Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blankets by Craig Thompson

I have made it a goal this year to read more graphic novels. Even if I hadn't though, I would have still picked up this book. This is a case, where I did judge a book by it's cover. I mainly picked it up because it is overall such a beautiful book to have on my shelf. Flipping through it before I bought it, I found the illustrations to be absolutely stunning and very interesting. So I'm going to hop on into this review now!

I am going to assume that this graphic novel is a memoir. Or at least it read like one to me. It tells the story of a young boy, named Craig, experiencing growing up and loving for the first time. It follows both his childhood and teenage years, and a few adult years in the last chapter. I found this book to be very honest, which is what I want out of a memoir. 
Going into it, I had no idea how much religion would play a role in the story. Craig grew up in a very spiritual household, so of course it will play a big role in his life. I loved watching him grow up as a character, maturing and figuring things out for himself.

This graphic novel is around 500 pages, which was a bit overwhelming at first, I will admit. Despite having a busy start to the spring semester, I flew through this book. I didn't struggle to get through any particular parts, and it was definitely a quick read.

The majority of the novel focused on Craig's first love, Raina. While I did enjoy these chapters , and loved how he illustrated their relationship, I have to say my favorite part of the book was the last chapter. It definitely showed Craig's growth and maturity. He has finally started to listen to himself, despite what others have pushed upon him. I think that that was the important step for him.
Overall, I found this to be a wonderful and honest story of growing up. I'm a sucker for the coming of age books, and this is definitely one of them. I loved the story a lot, but the illustrations were definitely my favorite. Everything about this book is beautiful, whether it be the front and back covers, the endpaper, or just the story itself. I would recommend it to anyone, though there are a few parts that probably wouldn't be suitable for little eyes. So take that into consideration before you pick up this book.
Overall, I'd probably give this book a four out of five stars.

"Sometimes upon waking, the residual dream can be more appealing than reality, and one reluctant to give it up."

"How satisfying it is to leave a mark on a blank surface. To make a map of my movement--no matter how temporary."

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