Publisher: Yen Press
Welcome to Berrybrook School. Jorge has a pretty comfortable life here: a spot on the athletics team and two brilliant friends. Whenever he sees Jazmine, though, he gets totally tongue-tied. He definitely doesn’t have a crush – does he?
Crush follows everyday life at school with Jorge and his friends as he tries to figure out the new feelings he has for Jazmine, along with the ups and downs of other school friendships and school corridor goings-on, from the changing relationship between his two best friends to the bullying ‘lad’ behaviour of class jock James.
This is a dynamic and authentically told graphic novel with some fantastic characters. Jorge is a genuinely good guy – though with relatable insecurities – while his best friend Olivia is feisty and empowered. It subtly touches on some important issues, particularly respect, bullying and body autonomy, and the author handles these with balance and integrity. It’s also so refreshing to have a story involving first crushes from a boy’s perspective.
Crush is the third book in the Berrybrook School series by Svetlana Chmakova, but each book follows a different character so it can easily be read as a standalone story.