Cover Image: The Backups

The Backups

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

It's too unrealistic that high school kids would be picked as backup singers for a famous pop group; doubly dubious that this kind of job would be the last one available. The ending was too fast so I didn't feel the full catharsis of growth. Loved the relationship between Tommy and Jenni.
Was this review helpful?
Very cute graphic novel. I enjoyed reading it, I wish there had been the whole tour- unless maybe that's a possibility for more in this series? 
Characters were well written, I liked the story, but I did feel it wrapped up quickly and there wasn't a whole lot of resolution.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

The Backups: A Summer of Stardom is a sweet and wholesome story of three girls who come together to become the backup singers for Nika Nitro, the popular beautiful popstar. Jenni, Lauren and Maggie couldn't be more different, however that doesn't stop them from becoming fast friends. These girls are all charming, lovable and unique. Their story of friendship and first love is one that is sure to have any reader smiling. 

The artwork is absolutely beautiful! The bright and colorful style really captures the feel of the story. It adds a fun element to the overall reading experience. 

If you like fun graphic novels where the characters grow and learn a little this is something you should definitely give a try. It's cute, it's fun and so so sweet.
Was this review helpful?
A super fun graphic novels about three girls who only have music in common who end up being backup singers for a famous pop star. The girls learn that friendship doesn’t always need a common start, and that protecting yourself and your friends is what makes someone punk. I loved this so much!
Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the arc of this graphic novel!

Three high school girls get a summer job singing backup for a high profile pop star, and end up learning about themselves, forming friendships, and changing in ways they never expected.

Wow what an adorable graphic novel! I loved the myriad messages in this book- fat positivity, friendships, and love! It was absolutely adorable.

The art in this book is gorgeous. I loved every panel and the way it moved through each chapter. 

 I really loved that this book only focused on a really small space of time! I think it allowed it to really dig into the characters and their personal development! I loved the humanization of the pop stars and especially the journey that one of the girls had to take to accept her body after being told it wasn't good enough for the industry.

Basically this was very cute and wholesome and I definitely recommend this quick read!

Pub date: April 13, 2021

Content Warnings
Graphic: Bullying and Fatphobia
Was this review helpful?
I received an electronic ARC from MacMillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Three diverse young women audition to be back up singers as a summer job. They're selected and have to figure out how to work together. Jenni is a pop music fanatic; Maggie is death metal all the way; Lauren is a classical cellist. Love that they're all challenged to step outside their norms and learn from each other and from this new world they are involved in.
The illustrations are lovely. Facial expressions tell so much of the story.
Great for young teens.
Was this review helpful?
Adorable! I loved that it took clichés and turned them on their head, and at the end of the day is a book about friendship and music.. The art was great, the story was funny, I could have read more!
Was this review helpful?
A sweet story about finding new friends. The MCs are recruited as backup singers for a pop star's tour; along the journey they get to know each other and support each other. There's also a cute love story between one of the MCs and a heartthrob supporting act, and an adorable supporting character in the pop star's meddling (but well-meaning) little brother.
Was this review helpful?
📚 The Backups: A Summer of Stardom by Alex de Campi 📚 

This one was an interesting one!!

This graphic novel follows this trio of friends who are backup dancers for a famous pop star. I have mix feelings on this one.

I haven’t really read many graphic novels, but I do want to read more. I think this one definitely portrayed the story in such a great way. The artist also did a fantastic job!! 

This definitely shows how becoming popular can tend to change your personal life. As these girls start learning and changing, they later start to realize that their friendship is also changing. This was a really quick read and I enjoyed it for the most part. There are definitely moments that shined more than others. 

I personally feel like they’re could’ve been more to it. Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I just didn’t connect with the story. I can appreciate what the author did, but I think it’s one I won’t remember in the future. As I mentioned, it was a great story and a fantastic read, but I think others will definitely enjoy it more than I did. 

Overall, this was a good and fun read. I’d still recommend this book because it’s very eye opening, especially with the world we’re living in right now. It was a great story with beautiful illustrations. 

**Huge thank to NetGalley, Macmillan, and Alex de Campi for allowing to read this in exchange for an honest review.**
Was this review helpful?
I don't read graphic novels often, but I really enjoyed The Backups. It was playful and fun and had just enough drama to keep things interesting. I loved that all the characters were so diverse and stayed true to themselves. On the surface Jenni, Lauren, and Maggie couldn't have been more different, but I really loved how they all came together for each other. The female friendships were fantastic and the artwork was amazing.

