Review for Ghosts
A wonderful new graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, this one again combines something fun/magical with something serious.
This will be a good/bad review. Some points might also pop up at the bad stuff while they were also mentioned in the good part.
-I loved how it combined something fantasy (ghosts) with a real thing (moving, disease, possible death since illness isn’t curable it seems).
-The characters. Cat was a lovely character and I could imagine her struggle. She must miss her friends, her life, everything, yet while you see her grumpy at times, she does really care about her little sister. Even forgoing her own health to give her jacket to her sister to make sure she doesn’t get sick/cold. It was fun to see her go from grumpy a lot to more accepting and finding a new place to love and call home.
Maya was an interesting character, and I felt so sorry for her that she has to go through this, knowing that she won’t get better, knowing that it will only be downhill. 🙁 So I can imagine that she might want to talk to ghosts, to find out what happens after death.
-The town/city, it was really interesting to see how it looked, and what kind of special things they had. Like that festival, it was just awesome to see.
-How the ghosts worked, it was a great idea and it made the ghost thing a bit more special than when you normally have a story with ghosts. The idea that they need air/breath/drink was fun, and made the ghosts more real.
-The parents. Often when a kid is sick, in books/shows, they will give all their attention to the kid and forget about the siblings. However, while the parents did show great care for Maya (duh), they also really cared about Cat and they tried to do fun things with her, try to help, try to talk to her. They were there for her. And I loved that! Sure they had to make a tough choice by moving, but they also had their eldest in minds when they did it.
-The art was once again fabulous!
-The illness was really well described. I never heard of it, but now I know a fair bit about it, and what it does to the body.
-The heritage of the family/mom/kids. I am not sure how to word this correctly, but I do like it when a family has something of an heritage, it gives more depth to a family/characters.
-However there were a few inconsistencies with the drawings. For instance in one shot we see Cat fall, hurt her elbow badly, but the next shots she is totally clean again. Or when her sister has breathing tubes that seem to vanish all the time. Or a cord to the tank that is just wayyyyyy too long to be real (I can imagine it giving room so people can walk around, but that much? Nah!). Maybe these things do exist, but during the shots with the tank we see a way shorter cord than we keep seeing in several other shots.
-While I said I liked the fantasy part, at times it felt a bit jarring. The latter parts especially felt weird and out of place. You would have such a serious illness, such a big problem, but then suddenly poof, something happens (with the ghosts mostly) and I guess we are supposed to laugh or smile, but instead I was just shaking my head.
-The ghosts, I just didn’t get why one time they were blobs, then skeletons, then human-formed. I guess it has something to do with the air or something (or I missed something while rolling my eyes at times), but it just felt a bit weird to me.
-Maya. Yes, the kid was wonderful most of the times, but also quite a whiny brat that just wouldn’t get the hint that her big sister wants some friends of her own, that she wants some room to think, some room to be herself. I can imagine why Maya would “steal” Cat’s friends, but it still annoyed me. It also annoyed me that Cat’s parents didn’t apparently care about it either.
-Cat. Her grumpiness did get a bit annoying at times.
But all in all, this was a terrific book and I really did enjoy it a lot. I wouldn’t mind a sequel to this story, though I hope it will be a bit more serious.