Tuma's Book Rants: Review of Teen Titan Raven and Beast Boy by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
I've been in a massive reading slump and manga/graphic novels are helping me slowly come of it. 🥰
I adore the art work style. I don't know enough about 🎨 to discuss the nuances but Gabriel Picolo (with Jon Sommariva and Emma Kubert) did an amazing job, imo. And thanks to colorist David Calderon, we get amazing grayscale shading with pops of violet for Raven and green in Beast Boy. 😍
While inspired by Marv Wolfman's original character, Garcia's Raven is her own person. She's 17 and life hasn't dealt her a fair hand. The day before her foster mom plans to sign her adoption papers, they get into a car accident that kills her mom and causes Raven to develop amnesia and possibly some unique powers that she doesn't understand. Forced to move to New Orleans to live with her foster mom's sister, Raven struggles to remember who she is and develop relationships with her new foster mom and foster sister, Max, and a boy who MAY accept her for who she is now.
In Beast Boy, Garfield (Gar) has spent his whole life being overlooked, being small for his age. He has a senior year bucket list that includes bulking up and kissing the most popular girl at school. While he's friends don't understand his need to be popular, they support him. When a successful dare puts Gar on the radar of the popular kids, it seems like things are finally turning around. However, other things are changing too that are weird and concerning--suddenly growing 6 inches overnight, stronger, faster. So, he has to figure out what's going on before it's too late.
The stories lack some depth and are full of cheesy YA tropes that were easy to see coming, but sometimes ya girl needs a comfort read. This book was like eating boxed mac and cheese. You know it's not gourmet but sometimes after a rough day, it's all you can manage and it brings you nostalgic comfort.
What else did I like?
- Nonchalant LGBTQIA+ rep and Neurodiversity rep
- Kick-ass battle scene (that I wished was longer or harder to win)
- Heart Warming Friendships
I thought Raven would make an appearance in book two, but they actually meet in Beast Boy Loves Raven, to be released in September. 😭 (So far awayyyyy.)
Recommend if you like/interested in Teen Titans, Graphic Novels, Superheroes, close friendship/family stories, and diverse characters. And don't mind a lil cliche and obvious tropes.