Verona Comics
From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop.Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them—that is, when they’re even paying attention.They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible…unless they manage to keep it a secret.Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?

Verona Comics Details

TitleVerona Comics
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 21st, 2020
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780525516286
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance, LGBT

Verona Comics Review

  • Irena BookDustMagic
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 3,5 starsWhen I got Netgalley widget for Verona Comics I was pleasantly surprised. I am in a reading mood for ya contemporaries lately, and this book showed up in just about right time.Since I like to go into my books blind, I only read summary briefly, and thought this would fun ya romance.Boy, was I wrong!What I thought would be fluffy and cute love story turned into serious novel that talks about anxiety with suicidal thoughts in such a strong and realistic way.Don't get me Actual rating: 3,5 starsWhen I got Netgalley widget for Verona Comics I was pleasantly surprised. I am in a reading mood for ya contemporaries lately, and this book showed up in just about right time.Since I like to go into my books blind, I only read summary briefly, and thought this would fun ya romance.Boy, was I wrong!What I thought would be fluffy and cute love story turned into serious novel that talks about anxiety with suicidal thoughts in such a strong and realistic way.Don't get me wrong, this book still had lots of cute and heart warming scenes, especially at the beginning, but as the story progressed the serious tone was louder and louder.I am not sure if this is own voices story, but from my perspective, as someone who suffers from anxiety even today, and had suicidal thoughts before, I can say that Ridley's character was realistic.I could totally understand him, so many of his thoughts and actions I found familiar, especially those what were written in italics.Verona Comics also represents lgbtq community and POC.Other then that, it also touches subject of family dynamics, which is very important for the story.I enjoyed comics reference. Who would say that it is such a competitive business? Then again, I guess all businesses are.This novel is written in first person, following two perspectives: Ridley's and Jubilee's.I enjoyed the story, but I have to admit that I didn't feel the chemistry between two main characters, which took some enjoyment from my reading experience.All the other parts of the story, from family relationships to friendships were well written.This is fast paced story, and easy to read.I think ya contemporary lovers will enjoy this one!
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book, and I really wish it wasn't being marketed as strictly a fluffy romance, because I think it's really magical at what it does and that isn't how I'd describe it. The romance is adorable, don't get me wrong, but this is first and foremost a mental health book ((view spoiler)[also, there isn't an HEA, so like, it's really not a Romance, though it ends exactly as I think it should (hide spoiler)], and I think it handles that beautifully as reimagined Romeo & Juliet. I really loved this book, and I really wish it wasn't being marketed as strictly a fluffy romance, because I think it's really magical at what it does and that isn't how I'd describe it. The romance is adorable, don't get me wrong, but this is first and foremost a mental health book ((view spoiler)[also, there isn't an HEA, so like, it's really not a Romance, though it ends exactly as I think it should (hide spoiler)], and I think it handles that beautifully as reimagined Romeo & Juliet. Ridley has anxiety disorders, severe depression with suicidal ideation (cw: a past suicide attempt is mentioned more than once), and a difficult family and past. He and Jubilee are both really charming characters with great chemistry who really work on their communication in a solid way. Jennifer Dugan is officially an author I will follow anywhere.
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  • Rec-It Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    the love story in this is A++++ and the way it presents characters communication methods evolving but major cws for mental health stuff including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Fun and funny and cute, for sure, but there is some heavy stuff in this YA rom-com. It's good -- Ridley, the male main character, has anxiety, depression, and codependency issues -- and both he and Jubilee are well-fleshed characters. I'm not super into the comic/fandom world, so it didn't connect with me as much as Hot Dog Girl, but for readers who are, this will be an utter treat. Which doesn't mean I didn't love it because I definitely did and definitely needed to read this book right now. Fun and funny and cute, for sure, but there is some heavy stuff in this YA rom-com. It's good -- Ridley, the male main character, has anxiety, depression, and codependency issues -- and both he and Jubilee are well-fleshed characters. I'm not super into the comic/fandom world, so it didn't connect with me as much as Hot Dog Girl, but for readers who are, this will be an utter treat. Which doesn't mean I didn't love it because I definitely did and definitely needed to read this book right now. It's a rom-com with a lot of meat on the bone that treats mental health so well.
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  • Sónia
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This is hard for me to rate.I love all the different kinds of representation in this book - queer, Black and Asian, mental health, class - but the way it is marketed is slightly misleading. I requested this expecting a fluffy and heartwarming ya romance (I should have learnt my lesson with In Five Years and take every synopsis with a grain of salt) and I got a roller-coaster ride of intense emotions and I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This is hard for me to rate.I love all the different kinds of representation in this book - queer, Black and Asian, mental health, class - but the way it is marketed is slightly misleading. I requested this expecting a fluffy and heartwarming ya romance (I should have learnt my lesson with In Five Years and take every synopsis with a grain of salt) and I got a roller-coaster ride of intense emotions and hard-hitting subjects.The story follows Jubilee and Ridley in a dual POV format that lets you dive into their very different realities. Jubilee is an only daughter and lives with her two loving mums, one of which is an indie comic artist who owns a comics bookshop. She is the best cello player in the state and trying for a position in a renowned music summer camp program. Her two best friends, Nikki and Jayla, are also a big part of her life. Jubilee’s family struggles financially.Ridley on the other hand lives with his absent mother, has a horrible father and a sister who is doted in by both of their parents whom he loves (despite being rightfully jealous at times). He suffers from severe depression and anxiety, with which is struggles daily to the point it interferes with his social life and his relationship with his family. He has no future prospects, doesn’t care about school and has no close friends other than his older sister who seems to be the only person who cares about him. Ridley is wealthy.Their families are enemies in the comic book industry.So when their worlds collide, it’s cute and fluffy, until they find out how different their lives are when all the lies are finally unveiled. Her friends don’t like how much of her time he takes and her stepmother is becoming worried and suspicious of Ridley. On the other hand, Ridley can’t take it anymore at home with his father grilling him about spying for him.Another thing that really bothered me was that it got something dangerous and life threatening happening for Grayson and even Ridley to make decision of getting professional help for him. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, I just wish that there was a different kind of depression rep where the person gets help before something this big happens. I’m just glad it was an accident in this case and that it wasn’t Ridley’s fault.I also hated that Ridley didn’t come clean about his identity to Jubilee right when he realised who she was. It was misleading and I really hate that trope. Even more in this case because he used spying for his dad as an excuse to be close to her without her knowing he was the same boy she met at the prom dance thing. I don’t care if he didn’t spy on his dad’s behalf, he still spied on her for his own.I have mixed feelings about this book because I hated most of the decisions and actions taken by Ridley and I also think Jubilee should have taken a stance earlier. But I still like little things like Jubilee trying to figure out her sexuality, how different all the relationships - straight and queer - were and I loved Jubilee’s mums a lot.I do still recommend this to people because it has good rep and, I don’t know if it was intentional because I didn’t see it mentioned anyways but, it’s a great retelling of Romeo and Juliet. I’d just caution people not to expect a cute and heartwarming story because this is definitely not it.
