Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Emmie & Friends #5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: Cliques. Crushes. Comics. Middle school.
Ever since Tyler started getting into art and hanging out with Emmie, his friends and teammates have been giving him a hard time. He wonders why can’t he nerd out on drawing and play ball?
Emmie is psyched that she gets to work on a comics project with her crush, Tyler. But she gets the feeling that his friends don’t think she’s cool enough. Maybe it’s time for a total reinvention. . . .
My Review: Truly Tyler was everything I hoped it would be. One of my most anticipated 2021 releases, I was very excited to read this next installment in the Emmie & Friends series. Tyler’s book was an absolute joy to read!
Truly Tyler continues the storylines from book 1, Invisible Emmie, and the new social dynamics Emmie and Tyler now find themselves in. Tyler is torn between his two passions, art and basketball. Meanwhile, the teasing both he and Emmie have been getting causes Emmie to not feel popular/cool enough and way out of Tyler’s league. The two then struggle with working together on their comic book project as well as the straining relationships with their friend groups.
This story was really absorbing. It’s way longer than all the other books but Libenson makes every page count with her engaging art style. She always creates a fun atmosphere to enjoy her stories within. The straightforward plot is woven together with timeless, relatable themes that throw you back to those awkward middle school days. Wanting to be yourself but at the same time fit in and be liked.
Tyler is a great main character. I liked learning about him as more than Emmie’s secret crush. I connected with Tyler feeling divided over having multiple interests and feeling pressed to decide on one thing to define who you are. Although Emmie is still that same insecure, awkward turtle from book 1, she grows even more so in this book. I liked how she comes into her own as a much stronger version of herself.
Truly Tyler was another excellent addition to the Emmie & Friends series. It was honest, delightful, and very entertaining. Libenson is a talented storyteller and illustrated. I hope there will be more books in the future!
More by Terri Libenson