Obtained: Penguin Random House, ARC
Publish date: September 8, 2015
I didn’t really know much before diving into the world of Honor Girl, only that it was a graphic memoir about a girl falling in love for the first time with another girl. I’ve read and loved graphic memoirs/graphic novels about this sort of thing before, so I went into this one with high expectations. I find it sort of hard to judge memoirs based on the personal nature of their content, so I tend to judge them as I would any other story. So here I go.
Honor Girl tells Thrash’s tale of being at an all-girl summer camp when she was fifteen: making friends (and enemies), picking up unique hobbies, and entertaining other girls with her impressions of Kevin, her favourite Backstreet Boy. She ends up meeting Erin, a counselor at the camp and falls for her. But this conservative camp isn’t the best place to fall for another girl, and Thrash starts to find herself being singled out as different.
Part of me really wished there was something more to the story – but I guess that’s the difference between a memoir and a graphic memoir; you really have to fill in the blanks with regards to any “meaning” on your own and take from it what you will. And what I got from Thrash’s story was inspired.
As I was reading, I reflected a lot on who I was as a person and what aspects of my personality I may be hiding from people, or things that make me awkward or uncomfortable about who I am. Because growing up doesn’t make all those feelings go away. I still have them. I also really enjoyed the references to the 90s boy bands and Harry Potter novels. It only added to my ability to reflect back, as those were also things I grew up with.
Overall, Honor Girl made me feel very proud to be me, and I recommend it to anyone who wishes to embrace their own quirks, and to anyone who wishes to take the time to look back on their own first experiences with romance. And see how far you’ve come from that.