Read my review for the first Check Please! graphic novel by Ngozi Ukazu here: https://illinoiseagle.com/2022/06/12/more-please-of-check-please-vol-1-hockey/. As I said, in my previous review, the 1st book left me wanting more. Luckily there is a sequel, Check Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones. This sequel gives readers more of Bitty and Jack’s relationship which I was looking for. But I was a little disappointed because Jack has already graduated from Samwell College. Therefore, Bitty and Jack are in a long-distance relationship, so I didn’t get to actually see them together as much as I would have liked.
Much of the plot centered on Jack and Bitty being closeted especially because Jack is a famous hockey player. Not only would he have to be out in the public eye, but men’s sports are not known for being gay-friendly. Bitty is less well-known since he’s just a college athlete, but he still isn’t out to his Southern parents. Sometimes coming out narratives oversimplify the queer experience, but Check Please Book 2 had more complexity. It showed how LGBTQ+ people have to come out to different people repeatedly throughout our lives. It’s not as simple as being simply “out” or “closeted”.
The rest of the plot also focused on the changes in Bitty’s life as a student and as a hockey player. Samwell is headed toward the championships this year will they end up making it and winning or will Bitty be too busy with his senior thesis on pie history? It was very funny how Bitty the other Samwell players banned Bitty from baking to encourage him to work on his senior thesis.
The humor, which mainly comes from the Samwell Hockey Team, is one of my favorite things about Check Please! Book 2. They have such a lovely amusing dynamic with each other. I love how supportive they are, while also enjoying pranks and teasing. I will admit that I sometimes got bored while reading some of the less humorous moments. The plot meanders a bit due to being adapted from a webcomic series rather than originally being split into two books. Still, it’s a good read for someone looking for a little-hearted graphic novel, full of baking, friendship, and queer love. So I would still recommend it if those things interest you. You can read the webcomic here: https://www.checkpleasecomic.com/.
Check Please! Book 2: Sticks and Scones. Ngozi Ukazu. First Second. 2020. Hardcover. 317.
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