Featured Review: Coming Back (Jessi Zabarsky)



About This Book:

A beautiful graphic novel fantasy romance that follows two young women who have to go on their own separate adventures to discover the truth about themselves and about each other.

Preet is magic.

Valissa is not.

Everyone in their village has magic in their bones, and Preet is the strongest of them all. Without any power of her own, how can Valissa ever be worthy of Preet’s love? When their home is attacked, Valissa has a chance to prove herself, but that means leaving Preet behind. On her own for the first time, Preet breaks the village’s most sacred laws and is rejected from the only home she’s ever known and sent into a new world.

Divided by different paths, insecurities, and distance, will Valissa and Preet be able to find their way back to each other?

A beautiful story of two young women who are so focused on proving they’re meant to be together that they end up hurting each other in the process. This gorgeous graphic novel is an LGTBQ+ romance about young love and how it can grow into something strong no matter what obstacles get in the way.



*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr, Staff Reviewer*

COMING BACK is an intriguing graphic novel about family, tradition, and acceptance. Preet and Valissa live near a small community, where Valissa works at the library and Preet uses her magic to heal and take care of the townspeople. Her magic is deeply rooted in their traditions. However, when a mysterious fog rolls in and endangers the town, Valissa decides that she should be the one to enter and try to resolve it – the town needs Preet too much.

Although Preet knows she should not, she cannot help herself from breaking one of the most sacred laws rooted in tradition, and the consequences of this lead to her exile. With Valissa lost in the fog and Preet exiled, will they ever find their way back to each other?

What I loved: This graphic novel is primarily told through the illustrations with very little text throughout the whole story. This is really a story that shows rather than tells. Sweeping and imaginative illustrations highlight this world of magic and all its challenges. The themes around parenthood, forgiveness, mistakes, the way history changes in the telling, and traditions are quite thought-provoking and elevate the story in a way that would be interesting for a book club or other discussion.

The illustrations are really lovely with a clever use of color in different settings to evoke different emotions, and all the detail and designs leading the storytelling. There is much that is open to interpretation and that is emotionally evocative. The art is really beautiful and poignant.

Final verdict: A thought-provoking and emotional story, COMING BACK is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel about traditions, history, and moving forward.



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