Disclaimer: I received this arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Author: Marika McCoola, Aatmaja Pandya
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Sapphic person of color MC, Sapphic person of color character, people of color characters
Recommended For…: young adult readers, graphic novel, LGBT, art, pottery, ceramist, mental health, comics, magical realism
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Age Relevance: 15+ (attempted suicide, self harm, mental health, language, anger, property destruction, gore)
Explanation of Above: There are mentions of attempted suicide and vague mentions of self-harm. Mental Health is discussed, as well as anger about the situation. There is some small cursing in the book. There is some property destruction shown. There is a little bit of gore shown as well.
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Synopsis: Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?
But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all—if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?
Review: I really liked this book! It did well to talk about mental health from the viewpoint of those affected by loved ones who are going through mental health crises. You really feel for the MC as she struggles to deal with the anger and heartache about her friend’s health and her inability to make it 100% better for her friend. The book is a summer camp book, revolving around an art retreat for the summer, so it’s perfect for the summertime reads. The book is a quick read as well with beautiful illustrations and I love how the use of color was in this book. The color red in particular was used to symbolize high stress or big emotional moments for our MC and it helped the reader feel how the MC was feeling during those times. The MC is also a ceramist, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in an art themed book before.
The only issue I had with the book is that I felt like it was a bit too fast paced, especially the romance aspect of it. I would love to see a more expanded version of this story come to play.
Verdict: It was so good!