Cover Image: Frizzy


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

What a wonderful read! It had such good messages throughout, even for those without frizzy hair or Dominican families. Got me right in the feels at the end. I loved how it showed that middle school kids can be mean to each other about looks, but so can adults, and that it took the time to explain why - on so many levels (racism, history, personal feelings, etc.) But most importantly it showed that feeling like yourself should always take precedent, and talking about your issues with multiple people is a good idea, and even parents can change.
Was this review helpful?
The characters and everything about Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega captured my attention from beginning to end!
Was this review helpful?
This book is adorable! I honestly wish this book was available when I was around this age. As someone who is a reader and found the Curly Girl Method late in life, this would have been a relatable inspiration! I wish there was more information about the process, that way it can also be a resource guide in addition to being a relatable story, but that doesn't take away from the story at all. It just would have brought it above and beyond in my opinion. What if a reader as a similar situation to the main character but doesn't have someone they can go to for help or learning about their hair? This could have filled in those gaps or at least put them on the path to information. But overall, great story. Well done! Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
From a technical stand point, I love the color palette and illustration style in Frizzy so much. It feels whimsical, detailed, and realistic all at once. And each panel feels like it holds hidden secrets. Bousamra did a fantastic job with the illustrations! Frizzy is about hair expectations and judgements. It breaks down what hair means to us, what it reflects about our appearance, and how we, as a culture, view it.
Was this review helpful?
Are you interested in: seeing how the ‘good hair’ conversation plagues numerous generations?
A cute graphic novel that keeps its primary audience - children - at its focus?
Graphic novels remain a great way to get young readers interested in reading and the authors of this work knocked the immersiveness of this tale out of the park. This is definitely a read I’ll send to my niece.
Was this review helpful?
THIS BOOK!! What an amazing read and the message is so beautiful.  Whether you have curly hair or not I think most of us can relate to this book.  Marlene is dealing with all of those tough middle school/high school things like accepting who you are (even if you're a little different).  The illustrations are also stunning! Would definitely recommend any school library to have in its collection.
Was this review helpful?
Marlene gets drug to the salon every single Sunday to get her naturally curly and frizzy hair straightened. She absolutely hates it, she hates how much it hurts, and she hates how she has to restrict her activity during the rest of the week to make sure it stays straight. After one particularly rough week, Marlene has had enough. She just wants to let her hair do what it does. But her mom tells her they have to straighten their hair to be taken seriously or professionally. Is her mom right?

This is a graphic novel that will make readers feel. Not everyone will have baggage that goes back generations to deal with in their self-acceptance, but it is pretty safe to say that everyone has something about their appearance they find hard to love. (Hair is usually a big one.) Marlene and her mom learn some beautiful lessons together. Marlene’s Tia Ruby rocks. And the art style is attractive and transports readers into Marlene’s world. Highly recommended

