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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. Shes an elite cellist, and when shes not working in her stepmoms indie comic shop, shes prepping for the biggest audition of her life. Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest 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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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. Shes an elite cellist, and when shes not working in her stepmoms indie comic shop, shes prepping for the biggest audition of her life. Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest 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?

30 review for Verona Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    I really loved this book, and I really wish it wasn't being marketed as strictly a fluffy romance, because I think it's really magical at what it does and that isn't how I'd describe it. The romance is adorable, don't get me wrong, but this is first and foremost a mental health book ((view spoiler)[also, there isn't an HEA, so like, it's really not a Romance, though it ends exactly as I think it should (hide spoiler)] , and I think it handles that beautifully as reimagined Romeo & Juliet. I really loved this book, and I really wish it wasn't being marketed as strictly a fluffy romance, because I think it's really magical at what it does and that isn't how I'd describe it. The romance is adorable, don't get me wrong, but this is first and foremost a mental health book ((view spoiler)[also, there isn't an HEA, so like, it's really not a Romance, though it ends exactly as I think it should (hide spoiler)] , and I think it handles that beautifully as reimagined Romeo & Juliet. Ridley has anxiety disorders, severe depression with suicidal ideation (cw: a past suicide attempt is mentioned more than once), and a difficult family and past. He and Jubilee are both really charming characters with great chemistry who really work on their communication in a solid way. Jennifer Dugan is officially an author I will follow anywhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rec-It Rachel

    the love story in this is A++++ and the way it presents characters communication methods evolving but major cws for mental health stuff including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    "If my ride was music, then his is a symphony, and I dont want it to stop." Ive been hearing a lot of hype for this book since its release was announced. I even made a stop at the Penguin booth at ALA to request a copy and was over the moon when they handed it to me. I instantly bumped this up my reading list because I couldnt let it sit there and torment me. Am I glad that I read it? Oh, most definitely. Is it one of the best books Ive read? No, its not. It had a lot of great things going for it "If my ride was music, then his is a symphony, and I don’t want it to stop." I’ve been hearing a lot of hype for this book since its release was announced. I even made a stop at the Penguin booth at ALA to request a copy and was over the moon when they handed it to me. I instantly bumped this up my reading list because I couldn’t let it sit there and torment me. Am I glad that I read it? Oh, most definitely. Is it one of the best books I’ve read? No, it’s not. It had a lot of great things going for it but the story was kind of bland. The Author did an amazing job at detailing/showing the darker side of a mental illness and how people disguise it. So this book as a whole was really a double edged sword for me. RTC

  4. 5 out of 5

    Isabel Sterling

    I loved this book so much! A super adorable romance between two bisexual MCs + really beautifully done mental health rep. I devoured this book in 24 hours, and I can't wait for it to be out in the world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Nguyen (fox & wit)

