ARC Review: Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

Saturday, 8 August 2015
Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir, by Maggie Thrash
Publication: September 8, 2015, by Candlewick Press
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Romance, LGBTQ
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: BEA/Publisher

Maggie 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. 

My Thoughts:

I'm the type of bookworm who rarely reads graphic novels. It's not like I don't want to—I really do, like I always wanted to pick up the Saga series. I just have so many books in my life right now to read and I'm actually on a book-buying ban. Anyways... Honor Girl was the perfect quick read for me. Plus, it's a TRUE NON-FICTION STORY from the author's perspective. It's her memoir, drawn by her and written by her! This is the coolest novel to hit my grabby hands in years, and I'm so glad to have gotten the chance to read it early. Let's get started!

Honor Girl was a truly adorable read. It's something that you can finish in an hour (at least, that's how long it took me) and the illustrations and story are gorgeous. Maggie's story is unforgettable and it's a beautiful book itself. I'm really excited to see how the finished published copy will look like, as it's supposed to be in full-colour (this was black and white), although it doesn't even matter because the artwork is fabulous either way. I guess that the hardcore judgers will have a great time trying to think of a rating for Thrash's work, because I'd give it a 5/5. I can't even try to imagine how much time and effort there must've been to make this possible. I can barely draw a stick person, and this is all out. 

This also has practically no reviews on Goodreads yet, and I just wish that someone else had read it so we can chat about its awesomeness! Anybody? Anyone out there with a gleaming smile on their face as mine is? 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments (or message me!) if you read it.
From the moment when I spotted this book on the stands at the Candlewick Press booth at BEA this year, I knew that this would be an awesome read. And then I saw Maggie signing it, and there weren't many people in line, so I ran straight up to it. She was so sweet and I loved getting a chance to read her story! It's not everyday when you get to read someone's life story before the rest of the world can. *grins* And by the way, this is your ultimate summer late-night read. It takes place at a camp, Camp Bellflower for Girls, where Maggie has been going to every summer for most of her life. When we read the main part of the story, we find Maggie being fifteen years-old, my age, when she falls in love with Erin, an older girl in university. 

LGBTQ diverse aspects? Struggles of peer pressure, keeping a moderate self-esteem and troubles of being a teenager? This is it, and what I loved most about the book is that it was taken place in 2000 (the year I was born) where modern society sure was different than ours today. No one is pictured to be sitting on phones or iPods, and everything is about the wilderness and the activities involved. Maggie's 15th year is when she also discovers her love of shooting and she struggles to gain confidence with her talent as others become jealous. 

Maggie writing about her younger self is a risk, I do have to say. Names and dates were probably changed for privacy and everything, but it's crazy because she remembered all of these things. Who were her friends, what happened on one night and all of those kinds of things. A memoir is basically a view into someone's whole memorable life, and she did it wonderfully, her life seems to be like an actual contemporary romance story about hiding from others and trying to figure out who you are. The beginning and ending of her memoir, which jumps into a more present-day setting where Maggie is older is fresh and different, as well as surprising, just as if she were telling readers about her story on the phone or in person.

In conclusion, I admit that I had been waiting for this huge bombshell to come out of nowhere and hit readers hard. That plot twist or interesting fact that brought the book to life wasn't there. The romance was adorable, as was the rest of the story, but something was missing that makes me give this a 4 star. When this is released, get it on the first day with its gorgeous cover, coloured images and special story, because it's Maggie's, and you won't find anything else like it anywhere else. I give an award of honour to this book, for making me happy and smile. Not every book can.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher via BookExpo America in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much!*

What are some other great memoirs? I NEED RECOMMENDATIONS!

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