Source: Hyperion/Netgalley – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Edition: Egalley, 336 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository *
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
With the completion of Rogue Touch I immediately jumped right into The She-Hulk Diaries, because one kick-ass super-heroine is just not enough. Two isn’t really enough either but since these are the only two out right now, I suppose I’ll have to make due.
The She-Hulk Diaries surprised me by focusing on Jennifer Walters instead of putting all the attention on her green counterpart. Jennifer is a talented attorney and thanks to a transfusion (from her cousin Bruce aka Hulk) now has the ability to shift into a very large and very lively green woman with the ability to crush almost everything. I really loved that Jennifer is really down to earth and pretty geeky at times, she’s not necessarily shy but compared to She-Hulk (affectionately called Shulky) she really does seem that way. I also really liked She-Hulk’s personality overall and I liked that Jennifer feels kind of at odds with it. It really is a co-existent battle of personalities and this book explores how Jennifer copes with the alter ego while trying to live a normal life, and it even delves into self-acceptance and discovery.
The romance is one part comedy, one part frustration and one part swoon inducing. Jennifer has a rather goofy outlook on her dating life and it’s one of her Valentine’s Day resolutions to find a potential husband. Even though the hunt for a male kind of bothered me Jennifer is a goofball and I couldn’t help but enjoy watching her develop (in some cases destroy) relationships with some of these guys. The frustration comes in when she goes into default lawyer mode and starts acting like relationships are business meetings, I get why she does it but I just want to shake her back into reality. There are also times where you can really see how much Jennifer self-depreciates herself and it’s kind of heartbreaking that she’s willing to change for someone, especially since Shulky would probably break someone before trying to mold herself into someone else. It’s great to see that development happen.
We do get a taste of the other characters from the Marvel universe, though most of them are more of side mentions or telephone calls but it’s nice to have that connection anyway. There is also a dose of superhero mystery/crime to figure out and it’s great to see She Hulk in action in a few scenes. Jennifer’s best friend Dahlia is a loon and at first a bit put off with her tunnel vision (she focuses on men quite a bit) she really becomes kind of endearing after while. The biggest issue I had with this was the thin line between casually funny and immature that wavered ever so slightly. I’ll be very happy if I never see the words OMG!amazing ever again. The phrase fits the personality of those saying it but it just grated me nerves whenever I saw it. Another personal irritation is original music lyrics because I don’t know the tune it goes to, so I just feel awkward reading it like a poem. I have nothing against the songs themselves, but it’s something that has always bothered me (I don’t even like Tolkien’s songs in the Lord of the Rings). There is also a scene about 80% in that kind of threw me for a loop because it was so random, and even though I chuckled at a few names involved it just didn’t really seem necessary..considering She-Hulk weighs like 650 pounds.
Overall I’m pleased with the book and I think it’s great that Marvel has partnered with a publisher in order to bring their kick ass women to a new audience. She-Hulk Diaries is a fun, quirky, and adventurous book that I think would make for a perfect summer time read. Now to wait patiently to see what else Hyperion and Marvel have up their sleeves.