Minus

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

I wasn't a fan of this one at all. It felt rushed and all over the place. I wanted more nuance from the story and the issues at hand. Instead, it felt like a happy (?) ending with very little meaning.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley for giving me early access to this graphic novel. This isn’t like anything I have ever read before and as a graphic novel thriller it works! Beck was homeschooled up until she gets into college, and on the journey up she gets caught in some crossfire that will change her life forever. The plot twists were good, some predictable but the problem I had was some of the words were hard to make out due to the font! But still a good book!
Was this review helpful?
Great art style and wow this story packs a punch. It takes some weird turns and I definitely got a bit teary eyed. Some bits of the do seem to be thrown together to quickly resolve multiple plot points. I did really enjoy reading such a powerful graphic novel
Was this review helpful?
Oh wow, where to start...I originally downloaded the ARC via NetGalley some time ago, only to forget about it. Until yesterday when I received an email from the publisher with an easier PDF version. So, I gave it read first thing this morning. Warning, mild spoilers ahead.

Honestly, there are so many things wrong with this story. First, it's a stretch to call this a "psychological thriller" as the rep does in his email. By the time the attempted suspense comes into play, there's already so many distracting wtfs that the reader isn't likely to be invested. Here are my main issues concerning this GN:

1. The art: Now, I love this art style. It's pretty common for middle-grade GNs and many Boom studios titles. However, for a "psychological thriller," not so much. The story depicts a very adult situation, but the art is reflective of what is popular for juvenile titles. Perhaps if the story had been edgy, I could appreciate the friendly art juxtaposed with a dark story. But the narrative never reaches a dark tone, which brings me to my next problem with the title.

2. The story: So, I was intrigued from the very beginning, but that's also where it started to wobble for me. As soon as Sandra picks up Beck from the roadside, I had a gut feeling that I was in for some obvious foreshadowing. And oh wow, was there obvious foreshadowing. I don't know that I have ever not DNF'd a YA story, prose or subsequent art, that had such blatant "this will be connected" moments. Perhaps the mild violence at the beginning and the potential violence at the end, as well as the MC's age, is why this has been labeled YA, but this story reads like a juvenile title. Maybe the foreshadowing would pass as a middle-grade selection, but YA reader will most def spot the inconsistencies and plot gaps.

3. The story, cont'd: Also rather prevalent are the plot gaps, the inconsistencies, and the assumption that readers will suspend disbelief because of great storytelling. Just a few things that don't make sense: a child doesn't think to look in her toybox for a toy she can't find; Beck's hair goes from chin-length to well-past shoulder length in two months (btw, that's likely a years growth for the average person); lastly, the police don't tell Beck how the wire works, which is so unreasonable it's almost laughable. 

As for the story gaps, the unforgivable choice made by the author is not reuniting Beck with her biological mother when the showdown is over. She's still a minor - where does she go? Obviously, the biological mother is engaged - I mean, Beck walks right by her in the police station, and she's shown on a news report that Beck sees. There's no evidence given that she is incapable of taking care of her child, who is practically grown anyway. I was a social worker in a previous life. Unless there is proof of gross negligence or absolute poverty, that child goes home to her mother, if not immediately, then soon enough. Even if Beck turns 18 the day after the warehouse showdown, is it reasonable to believe that the only contact she has with her mother is email? No texting? Facetime? In 2019? Sigh...

I'm now speaking to librarians: if you received and reviewed the press kit for this title, please take time to look at reader reviews before you purchase this title. The offered "selling points" are so off the mark, I just can't even. In the end, the only consistent theme is "geocaching is bad." It's ridiculously prevalent and not at all mentioned by the publisher or professional reviwers, which is insane to me. 

I have so many other notes about this title, but this review is already so much longer than I planned. My honest opinion is that this title is a no-go for YA readers and a very hesitant maybe for a middle-grade audience. Believe me when I say that the Goodreads rating is a pretty accurate reflection of the content of this title. It's not a thriller, it's not a coming-of-age story, it's just not good storytelling in an industry in which such amazing female artists as Raina Telgemeier, Svetlana Chmakova, Victoria Jamieson, Jennifer Holm, Terri Libenson, Ngozi Ukazu, Noelle Stevenson, Vera Brosgol, Mariko Tamaki, Faith Erin Hicks, Jen Wang, Kate Beaton, and Katie O'Neil are creating awesome graphic novels for juvenile and YA readers, just to name several. 

In the press kit, Lion Forge is promoting Minus as a bridge title from juvenile to YA, but it just doesn't work. Save your money and make a better choice for your YA collections.
Was this review helpful?
This was an odd one. I didn't find the artwork interesting or appealing, and the dialogue was quite painful at times. I did race through it as I wanted to find out what happened, but I was left a bit disappointed. The story ends with (SPOILER) the main character maintaining a relationship with the man who abducted her as a baby. The more optimistic interpretation would be that we are all free to choose our own family; realistically it seems more like it's saying that the main character is so profoundly traumatised that she can't break free of her abductor. Which is... pretty dark. Either way I didn't find it very satisying. But to be fair, it was a fun read, and I raced through it.
Was this review helpful?
Cool concept - bad execution. The story was too brief, unbelievable, and just weird. While many thrillers like this rely on suspension of disbelief it felt like there was just too many gaps in this story to be able do it for this book. This would have made a great novel if it had been fleshed out more, but in its current state it definitely missed the mark for me.
Was this review helpful?
Everything about this book was just okay.
- The story was enjoyable, but not mindblowing.
- the art style was nice, but not the best I've seen.
- There was not so much depth to the characters, but they were okay.

