My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comic Distributors
Published: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Lion Forge
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Ghosts, Family, Friendship
Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen year old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world. When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.
I honestly don’t understand why this graphic novel has such low ratings on Goodreads. It’s not the best book I’ve ever read, but normally there’s something really wrong with a book to get so many one and two stars.
I don’t often question an average rating, because we’re all different and are entitled to our own opinions, but I’m just a little taken aback by the lack of love for this story, you see?
Especially since, personally, I thought it was adorable. I read this author’s previous work, Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel and fell immediately in love with Brenna Thummler’s illustrations. It’s extraordinary she illustrated AND wrote this book, since a lot of artists don’t do that and Brenna has done a good job.
I admit it’s childish, but you could argue it’s to be expected seeing that this is a middle grade work. What I mean by childish is that the characters – whether young or old – behave immaturely. The story is interesting, and I think could appeal easily to adults too, but I, for one, was not able to connect to any of the characters.
The main one – Marjorie – has no personality whatsoever. She seems depressed, yet that is never properly addressed. She’s sad – that I definitely get, who wouldn’t after losing their mother? – but she isn’t helping herself or letting others help her. There’s also the villain, Nigel, who is a man-child. I mean, come on, dude! Have a little compassion! He wants to take Marjorie’s family’s business from them so he can pursue his own ‘‘dream,’’ but he doesn’t care that he’s destroying a family in the process.
So the characters infuriated me for sure, but I was invested in the story. I needed to know what would happen next and it read fairly easily. It’s the kind of graphic novel you can read in one sitting. Oh and the illustrations are, no surprise there, SUPERB. So much colour, love it!
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