept his son and I liked that the comic was not afraid to deal with this kind of in between state (in most books I've read, parents are either completely understanding or on the edge of disowning their children). Jake and Kenny's new relationship is very sweet overall. Kenny is hands down my favorite character in this book, and I think his personality is the most solidified of all of them. As far as the plot goes, it was a very simple origin story that's easy to follow but interesting enough. Now for the bad. I think this comic feels very dated. I don't recall anything outright specifying the date this takes place, and because of that I assume it's modern day. However, the dialogue, setting, and bullies felt straight out of 2005. At one point in this book the bullies say something like "all queers must die" in a classroom in front of a teacher, and she just sends them to the principals office. I know this is a small town, but I can't imagine someone saying that in front of progressive teacher and having them brush it off? I think Jake felt pressured to come out by Kenny, and I don't think that was confronted at all. I think this book tried to handle ambitious themes but nothing worked particularly well. Lastly, the art style. I'm fairly new to graphic novels so I didn't let this affect my rating, but I did not enjoy this art style at all. It is very messy and inconsistent. There were times when the same characters don't look like themselves at all. Overall, I enjoyed the story and relationships in this novel, but the missed opportunities were too big to overlook.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    You Brought Me the Ocean is an origin story for Aqualad, this time as a gay Black teen living in the US Southwest. So many secrets. His mother's been keeping him away for water his entire life, but why? What are the "birthmarks" on his arms and why do they glow when exposed to water? Is he gay? Why does everyone think he's dating his best friend Maria? And is it time to talk to the only out gay guy at school? Or do more than talk?Long-time readers of queer comics will be familiar with Julie Maro You Brought Me the Ocean is an origin story for Aqualad, this time as a gay Black teen living in the US Southwest. So many secrets. His mother's been keeping him away for water his entire life, but why? What are the "birthmarks" on his arms and why do they glow when exposed to water? Is he gay? Why does everyone think he's dating his best friend Maria? And is it time to talk to the only out gay guy at school? Or do more than talk?Long-time readers of queer comics will be familiar with Julie Maroh's art. Soft lines and a pencils and watercolor feel. Subdued colors. Lots of longing looks. This was my first time reading anything by Alex Sanchez, however, and I was pleased.Jake (Aqualad) falls for Kenny, a Chinese-American boy with green hair and a conservative dad who uses a wheelchair. Kenny feels trapped in town because if he leaves his father will be managing the local inn alone since his mother passed away years ago. He's the only out gay kid and that's also isolating, even if he has some friends. The romance between Jake and Kenny is complicated but felt true and deep.Readers should know that You Brought Me the Ocean is heavy on homophobia, including some actual gay-bashing. Jake's long-time best friend is Mexican-American and she's been waiting for years for Jake to finally want to date her. She's initially angry when she finds Jake and Kenny kissing, but it's not homophobia so much as really hurt feelings based on an assumption she never should have made.They're all seniors in high school, which adds another element of uncertainty to the story. I'm not sure about you, but my family decided that when I was 18, I got to know all the messy family business and this felt a bit like that. (Why is it that everyone wants to turn your life completely upside down when you're already in a period of massive transition?)In all, this book is beautifully illustrated and a bit heart-breaking but ultimately a loving and hopeful origin story for a young man destined for great things.***Content Warnings: homophobia, bullying, assaultSuzanne received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I feel very ambivalent towards this one. I really really wanted to love it but it fell pretty flat for me. It seemed like there was a ton of ideas and themes that they wanted to include but not a single one was done well. From coming out, bullying, best friend issues, college applications, following your dreams, dead parents, and superpowers all of these things were included but none of them were developed. A lot of the dialogue felt stilted and dated, and many of the moments felt like I was bac I feel very ambivalent towards this one. I really really wanted to love it but it fell pretty flat for me. It seemed like there was a ton of ideas and themes that they wanted to include but not a single one was done well. From coming out, bullying, best friend issues, college applications, following your dreams, dead parents, and superpowers all of these things were included but none of them were developed. A lot of the dialogue felt stilted and dated, and many of the moments felt like I was back in the 2000s. The only character that I kinda liked was Kenny, but even then I wasn't a huge fan about how he pressured Jake to come out. I don't think it was intended by the author, but there was an overlying theme about how bad it is to keep secrets and that staying closeted is selfish. I don't think I need to explain how dangerous that rhetoric can be, especially in a novel meant as YA. We cannot force or pressure kids to come out when they aren't ready or if they don't have a safe space. Then there was the fact that they living in the DC superhero universe and maybe it's my own dislike of superheros, but this didn't feel necessary. There is an evil villain who is played up and then nothing happens. He never actually appears and the book ends with no resolution or climax what so ever. Also, in no school in America are kids going to get away with saying things like "kill the queer" and "all queers must die" in a classroom. Overall, I'm disappointed in this one but I did enjoy the artwork enough to keep it at 3 stars instead of 2. Probably not going to be pushing this on anyone anytime soon.
