Review: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson


Title: Roller Girl

Author: Victoria Jamieson

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Publisher: Dial Books

Pages/Format: 240 pages, Paperback

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From Goodreads:

For fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby.


For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.


In her graphic novel debut, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverance, and girl power!


I had high expectations for Roller Girl and it didn’t disappoint me at all! I totally loved this tale about growing up as well as the hardships that come with growing apart from friends. This book truly made me think about past friendships I’ve had that didn’t work out and how that’s okay because sometimes people develop differing interests.


Besides just having great life lessons about friendships and honesty, this story had me laughing a lot! Astrid is quite funny and the scenes between her and a new friend she makes at derby camp, Zoey, are just utterly amusing! I thought that Astrid was also very realistic. She has problems and she’s not flawless – in fact, she’s kind of average. Although she genuinely wants to be a strong roller girl, she has to work at making her skating skills better since at the beginning of the book she can barely skate without falling! In terms of Astrid and Nicole’s relationship, they’ve been best friends since the first grade yet it seems like they’ve only been doing what Astrid has been interested in. As they’re about to start junior high, Astrid wants to join derby camp yet Nicole likes dance and is more concerned with dressing better and talking to boys.


Whoever decided that Roller Girl should be in full color had the right idea! I adored the artwork in this book and it was so much more gorgeous due to all the various colors. I believe that the pacing in this was really great too. Astrid’s journey didn’t feel rushed and all of the scenes lead up to a practical and enjoyable conclusion.


I’ve had a hard time writing this review since I love this book so much and what I want you to do is go read Roller Girl instead of my views on it! This book has definitely earned 5 out of 5 stars because it’s comical and cute yet it really shows how imperfect friendships, people, and life can be. I took this book out from my local library but I definitely want to buy my own copy! This book may be geared towards middle grade readers but I think teens and adults will appreciate it too!


Here’s my reading progress from Goodreads!