The Backups by Alex de Campi | Book Review

Why Did I Read The Backups by Alex de Campi?

The Backups by Alex de Campi was a random book picked from my Macmillan reviewer box. Initially I wasn’t sure when I was going to read it, but as it turns out this was the first I read and what a good choice. Part of the reasoning behind getting to it sooner rather than later was that I had wrapped my Christmas reading (yes, this review will be live the end of March but I am writing it before Christmas) and needed something to ease back into normal reading. It turns out this graphic novel was just the perfect fit.

What’s The Story Here?

The Backups is about three girls named Jenni, Lauren, and Maggie who go to a performing arts school in Brooklyn. Each girl is looking for a summer job and after some rejections, all three end up auditioning to be a back up singer for pop star Nika Nitro. The three get picked to be back up singers and to go on a whirlwind summer tour. They also discover that they get along quite well even though each is so different. It is going to be a wild summer. Also? Nika has this amazing work ethic and drive and so can be a little tough. She also has this rule about no romances. Which is about to be kind of tough for one of the girls. No spoilers here though.

How Did I Like The Backups?

I really had a great time reading The Backups. I went into this book really unspoiled and without much of an idea of what it is about besides back up singers. Apparently that’s the good thing about reading a review copy super early and I totally forgot about how nice having no expectations is. This book has one main character who is fat and embraces it – complete with a reference to Lizzo. There’s also a character who loves drumming but is really super tough on the outside. And then another character who loves classical music and is simply a tourist for the summer in the world of pop music. This book is earnest and just so uplifting. It also is a single sitting read.

How’s The Art?

The illustrator for The Backups is Lara Kane. Kane does a great job portraying the three main characters and well, all the characters, in different action scenes. The art is accessible and not at all pretentious. I felt like this was the perfect graphic novel for the younger YA, graduating out of middle grade set. There’s lots of color and fun fashion and MUSIC. It’s definitely a graphic novel worth picking up for the music loving reader.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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