Monday 2 April 2018

5* BOOK REVIEW | 'Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir' by Maggie Thrash

Hey guys, and happy Monday! I hope you are all enjoying the bank holiday as much as I am - and still demolishing those chocolate eggs...

Today I am excited to be sharing with you another book review, this time of a brilliant graphic novel I read a few months ago. Every single time I read a graphic novel I always promise myself I will read more, because they are so damn good, but I never know what to pick up (I'm a novice, I know). So if you guys have any graphic novel recs, please do hit me up!

Today I will be reviewing the brilliant Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash. Honor Girl follows Maggie, as she navigates another summer at Camp Bellflower for Girls, although this summer is a little different. Suddenly, and unexpectantly, she feels herself falling for Erin, one of the Camp's counsellors. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for Maggie to express her true feelings, and even her proficiency at the rifle range and her adoration for Backstreet Boys isn't enough to distract her. Can one summer really change everything?

Intrigued? Read the blurb here...

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.

I adored this book, and devoured it in a single sitting. Everything about it was so real and honest - I know that sounds obvious, it being a memoir and all, however the authenticity of the story really stood out to me. It is really easy to over-romanticise and sometimes trivialise first love stories such as these, but Honor Girl is much more than a summer romance-esque story. It is gritty, real, and often painfully honest. You really get into the mind of Maggie and feel her every butterfly, flash of anger, and heartbreak. I thought the exploration of sexuality was brilliant and I would definitely press this graphic novel into the hands of a young person who might be struggling with similar issues that are explored in this. As well as navigating through issues such as feminism, sexuality and the complex friendships between girls (especially in a camp setting), this graphic novel is also extremely funny. I actually found myself snorting at parts. I feel like I couldn't relate to every single part, since I haven't gone to a summer camp myself, but I could still imagine the painfully awkward and typical situations you might find youself in an all-female camp.

The drawings were as beautiful as the story and they were wonderfully detailed yet also realistic. They told the story so well and I loved how simplistic they were. The colour palette was stunning. I feel like the drawings really brought Maggie and Erin to life, which clearly displays the incredible magic drawings can produce.

Altogether, I really loved this graphic novel, and whether you have read a graphic novel before or not, I would recommend that you pick this one up! It was a stunning read from start to finish, and although you finish it wanting more, it's a good reminder that, very often, life fails to fall into neat endings.

Check out Maggie Thrash here:

Until next time :)

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