Queen Bee

Chynna Clugston’s never been shy about acknowledging her pop culture inspirations and interests, and in this book, it’s no different. During the talent competition, lead character Haley sings The Go-Go’s “We’ve Got the Beat”. When trying to figure out how to be popular, Haley watches classic teen movies from the 80s and today. Clugston also mentions Mean Girls a couple of times, which given how similar the plot is, may be too often.

Haley is psychokinetic — she can move things with her mind. She’s always been an outcast, so when her mother moves them to the big city, Haley sees her new school as her chance to be popular. She studies up, gets new clothes, and practices being cool. A nice girl named Trini shows her around and introduces her to the cliques in a scene you’ve seen before if you’ve ever watched any teen movie.

Queen Bee cover
Queen Bee
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Since this is intended to be a series of graphic novels, we’re introduced to a set of interesting girl characters, Trini’s friends, that promptly disappear from this volume. Instead, Haley’s conflict comes with the jealousy of one of the already popular girls. That’s another plot element that gets truncated strangely, with their competition being a problem and then suddenly not.

The main story begins when Alexa shows up. She has powers similar to Haley’s, but she’s more experienced with them. She quickly takes Haley’s place among the popular girls, which undercuts the ultimate message of the book. If Haley’s meant to learn that there are more important things than being popular — like honesty and trust — then why spend so much of the book setting up a situation where we’re supposed to root for her to get the better of Alexa?

Due to Alexa’s evil plotting, Haley winds up in scholastic trouble, which leads her to making friends with a nice boy named Jasper. Once they get together, we hear no more about Haley’s grade problems. Instead, the focus switches to the talent contest. Also, the mental powers didn’t seem to me to be fully integrated or even necessary to this kind of story.

Others have speculated that this book isn’t as enjoyable as Clugston’s other work (most notably Blue Monday) because of forced editing from the publisher. I see the opposite problem; I think tighter, experienced editing might have provided more focus and fewer aborted plotlines. In preparation for future volumes, the author is still introducing new elements in the last 12 pages, plot questions that the teenage or older reader will easily figure out.

In short, while a new Clugston is always fun to read, this book wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as I’d hoped, perhaps due to the focus on a younger audience. It’s hard to write for them without writing down to them, and for the older reader, this book is too familiar in the wrong ways. I do hope, though, that readers new to comics will use it as a stepping stone.

More information on the author is available at the publisher’s website.


44 Responses to “Queen Bee”

  1. Aimee Says:

    I thought It was a fantastic book. Anyone who is interested in teen comics, this is the best.

  2. Summer Says:

    I thought that Queen Bee was pretty good. Can’t wait to read Chynna Glugston’s other books and the next volumes of Queen Bee!

  3. helo Says:

    awsome book!

  4. mayde kyrrai Says:

    aww yes, it was, i think, an adorable little novel. and if you read at least the first book, you would know that haley and alexa are sisters and haley eventually will get with jasper. sorry, didn’t mean to ruin it for you……..

  5. Sommer Says:

    I loved this book! Buy the sequal too!!!!!!!!! I

  6. Johanna Says:

    I will, when it’s available.

  7. Scooter Girl » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] Instead, the people that populate her stories are charming, sometimes in spite of themselves. They’re human, interesting people you want to meet. There are preview pages at the publisher’s website. Clugston has also created the Blue Monday series and Queen Bee. [...]

  8. Blue Monday: The Kids Are Alright » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] has also created Queen Bee, a graphic novel for younger readers about two telekinetic teens. She did a short story about Fate [...]

  9. compfreak Says:

    It’s a cool book, I didn’t know the sequal already came out, Is it available already?

  10. Irene Says:

    This is so cool. WHen i read this book i was amazed. I waished there is Queen Bee 2!!!

  11. Breaking Up » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] of graphic novels for teen girls. The group of juniors in high school might be the friends from Queen Bee or The Babysitters Club grown a little older. [...]

  12. melissa~missliss Says:

    I loved this book, recommend it 4 any one! I don’t like to read and this was like the 1 out of like 5 books i got into.

  13. Johanna Says:

    That’s wonderful! I’m glad you found something you enjoyed so much.

