“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.
But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.
As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical "benefits" of slavery and the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.
It’s time for Miles to suit up. Complete your Marvel YA collection with these best-selling fan-favorite novels:
Jason Reynolds is an American author of novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audience. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, Jason Reynolds moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he gets home.
Before reading this novel, I thought: COOL! A Black and Puerto Rican superhero slinging webs and saving lives!
After reading, I think the same thing... but MAN is there so much more to this book than that.
Truthfully, I was expecting Spider-Man's regular antics, just with some brown skin beneath the spandex suit (silly me, though, right? This is a Jason Reynolds book. Obviously not going to be that cut and dry). What I HADN'T considered was that being a "superhero" would be a fundamentally different experience for a Black-Latino kid. And that's what Jason Reynolds so deftly lays out in this story. Miles Morales, in addition to the pressure of an un-ignorable spidey-sense that alerts him to people in danger (people he struggles to resist the compulsion to save), also has to deal with things like racism, relative poverty, being one of only a handful of black kids in an elite private school, keeping his grades up so he doesn't lose his scholarship, not succumbing to the pull of the streets when the financial going gets really tough, watching as people from his neighborhood DO succumb. This novel shows that every decision to save someone else is a decision to potentially wreck his own life. Because being a black superhero isn't the same as being a white one. The stakes are higher.
Trying to keep this review spoiler-free but the villain here... MAN! Just immaculate. All I'll say is this: Jason has knocked it out of the park.
One of the worst books I've ever read. There is no plot or story. A Spider-Man book where nothing really happens except Miles goes to school for a week. We get no answers why this teacher is harassing Miles, why all these Mr. Chamberlains are targeting minority youths or why they are having the same dreams. The villain of the book is only in it for the last 20 pages. We get no resolution. Miles uses his powers in his civilian clothes to win a dance-off in a crowded subway car. Miles's dad is portrayed as an a-hole who acts like his child is a burden for most of the book. Oh, and find me one glass backboard at a public park in Brooklyn. They don't exist for the very same reason as in the book. Because kids break them dunking off them. The author is supposed to have grown up in Brooklyn. You'd think he would have paid attention to his surroundings. This book is truly awful.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a review.
Can I have sequel, please? Please make this a series!
"Miles Morales" is my first foray into the world of Jason Reynolds and I am now and will forever be a full time resident. This book is nothing short of exceptional. Despite being a fan of Peter Parker (and Spiderman in general), I never quite got around to reading about Miles. I knew of him via word of mouth, I know that this is a well-loved character but for some reason I never got into the comics. This novel is a great way to boost interest an a great way to do so in a potentially successful manner.
Let's get into what I enjoyed about this book.
The characters: Miles as a protagonist is beautifully crafted. Reynolds takes a lot of time developing Morales' central character traits and these are very well detailed on the page. It's easy to love Miles, and this novel creates the character in a more multidimensional way that comics and graphic novels are able to do.
The supporting characters are equally well-drawn. The family and platonic relationships are fully developed, realities and very healthy. I believe it will be easy for students to identify themselves and their families within this book.
The setting: Spiderman just has to be New York. This story might work elsewhere but I like that Reynold’s kept with canon on this.
The plot: This is the only downfall for me, but it’s also a plus. Some readers will feel that this novel doesn’t have much of a plot, it does. It’s just that, for me, it feels like a something that’s on a slow-cooker. You have to give it enough time to cook throughly. This is linked to the pacing, the pacing was perfect for the star that Reynold’s is trying to tell and I do believe that it complements the book well.
The romance is understated and as a secondary story-line acts as a strong compliment to Miles' story. This combination works extremely well and readers do not fell burdened to keep track. Moreover, I love that there are some many POC in this book. The diversity is truly representative and is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise homogenous genre.
In summary, I believe that this novel is beautifully written and is definitely one of my favourite books for the year this far. I would recommend to everyone regardless of age, and would could be easily integrated into the curriculum of a literature class (even culture/history) if the teacher wants to shake this up a bit).
