Graphic Novel Reviews: Blackwater + Batter Royale

Posted July 12, 2022 by shooting in Book Review / 13 Comments

Today I have two graphic novels for review. The Bookshop links are affiliate links, FYI. 

Blackwater by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham

comes out July 19
Tony and Eli are very different people in their town of Blackwater, Maine. Tony has a mostly absent father, but he’s also a star on the track team. Eli suffers from a chronic illness and has to deal with a not-so-caring mother. He’s definitely not popular and tends to do things on his own. When the two start hanging out together, it’s obvious that they have feelings for one another. This was an interesting graphic novel.
* I liked that the authors took turns illustrating chapters. It’s not too different to be jarring, and it’s kind of cool to see the various styles.
* I liked the paranormal aspect (Eli can see ghosts, and werewolves exist) though I wish we had gotten more of it. Maybe there will be a sequel?
* The “romance” if you will was sweet – it doesn’t really develop until near the end of the book, but them getting to know each other was nice.
* There is a moment in the book where I feel like Eli is talking about having top surgery (meaning they are transgender) but it wasn’t really developed much, so I was left kind of confused there.
All in all, it was a fun read. I’d check out a sequel if there is one!
Batter Royale by Leisl Adams
I won this graphic novel via a Goodreads giveaway and I was really excited. The book starts in Canada, where Rose and Fred work at Fred’s mom’s restaurant. Rose ends up being invited to London to take part in a baking reality show, and she finally sways Fred to go with her.
I love the locations in the book – I only wish we got to see them a bit more. I know it’s not the focus of the book, but it would have been fun. We do get a moment on the London Eye though. The baking show the teens are on is called Batter Royale, and it’s pretty crazy what they put these contestants through!
You obviously root for Rose and Fred, who want to go to culinary school (Rose) and save the restaurant (both of them) if they win the competition and get the prize money.
There is a friends-to-more relationship brewing, which is sweet. It’s not really necessary, per se, but it didn’t take away from the book.
Fun read, and I’d recommend it for sure!

13 responses to “Graphic Novel Reviews: Blackwater + Batter Royale

  1. I want to read Blackwater, and some of the things you said have made me even more interested! I didn’t even realize it was two authors with different illustration styles, that sounds interesting. I’m looking forward to trying it!

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