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Fight Like a Girl Volume 1: Learning Curve

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Standing before a jury of nine gods, Amarosa pleads for a chance to risk her life and gain entry to the Wishing Well where she will fight her way through nine trials to claim her prize: a single wish that will save her terminally ill brother. Though she has some help, what she learns about herself here in the first four trials may be her only chance of survival. Collects t Standing before a jury of nine gods, Amarosa pleads for a chance to risk her life and gain entry to the Wishing Well where she will fight her way through nine trials to claim her prize: a single wish that will save her terminally ill brother. Though she has some help, what she learns about herself here in the first four trials may be her only chance of survival. Collects the first four issues of this critically acclaimed series.


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Standing before a jury of nine gods, Amarosa pleads for a chance to risk her life and gain entry to the Wishing Well where she will fight her way through nine trials to claim her prize: a single wish that will save her terminally ill brother. Though she has some help, what she learns about herself here in the first four trials may be her only chance of survival. Collects t Standing before a jury of nine gods, Amarosa pleads for a chance to risk her life and gain entry to the Wishing Well where she will fight her way through nine trials to claim her prize: a single wish that will save her terminally ill brother. Though she has some help, what she learns about herself here in the first four trials may be her only chance of survival. Collects the first four issues of this critically acclaimed series.

30 review for Fight Like a Girl Volume 1: Learning Curve

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I really, really, really want to support indie comics AND diverse comics (and Fight Like A Girl fits into both categories)! It's published by Action Lab, who also do Jeremy Whitley's super-amazing-fantastico Princeless. Needless to say, I had high hopes. You know how some people have deal-breakers when it comes to romance? I have literary deal-breakers. And one of the biggest of those deal-breakers is: the writer did not use spell check or request the services of a copy editor. And if the writer I really, really, really want to support indie comics AND diverse comics (and Fight Like A Girl fits into both categories)! It's published by Action Lab, who also do Jeremy Whitley's super-amazing-fantastico Princeless. Needless to say, I had high hopes. You know how some people have deal-breakers when it comes to romance? I have literary deal-breakers. And one of the biggest of those deal-breakers is: the writer did not use spell check or request the services of a copy editor. And if the writer did those things, then their copy editor sucked. Come on, people. I would have liked to think that a grown-up who says they write as a profession knows which version of who's/whose to use in a sentence. But no. There are random commas everywhere and sentences that don't really make any sense at all. How am I supposed to figure out what's going on when neither the writer nor the letterer noticed that "excitment" needs an extra "e"??? Plus, we're dropped into the story without any sort of background whatsoever. How does Amarosa, the heroine, know that she has to approach this Pantheon of Gods (which is, BTW, super Euro-centric) to get permission to enter this "Wishing Well" which is like Scott Pilgrim meets the Twelve Labors of Herakles? Is it just common knowledge in her world? And when she does enter the Wishing Well, everything goes all Hunger Games, as it turns out her attempt at survival is being filmed for the pleasure of gods all over the meta-verse. Somebody send me a basket of (gluten free) rolls so I can stuff my face instead of thinking about this. I stopped after the first issue. No "excitment" generated.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Fight Like a Girl sounded like it would be so much fun. Unfortunately, it winds up being a bit of a mess. A young woman named Amarosa is on a quest to save her brother from an ailment that persists in going unspecified. Evidently, if the Pantheon agrees, a human can complete a series of tasks that involve killing some monster behind a door chosen by the human in order to be granted a specific wish. Failure to defeat the monsters will result in a one-way trip to Hell. Amarosa works her way throug Fight Like a Girl sounded like it would be so much fun. Unfortunately, it winds up being a bit of a mess. A young woman named Amarosa is on a quest to save her brother from an ailment that persists in going unspecified. Evidently, if the Pantheon agrees, a human can complete a series of tasks that involve killing some monster behind a door chosen by the human in order to be granted a specific wish. Failure to defeat the monsters will result in a one-way trip to Hell. Amarosa works her way through the first 4 monsters in this volume, which collects comics 1-4. On the surface, the series sounds as though it could be an entertaining and potentially emotional journey for a kick-butt protagonist. Unfortunately, the only thing really going for this series is its protagonist, but her development leaves a lot to be desired. The motives for doing just about anything in this are unclear. What is wrong with Amarosa's brother than can only be solved by this escalating series of violent challenges? Why is the Pantheon such a bizarre mix of gods and goddesses (named in the comic are Loki, Tartarus and Chronos - a god from Norse mythology and two Greek Titans)? Why does every comic begin with Amarosa and her boyfriend arguing about whether or not Amarosa should approach the Pantheon? It makes sense once or twice, but gets redundant very quickly. With all these issues, the comic is already starting to suffer, but when you add in the technical mistakes - abundant typos and grammatical errors - and the insufferable 5-6 pages of advertisements for Action Labs' other series in between each comic, you've got a giant mess of a comic. Not recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This comic has potential---so much potential. The storyline and art were all over the place at times. I believe in this comic though because the premise seemed promising.

