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The Avant-Guards: Down to the Wire

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THE FINAL SHOT. Everything’s happening - Liv & Charlie figuring out what it means to be Liv & Charlie, the final game of the season is here, creating the perfect fundraiser and everyone’s parents showed up to cheer them on during the most stressful time the team could imagine. It’s Just A Lot For Everyone To Deal With. Luckily the entire existence of the league doesn’t dep THE FINAL SHOT. Everything’s happening - Liv & Charlie figuring out what it means to be Liv & Charlie, the final game of the season is here, creating the perfect fundraiser and everyone’s parents showed up to cheer them on during the most stressful time the team could imagine. It’s Just A Lot For Everyone To Deal With. Luckily the entire existence of the league doesn’t depend on this one game or the Avant-Guards winning, right? Oh wait... Acclaimed writer Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl: Riot on The Radio) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer) conclude their hit series about falling in love and finding your team on & off the court.


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THE FINAL SHOT. Everything’s happening - Liv & Charlie figuring out what it means to be Liv & Charlie, the final game of the season is here, creating the perfect fundraiser and everyone’s parents showed up to cheer them on during the most stressful time the team could imagine. It’s Just A Lot For Everyone To Deal With. Luckily the entire existence of the league doesn’t dep THE FINAL SHOT. Everything’s happening - Liv & Charlie figuring out what it means to be Liv & Charlie, the final game of the season is here, creating the perfect fundraiser and everyone’s parents showed up to cheer them on during the most stressful time the team could imagine. It’s Just A Lot For Everyone To Deal With. Luckily the entire existence of the league doesn’t depend on this one game or the Avant-Guards winning, right? Oh wait... Acclaimed writer Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl: Riot on The Radio) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer) conclude their hit series about falling in love and finding your team on & off the court.

30 review for The Avant-Guards: Down to the Wire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    I am going to miss this wonderful ragtag team so very much. I'm gutted that this series is only three volumes long. I feel like these characters and their stories still have so much to give. That being said, this was a lovely finale, filled with all the passion, excitement, high stakes and tender moments I've come to expect and adore from this series. I am going to miss this wonderful ragtag team so very much. I'm gutted that this series is only three volumes long. I feel like these characters and their stories still have so much to give. That being said, this was a lovely finale, filled with all the passion, excitement, high stakes and tender moments I've come to expect and adore from this series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    #1) The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 ★★★★★ #2) The Avant-Guards, Vol. 2 ★★★★☆ ➸ Trigger warnings for on-page panic attack. ▷ Representation: Charlie (mc) sapphic & anxiety; Liv (li) Black & sapphic; Nicole (sc) Asian, trans & sapphic; Jay (sc) Black & non-binary; Ashley (sc) Black. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram #1) The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 ★★★★★ #2) The Avant-Guards, Vol. 2 ★★★★☆ ➸ Trigger warnings for on-page panic attack. ▷ Representation: Charlie (mc) sapphic & anxiety; Liv (li) Black & sapphic; Nicole (sc) Asian, trans & sapphic; Jay (sc) Black & non-binary; Ashley (sc) Black. Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    So disappointed to see this enjoyable series come to an end. A fine conclusion is offered up, but it is certainly left open-ended enough for the women's basketball team to get a second season (please, please). So disappointed to see this enjoyable series come to an end. A fine conclusion is offered up, but it is certainly left open-ended enough for the women's basketball team to get a second season (please, please).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cande

    That was quite the emotional ending to this series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tianna

