Cover Image: Tegan and Sara: Junior High

Tegan and Sara: Junior High

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dnf at 75%
Thank you to netgalley for a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was an okay graphic novel. There was nothing that made me really invested in it and I always did not feel like reading it, I have other things I would rather read more. I liked that the story was about twin sisters and their life in school and navigating friendships. However the book was very long, and I was just not a fan personally.
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This was such a cute read. I think parts of my inner child definitely healed while reading this. I grew up on Tegan and Sara so this one was special for me.
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I've never actually heard of these two before picking up this book. This is a very accurate picture of junior high, at least from my memory. The constant friend changes, friend groups that can't hang together, trying new things and pushing your comfort zone, all very good plot points. The artwork was  okay and I liked how each twin had a separate color and it blended purple when together. 
It just wasn't that great of a story for me though, it's going to be great for tweens and teens going through this, but as an adult I just got annoyed with their attitudes. Which, I guess means this did it's job. Not interested in any other part of their story.
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after adoring tegan and sara's collaborative memoir high school, i was thrilled to see them release a new book about another era in their lives.

collaborating with tillie walden was a wonderful choice. walden's graphic novels have been on my list for years, but this was my first! her art is wonderfully expressive, capturing laughter, angst, camaraderie, and the abject horror of the first day at a new school (among other things).

there is a lot of angst. there's the pain of enduring changes that are beyond your control, and the weight of drifting apart from your sibling despite spending so many hours of your days together. all of these challenges are presented very believably; i'm sure preteen readers will be able to relate.

after having read high school, it's interesting to see the overlap. both books cover some of the same pivotal moments, such as the twins finding their stepdad's old guitar, the reverence in their secrecy as they teach themselves to play, and the excitement of performing for groups of close friends for the first time. it's cool that these memories are so significant for tegan and sara that they include them in multiple iterations of their memoirs.

also, love the fact that this is a creative project from three super talented lesbians!


BUT... i'm not sure whether this cute lil fictionalized graphic memoir should really be categorized as autobiographical. apparently sara describes the book as an "aspirational" version of the quins' junior high experience, which makes sense. it feels very young middle grade, very clean, less traumatic than reality.

and i suppose the relatively sanitized content makes sense, and may make the story more digestible for young readers. but i think setting the story in the current day was a misstep. a 1990s setting would be so much more intuitive and real, and would also add a nostalgia factor for older readers.

unfortunately i don't think this graphic novel will transcend its target demographic. recommended for preteens and for fans of tegan and sara!


(bonus: love the authors' note at the end, and the cute photos of t&s as tweens. it provides helpful context, is adorable and necessary!)


Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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This book is a great intro for any young Tegan and Sara fans. For fans familiar with their previous book High School, this is that story altered slightly, told in a modern time, and puts them in junior high. While I didn't necessairly care for the change to modern times it will make it more relatable for young readers. Tillie Walden's art is truly the star of this graphic novel and is it worth picking up for their art alone.
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I really enjoyed this middle school grade graphic novel.  I think it does a good job of exploring the transition from elementary school to middle school.  It's a time of great change in young people.  Middle grade students are really beginning to explore their personality and their place in life.  This book does a good job of showing these changes to two twins and how they begin to move apart into individuals with their own persona and interests.  I like how even though they begin to change they manage to stay close through their interest in music.  They also begin to explore sexual attraction to other students.  The graphic novel handles well the insecurities one of the sisters has for her burgeoning feelings for another girl.  The book also addresses bullying.  The artwork mostly sticks to blue with white backgrounds rather than full color or black and white.  Parts of the book though, have the sisters each in their own color and I liked that as it separated them as individuals.  Overall, this book would be enjoyable to any middle schooler.  You don’t have to be fans of Tegan and Sara to like this book.  I did and I’d never heard of them before I read this.  Fans will definitely like it as it gives a good look at their formative years and how they got into music.  I can’t wait to read the second volume in the series to see their continued growth.
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If you are a fan of Tegan and Sara, this will probably be a fun read for you! However, if you aren't THAT familiar with their overall career this will read like an extremely average graphic novel that lacks plot and is mainly carried along by the illustrator's beautiful artwork.

My biggest complaint is that this is marketed as a 'graphic memoir' yet set in modern times when it factually should've taken place in the early 90's. My assumption is that the creators wanted to make the book more relatable to current middle graders/young adults but sadly each time something like vaping, Netflix, or Taylor Swift was mentioned it took me out of the story knowing their actual age.

