Graphic Novel Review: I Am Not Starfire

I am not Starfire
Photo-A-Day 2.0 #00945

We received a free advanced review copy of I Am Not Starfire from DC Comics. Opinions are our own.

I am glad that my daughter enjoys reading comic books. I am always on the lookout for books that she would enjoy. I know that I Am Not Starfire would be an interesting one for her. This is a coming of age story of Starfire’s daughter, Mandy. Mandy and Starfire are very dissimilar. Starfire is tall, beautiful and bubbly. She always appears to be friendly and happy. Mandy is short, a hormonal teen, angry, angsty and mad at the world. She doesn’t fit in at school or home. At first she loved being the daughter of Starfire and she was happy. However, things began to change as she became a teen. She dyed her hair black, wore mostly black and became very, very sarcastic.

I am not Starfire dyeing hair

Mandy’s only friends are Lincoln at school and her pet bird Joannie. She even has an Instagram just for Joannie. the reason it is for Joannie is that she cannot be on social media because of all the people who fawn all over her mom or want to meet the Teen Titans. This and for various other reasons Mandy is angry and her way of lashing out is to be so much the opposite of her mother. Mandy wants to do her own thing and that includes not going to college. Her attitude towards college and not wanting to go gets her noticed by Claire. Mandy is crushing on Claire hard, too.

falling for claire

Things start of well between Mandy and Claire as they get paired up to do a school assignment. However, though an incident on Claire’s part there is a rift between the two girls. This threatens to completely ruin their relationship before it can even begin but another more pressing problem arises and I do not want to give that away.

the rift I am not starfire

The graphic novel is a great coming of age story for teens struggling to find their place in the world. Rebelling against their parents and everything else. Not fitting in and trying to find your own people. Facing your own truth is also a theme.

Eva and I spoke about the book. Eva liked it because it was about finding out who you are and having the courage to tell the world that “this is who I am and you cannot do anything about it.” I am not who you expect me to be and if you don’t like it that’s your problem. So yes, she really liked this book.

I liked that eventually both mother and daughter re-learned how to appreciate each other and their differences.

One thing for the parents out there who are thinking about getting the book for their teens. There is some salty language in there, however it is not overly gratuitous and is nothing that a teen hasn’t already heard. In our house the kids have heard many swears. How? Well, we used to have a neighbor who swore all the live long day loudly. The kids know not to repeat those words but Eva is not being shielded from stories that are good stories jut because of a little language. That being said, the book is for teens.

More about the book below.

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Written by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani

Young Adult (YA) Graphic Novels ∙ Summer Vacation Reads ∙ Anticipated 2021 Reads Books for Teen Titans Fans ∙ Coming of Age ∙ Self-Discovery ∙ Original LGBTQ+ Story

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is?

Eisner Award-winning author Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets) bring a coming-of-age story about relationships and self-discovery in I Am Not Starfire.

This original YA graphic novel is a relatable and endearing story of finding one’s footing outside the pressures of parents and society. This book is a great read for teens ages 13+ and hits
stores and online retailers on July 27, 2021.

Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who
dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant, angry, light years-away moon.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. She’s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then
everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I Am Not Starfire is a witty mother daughter story about teenagers, aliens, and knowing where you come from and where you’re going.