Notes on content [based on the ARC]: No swearing but there’s some name calling and bullying comments and actions. Marlene’s father died years ago and it is realistically still impacting her and her mom. Marlene’s extended family has made external beauty something they unhealthily put a lot of stock in.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Love the illustrations and this graphic novel! This is a graphic novel that deserves to be in every elementary and middle school library.
Was this review helpful?
A really enjoyable graphic novel, loved the story and the designs are amazing! Highly recommend to any graphic novel fan!
Was this review helpful?
Marlene loves her hair and embraces her natural beauty- and it is time the world caught up. This book is an entertaining. touching, and insightful exploration of the ways in which appearances are policed in order to maintain the status quo-- made accessible to young readers through a sweet and tender story about self-love and living one's truth!
Was this review helpful?
I couldn't put it down! I loved this story so much. I saw myself in Marlene and her struggle to be like her relatives and have the "good hair" and feel accepted and beautiful. Feel enough. I feel in love with this story. It's a must read for all ages!
Was this review helpful?
weekly visits to the hair salon, hours there, like clockwork
hair stylist makes rude comments about her hair compared to her mothers hair
family at hair salon getting ready for a quincenera
she imagines herself as a superhero who use their 'unruly' hair to fight crime
'I wondered if being beautiful was the only thing that mattered'
Mother puts pressure on her to want to be like other people "be more ladylike", best aunt tells her she is beautiful just how she is.
Was this review helpful?
When I saw the early look of this book I was thrilled Caribel A Ortega  was putting this out in the world and when I noticed Rose Bousamra was the illustrator I was even more excited, since Gender Queer was one of my favorite recent graphic novels and one of my top reads this year. 
📖 This is the whole package. Beautiful content and incredible illustrations and just the kind of book I wish existed when I was growing up.
💇For all the individuals out there that feel their hair didn’t fit “the mold” this is for you. As a curly girl, it took me years to learn to love my curls, and a more gentle way of styling my hair.  
😣In high school and beyond I painstakingly straightened my naturally curly hair and it wasn’t until even just the last handful of years I learned that I didn’t have to, and in fact it really isn’t even good for my hair to torment it that way on a daily basis. It has been liberating to me to embrace this part of me and my hair has never been happier. 
👵 This book touches on the struggle to embrace your natural beauty, when so often straight hair is deemed “more professional” and those beliefs and thought patterns are passed down from generation to generation. My grandmother and aunts spent every Friday in the salon. My mom hated it, and chose not to continue that tradition, but still somehow I struggled as well from peer pressure and the desire to look like the others. 
💕 I love that we now see all types of hair and curl patterns in media and magazines and love even more that this book was written. I can’t wait to pass it along to a curly girl so they too can see how fierce they can be rocking their natural curls.
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful and sweet story with an important message. I love this title!! From healing generational trauma to genuine hair care advice, this graphic novel has it all!!
Was this review helpful?
I'm not crying, I'm not crying, I'm not crying....
Claribel Ortega has done it again! Marlene's story is one of self-acceptance and family healing. Marlene hates her weekly trip to the salon with her mother, where her hair gets straightened. She doesn't like the pain, she doesn't like the look, but it makes her mom happy. One day, though, Marlene has had enough, so she and her friend Cami make a plan to change her hair and change her life! Marlene's hair doesn't quite follow the plan, starting a chain reaction that ends in the worst day ever. It will take cool Tía Ruby to talk Marlene through her family history, her hair history, and the best way to take care of her curls.
I love the family dynamics in this story, first and foremost. A family of amazing Dominican women supporting one another, preaching against anti-blackess, and ending with love and self-acceptance? Incredible. I also love the friendship between Cami and Marlene, which is a safe place for Marlene and a delight to see in a middle grade novel. So often friend drama is the source of the problem, so it's beautiful to see it be a balm and a support system instead! Marlene's thoughts and feelings about her family, her bullies, and her desire to feel like herself will all resonate with middle grade readers. The illustrations and colors are also so, so beautiful! An amazing read that I will be recommending to every graphic novel lover!
Was this review helpful?
Frizzy is a middle grade graphic novel by Claribel A. Ortega and Rose Bousamra that is currently scheduled for release on October 18 2022.  Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and "growing up." That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have "presentable", "good hair". But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn't understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby—she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.

Frizzy is a wonderful graphic novel that had me fighting back tears more than once. While I have never been in Marlene's position regarding something so much a part of me as my hair, I have felt othered and looked down on by those that should have been my safe place. I could understand how she felt when her family made comments about being more lady like and trying harder to fit in. I think just about everyone can think of a time, particularly in our childhood and teen years, when we felt like the world was against us and everything is unfair, and every reader is likely to be able to relate to the story a bit.  I was glad to learn a bit more about how hard it is to take proper care of curly hair, and how it feels to have something that is a part of you have so many connotations and perceptions by just about everyone. I knew about fights about school and work dress codes in regards to hair styles, and I understood on some level about some of the thoughts and feelings surrounding hair, but I was glad to get such a better understanding of it.  I think that the story and art are paired perfectly and tell a highly engaging story. I hope some readers see themselves in this story and have the bravery and support to do what they feel best about in regards to their own self, the willingness to try new things, and the ability to find and have the courage talk to a trusted adult and friend about all the things going on in their heads and hearts. 

