I Am Not Starfire by Mariko Tamaki and Yoshi Yoshitani

I Am Not Starfire has an average rating of 3.4 stars on Goodreads. As I read reviews, I was appalled at some of the comments. There were reviews from people who haven’t even read the novel and were already saying it was awful. There were comments about the author and illustrator not being talented and why DC Comics would ask them to create this. It’s upsetting that this novel received so much negative attention before it was released. I am happy to say I Am Not Starfire has a lot of heart and I’m glad I read it.

Mandy is the daughter of Starfire, a famous member of the Teen Titans. Starfire is attractive, thin, and popular amongst many. Mandy is the opposite and finds that she doesn’t want to constantly live under her mother’s shadow. As Mandy is balancing a crush at school, she’s confronted by someone from Starfire’s past. Mandy sees her mom from a new lens and decides to protect everything and everyone she holds dear.

As a reminder, this is a YA (Young Adult) graphic novel. I found a lot of the negative reviews didn’t mention this. Many of the negative reviews criticized Mandy. Mandy in many ways is a typical teenager. Teenagers can be selfish, rude, and over the top at times. Everything is a big deal at that age. One of my favorite moments is when Mandy was contemplating other options besides going to college. I thought this was insightful especially because college is emphasized after high school.

Besides Mandy, I liked the side characters. Lincoln serves as Mandy’s best friend. He relates to Mandy personally in many ways. Besides Lincoln, there’s Claire, Mandy’s school crush. They have a falling out towards the middle of the novel which I felt was realistic with what Mandy’s insecurities are.

I Am Not Starfire is undeserving of all the hate it received. I thought this was a lovely read. I rated I Am Not Starfire five stars on Goodreads.

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