Lost Soul, Be at Peace

Maggie Thrash. Candlewick, $18.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9419-7
In a follow-up to her debut graphic memoir Honor Girl, Thrash chronicles her junior year at a posh Atlanta prep school, adding a magical bent. Maggie’s already wrestling with plummeting grades, depression, her lesbian identity, and her self-absorbed parents. Then her cat, Tommi, disappears and she discovers a secret hallway in her home—and within it, a thoughtful and determined boy her age named Tommy, who looks ghostly but seems real. Their conversations reveal a world Maggie has never seen. Tommy digs ditches to make money for college, and he doesn’t know what a Chinese restaurant is. Her life looks just as foreign to him: when she chooses a college by pointing to one in a guidebook, oblivious to its cost, he says, “Wow. Life is just that easy for you, isn’t it?” Thrash’s bone-dry observational humor stays provocative (“In the South... Democrats go bird hunting while Republicans go deer hunting”), and her rugged draftsmanship and solid toolbox of visual storytelling techniques can handle any emotional register with honesty: teen ennui; cold exchanges with her parents; angry jabs at the rich, bigoted white boys at her school; and the chilling dreams that haunt Maggie’s nights. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2018
Release date: 10/09/2018
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