Frizzy is a great graphic novel about loving yourself, and being brave enough to make the changes you want.
Was this review helpful?

Es un libro que trata, principalmente, sobre el cabello de la protagonista, y aunque si bien esto puede leerse muy superficial, la verdad es que esconde mucho más. Crecemos oyendo a los adultos decirnos que la apariencia no es lo más importante, lo que importa es lo de dentro (personalidad, carácter, metas, gustos, etc), pero aun así, suelen ser ellos los que a su vez nos sumergen en un mundo lleno de estereotipos de "belleza", con reglas de etiqueta, ideales universales de qué es estar "bien vestido" o "verse bien", que muy fácilmente pueden confundir a los niños, hasta el punto de crear inseguridades sobre su apariencia física.

Algo como eso es lo que le pasa a Marlene, la protagonista. Ella con su hermoso pelo rizado se ve obligada a alisarlo cada domingo para poder encajar de alguna manera en la sociedad (su familia, sus compañeros de curso, incluso su madre). Ella ha crecido escuchando que su pelo se ve "desordenado" cuando está al natural y que eso no es bello. La comparan con su prima mayor, quien tiene un sedoso y largo pelo rubio "perfecto", y esto obviamente no provoca más que Marlene comience a dudar de su propio valor, y su imagen.

A lo largo de la historia se nos presentan los conflictos internos de esta pequeña niña que no entiende por qué debe cambiar la forma natural de su cabello para que la sociedad la acepte, y poco a poco nos guía en su viaje de dudas, conflictos, aprendizaje y aceptación personal.

Ustedes necesitan conocer a Marlene y a su tía, créanme que todos queremos en nuestras vidas a un personaje como esa tía. Alguien que te enseñe a valorarte tal cual eres, sin que la opinión de los demás pueda invalidar tu propia versión de ti. El amor propio es importante, y así lo relata esta novela gráfica. A mí me encantó. Full recomendada.

Por ahora solo está en inglés, pero por favor léanlo.

PD: Un pequeño storytime: Si bien yo no tengo tanto drama con mi pelo (aunque lo cuido bien poco y suelo ir chascona por la vida), nunca me han hecho bullying por cómo se ve. Me pongo en los zapatos de la prota Marlene, y claro que debe sentirse muy mal que te digan que tienes "mal cabello" siendo que este es distinto para cada persona, y luce bien en su forma. Los estereotipos a veces dañan más de lo esperado. Aun así, igualmente hay días en que me dan ganas de haber nacido con el cabello liso y pienso "para quienes lo tienen liso todo debe ser más sencillos", o igualmente hay ocasiones en que desearía tener los rulos más marcados y saber cuidarlos -y peinarlos- mejor, porque se desarman solos y se ven unas pocas ondas sin sentido. Pero creo que de alguna forma es parte de la lucha interna que tenemos cada uno de nosotros con nuestro cabello -y nuestra imagen en general-. Debemos aprender a querernos, a mejorar si así lo consideramos necesario, pero siempre considerando nuestra opinión al respecto por sobre la de quienes puedan hablar de ello
Was this review helpful?
Frizzy is an immediate feast for the eyes as Bousamra’s art brings Ortega’s world to life. Their pastel color palette offers a vibrant and immersive reading experience. They give the spotlight to Marlene and other characters, but they take just as much care in the little details throughout. Though this is the first time readers meet Marlene, everything about Bousamra’s art just fits the character perfectly. The art and Ortega’s words also work in a harmonious tandem, both juxtaposing and holding similarities to one another. For readers who prefer or need more visuals over words, this graphic novel is perfect to keep them hooked.

