Review: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson and Leila del Duca

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed book coverI was a little surprised to see a graphic novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, but of course I had to check it out. I'm not a superhero fan in general, but I sometimes make an exception for Wonder Woman. I'm glad I did this time. It was illustrated by an artist I wasn't familiar with, Leila del Duca, but she impressed me with her sharp style.

In this one, Diana is sixteen when the barrier protecting the island of Themyscira is compromised and she goes beyond it to help victims of a shipwreck. But she gets stuck outside and can't get back in. So she ends up in a refugee camp, where her language skills (apparently Amazons can speak every language) are super useful. Fortunately, she makes it out of the camp to New York, where she lands with a Polish immigrant and her teenage granddaughter, who Diana befriends.   

The story overall is one about social justice, which isn't a surprise from Anderson. I won't give away what the issues that it deals with are, but it's a good story. My favorite light moment is when Diana is introduced to traditional polka dancing and loves it, and her friend is mortified. Diana is definitely a fish out of water in America, which makes for both some funny scenes, but also an interesting and incisive perspective on society.

This book is a must-read for all you fans of Wonder Woman or Anderson. Also anyone who cares about social justice will likely enjoy it.

2018 in Review

One of the nice things about having a bad memory is that when it comes time to write an end-of-the-year post and look back on the year, the stuff that happened at the beginning of the year isn’t really that much more hard to remember than the stuff that just happened. Obviously I’m sort of kidding—it’s annoying even if it’s not unfair to the beginning of the year. 

This year, there were five books that really stood out to me. Three of them I read and studied for the MFA and the other two I’m planning to put on my list for next semester. 

Eleanor & Park has been one of my favorite books since I first read it back in 2013, I think. I reread it a few months ago and enjoyed every second of it again. If I could write like Rainbow Rowell, I’d consider myself There as a writer. I reviewed it in August. 

Louise O’Neill is one of my other favorite writers. This year, in June, I reviewed The Surface Breaks, which is a very feminist retelling of the Little Mermaid story. O’Neill manages to get her message mixed in with a very satisfying and engaging story every time. 

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard is another great one to me. It was such a fresh story about a gender nonconforming girl who learns the value of female friendships over her bro relationships. I reviewed it in October. This is one I’m hoping my faculty mentor lets me put on my reading list for next semester. 

Another book that I adored and studied for the MFA was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This is a fantastic and tragic look at mental illness (undiagnosed bipolar disorder in this case). I really loved this book and happily reread it for the MFA. I reviewed it in January. 

The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati is second book on this list that takes a hard look at mental illness. This one doesn’t end sadly, however, but does explore bipolar disorder in depth. I really enjoyed it and reviewed it in April.