Rummanah Aasi
   I have been meaning to pick up Mike Carey's Re-gifters ever since I saw it on ALA's list of Best Graphic Novels a few years ago. I'm glad that I did pick up and really enjoyed this title. It has everything that makes a good romantic comedy movie: romance, action, humor, and introspection.

Description: Korean American teenager Dixie and her best friend, Avril, practice hapkido, a Korean martial art. There is a big hapkido tournament coming up in their South Central, Los Angeles neighborhood. Dixie, who has a bad temper, loses her focus when she develops a crush on Adam, another teen hapkido artist. To show how much she likes him, she spends her contest entry fee on an exorbitant gift for him and then realizes that he has no romantic interest in her. Dixie must now find a way to enter the tournament and somehow Adam seems to be interested in her, except he has a condition: throw away the game so he can win. Will Dixie listen to her mind or her heart?

Review: As I mentioned earlier, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. There are well-developed characters, plot, and setting make this title a standout for both regular and reluctant comics readers. I loved Dixie. She is spunky, smart, and funny. Anyone who has witnessed and lived through unrequited love will sympathize with her. There are plot twists that are both realistic and nicely paced in the graphic novel. The black and white artwork reflects well with the narrative and pops with expressive faces, postures, and martial arts moves. I could really envision myself sitting at the tournament and seeing everything that is happening. Although I did have a few questions after I finished the book, I did this graphic novel does a great job in explaining the Korean art of hapkido and the Korean immigrant experience as well as the turmoil of high school relationships.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is mild language. I would recommend it to 7th graders and up.

If you like this book, try: The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci
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