  4. 4 out of 5

    April

    Okay, I need volume two asap.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sara I

    I picked up this graphic novel on a whim because of the cool cover, but now I would like to continue on with the series and read more. There are video game elements as the protagonist, Amarosa, enters "the wishing well" to complete challenges in nine stages/levels for the chance to save her brother who is deathly ill. It is a hero's journey complete with an identity crisis, risky moments, and unique settings with beautiful coloring. There's a sense that there will be more to come as the pantheon I picked up this graphic novel on a whim because of the cool cover, but now I would like to continue on with the series and read more. There are video game elements as the protagonist, Amarosa, enters "the wishing well" to complete challenges in nine stages/levels for the chance to save her brother who is deathly ill. It is a hero's journey complete with an identity crisis, risky moments, and unique settings with beautiful coloring. There's a sense that there will be more to come as the pantheon of gods who have allowed her this chance are watching as well as an unknown audience. Thus, I am eager to know more and follow Amarosa on her journey!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Cunningham

    This comic seemed like it might have an interesting story to tell— the protagonist enters a “competition” put on by the gods (you’ll find a variety of mythologies represented from around the world), and if she can defeat the enemies pitted against her and complete her task, she will be granted one wish... to save her dying younger brother. The protagonist is stubborn, funny, and kicks butt. I enjoyed the art and found it suited the story well. Unfortunately it looks like this was not printed past This comic seemed like it might have an interesting story to tell— the protagonist enters a “competition” put on by the gods (you’ll find a variety of mythologies represented from around the world), and if she can defeat the enemies pitted against her and complete her task, she will be granted one wish... to save her dying younger brother. The protagonist is stubborn, funny, and kicks butt. I enjoyed the art and found it suited the story well. Unfortunately it looks like this was not printed past the first volume, so it doesn’t look like we’ll ever know what those gods are to to or if our heroine saves the day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elisquared

    I’ll definitely pick up the other volumes, if my library has them. I think the first four issues were intriguing enough to catch my interest, but not so great that I’m rushing out. I think the characters, especially the main character Amarosa, needed to be fleshed out. Also, while I understand it’s a kind of mystery I need to know what disease her brother has exactly. Just some things that are a little rough, that hopefully gets better in the next volume.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Meh. The story sounded cool but the execution was lacking. Spelling/grammar errors and some repetitive conversations took me out of the story, and I felt like all the "battles" were way to simple and easy, just there to move the story along but didn't help anyone grow. I liked Amarosa, but I didn't really get to know her very well. Meh. The story sounded cool but the execution was lacking. Spelling/grammar errors and some repetitive conversations took me out of the story, and I felt like all the "battles" were way to simple and easy, just there to move the story along but didn't help anyone grow. I liked Amarosa, but I didn't really get to know her very well.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This one was just okay for me. I liked the premise a lot, but felt the backstory was lacking. While flashbacks help, they weren't early enough in the book to make me feel like I knew what was going on. I'll probably read the next in the series, but it's not a must-read for me. This one was just okay for me. I liked the premise a lot, but felt the backstory was lacking. While flashbacks help, they weren't early enough in the book to make me feel like I knew what was going on. I'll probably read the next in the series, but it's not a must-read for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The cast was hard to follow. The story needed more "show don't tell." There were at least 3 mistakes that should have been caught in editing. The art had it's ups and downs. I really expected more of this, but I don't find myself caring about the characters or the story so I don't plan to continue. The cast was hard to follow. The story needed more "show don't tell." There were at least 3 mistakes that should have been caught in editing. The art had it's ups and downs. I really expected more of this, but I don't find myself caring about the characters or the story so I don't plan to continue.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    I really hope there is more for this series because I really enjoyed this first volume.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eujean2

    I really love the character design for Amarosa. The story itself seems a little rough & could use a good editor. That said, I’d probably read more to see where Amarosa goes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Very good story line and interesting way of telling it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lainy122