    Content Warning: On-page panic attack. Also, this got rant-y, fair warning. Oh. Oh dear. Where did it all go wrong? This was really disappointing. The first volume had so much potential, and the second fell a little flat, but I thought this one would pick itself back up. I was wrong. The characters felt much more like stereotypes in this volume, straying so far from the natural individuality and representation that was present in the first volume. The representation felt forced in this volume, Content Warning: On-page panic attack. Also, this got rant-y, fair warning. Oh. Oh dear. Where did it all go wrong? This was really disappointing. The first volume had so much potential, and the second fell a little flat, but I thought this one would pick itself back up. I was wrong. The characters felt much more like stereotypes in this volume, straying so far from the natural individuality and representation that was present in the first volume. The representation felt forced in this volume, and many of the scenes made me cringe with how cheesy they were. It’s fine to have a heartwarming and lighthearted story, but that doesn’t have to translate to there being a lack of depth in character growth and development. The plot of this volume, again straying away from basketball and the roots of the team, was...weak at best. It revolved around literally every character having a gross overreaction to Charlie not mentioning that she has a sister until that sister showed up in person. The sister who is apparently a genius, graduated high school early, and is good at literally everything. Mary Sue, is that you? I get that the author was trying to go for the “my-younger-sister-is-better-at-everything-and-I-am-living-in-her-shadow” trope, but it was sooooo poorly executed, it hurts. The sister literally swoops in and befriends the team immediately, leaving Charlie with a bunch of anxiety because she felt she lived in her sister’s shadow. The worst part is? The best representation that occurred in this volume was the portrayal of anxiety and anxiety attacks, and even that was kinda bad, because the whole volume felt like it was invalidating Charlie’s feelings. Yes, you have to be responsible for yourself, even if you are struggling with a mental illness, but this straight up felt like her thoughts and feelings were invalidated just because Olivia and the rest of the team were butthurt that she didn’t mention her sister, going as far as to accuse her of lying to them. And when her sister confronts her, and asks her why she’s upset, Charlie tells her about how much she has struggled to find her own way in the shadow of her sister only to have her worst fears confirmed when that sister swoops in and becomes better friends with her team. So...yeah. And then they all make up at the end. After Charlie apologizes for what were, in my opinion, very valid feelings that could have been explored in a very interesting way. But, who needs good mental illness representation when you could have a happy ending instead? Well, that got much more rant-y than I expected, but I’m not going to change it. I struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, and this volume felt like a slap to the face.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)

    CW: Panic Attack, Anxiety Rating: 4.5/5 stars I am BIG SAD that this is over. It's one of my favorite series and I wish I had more time with it. However, I really enjoyed the final conclusion in the series and I loved being reunited with the characters again. Although it was resolved/challenged at the end, I didn't like how Charlie's friends and girlfriend treated her about her mental health instead of being there for her. Nicole is my favorite character, so I did really enjoy getting to see mor CW: Panic Attack, Anxiety Rating: 4.5/5 stars I am BIG SAD that this is over. It's one of my favorite series and I wish I had more time with it. However, I really enjoyed the final conclusion in the series and I loved being reunited with the characters again. Although it was resolved/challenged at the end, I didn't like how Charlie's friends and girlfriend treated her about her mental health instead of being there for her. Nicole is my favorite character, so I did really enjoy getting to see more of her story. But, I feel like there's still more to this story! I'm disappointed it's ending at this volume.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    Another good comic! I'd maybe go higher star-wise, but I'd have liked the story to be more sympathetic to Charlie in this volume. Her prodigy sister surprises her by enrolling in the same college and joining the same basketball team, threatening to show her up at everything as she has apparently always done, and - despite knowing that Charlie has anxiety and hates surprises - she is totally shocked that Charlie's not happy about this? And then Charlie is the bad guy for going radio silent for aw Another good comic! I'd maybe go higher star-wise, but I'd have liked the story to be more sympathetic to Charlie in this volume. Her prodigy sister surprises her by enrolling in the same college and joining the same basketball team, threatening to show her up at everything as she has apparently always done, and - despite knowing that Charlie has anxiety and hates surprises - she is totally shocked that Charlie's not happy about this? And then Charlie is the bad guy for going radio silent for awhile? I dunno . . . But otherwise, it's a nice volume and a sweet ending for the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Macklin R

    I almost never wish a series were longer, but I really wanted more time with this team. The story as a whole felt a little rushed, but I loved some of the more creative panel layouts during the action scenes (I'm thinking specifically of the spiral buzzer shot layout). The inclusion of the character designs at the end was a nice touch. I almost never wish a series were longer, but I really wanted more time with this team. The story as a whole felt a little rushed, but I loved some of the more creative panel layouts during the action scenes (I'm thinking specifically of the spiral buzzer shot layout). The inclusion of the character designs at the end was a nice touch.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    3,5 stars.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kayt O'Bibliophile

