All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort. Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.
Maggie's always been just another girl at camp, one who's just a little more into Backstreet Boys than anyone else and doesn't really like group activities. Until this one summer, when she starts feeling strange things for an older camp counselor who happens to be female. Maggie has never had an interest in the boys who work around the camp, but she's never been interested in girls, either. Watching Maggie fall for Erin and sort through her chaotic mess of feelings is so familiar, so relatable, that she could be writing about anyone. The story of Maggie's first love is deliciously awkward and hopelessly appealing. Combined with the always-a-little-weird summer camp setting and Maggie's own unique voice and that makes HONOR GIRL a very enjoyable book.
With sketchy, light illustrations painstakingly colored in watercolor paints, HONOR GIRL's graphic elements reflect its casual yet unique tone. The characters are well-defined and interesting, with their own set of expressions and quirks.
The Verdict: HONOR GIRL is an honest, relatable, and touching story of one girl's summer of self-discovery.
Authentic dialogue and appropriately sparse narration.
Unique watercolor illustrations.
Relatable yet quirky characters