I... did not like this. This was not what I was expecting, it reads as a middle grade book and even when the book touches important topics, I felt that it did so in a very shallow way. The writing was... it was quite juvenile and even when this book has very little Spider-Man and there's a lot of description of Miles's life, I still didn't grasp completely who he was and what he wanted. He might have been the weakest character in this book. I also haaated Ganke. Goddamn, what an annoying character. I might have prefered watching this story as an animated 90 minutes movie, than experiencing it as a book. A bit of cringy moments here and there, because the dialogue was so... fanfiction-y, aand yeah. Maybe I'm just too old for this shit. I'm giving this 2 stars because like I said, it does try to explore important issues, like racial and social struggles, but because is quite juvenile, and the ending is sooo... ugh, I dunno, (extremely corny) comic booky, it fails to deliver a solid critic. Also, with Miles's background, there was a potential to make him one of the most complex heroes out there, but I just saw a lot of wasted opportunities, with the typical comic book romance trope and a weak, totally predictable, mess of a villain.
I loved this! Even though it was about a superhero it felt very real. Miles’s situation is one that many people are in and I feel like a lot of people could relate to his story. I also liked how this book touches upon the prison system and the effects it has. Overall, this book is a perfect blend of Spidey fun and real world issues.
I have suddenly developed a new love for Spider-Man after recently watching all of Tom Holland’s versions of him. So, after watching Avengers: Infinity War I needed more Spider-Man. This is where Miles Morales was perfect. This was short, sweet and had a depth that carried through in a powerful sense. There was something lacking in this story, but it was overall, a really enjoyable read that highlighted family and friendship.
Miles Morales is about Miles Morales. I know, unbelievable. Before this book has begun Miles is already Spider-Man, which I felt left us out of some of the most important things of his past. As the reader, we get snippets of that past but I really felt as if they were disconnected from the story and only used at times to try and push the story forward. Miles comes from a low-income family and is attending a boarding school on a full scholarship, he returns home every week to visit his mum and dad and I really loved that connection between them. However, being Spider-Man can cause some big, big problems. Mainly when you’re sitting in class and your spidey senses go off and you run out, resulting in you being suspended. This isn’t a one-time occurrence though, it is never-ending. Though it could just be because the teacher is a straight up racist and thinks slavery was great (literally, but this is challenged). Some of the story felt a little disjointed and I feel that was because the length made it difficult for the plot to really shine through and take hold. Which is unfortunate because this book had a lot of potential.
I guess I should jump into my likes and dislikes before I start accidentally spoiling things!
L I K E S ✗ ACTION SCENE WELL DESCRIBED
This is partially a dislike too, mainly because there is one action scene in the entire short book. However, it was perfectly described. I wish there had been more scenes like the finale one just because I was shocked. I have never read an action scene that was so perfectly described and allowed me to picture what was happening in clear detail.
✗ THE DIALOGUE WAS GREAT
I’m a big dialogue reader. I seriously rely on it to push a story forward. I’m not sure why. Miles Morale had perfect dialogue for me. It was funny, it was fast paced and it all had a purpose, whether that was foreshadowing or not. The characters felt their age and they truly felt as if they had a depth throughout. I sincerely enjoyed it.
D I S L I K E S ✗ SO MUCH BUILD UP AND NOTHING
The story builds and builds and builds and builds and…nothing. The climax hits late in the book and its at a stage where you just don’t really care anymore. The first 85% of the story was setting up for it but it didn’t feel that way. It feels more so as if the author only remembered then that a problem needs to occur throughout the text in order for the bit to make a punch. It all came so late that I can barely remember what actually happened, my brain seems to have retained the knowledge of the dorm room description better.
