Cover Image: unOrdinary Volume 1

unOrdinary Volume 1

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Member Reviews

This is a construct we've seen before - the non powered person interacting with people who have powers - though it's played less for humor here. It's a bit over-exaggerated and more violent than is strictly necessary. But that's pretty standard for manga.

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unOrdinary is a unique graphic novel featuring a high school of teens with super natural powers. Good vs evil is represented in a new and unique way in this story. The artwork is fantastic and fits the story well. Teens will be gripped from the first page and eagerly await the next volume. a must purchase for all teen collections!

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Imagine "My Hero Academia" ... Where Izuku never got One For All but actually put his intellect to use and trained...

That is the first half of this Volume, which I think is really cool...

But by the second half we quickly realized that's not the case, and that it is very likely that our Protagonist John has a Power like everyone else we meet in this world.

Which is when I instantly lost all my interest in this story line honestly...

We have so many of these super strong guy, goes to far and is traumatized by it and has to make amends stories, it doesn't FEEL new or interesting.

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Rating: 5+
Thank you HarperAlley for providing a hardcover through Youth Services Book Review and an e-copy through NetGalley.

In a world where everyone has super abilities, power determines the social hierarchy. Nearly unstoppable elites and high-tiers get the right of way and force others to bow to their will. Mid- and low-tiers struggle under their rule, trying their best to avoid confrontation. Everyone scrambles to climb to the top or survive the abuse of power.

John is a zero, someone with no abilities at all, and stands at the very bottoms of the hierarchy. He was bullied, picked on, and controlled relentlessly by almost everyone in high school, until he befriended Seraphina, the Ace - the most powerful student in the school. Now John hovers under the radar, ignored by all, and he prefers it that way: The less attention he gets, the less he gets bullied, and the less his anger starts to slip. John has a dark secret that would destroy the school’s social order and bring too much attention to the authorities, the governing force of the world. But the King of the school, Arlo, jealous of his relationship with Seraphina, suspects him of his secrets, and one wrong encounter spirals John’s life to the deep end. Suddenly, he is forced into a world of secret allegiances, power dominance, secrets, and conspiracies that threaten him, Seraphina, the school, and the greater world.

What did you like about the book?
unOrdinary is an original Webtoon series that showcases the consequences of superpowers and the cruelty of social hierarchy ruled by force. This graphic novel is nonstop suspense and action, as John and Seraphina navigate a strict world that wants to confine them and colleagues who wish to see their downfall. Both characters are fantastic protagonists, as you see John struggle with being the weakest and Seraphina the strongest, and how either extreme is problematic. The side characters - Arlo, Remi, Blyke, and Isen, to name the recurring cast - provide rivalries, antagonists, different perspectives, and foils for both John and Seraphina. The biggest selling points for this comic is the character development and high-stakes. Each main character, including enemies, go through significant character arcs and instances of realization, for better or for worse. Seeing characters rise while others fall makes a very suspenseful story, as their goals will clash with one another. And the high-stakes of the narrative build more and more as the series continues, making it the most anticipated weekly read for many comic readers. The art is in the manga/manhwa art style, with bright colors and distinct character design, and action scenes, powers, and fights are drawn clearly. The dialogue is also color-coordinated based on the speaker’s hair color, allowing readers to easily follow conversations. Overall, unOrdinary is a very well-written, high-stakes drama series about students surviving in a controlling and hierarchical world, filled with secrets and conspiracies, and their attempts to fight against its system. I have continued the webtoon online, and it only gets better. I highly recommend it.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No!

To whom would you recommend this book? Teens who like graphic novels about superpowers in the real world and how they can become corrupt. My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi, Marvel’s The Runaways, and Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson.

Date of review: December 11, 2023

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I have been waiting for a while to finally read this book. It did not disappoint, I have no complaints about the plot.

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I received an e-galley of unOrdinary, Volume 1 by uru-chan from Frenzy Books in exchange for an honest review.

This was a fun read about a seemingly normal human, John, who finds himself at a high school filled with teenagers with super powers. All John wants to do it lay low, perhaps under the protection of the most powerful student, Seraphina. But this friendship also proves to be a reason that other students begin to notice and target him. But John has secrets of his own and despite his best efforts, they may be exposed. This was full of action and mystery and I enjoyed reading it.

