ARC Review: Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Title: Verona Comics
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Published April 2020

Summary: 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?

I received an advanced copy of Verona Comics in exchange for an honest review, which I was really excited about since I read and loved Hot Dog Girl almost exactly a year ago! And let me tell you guys -- I am SO glad that I got a review copy of this book, because I tore through it and couldn't put it down. So without further ado, let's get into my review:

As the summary explains, Jubi's family owns Verona Comics, an independent comic store. Ridley's parents own The Geekery, which is the massive corporate chain through which all of the local indies have been succumbing to lately. So when they meet at a convention and sparks fly, it's safe to say that things get...more than a little complicated. Especially when things start to progress, and the secret of whose families they each belong to threatens to explode everything.

I absolutely, 100%, definitely recommend picking up this book. It was such a quick read that I blew through in just a few days, and every time I sat down to read, I completed more than 100 pages in less than an hour. Jennifer Dugan's writing just has a way of sucking you in and refusing to let you go until the very end, in the absolute best of ways. Seeing Jubi and Ridley's antics, as well as the rivalry between The Geekery and Verona Comics, really kept me invested in the entire thing. There were so many secrets, plot twists, sneaky moments, and swoon-worthy scenes that kept my fangirl heart racing from start to finish!

(Spoilers in this paragraph so please skip to the next one to avoid them!) The thing that perhaps shocked me the most about this book -- in the absolute best way -- is the way that co-dependent relationships and the toxic behaviors that they can sometimes involve are discussed. Going into this book, I thought it was just going to be a happy, feel-good book about rival comic stores. I wasn't expecting for Ridley and Jubi's relationship to get so serious, and that it spiraled so quickly. That was definitely the part that shocked me the most and kept me glued to the book until the very end. And I was really glad to see that Jubi made the decision to free herself and Ridley made the decision to get help, and that the book ended with so much hope.

Overall, I absolutely *loved* Verona Comics, and I know that I will absolutely be recommending this book to everyone that sits down and listens to me. It's safe to say that this is my favorite Jennifer Dugan book by far, so if you're looking for something new to add to your TBR and is a quick read that you'll breeze through, then I'd definitely recommend picking this one up! 


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