    I was expecting this to be a light, adorable, funny romantic contemporary novel, which it absolutely was. But I was not expecting this book to also be so HEAVY. The book tackles anxiety disorders, suicidal depression and parental abuse. It never said out right but Im pretty sure it was hinted that Ridleys dad physically beat him. Peaks raised her hand to hug him and Ridley flinched as if she were going to strike him. The representation in this was amazing: POC, mental illness, LGBTQIA rep. Its not I was expecting this to be a light, adorable, funny romantic contemporary novel, which it absolutely was. But I was not expecting this book to also be so HEAVY. The book tackles anxiety disorders, suicidal depression and parental abuse. It never said out right but I’m pretty sure it was hinted that Ridley’s dad physically beat him. “Peaks” raised her hand to hug him and Ridley flinched as if she were going to strike him. The representation in this was amazing: POC, mental illness, LGBTQIA rep. It’s not too often I see a book with pansexual rep and this was really important to me on a personal level. I think there’s a really nice discussion on the difference between bisexual and pansexual. Overall I loved every moment of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    It is so important to see a bi boy and an undefined queer girl in a relationship together in a YA novel. It is so important for them to have a conversation about being "queer enough" or "bi enough" even if they're in a """hetero 'ship""". Werewolves are still werewolves, even if it's not the full moon. Bis are still bis even if they're in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. And this book showed that perfectly. My college self felt incredibly seen. It also really dug into anxiety, It is so important to see a bi boy and an undefined queer girl in a relationship together in a YA novel. It is so important for them to have a conversation about being "queer enough" or "bi enough" even if they're in a """hetero 'ship""". Werewolves are still werewolves, even if it's not the full moon. Bis are still bis even if they're in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. And this book showed that perfectly. My college self felt incredibly seen. It also really dug into anxiety, co-dependence, PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation in a way that felt incredibly respectful and well-handled. There is some discussion of past suicide attempts, so I will put out a content warning for that, but as I said: well handled, very careful, very important to see that represented in a way that makes it clear that it's not okay. And also it's a very adorable book about comic con and meet cutes, comic shops and texting, honesty and balance. Jubilee is a very authentic teen voice and Ridley is a beautiful mess that--for anyone who has panic attacks--feels incredibly real. Again, this book saw me in a way I did not expect. And it was all wrapped up in an absolutely delightful Romeo-and-Juliet retelling package that had me laughing, crying, and loving every page of it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    * Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review * ACTUAL: 4.5 stars Jubilee balances preparing for an important cello audition for a prestigious summer program with working at her stepmoms indie comic shop. Ridley's parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, but he cannot get them to notice him, unless he failing to meet their expectations. These two meet at a comic book convention prom, they cannot help falling for each other. But with feuding * Thank you Penguin Teen Canada for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review * ACTUAL: 4.5 stars Jubilee balances preparing for an important cello audition for a prestigious summer program with working at her stepmom’s indie comic shop. Ridley's parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, but he cannot get them to notice him, unless he failing to meet their expectations. These two meet at a comic book convention prom, they cannot help falling for each other. But with feuding families and impossible to meet expectations, can love really conquer all? I was very surprised by this one, as it was a lot deeper than I expected. It met my expectations of a cute romance story with some comedy, but it was more than that. Jubilee experiences some freedom from the high standards she forces herself to adhere too, but also the consequences of losing sight of what matters. In contrast, Ridley learns to fight for what, and who, he cares about, but also taking care of himself. The mental health challenges that Ridley deals with throughout were written well, and I liked how readers saw his point of view in the novel during the good times and the tough situations. Overall, I really liked this one, and definitely recommend it to YA contemporary fans.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    honestly I just really love comics

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This review may contain spoilers. - I dont normally include trigger warnings, but considering I went into this book thinking it was going to be very light hearted, I thought I should mention: this book contains anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideation. - First of all, the mental health and LGBT+ rep is brilliant. We stan. This story started off very fun and flirty, but it gets heavier as you go on. I personally love both fluffy contemporaries and heavy contemporaries, so this book was a This review may contain spoilers. - I don’t normally include trigger warnings, but considering I went into this book thinking it was going to be very light hearted, I thought I should mention: this book contains anxiety disorders, depression, suicidal ideation. - First of all, the mental health and LGBT+ rep is brilliant. We stan. This story started off very fun and flirty, but it gets heavier as you go on. I personally love both fluffy contemporaries and heavy contemporaries, so this book was a great mix for me. - Speaking on the LGBT representation: Ridley is bisexual, Jubilee is... well, she’s working on her label, Jubilee has two moms, and one of her best friends is a lesbian. We love to see it. - While I was rooting for Ridley and Jubilee to be end game, I also saw the signs of the unhealthy and dangerous path this was leading to. Like I said, the mental health representation was great. I was so happy to see Ridleys anxiety disorders and depression acknowledged and taken seriously. The balance of the right medication, therapy and a strong support system is wonderful and hopeful. But also for Jubilee, having her recognize that she also needs to step back and protect herself was so powerful and brave and right. - I’m head over heels for this book. The cute banter, the nerdy stuff, the darker topics.. it was all done so well. I’m so excited to see what everyone else thinks of it! - 5/5 stars, VERONA COMICS is available April 21, 2020! - I won this ARC in a Twitter giveaway held by the author. Thank you Jennifer!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Corrie

