From its shock opening right out of a horror movie, this graphic novel sets the scene for an old-fashioned scare story. A throwback to the sort of paranoia that Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives capitalized on so well, the tale follows Lucas, a tough kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and Jenna, an Asian girl who isn’t measuring up to her siblings’ grade averages, as they are bundled off to Camp Fielding, where they’re guaranteed to become high-performance go-getters. But something very strange is going on there: counselors sneak into the cabins at night with hypodermic needles, and kids start acting like supersmart zombies. Kim and Klavan, who balanced adventure and kid’s social issues so well in City of Spies (2010), do the same in another well-rounded adventure here, as the far-out (and kind of gross) climax mixes with genuine insight into dealing with parents, fitting into a new crowd, and handling the pressures of performance. Hicks’ line work is cool enough to assuage older readers who might be suspicious of the summer-camp setting. Grades 7-10. –Jesse Karp
I read this graphic novel during the downtime of parent teacher conferences. It is a very fast paced, quick read. It definitely passed the time, but I did not find it mind blowing(no pun intended) or terribly bad either. It was just a good filler for in between novels. It was a good bridge after reading two longer novels to give my brain a break.
I have read some really great reads this week(Anna and the French Kiss, Across the Universe to name a few) and this graphic novel does not live up to the levels of these.
However, the intended audience is different. I really enjoyed the storyline. It held my interest and would hold the interest of the typical middle grade student who maybe does not like to read or just wants something simple and easy. I did not have to think. My mind went blank as I flipped the pages.
I am one who continues to read graphic novels in hopes that one day I will be a devoted fan. They don’t deter me away, but I have yet to read one that has sold me as it being a favorite genre of mine.
It seems like there will be a sequel and I will read that because I am interested in what is to come. Something about barfing up dead birds grabs my interest.