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  • Lea ♞ That_Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    3/5 ⭐Thank you so much to PRH International for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion!This book was very funny and adorable but it tackled very important topics as well. Ridley's anxiety was relatable and heartbreaking to read, and his relationship with his family was just absolutely and completely awful. Poor boy needs a break. Jubilee was definitely my favorite character, she's an icon. Also, the rep and diversity in this book is absolutely incredible 3/5 ⭐️Thank you so much to PRH International for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion!This book was very funny and adorable but it tackled very important topics as well. Ridley's anxiety was relatable and heartbreaking to read, and his relationship with his family was just absolutely and completely awful. Poor boy needs a break. Jubilee was definitely my favorite character, she's an icon. Also, the rep and diversity in this book is absolutely incredible and I loved it! We have bi characters (finally a well written bi rep!!!), lesbian rep, diversity, mental health. Honestly this made the book absolutely fantastic and it was just a delight to read. I wish we could have just that much rep in more YA books. I liked the writing, it was really easy to follow and fast to read. However, I felt like the beginning was a bit rushed and I have to admit Ridley made me cringe at first, but I ended up growing really attached to him after a few more chapters. You will just want to give him the biggest hug. Then, Jubilee is a nerd and she doesn't hide it, which is so fresh and good I loved it! I loved all the comics references and I, myself, fangirled along with the characters. Oops. Reading this book was definitely entertaining and great to escape from the scary real world outside! My Bookstagram
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  • Zoë ☆
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed reading this! It starts off as a cute romance, but it then got on to discuss some heavier topics. And even though I didn't initially expect this, I thought it was well done. My heart broke for the main characters and I teared up a few times. I honestly cannot wait to read Hot Dog Girl now! I would recommend this if the synopsis sounds interesting to you, but definitely keep in mind that this isn't just a fluffy contemporary.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: anxiety, panic attacks, suicide attempt in past, suicidal ideation, depressionComic books, star-crossed lovers, and mental health? Verona Comics is a total win! This queer contemporary tackles serious subjects such as mental health all the way to questioning our sexuality and bi-erasure. Verona Comics is one of those books which evolves with every page. Starting off at a comic (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) TW: anxiety, panic attacks, suicide attempt in past, suicidal ideation, depressionComic books, star-crossed lovers, and mental health? Verona Comics is a total win! This queer contemporary tackles serious subjects such as mental health all the way to questioning our sexuality and bi-erasure. Verona Comics is one of those books which evolves with every page. Starting off at a comic convention, introducing a totally adorable romance angle, and then struggles with mental health, it constantly tugs at your heart strings. I am here for all the different queer characters from Jubilee's parents, Ridley's bisexuality, and Jubilee's questioning representation (and struggling with bi-erasure).Verona Comics is dual perspective and it just works so seamlessly! The characters are so precious. Ridley is struggling with his parent's expectations paired with his totally relatable desire for acceptance and love from his father. At basically all times I wanted to wrap Ridley up in a protective bubble - no one messes with Ridley! At the same time, I adore Jubilee. And I basically fell in love with her from the first page. I want to read about more passionate musicians. As someone who has had to be the kind of figure Jubilee was for Ridley, her character felt so relatable to me.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "If my ride was music, then his is a symphony, and I dont want it to stop."Ive been hearing a lot of hype for this book since its release was announced. I even made a stop at the Penguin booth at ALA to request a copy and was over the moon when they handed it to me. I instantly bumped this up my reading list because I couldnt let it sit there and torment me. Am I glad that I read it? Oh, most definitely. Is it one of the best books Ive read? No, its not. It had a lot of great things going for it "If my ride was music, then his is a symphony, and I don’t want it to stop."I’ve been hearing a lot of hype for this book since its release was announced. I even made a stop at the Penguin booth at ALA to request a copy and was over the moon when they handed it to me. I instantly bumped this up my reading list because I couldn’t let it sit there and torment me. Am I glad that I read it? Oh, most definitely. Is it one of the best books I’ve read? No, it’s not. It had a lot of great things going for it but the story was kind of bland. The Author did an amazing job at detailing/showing the darker side of a mental illness and how people disguise it. So this book as a whole was really a double edged sword for me.RTC
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  • bee ˘͈ᵕ˘͈
    January 1, 1970
    three point five stars ∗ lol i have one single tear falling from my eye as i write this.i went into this book expecting it to be an average, somewhat cliche contemporary novel and while on some parts it was exactly that, it was also so much more. this book dealt with mental health issues in a way no other contemporary (that ive read so far) has. reading certain parts of this book was hard for me because i really related to ridley in so many ways and it almost felt like i was watching (reading?) three point five stars ∗ lol i have one single tear falling from my eye as i write this.i went into this book expecting it to be an average, somewhat cliche contemporary novel and while on some parts it was exactly that, it was also so much more. this book dealt with mental health issues in a way no other contemporary (that i’ve read so far) has. reading certain parts of this book was hard for me because i really related to ridley in so many ways and it almost felt like i was watching (reading?) myself in his character. my heart ached so much for him. so it really started out as a classic cute contemporary, and i loved all of the nerdy aspects of it bc i am, ahem, a Huge Nerd for all things comics/superheroes. i dream of being able to work in a comic book store! that was a really fun aspect to this novel. i also loved the good relationships within this novel, like gray and ridley’s sibling bond and jubilee’s familial system. it was interesting to see those compared to the not so good relationships within this story, mainly between ridley and his parents. i will also say that i wasn’t a big fan of jubilee’s best friend, jayla, for a good majority of the book. i did like her at first, but she kinda took a turn for the worst as the book went on. jubilee questioned her sexuality a bit in this novel, and i felt like jayla wasn’t really supportive of that journey even though she herself is part of the lgbtq+ community. she also was one of the people who pushed jubilee into ‘living life’ and not focusing so much time on her music, and yet she complained a lot about jubilee doing just that? idk i just didn’t really care for her. all in all, though, i did enjoy reading this book & it was a lot more than i anticipated!!
