Friday, October 12, 2018

Reader's Diary #1929- Whitney Gardner: Fake Blood

I know people often debate whether or not a character's relatability is relevant to one's enjoyment of a book, but I loved Whitney Gardner's graphic novel Fake Blood and I attribute that largely to seeing myself, or at least my much younger self, in central character AJ. If it makes it any easier to digest to those who weigh in against relatability, how about this then: because I can see myself in the character, it's proof that he rings true. Authentic or believable characters should at least be a fair point.

AJ is newly starting grade six. Internally, he compares himself unfavourably to his friends as a bit of a boring dud. And, as he's crushing hard on a new girl in class, he's not exactly confident in his chances. When he finds out she's into vampires, however, AJ develops a plan to make himself more interesting...

The resulting story is very sweet and funny. I also thought there was a compelling theme around the idea of "being oneself." I know concerned adults always stress how important that is, but sometimes, especially for young people, it's also important to play around with their identities. It can be fun and it can also help a person discover aspects of their personality they never knew they had.

There's a subplot in Fake Blood involving AJ's teacher that I thought was a bit on the predictable side, but otherwise the book was great. I especially liked the parodies throughout, including such targets as Harry Potter and Twilight.

Art-wise, I'll say that the quirky, simple style is reflective of the tone of the book, but perhaps not remarkable from a technical sense.


Loni said...

Sounds like a good read.

Elisabeth Ellington said...

I just finished this one as well and really enjoyed it as well. I loved the strong friendships and the hilarious parodies. The glitter scene had me laughing out loud. I also really liked how characters connect through books and story.

John Mutford said...

Loni: I hope you enjoy it!

Elisabeth: All the Twilight connections were hilarious.