★★★☆☆ (I liked it.)
“You already are the answer.”
I should start this review by stating, for the record, that I adore Steven Universe. I made a point to buy this book new, because I want Cartoon Network to see that shows like Steven Universe – quirky, heartfelt, optimistic, and very queer – make money. There is a market for something like this, and they should keep making it, and more things like it.
The Answer did not disappoint. It’s a TV show spin-off, so admittedly, my hopes were not high. Although ever since I read Frozen: A Sister More Like Me, I’ve had more respect for these tie-in books. The quality has gone way ( wayyyyy) up since I was a kid.
I was especially impressed that the meta/postmodern picture book trend has trickled down to the movie/TV show tie-in – right around the time when School Library Journal declared the death of the meta picture book.
I don’t think The Answer can stand alone. Maybe it’s not supposed to; it is a Steven Universe tie-in, after all. But I won’t get it for my library; we have a “no tie-ins/spin-offs” rule, unless like (e.g., Jedi Academy) they can stand alone without the reader knowing the source material.
Judging a Book by Its Cover
I like it. BookRiot had an article recently(ish) about the history and evolution of cover design for YA books with LGBT+ content, from “hiding in plain sight” to “out and proud.” The Answer is a kids’ book, and it’s definitely on the “out and proud” end of the spectrum; then again, so is all of Steven Universe.
Right after The Answer (the TV ep) aired, there were some fans (“”fans””) who insisted that Ruby must be a boy. They were wrong. Anyone who knows anything about the show (i.e., probably anyone buying this book) knows that the gems are genderless/single gender, but use feminine pronouns.
… so it’s not technically lesbians, but it’s basically lesbians.
queer girl media is so good these days I’m glad to be alive right now but wish I had been born twenty years later
— Meep 🌙 (@transpacifique) September 9, 2016
I actually said this about Not Your Sidekick, but I was thinking about Steven Universe and everything else out there, too.