I was surprised at the graphic novel, Getting Dizzy. I expected it to be “whiny” and young. However, while it deals with teen angst and the “good enough/not good enough” trope, the not-so-super-superhero story was not overly cliché. The ending was a tad rushed, the mother a bit too forgiving, but overall it was a pleasant read. The aged 10 to 13-young 14 will enjoy it.
Shea Fontana has a diverse cast, and while there is a “love interest” he, or that potential storyline, is not center stage. We deal with Dizzy wanting to be The Best at something. And yet, she keeps failing. She will never live up to her mother’s expectations, or be as independent as her. Dizzy will never be accepted by the girls she meets at the skatepark. They are too nice, funny, clever, pretty, and smart. They would make much better ‘Burb Defenders’ than Dizzy. After all, she learns she was not really The Chosen One but at the right place at the right time. Or the wrong place at the right time. Or the right time, wrong place or …. This is a major character plot point as another character, or actually characters, are causing this and shapes the story.
The characters are a bit stereotypical, but Chipper, Scarlett, Payton, and Av are girls I want to know. As an adult reader I was wondering if Chipper might be queer, but it is only hinted at which is good, because if they are, I want it to come naturally. Payton is a bit obvious with her limb difference, but except for one (actually a humorous) joke, it is not pushed. And Av, while explored, could have had more screen time, but Scarlet is a part of things in a special way.
The rating of four is rounded up with the story a 3 and the art a 4. That is because Celia Moscote made some adorable illustrations. They are bright, funny, typical of a graphic novel for teens, but still clever and nice. They do not take away from the action or characters, but support them well. And the brightness really allows for plot points to come alive. Dizzy has been “chosen” to become a hero and protect the town from aliens, and when that power happens, rainbow or kaleidoscope colors (as one girl puts it) happen. And I like that slightly cheesy, but fun cue of magic is happening.
My biggest complaint is that sequels are currently only on the Evil Empire.