    Before we get into this review, I want to mention that I won an ARC copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. So, thank you very much to Goodreads and whoever set up this giveaway! With that out of the way, I am wondering where to start with this review. I have so much I want to say about this book, but I cant say everything on my mind because of spoilers. I think the thing I want to start off saying is that this book is so much more than your typical contemporary teen romance. Although to Before we get into this review, I want to mention that I won an ARC copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. So, thank you very much to Goodreads and whoever set up this giveaway! With that out of the way, I am wondering where to start with this review. I have so much I want to say about this book, but I can’t say everything on my mind because of spoilers. I think the thing I want to start off saying is that this book is so much more than your typical contemporary teen romance. Although to be fair, I don’t read a ton of contemporary teen romances so I might not be the best judge of that. But I think I can say that this is so much more than a romantic retelling of Romeo and Juliet. And maybe I’m just saying that because I love comic books and superheroes and this book makes many references to characters that I love, but it also deals with mental health issues, issues of abusive parents, and issues of identity. It touches on what makes healthy relationships and where relationships can go wrong. And yeah, it does have a couple of comic loving geeks in it and some sweet-sappy romance in it, but it’s also way more than that. If you would like to read the rest of my review you can find it here: https://ohmybookishness.weebly.com/bl...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Eh. This was OK. I wanted to like it more than I ended up liking it. Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite, and this had a little bit too much of that in there (intentionally or not, but I would imagine intentionally based on the title and basic story set up and the first initials of the two main characters, Jubilee and Ridley). It had all the elements that I normally love (romance, geekiness, comic books), but it didn't quite gel for me. For another reader, this might be just their cup of tea. I Eh. This was OK. I wanted to like it more than I ended up liking it. Romeo and Juliet is not my favorite, and this had a little bit too much of that in there (intentionally or not, but I would imagine intentionally based on the title and basic story set up and the first initials of the two main characters, Jubilee and Ridley). It had all the elements that I normally love (romance, geekiness, comic books), but it didn't quite gel for me. For another reader, this might be just their cup of tea. I enjoyed Comics Will Break Your Heart and The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You more. Note: I read this as a free eARC from Netgalley.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    If the underrated Hot Dog Girl didnt get Dugan some extra publicity, her second book should put her on the map. This one needs some fun press and is as much serious as it is silly. Dugan definitely has a style- both were about a ploy or trick or mission. And its formulaic only in that its a comfortable trope to use (and the book is also a retelling of Romeo and Juliet) but she adds layers of complexity and geekdom to make it her own but thoroughly entertaining/ Ridley has anxiety and depression If the underrated Hot Dog Girl didn’t get Dugan some extra publicity, her second book should put her on the map. This one needs some fun press and is as much serious as it is silly. Dugan definitely has a style- both were about a ploy or trick or mission. And it’s formulaic only in that it’s a comfortable trope to use (and the book is also a retelling of Romeo and Juliet) but she adds layers of complexity and geekdom to make it her own but thoroughly entertaining/ Ridley has anxiety and depression and is somewhat socially awkward, though he has also been bullied by his father most of his life. His dad runs a comics empire. He meets Jubilee, a comic-loving girl with gay moms, one of which is a comics store owner and creator herself. Ridley meets Jubilee at a Con. It’s supposed to be a magical one and done but gets turned into Ridley spying on Verona Comics while falling in love with Jubilee and freaking out the entire time. It’s unique and fascinating, socially aware, and fun.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Thank you Librarypalooza for an ARC of this book. I received just as I was finishing Hot Dog Girl. Both books by Dugan show LGBTQIA+ teens in a way I havent yet read about in YAlit. Im so happy that she included a pansexual character and clearly explained the difference between pan and bi. This book also included a lot of mental illness awareness, which Im also here for. Dugan is my new go-to YA author to recommend in my library, particularly to my LGBTQIA+ community so students can see Thank you Librarypalooza for an ARC of this book. I received just as I was finishing Hot Dog Girl. Both books by Dugan show LGBTQIA+ teens in a way I haven’t yet read about in YAlit. I’m so happy that she included a pansexual character and clearly explained the difference between pan and bi. This book also included a lot of mental illness awareness, which I’m also here for. Dugan is my new go-to YA author to recommend in my library, particularly to my LGBTQIA+ community so students can see themselves reflected in a book. We are living in the best time for MG and YA lit. 4.5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Jubilee has it all together. She's 2nd in her class and an elite cellist. She has two best friends and her stepmom runs an indie comic store, as well as being a big time comic artist. Meanwhile Ridley is barely surviving. His dad runs a chain of comic stores that are known for running the Indies out of business. His dad only cares about what he can bring to the table for his business and his mom barely thinks about him at all. He has severe anxiety and depression that's crippling a lot of the Jubilee has it all together. She's 2nd in her class and an elite cellist. She has two best friends and her stepmom runs an indie comic store, as well as being a big time comic artist. Meanwhile Ridley is barely surviving. His dad runs a chain of comic stores that are known for running the Indies out of business. His dad only cares about what he can bring to the table for his business and his mom barely thinks about him at all. He has severe anxiety and depression that's crippling a lot of the time. But when he meets Jubilee at a comic convention, they instantly connect. With Verona Comics, you think you're going to get another fun, geeky book about comics and fan conventions. But what you actually get is a much deeper story about family, friends, and mental illness. This one was a rough one to read, but very worth it in the end. Trigger Warning: The anxiety/depression here is very rare. Nits not just talked about after the fact, but experienced.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    *Spoiler free* This book was on my radar as one that I wanted to reader eventually. For some reason I thought it was a Middle Grade for awhile and then a comic book for awhile, but it is YA! But, my friend was super excited about it (then read and loved it), so I learned what it was actually about! The two main characters are falling for each other when their parents are rivals in the comics industry. And that one of them has anxiety! So, it was bumped up into something I definitely wanted to try *Spoiler free* This book was on my radar as one that I wanted to reader eventually. For some reason I thought it was a Middle Grade for awhile and then a comic book for awhile, but it is YA! But, my friend was super excited about it (then read and loved it), so I learned what it was actually about! The two main characters are falling for each other when their parents are rivals in the comics industry. And that one of them has anxiety! So, it was bumped up into something I definitely wanted to try out. Trigger warnings: anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, abusive parents My feelings towards this one are extremely complicated. I know I say that with so many books, but they're really tangled up here. I went into this book thinking it was a fluffy romance. It was marketed that way and the cover definitely leans into that. It's not that at all. Yes, the romance has it's cute parts and the characters are both wonderfully adorable, but this book deals with a very heavy mental illness plot. Honestly, it was hard for me to read. Not to read, but emotionally, and I don't think in a totally good way. I don't want to bash it at all because I thought it was incredibly well done. It was raw and it was real and it was incredibly messy. Ridley is the one struggling with mental health and I think it's so great so see a male character who has anxiety. I just really wish there were trigger warnings at the beginning. Ridley struggles majorly. His parents are absolute jerks (seriously, throw them into the sun), he has major anxiety, and he has no support system. It's not cute and fluffy. It's heavy and it's hard sometimes. This also bleeds into the romantic relationship. It didn't feel entirely healthy to me the whole time. There was a few lines about it being a co-dependent relationship at the end, but I felt like it should have been addressed more. It was like a good chunk of the book happens in a big haze of anxiety and unhealthy habits, and then suddenly everybody walks out at the end. Everything's not magically fixed at the end, but it felt like there could have been more development. I know that's not always how real life works, but it just felt kind of flat to me. I definitely don't want to say I hated this book. It just really, really wasn't for me. There were some things that I liked! I did love Ridley. He's so sweet and deserves so much more than what he has. Even though it was hard, I did like reading his POV a bit. Jubilee was also a cool character. I would have liked for a bit more out of her character. I'm not sure what though, haha. Still, she was cool and she's a cellist, which I find fascinating. I also really liked the comics aspect to this book! I would have liked for the book to be a bit more comicy, but I still liked the comics that were there. They felt comforting and I just think they're really cool. I know I'm supposed to have an opinion on books, that's what I do, but I truly don't feel like I have an opinion on this one. It made my emotions rise in a negative way, but that's purely how I felt. I don't think it was an inherently bad book, so please give this book a chance if you feel like you can handle it. But please also be aware that this book is incredibly painful to read at times and is a lot heavier than it looks.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna Aquino

