Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 520
An unexpected, heartwarming graphic novel
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Jackie Chavez's best memories are of the trips her and her family took to the Kingdom Adventure amusement park. Since her parents were deported, it hasn't been the same. She still enjoys going with her friends, but even that is threatened when her Tía Gina tells her they can't afford the season pass anymore. When Jackie and her friends overhear a story of people getting lifetime passes after a member of their party died on the property, they hatch a plan. They will bring seniors from the Valley Care Living center to the park in hopes one might pass on while there. What they didn't expect was Phyllis, a senior who has a deep connection to Kingdom Adventure and knows just what they're up to. Phyllis and Jackie will discover they have more in common than expected, and true friendship means more than spending time with people just because they happen to be nearby.

I was a little hesitant about the premise of this graphic novel at first, but it completely won me over. While Jackie is desperate to keep visiting Kingdom Adventure, she doesn't actually want anyone to get hurt. She is trapped in a place of high emotional pain, and the park is one of the few things that bring her any kind of real happiness. Most of her friends aren't exactly real friends toward her, and outside of Gina, she feels alone. Once Phyllis and the other seniors come in to the picture, Jackie starts to see that true connections with people who see and love you for you are worth fighting for. I loved her growth and was nearly in tears at the end.

Claudia Aguirre's artwork is simply gorgeous. Even in busy, chaotic scenes with many details (like the amusement park itself), Aguirre made each character stand out and gave masterful backdrops to every scene. The art and the dialogue are particularly paired well with Phyllis's dry sass and serious expressions.

LIFETIME PASSES is an unforgettable story of friendship, finding connections in unexpected places, and learning to hold joy while still carrying pain.
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