Blankets by Craig Thompson – book review

Blankets || Craig Thompson || Graphic novel || 592 pages || Top Shelf Production || 4.06 on Goodreads

Summary from Goodreads:

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers. A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.

I’m going to throw this out there: I know nothing about graphic novels. As a kid I never read comics and as much as I thought I had incredible drawing talent, even my stick men looked strange. Therefore, this review is mainly focused on my enjoyment levels because I have no idea what’s good, what is bad, what’s original, what’s expected. Bearing that in mind, let’s jump in.

The book had really deep themes of religion and self discovery which, for me, is the most memorable thing about this graphic novel. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so complex and thought-provoking. I really didn’t. These themes are explored from a point of view of a boy who is trying to fit into a Christian lifestyle and for someone who is not religious in any way, me, that was really different and refreshing. It gave me so much to think about for days after I finished it and a book that can do that will rank highly in my mind.

I think the author is very brave in having religion as the main topic of the book. The character of Craig challenges the Christian teachings as he grows up and as he falls in love which was really interesting to read about. These days, we tend to see religious teaching in general being challenged in a hateful and disrespectful way but this is completely the opposite and I don’t think Christian readers would feel like they’re being at all attacked in the book. There might be a very large community of people believing the same thing but it will mean different things to everyone and that’s what makes it so personal and what makes authors avoid it. Anyone that is brave enough to publish something that focuses on a topic like this and do so respectfully deserves a medal.

However, the reason I’m not giving this book a full-star rating is because I didn’t feel like the story had a definite beginning, middle and end. I would have liked an epilogue of some sort so we could feel that the story has ended.. This let the book down for me because I wanted more. More of a resolution and more of an arc.

I think this is a good introduction for me to the graphic novel genre. On the other hand, people that know the genre very well have been praising this as one of the best graphic novels out there so I’m scared that the next graphic novel (because I definitely want to venture more into this genre) I will read won’t be as great as this one.

If you’re interested in the topic of religion in books, this is a video by one of my favourite BookTubers, Ariel Bisett, which I really recommend because it’s very interesting and definitely worth checking out!

RATING: [4/5]

RECOMMEND TO: I’d say anyone that is interested in deeper topics. However, I don’t recommend it to people if this is their first graphic novel.


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