    Cool idea, really cool characters (especially main character LOVE HER) and super rad art. Def gonna pick up the series!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    An interesting story with dynamic art and noticeable typos. Was it really necessary to re-run all the ads from the original comics in the collected volume? Most of them are in here multiple times!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Maluck

    I am all about the format of this story, which handles similar to the "No More Heroes" videogames with its stylized treatment of before-during-after showdown fights with different killers. The art is all over the place, though. I want to love this comic and look forward to volume two to see how it develops. I am all about the format of this story, which handles similar to the "No More Heroes" videogames with its stylized treatment of before-during-after showdown fights with different killers. The art is all over the place, though. I want to love this comic and look forward to volume two to see how it develops.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Choppy dialogue, limited art, and a tedious story structure hamper a reasonable and serviceable story. FIGHT LIKE A GIRL isn't a bad comic book, but it certainly won't inspire you to read more than what you've paid for. This is unfortunate, because dynamic characters of color can often only be found in small-run or indie titles such as these. Amarosa is the stubborn main character that steps, rather inexplicably, into the world of the gods (rather, of mixed mythology) to complete various physical Choppy dialogue, limited art, and a tedious story structure hamper a reasonable and serviceable story. FIGHT LIKE A GIRL isn't a bad comic book, but it certainly won't inspire you to read more than what you've paid for. This is unfortunate, because dynamic characters of color can often only be found in small-run or indie titles such as these. Amarosa is the stubborn main character that steps, rather inexplicably, into the world of the gods (rather, of mixed mythology) to complete various physical and psychological tests to prove her worth. Victory over these challenges grants her a single wish (to save her brother, who is afflicted with an inexplicable illness). FIGHT LIKE A GIRL has heart. Sadly, the writing isn't particularly good and the art falls somewhere between serviceable and unacceptable. Further, because neither the writing nor the art contribute wholly or emphatically to the story concept, the book tends to drag. Amarosa's various tests of courage send her to foreign lands to fight for her life against shapeshifters and giant robots, which is fine, except for the fact she spends more time talking to (or about) her enemy than battling them. The girl is cocky and self-assured, and slowly comes to find this isn't always for the better. But readers may not be privy to this pivot of character because she's written devoid of nuance. This combination of is most evident in the forced lesson-learned soul-gathering at the end of issue four -- "I'm supposed to be me and nothing more." -- is a bit cringeworthy. Another struggle with this book is the poor coloring and complete lack of background artwork. I'm tempted to wonder if having an entire issue take place in outer space was a sly jab to get around this dilemma. Regardless, the lack of skill in the art department, outside of the character art, makes it difficult for readers to process the fight scenes and ultimately risks lulling one to sleep. If all one has to go on are post-apocalyptic landscapes with muddy browns and dithering of reds, but no differentiation between buildings, rubble, and more, it's no longer a fascinating maybe-future, it's just boring. Also, each issue of FIGHT LIKE A GIRL begins by positioning Amarosa and her boyfriend, Kaiden, overlooking an amorphous brown blob, which is their hometown. In this example, what should be a meaningful glimpse into the suburban milieu is instead relegated to a half-second page flip. With no care to detail, reader interest takes a nosedive. There are other problems, too. Amarosa totes around a baseball bat that can change form and into her weapon of choice. This is never explained. In addition, Amarosa's moral ambiguity is never fully explored; she has no problem killing a woman with a chainsaw but gets squeamish when discussing her brother who sits in a hospital with failing organs. If the creative team dedicated more time to selling readers on the pain behind the pain (on why this particular girl feels this particularly strong about her pursuit) instead of focusing only on the pain she can name ("I think I'm supposed to kill you or something."), then FIGHT LIKE A GIRL would have been ten times stronger. A final aside: I cannot recall if this is the first title I've purchased from Action Lab, but they should definitely hire someone with experience in assemble trades. The formatting for this book is terrible: too many wasted pages in-between issues, shifting gutter space, and worse of all, close to zero credit for the actual contributors of the book (last-name only mentions on title pages don't count); the back cover is the only place where you'll read their full names.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lissibith

