Monday, May 10, 2010

Graphic Novel Monday: Emiko Superstar, by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston

Emiko Superstar, by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston. Published 2008 by Minx. Graphica. Fiction.

Emiko Superstar is the latest Minx title to reach the top of my TBR pile; it's adorable.

Emily is a Canadian suburban teenager who's feeling down. She quits her coffeeshop job after a whipped-cream mishap and plans to "spend the summer sulking"; instead, she ends up working as a babysitter for a picture-perfect suburban couple, and life seems hopeless in that way that life can when you're in high school and a long, dull summer stretches out in front of you.

She longs for excitement and thinks she may have found it when she encounters The Factory, an after-hours arty nightclub where edgy, artsy types experiment with performance art. There, she meets nerdy Henry, a kid on the margins of this exciting place, and she tries to negotiate her way into the scene with the help of a pilfered diary and her grandmother's vintage clothes. But all is not as it seems at The Factory, and even the spotlight has a dark side.

I've reviewed several Minx titles in the past, and it's definitely an uneven bunch of books. Having said that, Emiko Superstar is a great light little read. In fact, it's probably my favorite Minx so far. Emily is a sweetheart and a very believeable young lady, her teen angst is well-conceived and feels genuine and her experiments with the alternative scene reminded me of people and places I've known. One of the features of the Minx line is a diverse cast of girls- different races, religions, body types and lifestyles. Emily is mixed-race and clearly not Barbie-skinny but neither of these elements even merit a mention in the book itself- a good thing, I think, to show characters of different backgrounds without defining them as this or that. I like this one a lot, and I think it would be a terrific choice for the teen girl in your life, or for the grownup looking for something quick, sweet and distracting.

Rating: BEACH

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review from the publisher.