Dark Matter of Mona Starr – book review

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The Dark Matter of Mona Starr
by Laura Lee Gulledge
Graphic Novel
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

When Mona Starr’s best friend moves to Hawaii, she feels more than a little lost. That loss on top of her depression and anxiety and a lot of self-deprecating thoughts make her feel overwhelmed. She starts seeing a therapist to help her cope and make sense of herself and keeps a sort of scientific journal where she explores what she calls her “dark matter,” which is how she interprets her dark feelings. She does eventually befriend a couple of girls in her class – one she already knows a little and the other is a new student, whom she admires. There are ups and downs as Mona struggles, but her friends and family are very supportive and understanding and do their best to help her. Things start to trend upward when Mona and her friends re-envision Valentine’s Day to spread love and creativity and get their fellow students talking about what really matters to them. Mona’s self-confidence begins to build and she’s able to focus on the things she likes about herself and the goals she wants to achieve. Fans of realistic graphic novels (like “Smile”/Raina Telgemeier)are likely to enjoy Mona’s journey of self-discovery.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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