  14. Soobi Says:

    I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE queen bee.
    im her #1 FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    welllll is number 2 coming out???????????????
    tell me what sequel means too.
    ok?
    im kinda young, 8 years old.
    BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

  15. Johanna Says:

    “Sequel” means a second book. As for when it’s coming out, I don’t know. The publisher hasn’t announced anything yet.

  16. Once More Into the Breach » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] would no longer resemble the one we know. And it’s easier just to publish something like Queen Bee (fundamentally a superhero comic) at a “real” book publisher and sell it through [...]

  17. LaLaLarraine Says:

    Can someone please tell me what the title of the sequel is?
    Is it even out yet? But I LOVE the first book it is soo awesome. :)

  18. Amanda Says:

    I LOVED the Queen Bee book. Seeing pictures with the words helped me know what the characters were doing. It was one of my FAVORITE books. Does anyone know when the sequel will come out, or what it’s titled? Please reply.

  19. Nana Says:

    Where is Queen bee 22222222222222222222222222222222222222222

    just 2

  20. Lauren Says:

    Don’t you guys think that after 2 years the sequel to Queen Bee would have come out already?

  21. Geckogal Says:

    Ya… I hope it is coming out at all, I LOVE THIS BOOK it is one of my faves.
    I mean its been like a year…
    Maybe shes just tryin to make it REEEALLY good and takin her time
    Its a thought…

  22. Elizabeth Says:

    this was the best comic book i have ever read i loved it

  23. Katie Says:

    whats the name of her second book please answer:)(It’s been like 3 years!)

  24. Johanna Says:

    There was no second book in this series, sadly.

  25. zoe Says:

    oh man but :( i just gotta read # 2
    maybe we can all convince her to publish it, lik a petition or something.

  26. ello puppet Says:

    we need to do that because i need to read the sequal!!!!!! that book was sooo good and she put like a clip of the second book in the back of the first! did u guys see that?

  27. zoe Says:

    i kno right i really cant wait any longer
    the first time i read that book was in forth grade so wth

  28. phyo Says:

    hi,, may i know where to buy this queen bee comic book in singapore? any shop selling it?

  29. animexDluver Says:

    Awww….i was so hopeful for vol 2!! anyone know what her email is?

  30. Sadie :P Says:

    Omg! i thought they said there was gonna be another book. and The style of the Comic is “American Anime” it looks like they were copying The Japanese Manga Art!

  31. Andrea Says:

    I wish I have QUEEN BEE 2 book it’s been 5 years the publisher was not publishing QUEEN BEE it’s like I am just 9 years old in one day I all finished reading QUEEN BEE 1

  32. christene Says:

    has Queen bee volume 2 came out yet….

  33. christene Says:

    cmon i need vol 2 i kno they gotta b twin sisters!!!!!! D= im gonna scream!!!!

  34. Johanna Says:

    There was no Queen Bee 2, and at this point, it doesn’t look like there will be one, sadly.

  35. anna Says:

    i just want to know when are you gonna make queen bee 2 because i have been looking for the book for the last few months

  36. katniss Says:

    how culd there not be a queen bee 2? it is a great book!

  37. jessica Says:

    there should be a second book!!!!! they have 2 b twins!!!!

  38. destiney Says:

    i hope the author would make alot of volumes like i mean Queen Bee is just my type of comic and it has fashion popularity ,luv those things! I LOVE QUEEN BEE PLEASE CONTINUE TO MAKKE EM

  39. Jassica Says:

    This book was an amazing teen story about fighting bullies that you know that you could fight the power

  40. Jassica Says:

    Where will be the next book I cant wait

  41. angie Says:

    Ok we need queen bee 2 !!! its not fair for us fans to keep waitin. im desprete to know what happens next! are they gonna make up. is alexa haley’s sister? i wanna know bout haley and jasper <3

  42. haley Says:

    omg i loved the 1st book i read it 10000000 times plzzzzzzzz make a second book plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

  43. ryere Says:

    THERE BETTER BE A 2ND BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I SHALT DIE WITHOUT!:)

  44. bee Says:

    o.m.g the book is fantastic you are delaying all your fans please it is so interesting i have read it thousands of times and i also have a question for you why would you make a first book without continuation? and why have you not done it, it is gfive years now just make the book i have checcked every stores i could check then they all told me that it was not out please make a second book:):)…

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