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  • Teal
    January 1, 1970
    This YA graphic novel with a gay/questioning MC is set in a world where, if something flashes by overhead, you can whip out your binoculars and see that it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’sThe POV is shared by three teenagers — which got a bit tedious, honestly, and I had to put the book down briefly at about halfway to let my eyeballs recover from over-rolling. But fundamentally this is Jake’s story, as he grapples with the consequences of keeping secrets and having secrets kept from him.I w This YA graphic novel with a gay/questioning MC is set in a world where, if something flashes by overhead, you can whip out your binoculars and see that it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’sThe POV is shared by three teenagers — which got a bit tedious, honestly, and I had to put the book down briefly at about halfway to let my eyeballs recover from over-rolling. But fundamentally this is Jake’s story, as he grapples with the consequences of keeping secrets and having secrets kept from him.I would say it was… nice. Nice enough. Probably 2 stars for the story, 3.5 stars for the art. The latter is always more important to me — good art will keep me going through a mediocre story, but if I dislike the art no story is strong enough to keep me reading. The color palette alternates between a dry yellow representing the New Mexico desert landscape and the blues of the waterscapes Jake dreams of -- and has increasingly surprising interactions with.I loved the way the diverse cast of characters was rendered. Each one was striking and individual in their own way.The ending isn’t a cliffhanger, but it’s very open and “to be continued” is strongly implied.
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  • Christina || All My Book Clubs Are Dead
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of Julie Maroh, I was looking forward to this graphic novel about a queer relationship. However, there were many elements of this that did not work for me. First, the coming out component unfortunately came across as pushing someone out of the closet at worst. At best it did not pay respect to someone's own timing and needs during that important process. Second, the language was a bit stilted and didn't seem realistic. Lastly, while the setting of the DC Comic universe is interesting, w As a fan of Julie Maroh, I was looking forward to this graphic novel about a queer relationship. However, there were many elements of this that did not work for me. First, the coming out component unfortunately came across as pushing someone out of the closet at worst. At best it did not pay respect to someone's own timing and needs during that important process. Second, the language was a bit stilted and didn't seem realistic. Lastly, while the setting of the DC Comic universe is interesting, when weaved together with the narrative, everything fell a little bit flat and too bizarre. I did enjoy the art and the overall concept, but ultimately was held back from fully enjoying it. .Thanks to NetGalley and DC Comics for an advanced copy. All opinions my own.
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  • Keri Thivierge
    January 1, 1970
    [ Free copy given by Netgalley! ]I loved this. As a teacher, I cannot emphasize the value of representation in literature enough. Graphic novels are accessible to so many more readers, too, and are engaging for the reluctant readers, too. The plotline was sweet, if not a touch cliche -- but that's from an adult perspective. Coming out stories are crucial for our LGBTQ+ youth, and I'm putting this on my shelf immediately for the kids that will need it. There are people of color, LGBT characters, [ Free copy given by Netgalley! ]I loved this. As a teacher, I cannot emphasize the value of representation in literature enough. Graphic novels are accessible to so many more readers, too, and are engaging for the reluctant readers, too. The plotline was sweet, if not a touch cliche -- but that's from an adult perspective. Coming out stories are crucial for our LGBTQ+ youth, and I'm putting this on my shelf immediately for the kids that will need it. There are people of color, LGBT characters, and more. Read this!
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  • SaraCat
    January 1, 1970
    I want to first thank NetGalley and DC Comics for making this ARC available to me.The storyline is good and the characters are enjoyable. I'm definitely left wanting to read the next installment. Sometimes the pacing was a bit fast and interactions as a result didn't always feel realistic, though there were many scenes where the dialogue between the characters felt very natural.The art is very well done, though it's not my personal favorite style it grew on me the more I read.
