Hazards of Love 1 : Bright World
by Stanley, Stan






Follows the story of a queer teen from Queens who makes some mistakes, gets dragged into a fantastical place, and tries to hustle their way back home.





Stan Stanley makes comics that are sometimes creepy, sometimes funny, but always queer. She's been making comics since she was in high school and has continued doing so throughout various science-related careers when she was supposed to be doing science. Instead, she created Friendly Hostility, The Hazards of Love, and her online journal comic, Stananigans. The Hazards of Love is heavily influenced by the ephemera of the Mexico in which Stan grew up, though she now finds herself in NYC among a lovely crew of weirdos. She lives with her spouse, a large cat, and a larger collection of bones.





*Starred Review* Amparo is a troubled teen who desperately wants to become a better person, and they strike a deal with a talking cat. Unfortunately, the magical cat steals Amparo's name and identity, promising to become the better person Amparo wanted to be. This dooms Amparo's soul to Bright World, a terrifying, beautiful land of demonic creatures where humans are food and memories are currency. Amparo becomes "Paola," an indentured servant in a café who is later rescued by El Ciervo and dubbed "Fawn." Fawn fights desperately for survival in this brutal world, while trying to escape back to the real world and reclaim their life. Meanwhile, the Cat-Amparo is popular, gets the beautiful and smart Iolanthe to become their girlfriend, and does a decent job at being a better person. The imaginative and deeply developed Bright World leans heavily on Latin influences, and the story includes several panels of dialogue in Spanish. This rich, fantastical story is brought to life with Stanley's vibrant colors and wonderfully bold lines in artwork that is a joy to look at. The cruelty of Bright World will keep readers fully invested in Fawn's struggle to survive and retain their identity, and the specifics of their nonbinary gender identity, a topic of conversation among several characters, are handled with respect and fidelity. This story beautifully represents Latinx and LGBTQ+ characters. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* Amparo is a troubled teen who desperately wants to become a better person, and they strike a deal with a talking cat. Unfortunately, the magical cat steals Amparo's name and identity, promising to become the better person Amparo wanted to be. This dooms Amparo's soul to Bright World, a terrifying, beautiful land of demonic creatures where humans are food and memories are currency. Amparo becomes "Paola," an indentured servant in a café who is later rescued by El Ciervo and dubbed "Fawn." Fawn fights desperately for survival in this brutal world, while trying to escape back to the real world and reclaim their life. Meanwhile, the Cat-Amparo is popular, gets the beautiful and smart Iolanthe to become their girlfriend, and does a decent job at being a better person. The imaginative and deeply developed Bright World leans heavily on Latin influences, and the story includes several panels of dialogue in Spanish. This rich, fantastical story is brought to life with Stanley's vibrant colors and wonderfully bold lines in artwork that is a joy to look at. The cruelty of Bright World will keep readers fully invested in Fawn's struggle to survive and retain their identity, and the specifics of their nonbinary gender identity, a topic of conversation among several characters, are handled with respect and fidelity. This story beautifully represents Latinx and LGBTQ+ characters. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





In an attempt at self-improvement, Amparo makes a deal with a talking cat. After being suspended for pulling the fire alarm at school, Amparo Uribe struck out with their crush, Iolanthe. When a mysterious talking cat appears in their bedroom window promising magical assistance, they make a deal. In exchange for a drop of Amparo's blood and their name, the cat promises to make them a better person. But instead of assisting Amparo the way they expected, the cat becomes Amparo, and Amparo is sucked into the Bright World. Amparo tries to avoid being eaten by a number of creatures (including their new master), hold tight to their memories (which are of high value in the Bright World), and figure out how to get home. The worldbuilding is magnificent; the Bright World is appropriately rich in color and full of macabre and creative details. The characters are fully developed and intriguing, some complex and full of secrets, others that appear to be the creatures of nightmares. Readers also get glimpses of Queens, where the cat has almost everyone fooled that they are the improved version of Amparo. The pacing is well done, with the mysteries of Bright World slowly revealing themselves, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers clamoring for the sequel. Amparo is nonbinary, queer, and is cued as Latinx; Iolanthe reads as Black. A noir fantasyâ?"part adventure, part love story, all the way spectacularly creepy. (Graphic fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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