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book overall, a sweet, complex romance with complicated families and mental health rep that was really, really well done. I feel like it shouldn't be marketed as a romance so much, because it's much heavier than that and deals with (view spoiler)[depression and suicide (hide spoiler)]. It was a realistic, heartwarming and emotional read at times and I really enjoyed it :) Full review coming soon :)Thank you to Penguin Random House International for the e-ARC of this book. I really liked this book overall, a sweet, complex romance with complicated families and mental health rep that was really, really well done. I feel like it shouldn't be marketed as a romance so much, because it's much heavier than that and deals with (view spoiler)[depression and suicide (hide spoiler)]. It was a realistic, heartwarming and emotional read at times and I really enjoyed it :) Full review coming soon :)Thank you to Penguin Random House International for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - - Bookstagram - Bloglovin'
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  • michelle (magical reads)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsread on my blogrep: bisexual/pansexual protagonist, bisexual protagonist with anxiety and depression, Black lesbian side character, adopted Korean-American side character, Latinx gay side character, bisexual side charactercw: anxiety, depression, suicide ideation**I received this book from a third-party giveaway. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** Do you ever feel like youre not enough of something? Or youre too much of something else?Every 4.5 starsread on my blogrep: bisexual/pansexual protagonist, bisexual protagonist with anxiety and depression, Black lesbian side character, adopted Korean-American side character, Latinx gay side character, bisexual side charactercw: anxiety, depression, suicide ideation**I received this book from a third-party giveaway. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.** “Do you ever feel like you’re not enough of something? Or you’re too much of something else?”“Every day.” I adored Hot Dog Girl, so I was especially excited for Verona Comics! I was prepared for cute (which I naturally got), but this book delved into much deeper topics with grace. Verona Comics is an adorable story that is full of heart and deals with mental illness.I adored our protagonists. Jubilee is a cellist preparing for a big audition for a summer program at Carnegie Hall. Ridley is struggling to keep it together due to his anxiety disorders and seeks his parents’ approval. They meet at a con prom and hit it off, the beginning of a magical relationship over text. However, Ridley’s father and his big comic book store chain are the moral enemy of Jubilee’s stepmom, Vera, and her indie comic shop, Verona Comics.Ridley, desperate for his dad’s approval, agrees to get closer to Jubilee as a means to learn more about Verona Comics. I usually hate this kind of plot line, where the characters have an online relationship but they actually know each other in real life, with only one person knowing who the other one is. However, this is resolved relatively quickly (i.e., doesn’t continue throughout the entire story). I also don’t fault Ridley for agreeing to spy on them because he’s obviously under so much pressure from his dad and just wants any sort of approval.Their relationship forms fast, an instant connection. I love them so much honestly! Jubilee helps Ridley get through his panic attacks and anchors him basically. However, while they both mutually like each other so much, Ridley is still spiraling and bringing Jubilee down with him. Their relationship begins to have a clear co-dependency dynamic. The book does a great job of calling this out and clearly stating that Ridley needing Jubilee to get through the day, every day, is unhealthy for both of them.Anyways, I also really love the side characters. Jayla and Nikki are Jubilee’s best friends, who alternately approve and disapprove of Ridley and his influence on Jubilee. Frankie is Jubilee’s pseudo older brother who also proves to be a stabilizing person for Ridley. Gray, Ridley’s older sister, is one of the few people who’s consistently there for him. I also loved Jubilee’s moms, especially Vera, who takes Ridley under her wing.There’s so much diversity in this book! Jubilee identifies as bisexual or pansexual; she says she alternates between those two labels and is still unsure about using either. Ridley is bisexual, Jayla is Black and a lesbian, and Nikki is adopted and Korean-American. Vera is Latinx and identifies as gay while Jubilee’s mom is also bisexual.The writing was sooo good. You can tell how quickly Ridley is spiraling and how much Jubilee cares for him. Ridley’s anxiety comes through clear on the page, as well as his feelings of despair. I was almost crying at the climax honestly. This book could easily be a movie!I think this book is perfect for fans of You’d Be Mine and Queens of Geek! Verona Comics is definitely a cute read but also deals with heavier topics, such as anxiety, depression, and suicide. It’s heartfelt and heartwrenching with amazing characters. Pick it up today!original review:wow. WOW.