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I loved this so much! There's a moral embedded in this fascinating story with beautiful, colorful illustrations: high school cliques are real, not everyone is as they seem, challenging the status quo is not bad. There's quite a bit of jumping around but it doesn't make it confusing - it helps tell the story and keeps you wanting more. I had originally set out to read a few pages and before taking care of other things but I could not put this down. I'm really looking forward to the next one!

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John is a powerless teen at a private school in a world where everyone has a power. He's determined to do well and study hard, and he's particularly determined to keep his head down as he's a target for high-power bullies. But, he often finds himself in the infirmary after standing up for folks who can fight back or for mouthing off to someone with more power than him. Good thing that his best friend is Seraphina, one of the most powerful kids in school. There are some strange things happening around in the community, though. Someone is murdering high powered superheroes and tracking even high schoolers who are overpowered. ​And Sera comes under fire when school officials find her with a copy of a banned book, so now he's without his loyal protector. Will it be the school that finally breaks him, or will it be his secret past finally catching up with him?
This was a pretty unassuming title at first that followed a lot of tropes and reminded me a lot of My Hero Academia. But the title got more complex with the darker side of the society and the structure to the school's hierarchy. I also appreciated that there weren't as many characters introduced as quickly in this title, and the color illustrations helped to differentiate between all of them. The magical powers were interesting and didn't require a ton of explanation. This is a little longer for a graphic novel, but it got really intriguing halfway through, and I was immersed in what was happening with John. At that point, the pages flew by, and the cliffhanger ending left me unsatisfied that there weren't more pages.

John gets in quite a few fist fights and often breaks or has his bones broken, so expect some violence and lots of hand-to-hand combat in this title.

Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12

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A big thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollin's for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

I already look this story, there's no doubt about it.

unOrdinary by uru-chan is a graphic novel that was previously featured on Webtoons. Nobody pays much attention to John—just a normal teenager at a high school where the social elite happen to possess unthinkable powers and abilities. John prefers it that way. The more he stays under the radar, and stays close to the Royal’s most powerful Ace, Seraphina, the safer he is in the halls of Wellston High. But John has a secret past that threatens to bring down the school’s whole social order—and much more. And when the other students start to suspect John has something to hide, he becomes their latest target. Suddenly, John is pulled into a world of turf wars, betrayals, and deadly conspiracies.

This book just feelings like coming home, with the dynamic of superheroes vs. ordinaries. I'm just glad I can add it to my collection.

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This was pretty fun and just wasn't really my thing. There were several different mysterious storylines going on, and the different POVs were even more discombobulating in graphic form than they can sometimes be in prose.

I also didn't love seeing our MC getting the crap beat out of him every other page. Like...I get it. They hate him. Can we move on to something new? It seemed gratuitous and drawn out and made me lose interest.

I think my students would probably enjoy this one more than me. The manga-style art and superpowers are definitely up their alley.

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I read unOrdinary when it was a Webtoon and really liked it. I'm glad the art style and story did not change much from the original story. Love how the text bubbles also change with how the MMC. I'm not sure if it was done when it was a Webtoon, but it was a great addition to this graphic novel.

The world building is amazing! The characters in this story live in current times but they are ranked by how powerful their abilities are. The higher the superpowers the higher their social status. John (MMC) tries to keep to himself, since he has no powers he likes to blend in, but when he sees his stronger classmates beating up his classmates who are weaker, he has to step in. He uses fighting techniques and is able to dodge attacks pretty well, but all that those is peak the interest of the higher tier students.

John ends up befriending Seraphina, the strongest girl in school, and he knows if he stays close to her he will be safe. Not only are there turf wars in the high schools, but now high tiers have been showing up dead.

I cannot wait for the next volume to come out.

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unOrdinary (Volume 1) by uru-chan is currently scheduled for release on November 7 2023. From WEBTOON, the #1 digital comic platform, comes unOrdinary, the popular, action-packed series about John, an ordinary teen trying to survive high school in a world where superpowers dictate social status, and betrayal and conspiracies make up every turn. Nobody pays much attention to John – just a normal teenager at a high school where the social elite happen to possess unthinkable powers and abilities. John prefers it that way. The more he stays under the radar, and stays close to the Royal’s most powerful Ace, Seraphina, the safer he is in the halls of Wellston High. But John has a secret past that threatens to bring down the school’s whole social order—and much more. And when the other students start to suspect John has something to hide, he becomes their latest target. Suddenly, John is pulled into a world of turf wars, betrayals, and deadly conspiracies.