    Amarosa has a wish. If she can defeat the nine trials set for her at the Wishing Well by the gods, she will be granted that one wish. And if she fails, when she's doomed to Hell for all eternity. It's dire, but for her brother, Amarosa will try it. Now she just has to survive. This book is a mixed bag. I liked the sketchy style of the art, but I suspect it might put some people off. And to be fair, there are some times when details, especially faces, can feel a little wonky. It doesn't really happ Amarosa has a wish. If she can defeat the nine trials set for her at the Wishing Well by the gods, she will be granted that one wish. And if she fails, when she's doomed to Hell for all eternity. It's dire, but for her brother, Amarosa will try it. Now she just has to survive. This book is a mixed bag. I liked the sketchy style of the art, but I suspect it might put some people off. And to be fair, there are some times when details, especially faces, can feel a little wonky. It doesn't really happen on our main character, but for other less prominent people, it can get a little wonky. The story is likewise a mix. The premise is clever, and I like Amarosa as a character - bold and daring, throwing herself at things with all the energy she has, but also unwilling to look to either side of her goal, perhaps out of a fear that if she thinks about what she's doing, she may find herself unable to continue on her path. But the nine trials, while they have an ulterior purpose, feel a little simplistic. I was expecting something a little more clever from how she had to deal with them. That is perhaps an unfair expectation on my part, since Amarosa herself is presented as a straightforward person. It makes sense for her solutions to be a little straightforward as well. And I like a lot of her dialogue to herself, as well as her dialogue with her boyfriend. It's cute and sometimes clever. Oh, another issue - and I feel like this was the case with Princeless as well - it feels like the original individual issues were just sort of stuck together, as there are multiple ads for other Action Lab products, to the point it's a little distracting. I'm pretty sure I counted four for Princeless alone. So be warned. But overall the mystery - exactly what is wrong with her brother, and why is the book so coy about both it and how she feels about it - is going to get me back for the second half. This book doesn't do anything wrong, it just didn't do anything

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This is a phenomenal series about a girl on a quest to save her brother. Fighting her way through a wishing well with nine trials, she must defeat dinosaurs, giant robots, hubris, and her own fears to earn a request from a group of gods assembled from various pantheons. Amarosa is great. She's strong, willful, and adorable when grumpy. The supporting cast is equally amusing and the story is emotionally resonant without losing it's sense of fun. I look forward to the next volume. If this trade ha This is a phenomenal series about a girl on a quest to save her brother. Fighting her way through a wishing well with nine trials, she must defeat dinosaurs, giant robots, hubris, and her own fears to earn a request from a group of gods assembled from various pantheons. Amarosa is great. She's strong, willful, and adorable when grumpy. The supporting cast is equally amusing and the story is emotionally resonant without losing it's sense of fun. I look forward to the next volume. If this trade has one fault it's the repeating ads for other Action Lab comics. I like a few previews, but the same ones at the start of every new issue got a little repetitive. That said, Princeless looks awesome and I'm going to track it down as well. I highly recommend this book to comic fans.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Marquardt

    I'm really excited to see where this goes. There's some good wit, some variety and learnings in the challenges, and some humor over the reality show aspect of Amarosa's journey through the Wishing Well. I'm taking a star off in part because my volume felt like it was 3/5 story, 2/5 ads, which was a little jarring - right as I was getting into the story. The remaining parts of that star comes from some lack I felt, in either character development or depth (I can't quite put my finger on it). Defi I'm really excited to see where this goes. There's some good wit, some variety and learnings in the challenges, and some humor over the reality show aspect of Amarosa's journey through the Wishing Well. I'm taking a star off in part because my volume felt like it was 3/5 story, 2/5 ads, which was a little jarring - right as I was getting into the story. The remaining parts of that star comes from some lack I felt, in either character development or depth (I can't quite put my finger on it). Definitely willing to keep up when the next TPB comes out, and I'm glad to have picked this up.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    I love the heroine of this comic; she's smart and so teen-girl-like. I also liked the art, but I think I might need to read more of the comic before I fall in love with the overall story. Occasionally I pick up a graphic novel where I feel somewhat lost about the plot, and this was one of those. On the surface it's pretty straightforward, but much like when I read manga, I feel like I'm missing something important. Which is probably more to do with my reading comprehension than the actual comic, I love the heroine of this comic; she's smart and so teen-girl-like. I also liked the art, but I think I might need to read more of the comic before I fall in love with the overall story. Occasionally I pick up a graphic novel where I feel somewhat lost about the plot, and this was one of those. On the surface it's pretty straightforward, but much like when I read manga, I feel like I'm missing something important. Which is probably more to do with my reading comprehension than the actual comic, but still.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I want to like this more than I actually do and am hovering at giving it 4 stars, but I'm sticking to 3. The protagonist Amarosa has gone before a council/jury to "win" the right to go into the Well - a place of doors leading to challenges. Victory leads to another door/challenge, failure leads to Hell (& death? It's sort of unclear). She's doing this for her brother who is dying of cancer; presumably success will result in his cure, but again it's unclear. I liked the first challenge the best. I want to like this more than I actually do and am hovering at giving it 4 stars, but I'm sticking to 3. The protagonist Amarosa has gone before a council/jury to "win" the right to go into the Well - a place of doors leading to challenges. Victory leads to another door/challenge, failure leads to Hell (& death? It's sort of unclear). She's doing this for her brother who is dying of cancer; presumably success will result in his cure, but again it's unclear. I liked the first challenge the best.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    The whole thing just strikes me as amateurish. There is enthusiasm in the writing and the art, but the skill exhibited is far from professional. And the production choice to include the ads from each of the collected issues, so the reader has to see the same ad four times in the course of reading the graphic novel, well that's just stupid and lazy. Glad I checked this out of the library instead of paying for it. The whole thing just strikes me as amateurish. There is enthusiasm in the writing and the art, but the skill exhibited is far from professional. And the production choice to include the ads from each of the collected issues, so the reader has to see the same ad four times in the course of reading the graphic novel, well that's just stupid and lazy. Glad I checked this out of the library instead of paying for it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Miri