    Thank you to Penguin Random House for a digital copy of the arc in exchange for an honest review. #partner I've been seeing Verona Comics on bookstagram and in the book community often. Verona Comics is the second LGBTQA+ YA novel from Jennifer Dugan who also wrote Hot Dog Girl. I kind of knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book, but it still caught me off guard, in a good way. Jubilee is determined and she has a singular goal in mind, getting ready for the audition of her life to Thank you to Penguin Random House for a digital copy of the arc in exchange for an honest review. #partner I've been seeing Verona Comics on bookstagram and in the book community often. Verona Comics is the second LGBTQA+ YA novel from Jennifer Dugan who also wrote Hot Dog Girl. I kind of knew what I was getting into when I picked up this book, but it still caught me off guard, in a good way. Jubilee is determined and she has a singular goal in mind, getting ready for the audition of her life to get into a prestigious and exclusive summer program to play cello with her favorite artist while helping out with her moms in their indie comic store. So when her family and teachers insisted she needed to live more, she took it upon herself to explore new things. Ridley is the son of the biggest comic store chain, but his family doesn't really feel like one. His father criticizes him all the time, sees nothing but his errors in life, and his mother won't even spare a moment for him. His sister is the only person who showed a bit of care. He doesn't know what to do and where he fits in his family's life. He is socially awkward, suffering from his anxiety and depression. Jubilee meets Ridley, the cute "office batman" that caught her eye and a feather in the Comicon prom. They make a connection and eventually keeps in touch. Jubilee is now inspired and ultimately, distracted as she now juggles her ambition, family life, and a boy she likes. But, is he so much more than he seems? And is he worth all the trouble? I really enjoyed how socially aware Verona Comics is. There is always the question, am I queer enough? and not, the indecisiveness of am I queer? The characters in Verona Comics knew what and who they wanted to be, and they were not scared of it. The author clearly established being bisexual and pansexual which is a great asset to this book, and would greatly help people who are still unsure of their own sexuality. Jennifer Durgan is not shy about writing the mess, and all the bad parts. She is incredibly honest and real, I could feel every panic attack because I too suffer those from time to time. But these mental health issues are tackled very well and are discussed in a tasteful manner. Verona Comics is more than just geeks and fangirling, it touches on important factors of life as well, finding family, accepting yourself and who you are, and that sometimes, being not okay is okay.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ThatBookGal