    There was...a lot going on in this final volume. And I acknowledge my feelings are not going to be anywhere close to universal--The Avant-Guards started seeming dedicated to be a very *nice* comic with tension that comes from places other than the characters' identities, and it's kept that up, and it's not a problem. (And it is, in fact, nice to read a comic whose characters are far and away majority people of color, and majority queer, and they are allowed to just be.) And so part of me feels l There was...a lot going on in this final volume. And I acknowledge my feelings are not going to be anywhere close to universal--The Avant-Guards started seeming dedicated to be a very *nice* comic with tension that comes from places other than the characters' identities, and it's kept that up, and it's not a problem. (And it is, in fact, nice to read a comic whose characters are far and away majority people of color, and majority queer, and they are allowed to just be.) And so part of me feels like I can't fault it for finishing such as it does. But my problem isn't that the story's problems are resolvable with adequate communication and that everyone realizes this and lives happily ever after. My problem is that we get a lot thrown in this last volume that seem designed to ratchet up the tension, but happen so quickly I was left wondering who are you? Why are you here? What's your purpose? I mean: (view spoiler)[Charlie and Liv disappear for the first chunk to secure funding to continue the league. Fine. But this is primarily a plot device to get them out of the way so 1) the team can hold tryouts, which Liv doesn't know about, and will therefore get really upset about upon returning, and 2) so the one new player who sticks around miraculously turns out to be CHARLIE'S SISTER, who did not tell Charlie she was going to be attending the same college, and 3) Liv is SO OFFENDED that Charlie has never mentioned she has a sister she blows up and refuses to talk to anyone (also because she's upset about the tryouts). (hide spoiler)] "I mean, if you didn't respect me enough to tell me THAT, what else are you hiding from me??" she shouts at Charlie because Liv, a person who talks 2oo miles a minute, thinks its immoral for her girlfriend to never bring up her family, and apparently sees no problem with the fact that she herself has apparently never asked Charlie about her family. (There's no in-story indication Charlie was hiding her family's existence from Liv. And look: if you spend months with a person and never actually ask them about their family, that's on you. Or just stalk their social media, geez.) A latter chunk of the book is spent with Charlie AWOL, which is bad, I guess, but was hard for me to care about when she's been hit with the double-whammy of (view spoiler)["my younger sister who is better at things than me has come to my college, without anyone telling me, where I have just started to carve out my own identity and be known as myself without being compared to my sister" and "my girlfriend erupted at me over something that is, objectively, her own fault" (hide spoiler)] . And at the end, Charlie even APOLOGIZES to Liv specifically for "lying" to her which--NO, YOU DID NOT. I reread the entire book to check. Unless Charlie said (view spoiler)["I'm an only child" (hide spoiler)] in an earlier book, there was no lying going on. (And if Charlie did explicitly lie about this earlier, it really needed to be pointed out to make it clear something did happen and this isn't Olivia just being an ass.) The problem is that really, this series had two primary characters--Charlie and Liv--and they also happen to be the most annoying, drama-filled, uncompelling characters on the team. Tiffany, Ashley, Nicole and Jay were the highlights, but they often had to take a backseat to Liv's tunnel vision and Charlie's anxiety. And with the majority of this third book basing its tension on said tunnel vision and anxiety, it took away from the outside plot influences (the league is saved! Lots of people watched the championship! The A-Gs had an art show!) that should have had more emotional impact.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maddy (maddysreads)

    This last volume of The Avant-Guards is everything. It’s uplifting, it’s heart-warming, and the representation is incredible. The team is going through a rough patch! Charlie and Olivia are not communicating, Ashley just discovered Nicole’s secret talent, and Nicole has a big decision to make. The team has to come up with a plan to raise funds for another season, and the championship game is right around the corner. Will they win the championship? Do they raise enough funds for another season? A This last volume of The Avant-Guards is everything. It’s uplifting, it’s heart-warming, and the representation is incredible. The team is going through a rough patch! Charlie and Olivia are not communicating, Ashley just discovered Nicole’s secret talent, and Nicole has a big decision to make. The team has to come up with a plan to raise funds for another season, and the championship game is right around the corner. Will they win the championship? Do they raise enough funds for another season? All three volumes follow a new basketball team - The Avant-Guards. They are a basketball team with rep: trans women, non-binary people, lesbians, straight women, short, tall, fat, skinny...it’s great. I loved how the friendships were clearly developed by this installment. It made for a really fun ending to the story.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zoe Brook

    I've loved these. But this one had a bit in it that just irritated me and drew me out of the story. Unless I missed something, (view spoiler)[ there was a huge fallout among the team because one of them didn't tell the others that she had a sister. Which apparently was a major breach of trust and also a lie? And it confused me so much? How is not knowing about a sister a lie? Those things fall through the cracks all the time, especially at college. And it seemed like such a random, tiny thing tha I've loved these. But this one had a bit in it that just irritated me and drew me out of the story. Unless I missed something, (view spoiler)[ there was a huge fallout among the team because one of them didn't tell the others that she had a sister. Which apparently was a major breach of trust and also a lie? And it confused me so much? How is not knowing about a sister a lie? Those things fall through the cracks all the time, especially at college. And it seemed like such a random, tiny thing that was ridiculously blown out of proportion and then the team blamed the girl for having a massive anxiety attack after everyone got upset over a a very tiny thing. It made everything feel so off for the rest of the book, I couldn't get over it. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annamarie Carlson (she, her)