✗ SO MANY LOOSE ENDS
My biggest problem is how many loose ends this book has. It honestly feels like half a book, with the other half being cut out and the final edition not being edited properly. I really struggled once the book ended because it felt the biggest problem throughout was Miles and his uncles’ relationship, but it’s never actually talked about that much. It truly was just like what? When the book did finish. I just wanted more finality, not the open-ended kind of ending that was given.
Overall, Miles Morales was a really good take on Spider-Man. I love Tom Holland, but now I wish that Marvel had taken the jump and made Spider-Man a person of colour in the newest remake. I just don’t know how to feel about the book. I obviously enjoyed it for the most part but it was incredibly lacking in so many others. I wanted more and I, unfortunately, didn’t get it. I guess my expectations were a little too high for this one.
This book is a YA book based on the Marvel character. In this one, we view the life proceedings of Miles Morales who is also Spider-Man. We see him deal with family, school, and social interactions with the opposite sex.
Okay, quick question. When is a Spider-Man book not a Spider-Man book? The answer would be this book. When I read a Spider-Man book I would like to see the character and I believe he didn't even make it to twenty pages. Instead we see Miles having dance offs, discovering he has a cousin who is in jail or struggling in poetry class. Yeah, that is what I want to read. A Marvel superhero not being proficient in poetry. I understand that the author was portraying life for a minority and not having the advantages that some people have. Which is all well and good and important but how about interweaving it with some action and some good, old superhero fun. There was a teeny battle at the end that just felt flat. It seemed like the author was determined to write a book about social injustices and then remembered that this is a Marvel book. Maybe I should include something about that universe.
This book is not what I signed up for when I decided to read it. Sometimes, I want to read a senseless, inane action book just for the fun of it. This book did not provide it. I have no problem with fantasy books or any type of book having a strong message. The best books do this while being entertaining. This book was all about the message and did not care about being entertaining.
In Miles Morales Spider-Man, we follow sixteen year old Black and Puerto Rican high school student Miles, who's also a Spider-Man. The story is focused on his daily life, managing different parts of his identities and trying to figure out who he is.
I enjoyed reading the novel. It felt more like a contemporary than a Marvel story. Undoubtedly, Miles is Super Hero and he does help people and fight bad guys, but I felt the focus was on his daily life, on studying at school, on relationships with his parents, his best friend Ganke and his crush Alicia. I liked it because I like well-written contemporaries with complex characters.
This is my first encounter with Miles and I really like the kid, I want to read more stories about him. He has a heart of gold and he's unafraid to act and make decisions. One of his internal conflicts is about his relationship with his late uncle and whether or not Miles is the same as he. I do enjoy reading the stories dealing with dilemma of what makes us our blood or our choices.
As it's a Marvel story, there has to be a villain or antagonist to the protagonist. The villains of the story are white supremacists, racists and Confederate supporters, who want to bring back "the good old days". I can't stress enough how timely and important to unapologetically and unambiguously show them as disgusting, villainous creatures.
I do recommend to read this standalone novel, Jason Reynolds is very talented author and Miles's story is a memorable one.
Solid execution and a great introduction (for me) to the character of Miles Morales. I appreciated how Reynolds put the Spider-Man part on the back burner and gave us a (mostly) down-to-earth story about a (mostly) down-to-earth kid. The dialogue popped and while there may not have been a ton of action til the end, I was with it the whole way. Chamberlain called to mind Chapman of the Animorphs books -- another one of those creepy-teacher types. Crossover fanfic, anyone? Also, Miles' parents were fantastic. And Ganke, and the neighborhood populace, and Austin, and ALICIA (girl has my heart), and I just really hope we get a sequel because these characters are awesome.
I adore Miles Morales but the story... not so much.
