Cover Image: HoverGirls

HoverGirls

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It’s May and summer is upon us! I am already thinking ahead to my two favorite seasons (fall and winter) and I am excited to hit those directly after summer. With summer upon us, I decided to pick up some more graphic novel reads. I was browsing my Netgalley account and saw that Hovergirls had an E-ARC copy available. I decided I would submit a request and I was accepted (so massive thank you to the publisher for granting my request in exchange for my honest opinions).

SPOILERS AHEAD

Jalissa and her cousin Kim have recently moved to a new city and are living together in a one-bedroom apartment. Jalissa is living on the couch and Kim has the bedroom. Kim has big dreams of making it in the fashion world and becoming well-known (however, she also has a kind of stage fright). The girls both work at a local coffee shop and are kind of settling into their new lives. That is until one day it starts to rain and then they see fish in the rain? Upon seeing these fish they discover they kind of have a weird magical power, and they are able to fight off the fish. But how and when did they get the powers and will they be helpful at all?

I loved seeing the stories of both Jalissa and Kim unfold together and separately. By the end of the graphic novel, I felt like both of the girls had come a long way in their lives. I loved the illustrations, the colors popped off every page and I thought the clothes that Kim created were so cute! I do believe there will be more of this graphic novel in the future and I will definitely try to check it out. In the meantime this hits shelves on August 6th, 2024, be sure to check it out!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

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Geneva Bowers’ HoverGirls is a sweet, magical girl story. It follows our two main characters, Jalissa and Kim—Cousins who move to a new city together. An incident happens on the beach, and they end up with powers while monsters start attacking. I wish I could say I enjoyed it but, I honestly didn’t. The characters felt incredibly flat, and added no real substance to the plot. The story alone was very rushed, and made little sense. The plot points weren’t explained well. Which made it, at times, difficult to follow. Though, if you want something fast paced, this does it well.

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3 ⭐️

The idea of magical girls fighting magical, sky creatures (I think that’s what they are) was so appealing to me but the execution was… fine?

Let’s talk about what I did like. I thought the art style was super cute, am kind of obsessed with the idea of water manipulation magic, and adored Jalissa’s character. She’s very much dark, stabby, character that inadvertently had me laughing out loud. I also thought the grumpy sunshine friendship vibes were fun.

Now where it fell flat for me was the absolute lack of any depth to the characters. Even Jalissa was very one dimensional. Let’s not even talk about Kim whose only real personality trait other than being pure ray of sunshine is delusional. She’s convinced that this man who really could not give her the time of day is into her and watching him treat her like she’s nothing really ruined the vibes for me.

I’m also still very confused as to why this area has giant floating anglerfish in the sky.

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I haven't read any of the previous releases from the author. That said, I would say I was a little confused at the beginning and it did get a little bit better as the book went on,, but it did feel a little all over the place as I was still trying to piece things together. I also wasn't a fan of either of the characters and never felt myself cheering for one or the other when they would get into spats. A fine book if you're looking for something to read and great for the right audience.

Thank you Bloomsbury USA for providing this book for review consideration via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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This was cute but kind of chaotic? I love the art style, but I do wish the two main characters had a little more nuance to their personalities. Jalissa and Kim Vasquez are cousins and could not be more opposite. Kim is scatter-brained but bubbly and vivacious with stars in her eyes. She wants to be a famous designer. Jalissa is grumpy and has an anger problem, but grudgingly looks out for her cousin. They are roomies living in a new city when they develop strange powers and face down translucent fish that swim through storms.

It's very dramatic and over the top, and I do like how different the cousins are BUT I wish it was a little less all or nothing if that makes sense. But her art style is gorgeous and the story is a fun romp. I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

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Ok so I tried I really did. Because black girls with superpowers…sign me up. But this was just not it. Besides the illustrations I just couldn’t get pass that plot was just not there. This felt like just all vibes and no plot. Also the two main characters are so insufferable. One is incredibly miserable and the other is so clueless. I will say the “love interest” for the clueless one it was funny with how much he didn’t like her but used her but after awhile it got to be insulting.