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  • faith ✨
    January 1, 1970
    a queer book featuring a classical instrumentalist mc? PLEASE PENGUIN PLEASE
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    It is so important to see a bi boy and an undefined queer girl in a relationship together in a YA novel. It is so important for them to have a conversation about being "queer enough" or "bi enough" even if they're in a """hetero 'ship""". Werewolves are still werewolves, even if it's not the full moon. Bis are still bis even if they're in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. And this book showed that perfectly. My college self felt incredibly seen. It also really dug into anxiety, It is so important to see a bi boy and an undefined queer girl in a relationship together in a YA novel. It is so important for them to have a conversation about being "queer enough" or "bi enough" even if they're in a """hetero 'ship""". Werewolves are still werewolves, even if it's not the full moon. Bis are still bis even if they're in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. And this book showed that perfectly. My college self felt incredibly seen. It also really dug into anxiety, co-dependence, PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation in a way that felt incredibly respectful and well-handled. There is some discussion of past suicide attempts, so I will put out a content warning for that, but as I said: well handled, very careful, very important to see that represented in a way that makes it clear that it's not okay. And also it's a very adorable book about comic con and meet cutes, comic shops and texting, honesty and balance. Jubilee is a very authentic teen voice and Ridley is a beautiful mess that--for anyone who has panic attacks--feels incredibly real. Again, this book saw me in a way I did not expect. And it was all wrapped up in an absolutely delightful Romeo-and-Juliet retelling package that had me laughing, crying, and loving every page of it.
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  • Isabel Sterling
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book so much! A super adorable romance between two bisexual MCs + really beautifully done mental health rep. I devoured this book in 24 hours, and I can't wait for it to be out in the world.
  • Vee_Bookish // mauve and dangerous
    January 1, 1970
    honestly I just really love comics
  • Sian
    January 1, 1970
    I just really didnt love it. It sent me into a little bit of a reading slump honestly. Lets start with the good, though.The concept of the characters being really deep into the comics world, with their parents owning comic stores/chains, beginning the novel at a con etc was brilliant. Very unique. There was not a straight person in sight. The female main character Jubilee was pansexual but didnt usually label herself and struggled a lot with the popular idea that if she dated boys people might I just really didn’t love it. It sent me into a little bit of a reading slump honestly. Let’s start with the good, though.The concept of the characters being really deep into the comics world, with their parents owning comic stores/chains, beginning the novel at a con etc was brilliant. Very unique. There was not a straight person in sight. The female main character Jubilee was pansexual but didn’t usually label herself and struggled a lot with the popular idea that if she dated boys people might erase her identity. She also had two mums. The male character Ridley was bisexual and that’s discussed a little.I don’t have much to say about pacing because the book is so small it’s almost impossible for it to be slow.There was also a really great representation of mental health. I can’t confirm whether Ridley’s anxiety was accurate or realistic because I’ve never experienced it but I really felt what he felt. The discussion of therapy and in patient facilities was positive even if Ridley himself didn’t originally want to go.Now onto what I didn’t like.I hated reading a romance that was built on manipulation and lying. I understand that Ridleys need to please his abusive father was what forced him into manipulating Jubilee and her family for information about their store but it left a bad taste in my mouth. It really took away from the enjoyment. Although, it was good that at the end there was an acknowledgement that the couple was toxic.The emotional and borderline physical abuse of Ridley from his father and the neglect from his mother wasn’t handled great in my opinion. Ridley was abused in public in the beginning of the book and not one person did anything. It wasn’t even that people were trying to help him, it was that no one did anything until the last few chapters. Ridley has an intelligent, older sister who did nothing. I thought it was genuinely unacceptable.Those two things related to the plot rather than the structure but that was enough for me to lower my rating to a 2. Personal enjoyment is something really important to me in novels and it just was nonexistent for me... hence the 2.
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  • Mary Nguyen (fox & wit)
    January 1, 1970
    I was expecting this to be a light, adorable, funny romantic contemporary novel, which it absolutely was.But I was not expecting this book to also be so HEAVY. The book tackles anxiety disorders, suicidal depression and parental abuse. It never said out right but Im pretty sure it was hinted that Ridleys dad physically beat him. Peaks raised her hand to hug him and Ridley flinched as if she were going to strike him.The representation in this was amazing: POC, mental illness, LGBTQIA rep. Its not I was expecting this to be a light, adorable, funny romantic contemporary novel, which it absolutely was.But I was not expecting this book to also be so HEAVY. The book tackles anxiety disorders, suicidal depression and parental abuse. It never said out right but I’m pretty sure it was hinted that Ridley’s dad physically beat him. “Peaks” raised her hand to hug him and Ridley flinched as if she were going to strike him.The representation in this was amazing: POC, mental illness, LGBTQIA rep. It’s not too often I see a book with pansexual rep and this was really important to me on a personal level. I think there’s a really nice discussion on the difference between bisexual and pansexual.Overall I loved every moment of this book.
