2-in-1 Review: Honor Girl & Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash

Amazon.com: Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir: 9780763673826: Thrash, Maggie,  Thrash, Maggie: Books

Title: Honor Girl

Author: Maggie Thrash

Genre: YA Memoir/Graphic Novel

Number of Pages: 267

Rating: B-

Recommended? Yes


Fifteen-year-old Maggie Thrash is confused and scared when falls in love for the first time with Erin, a female counselor at her all-girls summer camp. She feels like enough of an outsider among teenage girls who don’t always understand her or are kind to her and she tries to repress the possibility that she’s gay. Her already precarious situation gets more complicated when Erin seems to return her feelings.

Honor Girl isn’t really a book with much going on; Maggie pines after Erin and fixates on kicking ass on the shooting range, and her jealous rival makes her life at camp harder. But as far as plot, it has a decidedly ‘slice-of-life’ feel. I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations either, they were very childlike and uneven. That said, I did enjoy this book and the atmosphere it create. You really get a sense of both the claustrophobia and isolation of summer camp. The graphic novel feels intimate and personal, and the it favors subtlety over the overblown drama and teen angst found in similar coming-of-age stories.

Amazon.com: Lost Soul, Be at Peace: 9780763694197: Thrash, Maggie, Thrash,  Maggie: Books

Title: Lost Soul, Be at Peace

Author: Maggie Thrash

Genre: YA Memoir/Graphic Novel

Number of Pages: 192

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes


Calling this follow-up to Honor Girl a ‘memoir’ might be a little bit of a stretch, because Maggie Thrash adds a friendship with a ghost to her adolescent narrative. This book deals more with Maggie Thrash’s struggles with depression as she looks for her missing cat, who’s gotten lost somewhere in the structure of her family’s vast house. I still didn’t love the illustrations, but I could tell Thrash had developed somewhat as an artist.

Some of the art was surprisingly complex (like the picture of her family home) and I wished she could have added the same amount of detail to the human characters. Most of it was still pretty childish and unpolished. However, I did like the storyline of this one more as it dealt a lot with mental health and the addition of the boy’s ghost was really interesting. I especially liked how it was resolved, it definitely wasn’t something I was expecting. Overall I did like this better than Honor Girl but I think it’s probably best to read them both back-to-back.

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