Review: Belle of the Ball

belle of the ball cover

Title: Belle of the Ball
Creator: Mari Costa
Genres: Contemporary, graphic novel
Pages: 320
Publisher: First Second
Review Copy: Library
Availability: Out now!

Summary: A young adult graphic novel about high school wallflower Belle Hawkins, who ends up in a love triangle after tutoring the girlfriend of her crush.

High-school senior and notorious wallflower Hawkins finally works up the courage to remove her mascot mask and ask out her longtime crush: Regina Moreno, head cheerleader, academic overachiever, and all-around popular girl. There’s only one teensy little problem: Regina is already dating Chloe Kitagawa, athletic all-star…and middling English student. Regina sees a perfectly self-serving opportunity here, and asks the smitten Hawkins to tutor Chloe free of charge, knowing Hawkins will do anything to get closer to her.

And while Regina’s plan works at first, she doesn’t realize that Hawkins and Chloe knew each other as kids, when Hawkins went by Belle and wore princess dresses to school every single day. Before long, romance does start to blossom…but not between who you might expect. With Belle of the Ball, cartoonist Mariana Costa has reinvigorated satisfying, reliable tropes into your new favorite teen romantic comedy.

Review: This is going to be a short and sweet review, because there isn’t much to say about Belle of the Ball other than — wow, that was so much fun! But okay, I’ll elaborate a bit since this is a review after all, and not a text I’m shooting off to a friend to persuade them to pick up this sweet, funny, and queer coming-of-age graphic novel.

Belle of the Ball follows one Belle Hawkins, who agrees to tutor her crush’s girlfriend. Belle is a bit of a wallflower — she’s literally the school mascot, while her crush is a cheerleader. And her crush’s girlfriend is a jock, who just so happens to have a history with Belle. Cue romantic shenanigans.

This is a heartfelt and adorable queer teen romcom that you won’t regret picking up. You’ll end up with a smile on your face.

Recommendation: Get it soon!