Book Reviews

Review: Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

I first picked up Sanity & Tallulah at BEA. It was on the middle grade buzz panel and I was intrigued. I had heard a bit about it, but not too much. Well I’m SO ecstatic I picked it up because I adored it. Can I tell you a secret? It’s the first BEA arc I read and I’m writing this review to you from the past – in June!

Synopsis

Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?

Review

This graphic novel will charm the socks off of you. I want posters of this, pins, and sequels. Not in that order though because I need to know there will be more before I lose my mind over the merchandise for this. Seriously new mega fan here. Where do I even begin? Do I start with the adorable friendship between our main characters? Or the diversity in the details? Or the fact that this middle grade graphic novel celebrates strong families, intelligent female scientists, and imagination?

Sanity & Tallulah takes place on a spaceship and it’s in the best way. I love spaceships. I mean, that’s why I focus on SF. So when I say this is a great spaceship setting – this is a great spaceship setting. There’s wonderful science in the book without it hitting you over the head and without overwhelming you. The drawing style is just my cup of tea – not only are the colors both intriguing and calming, but the comic style is wonderful. It’s personable without it being childish. It’s charming, without it being sarcastic. There’s such a pure innocence to the drawing style. At the same time, there are hints of more world building, or universe building even in this graphic novel that screams for sequels!

This comic is full of wonderful attention to details, not only in the story, but also in the side details. We have characters in headscarves, in wheelchairs, and who have prosthetic limbs. It’s these small touches that make it not only diverse, but also seamlessly. But if that wasn’t enough, Sanity and Tallulah’s friendship is downright precious.

You can’t quantify it, because they’re so different. Sanity is smart, totally nerdy, but so loving. Tallulah is full of ideas, hits the ground running, and adorkable. If I had to boil both of them down, Sanity is intelligent science and Tallulah is imaginative clouds, but Brooks makes clear we need both of them. They balance each other out, bring out the best, and speak almost in that secret language of friendship. At the same time, some great themes are introduced here like the balance of rules and invention, the way we are taught or primed to be afraid,

Find Sanity & Tallulah on Goodreads. Buy it for the young reader in your life, but also buy yourself one. Or read it first.

Discussion

I need more middle grade comic book recommendations please!

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