Blankets by Craig Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I fell in love with this book from page one. The illustrations and the story were equally gripping. From the start, I couldn't wait to hear about the relationship between the brothers, and later on, when the book begins to focus on the romance, I kept reading for the glimpses of memory of Craig and his brother.
While this is ultimately a romance, and the relationship between the characters is sweet and realistic, the romance did not hold the same interest for me as the brotherly relationship. I did enjoy the romance, though, or I could not have liked this book, which is, at heart, a romance about first love and coming-of-age, written in memoir form. Most of the graphic novels I've read have focused more on historical/cultural issues, but this one was wonderful despite its narrow scope.
It is thick for a graphic novel, but a quick read. I breezed through a hundred pages in a sitting easily. I did get a bit distracted once it got deep into the romance, because that never holds my interest, no matter how beautifully drawn and realistic Raina may be. That said, I did find her to be a wonderfully real, well-rounded character. I felt like she was someone I could have known in real life, and I loved the sweet, realistic course of their doomed first-love relationship.
Even though the book sort of wrapped up some of the issues from throughout the story, it felt somehow incomplete to me. I was happy that Craig and his brother were able to become, at least a bit, a part of each other's lives, as I waited for glimpses of the brother throughout the story.
Overall, a wonderful story with lovely illustrations that I would recommend to those 16+.
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