HomeComics/MangaCOMIC REVIEW | Taking On "Junior High" with the Quin Twins

COMIC REVIEW | Taking On "Junior High" with the Quin Twins

COMIC REVIEW | Taking On "Junior High" with the Quin Twins

Junior high school is that time where one starts a finding their true selves. It’s a strange in-between place, where you are constantly conflicted between acting like a kid or an “adult”. But everyone has gone through this, from the most average of people to — in this case — a two twin sisters who’ve played to audiences all over the world. Tegan and Sara: Junior High tells the somewhat true story of the Quin sisters, with some relishing of the truth for the sake of the plot.

Although it was 1991 when Tegan and Sara were in middle school, this version of their story instead places the twins in the modern day. With their parents separated and their mom dating a new-but-nice guy, there’s already a bit of heaviness in the lives of the sisters. But upon entering junior high, both Tegan and Sara find their way to overcome obstacles, be it as a duo or on their separate paths. Of course, this also means that the sisters bump heads over the new people in their lives, especially when it comes to possible bullies and love interests.

It’s clear that one twin has it rougher than the other. Tegan’s shyness in the beginning makes it a struggle for her to make friends, whereas Sara easily gels with her classmates. But with them being twins, the weird questions start coming out, ranging from telepathy skills to, well, questioning their very existence. However, things get a little weird between the sisters when Avery enters their lives, a girl who bullies one but befriends another.

Much of Tegan and Sara: Junior High focuses on the duo’s first year in their new surroundings. They deal with their share of academic issues, their first bras, and experiencing puberty in the most awkward of ways. Going to see their original first friend Faiza acts as a comfort zone for both, but — as long-distance friendships go — they start drifting apart and changing in ways that make them look like a much different person from before. It’s also the time when the twins start figuring things out about themselves. Well…okay, one does, at the very least.

Its narrative has a very going-by-the-motions way of being told, in a way that makes it relatable to young readers. Grudges and sisterly rivalries take some time to get over, with the bruises and scars of past fights lingering on for much longer. But it’s when Sara starts feeling things for classmate Roshini that are more than friendly vibes when Tegan and Sara: Junior High gets its plot fully going. And then, there’s the discovery of the mother’s boyfriend’s guitar.

This isn’t exactly a tale about how the twins became the Tegan and Sara we know today. With that being said, there’s a good chunk of the narrative that feels like they’re the stepping stones towards the kinds of songs the duo would create in their future. There are some funny moments showcased that make the tough relatable parts easier to stomach, especially when Sara has an incident in a local bowling alley.

Visually, Tegan and Sara: Junior High captures that time in one’s life like some solid notebook doodles. Drawn by Tillie Walden, the style fits with the personality, the vibe, and the mentality of going to middle school. There are times where it’s very hard to differentiate between Tegan and Sara (though this might be intentional), but one can start telling them apart when their personalities begin to show.

Tegan and Sara: Junior High is a good look into the singing duo’s early life. Although it shoves them into a modern setting, the attitude fits well with the 90s era. It doesn’t lift the curtain completely when it comes to both coming out of the closet (that’ll probably be saved for the next book, tentatively titled Tegan and Sara: Crush), but it does a good job with showing some of the early realizations of same-sex romance. If you’re a longtime fan, Tegan and Sara: Junior High will satisfy those yearning to see a youthful perspective of the famous Canadian singing twins.


Promotional consideration provided by Macmillan Publishing. In stores May 30th.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)