Action/Adventure

Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed: Teenage Activism & Social Justice

3/5 Stars

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Illustrator: Leila del Duca

Publisher/Imprint: DC Comics

Edition: Paperback, 208 Pages

Publication Date: June 02, 2020

A Spine that Shines? Partially

 

*I received a free copy of this book from DC Comics for review purposes. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Book Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Shout) and artist Leila del Duca reimagine Wonder Woman’s origins in this timely story about the refugee experience, teenage activism, and finding the love and strength to create change.

Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings—namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea. Cut off from everything she’s ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land. 

Now, Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time—a world that is filled with danger and injustice unlike anything she’s ever experienced. With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon and to make a difference. 

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a story about growing into your strength, fighting for justice and finding home.

Book Trailer

Book Review

A warrior’s strength begins in her heart.

-Laurie Halse Anderson, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

Initial Thoughts & Pacing

Happy Thursday! It’s almost Friday! Hooray! I hope everyone is holding up okay during this pandemic. Here’s my book review for Tempest Tossed. I didn’t have super strong feelings about this book, so I gave it a middle rating of 3 stars.

This was my first time reading a book by Laurie Halse Anderson, and she focuses heavily on activism and social justice issues: immigration, child trafficking, gentrification, homelessness, etc. It wasn’t exactly my cup-of-tea. Tempest Tossed isn’t a super “fun” read per se since the tone is quite serious due to the heavy topics it handles. Diana experiences refugee camps and what it feels like to be an “outsider” in the USA, seeking for a place to belong.

I love Greek mythology, so I found Themyscira, home of the Amazons, to be quite fascinating! But Diana is quickly taken out of that world, so we don’t get to spend much time there. My favorite portion of the story was her time spent with the Amazons. They’re such an amazing group of female warriors!

Reading NookI wished for more of Wonder Woman learning about and developing her powers, but there is very little of her using her powers in this book. In fact, she often feels quite powerless and weak. I understand that the author is trying to depict the struggles and insecurities of adolescence, but in some ways, this version of Wonder Woman doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman. In my opinion, I would’ve enjoyed a little bit more of the crime-fighting, superhero version of the character woven into the story. Not much superhero “action” occurs in this book. There is some excitement near the beginning and end, but the fightable “bad guy” is confined to the final 20-25 pages or so. I feel he should have been more present throughout the novel for the sake of better pacing flow, not just suddenly appearing closer to the end. In my opinion, sequences also progress rather rapidly in the climax with the big “showdown.”

Characters & Lack of Romance

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Photo rights belong to DC Comics.

The characters in this story are okay. I didn’t feel super connected to every character, but many readers would likely find Diana’s adolescent struggles relatable. I liked the tough character Antiope, the general of the Amazons. But she is not a large part of the story since Diana is separated from the Amazons near the beginning.

Some other characters are: Steve and Trevor, UN workers who bring Diana to the USA; Henke, a Polish immigrant friend of Steve; Raissa, Henke’s spunky granddaughter. I liked Henke’s grandmotherly inclinations, and she was very good to Diana.

Unfortunately for me, there is no romance for Diana in this book. I’m someone who typically likes at least a hint of romance in novels, but sadly, there is no Chris Pine here.

Final Thoughts

I did like the humorous moments that were scattered throughout the book! There is a lot that young Diana doesn’t understand about our modern human world. She doesn’t know what a merry-go-round is, and she is bewildered by JFK airport!

Diana has such a good heart, and I do think the author portrays this aspect of her character well. Diana is always seeking to help others before herself.

I also think that the book’s title connection to the Statue of Liberty is thoughtful. The final scene does a good job with connecting the themes of the book.

It was certainly nice to read a graphic novel for a change. I like the way that these novels can visually tell a story. In my opinion, the illustrations in this particular novel were okay, but perhaps somewhat muted in color. I prefer the vibrant illustration style of Gotham High, one of DC’s other recent releases.

Overall, Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is not a story about your typical, powerful Wonder Woman figure. The tone is very serious and less action-driven. I appreciated the themes about family and finding belonging that are conveyed as Diana attempts to find her place in the world. I didn’t particularly love this book, but if you like Laurie Halse Anderson books or social justice themes, you’d probably enjoy this book more than I did! I do understand that every novel is the product of an author’s hard work and effort, and I am thankful for the opportunity to read and review this book early. Happy reading 🙂

Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

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I received a free copy of #WonderWomanTempestTossed from @DCComics in exchange for an honest review. The book releases on June 02, and these are my honest opinions 😊 – Rating: 3/5 stars -This book is quite heavy on the social justice themes, which perhaps wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. It wasn’t a “fun” read per se because it is quite serious in tone. Diana experiences refugee camps and what is feels like to be an “outsider.” But if you like Laurie Halse Anderson books or social justice themes, you’d probably enjoy this a lot! -I wished there had been more of Wonder Woman learning about and developing her powers, but there is very little of her using her powers in this. -I found Themyscira, home of the Amazons, to be quite fascinating, but Diana is quickly taken out of that world. My favorite portion of the story was her time with the Amazons. -There is no romance for Diana in this book. I’m someone who typically likes at least a hint of romance, but there is no Chris Pine here 😂 -There is not much superhero “action” in my opinion. There is some excitement at the beginning and end, but the fightable“bad guy” is limited to the last 20-25 pages or so. I feel he should have been more present throughout the story for the sake of better flow, not just suddenly appear closer to the end. -I did like several of the humorous moments in the book; there is a lot that Diana doesn’t understand. She doesn’t know what a merry-go-round is and she is bewildered by JFK airport 😂 -I appreciated some of the themes about family and finding belonging. -It was certainly nice to read a graphic novel for a change. I enjoy the visuals. The illustrations in this particular book were ok, but perhaps somewhat muted in color. -Diana has such a good heart, and I love that aspect about her. She is always seeking to help others. -I think that the book’s title connection to the Statue of Liberty is thoughtful. The final scene does a good job with connecting the themes of the book. -Overall, not a story about your typical, super powerful Wonder Woman figure. The tone is very serious and less action-driven. Diana is trying to find her place in the world. But I’m glad I got to read and review 😊

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Up Next on My TBR: Seasons of the Storm (ARC)

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2 thoughts on “Wonder Woman Tempest Tossed: Teenage Activism & Social Justice”

  1. Im sorry that you didn’t enjoy this more. It sounds like it tackles some important issues but needed to work some more elements of Diana’s Wonder Woman side into it from this which is such a shame as I love Wonder Woman and think she’d be wonderful at handling such matters.

    Also I can’t wait to see what you think of Seasons Of The Storm 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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