Teens from feuding families fall in love in dramatic novel.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jennifer Dugan's Verona Comics is a dramatic romance novel about two teens from feuding families who fall in love in an indie comic book store. Two characters get into a car accident, and one often has suicidal thoughts. Readers will learn about mental health issues, and the author has included links to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Crisis Text Line, Trans Lifeline, The Trevor Project, and Co-Dependents Anonymous for anyone in need of help. Characters flirt and kiss. Strong language includes multiple uses and variations of "s--t," "f--k," "ass," "hell," "Jesus," "crap," and more. Mentions of cigarettes, booze, and cocaine. Readers will recognize many of the pop culture references in the book, such as Comic-Con, Marvel, X-Men, Batman, Harley Quinn, and more.
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What's the Story?
Jubilee is an accomplished cellist trying to de-stress before the biggest audition of her life and works part-time at her stepmom's indie comics shop, VERONA COMICS. Anxious and depressed Ridley wants nothing more than to stop disappointing his emotionally abusive dad, who owns The Geekery, a notorious comics chain that puts indie stores out of business. Ridley and Jubilee meet at an annual comic convention and quickly fall in love before Ridley realizes that Jubilee's stepmom is a famous indie comics artist and his dad's nemesis. Secretly spying on his dad's enemy could finally give Ridley the love he desperately seeks from his dad, but it would also destroy his relationship with Jubilee. Will Ridley tell Jubilee the truth, and will their love survive their families' feud?
Is It Any Good?
This dramatic Romeo and Juliet-type novel by Jennifer Dugan thoughtfully explores mental health issues and complicated relationships. Told in alternating chapters from Jubilee's and Ridley's points of view, Dugan accurately portrays co-dependency, anxiety, and depression. Her characters are sweet, but some readers might be frustrated that Jubilee continually prioritizes her whirlwind romance with Ridley over her family, her friends, and her future. As Verona Comics progresses and their relationship takes a dramatic turn, teens will see how essential compassion, honest communication, and respect are in developing healthy relationships.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Verona Comics deals with mental health issues. Where can you turn for help? What can you do if you think someone you know is serious about it?
How do the adults in Jubilee's and Ridley's lives affect the way they approach their relationship? What other stories of family feuds -- classic or modern-day -- do you know?
How do the characters demonstrate communication, compassion, respect, and honesty? Why are these important character strengths?
- Author: Jennifer Dugan
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Music and Sing-Along
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: April 21, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 1, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Romeo and Juliet
Tragic teen love story stands the test of time.
Comics Will Break Your Heart
Heirs to comics series find love in sweet but slow novel.
All the Bright Places
Compelling teen romance tackles suicide, finds hope.
For kids who love LGBTQ books and stories that deal with mental illness
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