There are no spoilers in this review.
Verona Comics, Jennifer Dugan
Publishing on April 21st, 2020 by G.P Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.
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?
☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.
anxiety and multiple descriptions of panic attacks, depression, talk about a previous suicide attempt, suicide idealisation, car accident, codependency, abusive parent (verbal and emotional neglect).
☂️ DIVERSITY: main character with social anxiety and clinical depression, bisexual main characters, queer main character, POC side character, adopted and Korean side character, gay side characters, f/f relationship.
- Verona Comics is told through two different point of views and I appreciated both very much.
- Jubilee is such a passionate, determined musician and I loved that about her so much. She’s trying to get out of her comfort zone a little bit, she’s a chronic overachiever and worrier, she’s caring and I just really cared for her.
- Ridley was, oh, Ridley. I just grew really fond of Ridley, could relate to him on some aspects. Ridley just wants to meet his impossible father expectations and is struggling for his acceptance and I just want to hug him.
- The anxiety representation was incredibly well done. From the social anxiety to Ridley’s way of thinking, to the panic attacks descriptions, it was just incredibly well done and, well, you know I’m all here for books with anxiety rep and I was so, so glad to read and deeply relate to this and to Ridley’s anxiety.
- I really enjoyed the characters’ relationships.
- I liked the romance, I liked how it grew slowly over texting and how complex and messy it got once reality got into the whole thing. I liked the idea of opposite families and yet the characters falling in love anyway, a sort of Romeo & Juliet kind of thing.
- I really enjoyed the friendships, too! I loved how Jayla, Jubilee’s friend, was such a warm, wonderful, strong and protective presence in the story, especially.
- I think Verona Comics has one of the most realistic romances with one of the characters struggling with his mental health. I was a little surprised, to be honest, because I didn’t expected it to be so intense and so… well, hard to read, at times and please be careful and mind the trigger warnings before heading into this. That being said, the author managed to depict a wonderful romance, yet also managed to make it all realistic, not to spoil anything. I really appreciated that.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- There are a lot of things I appreciated in Verona Comics, but I think I personally felt a little threw by just how intense of a read this could be, something I didn’t really expect while getting into this. It’s not really a criticism, just something that threw me off while I read and, maybe, something I wasn’t entirely in the mood for at the time of my reading. It’s a personal experience though!
If you’re looking for a realistic romance, a contemporary dealing with mental health and a little side of comics, you should pick up Verona Comics. With wonderful characters you’ll want to root for, it is a book I’d definitely recommend giving a try!
Final rating: 4 drops!
Thank you so, so much to Penguin Random House International & NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Did you read Verona Comics? Do you want to?
Do you have any recommendations of ya books dealing with mental health? Let me know in comments!