Thursday, January 15, 2015

bad houses

bad houses
sara ryan & carla speed mcneil
dark horse
published 2013

Lives intersect in the most unexpected ways when teenagers Anne and Lewis cross paths at an estate sale in sleepy Failin, Oregon - a once-thriving logging community.  Now the town's businesses are crumbling, its citizens bitter and disaffected.  Anne and Lewis refuse to succumb to the fate of the older generation as they discover - together - the secrets of their hometown and their own families.

There are times when an author decides to work on a graphic novel after only writing novels and the transition is a bit lost at times.  This is one of those times.  It felt like Ryan was bursting at the seems with story she wanted to tell, but wasn't used to the format writing it takes to tell a story in graphic novel form.  It was great when we find out who grumpy Fred really is and the flashback was enlightening, but in the end there was no conclusion.  It was just kind of left in the air.  I'm all of leaving some things untied, but it was built up here so much we deserved a neat little bow, or a messy bow.  That would have been okay too.

The art was wonderful and told a lot of story we didn't get from the writer and despite the loose ends I still liked the story, liked the characters.  I just think for a coming of age story there wasn't a whole lot there.

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