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Collected and in color for the first time, The Hazards of Love follows the story of a queer teen from Queens who makes some mistakes, gets dragged into a fantastical place, and tries to hustle their way back home.

Amparo’s deal with the talking cat was simple: a drop of blood and Amparo’s name to become a better person. Their mother and abuela would never worry about them again, and they’d finally be worthy of dating straight-A student Iolanthe. But when the cat steals their body, becoming the better person they were promised, Amparo’s spirit is imprisoned in a land of terrifying, flesh-hungry creatures known as Bright World.

With cruel and manipulative masters and a society that feeds on memories, Amparo must use their cleverness to escape, without turning into a monster like the rest. On “the other side,” Iolanthe begins to suspect the new Amparo has a secret, and after the cat in disguise vanishes, she’s left searching for answers with a no-nonsense medium from the lesbian mafia and the only person who might know the truth about Bright World.”

The Hazards of Love Vol. 1: Bright World

I got an ARC of this book.

Where do I even start with this one? It is better than I could have imagined. I got it because it said queer. That was it. I am not a big fantasy person and really not a cat person. I will pet cats and spoil them, but I don’t generally seek them out. So the idea of a cat character that is big enough to make front and back cover doesn’t do anything for me.

This is the coolest graphic novel from a new author I have read in a long, long time. There is enough spooky and enough mystery to keep me coming back for more. There were enough set rules that I was able to enjoy the fantasy without feeling like everything was just super easy or cheating me out of plots. I adored this world. I am terrified by this world. I loved that there is a conversation about the cat plot and someone else is like “oh, why would you trust someone you don’t know”. It just felt so great to see an element of fairy tales that never made sense to me get questioned.

The characters are so alive. I didn’t even mean that joke, but I will take it. There are so many interesting characters. Who actually is this dear dude? What about the orange man? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. I am so mad right now. Why did this book have to end before I had my answers?

The queer content is just wonderful. A character who may or may not have a label, just living their life. The characters are all an intense mixture of good and bad. Some of the characters think they are worse than they are. Some think they are better than they are. There is just so much raw pain and emotions. I was really surprised that this book was that intense with emotions. I don’t see magical talking cats and go “this book will make me feel things”. It was a wonderful surprise.

I really could gush about this book all afternoon. From the art to the story, I loved this story. I need book two immediately.

5 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book.

You can buy the book here.

~Isaiah