Twelfth Grade Night

60382875 Weird retelling I loved the premise of this graphic novel, but the content fell a bit flat for me. Vi and her twin brother are finally going their separate ways. Vi is not pleased about her brother staying at their old school while she’s moving to Arden High, as he promised they would go together and then changed his mind relatively last minute. She holds a lot of resentment toward him for not wanting to do things with her now that they’re sixteen, and as they lost their father a few years previously, Vi feels incredibly tied to the family she has left. At Arden High, there’s magic in the air. Literally. There are faeries and other things that have no real bearing on the plot. Within the first few hours at being at Arden High, Vi meets and falls for Orsino, a gorgeous poet, and broody Instagram poster. She makes a few theatrical friends, as everyone in this high school seems to be, and gets roped into a few schemes, including helping to set up the big upcoming dance. The conflict of this book comes from assumptions of gender and sexuality. Vi dresses traditionally masculine compared to her classmates, and thus they assume she isn’t interested in men despite not asking her at any point. She has a pretty intense crush on Orsino, but before she can ask him to the dance, he asks her to ask another girl, Olivia, the popular girl, if she would be interested in going with him. This breaks Vi’s heart a little, but because no teenager communicates, Olivia actually has a crush on Vi and thinks it’s reciprocated. The love triangle aspect ties this graphic novel to a Twelfth Night retelling, but I didn’t think it was needed. This would have been perfectly fine a setup for a teen graphic novel without forcing a Shakespeare retelling into it. I think my opinion would be different if there were more related to the original in this. Still, as it is, some faeries are wandering around a few magical instances and a love triangle with the characters sharing the same names. Honestly, the Shakespeare aspect just made this story far more confusing than it needed to be. I was waiting for the fantasy elements to have an impact, but nope. Orsino was the most interesting character, so if there’s more to this series, I think it would be strong to base more around him. The art was great for the character design, which is a definite plus. I wanted this to be paced better and have more cohesion, but I can see teens loving it! Title: Twelfth Grade Night Author: Molly Horton Booth Format: Paperback Pages: 160 ISBN: 9781368064651 Three Descriptors: Confusing, Detailed, Dramatic Read Alikes: Where I End and You Begin by Preston Norton The Girl From the Sea by Molly Ostertag Galaxy by Jadiza Axelrod Bloom by Kevin Panetta Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell  

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