- Again: I adore Miles Morales. He's such a great Spiderman - kind, earnest, and doing his absolute best. - I loved Reynold's portrayal of him - a kid from a working class family who bears the weight of his parents' expectations and society's expectations - a portrayal that shows great understanding and does Miles' identity justice. - Though the book doesn't really have a 'plot', the story highlights important themes and issues such as race, systemic oppression, identity, and family - this part, for me, was 4 stars. - However, I just did not enjoy the 'villain' subplot... at all. I felt like it detracted from the quality of the overall book, because Miles' ordinary life is great and interesting in itself, but anytime the narrative focused on the villain, I felt bored and uninterested. - I was also disappointed by the resolution of the villain - we also don't receive much explanation as to who or what the villain is. I understand that the villain may be symbolic, but the resolution and 'reveal' was unsatisfying. - The ending, however, was good. It was more open-ended than I'd usually like for an ending, but I think it offered an interesting question about Miles and his character, and where he will go from the ending.
I came into this book expecting an exciting Spider-Man filled adventure, but I got way more Miles Morales high school student with extra human abilities instead.
I expected so much more from this book, which makes me feel kinda sour. The writing is incredible, Miles Morales is a fun narrator and the cover is WOW. But this was way more just a Miles Morales story than a Spider-Man story. I expected (and wanted) Lots of action, Spidey bad guys and thrilling fight scenes. There were a bit, but not enough to make this feel like a Spider-Man book at all.
Jason Reynolds is a crazy good writer and made Miles feel like the boy next store. I enjoyed the shenanigans and the story itself. I highly recommend Jason Reynolds as a writer!
Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough plot to keep me interested. Part of me wonders if it's because I'm an adult reading a book that's for a middle grade or YA reader, but at the same time I should still get some fun out of it. It's just unfortunate.
One of my favorite booksellers described this book as 25% Spider-Man and 75% Jason Reynolds, which is completely accurate. I absolutely LOVED Miles Morales and can't recommend it enough. What Jason does to transform the history and legacy of Miles in just 272 short pages is incredible.
Miles is a 15 year old black-Puerto Rican youth with a whole lot going on and, oh, he also has the same powers as Spider-Man. The old mantra "with great power comes great responsibility" sounds great except when you're trying to keep your grades up at your all-white private school and the world is working against you. Miles has to worry about his parents and his neighborhood far before he will be saving the world, a lesson his dad shares with him at the very beginning of the story. To say I loved the family dynamics in this story is an understatement.
Without spoiling the story, I have to tell you...The villain in this story? Jason knocked it out of the park and hit home on our current world. Miles doesn't have all the privileges we see in typical superhero stories, which makes his story compelling and true. I can't recommend this enough!
***SPOILERS*** Time to suit up: Jason Reynolds’ Miles Morales Spider-Man is the superhero we’ve all been waiting for, but with a diversity responsive focus that today’s readers have been longing for. Miles Morales is a teenager living in Brooklyn, attending a prestigious academy just a few blocks away from his mom and dad. As we are introduced to Miles, we are in his shoes as he struggles his way through his life. He and his family are met with financial issues, he tries to find a way to confront the impending doom of crushing on the beautiful poet as his school, Alicia, as well as standing up for himself, and others, against the villain of the novel, Mr. Chamberlain. Throughout the book, Miles’ spidey-sense is constantly going off, preserving his brain in an everlasting mix of fear and worry. After a misunderstanding, Miles finds himself suspended from school, and begins to not only question his responsibility as a hero, but also questions his own sense of self, apart from Spider-man. He struggles with his identity, often comparing himself to his criminal record-ridden uncle and dad. He questions whether kids like him should be allowed to be superheroes, and whether he should give up his identity as Spider-man and focus on his identity just as Miles. Throughout