Review: Juliet Takes a Breath comic

Book review of the Juliet Takes a Breath comic by Gabby Rivera.


Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But don’t worry, Juliet has something kinda resembling a plan that’ll help her figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. See, she’s going to intern with Harlowe Brisbane – her favorite feminist author, someone’s who’s the last work on feminism, self-love and lots of of ther things that will help Juliet find her ever elusive epiphany. There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan…

My review – spoiler free

Juliet Takes a Breath is one of my favourite YA feminist fiction novels. It’s a very important story, so I was super excited to see it being adapted in a comic. Especially because it’s really a story you want to see everything of. So a comic sounded like a perfect adaptation.

To start off it has to be said that the art style of this book is just perfect, to be honest. Over the course of the book we see the main character Juliet in a few different cities and every city has its own colour scheme. However, all the colour schemes fitted together so well. It still looked like it was one thing and not multiple little things, if that makes sense.

If you know this story well or if even you’ve only read the novel once, the comic might just be a nice extra and not a necessity. The novel is of course an entire story, very well fleshed out. However, the comic didn’t feel like that. It might just be the case of this type of story just working better as a novel instead of a comic. Or it might be because of other reasons.

One of those could be that the plot feels very rushed and quick in the comic, and it doesn’t in the novel. We seem to jump from one day to another week without a problem in the comic. That just didn’t really seem to work and could be quite confusing if you haven’t read the novel.

The way quite a few words are written was also rather annoying. If you prefer to read books or comics written in “perfect” language, then this one might not be the one for you. A lot of words were written in the way they’re pronounced with a certain accent instead of the way they’re supposed to be written. For example: nuthin’ instead of nothing and yer instead of your.

However, Juliet Takes a Breath still stands as one of the best YA feminist fiction novels with a very important message: more inclusive feminism. I still really recommend this story, I just recommend you pick up the novel instead of the comic. However, the comic was still very enjoyable and I gave it 3.25 stars.

*I received an e-arc of this book through Netgalley. However, that doesn’t influence my opinions or anything I’ve written in this review.*

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