Friday, February 26, 2016

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryMaggie 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.

Review: I love graphic books, and it's always interesting to see how people use this medium when the story is not fiction, but based on their own life. Honor Girl is the story of a teenage Maggie Thrash attending an all-girl's camp, and how one summer, she starts to develop feelings for an older counselor Erin, who happens to be female.

Maggie is surprised to find herself liking Erin, but she never feels a hatred or disgust at her feelings and I loved this! I can't say I appreciate the author doing this, because she's just saying what happened. What I mean is that I'm glad Maggie was fairly okay with her feelings when she realized them. Sure, it might be weird or awkward at first, when you think you only like boys, but it's not something to be ashamed and Maggie wasn't.

Erin even seems to reciprocate her feelings, but she's still older than Maggie...not  to mention a counselor to Maggie's camp attendant status. It would be similar to a young teacher falling for their teen pupil. Not too far apart in age, but the power dynamic is a bit off, even if Erin isn't Maggie's counselor.

The one thing I think that people might have an issue with is the ending. I liked how Maggie concluded things to allow for answers, but at the same time, you kind of hope for a certain ending. Granted, this is a true story, and it's true to the end.

Would you read this one? Have you read any other graphic memoirs? 


Piecraft Bucharest said...

Definitely interested in this one. I think graphic novels do make the most amazing mediums for all kinds of stories. I'm reading The Sandman right now, and let me tell you, you haven't got Orpheus' plight until you read it in The Sandman! Awesome review.

Unknown said...

I like the concept of this. Visual aids help make messages like this one book better received.

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

I'm glad you liked this one, Lauren! I read it last year, and I absolutely flew through it.

I had never read a graphic novel memoir before but I have read a few LGBTQIA+ autobiographies. But they were incredibly different to Honor Girl.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed in the ending, but overall appreciated it. It's true to what Maggie went through in her life, and I also think that it's true about a lot of romantic situations, as well. We get so used to wholesome happy ending in YA, I think we almost expect them. But sometimes they don't work out that way, which is why I did end up liking the ending of Honor Girl.

I'd love for there to be more LGBTQIA+ graphic novel memoirs!