Author: Kami Garcia
Illustrator: Gabriel Picolo
Publisher/Imprint: DC Comics
Edition: Paperback, 192 Pages
Publication Date: September 01, 2020
A Spine that Shines? Quite Well!
*I received a free copy of this book from DC Comics for review purposes. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*
Author Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures) and artist Gabriel Picolo, the creative duo behind the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller Teen Titans: Raven, take you on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance, while reminding us of the value of true friendship–especially when life gets wild.
Garfield Logan has spent his entire life being overlooked. Even in a small town like Eden, Georgia, the seventeen-year-old with green streaks in his hair can’t find a way to stand out—and the clock is ticking. Senior year is almost over. If Gar doesn’t find a way to impress the social elite at Bull Creek High School, he will never know what it’s like to matter. Gar’s best friends, Stella and Tank, can’t understand why he cares what other people think, and they miss their funny, pizza-loving, video game-obsessed best friend.
Then Gar accepts a wild dare out of the blue. It impresses the popular kids, and his social status soars. But other things are changing, too. Gar grows six inches overnight. His voice drops, and suddenly, he’s stronger and faster. He’s finally getting everything he wanted, but his newfound popularity comes at a price. Gar has to work harder to impress his new friends. The dares keep getting bigger, and the stakes keep getting higher.
When Gar realizes the extent of his physical changes, he has to dig deep and face the truth about himself—and the people who truly matter—before his life spirals out of control.
If my life won’t change on its own, I’m gonna find a way to change it.
-Kami Garcia, Teen Titans: Beast Boy
Good evening, bookworms! How are you all doing? What have you been reading lately? Teen Titans: Beast Boy is the first book I’ve finished in September, and I was overall pleased with it 🙂 I didn’t know much about Beast Boy prior to reading this novel, but I think it provides a good origin story!
Here are some of my initial thoughts:
- The illustrations are engaging. Even though the colors are not quite vibrant, they are appropriately green-hued to match the character.
- The text contains just the right amount of humor, and I loved Gar’s personality! He is funny and endearing.
- I also think Kami and Gabriel succeeded in making the novel appeal to the intended age audience. I’m sure many teens would be able to relate to Gar’s experiences as a high schooler, wanting to fit in and belong.
- I loved the genuine friendships in this novel! (More on that in the character section.)
- There is a cute monkey named Kong!
- Of course, Gar develops the power to transform into animals, and there’s definitely love for animals in this book 🙂
- You’ll also encounter hot peppers and family secrets!
Here is a brief overview of some of the characters:
- Gar is our beloved Beast Boy! He often feels left out and wishes he could catch the attention of the popular crowd at school. He’s also dealing with a crush on Alana, one of the popular girls. Gar is funny and perhaps a little goofy, but he is a good-natured guy at heart. I enjoyed seeing his coming-of-age story unfold.
- Unlike in some other superhero stories, Gar’s parents are present in his life. It is nice to have parents in the picture for a change. However, it doesn’t seem like they have much personality. They act mysterious around Gar and keep a big secret from him, but aside from those traits, I don’t feel that we really get to know the parents well.
- Gar’s two best friends are great! Daniel “the Tank ” Tanaka is Asian in this story, and he’s into competitive eating. Stella is Black, and she is a popular video gamer. She also works at an animal shelter 🙂 I love how supportive Gar and his friends are of each other!
- Mike is the leader of the popular crowd, and he becomes extremely jealous of Gar. He’s your typical high school bully figure, but his true cowardice really shows in the end.
- Slade Wilson is a mysterious figure who enters the story in the latter half of the book. I wish he had been in more scenes, and I’m definitely curious to see what his involvement will be in the next book in the series.
Here are some final points I thought I’d mention:
What I’d call the “superhero action” in this story happens near the end of the novel and is relatively short. I wish there had been more of those types of scenes, but I’m guessing there may be more action in the next book in the series.
The scene transitions are one other reason why I didn’t rate the novel higher than 4 stars. As I was reading, I noticed several places in the book where there seems to be some skipping around between scenes and locations. I think better scene transitions would’ve made the jumps less jarring.
I also noticed that the chapters 11 and 12 headings in my copy of the book (a finished copy) were completely missing; the headings moved from chapter 10 to chapter 13, and I’m not sure if the two headings in between were forgotten or if the number of chapters altogether was simply miscounted. No page numbers were missing, so all of the pages must have been intact. There was just something off about those two chapter headings. But I did appreciate the chapter titles in general. They added their own bit of flair to the story!
Regarding Gar’s parents’ explanation of what happened to him in the past, I don’t feel that it fully explains his powers. Perhaps I’m being nitpicky, but it doesn’t seem like that one thing would account for his full range of transformation powers – unless the thing had mutated or something. Perhaps the explanation could’ve been expanded or given more page time. But I’m no scientist lol. Perhaps I missed something.
Overall, I found Teen Titans: Beast Boy to be quite enjoyable and would recommend it to any Teen Titans fans or fans of the Teen Titans: Raven book. It was a quick, easy read, and it was nice to read a graphic novel for a change of pace. I’m eager to see how Gar’s powers will develop when he meets Raven in the third book in the series. Happy reading, everyone 🙂
Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)
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