World Class is a Young Adult graphic novel by Jay Sandlin, which centers on Adrian Molina, the Colombian Cannon, who received a scholarship to play football for an elite school. Then he meets the rich, powerful, and star of the school’s soccer team, Titan Evans, who immediately sees Adrian as a rival. After numerous bullying incidents from Titan, Adrian suffered anxiety attacks that may derail his scholarship and spot on the team.
Can we talk about that phenomenal cover first? The color, the drawing, the symbolism—just stunning! If you’re like me, who’s absolutely in love with this cover, then you’d love what is inside even more. The colors are popping; they’re vibrant in continuous panels and just a feast to the eye.
Story-wise, the novel doesn’t feel as fresh, but that did not diminish my enjoyment from reading it. I loved Adrian as a character. I loved that he is from Colombia because we don’t get to see many POC main characters.
I also loved that the author tackled important topics such as bullying, racism, and diversity. I think these aspects of the novel are where the author succeeded, making these topics the story’s focus and associating them with what’s happening in the current events.
I wished we got more of Adrian and his friendship with Luciano, I am personally rooting for them, but I loved how the author handled this relationship. The bullying part, which also relates to racism, was uncomfortable to read. As a person of color myself, I was horrified for Adrian. It felt a bit too much, with the supposed adult in the story not doing anything about it.
Overall, the novel is very entertaining. It is evocative in a way, and I wouldn’t mind reading a continuation of Adrian’s story.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Expected publication: February 22nd 2022
A copy of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher, Diamond Book Distributors, Maverick, Mad Cave Studios via Netgalley for an impartial and honest review.
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About the Author
Jay is an author and host of his podcast, GeekOPedia. In addition to World Class, he’s written Hellfighter Quin and Over the Ropes for mad cave studios. Find more on his other books and comics at JaySandlin.com