[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta
Layouts: Sam Lotfi
Finishes: Maca Gil
Colors: Sarah Stern
Letters: Wes Abbott
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Piper Parajo and Sloane McBrute are two 13-year-old girls with very different lives but very similar secrets. At school, Piper is pretty and popular, upbeat and always willing to help out her friends, whereas Sloane is a loaner, smart and snarky but with zero friends and zero interest in having any. Outside of the classroom, Piper is strong, really strong, like ripping the doors off of cars strong. She longs to be a superhero and tries to use her powers to do good, even if she tends to leave a massive mess in her wake. Sloane on the other hand is smart, like evil-genius level smart, and in order to provide for her mother, she puts those smarts to use for her villainous grandfather.
When a mission to steal an experimental technological device brings the two girls face-to-face with each other, the device sparks, and the girls switch bodies! Now they must live in each other’s shoes as they figure out a way to switch back.
Where to begin singing the praises of Anti/Hero? Writers Kate Karyus Quinn and Demitria Lunetta have created two such likable and realistic teenage protagonists. They are flawed for sure and make huge mistakes. These girls hold grudges and do things that teenagers do, but they own it. They grow and are are just delightful role models. I loved the social commentary in this book as well. I don’t want to overdo it here, but there are some heavy ideas going on in this book about class and race and the assumptions that go along with those things. It is so good.
Sam Lotfi and Maca Gill along with colorist Sarah Stern have created a world that jumps off the page. I love that the preview pages don’t have words on them so you can simply take your time to see the beauty. The expressiveness of the characters is amazing. We always know where they stand even without any words. It is simply stunning. There are multiple splash pages in this book that are poster worthy. Here is just one example.
There is nothing bad about this book. It is so smart, funny, touching and perfectly paced.
Anti/Hero is honestly just what the world needs right now. In a scary time where we don’t know who to believe or who to trust, this book reminds us that there is always someone on whom you can rely. This is a beautiful tale of heroism and friendship and is a perfect book for kids of all genders and all ages.