Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Will & Whit Review
Book talk: Do you like to get your clothes new from the mall? Or would you rather find something vintage in a thrift shop? It's an easy choice for Will. She prefers things with a bit of history to them, and it makes sense. She lives in an antique shop with her aunt and a dog passed down from her grandfather when he died. Even her name is second-hand, from her great-great-grandmother Wilhelmina. But Will doesn't mind. The antiques give her plenty of opportunity to indulge in her hobby of making lamps from objects ranging from teacups to parasols. She's had a lot of free time this summer and she likes to stay busy, so she's been making a lot. Summer is almost over and she's determined to make the last few weeks count. But when a storm comes that knocks out power to the town, everything changes.
Rocks my socks: The best thing about this comic are the characters. I want to bring them out of the book so that they can be my friends in real life. Will has a wonderful old soul and I want her to make me that lamp out of tea bags! Autumn and I would make great puppet show partners and Noel could test his cookie recipes out on me anytime! Each of the characters have their own quirks and even the ones that are standoffish at first are nice by the end. I wish everyone got along this well in real life! Even her aunt sounds fun to hang out with and is supportive while allowing Will her space--which is refreshing to see considering the treatment adults usually get in YA books. On top of that the details are wonderful from the little references to Doctor Who she slips in to the fact that the gutters and edges of the pages that take place during the black out are entirely black so you can see the effect of the storm even on the closed book. Gulledge even adds extras to the back--a page of her inspiration for the novel, the cookie recipe from the book, an 'artistic license' and more. I can get behind the ethos of the book from the DIY mentality to the arts carnival the teens put on to the way everyone's quirks are accepted by everyone else. This book gave me the warm fuzzies.
Rocks in my socks: The end was a bit pat for my tastes. Everyone was paired off and happy and all of the difficulties were completely resolved. Especially considering how short the comic is and how brief the timeline of the narrative it seemed a bit too easy and everyone was a bit too nice and quick to understand and forgive. It wasn't realistic. It didn't bother me too much though--I loved the characters so I was glad to see them happy.
Every book its reader: I'd give this to anyone looking for a realistic, character-driven comic. Fans of Gulledge's other comic or the comics of Raina Telgemeier will be sure to enjoy this one. There's no more romance than a bit of kissing and no violence so while it would be best appreciated by an audience of at least 5th grade and up if a younger kid was curious and wanted to read a comic about high schoolers I'd feel comfortable giving this to them.
Laura Lee Gulledge has a blog where you can find plenty of pictures of her handsome cat, follow the adventures of Mr. Duck, and you know, find out information about her books and creative process etc (the cat and duck are adorable though, be sure to check them out!)
She also has a flickr account where you can see photos of preliminary sketches and ideas for the characters
There is a page for the book that includes information about an intriguing musical based on the book complete with videos of songs and a hurricane experience.
I love the song in this book trailer (bonus points if you find the hidden dalek!)
Source: school library
Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge: buy it or check it out today!