REVIEW: 'Token' Written by Alisa Kwitney and Illustrated by Joëlle Jones

Token (2008) is written Alisa Kwiteny and illustrated by Joëlle Jones and published by MINX.

Alisa Kwitney, the author of my favorite contemporary romances – The Dominant Blonde and Flirting in Cars has penned a graphic novel for young adults. The author(s) did good job of entertaining me. Alisa Kwitney is a former editor of Vertigo and with those credentials, I expected no less from her.

MINX is a imprint of DC comics that is targeted to a specific demographic: a young female audience. The stories tend to follow the same format of having a strong female lead, a story full of high adventure and romance followed by a moment or two of self-discovery. This story is no different save that it’s one of the better titles the imprint has to offer this year.

In ‘Token’, the author has set her story during the late 1980’s. The narrative follows fifteen year old Shira Spektor, a young Jewish girl living in a hotel with her dad in Miami Beach, Florida. Her father, Alan Spektor Esquire, is a real estate lawyer and her mother: dead from a car accident when she was four. The only women in Shira’s life is her elderly grandmother and her best friend Minerva, a seventy-year old former Hollywood actress.

When readers are introduced to Shira, we learn that she is not a popular kid at her high school. In fact, a few of her classmates have labeled her as weird. But there really isn’t anything weird about Shira. She is outgoing, makes good grades and enjoys the occassional romance novel.

We also learn that Shira and her father have a very close relationship. He takes her to Woolworth’s to celebrate on special occasions. So she’s used to having her father’s attention and affection. However, when her father’s romantic relationship with his secretary gets serious,his doting, loving daughter turns into a rebellious teenager. As a way to get back at her father Shira starts to shoplift.

Meanwhile, love and adventure comes calling in the form of Rafael Wilson, a boy from Spain. Rafael is a street kid bad boy who takes Shira under his wing and aides her during her shoplifting sprees. The two are together a lot in here and Shira is caught up in the romance of it all. Everything seems groovy, that is until all of it spirals out of control.

The story culminates with Shira celebrating her “sweet sixteen” and that turns out to be less than stellar. Her first brief romance ends abruptly and her best friend suffers a stroke. The ending has a somewhat whimsical feel to it as Shira summarizes about life being about ‘beginnings and endings’. From the way Shira started the story as a spoiled, materialistic kid with her head in the clouds, I felt she grew up just a little bit; she didn’t get a Cinderella ending but a big bow was still neatly tied at the end.

My impressions of ‘Token’ was that it was a neat story and the artwork was well done. Overall: an entertaining tale for teens to pass the time away. I’d rate this a B. Again, it’s one of the better titles offered by MINX this year. This graphic novel is due out Nov 4, 2008 or sooner at your local bookstore or comic bookstore.


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade B Reviews, Graphic Novels, Teen Fiction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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