Dr. Emily Lockhart, AKA YA writer extraordinaire E. Lockhart, has joined forces with Manuel Preitano to create a whole new kind of superhero in Gotham City. Sure, the reasons for why our hero, activist and animal lover Willow Zimmerman, gets her powers are a bit hand wavey, but isn’t that the way of most heroes? Oh yeah, there was a thing and something spilled, or bit me, or rubbed against my ankle or I fell into a vat and, viola, I have powers.
The why of the powers is not really important here as much as what she is willing to do with them once she has them. Faced with all the things a normal 16-year-old faces, I think Willow handles herself pretty well. I appreciate the deep look at Jewish culture as well. We all know that there are plenty of Jewish characters (Bruce, Kate, Tim…the Bat Family alone could fill a Synagogue) in the DCU, but it is always touched upon, but not explored.
Preitano’s art style brings a lot of charm and warmth. Gotham is, for the most part, a dump. On that, we can all agree. However, Preitano makes the whole place seem like a place I wouldn’t totally hate. That is a big ask a most books set in Gotham act as warning flags.
If you are looking for an easy way into Gotham City for a younger reader, this is the book. If you are an old, wisened veteran of Gotham City, this is a breath of fresh air.
Thanks to Net Galley and DC Comics for the ARC
Well, Emma Kress has created a work that is equal parts mourning and celebration. We mourn for the loss of innocence for these girls as they are forced to cope with a culture of assault that goes unchecked. We celebrate that they find a way to come out the other end stronger.
Our narrator, Zoe is a victim of a crime, but Kress reminds us that we are not just one thing. We are not defined forever by the events that happen to us. So, Zoe is not just a victim. She is a friend, daughter, athlete, student, leader and all around bad ass. Honestly, she is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction so far this year. Her life is hard, because being a teenager is hard and being a teenaged girl is harder. That is just a fact.
This book is not just about the abusive culture that happens in America, but it shines a light on consent culture. There are examples of consent throughout the book. Kress could beat it over our heads with the Field Hockey sticks that the girls use, but instead, she does what any good writer does, she shows us instead of telling us.
If you have a teenager, boy, girl or non-binary, send this book to that person. After you both read it, have a long, thoughtful conversation.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Thanks to Net Galley and DC for the ARC of this book. I will freely admit that I am up and down on the DC YA books. However, I am totally up on this one. Since these books are not in continuity anyway, we get to have all kinds of cool new characters pop into the DCU. The idea that Kori’s daughter would be her total opposite in every way totally checks out. Of course she would be. Isn’t that what being a teenager is all about? We push back against our parents and the lives they lead. It is amplified by a million here as Mandy’s mom is Starfire. I love the pacing of the story. The side characters are three dimensional and real. The art is vibrant. The colors jump. This is a great comic for teenagers who are not sure where they fit into the world and need some reassurance, but it is also just a great comic.
Catherynne M Valente's latest work, which is really a combination of a previous story, The Future is Blue, with it's sequel, The Past is Red, asks a question of it's readers. What will happen to humanity when we finally destroy the earth?
Pretty heavy stuff that in the hands of some other writer could possibly turn preachy and trite, but in Valente's more than capable hands, this book is neither of those things. There are big questions asked here and dire warnings issued for those who want to see them. It isn't even subtext, it is text. However, Valente manages to keep the readers going because she is such a gifted storyteller. At times, I laughed out loud and three sentences later I had to take a break because I was uncomfortable and I had to sit with what I was reading.
The hero of these stories, Tetley Abednego, is honestly one of the most likeable and trustworthy narrators I have stumbled across in some time. She tells us her ugly, horrible truths all the time and in doing so, we can't help but love her.
This is one of those books that will sit with you for a long time when you close the back cover.
I received this ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Please, preorder this book now!