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  • Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    https://booksteacupnreviews.com/2020/...Verona Comics was cute and complicated YA, queer contemporary that revolved around Jubilee and Ridley. It was about anxiety disorder and mental health issue, dysfunctional family, love and complications, learning to love yourself and life, looking for a solution of problem rather than finding an exit door.Writing was gripping and fast paced. At first it felt light hearted and cozy but as I read more that vibe turned so intense and heavy. If you are https://booksteacupnreviews.com/2020/...Verona Comics was cute and complicated YA, queer contemporary that revolved around Jubilee and Ridley. It was about anxiety disorder and mental health issue, dysfunctional family, love and complications, learning to love yourself and life, looking for a solution of problem rather than finding an exit door.Writing was gripping and fast paced. At first it felt light hearted and cozy but as I read more that vibe turned so intense and heavy. If you are expecting lot of fun, humor and light YA romance just hold your thought here because it’s much more complicated with serious issues. Verona Comics was written from Jubilee and Ridley’s POV that provided clear view of total opposite life style, family and their views towards comic books business.Plot was interesting. As synopsis said Jubilee and Ridley met at comic convention prom that Ridley’s dad’ company, Geekery, sponsored. Geekery had a reputation of destroying Indie comic shops and had an evil eye on Verona Comics ever since Verona laughed at Ridley’s dad’s offer. When they met at prom they didn’t know who their parents were but Ridley found out Jubilee was Verona’s step daughter and they hate Geekery. I knew it was going to be complicated but even Ridley agreeing to spy on Verona comic for his dad to please him to go back to his childhood home was shocking. I was curious to see where this will go from here, how Jubilee will find out about his real identity and what Ridley will do to come out of the mess he created.Characters were interesting. I loved family dynamics and balance of family, friendship and romance. Jubilee’s family was great. Both her moms were supportive, loving and caring. Verona was the stepmother everybody would love. I didn’t like Ridley’s family. I blame them for everything happened in this book. But I liked his sister Gray. She was amazing from the very beginning.There were so much diversity. Jubilee’s mom was bi and her stepmom, Verona, was lesbian. Both Jubilee and Ridley were bi, Jubilee’s friend Jayla was black and lesbian. I liked Jubilee for her non-label thoughts. She was bi but haven’t experimented it and didn’t care for a label and accepted who she was.Jubilee was smart, overachiever student, and amazing cellist. Audition for scholarship to summer program to study with famous cello teacher was her dream. Her passion and dedication was admirable but at the same time I agreed with her both friends. She should have applied other camps and she should managed things normally like she did before Ridley entered her life. Her concerns and emotions were well written. As adult I didn’t agree the way she handled situation in climax but I can see and understand why she did that. I might have done the same at her age. Young love does that to us. Her decision later was fabulous. I liked her even more for it.Ridley was good person but he was struggling with many things. He had narcissist parents who didn’t love him as he wasn’t prodigy and stopped caring for him once they knew he was bi, had anxiety disorder and suffered with depression. My heart went to him, I wanted to snatch him away from those parents who not only were not helping him but also made him feel worthless. But at the same time I didn’t like him exactly for what he was doing from the beginning even though he knew it was wrong. When he spent more time with Jubilee I started to warm to him as it was helping him coping with his mental health and also for his wish to come out clean. But climax changed it once again because he was asking a lot from Jubilee and was not even thinking about her family, he was being selfish. I exactly felt like Jubilee did, I liked him but at the same time I didn’t. I was so glad after climax things started to change for him and I was happy with his efforts.I loved how author showed young love and complications that comes with it, how course of life can be changed at any minute, one cannot have full control over life and most of all representation of anxiety disorder and panic attacks. How character suffering with mental health act and behave and what are their thought process, how difficult it’s for them in life and how they need more than just medications. Honestly I wasn’t expecting this heavy topic in the book so it was total surprise but I was glad to read author’s realistic approach with this topic.Climax was tense. As I said I wasn’t happy with characters’ decision at this point and wanted to shake them out of whatever they were thinking so they could see what was coming. I swear my heartbeats stopped for a moment and I was dreading what happened next. But at the same time something good came out of it, they learned many things, it changed their life and developed stronger and healthier. I like the end. It was great.I thought I will rate this 4 because I was not happy with characters’ decisions and I wasn’t happy with Ridley and what he did throughout the book but when I gave it some time, put myself in their situation, it felt so real and apposite. They were just 17. Who has wisdom and maturity about love, life, and relationships at this age! And let’s not forget mental health issue. So, yes, full star to this.Overall, Verona Comics was realistic, deep, complicated, and heartwarming YA LGBTQ cotemporary romance. I highly recommend this to fans of this genre.*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***
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  • Nada Hosny
    January 1, 1970
    Okay wow.Im not into comic books whatsoever, but how people love them? its like the next best things to novels!So for me: reading a book about comics is like reading a book about books!The book starts with the average romance encounter, it is extremely cute and it gives me all the feels and all that, but as i kept reading, i felt like its too cliche to be true, and i had the plot twist all figured out.But then at we keep reading, other things started coming to light, like how the book isnt just Okay wow.I’m not into comic books whatsoever, but how people love them? it’s like the next best things to novels!So for me: reading a book about comics is like reading a book about books!The book starts with the average romance encounter, it is extremely cute and it gives me all the feels and all that, but as i kept reading, i felt like it’s too cliche to be true, and i had the plot twist all figured out.But then at we keep reading, other things started coming to light, like how the book isn’t just a romance, it treats mental illness in a very exceptional way.Most books treat it as a small obstacle in the characters’ life that can get treated along the way, along the story.But noIn this book, the illness stopped the motion of the story, it put people in danger, it stop loudly and demanded to be treated.And that’s what happened.And God! How heart-warming it was to see this unfold in a Young Adult book!Why not a 5 stars then?Overall! the book strength lies in mental illness, the romance part of itWellYeah, it wasn’t in its strongest suite, so at first it got me kinda bored, a little annoyed, but when i really looked into it, and found the greater meaning or whatever.I totally loved it!
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  • Carolina
    January 1, 1970
    actual rating: 4.5/5
  • JoScho
    January 1, 1970
    There was more to this story than I thought. Of course we have some star crossed lovers, given the title and all that but it touches on much deeper topics. Depression, anxiety, and mental health in general. It also deals with searching for your identity in the LGBTQ world. I love that there are YA books that deal with these topics-it is crucial for children to see others going through the same things they are.
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    * Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review *ACTUAL: 4.5 starsJubilee balances preparing for an important cello audition for a prestigious summer program with working at her stepmoms indie comic shop. Ridley's parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, but he cannot get them to notice him, unless he failing to meet their expectations. These two meet at a comic book convention prom, they cannot help falling for each other. But with feuding * Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review *ACTUAL: 4.5 starsJubilee balances preparing for an important cello audition for a prestigious summer program with working at her stepmom’s indie comic shop. Ridley's parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, but he cannot get them to notice him, unless he failing to meet their expectations. These two meet at a comic book convention prom, they cannot help falling for each other. But with feuding families and impossible to meet expectations, can love really conquer all?I was very surprised by this one, as it was a lot deeper than I expected. It met my expectations of a cute romance story with some comedy, but it was more than that. Jubilee experiences some freedom from the high standards she forces herself to adhere too, but also the consequences of losing sight of what matters. In contrast, Ridley learns to fight for what, and who, he cares about, but also taking care of himself. The mental health challenges that Ridley deals with throughout were written well, and I liked how readers saw his point of view in the novel during the good times and the tough situations. Overall, I really liked this one, and definitely recommend it to YA contemporary fans.