CW: Bullying, homophobia

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this because the premise sounded so cool, like we would get a dramatic story told from the perspective of characters that you don't normally hear from (the back-ups). But it started out so unrealistic that I couldn't take anything else seriously. I mean, a mega-star hiring inexperienced teenagers to since backup three days before her tour? And it didn't get any more believable from there. I think the author confused dramatic for good, without making sure the dramatic stuff was still logical and interesting.
Was this review helpful?
If it's a realistic-fiction graphic novel aimed at teens, I will read it. No matter what. I keep saying this, but we need more graphic novels.
This one did not disappoint. I'd been wanting to read it since I saw the first description in 2019, and I guessed that it would be pretty similar to "VIP: I'm With the Band," which I read in middle school, but entirely in graphic-novel format. It wasn't exactly like it, but it's close enough that anyone who read the VIP books will certainly enjoy it as well.
Lauren Monroe, Jenni Giovinazzo and Maggie Koh have just finished their junior year at a performing arts high school when they are selected from thousands of applicants to be backup singers for the pop star Nika Nitro on her upcoming tour. In the beginning, we see certain pages only belonging to one character, so we already know who they are by the time they are selected-- Jenni is a huge fan of Nika, and dreams of singing professionally, Lauren is a skilled cellist who has to decide if she is going to stick with it, and Maggie is a drummer who doesn't care at all about Nika's music, but just wants the exposure and the money. I'll admit that Maggie bothered me for most of the story, as she gave off a "not like other girls" vibe and took any chance she got to complain about pop music. But she's not an antagonist at all. The real antagonist is the band The Spoils, who Maggie used to be a fan of, and are extremely elitist when it comes to music. 
I will mention that the majority of the book takes place during one show day, so there isn't a lot of traveling like the VIP books. But that was completely fine. Everything else made up for it, from Jenni's romance with the opening act to the depictions of the hard work that actually goes into "silly pop music."
I will say that sometimes Nika and Maggie looked too similar, but I was able to tell them apart after not too long. 
I read it in only a few hours, so I highly recommend this, even if you normally don't like reading.
Was this review helpful?
The Backups focuses on 3 teens chosen as backup singers for one of the world's biggest stars. The action is quick, with lots of characters, but that's what makes this such a fun read. The range of the diversity and differences of the characters is a real highlight, as well as the friendship between them. I'd classify this as young adult but on the younger side, it has a lot of appeal for older middle grade readers too.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so much fun.  The teens are all realistic. The situation is logical, and the high jinks are totally plausible.

I loved the in-fighiting. I loved the cattiness of the music industry, and I loved how the story all came together to make it work.

It is the story of three very different teenagers, one who is into classical music, one into heavy metal and the third into pop who get a summer job touring with a famous singer as their backups. It is fun, realistic, and very caring. It was a whole lot of fun.

And if I say much more, it will give away the story, and then it won't be as much fun.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this graphic novel. The characters were fun to get to know. The artwork was beautiful. I would definitely read more in this series.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a good graphic novel! It was funny, cute and full of entertaining drama. 
The Backups follows three girls who become backup singers for a mega pop star as they’re leading up to their first show of the tour. 
The story itself was both humorous and heartfelt. There were moments when I was laughing and others where I was more thoughtful and reflective. The main points of the novel focused around friendship which I really enjoyed. I also loved the little bit of romance that was sprinkled through to too! This graphic novel is great for music lovers as it was all about the world of music and performing. I miss being able to go to concerts so much! 
I really liked all of the characters. The began as individuals with different interests but they eventually found common ground and grew together at the end. The art was incredible, it had such a cool vibe that I think fit in really well with the fun nature of the story. 
An adorable dog even made an appearance for a little and that’d always a selling point for me!
This was an adorable read and I had such a good time reading it!
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
The Backups by Alex de Campi was a random book picked from my Macmillan reviewer box. Initially I wasn’t sure when I was going to read it, but as it turns out this was the first I read and what a good choice. Part of the reasoning behind getting to it sooner rather than later was that I had wrapped my Christmas reading (yes, this review will be live the end of March but I am writing it before Christmas) and needed something to ease back into normal reading. It turns out this graphic novel was just the perfect fit.

The Backups is about three girls named Jenni, Lauren, and Maggie who go to a performing arts school in Brooklyn. Each girl is looking for a summer job and after some rejections, all three end up auditioning to be a back up singer for pop star Nika Nitro. The three get picked to be back up singers and to go on a whirlwind summer tour. They also discover that they get along quite well even though each is so different. It is going to be a wild summer. Also? Nika has this amazing work ethic and drive and so can be a little tough. She also has this rule about no romances. Which is about to be kind of tough for one of the girls. No spoilers here though.