this internal battle, we also see Miles struggle as he tries to shake the lifelike nightmares that keep him up at night, and ends up confronting the villian that has made the lives of him and his loved ones one of defeat and destruction. Aside from his internal wars being fought, Miles and his classmates also fight a battle against their teacher, Mr. Chamberlain. As he discusses the so-called satisfaction of slavery and the benefits of treating those that are enslaved with no regard for their feelings, Miles and his friends attempt to come together and fight back. Anyone can read the cover of this book and make the correct assumption that this book is about Miles Morales as Spider-man; but the purpose of this book is not to write about the adventures of Miles as Spider-man, it’s about the adventures, successes and struggles, that Miles experiences, but as Miles. Being a superhero doesn’t require a suit and mask and the ability to camouflage, being a superhero means dealing with all of the obstacles that life throws at you, and overcoming these challenges that others would turn away from. Miles doesn’t overcome any ordinary challenge- he faces the challenge of being a mixed race teenager in a school and community that are oppressive towards those that aren’t white. He is constantly comparing himself to his uncle and dad, fearing that he will fall into the same criminal lifestyle, and this key theme of this fear plays a huge role in Miles’ realization of his responsibility as a superhero, with his mask on and with his mask off. The ending of the book was something that at first, I struggled with, but began to realize that Reynolds doesn’t write just to write; he writes with a purpose and intent of turning real life into fiction, and teaching and reflecting the issues of today’s society through his words. This book doesn’t have a happy ending for a reason- it’s because this book is real life. One would think the defeating of the warden would mean the end of Mr. Chamberlain and his brothers in crime and their discrimination towards those that are different from them, but Chamberlain keeps his same behaviors. Reynolds chose to write and end the book this way, because he wanted to show us as readers that racism and prejudice is not an easy fix. He wrote an open-ended conclusion, as if he was inviting his audience to join Miles and his peers in the fight against those that are discriminatory towards others. Reynolds is also purposeful in his language and writing style, as he writes the dialogue of Miles, his mom, dad, friends, and others, in a way that is culturally authentic, and true to the dialogues of people in real life. Reynolds reflected his experience of living as a person of color in today’s society, but also wanted to be able to write for kids with the same background as him. He never identified with the characters in the books that he read as a child, and wanted to represent people of color, and all other minorities, because he was never represented in the literature that he had when he was young. There aren’t enough authors that are from a minority background, and Reynolds took advantage of his own background, and has become an empowering and vital author in the #ownvoices movement. When I was young, the literature that I was exposed to was simple, to the point, and sugar-coated, even if it was non-fiction. I was never exposed to books that featured strong female roles, superheroes that were of color, or rainbow families. For example, the Magic Treehouse series was one of enjoyment (for all you 90’s-early 2000’s kids), it lacked the depth and purposefulness that the writers within the #weneediversebooks community are pushing for. As a reader, it was refreshing to read about a teenager in today’s society that wasn’t white, and had to deal with the real life struggles that children of any minority are forced to overcome. All superheroes have a backstory, but Miles Morales’ backstory isn’t fantasy; it’s real life. These are the books we need today. Real life books. Not to be mixed up with non-fiction, but real life. Reflecting the lives, the everyday struggles of children today, and not sugar coating every single thing so today’s kids can simply read a book and not think twice about what they just read. Jason Reynolds’ Miles Morales Spider-man is not fiction or fantasy, friends; it is real life. So if you’re looking for an easy read that won’t make you think, this might not be the book for you. But if you’re looking for a book that will challenge you, give you hope, and encourage you to fight and stand up for yourself and for others, this is most certainly the book for you.