I don't have that much more to say about this.
Was this review helpful?
As a thriller, this graphic novel did a pretty good job. The story was short and rushed, though, so there was a lack of depth to the characters because of that. I also didn't feel very good about the ending. It was way too problematic for me... I don't think it was justified or should have been.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful graphic novel that manages to combine a compelling narrative and illustrations to create a wonderful experience for the reader.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this book more than I did, and I was on board for a lot of it, but the way the story wrapped up really threw me and made me feel uncomfortable enough that it was hard to enjoy.

I requested this on NetGalley because I was intrigued by the description of this book, and for the most part, it was an interesting fast-paced thriller. Beck was a likable character I wanted to root for, and it was fun to watch the plot unfold, so there were certainly good elements to the story.

**SPOILERS FOLLOW**

My two main complaints were the connections between the characters and the ending. Each person Beck met seemed to be connected to the main plot in some integral way, and the unrealistic quality of this started to bother me. Beck running into one character tied to her, her father, and her past may have been written off as being coincidental, but it seemed like every person in the book that she encountered by chance was intricately woven together in a way that just didn't make a lot of sense. 

I also had some big problems with the ending and the book's treatment of Beck's biological father vs. her "adoptive" father. Though this would of course be an emotionally complex and even traumatic situation for Beck, it's barely presented that way--it seems like everyone writes off her biological father as the bad guy, and though the man who raised Beck goes to jail, she seems to have no ill will or negative or even complex feelings toward him at all. In fact, the big reveal of what has been done to her barely seems to phase her. I didn't think the situation was treated with enough nuance or understanding of just what a serious and abusive crime Beck's "father" had committed.
Was this review helpful?
While I enjoyed the art style of “Minus”, I couldn’t really get into the story. 
The whole concept for this novel was really interesting, but the novel was way too short, so the characters and plot seemed shallow and not fleshed out. The ending felt unrealistic and forced, and quite problematic in general.
Was this review helpful?
Another case of mixed feelings! At first I really like this book. The story was intriguing from the start and I was wondering and really wanting to know what was going on. Then I knew, and for the last third of the book it became weird, unrealistic and the ending just doesn't make very much sense in my opinion and I'm really unsure about the message it try to presents. It is too bad because it really start strong but the ending is so weird/bad that I can't really give it more then three stars. And again I want to mention it's a three stars for the comic book overall but I don't agree with the end message!!
Was this review helpful?
This was a really well done graphic novel. The artwork was fabulous and the story was even better. Beck was a really likable character who went through so much! I didn't see the ending coming. Which made me like the story even more. I was definitely on the edge of my seat throughout this one! A must have for libraries!
Was this review helpful?
A fascinating, compelling story about family and self.

A 17 year old girl off to college is abandoned by her father at a gas station in the midst of a shooting. She's afraid of strangers, of trusting people, of even freedom... but now she has to try and find help. And her father. And understand what is going on, and what connection she has to the violence.

This is a quick, contained read that makes you think. It's messy and tangled at its core- there aren't any 'big reveals' (the core one is hinted at early on and easy to guess), but it is still a suspenseful story seeing how these tics and secrets come into play. It ends on a clean note, but one that doesn't betray the emotional ambiguity.

Obviously, like any good graphic novel, it also caused me to cry for the last ten pages or so. Absolutely worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
So I have...questions. First, going into this I’m not sure what I was expecting. The description says that this is a coming of age story. Beck, who’s been homeschooled and sheltered all her life, not allowed to have social media etc. is headed to visit U Chicago from Naperville with her dad when they stop at a gas station and her dad disappears. 

From this I thought maybe he abandoned her to test her survival skills in the real world or something. This story took all types of twists and turns. Now, I’m 28, I enjoy psychological thrillers and mysteries but this is a YA book and I have to say I didn’t see any of the plot coming. Reading YA as an adult I try to think about how I might’ve reacted to what I read and instead of calling it predictable, think about readers who don’t have a history of reading mysteries/thrillers. There were some genuine moments that I was like whaaattt!!! 

Challenges:
I struggled with figuring out what the flashbacks meant and what was happening in them or how they connected to the story. I also am a little uneasy that the main character, who I read as Native American, was a shade of red? The same with her mother. I first noticed this when a flashback tat actually made sense to me, mentioned she must resemble her mother. Then I thought maybe this is just how ppl of color are depicted but flipping back through, I saw an obviously Black man. I’m not well-versed in the history behind depictions of Native folks as red, but like most things I’m sure it’s rooted in white racism. The ending also felt kind of like “I’m tired of writing this story now”. The plot was intricately crafted and the end was flat. I think I’d like to see her actually meet her mom vs. talking to dad in prison. 

Overall the story did invoke a sense of urgency and bring in that thriller aspect, but coming of age not so much. 

Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This could have been a good story....right up until it concluded with a creepy "feel good" scene featuring the victim of child abduction meeting with her abductor in jail and cheerfully declaring she'll always be his daughter. I don't normally spoil works in reviews, but readers need to be aware of potentially triggering content in this work.
Was this review helpful?
This book gave me goosebumps. It was a well told and well drawn story although I wish it was a bit more fleshed out at the end.
Was this review helpful?
That was an interesting thriller! I wasn't expecting the plot twist til midway through the book. The art style was my favorite part of the book. The plot could have been executed better.
Was this review helpful?