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Mike Carey
Teen Fiction CAREY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Carey's (God Save the Queen) story of a young martial artist in love is funny and touching in equal parts and is carried off in fine style. Jen Dik Seong (Dixie) is Korean-American, and her outlet is hapkido, a form of martial arts that originated in Korea. She also sports a "life-threatening crush" on fellow competitor Adam, and in an effort to win his affection, she buys him an expensive statue-with the money she was supposed to use to enter the big upcoming tournament. Adam doesn't care about the statue and re-gifts it to the girl of his dreams; since she no longer has the money to buy a seat, Dixie has to get into the tournament the hard way, through open trials. Adam shows his true colors shortly before the finals, asking her to throw the match; spunky kid that she is, Dixie refuses, and with help from a "bad boy" with a heart of gold named Dillinger, regains some much-needed inner confidence. Dixie is a charming and spirited protagonist, one who often breaks narrative to address the reader ("Don't even read this chapter-please!" she exclaims several panels before getting grounded; elsewhere she fusses at a friend to get out of her caption box). Liew and Hempel's (My Faith in Frankie) artwork is angular and wiry, ethnicities hinted at but played down; fight scenes are kinetic and slightly stylized, with a touch of manga influence. Ages 12-up. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In Re-Gifters, fiery Korean teen Dixie woos hapkido dojang-mate Adam with an expensive gift, but Adam's heartthrob is glam-girl Megan. Meanwhile, Dixie's fighting spirit gets the attention of school bad boy, loan shark, and bookmaker Tomas, a.k.a. Dillinger. Affections change as the gift changes hands, and when Adam tries to get Dixie to throw the hapkido championship, Dixie is ready to respond to Tomas's real affection and support despite his reputation. This delightful martial arts romantic comedy shows fine plotting, simpatico characters, and fluid, manga-influenced art. The Plain Janes tells a more complex and darker tale with plainer, Dan Clowes-style art. Caught in a terrorist attack, high schooler Jane changes hair, mindset, and-compelled by her frightened parents-city and school. Spurning the in-crowd, she recruits other outcast Janes to stage guerilla-style art attacks, tagged P.L.A.I.N.: People Loving Art in Neighborhoods. The hyperparanoid authorities are not amused, but P.L.A.I.N. wins over most of the other kids. The premise is intriguing, relevant, and disturbing, even as the resolution leaves more questions. When is an art attack sabotage, graffiti, or vandalism? How can people reinvent their lives despite fear? DC's new Minx line promises eclectic, real-world stories that honor girls' intelligence and assertiveness, and these two titles deliver. Recommended for teens up.-M.C. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Dixie
Korean American
Practices a martial art with her friend; going to be in a tournment; gets distracted when she falls in love with another martial artist.

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