“WE ARE PEOPLE!” “WE ARE NOT PINCUSHIONS!” “WE ARE NOT PUNCHING BAGS!” Miles Morales is a novel that takes an interesting approach towards the all-amazing and fascinating figure, Spider Man, that the world has come to know and love. As a sixteen year old from a culturally-mixed, rural city upbringing, Miles Morales has landed himself a scholarship to the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy— and the role of Spider Man. As Miles tries to juggle school and family life, he’s faced with the task of taking down sneaker stealers, putting up with the terror that is Mr. Chamberlain, sneaking glances at his newfound infatuation Alicia, finding the lesson behind what it means to be an outsider, and figuring out just how exactly he’s supposed to do this whole superhero thing. Reynolds doesn’t fail to make Miles and the rest of the novel as authentically human as possible, often using the dialect of his own hometown, and opting for his characters to have ethnicities that aren’t normally presented in modern young-adult literature. The black and Latino culture present in the book, especially with Miles’s mother’s occasional Spanish, gives the book a kick of reality, giving readers an insight into lives of culturally authentic families. Reynolds also touches on subjects such as socioeconomic status, societal pressures due to racial responsibility, and the school to prison pipeline. Many readers can connect to Miles’s feeling of needing to make his community proud, to live up to the bar that has been set for him. A resonating theme throughout the book is Miles’s self-doubt about the fact that he is indeed Spider Man. For most of the book, Miles struggles with coming to terms that he, a sixteen year old black boy, has the duty of being a superhero. Is he worthy of that title? Is he worthy of having the responsibility of saving the world? Is he enough? Reynolds does an amazing job at allowing Miles to be vulnerable, something that is rarely seen when it comes to men of color, adding to the perception of Miles as more than just Miles or Spider Man— he’s human. As a whole, I believe the book was a giant step in the right direction for people of color, both young and old, beginning to see themselves in literature. Especially for the young adults who will be reading this book, it’s important that Reynolds gave them someone like Miles, a kid just trying to make it in life while also pleasing his parents and going to school, to relate to. The book did a great job exploring normally difficult topics to address all while having a feel-good tone with occasional sarcasm and joke cracks, thanks to my favorite character Ganke. Personally, it felt really refreshing to read a novel that included serious issues that I myself have come face to face with and to read a story of a kid who I could relate to on multiple levels, which is something I’d never felt before when reading young adult books. Miles, thank you for being a voice for kids near and far whose stories never really seem to be reflected in books they normally read. And most importantly, Jason, thank you for writing a book that so many of us had been waiting too long for.
This is a superhero book, that doesn't focus on the special powers or saving people. Miles is a student at Brooklyn Vision Academy and he's got a lot on his plate; he doesn't have a ton of time for the whole superhero thing. He has to be on his best behavior after getting a suspension, but it's getting increasingly harder to do with his dreaded history professor, Mr. Chamberlain. Plus he's got some family issues at home, grades to worry about, a girl to crush on and so much more. He does get the spiderman suit on a few times, but this is more the day to day life of a teenage superhero (think Ms. Marvel - with less action). Racism, growing up poor, family issues, poetry, and making a stand for what you believe in are all prominent themes. The ending wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't awful by any stretch of the imagination. A great book for all teens, not just those who love Marvel Comics. The audiobook was wonderfully narrated as well if that's a selling point for some of you.
Really great, probably the best superhero novel that I have read! Reynolds added a lot more to it, which shouldn't be all that surprising. He definitely put his own spin on the character, who is a lot more fresh and relevant than the constantly redone Peter Parker storylines. I feel like the big climax was too fast, but loved the epilogue. Definitely a great book for readers who are even slightly interested in Spider-Man, or who are fans of Reynolds' other books.
Read this in one sitting. Loved all the characters, plus Reynolds' writing was so on point to what's currently going on. An important and thought-provoking Spider-Man and I am so overjoyed that Miles' Puerto Rican heritage wasn't erased.
This was deeper than I expected. Of course, I didn't know anything about the Miles Morales origin or legacy before starting the book. But it was less about Spider-Man and more about a kid trying to figure out who he really wants to be, and what kind of impact he wants to make on the world and his neighborhood. It's about finding pride (and strength) in where you come from, no matter what others think about it. This story was less about the action of being Spider-Man and more about the heart & spirit behind the boy behind the mask.
Quick Review: Unfortunately this was a major disappointment. Miles was almost never Spider-Man, the characters felt different from the comics, and a lot of didn’t seem to make much sense. The conversation of race was a good one, but it felt more like a book on race and less of a superhero book. I wish there was more of a balance, it would have made the story a stronger one. I don’t recommend this book, and if you want to read Miles’s story just pick up the comics.
