Posted in Book review

Book Review- Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Title: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass
Author: Mariko Tamaki

ISBN: 401283292 (ISBN13: 9781401283292)

Genre/Themes: Superhero/villian
Recommended Age: Young Adult
Series: No

Publisher: DC Ink
Publication Date: Sept. 3rd 2019 (196 pages)


Synopsis from Goodreads

Harleen is a tough, outspoken, rebellious kid who lives in a ramshackle apartment above a karaoke cabaret owned by a drag queen named MAMA. Ever since Harleen’s parents split, MAMA has been her only family. When the cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harleen gets mad.

When Harleen decides to turn her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is at once a tale of the classic Harley readers know and love, and a heartfelt story about the choices teenagers make and how they can define–or destroy–their lives.


Harley Quinn has always intrigued me and after hearing the author talk about it more at the ALA Annual conference, I knew I had to read it. So when I saw this graphic novel up for grabs on Netgalley I had to check it out. I was not disappointed.

Harley Quinn is such a complex character with a simple outlook, which really comes across here. She’s in high school, living with drag queens, friends with Ivy, and looking for entertainment. She is such a fun character. Then there is Ivy who is politically-minded, a social justice warrior fighting for equality and honestly the best person ever. I really liked how Ivy was portrayed and couldn’t help but wonder if she’d one day be Poison Ivy, because I would totally get it. The Joker does make an appearance and what a take– not one I’ve seen before and I kind of liked it. Bruce Wayne also makes an appearance… Between knowing the two are there it made me wonder if things could have been different for Harley if… well, I don’t want to spoil things, but it truly comes back to the theme of the book.

This is a timely novel, bringing up gentrification and the rich crushing the not so well off. It is beautifully written and the artwork is lovely. I would love to read more, but I think this is a standalone and it does work as a standalone.
I hope many people give this one a try and see how amazing it is!

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