3 Young Adult Graphic Novels To Have On Your Radar

If you hand me a stack of young adult graphic novels, chances are, I am going to read them. The storytelling format has always appealed to me. I find young adult graphic novels to be fast reads – well paced, visually interesting, and usually with great stories. Below are three upcoming graphic novels that should be on your radar — even if I didn’t love all three.

Three Young Adult Graphic Novels To Have On Your Radar - including Graceling: the Graphic Novel, Squad, and Between Shades Of Gray.

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

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Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall was the perfect Halloween/spooky season read. This book convinced me I need to read more by Tokuda-Hall. Squad is a graphic novel about a girl named Becca who transfers to a new school. She’s nervous about fitting in. Somehow though she becomes a member of the cool girls group — might as well be the plastics. Those girls are perfect. Only, it turns out that they have a secret — they turn into werewolves and have to feed about once a month to remain sated.

It’s not like they feed on just anyone. You see, the girls feed on boys who deserve it. The ones who take advantage – who push girls into doing things they don’t want to do. These teen girls are basically taking on the patriarchy. Things are great until they feed on the wrong boy. Then all that happens might just come back to haunt them.

Overall, I LOVED Squad. This is a graphic novel that I want to buy and have on my keepers shelf. The colors within this book are perfect and bright and bold. Additionally, the art is visually appealing to me. The characters are diverse and actually interesting. This story kept me hooked. Of the graphic novels I’m discussing today this one was my favorite visually.


Between Shades Of Gray: The Graphic Novel by Ruta Sepetys

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When I read Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys ten years ago, it hit me hard. I think I may have even cried while reading it (but it has been ten years and so much has happened since then). When I saw the story was being adapted in graphic novel form, I just knew I had to read it. I had to make this book a priority. Turns out that this story has impact regardless of the format it is told in.

In 1941, a knock comes in the middle of the night and wakes Lina, her mother, and little brother. It’s the Soviet secret police. Her whole family is arrested and sent to Siberia. Between Shades Of Gray: the Graphic Novel by Ruta Sepetys details a history that I was not taught in school. There is resilience and the will to survive. There is also kindness from unexpected placeness. Lina’s story is harrowing and one that needed to be told.

I think that seeing this story in graphic novel form made it slightly harder to digest. However, the visuals hit their mark. I did have a hard time continuing after reading about the woman who was arrested just after giving birth and the fact that they also arrested her newborn baby who ultimately dies. I found that to be really very affecting. But that kind of thing hits me harder now that I have very young children. This book though is so worth reading — and I think that the graphic novel format does make it accessible to more people. Nothing was lost in the new format.


Graceling: The Graphic Novel by Kristin Cashore

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One of my all time favorite books is Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Granted, I have only read it once and that was many years ago — back when it first came out. When I saw that there was a graphic novel version coming out, I was super jazzed for it. Who doesn’t love experiencing an excellent story all over again. Unfortunately, sometimes what is a great experience in one format is not so excellent in another.

Graceling follows Katsa who lives with her uncle who is king. She is graced – meaning she has a super natural skill. Katsa’s Grace is that she is good at killing. She has emotionally shunted herself off, that is, until she meets Prince Po and falls for him. Eventually the two travel to the kingdom of Monsea where they learn that things are a little off with King Leck.

It really pains me to say this, but the graphic novel adaptation did not work for me at all. I didn’t find the art visually appealing. Mind you I’ve been bingeing these YA graphic novels, so have a basis of comparison and I found this to not be eye catching at all. I also felt like the dialogue was super long and not snappy as comics and graphic novels tend to be. This was not at all the revelation the original was. However, I do think if you happen to be a super fan, it may be worth buying this book and adding it to your collection.


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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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