Belle of the Ball (2023)


High-school senior and notorious wallflower Hawkins finally works up the courage to remove her mascot mask and ask out her longtime crush: Regina Moreno, head cheerleader, academic overachiever, and all-around popular girl. There’s only one teensy little problem: Regina is already dating Chloe Kitagawa, athletic all-star…and middling English student. Regina sees a perfectly self-serving opportunity here, and asks the smitten Hawkins to tutor Chloe free of charge, knowing Hawkins will do anything to get closer to her.

And while Regina’s plan works at first, she doesn’t realize that Hawkins and Chloe knew each other as kids, when Hawkins went by Belle and wore princess dresses to school every single day. Before long, romance does start to blossom…but not between who you might expect.

From: Macmillan Publishers

Notes on This Title

The main character of this title is a Jewish lesbian teen. Also present are a queer Japanese teen girl, and a queer Brazilian teen girl.


2024 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ+ Comics - Nomineev


Starred Review: “Costa (Life of Melody) smartly employs classic shojo manga aesthetics, well-timed comedic beats, and winningly characterized protagonists to deliver a refreshing spin on the love triangle trope that meditatively interrogates identity.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)

“Funny, heartfelt, and absolutely adorable.” (Source: Kirkus Reviews)


Geek Declassified: “Interview with Mari Costa for Belle of the Ball

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