Image Description: A page from Drama, wherein the protagonist lies on her bed
As somebody snarkily reminded me, this blog was once about books.
Raina Telgemeier’s Drama has been on my TBR list forever, languishing, because there was no chance whatsoever of me being able to procure the book to read it. If you didn’t already know, I live on one half of an island shaped like a saddle, the coordinates of which are extremely clandestine. (Although they may be unwisely revealed at any time by three completely batty taxi-drivers.) On the other side of the island lives a vicious Cyclops. There are no libraries or affordably-priced book stores here, and I cannot complain about this enough. (I have a vague hope that if I groan about it loudly enough, it will fall out of the sky someday.)
Then came a Special Occasion, where I was given the power to purchase exactly one book, and I was torn between this and Telgemeier’s other graphic novel, Ghosts. (It is a truly Herculean feat to spell that surname correctly each time, try it if you want to subject your mind to cruel mental strain.) After much agonized deliberation, I chose Drama over Ghosts. I have not yet read Ghosts; therefore, to this minute, I have not a clue whether I made the right decision. Nevertheless.
This is an extremely light read. Amazon says the key demographic is eight year olds. I would now like to formally declare the following: I am not eight. I’m in my late teens. However, the comic books they write for people my age tend to be quite dark, and I just wanted a light, fluffy read, like a Saturday morning pancake. So I picked a book geared at eight year olds. Judge me.
This was an even lighter read than I expected, an ideal comic book to accompany you to the poolside. The Amazon reviews are partially composed of parents on various parts of the homophobia spectrum, because two of the male characters develop crushes on other male characters. Even if you’re eight, I really don’t think being exposed to the fact that people are different and that not everyone has crushes on the opposite gender is going to confuse the hell out of you. It’s a book about middle schoolers, and middle school in general is (or isn’t, depending on whether or not you’ve hit puberty) confusing.
My overall conclusion is that it’s a pretty good book. It’s not special, or ground-breaking, but it checks all the right boxes: fun, light, great illustrations, watertight plot.
This book isn’t the right one if you’re looking for a comic book that utilises the medium in innovative ways to tell a story, or one that breaks boundaries. It’s an enjoyable read, and it’s good qualities don’t extend beyond that.
Ultimately, I got the most happiness out of the drawings, because all those minor touches which speak of the thought that went into its creation are what I live for.
So if you’re eight, or eighteen but can’t handle sad stuff, this one’s for you!