Graphic Novel Review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

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Wrapped in the snowfall of a blustery Midwestern winter, Blankets is the tale of two brothers growing up in rural isolation, and of the budding romance between two young lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith, Blankets is a profound and utterly beautiful work.

Review:

Towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I found myself in an awful reading slump. When that happens I usually pick up a graphic novel, as the change often pulls me out of that slump.

Blankets did that, and more. I haven't felt strongly enough about a book in a while to really suffer from a book hangover, but I knew it was going to happen this time. I enjoyed this graphic novel so much that I read it at a painfully slow pace, taking in every detail in every page. 

The idea of "blanketing" runs throughout the entire novel. There's the snow-covered Wisconsin countryside that provided Craig and his brother with many happy hours of entertainment. There's the suffocating nature of high-school, feeling surrounded by people that you can't relate to. On top of that, while Craig is at school he feels constantly weighed down by the oppressive nature of his Christian teacher. He was told to stop drawing because it was a waste of his precious God-given time. There are also some pretty dark happenings in this part of the book, but I won't talk about them here was a passing mention. Other reviewers have mused that it is because Thompson hasn't really dealt with it properly -- I'd tend to agree. 

Craig can't even escape this oppression when he goes home, as his parents are also strict Christians. Momentary relief comes in the form of a girl he meets at a (Christain) camp. Her name is Raina and Craig becomes besotted with her. Blanketing himself in her love and affection. 

Raina introduces him to the concept of free-thinking, of having an opinion that doesn't always fit with the Bible. 

It was interesting to see how Craig's portrayal of Raina changes as the novel progresses. He seems to draw her differently towards the end. She becomes more and more angelic. As his feelings towards her grow, his feelings for her to replace his faith. On a couple of the pages, she's depicted in an almost Goddess-like way. 

Blankets has been well received because it so accurately portrays the angst we all go through during that period of first love, and that allows the reader to connect deeply to the characters. I really cared about what happened to Craig and I know this story will be one that stays with me for a long time.

If you're looking for an astounding graphic novel to read, you need to pick this one up. If you've never read a graphic novel before (and are not into superheroes), Blankets would be the perfect place to start. 

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Cover Reveal: The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle by @jemmahatt

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Today On Go Book Yourself I'm proud to be doing a cover reveal for one of my clients. Jemma messaged me about working on The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle, and when she sent me the synopsis and first chapter, I knew immediately that this was a book I wanted to work on. Not just because I love working on middle-grade novels, but also because I really enjoyed Jemma's writing style.

We worked hard together, tweaking the story until it was perfect. I'm so proud of this book and I'm proud of Jemma for working diligently to make her debut novel the best that it can be. 

When we spoke about the cover, I was delighted to hear that she was commisioning an artist to paint a scene from the book. When she showed me the final artwork, I was stunned at how close it was to what I had in my head. 

So here it is, the cover for The Adventurers and the Cursed Castle:


How stunning is the artwork? It was created by Andrew Smith

Blurb:

A mysterious curse has stricken Kexley Castle for generations ever since Egyptian treasure was transported to Cornwall by a 19th Century explorer. Can four young adventurers reveal the secrets that have been hidden for over a hundred years?

Join Lara, Rufus, Tom and Barney in their first exciting adventure together as they unravel the mystery and race to find Captain Jack Kexley’s hiding place. To succeed, they must discover and solve a series of clues left by their ancestor, ahead of two unwelcome visitors from the British Museum who are determined to get there first!

ORDER THE BOOK (publishing 29th January):
Waterstones | Barnes and Noble | Amazon

About Jemma Hatt:


Jemma Hatt was born near Sevenoaks in Kent. She grew up with a passion for reading and writing short stories, which ultimately led to a degree in English Literature from the University of Exeter. The Adventurers Series was inspired by many childhood holidays to Devon and Cornwall as well as her family’s pet border collies. After having lived and worked in London, New York and Delaware, Jemma currently lives in Kent and is working on the sequel to The Adventurers and The Cursed Castle as well as other writing projects.


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