    Mostly just okay, although right at the end I did get caught up in wondering what happened next. I don't like the protagonist that much, but I think she's the kind you have to get to know—we're meeting her in the middle of what's obviously a very bad time in her life. I couldn't believe the plethora of spelling and grammatical mistakes. But I suppose I would like to check out volume two, if I can get my hands on it. Mostly just okay, although right at the end I did get caught up in wondering what happened next. I don't like the protagonist that much, but I think she's the kind you have to get to know—we're meeting her in the middle of what's obviously a very bad time in her life. I couldn't believe the plethora of spelling and grammatical mistakes. But I suppose I would like to check out volume two, if I can get my hands on it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Uuuugh I wanted to like this more than I did, because it's an indie comic with a female POC as the main character. But whoever edited the text needs to do a few more read throughs because there were some grammatical errors that I noticed right off the bat. The story isn't well developed, I don't understand the premise, and it's just not great. It's a little Hunger Games-y so if someone was looking for graphic novel readalike I could pass that off, but still. Uuuugh I wanted to like this more than I did, because it's an indie comic with a female POC as the main character. But whoever edited the text needs to do a few more read throughs because there were some grammatical errors that I noticed right off the bat. The story isn't well developed, I don't understand the premise, and it's just not great. It's a little Hunger Games-y so if someone was looking for graphic novel readalike I could pass that off, but still.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Needs an editor, or spell check at least! But if you can get passed the misspelling, it was a pretty good book. Could have used a little bit more backstory explanation, but the action was interesting, and the story line is good. Will be reading the second one (and hoping that the author works on grammar a bit more!)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy!

    This book is really entertaining, and I really liked Amarosa as a main character. I think her journey is going to be really fun to follow. I also really liked the art, though I found some of the action sequences difficult to follow. Also, there seemed to be a few typos in here, which is always really jarring. Hopefully, later volumes are cleaned up a bit more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leia3771

    Quick read, but the comic is a little confusing. There are some plot holes and I believe that the author could have fixed that with a better dialogue and a few flashbacks that weren't just about Amarosa and her boyfriend (I wanted to at least see her brother ONCE). I will say that I still enjoyed it, faults and all, and I'm going to try volume 2. Quick read, but the comic is a little confusing. There are some plot holes and I believe that the author could have fixed that with a better dialogue and a few flashbacks that weren't just about Amarosa and her boyfriend (I wanted to at least see her brother ONCE). I will say that I still enjoyed it, faults and all, and I'm going to try volume 2.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Darcy Roar

    A little ham fisted, but an interesting world and premise. I'll certainly pick up the next one. The collected volume seems to have all the 'preview'/advertisements from the singles, so that's a bit weird. A little ham fisted, but an interesting world and premise. I'll certainly pick up the next one. The collected volume seems to have all the 'preview'/advertisements from the singles, so that's a bit weird.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ranger

    Interesting idea, and I loved the drawings of the main character. However, the book is riddled with typos and each of the challenges wasn't illustrated and/or described in much detail. I'm not sure I'll get volume 2. Interesting idea, and I loved the drawings of the main character. However, the book is riddled with typos and each of the challenges wasn't illustrated and/or described in much detail. I'm not sure I'll get volume 2.

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