    Everyone is examining their identity and where they feel like they belong--on the team and in the world--all while the final basketball games of the season approach. And the attendance at and the outcome of that final game will decide whether this basketball league ever gets another chance to play. No pressure? The last Avant Guards book! (Though I hope there will be more!) A satisfying end to a goofy, fun, and explorative series about teamwork, perseverance, falling in love, and finding yourself Everyone is examining their identity and where they feel like they belong--on the team and in the world--all while the final basketball games of the season approach. And the attendance at and the outcome of that final game will decide whether this basketball league ever gets another chance to play. No pressure? The last Avant Guards book! (Though I hope there will be more!) A satisfying end to a goofy, fun, and explorative series about teamwork, perseverance, falling in love, and finding yourself.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alex Baker

    3.5 stars. The wrap-up of the Avant-Guards tale, and it's still adorable. It did feel a little rushed, unfortunately. I mean, they introduce Allie, Charlie's sister, as a pretty major character at the very end of chapter nine, out of twelve, while trying to deal with play-offs, raising money to save the league, relationship drama, Liv wanting to change majors and it all could have just used a little more breathing room. 3.5 stars. The wrap-up of the Avant-Guards tale, and it's still adorable. It did feel a little rushed, unfortunately. I mean, they introduce Allie, Charlie's sister, as a pretty major character at the very end of chapter nine, out of twelve, while trying to deal with play-offs, raising money to save the league, relationship drama, Liv wanting to change majors and it all could have just used a little more breathing room.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    Still cute, and I liked the way it ended, but this last volume felt a bit rushed. A new major character is introduced in this volume, and it was just out of nowhere, even though her appearance had a big effect on the storyline. I think adding another volume after this one would have helped, to let everything run its course.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This volume of The Avant-Guards contains issues #9-12. This is unfortunately my least favorite volume of this comic series. It felt a bit rushed to me. I am hoping that this series will continue because I would love to spend more time with these lovable characters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    I thought this wasn't out for another week, so I was thrilled to see it available on Hoopla this morning! Definitely the bright spot in an otherwise-disappointing day. This was a really satisfying conclusion to the Avant-Guards series. I wish it weren't over, but I still know it's a good ending. I thought this wasn't out for another week, so I was thrilled to see it available on Hoopla this morning! Definitely the bright spot in an otherwise-disappointing day. This was a really satisfying conclusion to the Avant-Guards series. I wish it weren't over, but I still know it's a good ending.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Not a bad end to the series but it did feel like there was a lot packed into these three volumes. Some plot twists felt a little abrupt but I wouldn’t mind reading more if they did get a spinoff or continuation. Sports.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    If I'm honest, it's more like 4 stars but I love this series so much. Just wish there was more and some of the stories had more time to develop! If I'm honest, it's more like 4 stars but I love this series so much. Just wish there was more and some of the stories had more time to develop!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Debenham

    Urgh I love this series so much! Every book brings me a new favourite character but they're all just awesome sweethearts tbh! Urgh I love this series so much! Every book brings me a new favourite character but they're all just awesome sweethearts tbh!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy // The Bookish Unicorn

    That was a sweet ending to this short series!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was such a fun series, I'm so sad it's over! Definitely felt like it could have and should have been longer to let the characters develop more. This was such a fun series, I'm so sad it's over! Definitely felt like it could have and should have been longer to let the characters develop more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Xanthe

    Completely adorable and I loved it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    3.5 stars. As a bassoon player, loved to see the instrument highlighted so much!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Going to miss this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I am so sad this is over! This is such a sweet series about diversity and friendship. I am kind of hoping with the open-ending that we may see more, but who knows! Liv & Charlie are so cute.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica McGillivray

    Cute, sweet, a bit predictable, but a solid ending. One can hope for a second season.

  28. 4 out of 5

    strawberry

    i didn't know this was the ending! :,( i didn't know this was the ending! :,(

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    please don’t tell me this is over already??????????

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Cameron

    sad to see the final volume but i liked how it ended. i love and will miss this team v much

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