Review: Juliet Takes a Breath (graphic novel)

juliet takes a breath graphic novel

Title: Juliet Takes a Breath
Author: Gabby Rivera, Celia Moscote (Illustrations)
Genres: Contemporary, graphic novel
Pages: 176
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Review copy: Library
Availability: Now

Summary: A NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL ADAPTATION OF THE BESTSELLING BOOK! Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But don’t worry, Juliet has something kinda resembling a plan that’ll help her figure out what it means to be Puerto Rican, lesbian and out. See, she’s going to intern with Harlowe Brisbane – her favorite feminist author, someone’s who’s the last work on feminism, self-love and lots of of ther things that will help Juliet find her ever elusive epiphany. There’s just one problem – Harlowe’s white, not from the Bronx and doesn’t have the answers. Okay, maybe that’s more than one problem but Juliet never said it was a perfect plan… Critically-acclaimed writer Gabby Rivera adapts her bestselling novel alongside artist Celia Moscote in an unforgettable queer coming-of-age story exploring race, identity and what it means to be true to your amazing self. even when the rest of the world doesn’t understand.

Review: I read an ARC of Juliet Takes a Breath quite a long time ago, so when I saw that a graphic novel adaptation of it was coming out, I knew I had to check it out. Since it’s been a while, the story was almost completely new to me, and I can safely say that you don’t need to read the original book to read this graphic novel. With all that said, let’s dive in!

Juliet Takes a Breath follows Juliet as she heads to Portland to intern for feminist author Harlow Brisbane. While there, she embarks on her own journey of understanding who she is as a Puerto Rican lesbian, and her own relationship with her family and friends. Like the illustrations, Juliet’s story is one told in bold, bright strokes. It’s poetic, sometimes messy, and always full of meaning. Like the novel, the graphic novel doesn’t shy away from depicting racism, white feminism, homophobia, and so much more.

The art is, as you can tell from the cover, simply gorgeous. It’s brilliant and eyecatching. I’d recommend checking out Juliet Takes a Breath even if you’ve already read the book, just so you can admire the illustrations.

TL;DR: If you’ve already read Juliet Takes a Breath, check out the graphic novel anyway. And if you haven’t, this is one you’ll definitely want to pick up at the library or buy when you get the chance.

Recommendation: Borrow it someday — particularly if you’re looking for a gorgeous graphic novel to pick up!