Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds | Review

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Release Date: August 1st, 2017

Trigger Warnings: racism, violence, gang violence, drugs

Pages: 261

Publisher: Marvel Press

Genre: young adult, middle grade, superheroes, fantasy, urban fantasy

Goodreads blurb:

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

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R E V I E W

I have suddenly developed a new love for Spider-Man after recently watching all of Tom Holland’s versions of him. So, after watching Avengers: Infinity War I needed more Spider-Man. This is where Miles Morales was perfect. This was short, sweet and had a depth that carried through in a powerful sense. There was something lacking in this story, but it was overall, a really enjoyable read that highlighted family and friendship.

Miles Morales is about Miles Morales. I know, unbelievable. Before this book has begun Miles is already Spider-Man, which I felt left us out of some of the most important things of his past. As the reader, we get snippets of that past but I really felt as if they were disconnected from the story and only used at times to try and push the story forward. Miles comes from a low-income family and is attending a boarding school on a full scholarship, he returns home every week to visit his mum and dad and I really loved that connection between them. However, being Spider-Man can cause some big, big problems. Mainly when you’re sitting in class and your spidey senses go off and you run out, resulting in you being suspended. This isn’t a one-time occurrence though, it is never-ending. Though it could just be because the teacher is a straight up racist and thinks slavery was great (literally, but this is challenged). Some of the story felt a little disjointed and I feel that was because the length made it difficult for the plot to really shine through and take hold. Which is unfortunate because this book had a lot of potential.

I guess I should jump into my likes and dislikes before I start accidentally spoiling things!

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L I K E S

✗ ACTION SCENE WELL DESCRIBED

This is partially a dislike too, mainly because there is one action scene in the entire short book. However, it was perfectly described. I wish there had been more scenes like the finale one just because I was shocked. I have never read an action scene that was so perfectly described and allowed me to picture what was happening in clear detail.

✗ THE DIALOGUE WAS GREAT

I’m a big dialogue reader. I seriously rely on it to push a story forward. I’m not sure why. Miles Morale had perfect dialogue for me. It was funny, it was fast paced and it all had a purpose, whether that was foreshadowing or not. The characters felt their age and they truly felt as if they had a depth throughout. I sincerely enjoyed it.

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D I S L I K E S

✗ SO MUCH BUILD UP AND NOTHING

The story builds and builds and builds and builds and…nothing. The climax hits late in the book and its at a stage where you just don’t really care anymore. The first 85% of the story was setting up for it but it didn’t feel that way. It feels more so as if the author only remembered then that a problem needs to occur throughout the text in order for the bit to make a punch. It all came so late that I can barely remember what actually happened, my brain seems to have retained the knowledge of the dorm room description better.

✗ SO MANY LOOSE ENDS

My biggest problem is how many loose ends this book has. It honestly feels like half a book, with the other half being cut out and the final edition not being edited properly. I really struggled once the book ended because it felt the biggest problem throughout was Miles and his uncles’ relationship, but it’s never actually talked about that much. It truly was just like what? When the book did finish. I just wanted more finality, not the open-ended kind of ending that was given.

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Overall, Miles Morales was a really good take on Spider-Man. I love Tom Holland, but now I wish that Marvel had taken the jump and made Spider-Man a person of colour in the newest remake. I just don’t know how to feel about the book. I obviously enjoyed it for the most part but it was incredibly lacking in so many others. I wanted more and I, unfortunately, didn’t get it. I guess my expectations were a little too high for this one.

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Happy reading everyone!

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5 thoughts on “Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds | Review

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