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I struggled to bit with this one. I'm wondering if the webcomic has more details or more context because I feel like we're really thrown into this and there's almost no sense of world building or world description. I also didn't love really either character. I was super annoyed by the one bubbly naive one and also annoyed at the angry one. They both seem to be so dramatic in their personality types that it doesn't really leave any room for a breather. You're so bombarded with this specific individual character trait that you can't get away from it and that is kind of annoying.

I feel like I've been saying this a lot lately with graphic novels but if this is part of a series then it's fine and it can be the first book but if this is supposed to be a standalone then it's lacking

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This is the physical adaptation of the popular Webtoon by the same name. Jalissa & Kim Vasquez, cousins, are finally moving in together and striking out on their own in Los Aguaceros (LA). They're just normal girls with normal girl problems until one day a freak storm gives them powers, turning them into magical girls. While Kim can't wait to see what this does for her social media & dreams of becoming a fashion icon, Jalissa is a little more concerned about making sure her cousin's feet stay firmly planted in reality. Overall, this is a story about finding your voice. The watercolor-style illustrations are beautiful, though the speech bubbles can be hard to visually follow without clear outlines.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Two cousins move to LA and accidentally end up with water powers and start protecting the city.

A great story of optimism vs pessimism and the bonds of family.

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I have some mixed feelings about this book. It’s absolutely gorgeous and has a pretty cool concept, but I think it has some difficulties in book format (and in some ways I think its original Webtoon format might have worked better for the way the story is being told). Aesthetically, the development is super well-done and we have this well-explored world with cool characters, but storyline-wise, I struggled to really connect and follow the story. I’m still really interested to see where this book/story goes in the future, but it was harder to connect as a new reader who had no prior knowledge of the HoverGirls world before reading. I think if the concept interests you and you go in with the idea that it’s more formatted for Webtoon, then it could definitely be worth the read!

As I’ve already said, the art in this book is absolutely gorgeous. I feel like Bowers has made a really full world with it, with it being so well-suited to the fantasy elements as well as the more realistic ones. The colour and just every aspect made this very readable, even when the storyline didn’t connect as much.

The overall concept of the book and storyline technically work within this volume, but it’s a little bit of a mixed bag. We get some typical elements of the magical girl and a moving-to-the-big-city moment for the main characters, but it doesn’t feel like it goes all the way for the graphic novel format. The primary conflict doesn’t really happen until over halfway into the book and the use of flashbacks as exposition is way more episodic than I expected. I think if I was already familiar with the story it could be different, but it just made the final battle feel a little confusing and anticlimactic. I’m still interested in the characters and I think the journey that we did get to see (especially Jalissa’s) was really interesting, but it felt a little lackluster in comparison to some of the hype. I’m definitely interested in seeing how the story continues, and hoping with the world established that the next volume will be easier to immerse myself in!

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I struggled to get through this one. The characters are not likeable and while the story, sequentially, is easy to follow, the actual storyline is not. The artwork is well done but this could have benefitted from a little more story development.

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Geneva Bowers’ <i>HoverGirls</i> initially seemed like a book I would adore. The cover art was gorgeous and the synopsis was promising enough. And it’s worth noting that the art quality is pretty high throughout—if nothing else, you really love the look and artistic quirks of the characters. Unfortunately, <i>HoverGirls</i> was thoroughly lacking in the writing department.

Overall, the plot was clunky and odd. While sequentially, it’s fine, the story is unfortunately confusing to follow and doesn’t really have much of a payout as far as twist reveals go. While the setting is meant to be present day earth, it does feel so much more as though it’s a fantasy alternate universe. The odd water-made sea creatures are quite cool at first, but when we finally learn what they are and why they’re around the explanation feels like it comes out of nowhere. The <spoiler>possession</spoiler> plot, also, feels like it just pops up randomly. Foreshadowing doesn’t seem to be a strong suit here, either.

