One with good anxiety representation: Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan @PRHGlobal #partner #comics #VeronaComics

Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan book cover

Today I want to share with you my review for Verona Comics, a ya contemporary that talks about anxiety and first love, that took me by surprise.

It was published on April 21st 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. It has 352 pages.

I want to thank the team from Penguin Random House Global for sending me an e-galley of this novel (in an exchange for an honest review).

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About the book:

FROM GOODREADS / 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?

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Review:

When 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!

rating 3,5 hearts

2 Comments

  1. From the cover of this Book, I expected a YA coming of age type story with comicon references etc. It sounds from your review that it went a bit deeper than that. It’s good that you feel it was written accurately and although I have the idea that you could relate to the feelings from your past, it does show that the book was well written and well researched.
    Great honest review Irena.
    Amanda xx

    Like

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