From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-This contemporary superhero story is a departure for Larson, who has previously done a graphic adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time (Farrar, 2012) as well as stories of magical realism. Three central characters reside in Barnhurst: new girl Lin is devoted to the creation of her zine, which she prints at a local photocopy establishment. To date she has sold one copy. Mel works at a local costume shop, providing period attire for tourist photographs. From home she blogs about her personal life, especially the pain following the accidental death of her horse. Trace is the nerdy photocopy shop manager, harboring a not-too-secret crush on Mel. Life changes for these teens when Lin uses her cell phone to report an attempted robbery. She inadvertently presses a button that dramatically transforms her into a superhero and subdues the would-be thief. She is baffled, exclaiming afterward, "What a rush! That happened, right? There's no way that happened." Meanwhile Mel connects with a shadowy online individual who promises to erase her heartbreaking blog posts. He exerts his influence to digitally transform Mel into a troll. With assistance from Trace, Lin frees Mel from her troll state and life resumes its familiar routine. Not surprisingly, a final panel image of Lin's cell phone suggests her superhero adventures will continue. Main characters are well developed with clear motives. Segues between scenes have a cinematic feel and effectively move the story forward. Pantoja's heavy black-line drawings, large eyes, and angled action panels give the art a mangalike appearance.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Known for graphic novels steeped in magic realism, author Larson (Chiggers, 2008; Mercury, 2009) now adds the superhero genre to her repertoire of coming-of-age stories. Two story lines run alongside each other here. One is about Mel, who pours her feelings at the loss of a beloved friend into her online diary only to have her grief manipulated by a powerful cyberstalker. The other is about Lin, who answers a mysterious cell-phone call and transforms into a superhero charged with saving Mel. Both girls are controlled via technology, but only Lin is conscious of the changes taking place, forcing her to incorporate her new powers into her life, ready or not. Clever plotting and Pantoja’s expressive, manga-influenced artwork help to pull the reader through the intertwining stories, setting up a strong introduction to what will surely become a series. Fans of Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon will find a lot to like here, and the added technological twist adds a freshness to the subgenre. Grades 9-12. --Eva Volin
--This text refers to the