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  • Cass Moskowitz
    January 1, 1970
    I’m still all in my feels writing this review! A heartwarming, sweet, raw story told on the backdrop of the world of DC comic. A young black boy is dealing with all kinds of secrets in his life. Some of them - trying to figure out how to come out and except his own sexuality - are relatable. Others - he has birthmarks that look like scars along his arms that may or may not glow when wet - less relatable. With humour and heart, Sanchez brings this boy’s journey to life. I’ll be thinking about thi I’m still all in my feels writing this review! A heartwarming, sweet, raw story told on the backdrop of the world of DC comic. A young black boy is dealing with all kinds of secrets in his life. Some of them - trying to figure out how to come out and except his own sexuality - are relatable. Others - he has birthmarks that look like scars along his arms that may or may not glow when wet - less relatable. With humour and heart, Sanchez brings this boy’s journey to life. I’ll be thinking about this book for a while.
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  • Jack
    January 1, 1970
    Great YA LGBTQ + graphic novel that is for people of all ages! I read this in one sitting - couldn'tput it down! This will help everyone who is struggling with who they are, accepting who they are, and to follow their dreams.
  • Christine (Purplemanatees)
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting book. I knew it was a DC comic and that it finally featured queer characters but beyond that I knew nothing of the story. I feel the ending did not really end with much but I'm glad that a cmoic like this exists. I do feel that the art needed some work. More focus on the faces and making sure they were aligned. But i understand the grueling work that goes into a GN like this.
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  • Ben
    January 1, 1970
    Did not know Aqualad existed but this is a beautiful comic, looking forward to more. Love Maroh's art! Everyone's eyes are so mermaid-looking and dreamy. The way Sanchez portrays living closeted is touching, the characters all learn that honesty with those you love is not only the right thing to do but can be really helpful. Also! Chosen fam feels!
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  • Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
    January 1, 1970
    *Thank you to netgalley and DC comics for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.*Review to come soon.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    There are some beautiful ideas in this comic that fall short in execution - love the storyline, coming-of-age and coming out triangle Jake finds himself in with its combination of genetic superpowers awakening. Lots of good stuff to hook DC fans & LGBTQ+ community. However, there is an excess of puns and little character development, which is shame because there are truly unique individuals in this book that could sparkle. The haters in this book blend into a white homophobic mob and there is an There are some beautiful ideas in this comic that fall short in execution - love the storyline, coming-of-age and coming out triangle Jake finds himself in with its combination of genetic superpowers awakening. Lots of good stuff to hook DC fans & LGBTQ+ community. However, there is an excess of puns and little character development, which is shame because there are truly unique individuals in this book that could sparkle. The haters in this book blend into a white homophobic mob and there is an inkling of a story here (eg the ringleader appears to be the one Kenny kisses in middle school at a party game). So many moments that could have been expanded and made richer, as well as written with more authenticity and triviality. The art is beautiful and its cool blue hues work well with the overall motif. It’s a definite purchase for libraries serving YAs - just sad for the missed opportunities to make it shine.
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  • Stacie
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed are my own.I usually have trouble reading comics, but I actually really enjoyed this one! I wasn't 100% on the art style at first, but it ended up suiting the overall feel of the story.I was actually surprised by one of the reveals, when I thought I had known how it was going to turn out. I will say it moved a little too fast with things sometimes, I did really enjoy it.I hope to see more in th I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed are my own.I usually have trouble reading comics, but I actually really enjoyed this one! I wasn't 100% on the art style at first, but it ended up suiting the overall feel of the story.I was actually surprised by one of the reveals, when I thought I had known how it was going to turn out. I will say it moved a little too fast with things sometimes, I did really enjoy it.I hope to see more in this series!
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  • Kel
    January 1, 1970
    I am not familiar with Black Manta nor Aqualad. This coming into one's own self and skin story is magnificent. The story draws you in. There are some unexplained elements such as Jake's blue eyes, and some extreme homophobia. I applaud DC for the courage to have a gay superhero and to show that he faces bullying, overcoming fear, and falling in love with the same emotions as the average teenager. I look forward to this film and the rest of Jake's story.
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  • Alana
    January 1, 1970
    CN: HomophobiaCute book, but there are a few things that feel dated about it. Maybe it just feels that way from the East Coast, but I haven't heard of a school without a zero tolerance policy in a long time.