    Verona Comics wasn't what I was expecting at all. The strap line has it as 'a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop,' which meant I was expecting something fluffy and fun. The reality is that it takes a really serious look at mental health and family relationships, and it isn't all that fluffy at all. As queer YA books go, I loved the various rep in this novel. The main characters both identify as queer in different ways, and it Verona Comics wasn't what I was expecting at all. The strap line has it as 'a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop,' which meant I was expecting something fluffy and fun. The reality is that it takes a really serious look at mental health and family relationships, and it isn't all that fluffy at all. As queer YA books go, I loved the various rep in this novel. The main characters both identify as queer in different ways, and it was pretty refreshing to see a very gentle exploration of Jubilee questioning 'does dating a boy make me straight?' Jubilee's mom's were definitely the cutest couple of the book, such a sweet relationship. I'm always going to be all over any book that has comics, comic books stores, comic con and general geekiness. This one of course doesn't disappoint, and the nerdy first love was pretty adorable. I was definitely glad for a little bit of light relief here and there, as there are some really heavy topics explored. My heart hurt for Ridley, and his parents made me so, so angry. I found his chapters pretty tough at times, and just wanted to step in and sort his life out for him, starting with banishing his dad to deepest, darkest Antarctica. I really didn't agree with a lot of his actions in the book, which did make him a little hard to like, but I also felt massively sorry for him. This is certainly a decent book that covers a whole ton of different aspects of YA life. Definitely worth a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hira Chaudhary

    I received a free copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was recently watching the new All the Bright Places movie and it just reminded me about how I was in the minority for not having enjoyed that book because I felt like it romanticized suicide and I didn't like the message it was sending. Now THIS book, this is the story I would have wanted ATBP to be. This book deals with mental health, with depression and anxiety, with queer rep, with being enough, with I received a free copy of this book through the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was recently watching the new All the Bright Places movie and it just reminded me about how I was in the minority for not having enjoyed that book because I felt like it romanticized suicide and I didn't like the message it was sending. Now THIS book, this is the story I would have wanted ATBP to be. This book deals with mental health, with depression and anxiety, with queer rep, with being enough, with finding first love. This book has everything, and it balances everything so perfectly. It's amazing and incredible and just the most beautiful story you will ever read. And there are COMICS. And banter. And amazing friends and family. Our two MCs are Ripley, who deals with depression, social anxiety, and thoughts of suicide, plus he's bisexual AND Jubilee, who is a perfectionist, plays the cello, forgives far too easily, and might be pansexual, though she's still figuring out her labels. These two are both just adorable and perfect and they meet at a con party, where they only talk for a bit, but they instantly click and keep texting after the con ends. Ripley's father is the head of a large comic industry while Jubilee's stepmother owns an indie comic store and has her own popular comic series. Vera, Jubilee's stepmother, is loved by the community, and Ripley's father wants to buy out her business. So he uses Ripley to try to get to her through Jubilee. This story is full of heartbreak and emotion and I found myself both laughing and crying while reading it. It's just so amazing <3