unOrdinary is an enjoyable and engaging read. I liked that hints to the personalities and secrets of many characters were given, and there is clearly more going on in the background of the story than the author is sharing with readers thus far. John and those in the story are all so much more than they appear. There are several storylines and important characters that have been well developed, and while there is so much going on the strength of the writing and flow does not suffer for it- which sometimes happens when there are this many threads to follow. I feel like there is a great deal of foreshadowing, and I have many ideas where certain parts of the story might go next, but there are so many story threads that I am doubting myself. My only complaint with this volume is that it ends at the perfect spot. I felt like I had a decent handle on who everyone was and that something big was coming, and then it was over. Perfect way to leave me looking for the next volume- and to explore WEBTOON more.

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I needed more world building and after reading went to go and find it on Webtoons to read. I feel that once this one gets a couple more volumes out it will take off. I enjoyed it but it really left me wanting more.

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I thought this was okay. Enough for me to seek it out on Webtoons and want to read some more, but it wasn't totally awesome. Very My Hero Academia.

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I love graphic novels and superpowers so I was excited to dive into the first volume of Unordinary. From the beginning, we're introduced to a wide variety of characters and their different powers. Because there were so many, it took a little while to remember each character and their relationships with each other. But the powers were one of the elements that intrigued me the most. I enjoyed the world building and learning more about John's past. We also got to see more of Seraphina's personality and how the two became friends in the first place. The illustration style was engaging and made it a fast read.

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"No one is worthless"

Oooo this was such a good graphic novel, I enjoyed it. John kept getting beat up by everyone with powers just because he didn't have any. But when things start to unravel I understood more and more and wanted to keep reading . The art is nice and the characters look great.

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I enjoyed the first volume of UnOrdinary more than I thought I would. Once I got past the art and the full color pages, the story picks up and we find that UnOrdinary is the title of a banned book thought to encourage vigilantism. I very much enjoyed the idea of what it's like to have power vs being power-less.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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unOrdinary (Volume 1) by uru-chan, 336 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. HarperAlley (HarperCollins), 2023. $18.
Language: R (27 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG13
In a world where the social hierarchy is enforced by the powerful abilities of those on top, it’s a miracle that John, a zero, survives high school each day. John doesn’t believe the hierarchy is right. But, without fighting back, how can one boy prove the system wrong?
The illustrations are very well done, and uru-chan does a lot to help the flow of reading go smoothly through each panel. Volume 1 lays out several different pieces for readers, and it will be interesting to see how they all come together in future issues. However, there is a difference between a twist in a story and being lied to, and I feel like I, as a reader, was lied to, which does not endear me to the story.
The majority of characters are depicted as White. The language rating is also for several censored expletives, including 7 f-words. The mature content rating is for partial nudity. The violence rating is for assault, blood, fantasy violence, and mentions of murder.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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This graphic novel was one of the best ones that I have read in a while. John, a zero, attends a school where the status quo puts those with high level abilities in a world of their own above those deemed less than them. It is the accepted way of things, and disruption to the status quo are dealt with in rather extreme ways. John has buddied up and become friends with the most powerful girl, Seraphina, though others see this as bringing her down to his level since she has become the complete opposite of the perfect powerful girl she once was. Well, the "King" decided to get to the bottom of John and who he is, and this, in turn, opens up a whole can of worms, possible disrupting the current order even more.

This graphic novel is very well written and explores different aspects of the status quo. John is obviously fed up with being beaten constantly but decides that he will just play the role of innocent target. Getting the backstory differently between the two friends was interesting and helpful. You see the struggle to be different from their past in different ways, and their individual struggle against their circumstances.

- loved that all the text bubbles are different colors for different characters
- illustrations were vivid and colorful
- the expressiveness of the characters are great
- two of my favorite quotes from John and Seraphina:
John - "In this world, strength defines a person. And those without strength are crushed. Those without strength are nothing."
Seraphina - "For as long as I can remember, I had to be perfect. But when you're consistently perfect, it's no longer an accomplishment. Perfect becomes an expectation."

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This was a fun story. It kinda feels like if a manga like Naruto or Assassination Classroom or something had an action-packed baby with a sprinkle of cringe.

It was cute! The characters were fun and the art was good, but too much was happening for my taste. I think teens could really love this, though.

The cursing felt forced. The character dynamics were interesting. I’m feeling very mixed about this story, but I’d recommend it to many!

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