Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But don’t worry, Juliet has something kinda resembling a plan that’ll help her figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. See, she’s going to intern with Harlowe Brisbane – her favorite feminist author, someone’s who’s the last work on feminism, self-love and lots of of ther things that will help Juliet find her ever elusive epiphany. There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan…
One thing you need to know about this graphic novel, that I didn’t, is that is actually an adaptation of the novel with the same name, also by Gabby Rivera. I haven’t read the novel, and I had no problem grasping the story and the characters, so you can pick it up even if you, just like me, haven’t read the 2016 novel.
I absolutely adore graphic novels, and as I’ve never reviewed one I would like to set the precedent now of breaking my review into two parts: the story and the art.
First, the story. It’s a rich and powerful one, following the main character coming to terms and embracing her own feminity, loving her curves, her period, and learning how to stand up to herself. Juliet is an amazing character: she is sweet, curvy, queer, and ready to kick some butt.
While I can’t judge the POC representation, as a curvy female that never got to explore her feminine energy or her queerness, I felt inspired, beautiful, and ready to take some steps towards being more myself. If this would have been all that this book accomplished it would have been a 5 start read anyway, but it’s so much more with rich representation and touching subjects ranging from racism, white savior tropes, and white privilege to first heartbreak and coming out.
My only problem was that this was so short! And this is my problem with most of the graphic novels, that I devour them in a few hours and then I am left wanting for more. I will check the novel for sure because in a 176 pages long graphic novel there is not much space for a character to develop and grow as naturally, so I have big hopes.
At last, the art. Celia Moscote did an amazing job, the art in this is gorgeous, warm, and stunning. If you are into a fuzzy autumn aesthetic then this is for you. I want to print every panel of this and put it on my walls.
So, if you are looking for a sweet, rich, and powerfully feminist novel make sure to pick up when it’s out in November for the extreme honor of meeting Juliet and all her amazing friends.
Thank you, NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.