Like their previous books, Ortega brilliantly breaks down the important messaging of the story in a way that young readers will understand without being made to feel dumb. They aptly and deeply examine the effects of discrimination, hair politics, and anti-Blackness. Between their words and Bousamra’s art, readers gain an understanding of why hair is such a big deal (in positive and negative ways). Ortega gives words to feelings that younger readers may not have yet. They also highlight the aforementioned topics in a way that allows non-Black and brown readers to receive more awareness about something they may or may not typically think about.

While the root of Marlene’s struggles lie in her hair, Ortega also emphasizes how it ties into one’s general self-esteem. Because of the stigma Marlene experiences around her hair, she believes she’s not good enough, period. She isn’t just going on a hair love journey, she’s also on a self-love journey. Moreover, readers see how Marlene’s mother passes on generations of beliefs surrounding hair onto Marlene; they both have a lot to unlearn. The story is very much about Marlene but providing context on her mother adds another thoughtful and important layer the conversation. Bousamra’s art further supports this as they show readers how Marlene reacts to negative comments and bullying, placing Marlene’s emotions on full display.

From page 1, Marlene’s story was intensely relatable for me. Like her, I have an abundance of thick curls that took YEARS to even remotely like. I remember the rude comments and desperately straightening my hair every week or relying on harmful relaxers that destroyed my hair, just so it would look the way society deemed was nice and acceptable. Even now, I still have a tenuous relationship with my hair. It was tough to see Marlene go through those same struggles knowing firsthand how detrimental it can be. But it was also healing to go on that journey with her, to watch her learn how to embrace and love her natural curls and to see others affirm that.

Ortega and Bousamra are an incredible team that have brought something really special with Frizzy. Together they gift readers a story brimming with understanding and compassion that adds to an important facet of representation. They’re a mirror reflecting only good things back at readers who pick up this graphic novel. It’s emotional and charming and jubilant, and reading it feels like being wrapped in a warm, safe hug you don’t ever want to break. This is the kind of book I needed as a kid, and I’m so thrilled that young readers like Marlene have it now.
Was this review helpful?
Frizzy, a graphic novel about Marlene, girl struggling with the problematic social norms around race and hair, is a beautifully told and much needed story. The art is vibrant and fun. Marlene, as the protagonist, incredibly loveable and relatable. We need stories that celebrate individuality and self-acceptance. Frizzy does that. I can't wait to see what Claribel A. Ortega does next.
Was this review helpful?
Marlene has curly hair, which is, in the eyes of her family, not presentable. Her mother takes her to the salon every weekend to get her hair done. No more curls for the teenager, but perfect straight hair. The thing is, Marlene hates it. She strongly dislikes the hours lost to get her hair done. She would love so much to be able to be herself and keep her natural curls. She doesn’t understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. So one day enough is enough. Marlene decides to say no and voices what she really wants.

This graphic novel will totally talk to all women with curly hair, whatever your age. I was so touched by the young heroine that fights her family to be herself and be able to keep her curls. This book story brought back childhood memories of the fights to brush my hair. Yes, I have curly hair. Very curly. Like sheep curly. The fights were not about straightening my hair like young Marlene, but to cut. Of course all my classmates had long straight hair, so I wanted long hair too ! All that to say that Frizzy is a great graphic novel that talked to me a lot.

Marlene is a sweet girl that loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. She has a very hard time to accept herself and to think that she is good enough, as everybody keeps telling her how not pretty, not good her hair are. The most difficult part is how she witnesses her family admiring her perfectly blond cousin, who has beautiful, presentable and good straight hair.

The art is absolutely great. And there is a chicken in the story, which is a plus. Frizzy is about diversity, self love and about acceptance. This middle grade graphic novel is a strong testimony about the power to embrace yourself and accept our differences.
Was this review helpful?