I love comics and graphic novels, one about a Queer, brown, latina? The moment I saw this, I jumped at the chance to read it. I’ve had the original novel on my radar for a while but haven’t gotten around to read it so I can’t compare between the two, but I don’t think is necessary. I believe every format adds something to a story and can be an avenue for different people to find the work. With Gabby Rivera’s experience writing for Marvel’s America it only makes sense to offer Juliet Takes a Breath as a graphic novel, and I’m glad they do.
There’ are a lot of things to like about this work. Juliet is an outstanding main character, and one we don’t see enough. I particularly enjoyed her relationship with her family, it felt real to me as a latina. The fear of telling your family, the pain when you are not fully accepted, but finally coming to a “happy ending” a place of acceptance and understanding felt very real to me and reminded me of my own relationship with my mom at times.
We also see her explore and learn more about feminism, intersectionality, queerness, heartbreak, love and sex. Is a full journey, and we are happy to accompany Juliet all the way.
Visually is a beautiful book. There are a couple images that will forever stay in my brain. The depictions of Juliet naked are beautiful, when she cuts her hair and we see her transform outwardly but also internally in one frame. Outstanding coming-of-age story.
I have to admit, at times I found the way they presented the storylines a little simple. Some topics they were dealing with could have benefitted from a format where they could go more in depth, I assume the novel does, but for a first approximation to them, it works. It opens the conversation.
I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.