I absolutely burned through this book in one setting. Jason Reynolds is a master of character development, and he's done such a fantastic job with Miles Morales. I haven't read the comics yet but this is a Spiderman I can get behind. Well-paced story, and love how the relationships, both family and friendship, are so well fleshed out. Looking forward to reading more of Miles in the future.
“Spider-Man, Spider man, friendly neighborhood Spiderman…” In this modern twist on Spiderman, it’s not Peter Parker who is saving the day, it’s teenage boy Miles Morales.
Miles Morales: Spiderman written by Jason Reynolds is a story about “average” teenager Miles Morales who resides in the Brooklyn projects. He comes from a low-income yet loving and supporting family and has received a scholarship to attend a very prominent boarding school with his friend Ganke, while also being the local Spiderman. Miles starts to question his powers and wonders if he is really meant to be a superhero. Recently, he has been having recurring nightmares and his “Spidey senses” have been buzzing. Through different events that have happened at school, Miles discovers some chilling secrets that endanger his friends, family and the community he lives in. Reynolds builds up the story very well. We can see Miles at the beginning of the story feeling unsure if he is worthy enough to be Spiderman. Throughout the book, we see him start to trust his Spidey senses, and use his powers to stop someone that was putting his neighborhood at risk. Although we are left with some unanswered questions and only one action scene, we see social justice issues such as privilege and the school to prison pipeline being talked about. It is important that we normalize controversial issues like these in books, in order to educate and make aware that these issues are real and we should do something about it.
Throughout the story, we see recurring themes such as worthiness and family. Miles is constantly wondering if he is worthy enough to be spiderman. Is a kid like him cut out to be a hero? We also see lots of themes of family. He is constantly reminded of his uncle who was a criminal, and is always haunted with his uncle saying “You’re just like me.” We also see he and another family member of his having the same nightmares, and we see how supportive Miles’s family is of him, doing everything they can to keep him at that elite private school. Some questions throughout the book that were left unanswered for me was Did Miles and Austin ever keep in contact? What is their relationship like? How did this band of Chamberlains come to be? And who is the warden?
Overall I enjoyed the book. It was interesting to see a familiar story with a twist. Although I enjoyed the book, it did leave some questions unanswered. I also think there was a lot of buildups, and the ending was anti-climactic as it seemed rushed. On the contrary, I did enjoy the amount of detail that went into the dialogue and only action scene. The dialogue seemed genuine between the characters, and the lone action scene was easy to play out and visualize in my head.
Jason Reynolds is a thirty-three-year-old author hailing from Oxon Hill Maryland. As a young boy, Reynolds did not read many books because he felt as if the books he read were not relatable, as he quoted, “Nothing that’s happening in these books is happening in my neighborhood.” (Krug.) He sets this story of Miles Morales in Brooklyn, where Miles’s family is a low-income family and the area, he lives in shows that others deal with the same issue. This book deals with the perspective of someone who is of color and who does not have a high socioeconomic status. He hopes this novel can be used as a mirror for children who do live in these types of neighborhoods where they face adversity and hardships, as a way to read and relate to the story. This book can also be used as a window or sliding glass door for children who may not live in these types of communities but will be able to get an insight on different communities that other children live in.
I went into this having previously read some of the original comics with Miles so I was excited to see him in this new form, and I wasn't disappointed. I will say if you're looking for a super action packed marvel movie style book you might not be happy as the plot of this is definitely more along the lines of a regular contemporary. Miles isn't really out here saving the world, but I didn't mind that at all. I thought it was enjoyable to read about him dealing with his daily life and seeing how he deals with racism, school in general, his family and friends.
