Hello! Welcome to the BookLikes page of the book review blog Celestial Carousel! Here I'll share snippets from Celestial Carousel and take part in whatever other miscellaneous shenanigans I like.
This book was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.
I may not be well-versed in the history of Jennifer Walters or her mighty green alter-ego, She-Hulk (or "Shulky", as referred to in this novel), but it doesn't take a comic book aficionado to appreciate what Marta Acosta has created in The She-Hulk Diaries.
I really enjoyed the writing style. It was informal and friendly, like, well, reading a diary. The humor was quick and spot on, and I found myself laughing within the first few pages. I loved the back-and-forth banter between Jen and her best friend, Dahlia. There are many "geek culture" references that I spotted and enjoyed, from Skyrim to LARPing, and the science-themed lyrics penned for Jen's ex-lover's band Fringe Theory are outrageously fun.
The characters are dimensional, diverse (culturally and racially, too!), relatable, and likable. I loved Jen, Dahlia, and Genoa from the start, and appreciated the depth of the other characters.
But beneath a generally enjoyable superhero story, there's one thing that's really bothering me--Jen's need for a guy in her life. It seems like the majority of her personal goals and much of the novel is focused on finding a PFLOML (That's "Potential Future Love of My Life") or mooning over an ex who's unexpectedly back in the picture. And, you know, maybe I'm unromantic, but a guy writing that many (fairly graphic) songs about a girl with whom he had a one-time one-night-stand? A little creepy. I never really got Jennifer's feelings for Ellis.
I appreciated the "girl power!" affirmations sprinkled throughout (In one instance, Shulky tells a friend, "Male is not the default gender for superhero.", and I may or may not have done a celebratory fist pump), and I have no problem with a little love in a superhero story, but with The She-Hulk Diaries, it felt more like a little bit of superhero in a (looking-for-)love story.
Read more reviews at Celestial Carousel.