I really had a great time reading The Backups. I went into this book really unspoiled and without much of an idea of what it is about besides back up singers. Apparently that’s the good thing about reading a review copy super early and I totally forgot about how nice having no expectations is. This book has one main character who is fat and embraces it – complete with a reference to Lizzo. There’s also a character who loves drumming but is really super tough on the outside. And then another character who loves classical music and is simply a tourist for the summer in the world of pop music. This book is earnest and just so uplifting. It also is a single sitting read.

The illustrator for The Backups is Lara Kane. Kane does a great job portraying the three main characters and well, all the characters, in different action scenes. The art is accessible and not at all pretentious. I felt like this was the perfect graphic novel for the younger YA, graduating out of middle grade set. There’s lots of color and fun fashion and MUSIC. It’s definitely a graphic novel worth picking up for the music loving reader.
Was this review helpful?
This book was so much fun! I really enjoyed reading this one. The diverse  cast of characters alone is a great reason to give this a go but if you need more there is also a giant adorable dog and some amazing female friendships! 
  The art style was so good as well. The art managed to make the characters look real but also very cute. It fit the vibe so well. 
  This is just a fun ride all around. If you are interested in music or girls banding together then this is the graphic novel for you. I absolutely can not wait for more!
Was this review helpful?
First and foremost, thank you again to Fierce Reads and Netgalley for the free e-arc in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions

Jenni, Lauren and Maggie get to be Backup singers for the legendary singer, Nika Nitro! But, between forbidden love, rehearsals, Nika's expectations and attitude and their own insecurities, they soon learn that standing behind the spotlight is just about as bad as standing in it. And that's before they start beef with a rival group who threaten to reveal a secret that could end Nika's career.

So, I flew through this book and didn't have time to take notes. But, I loved the character development, much needed girl empowerment, the LGBT rep, the drama that most certainly happens behind the scenes, and basically the whole book!

However, it would have been nice if we got to see the girls lives after the tour ended but I liked how it ended on a happy note (get it? Note? It's a book about music?)
Was this review helpful?
TW + CW: Homophobia and bullying

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, FierceReads, and the wonderful people behind the YA, Children's, and Middle-Grade Bloggers for gifting me this e-arc for review.

THE BACKUPS by ALEX DE CAMPI is a middle-grade, possibly young adult, a graphic novel following three girls who are chosen out of hundreds for a job to be backup singers for a famous pop star for the summer. The girls seem to have few similarities between them and are hesitant to be working together at first, especially since they aren't 100% confident in their skills for this job or their choice of continuing with the show. As time goes on, the trio become friends thrust into a whirlwind of adventures in just a few days giving them, and readers, a taste of what their summer could be like. On their adventures, the girls start to wonder if they should create their own band where they can create and perform the music they want, how they want. But with music tastes that don't necessarily match, this could be a difficult feat.

Wow, this was fantastic. I picked this up immediately after downloading because I was intrigued by the cover and the art. I ended up finishing it one sitting and searching online for any information about this being a series because I. NEED. MORE. This was everything I didn't know I needed. The was a fan element, the celebrity element, going on crazy adventures and doing things I wish I could when I was a kid. The concept reminded me of the singing show and celebrities I watched as a kid (Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire, Selena Gomez, Shake It Up, and Big Time Rush). It reminded me of those days watching the tv and wondering "I wonder what it would be like to be them or work with them." There were POC characters, LGBT+ characters, jokes, and random one-liners that had me cracking up, and swoon-worthy romance. There was a lot packed into these pages but that didn't affect anything. I absolutely loved the characters and the little storylines each had. I was rooting for them all by the end and felt pretty satisfied where they ended up by the last page.

I don't have any negative comments and criticisms about this due to being a primarily YA reader. However, there was one thing that did bug me: Nika's mood changes. I felt her mood would do 180 in some parts of the book that was causing some confusion.

If I were to recommend this to others, I would choose middle-grade age range and young adults. This was easy and light enough for both age groups to understand but, still had elements to it that they would enjoy and appreciate.

I have never heard or seen this graphic novel so I wasn't sure what to expect. I am glad I had the opportunity to read this. This was exactly what I needed during my finals week. This lifted my spirits with the numerous jokes, the moments that reminded me of my childhood, and the little random side missions the girls went on. 
5 stars
Was this review helpful?