By: Mathieu Mariolle
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: November 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
Cats are always handy to talk to in a crisis and Nola was giving her Siamese a workout. There were no two ways about it . . . Nola York-Stein was simply cursed. Cursed in Alta Donna. She knew if the cat could talk she would say that she shouldn’t “lose her head over a boy.” Here she was, “barely a teen,” and hanging out next to the phone waiting for it to ring. Damiano was going to have some explaining to do when she got back to school on Monday, especially about “all the mysteries surrounding his sister, Inés.” Until then, she was simply going to have to stick by that phone. Naturally Mums was acting like a teenager again and that was totally annoying. The best thing she could do would be to take a bubbly bubble bath. Riiiiing!!! Guess who? Mums.
Nola could say anything to her mother and she didn’t seem to listen. She was all excited about a party for a client and wanted Nola to go. Mums was a big businesswoman and only had eyes for work. At school Damiano and Inés, a brother and sister duo, talked about avoiding Nola and had eyes for everything BUT Nola. Even though Inés had taken Nola shopping, she scolded him saying, “And anyway I said it was dangerous to make friends.” What on earth was dangerous about that? Just what kind of secrets were they hiding? Some really weird things happened when those two were around like the time Nola’s best friend, Pumpkin, couldn’t even remember that Nola had been tossed off the roller coaster at the carnival. Someone was casting some forgetting spells and she had to get to the bottom of it.
School never went well for Nola with that Lame-O teacher. Oh, and of course in biology class she forgot about her report on an animal and decided to talk about ferrets . . . “but ferrets secretly run the world . . . they manage our entire lives.” Ugh! Things were going from bad to worse. Inés was telling her a pack of lies and Ragazzo called her a loser and a bizarro. AND Damiano wouldn’t even look at her. She thought that things were much simpler when she was younger because “If you liked someone, all you had to do was punch him in the arm.” Next thing you know she was at Mums' party. Her very own Dad showed up and pushed her over the balcony! What was going on? There had to be a link between this attack, the attack on the librarian, and when Damiano and Inés showed up, but what was it? Were a bunch of ferrets really taking over the world?
Nola, a young teen from Alta Donna, has lost her head over Damiano, a mysterious boy who can’t even look at her. This is the second in the series and its theme is coming together nicely, but you won’t find any spoilers here. Nola is coming into her own and the reader will start to understand her much better and smile at her “bizarro” personality and lovable, sorta normal teenage ways. I appreciated Nola’s wild imagination, especially when she was stuck in a classroom. Her relationships with her mostly absent Mums, her best friend Pumpkin, and the ones she would like to have, are becoming more distinct and more developed in this second book. The “mystery” is deepening, but the clues are coming faster now. The mangamongously appealing artwork is a real draw for me and the two-page spread of Nola’s imaginary world of ferrets was amazing.
Quill says: This wildly imaginative, quirky, slightly zany graphic novel is one you might want to add to your list...if the ferrets will let you!