I hope that any younger readers who might pick this up find it to be comforting and any long-time fans enjoy learning about the author's upbringing (with some creative liberties). If you don't fit into either of those categories though I'd say its safe to skip this one.
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A great story about sisterhood, music, and coming of age with a sweet queer storyline. Telgemier fans, followers of the Sunny series and Hope Larson's Eagle Rock Series will be super excited for this new series.
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I probably had their actual memoir a little too in my head while reading this, which means I was trying to match things from this book to that one, which makes no sense because they specifically cover different times in their lives. Buuuuut anyway, I did like this, just not quite as much as HIGH SCHOOL, but since they don’t have the same intended audience, that’s not a real issue.
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This was a delightful book. As a middle school teacher, I feel like this is an excellent representation of what my students go through. The illustrations are adorable and the internal and external dialogue is written very well. Although the book explores the complications of growing up, you can’t help but feel a warmth that permeates the novel. I can’t wait for more!
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This is a charming, sincere graphic novel about twin sisters finding their voices together and individually through music in junior high. If you're a fan of Tegan and Sara's music, you'll appreciate how the story is inspired by their relationship to each other and their family during their junior high years. But it's got a lot for middle grade readers to explore as well, like navigating complicated friendships, balancing family and school responsibilities, and speaking up for yourself. The illustration style is sweet and colorful, and I love that it's done by Tillie Walden, who is also a twin!
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Before Tegan and Sara were singers, they were just normal middle schoolers. This semi-autobiographical graphic novel follows Tegan and Sara as they traverse the hallways of middle school.

My favorite part of this book was the interludes between the chapters where you could see inside the girls' heads. I think this book will be so relatable to a lot of tweens and teens.
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Absolutely loved this book and seeing Tillie Walden experiment with some different panel layouts. I can’t wait for the interview to go live next week, and I’m definitely recommending this title to Prism Comics.
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A worthwhile expansion of Tegan and Sara's memoir universe (including the original memoir and subsequent TV show), with lots of heart amongst all the struggles that are being a young teen. The ups and downs of their friendships and relationship with each other are immediately recognizable for anyone who has had the experience of growing up and figuring themselves out.
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*3.5 Stars*

Tegan and Sara: Junior High is a novelized memoir of the Junior high years of Tegan and Sara.
I really loved the illustrations in this, Tillie Walden is an incredible illustrator, as we know. The story, however, felt a bit all over the place and the novelization as well as the fact set it was set in current times put me off. It wasn't bad though, it had some good parts and I found the relationship between the sisters interesting. I just wasn't as captivated as I thought I'd be and I don't know if I'll read the next ones...
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Highly enjoyable! Reading this brought back my own memories of middle school - the awkwardness, the fun times, the friendships, the fights, and all the first experiences that seem so earthshaking in the moment. The story is really relatable and is perfect for middle grade readers. Tillie Walden's art is lovely as always, with a special softness that communicates feelings so well. Tegan and Sara's story is full of early self discovery, questioning, and trying new things. The girls are confronted with new challenges - being in separate classes, making different friends, facing a class bully, family changes, and miscommunication. But no matter what, their bond remains true, and they're always loved and supported by their parents. I especially liked that the parents manage to be cool and passionate about their interests while also maintaining boundaries and rules. And, of course, they still do embarrassing parent things! As someone who works with middle schoolers every day, I'm excited for them to get a chance to read this graphic novel and see how it compares to their experiences!
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“Playing guitar makes me feel weightless high up in the sky, the sound of strings is like the sound of my thoughts. Singing cracks me open. I’m pouring out. I’m here, I’m me, and I’m growing up.” 

Tegan and Sara are an indie-pop twin-sister duo. This graphic novel is based on their true experiences of Junior High before they became icons. 

I loved the sibling dynamic. It must be so cool to have a built in best friend that you can do everything with, but I can see how that would also be challenging. I loved the themes they tackled with the story, from starting a new school, making new and separate friends, discovering your queerness, and openly discussing periods. Then we obviously get a glimpse into how they started their band together. 

“I never realized that there would be people you could meet, and sometimes when you’re with them, you act in ways you don’t expect, like you’re a different person.” -Tegan 
“I never thought about how it would feel to have someone really important in my life who isn’t you.” -Sara 

The parts of splitting time between parents was very relatable for me. I was about the same age when I started spending the weekends with my dad and his new girlfriend. I felt those super awkward scenes with my whole being. 

