I received an advanced/review copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content and honesty of my review.
The Avant-Guards, Vol 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes
When Charlie transfers to the Georgia O’Keeffe College of Arts and Subtle Dramatics, she struggles to find her feet, but winds up exactly where she belongs...in the school’s (terrible) basketball team.
As a transfer student to the Georgia O’Keeffe College for Arts and Subtle Dramatics, former sports star Charlie is struggling to find her classes, her dorm, and her place amongst a student body full of artists who seem to know exactly where they’re going. When the school’s barely-a-basketball-team unexpectedly attempts to recruit her, Charlie’s adamant that she’s left that life behind…until she’s won over by the charming team captain, Liv, and the ragtag crew she’s managed to assemble. And while Charlie may have left cut-throat competition in in the dust, sinking these hoops may be exactly what she needs to see the person she truly wants to be.
From Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer, Goldie Vance) comes an ensemble comedy series that understands that it’s the person you are off the court that matters most.
Series: The Avant-Guards
Genres: College, Coming of Age, Light Romance, LGBTQ, Young Adult, F/F
Format: ARC, eBook, Review Copy, Graphic Novel
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I kept passing on this book because I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but finally, I decided to give it a chance.
The storyline, albeit obviously geared toward younger readers, was enjoyable and there were some super cute and funny lines that had me chuckling. I absolutely love the illustrations and the inclusion of so many diverse characters. All the drawings and colors are beautiful, which was a huge draw to the book for me. I love the setting and the main storyline and the huge theme of comaraderie throughout the book. Each character is unique and they don’t really fit in any one social group, which is part of why the Avant-Guards is such a special team.
The romance seemed a bit rushed to me. It went from a budding friendship to one of the girls being sad about seeing her ex-girlfriend with someone else to boom, the other girl is making a move. Charlie even seemed kind of annoyed by Liv for the majority of the story, so to see them kind of go from “you annoy me” to “hey, I actually like you, maybe we should see if there’s a relationship to develop here” seemed like a huge jump. I just felt like it was rushed and there wasn’t a whole lot of build-up. But I’m a sucker for slow burn, so maybe it was just me. Also, I’m not a fan of the whole “I’m sad about my ex, so I’m going to take comfort in you” kind of arc. Again, could just be a preference thing for me.
As this is volume one in a series of graphic novels, it went by quick and there wasn’t a whole lot of resolution to any of the story. This is to be expected for the first book in a series, especially with it being a graphic novel, so don’t expect a finished story here.
In any event, I enjoyed this book. The illustration was definitely my favorite part and I would recommend it solely based on how stunning the images are. In the end, I’m happy I gave this book a shot and I think it’s a great addition to the graphic novel world 🙂
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