As a result, I almost felt like I was reading an amalgamation of differing stories and plots forced together in an attempt to make them work. Just when I began to settle into what I thought the story was going to be, something new crops up with absolutely zero prior indication and completely changes the understanding of the plot, leaving it feeling quite clunky. This all might have been okay if, in the end, the connection built with the main characters was a little bit stronger. In all fairness, the character personalities are well portrayed, but not quite enough for me to be deeply invested.

<i>HoverGirls</i> was not terrible overall, but there’s still definitely a lot to be desired.

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I was super excited for this one actually and thank you for the ARC but it kinda fell a little short. The illustrations are awesome and the characters are great, the plot was just a little too… chaotic? It felt a little choppy. Fun read though and I’m sure many will enjoy

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Weird

I love Geneva Bowers’ art so I was excited to read this graphic novel, but it ended up being kinda just weird. I didn’t dislike it and the art is cute/fun, but some of the plot felt really outta left field.

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HoverGirls by Geneva Bowers is a Young Adult graphic novel that follows Kim and Jalissa - cousins who move to Los Aguaceros together. A strange accident at the beach gives them supernatural powers, which Kim immediately gets excited about and thinks it's the perfect way for them to get famous online. She dreams of being a fashion designer and she designs superhero costumes for them. Along with that, the two of them work at a coffee shop to make ends meet, which is mostly up to Jalissa who is a bit more responsible.

My favorite part of the book is definitely the friendship/sister-like relationship between Jalissa and Kim. They have a bit of a grumpy/sunshine dynamic, which I'm used to seeing in romance but not any other relationship dynamics, and I loved that. Kim is very light-hearted, fun, and upbeat, and Jalissa is quiet, brooding, and a bit angry because she's been through a lot. It was so fun to see them together and their relationship felt so genuine and natural. I really want to see more platonic or family relationships in books.

Along with that, I love the art style. It's bright, vibrant, colorful, and unique, and it adds so much to the story. It's atmospheric and so pleasant to look at, and makes the setting very vivid.

As for the plot, it was probably my least favorite part since it felt a bit rushed and chaotic at times. At first, nothing was explained very much, and then there was some info-dumping later on.

That being said, it is a really fun story, and I loved the main characters, and would like to see what adventures they get up to next. If you'd like to read a graphic novel with gorgeous art, supernatural powers, and two grumpy/sunshine main characters, pick this up!

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This had everything that I was hoping for in this type of webcomic. It created the expanded story-line and had a polished feel to it with this graphic novel. The characters were everything that I was hoping for and enjoyed going through this world.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this!

I think this was the first web-comic turned graphic novel in a while where I hadn't read it during it's original run. However I think I would have enjoyed this more if I did at that time as opposed to now. The pacing and story were alright but the adjustment to this new format seems clunky. The word paneling was a little hard to follow as the lines towards the person speaking were often too thin and there wasn't a color blocking the space if they overlapped but different people were talking. Except for the black word bubbles for the latter half of the book.

The art was super beautiful though, I did enjoy the color scheme and character design. It just wasn't the book for me overall

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I wanted to love it, I really did! I was immediately drawn in by the gorgeous art and fun premise (love me some magical girls), but I really could not connect with the story or characters. Kim's naivete and optimism struck me as more infuriating than charming, and while I liked Jalissa (big Rosa Diaz vibes), her attitude and anger are never really explained or explored (WHY did she pull out a grenade at her quinceanera??). Limited character development aside, I found the story was sometimes hard to follow. Conversation bubbles did not always flow intuitively, the flashback scenes weren't well-demarcated (visually or narratively), and the action scenes left a lot to the imagination. It was originally a webtoon (which follows a single-panel layout), so I'm wondering if some of the visual communication issues are due to it being reformatted into a multi-panel page layout?

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