Graphic Novel Week
Imagine a world where a social media platform has such power as to determine who should like whom, who has enough social rank to get the better jobs and even determine someone’s credit score simply based on their social rank.
In the graphic novel, Averee, it’s not just students who are on their phones constantly, checking their status on the powerful app, Ranked. You can be awarded points for good behavior, but just as easily you can find points stripped away for not conforming. When Averee’s rank plummets overnight, she quickly finds herself hassled at school, not allowed to park in the structure closest to school but one a few blocks away that allows for lower Ranks, and her mom even loses her job.
This is devastating for the teen, but fortunately she’s got a best friend, Zoe, who’s already bottom ranked because she refuses to give in to an app-based lifestyle. Add one cute guy, Luke, who’s willing to risk his Rank because he likes Averee, and a team of teens is ready to take on and take down the most powerful social app on the planet. Fortunately they get a little help from the inside.
Overall, I really liked this. The art by Marika Cresta is bold and clear. The inside art is in the same style as the cover as seen here (which isn’t always the case). Coloring by Andrew Dalhouse provides nice texture.
The story, by Stephanie Phillips and Dave Johnson, is a little bit simple and the metaphor just a bit too obvious for me, but I can easily see many teens – especially the nerds and geeks – really appreciating this and nodding with recognition of so many of their classmates.
The book is direct, with hardly any subplots (it’s told in five chapters [ie comic book issues]), but I think that’s to its benefit. Trying to pad this with subplots would have drawn the story out too much and many readers would likely have gotten bored.
I enjoyed this and I recommend it to students who enjoy reading over social media trolling.
Looking for a good book? Averee is a science fiction graphic novel by Stephanie Phillips, Dave Johnson, Marika Cresta, and Andrew Dalhouse that speaks to teen anxiety and social pressures that have been set in place by corporations controlling social media. It is a quick but enjoyable read with very nice art.
I received a digital copy of this book directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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authors: Stephanie Phillips and Dave Johnson
artist: Marika Cresta
publisher: A Wave Blue World
paperback, 136 pages