Top Shelf. Jun. 2024. 192p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781603095396.
Gr 8 Up–Three musicians—a werewolf, a ghost, and a human—must overcome their differences to perform in a Battle of the Bands competition. Spanish werewolf Izzy Plata is the best bass player in town, but her inflated ego and high standards get her kicked out of her fourth band in a year. When she hears the music of the late jazz legend Geraldine Dukes coming from a local burger joint, she learns that Geraldine has returned as a ghost, and can become dense enough to play the piano by drinking milkshakes. Desperately wanting to compete in the upcoming Battle of the Bands, Izzy joins forces with Geraldine and rival drummer, Delilah. The tension from Delilah and Izzy’s tempestuous past transforms into attraction, but a moment of vulnerability makes Izzy pull away and endanger the band’s tenuous cohesion. Delilah’s former bandmate also threatens sabotage, but the three stars ultimately overcome their differences for a memorable show. Pinks, oranges, blues, and blacks infuse the high-contrast art, with memory sequences drawn in grayscale. While the graphic novel successfully captures how the past influences the characters’ motivations and behavior, Izzy and Delilah’s romantic relationship feels underdeveloped.
VERDICT A fantastical musical journey with strong characterization.

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