What’s this? Another graphic novel? Two in one month? What’s going on? Well Ghost World was selected for book group as something a bit different; we like a bit different at our book group (check out the blog if you’re local). I missed the discussion (I was busy eating free food) but it seems most people came to the conclusion that is wasn’t a good introduction to the world of graphic novels. I think it might really be a bind-up of several comics following the same two girls, and it ended up with a bit of a vague narrative.

The story is basically two teenage girls hanging around their haunts, chatting about the things that teens chat about, peppered with lots of swearing and some unsavoury characters. It’s a mostly mundane existence that many will relate too, even if you were never quite like them. It’s not a rose-tinted view of adolescence and I can see teenagers loving it. But maybe I’m a bit too old to really appreciate it; and I say this from someone who likes graphic novels (even if I don’t read them all that much).

I think my favourite scene might be when Enid tries to fantasise about Mr Pierce but she keeps changing her mind about what the scenario is. There’s also a fairly genuine feeling first time scene. Yes, this isn’t a book that shies away from the fact that teenagers have sex.

Sometimes I can forgive a less than captivating story if the artwork is stunning. Unfortunately I didn’t rate the drawings at all in Ghost World. Half the characters look pretty creepy; which I suppose could be them seen through the eyes of our protagonists, who seem to hang around with plenty of people they find creepy. But it didn’t leave me starting at the page in appreciation. There were also no whole page illustrations that would be typical in a graphic novel meant as a graphic novel from the beginning.

I found the ending a bit confusing too and had to go over it a few times. Not quite sure what the relevance of the mysterious graffiti artist was…

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Book Source: Purchased