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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    WOW. THIS BOOK. It is so different from her first she has worked so hard and it payed off a lot. Don't judge this one from the first as it's so different in all the best ways.First of all two main characters who are bisexual hell yes! Jubilee doesn't label herself and is still figuring things out and Ridley is pretty happy being labelled bi ahh. Jayla is a lesbian and Jubilee has 2 moms. All the queer rep made me very happy. The discussion around bisexuality, stereotypes and being judged for WOW. THIS BOOK. It is so different from her first she has worked so hard and it payed off a lot. Don't judge this one from the first as it's so different in all the best ways.First of all two main characters who are bisexual hell yes! Jubilee doesn't label herself and is still figuring things out and Ridley is pretty happy being labelled bi ahh. Jayla is a lesbian and Jubilee has 2 moms. All the queer rep made me very happy. The discussion around bisexuality, stereotypes and being judged for liking more than one gender was great. Jubilee as she has never dated a girl felt a lot of pressure around that. Ridley nervous for being judged as he felt most girls weren't cool with that. This story of course being set in a comic book store was so nerdy and great. I loved all the references and fandom stuff. It made me miss comic con for real. Maybe 2021! Jubilee's mother owns a store and brand Veronica comics and Ridley's family own a big brand comic store. Ridleys family are rich successful business owners wanting to expand and make more money and break into the indie market. Their families are essentially enemies as the Geekery want to buy out Vera and take over. They have seen this happen to other stores like theirs. Jubilee and Ridley meet at a con prom ahh and awkwardly hit it off. Leading to lots of texting. Ridley pieces it together that Jubilee is Vera's daughter and makes a plan with his dad to get an in at their company. The family dynamic stuff killed me. I love how supportive Vera was, how they needed honesty trust and support, you know like good parents do. They very clearly loved Jubilee and wanted the best for her as they were struggling for money but were still supporting her in her audition for a music programme.I feel like I could write an essay about Ridley and his family. Just. What the fuck man. His family don't care. They're so involved in the business there is no care, support or empathy for their son. All he wants is love, a hug and to be shown he matters. He doesn't get acknowledged as his sister is seen as the golden one getting all the attention and things right. She is close to their dad he wants that too. Ridley panics so he makes up the lie about Jubilee so he can be close to his dad.He and Jubilee get close. Way close. It's cute, they kiss, hang out and he helps out at the comic store. They text all the time. Jubilee starts to not practise cello as much. She becomes distant from her friends and lies to her family. Ridley tells Jubilee the truth and they have a rough patch but she does forgive him. They rely on each other for their happiness. They spend the majority of their time together and keep lying to their parents. Mental health was so so good. Ridley has severe anxiety including panic attacks and depression. He attempted suicide and jumped off a roof previously and his parents still didn't care. A specific line stood out to me. He mentioned how he isn't suicidal anymore but still thinks about dying like an old habit, he just needs to learn to think about it in a different way. Jubilee uses facts to calm his anxiety down. He is nervous and socially awkward a lot but his father makes everyone so much worse. Ridley turns to Jubilee to help, to make him better and trusts her to do this.Jubilee's parents are worried she is spending too much time with him and her friends reach out and voice their concerns. She doesn't listen. Things of course don't go well. They say they love each other but were shown how they express this isn't healthy or right. Ridley is unwell and Jubilee is not a therapist and can't help him in this way which she needed to learn. Ridley has a panic attack and leaves home as he can't be around his father anymore. He goes to Jubilee and asks her to either tell her family the truth about who he is or to run away with him. They run, steal a car and crash. I loved the writing and description so well. We can see his mental health slowly declining, more pressure piles up and he needs that release. Jubilee injured her hand and can't make the audition. Ridley understands he needs help. Professional help. I was so relieved his sister supported him. He went to a in-house centre with horses and a skate ramp, he made friends, group activities and therapy. He slowly learned and unlearned habits and behaviours that's were unhealthy and is moving forward. Jubilee sent videos of her playing cello to the audition and she got in ahh. She also went to a few co dependent meetings to learn about her own unhealthy habits.Jubilee and Ridley took a step back. Both had their own stuff to deal with and had space. A few emails and letters. The ending was so positive they were working on themselves, met up for coffee and took things slower than a glacier. Beautiful. This book will help so many people. I think teenagers especially won't understand until they do grow up a bit that a relationship they're in or have been in is similar and relate and maybe even allow them the chance to heal and get help. You need more than love. You need a support system, and not make one person you're entire world as that is not normal or healthy. I wish 16 year old me had this book despite the idea probably not existing then but this would have been the book I needed back then. Phew.I loved it. A lot. Emotional, fun, nerdy and something I will remember. What would Steve Rogers do? ^_^
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  • Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)
    January 1, 1970
    *e-ARC Kindly provided by Penguin Random House International thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Verona Comics is far from what I was expecting. What was I expecting? A cute and fluffy YA story. It starts all cute, fun and fluffy but the rest was just a real emotion hitter. A roller-coaster ride of emotions and situations. Music is never finished. Every piece change when you play it. Its alive. Its an action and reaction all at once. Jubilee is an elite cellist and preparing for *e-ARC Kindly provided by Penguin Random House International thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* Verona Comics is far from what I was expecting. What was I expecting? A cute and fluffy YA story. It starts all cute, fun and fluffy but the rest was just a real emotion hitter. A roller-coaster ride of emotions and situations. “Music is never finished. Every piece change when you play it. It’s alive. It’s an action and reaction all at once.” Jubilee is an elite cellist and preparing for the biggest audition of her life. Apart from this, she also works at her stepmom’s comic shop Verona Comics. Jubilee is easy to like. I admire her passion for music and loyalty to her friends. She also has a good relationship with both of her moms. But her goal-oriented world was a bit shaken when she met Ridley. “It used to be I could tell the difference between excitement and anxiety. It used to be I could handle crowds and small talk. It used to be a lot of thing…but now it’s not.” Ridley is the son of the biggest comic bookstore chain owners. He always feels insecure about his role and place on his family that left him desperate for approval and validation. He suffers from depression and anxiety and the sad thing about this is he has no one to lean on. Until he met Jubilee. She became Ridley’s confidant.These two met at a comic convention they are both in. I immediately felt giddy because they are six thousand shades of cute!! The plot thickens when it was revealed that their parents are in feud and are usually in each other’s throat on/off conventions and cameras making it harder for them to pursue their budding romance.But as I’ve mentioned from the start, Verona Comics is more than just romance and family feud. There's a lot of different life aspects and representations that are tackled on this story. The diverse representation of both main characters was handled well. Jubilee’s friend Jayla is black, and Nikki is Asian – this diversity is present as well. Codependency and toxic family culture is there. But what really stood out for me was how mental illness (depression, anxiety and suicide) was carefully handled. This specific situation was addressed and treated. It was so good to see Ridley surpassing this.