Will is an artistic soul struggling with life. Living with her aunt and trying to help keep the family business afloat she crafts whimsical lamps, beautiful creations which keep her in the light, away from the darkness she is terrified of. As Will and her friends near the end of another summer she yearns for ‘unplugged adventures’ away from the constraints of technology and social media in particular. When Hurricane Whitney arrives and causes a blackout Will gets the unplugged adventure she wanted but has to face her fear of darkness head on.
Oh man, I love a good graphic novel and Will & Whit was definitely that!
The story mainly focuses on Wills fear of the dark and how she needs to overcome that, however there is more to it than just darkness. Fear of other things are present and its not only Will who needs to control her fears, Autumn, one of Wills best friends, needs to overcome her lack of confidence and Noel, Will’s other best friend need to show his true colours when it comes to a certain girl.
The art really contributed to this book, even though it wasn’t complete the whole way through I could see the impact of it just from what I had (which was an advanced readers copy) and I loved the feel it gave the book. You could physically see the shadows that Will was scared of, even though really they were only present in her mind. The emotions of each character was present on each of their faces the whole way through too which made me warm to them even more. The only problem I had with the art was that it is relied upon to know which character is which and to me Noel and another character, Desmond, were very similar looking, to the point where it got confusing to know which one was which.
There are a lot of messages present in this book and it nearly went overboard with them, however it saved itself because of the way the lessons were learnt. I really loved the metaphors used both in the dialogue and the imagery and though that Will’s sculpture was incredible. The way Will learns to come to terms with certain things is beautiful and I really loved her because of it. Aunt Ella was probably one of the best characters ever and I loved her tattoo which was just visible in some of the strips was awesome.
I really did love Will & Whit, it was a really great story with fantastic images and high readability. I think it is a must for any reluctant reader because it is so simple to follow yet is really interesting. I will definitely be reading the authors other works and am not surprised that she was nominated for the prestigious Eisner award for her first graphic novel, Paige by Paige.
Will & Whit was published today by Amulet, an Abrams and Chronicle imprint on May 7th. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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