It’s been awhile since I read a graphic novel. I do love them so. Just knowing I’ll be able to speed through it within an hour or two, and bump up my Goodreads challenge that little bit more in the process. Ohhhh how satisfying.
Anyway. Not the point.
Let’s dive right in!
(Found on Goodreads)
All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.
Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie s savant-like proficiency at the camp s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.”
*Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion.*
Honestly, starting this review, I’ve got no idea what I’m going to rate this book. I suppose I’ll figure it out as I write my thoughts down.
So first of all, I was fascinated by Camp Bellflower. It sounded like some mythical place to me full of summer activities and gossiping girls. But apparently, it’s a real place, and for some reason that blows my mind. HOW CAN IT ALL BE SO CHEERY AND FILM-LIKE?
I don’t know what to feel about this story being a graphic memoir. On the one hand, I loved it because I could speed right through it and know Maggie’s story within an hour or two. It also made a nice break from words all the time. On the other hand, it meant I didn’t connect to the characters at all. There was just no time for that. In fact, besides the main character, I didn’t like any of them. I’ve no idea why.
Which isn’t great when it came to the “romance” of the story. I didn’t feel it at all. Maggie’s side I could understand, we saw a bit more of that. But Erin? Her reactions just seemed to come from nowhere, and I was sat thinking “Oh okayy so this is happening now? Cool.”
That being said, there were plenty of moments where I wanted to throw this book across the room because of some of the things said about/to the main character. So it must have got to me in some way. I mean, it really really bothered me that people – especially the bloomin’ counsellors – treated Maggie in such a way. I wanted to barge right in there and ask them what the hell they were doing.
As for the art style, I liked it. Or rather, I didn’t dislike it. It was simple, and didn’t distract away from the story at all. At the same time, I didn’t fawn over how stunning it was, so I suppose it depends on how you look at it.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH WHAT WAS THAT ENDING? It just stopped. Just like that *insert click of fingers that apparently technology doesn’t allow me to do through a screen yet*. And I get that this is a graphic memoir, these things happen and sometimes you don’t get to know the answers. But THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY LESS FRUSTRATING. Dammit. Also, “romantic and devastating”, the synopsis claims? Um…where? Sorry to sound mean but I’d hardly call it devastating. To Maggie Thrash, of course it must have been. And I feel horrid for just being like “um no, I don’t think so”. But that’s the problem with it being a graphic memoir. I didn’t connect to the characters all that well, and so it didn’t really hit me with devastation. Sorry.
All this being said, it sounds like I wasn’t that fond of it. But really, I DID enjoy it a lot while reading. It’s just easier to pick out the things I didn’t like about it than what I did like, especially when it took me about an hour to read. But the story did flow really well, and gave me a great sense of what it would be like to go to Camp Bellflower (I’m pretty sure I’d hate it). So yeah, a book full of teenage awkwardness, summer activities and gossiping girls, it was a fun quick read.
Rated 3/5 stars
Share your thoughts!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
If you haven’t, do you plan to?
Do you have any graphic memoirs you’d recommend?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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