It’s so cool that Tillie Walden is also a twin, so she brought another dynamic to the story with her art and experience as a twin. And I’m just a huge Tillie Walden fan and she is the main reason I picked up this graphic novel. I’m already looking forward to the sequel. 

My only qualm is that the story took place during present day, instead of the 90’s. I would’ve loved to see all the nostalgia through their eyes. There were small things, like playing video games on a PS1, their stepdad’s “vintage” collection, and even getting the chicken pox. The art was even giving 90’s vibes, but there were also modern references like Billie Eilish. I’ve never listened to Tegan & Sara, or Billie Eilish, so I can’t compare them, but I would’ve loved to see who their true inspirations were.
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I can't wait to recommend this book to students! I know graphic novel fans will love this one, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier's books. It was funny and very representative of many of my students.
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Well this is an absolute must for my middle grade library. It's an honest, heartfelt look at being a girl in middle school and all the messiness that comes along: sibling conflict, changing friendships, mean girls, periods, crushes, ALL THE THINGS.

Tegan and Sara are nervous about starting 7th grade, and right off the bat they find themselves in different classes and with different friends. They soon find that despite being identical they are on very different paths...until they discover their step-father's old guitar.

I'm so excited that this is going to be a series, because I feel like there's so much more to explore with these characters.
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Junior high school is that time where one starts a finding their true selves. It’s a strange in-between place, where you are constantly conflicted between acting like a kid or an “adult”. But everyone has gone through this, from the most average of people to — in this case — a pair of lesbian twins who’ve played to audiences all over the world. Tegan and Sara: Junior High tells the somewhat true story of the Quin sisters, with some relishing of the truth for the sake of the plot.

Although it was 1991 when Tegan and Sara were in middle school, this version of their story instead places the twins in the modern day. With their parents separated and their mom dating a new-but-nice guy, there’s already a bit of heaviness in the lives of the sisters. But upon entering junior high, both Tegan and Sara find their way to overcome obstacles, be it as a duo or on their separate paths. Of course, this also means that the sisters bump heads over the new people in their lives, especially when it comes to possible bullies and love interests.

It’s clear that one twin has it rougher than the other. Tegan’s shyness in the beginning makes it a struggle for her to make friends, whereas Sara easily gels with her classmates. But with them being twins, the weird questions start coming out, ranging from telepathy skills to, well, questioning their very existence. However, things get a little weird between the sisters when Avery enters their lives, a girl who bullies one but befriends another.

Much of Tegan and Sara: Junior High focuses on the duo’s first year in their new surroundings. They deal with their share of academic issues, their first bras, and experiencing puberty in the most awkward of ways. Going to see their original first friend Faiza acts as a comfort zone for both, but — as long-distance friendships go — they start drifting apart and changing in ways that make them look like a much different person from before. It’s also the time when the twins start figuring things out about themselves. Well…okay, one does, at the very least.

Its narrative has a very going-by-the-motions way of being told, in a way that makes it relatable to young readers. Grudges and sisterly rivalries take some time to get over, with the bruises and scars of past fights lingering on for much longer. But it’s when Sara starts feeling things for classmate Roshini that are more than friendly vibes when Tegan and Sara: Junior High gets its plot fully going. And then, there’s the discovery of the mother’s boyfriend’s guitar.

This isn’t exactly a tale about how the twins became the Tegan and Sara we know today. With that being said, there’s a good chunk of the narrative that feels like they’re the stepping stones towards the kinds of songs the duo would create in their future. There are some funny moments showcased that make the tough relatable parts easier to stomach, especially when Sara has an incident in a local bowling alley.

Visually, Tegan and Sara: Junior High captures that time in one’s life like some solid notebook doodles. Drawn by Tillie Walden, the style fits with the personality, the vibe, and the mentality of going to middle school. There are times where it’s very hard to differentiate between Tegan and Sara (though this might be intentional), but one can start telling them apart when their personalities begin to show.

Tegan and Sara: Junior High is a good look into the singing duo’s early life. Although it shoves them into a modern setting, the attitude fits well with the 90s era. It doesn’t lift the curtain completely when it comes to both coming out of the closet (that’ll probably be saved for the next book, tentatively titled Tegan and Sara: Crush), but it does a good job with showing some of the early realizations of same-sex romance. If you’re a longtime fan, Tegan and Sara: Junior High will satisfy those yearning to see a youthful perspective of the famous Canadian singing twins.
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