Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez Gomez
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publishers Group Canada
First Published: March 14th, 2017
Publisher: Nobrow Press
Recommended Age: 8+
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Art, Imagination, Ghosts, Fantasy, Spooky
Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings. When a mysterious new girl appears at school, Sandy’s drawings are noticed for the first time…but Morfie’s fascination with Sandy’s talent soon turns into something far more sinister.
NIGHTLIGHTS is very, very beautifully-illustrated. In fact, the visuals deserve five stars. They are extremely colorful and detailed. You already get an idea of what they’re like from the cover, because what you see is what you get.
Sandy is adorable. She is a creative little girl who prefers to lose herself in her drawings rather than listen to her teachers drone on and on about things she does not care so much about.
Her imagination runs especially wild when she starts seeing Morfie, the new girl, of whom no one else is aware. It’s clear to the reader that only Sandy can interact with her, but it’s not clear why that is. What prompted her to see this girl now?
The story gets creepier when Morfie asks Sandy to make illustrations for her and becomes quite aggressive. Sandy tells no one about what is happening to her, so she has to deal with this girl (who doesn’t even exist) alone.
That’s the problem: because she keeps her nightmares and illusions to herself, she doesn’t really ”deal” with this strange being she starts seeing. The ending is especially ambiguous, since there doesn’t seem to be a conclusive conclusion.
So I decided the final rating based on:
The graphics: 5 stars
The characters: 4 stars (Sandy is so cute and surprisingly relatable)
The story: 2 stars
Worth the read, just don’t expect everything to make sense.
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