  • Online Eccentric Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ You Brought Me The Ocean is an origin story for the Jackson Hyde Aqualad. As such, you don't need to have read/watched anything else about the character in order to understand or appreciate this story. That said, the story doesn't feel organic, as if the writer had checkpoints they wanted to cover and so wrote a loose story about the drama of coming out and also discovering superpowers. Despite the subject and high sc More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ You Brought Me The Ocean is an origin story for the Jackson Hyde Aqualad. As such, you don't need to have read/watched anything else about the character in order to understand or appreciate this story. That said, the story doesn't feel organic, as if the writer had checkpoints they wanted to cover and so wrote a loose story about the drama of coming out and also discovering superpowers. Despite the subject and high school milieu, this somehow manages to skew very young, held together by a simplistic plot and characters who should be more interesting than they are portrayed.Story: Jack lives in the New Mexico desert with his single mother. He lost his father to a drowning when he was very young and so his very attentive mother tries to keep him away from all water. Jack's best friend Maria might have feelings for him but he's torn: he knows his attraction is toward Kenny, an openly gay kid dealing with high school bullying. A flash flood while on a hike reveals that the scars on his arms and chest might be more than just unfortunate birthmarks and that his mother might be hiding a huge secret about his father.First and foremost, I greatly appreciation that we have kids of all backgrounds and histories. Maria comes from a loving Mexican-American family, Kenny comes from a broken Chinese family, and of course Jack is African-American. But while I appreciate that diversity, I had to question the artwork which tends to oddly overemphasize their cultural features (e.g., in several panels, it felt like Jack's lips were almost bigger than his face). I can't say I loved the art. The characters' appearances greatly changed panel to panel, with e.g., Maria looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in some panels and then a bit more winsome in others. Same with Jack - sometimes he had huge lips and other times he had small lips. I was distracted wondering if they had lip injections between panels or had balloons for limbs that kept being oddly inflated.The story felt very plotted. I almost wish Jack was portrayed more like the standoffish kid in Young Justice rather than this goody-two-shoes mopey high schooler. He might have been more interesting if he had. But for the most part, he waffles between coming out to Maria, coming out to Kenny, and figuring out he has the ability to manipulate water. I didn't really feel for any of the characters: Kenny felt fake, Maria a cliche high school girl, and Jack lacking character and strength. How cool would it have been if Jake's mother had been preparing him to stand up to his father rather than running, hiding, and smothering him?I do like that the adults had wisdom and were respectable rather than clueless. I also liked the close bonds each of the 3 main characters had with their parents. It gave the book much needed heart and warmth since the kids felt so cardboard and stale. I also appreciate that books with the themes of coming out and with character diversity are available for young adults to read and gain a better understanding of all the different types of people in the world. I just wish this was a more organic, moving, and complex telling of those characters' stories. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict...YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living in New Mexico with his over-protective mother. He spends a lot of time with his BFF, Maria, but he's hiding some things from her. He is covered in birthmarks- at least, that is what his mother says they are, and he dreams of being near the ocean. He wants to go to the University of Miami to study oceanography, but he hasn't told Maria See my full review here: https://www.yabookscentral.com/yafict...YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living in New Mexico with his over-protective mother. He spends a lot of time with his BFF, Maria, but he's hiding some things from her. He is covered in birthmarks- at least, that is what his mother says they are, and he dreams of being near the ocean. He wants to go to the University of Miami to study oceanography, but he hasn't told Maria yet- and they had planned to go to school together.Jake finds himself really interested in Kenny, the guy who has been openly gay since middle school. Kenny has not had it easy, and there are a lot of guys at school who are hateful and homophobic bullies. Jake decides to try to get to know Kenny better, and they go for a hike. It is there that Jake begins to realize that he has some super-abilities with water. He also finds himself attracted to Kenny, but is not sure he wants to come out yet.The comic follows Jake as he realizes his powers and sexuality, Maria as she discovers the same, and Kenny, as he tries to understand Jake and find middle ground with his father- who hasn't been very supportive of his sexuality.What I loved: The colors in the comic book give it a unique mood, and I really love the juxtaposition of coming into your own for both powers and sexuality. The teenage years are a time of self-discovery, and that really comes across here. The way the parents handle it all is also interesting and ultimately supportive of all of the above, which is really helpful for teens who may be grappling with the same concerns to see.What left me wanting more: The comic can be a bit wordy in places with extra-narration. It would have been helpful to do more show vs. tell in places, as it feels like it takes the reader out of the story a bit. The illustrations are also a bit strange in places where the characters feel a little distorted/features disappear/are hard to recognize. I also felt like I needed a bit more to the story. We get the big reveal of where his powers came from and a taste of what they might be, but this isn't explored and does not really have much bearing on the story. The bullies are really just scared off and not fully dealt with (I'm surprised the parents aren't acting on that more), and I felt like maybe a section of the story was missing to tie in the rest of the DC Universe we've been hearing about and making his mother's warnings seem more real.Final verdict: Overall, YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a coming-of-age graphic novel about coming out and finding out about powers that will speak to the teenage experience. A second installment to bring it all together and expand would add to this story.Please note that I received a review copy. All opinions are my own.
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