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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

REVIEW: Showtime (JEM and the Holograms Graphic Novel)

**I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review.**

Jem and the Holograms was a large part of my childhood growing up in the late 80's.  I'm excited that its making a resurgence in popularity; however, that travesty that is the upcoming film makes me shutter.  I will happily go watch my boxed set and avoid the coming disaster.

That being said, I'm elated that the series has made its way into a graphic novel format. Writers have taken the basic premise and updated it for a more modern teen audience.  Yes, its still cheesy, it has to be--holograms and music videos are a bit dated; however, the desire to make it big in music and petty rivalry never age. 

The story thus far is that Jerrica & Co have a band and want to make a video to enter a contest against The Misfits but Jerrica has stage fright.  Enter Synergy--the computer holographic system left by Jerrica's dearly departed father.  She can use the technology to appear as someone else while performing.  The band is a huge hit, but The Misfits are jealous and out to sabotage them at every turn. 

What I Liked...

The illustrations in and of themselves are a visual feast.  These echo back to the cartoon and I just loved them.  I want to streak my hair and wear cool make-up (oh, what I do!).  The slight changes in plot help out the premise even though the whole thing is pretty far-fetched.

I also liked the modern update of characterization. Kimber falls for Stormer, which is a departure from the cartoon.  This exploration of sexuality will appeal to teen girls experiencing similar feelings. I applaud the writers for going there. I like that this graphic novel is for girls and stands apart from the saturation of traditional superhero titles.

What I Didn't Like...

Again, the improbability of the situation is at times hard to swallow.  The characters are all a little too stereotypical. Pizzazz and her bullying, drama queen meltdowns, Kimber's unreliability, Jerrica's stage-fright. So, while intentions are good, the characters come across as rather shallow.

Final rating 4 out of 5 stars

#graphicnovel #netgalley #jem #YAlit #LBGTQ #music