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

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

3 Young Adult Graphic Novels To Have On Your RadarSquad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
Published by HarperCollins on October 5, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Paranormal, Young Adult Fiction / Girls & Women, Young Adult Fiction / Monsters, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

An IndieBound Bestseller

“Squad is a fast-paced and feminist horror story for every girl who’s ever felt like prey, and asks how far a girl should go to hunt the hunters.”—Laura Ruby, author of National Book Award Finalist Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

“Squad is a story fitted with the sharpest teeth that chomps down on the patriarchy, and I adored it with my entire vicious heart."—Chloe Gong, author of New York Times–bestselling These Violent Delights

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But then things get complicated. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure, their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—and Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fierce, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage Song, Lumberjanes, and Paper Girls. 

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

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

3 Young Adult Graphic Novels To Have On Your RadarBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Also by this author: Between Shades of Gray, Out of the Easy, Salt to the Sea
Published by Penguin on October 12, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Historical / Europe, Young Adult Fiction / Historical / Military & Wars, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Prejudice & Racism
Pages: 160
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Just in time for the 10th anniversary of Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys's award-winning debut novel, and inspiration for the major motion picture Ashes in the Snow, is now a gorgeous graphic novel!

From #1 New York Times and international bestselling author and Carnegie Medal winner of Salt to the Sea comes a story of loss and of fear--and ultimately of survival--in a brand-new four-color format.

"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both." --The Washington Post

New York Times notable book
An international bestseller
A Carnegie Medal nominee
A William C. Morris Award finalist
A Golden Kite Award winner

June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditions are horrific and Lina must fight for her life and for the lives of those around her, including the boy that she loves. Risking everything, she secretly passes along clues in the form of drawings, hoping they will reach her father's prison camp. But will her messages, and her courage, be enough to reunite her family? Will they be enough to keep her alive?

A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief, now available as a stunning graphic novel.

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

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

3 Young Adult Graphic Novels To Have On Your RadarGraceling (Graphic Novel) by Kristin Cashore
Also by this author: Graceling
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 16, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Action & Adventure, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction / Comics & Graphic Novels / Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-stars

The beloved New York Times best-selling YA fantasy by Kristin Cashore is now available as a graphic novel, with stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Gareth Hinds.

Katsa is a Graceling, one of the rare people born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she lived a life of privilege until the day her ability to kill a man with her bare hands revealed itself during a royal banquet. Now she acts as her uncle's enforcer, traveling the kingdom and threatening those who dare oppose him.

But everything changes when she meets Po, a foreign prince Graced with combat skills who is searching for the truth about his grandfather's disappearance. When Katsa agrees to help him, she never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that could destroy them all.

With "gorgeous storytelling" (School Library Journal, starred review) and characters "crafted with meticulous devotion" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Graceling is a beloved classic that has continued to resonate with readers for over a decade.

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.


four-half-stars
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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.
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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