My biggest issue was that I thought a lot of the plot felt contrived. For example, Miles getting suspended for... going to the bathroom? What? (Yes I know he didn't REALLY need to use the bathroom, but as far as almost everyone, including the school, knows that's why he left class). I can see MAYBE detention for leaving class without permission, but suspension?? Even leaving that behind because you know what schools in real life are pretty ridiculous so I can kind of believe it, but where I really have a problem is with how Miles' parents treated it. Throughout the book they're shown to be supportive and loving, so I find it kind of odd that they did nothing to even question the school about it how they even further punished Miles FOR GOING TO THE BATHROOM. I was just thoroughly baffled at this and the other incidents within the book that portrayed this.
Miles as a character I thought was a sweet young boy, but I feel like it was a bit ooc from his character in the comics. Some of his decisions were pretty dumb which I guess could be blamed on him being a teenage boy, but I just don't remember him being that dumb in the comics (memory is fallible though).
Anyway the positives did outweigh the negatives and I did enjoy reading this. I thought it dealt with the heavy topics of racism and even death in a palatable way for young teens, so I'd recommend it for them.
I fell in love with Miles Morales and his story as soon as I clicked play on Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. So upon seeing this book in the library and seeing that it was written by Jason Reynolds, I knew that I had to pick this one up! And it definitely did not disappoint.
I loved Reynolds' Miles from the minute he stepped onto the page, if only for the fact that it's so deeply evident how much he cares. Miles truly tries his hardest and while it doesn't work out and he doesn't always make the best choices, he is always trying to learn from his mistakes and be better. I also adored the fact that throughout the story, he always has a strong support system to rely on, not only in his friends but also in his parents.
The way Miles' relationship with his parents was written in this book made me so happy to see!! Oftentimes, in YA, especially in fantasy (which is what I would roughly classify this book as), parents are completely absent from the picture, but that is not at all the case with this one!! Miles relies on his parents and he often goes to them for help and comfort. He has a close relationship with them which made me really happy to see.
I also adored Miles' relationship with his best friend, Ganke, and the way they played off of each other so effortlessly!! Their dynamic was just *chef's kiss* impeccable, I really could not have asked for a better friendship in this story.
The one thing that felt a bit off to be was the plot: it felt a bit disjointed at times and the pacing definitely felt off to me. While I really enjoyed the outcome of the story, I thought the build-up to it was underwhelming and definitely not on par with the climax. That said, this is probably just a preference issue and I'm sure plenty of people found it amazing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it brought some much-needed joy in my life. While this book does tackle serious issues such as racism, the tone of the story is, for the most part, happy and hopeful. I thought the balance of serious topics and a lighter tone was really well done in this book. If you love Miles Morales as much as I do, this might just be the book for you.
“You, my dear, should spend more time in a library. It's not just a hiding place, but also the place where the chases happen.”
This book wasn't bad at all. I loved Miles and he's a great Spiderman. I also loved Ganke. Honestly, I think I was expecting more since I loved the other 2 books I've read by Jason Reynolds. We don't really see much of Miles as Spider Man. It's mainly him in his daily life at school and with his family. There wasn't really any plot, but I liked the fact that problems with race and identity were addressed. I was also disappointed by the villain and his/her reveal. You basically figure out who the villain is when you're not even 50 pages into the book. There wasn't enough action, but the book was still enjoyable and was a pretty solid read.
So I was expecting to like this more simply because it’s Jason Reynolds but I think I went in expecting some sort of origin story and I didn’t get that. I was thrown into a world where Miles Morales already existed as spider-man so it felt like there was some stuff that was missing. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy that but it was an element that threw me off. While I liked the plot and the villain and the social commentary that Jason made, I felt as though the novel was a little too long. It’s almost as if we spent a week in Miles’ world just trying to get to the last couple of chapters. I don’t know how to put that into words but it didn’t feel like enough happened for the big conclusion at the end. Of course I loved the writing but I think that there was so much more that Reynolds could have done with this character. I guess novelization of any comic book character is hard for those of us that read comics.