< “There are still a lot of dark times; there’s no fix for that. But for the first time it feels like surviving them is an option-an option I really want.” So why not give this book a higher rating, you might ask? It’s because despite me loving the characters and liking how the aspects and representations were made present, it feels overwhelming. It feels like there’s a lot that is happening all at once. There are some aspects/representations that I wished the story would’ve dived more into. More details and closure.But overall, this was a great read! I would love to read more from the author because I enjoyed her narrative and writing!*For more reviews, please feel free to visit Reads and  Thoughts*
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  • MsArdychan
    January 1, 1970
    Please Note: I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.After reading the fun rom-com Hot Dog Girl, by Jennifer Dugan, last year, I was impressed. Now, with the release of her next novel, Verona Comics, I am a fangirl! I really enjoyed this book. But don't let the cute cover and synopsis fool you. This is not a light, breezy teen romance. While it does have some of those vibes at the Please Note: I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.After reading the fun rom-com Hot Dog Girl, by Jennifer Dugan, last year, I was impressed. Now, with the release of her next novel, Verona Comics, I am a fangirl! I really enjoyed this book. But don't let the cute cover and synopsis fool you. This is not a light, breezy teen romance. While it does have some of those vibes at the beginning, Verona Comics is actually a rather serious look at teen depression and anxiety. It is also loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, so...Possible tragedy looms over everything.What I Liked:Settings:I have only been to two Comic Cons, but gosh they were fun. The book captures the festive atmosphere in the very sweet meet-cute between Jubilee and Ridley. Both dressed in costumes, their flirty first meeting is adorable.Later, the book has several scenes in Verona Comics, the store owned by Jubilee's moms. Either the author does lots of research, or actually spends time hanging around Comics shops, but the atmosphere felt really authentic.Characters:Jubilee is really driven to excel in music, has several good friends, and loving (if a bit overprotective) parents. Ridley couldn't be more different. He is a loner, has horrible parents, and terrible self-esteem. He also has a serious anxiety issue. While they are very different, they are both quite endearing, and I loved their texting interactions. Diversity:There was a wide range of diversity, from various sexual orientations, to ethnicity, and socio-economic situations. There were different family situations, too. Some families were very accepting, but others were quite hostile to their teens preferences. The biggest difference for our main characters was in the level of healthy parenting between Jubilee's parents, and Ridley's. I loved how this showed how varied teen experiences can be. Handling of Mental Health Issues:One of the most important messages in this book is that teens should not, and cannot, rely only on other teens for emotional support. Ridley has some really serious problems, which he tends to dump on Jubilee. This puts Jubilee under a lot of pressure to meet his needs over her own. It was a bit infuriating to see this, but these situations do often happen to teens. The young person having the problem doesn't want to talk with an adult, and so wants to talk over everything with their friend. But this really puts an unfair burden on the other person, which can make them feel overwhelmed, guilty, and resentful. This relationship dynamic is the main focus of the book. And it is one worth exploring.What I Was Mixed About:Ridley's Family:Ridley has a really messed up family life. His parents are seperated, with him living with his mom in Seattle, and his dad living on the East Coast (with a girlfriend). The dad is a raging alcoholic, and abusive. The mom must have known this, but doesn't raise any objection to Ridley's plan to live with his dad. She never checks on Ridley, and seems more interested in her new-found freedom than making sure Ridley is safe.And that is the reason I have mixed feelings about this situation. Considering what a creep his dad is, it's no wonder Ridley has mental health issues! My objection to this scenario is that the abusive situation seemed like an excuse for Ridley to have issues. I wish that a teen could be shown to have problems who came from a loving home, or had parents who were really trying (and failing) to be helpful. These situations happen too. Triggers for abuse, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a little unsure about how to rate this one. I really loved it, and I found myself flipping page after page, not wanting to put it down once I had picked it up, but a few of the things the characters did kind of bugged me, so overall it's probably around a 4.5. That being said this was...I'm not sure how to describe it. It was both cute as well as being super intense. Being someone with an anxiety disorder, it was nice to see one on the page that felt like it really resonated, and despite the I'm a little unsure about how to rate this one. I really loved it, and I found myself flipping page after page, not wanting to put it down once I had picked it up, but a few of the things the characters did kind of bugged me, so overall it's probably around a 4.5. That being said this was...I'm not sure how to describe it. It was both cute as well as being super intense. Being someone with an anxiety disorder, it was nice to see one on the page that felt like it really resonated, and despite the fact that I'm a girl I can appreciate the fact that it was the male character with the problem, because while anxiety is more common in females it happens in males too. Most everything about Ridley's character felt authentic. And while I enjoyed Jubilee's character I think hers is the one I had the most problem with, and while I can see why that might be somewhat problematic, I can't help myself for feeling that way. My biggest problem was that some of her choices seemed almost somewhat more problematic than Ridley's (at least TO ME). It's probably not great of me to say, and I can imagine some people might take issue with that, and I can see how it might be problematic in some ways, but it is what it is (if you think differently let me know, and I would be happy to explain my thoughts on it). With all of that out of the way this was a very solid book, and I'll probably be checking out both Dugan's upcoming titles, as well as her debut, which I wasn't 100% sure of last year. The story has its cute and swoony moments, but it's more than that, and while I tend to want more of a happily ever after for my books I can respect the way it ended and appreciate that it felt true and right to the story. If you're looking for something that's somehow both light but still has some meat to it I would highly recommend checking this book out, and if you're ever wondering what someone with anxiety is thinking you might think about checking out this book as well, because personally I think it was done very well.
