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?
"A deep dive into first love while learning to manage significant mental health challenges . . . Dugan's strength is in creating a diverse cast of characters. Ridley is bisexual, Jubilee struggles with how to identify and label her sexuality, and most of the supporting characters are queer-identified." --School Library Journal
It's indie vs. mainstream when star-crossed comics enthusiasts Jubilee and Ridley, both bisexual, meet at FabCon prom. Accomplished cellist Jubilee is hoping to de-stress before an important upcoming audition, while anxious, depressed Ridley just wants to stop failing his volatile father. After the two teens fall for each other via text message, Ridley realizes that Jubilee's stepmom is an up-and-coming indie comics creator and public nemesis of his father, who owns the nation's largest comics chain and is known for running indie shops and comic lines out of business. Dating Jubilee and spying on the enemy could finally garner Ridley some attention from his dad, but gaining his father's love likely means losing Jubilee, the only person who sees beyond his pervasive anxiety and insecurity. Part fresh romance, part honest exploration of the impact of depression and suicidal ideation on individuals and relationships, Dugan's (Hot Dog Girl) story told in alternating first-person narratives encapsulates an inspiring level of compassion from its flawed, endearing protagonists and an inclusive secondary cast. Ages 12 up.
Verona Comics vs. Hot Dog Girl
Ok, this was a book that was big on mental health, and if you’re looking for a quick, light read, this isn’t it. It didn’t end exactly how I wanted it to, but it ended in the best way possible for the characters. I personally liked Hot Dog Girl a lot more because it is lighter, sweeter, and more romantic. Overall, though, it was a great book!
It’s ok not the best YA I have read.