Verona Comics
Book cover
Author(s): Jennifer Dugan
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Copyright Year: 2020
ISBN/ISSN: 9780525516286
Review

Loosely reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, this modern love story alternates between the perspectives of Ridley and Jubilee, whose parents own rival comic book stores. Ridley's dad owns a giant chain and is intent on being the biggest and best. Jubilee's step-mom is a comic book artist and owns Verona Comics, a tiny indie shop that refuses to sell out. When the teens meet at Comic Con, they don't actually know who the other person is. When Ridley eventually finds out, he keeps the secret from Jubilee, telling his dad he will act as a spy within Verona Comics. This leads to predictable moments that rom-com lovers will readily embrace. However, not all of the story is light; the plot also centers on Ridley's anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, stemming from his parents' narcissistic personalities. Sexuality is another topic that is discussed frankly throughout the book, depicting several queer characters of various sexualities, including the main characters themselves. All of these issues are presented realistically, and the relationship between Ridley and Jubilee gets harder for Jubilee as Ridley struggles more deeply. Refreshingly, the couple doesn't stay together, showing teens that it is okay to focus on your own mental, emotional, and physical well-being over remaining in a romantic relationship. At the end, after Ridley gets professional help, they do agree to try to be friends with one another.

Reviewer: Tara Williams, English Teacher, Glade Spring Middle School, Glade Spring, VA
Rating: Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 6-12
Review Date: June 5, 2020
Product Description
 From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a fresh and funny YA contemporary romance 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?
Media Type: Book, eBook
Binding: HC
# Pages: 336
Price: $17.99
Genre: Fiction
Sub-Genre: Realistic Fiction
Entry ID: 2242852

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