Verona Comics utterly captivated me. I went into it because of the rom com star crossed lovers premise, but it’s actually a great deal more complicated. While there are certainly those elements, Verona Comics is more about mental health. It has weight. And I ended up falling in love with this tender contemporary about love, but also the struggles we have with mental health. Keep reading my book review of Verona Comics to find out how surprised I was!
Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.
Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them—that is, when they’re even paying attention.
They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible…unless they manage to keep it a secret.
Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: anxiety, panic attacks, suicide attempt in past, suicidal ideation, depression
Comic books, star-crossed lovers, and mental health? Verona Comics is a total win! This queer contemporary tackles serious subjects such as mental health all the way to questioning our sexuality and bi-erasure. Verona Comics is one of those books which evolves with every page. Starting off at a comic convention, introducing a totally adorable romance angle, and then struggles with mental health, it constantly tugs at your heart strings. I am here for all the different queer characters from Jubilee’s parents, Ridley’s bisexuality, and Jubilee’s questioning representation (and struggling with bi-erasure).
Verona Comics is dual perspective and it just works so seamlessly! The characters are so precious. Ridley is struggling with his parent’s expectations paired with his totally relatable desire for acceptance and love from his father. At basically all times I wanted to wrap Ridley up in a protective bubble – no one messes with Ridley! At the same time, I adore Jubilee. And I basically fell in love with her from the first page. I want to read about more passionate musicians. As someone who has had to be the kind of figure Jubilee was for Ridley, her character felt so relatable to me.
It’s hard when you want to be there for someone. When you love them, but feel like you have to be responsible for them. And more than in the, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings”. I wish I had Verona Comics when I was a teen and struggling with these similar feelings. Verona Comics is such a gem. It’s more emotionally intense than the queer romance I was told about, but it’s a moving story about recovery, love, and dreams.