From Eisner-Award nominated writer Marika McCoola and debut artist Aatmaja Pandya, an emotional coming-of-age graphic novel for fans of Bloom and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me.
Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?
But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all–if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?
I actually got this book through a blog tour, which I’ve never done before and I was very excited to participate in! So this post gets specific thanks to Algonquin Books’ publicist for finding me and inviting me — obviously I am Pleased As Punch about it.
This is a queer graphic novel in three colors: black and white and red, which really works for this art style and this setting and characters. I really enjoyed the art in this book, and it really helps bring the characters to life here. It’s a book about the magic of summer, the emotional turmoil over friends and changing and growing up, and also about being a ceramicist. I don’t think I’ve ever read about a ceramicist before, although as a child I was obsessed with a book about a glass-blower (Alien in a Bottle by Kathy Mackel), which was my only context for some of these Ceramics Terms. I really liked this one! If you enjoyed Laura Dean Keeps Breaking up with Me, or even, say, Ophelia After All, I think you’ll like this one two. Four and a half stars; rounded up for NetGalley. Check it out on Bookshop here!
Something I haven’t done before in a review is do a little note about the authors, but my Blog Tour Kit came with pictures of both the artist and author! So here are photos of Marika and Aatmaja. Something that is very cool is that I think Marika is wearing the glasses I just bought, but in blue. Marika has written another graphic novel that was illustrated by the inimitable Emily Carroll! This is Aatmaja’s first graphic novel and I am super excited to see whatever she’ll do next.