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  • Bianca Damaso
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm how do I express my feelings about it this book?? Okay, Ill break it down! Some things I really liked include:1. The representation!! There were people of colour and multiple people of different sexualities which is amazing! There was also mental health rep which is another win! 2. Jubilees best friends. Jayla was probably my favourite character although I also really liked Grayson. 3. The comic/music part was really great because it made the characters a little more relatable. 4. The Hmm how do I express my feelings about it this book?? Okay, I’ll break it down! Some things I really liked include:1. The representation!! There were people of colour and multiple people of different sexualities which is amazing! There was also mental health rep which is another win! 2. Jubilee’s best friends. Jayla was probably my favourite character although I also really liked Grayson. 3. The comic/music part was really great because it made the characters a little more relatable. 4. The ending. I really appreciate that everything wasn’t neatly tied up in a bow because life isn’t like that especially with characters who have intense mental health issues like Ridley! Life is hard and sometimes it sucks and a lot of times family and friends can’t help you through and seeking professional help is OKAY!So, unfortunately there are some things I didn’t really enjoy as well. Mainly the pacing. I just found the events were way to quick and bordered on unrealistic. Over the course of 2-3 months ?? They formed a connection in like 10 minutes ?? I mean I know sparks happen but that just seemed a little too much for me to grasp. And for Ridley I can understand it a bit more because he needed her to hold on to because he never felt like he had anything/anyone else but for Jubilee it felt like a stretch. Anyways, if you’re looking for something with a lot of rep then I would recommend this but be mindful that there are major triggers including suicide/ suicidal thoughts, anxiety and panic attacks as well as some others! Do some research first if these trigger you!4/5 stars
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    This review may contain spoilers. -I dont normally include trigger warnings, but considering I went into this book thinking it was going to be very light hearted, I thought I should mention: this book contains anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideation. -First of all, the mental health and LGBT+ rep is brilliant. We stan. This story started off very fun and flirty, but it gets heavier as you go on. I personally love both fluffy contemporaries and heavy contemporaries, so this book was a This review may contain spoilers. -I don’t normally include trigger warnings, but considering I went into this book thinking it was going to be very light hearted, I thought I should mention: this book contains anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideation. -First of all, the mental health and LGBT+ rep is brilliant. We stan. This story started off very fun and flirty, but it gets heavier as you go on. I personally love both fluffy contemporaries and heavy contemporaries, so this book was a great mix for me. -Speaking on the LGBT representation: Ridley is bisexual, Jubilee is... well, she’s working on her label, Jubilee has two moms, and one of her best friends is a lesbian. We love to see it. -While I was rooting for Ridley and Jubilee to be end game, I also saw the signs of the unhealthy and dangerous path this was leading to. Like I said, the mental health representation was great. I was so happy to see Ridleys anxiety disorders and depression acknowledged and taken seriously. The balance of the right medication, therapy and a strong support system is wonderful and hopeful. But also for Jubilee, having her recognize that she also needs to step back and protect herself was so powerful and brave and right. -I’m head over heels for this book. The cute banter, the nerdy stuff, the darker topics.. it was all done so well. I’m so excited to see what everyone else thinks of it! -5/5 stars, VERONA COMICS is available April 21, 2020! -I won this ARC in a Twitter giveaway held by the author. Thank you Jennifer!
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  • Corrie
    January 1, 1970
    Before we get into this review, I want to mention that I won an ARC copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. So, thank you very much to Goodreads and whoever set up this giveaway!With that out of the way, I am wondering where to start with this review. I have so much I want to say about this book, but I cant say everything on my mind because of spoilers. I think the thing I want to start off saying is that this book is so much more than your typical contemporary teen romance. Although to Before we get into this review, I want to mention that I won an ARC copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. So, thank you very much to Goodreads and whoever set up this giveaway!With that out of the way, I am wondering where to start with this review. I have so much I want to say about this book, but I can’t say everything on my mind because of spoilers. I think the thing I want to start off saying is that this book is so much more than your typical contemporary teen romance. Although to be fair, I don’t read a ton of contemporary teen romances so I might not be the best judge of that. But I think I can say that this is so much more than a romantic retelling of Romeo and Juliet. And maybe I’m just saying that because I love comic books and superheroes and this book makes many references to characters that I love, but it also deals with mental health issues, issues of abusive parents, and issues of identity. It touches on what makes healthy relationships and where relationships can go wrong. And yeah, it does have a couple of comic loving geeks in it and some sweet-sappy romance in it, but it’s also way more than that.If you would like to read the rest of my review you can find it here: https://ohmybookishness.weebly.com/bl...
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