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Cat About Town by Cate Conte and Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Common Bonds edited by Claudie Arseneault
A Deadly Edition by Victoria Gilbert
Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz
The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly
Gideon Falls, Volume 5: Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Illustrator)
How to Lie with Maps by Mark Monmonier
I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)
Lips Unsealed by Belinda Carlisle
Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Murder 101 by Lynn Cahoon
A Pairing to Die for by Kate Lansing
Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi
Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Signspotting III: Lost and Loster in Translation by Doug Lansky
Sleight of Paw by Sofie Kelly
Smash It! by Francina Simone
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
Swordheart by T. Kingfisher
Tea & Treachery by Vicki Delany
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O'Neill
This Coven Won't Break by Isabel Sterling
Toured to Death by Hy Conrad
Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau
Two Wicked Desserts by Lynn Cahoon
The Walled Flower by Lorraine Bartlett
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Well Played by Jen DeLuca
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

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2 stars: OK
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I Am Not Starfire: 08/12/21

I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki

I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator) is told from the point of view of Mandy, the Goth daughter of Starfire. Her birthday is coming up and college applications will be due soon. Mandy has decided she's had enough of both and just wants the world to stop fucking with her.

There are two big themes at work in this book. The first is the divide that can develop between an immigrant parent and their children. Parents who flee oppressive regimes or situations often don't share their culture with their children, hoping to save their children from the same heartache or to avoid stirring up painful memories. Well meaning intentions can backfire, and do here for Starfire and Mandy.

The second is how awkward it can be growing up the child of a celebrity (or superhero in Mandy's case). There's the unwanted popularity, prying questions, and fans expecting the child to follow in the parents' footsteps. Mandy, who so far hasn't come into any powers of her own, feels that her mother's love hinges on the hope that someday she will get her powers. It doesn't but neither Starfire nor Mandy are very good at articulating their feelings, leaving hurt feelings for both.

Among early reviewers, there's been an obvious, hate-driven campaign to drown out positive reviews with negative ones. Much of it hinges on the fact that Mandy's father is never named (but the artwork makes it obvious, plus previous stories have already established this fact). They also don't like that Mandy isn't drawn thin and sexy. Instead, she's a short, fat, Goth. Mandy being different from her parents is part of the point. Even beautiful and famous parents don't automatically get clones of themselves.

Five stars

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