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    CW taken from the author's website: Panic/anxiety attacks, References to suicidal ideation, Mention of a past suicide attempt, Abusive parent (verbal, emotional neglect), Codependency, Depression ------ This book completely blew past my expectations (this was the first of Jennifer Dugan's books that I've read) for what appears to be a contemporary YA rom-com. And to be clear, YA rom-coms are great and I love them! At its most simplistic, Verona Comics, as you might have guessed from the title and CW taken from the author's website: Panic/anxiety attacks, References to suicidal ideation, Mention of a past suicide attempt, Abusive parent (verbal, emotional neglect), Codependency, Depression ------ This book completely blew past my expectations (this was the first of Jennifer Dugan's books that I've read) for what appears to be a contemporary YA rom-com. And to be clear, YA rom-coms are great and I love them! At its most simplistic, Verona Comics, as you might have guessed from the title and cover, is a modern day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, except instead of warring families in Italy, our families are competitors in the comics industry, one running an indie shop and one running a huge conglomerate. But that is really where the similarities end and where Dugan takes the story in a fresh and impressive direction. I don't want to reveal too much about the plot but the two things I'll highlight are 1) the compassion with which Dugan about mental health, anxiety, depression and thoughts of self-harm and 2) the insta-love we see in a lot of YA and popular culture (and especially in the original Romeo and Juliet) and how Dugan flips that on its head. I really can't say enough to praise Verona Comics. It was warm and thoughtful, funny and fresh. As a YA and comics reader who consumes a considerable amount of pop culture, this one was a major win for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jackson

    im confused as to why this is marketed as a funny queer YA romance when its about a straight couple. are the side characters queer? are THEY secretly queer? will this turn into a story where the main characters think theyre falling for each other when theyre just denying themselves internally and eventually grow past these qualms they have with themselves and end up going separate ways in favor of their own same-sex relationships? probably not but idk. im confused as to why this is marketed as a “funny queer YA romance” when its about a straight couple. are the side characters queer? are THEY secretly queer? will this turn into a story where the main characters think theyre falling for each other when theyre just denying themselves internally and eventually grow past these qualms they have with themselves and end up going separate ways in favor of their own same-sex relationships? probably not but idk.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten Seidel

    I liked this book a lot, but just know going in that this is not a rom com. There are some heavier things involved, like mental illness, codependency, and toxic family relationships, and theyre a huge part of the story. A great read, just know its not a fluffy romance! I liked this book a lot, but just know going in that this is not a rom com. There are some heavier things involved, like mental illness, codependency, and toxic family relationships, and they’re a huge part of the story. A great read, just know it’s not a fluffy romance!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nada Hosny

    Okay wow. This is so much more than just a cute romance. I didn't even realize that until 60% in and the actual purpose of the book came into light. Lovee how this story handled mental illness, absolutely wonderful!

  23. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    4.5 stars wow. WOW. rtc cw: anxiety, depression, suicide ideation

  24. 5 out of 5

    Miracle Johnson

    Love it so much cried at the end best book ever

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This was a well written book. You could see the toxic parts of their relationship and sometime even feel what emotions they would feel. The whole story was beautifully written

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Arca

    Uhhh I would really like this book please !!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    Lots of good rep. Full review to come!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meg Chia (bibliophilogy)

    4.5 FULL REVIEW HERE!

  29. 4 out of 5

    caitlin

    Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss. I loved Jennifer Dugans Hot Dog Girl but I just couldnt connect to this Romeo and Juliet influenced comic book tale. Both characters were a little hard to sympathize with, especially as they were interacting in real life and via texts, I found myself growing impatient. Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss. I loved Jennifer Dugan’s “Hot Dog Girl” but I just couldn’t connect to this Romeo and Juliet influenced comic book tale. Both characters were a little hard to sympathize with, especially as they were interacting in real life and via texts, I found myself growing impatient.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine Stamper

    Oh. my. Goodness. I went into Verona Comics thinking that I would be disappointed after my all encompassing love for Dugan's Hot Dog Girl. But this book is at the same level as that ridiculous rom-com. This book has a lot of heart and laughter. But it also graciously and realistically showcases what it is to have--and what it is to love someone with--anxiety and depression. I loved it so much and can't wait for more from Jennifer Dugan (can we be best friends?).

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