New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF Kody Keplinger and artist Sara Kipin reimagine an iconic DC antihero with a gothic-horror twist. Pamela Isley doesn’t trust other people, especially men. They always want something from her that she’s not willing to give. When cute goth girl Alice Oh comes into Pamela’s life after an accident at the local park, she makes Pamela feel like pulling back the curtains and letting the sunshine in. But there are dark secrets deep within the Isley home. Secrets Pamela’s father has warned must remain hidden. Secrets that could turn deadly and destroy the one person who ever cared about Pamela, or as her mom preferred to call her...Ivy.
Will Pamela open herself up to the possibilities of love, or will she forever be transformed by the thorny vines of revenge?
Outside of class, Pamela Isley, coded as white, spends her time at Huxley High School's greenhouse (donated to the school by her mother) and at home involved in secret biological experiments with her obsessive scientist father. While Pamela's ill mother remains absent for most of the book, her influence on Pamela is evident. The teen also cares deeply for a local park set to be deforested, resolves to stand up for herself against a boy's repeated harassment, and excels at the sciences. But despite her father's warnings that drawing unwanted attention will jeopardize their experiments, Pamela releases a toxic gas to stall construction and opens up to peer Alice, who helps Pamela navigate her harassment and household pressures as the two teens fall in love. Keplinger's narrative feels hollow, reiterating plot points, relying on dialogue, and implying, rather than exploring, major character motivations. In thin lines and cinematic sequences, though, Kipin uses mundane moments, such as chemistry class, to showcase science-minded Pamela's joy; colorist Jeremy Lawson, meanwhile, smartly juxtaposes the reds of Pamela's hair and flowers against muted earth tones. Though Keplinger's overreliance on narrative tropes leaves the ending feeling unearned, Kipin and Lawson's visuals delight. Ages 13 up. \n