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The War at Ellsmere Paperback – December 16, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Jun didn’t expect to make friends, which is good, since her refusal to kowtow and take up her designated position as needy poor girl puts her on the outs. She even accidentally insults her gentle roommate Cassie on the first day. Cassie, unfortunately, is used to it, being low girl in the ranks until now.
It’s an involving picture of how some situations seem inevitable in their development. Jun expects trouble, so she puts up a tough shield that aggravates her new classmates. The mean girls take the bait, and Jun rubs their faces in it, giving back more than she got, because she couldn’t resist the opening. Jun’s not perfect, but she’s also not deserving of how the grudge war escalates.
Messing with a smart girl is a bad idea, on both sides, and some of their rivalry is pure academic jealousy. Both are used to being top of their class, and obviously, that can’t still be true for both of them. Emily’s concerned about Jun giving the other girls “ideas” about changing around the established hierarchy, the one that benefits her. Plus, Emily is incredibly skilled at finding just the right location to drive her emotional knives. Some of the tactics are shocking for teens to contemplate, let alone execute.
Hicks’ blocky, big-headed art reminds me of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim; this book would be a good choice for a fan of that series looking for something to read next. The style foregrounds the characters’ emotions, making their expressions central.Read more ›
One thing I love about Hicks' work is that no character is ever a stereotype. Even the Mean Girl. Everything doesn't wrap up at the end in a pretty bow either. But you feel pretty good about Jun's future.
The witty self awareness of the dialog is sharp enough to amuse, yet never falls into the trap of it's own cleverness. Through out it all our heroines Juniper and Cassie remain authentic to subtle insecurities and character triumphs of teenagers. Equally notable is the absolutely engrossing artwork. With bold black ink strokes and an occasional gray wash Hick manages to draw an amazing range of scenes both intimate and expansive. Yet it the girls roaming the halls of Ellsmere that are the most remarkable. The combination of subject and medium is a recipe for simplified caricatures differentiated only by stereotypical attributes, but Hick's young protagonists are anything but. Juniper's tomboyish dress and sullen defensiveness change in a flash to a mischievous determination all while remaining unmistakably her. Cassie's art work is even more remarkable, capturing both her ethereal elfin features and unspoken emotions in a handful of heavy dark lines. Even our antagonists individual fashion sense deserves note.
Are there negatives? Of course, but I'm not writing a school essay or proving my critical chops by nitpicking a creation I would be proud of myself. Hick's work was a delightful surprise and personally I can't wait for her next creation. In fact I think I'll go order more of her books now...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it is a graphic novel and soo fun to read. it is very interataining! sorry but SPOILER ALERT: IT WAS THE UNICORN FROM THE FOREST THAT SAVES THE DAY!!! Read morePublished on November 7, 2011 by Allison Lempa
I had to read this for a comic book English class I took last year. I really enjoyed it- for me it was like Gossip Girl with a swirl of Gossip Girl. Read morePublished on August 2, 2010 by A. Norman-Beltran
I think this is what's called "middle grade" fiction. It's a nice little comic about an overachiever and a queen bee, pretty well paced and well told, but that's it. Read morePublished on May 6, 2010 by Amazon Customer