Book Review: Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware The Kitten Holy And Vol 2: Friendship To The Max by Noelle Stevenson

Book: Lumberjanes, Vol 1: Beware The Kitten Holy, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A Allen (Illustrator), Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Brooke Allen (Illustrator), Carolyn Nowak (Illustrator), Various (Illustrator), Carey Pietsch (Illustrator)

Published April 2015 by BOOM!Box|128 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Lumberjanes Collected Editions #1

Genre: YA Fiction/Graphic Novel

FRIENDSHIP TO THE MAX!

At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. 

Collects Lumberjanes No. 1-4.

I feel like I’ve heard a lot about Lumberjanes, and I really wanted something that wouldn’t take forever to read, so it seemed like time to pick it up.  I’m glad I finally did, because it’s really cute!  I know I’m late to the Lumberjanes bandwagon, and if you haven’t picked it up, you really should!

So, I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not, so I only requested the first one from the library.  I ended up liking it so much that I requested the rest of the series from the library.  I kind of wish I had done that in the first place, because right now, I’m wishing I could just read all of the volumes that are out, instead of having to wait to read it.

I didn’t love it, and I think it’s because it seemed so short!  I don’t normally go for graphic novels (I know I’ve read the March series and a couple of the Mouse Guard ones, but that’s about it), and while I really liked the story, the characters and the illustrations, I also felt like I didn’t have enough time to really get into it.  It didn’t seem like enough story, but it does seem like graphic novels are pretty short, so maybe I’m just not that used to it.  I’m much more used to novels, so it’s probably just me, and not actually the book.

I’m torn, because on the one hand, I want to read each one and let it sink in before starting the next one.  But at the same time, I feel like I’ll like it a lot better if I just binge-read them- maybe that will make it easier to get into.

I liked the setting- it’s summer camp for a Girl Scout type organization, and I like that each chapter (or section, whatever you want to call it) has a little introduction about different badges and that at the end of each chapter, you get photographs of the different adventures these girls have.  It definitely has a summer camp feel to it, and I can’t wait to see what hijinks ensue for this group of girls.

I liked the artwork as well.  I liked the colors, and it’s very summer camp.  Not surprising, with that being the setting- there’s a lot of greens and blues and browns, and it all comes together very nicely.

It’s definitely great for middle grade and up, but I think everyone would like it.  Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, it had more of a comic book feel to it instead of a graphic novel, but since I’ve never picked up a comic, I think I just automatically jumped to graphic novel.

I loved the friendships the girls had with each other, and it’s nice seeing them be friends and getting along.  Not that we don’t see it in middle grade and YA, because we do.  There’s just something nice about friendships, where one of them doesn’t leave the others behind for the more popular crowd.  And it’s nice to see a group of friends, instead of a character with, like, one friend.  Maybe it’s just on my mind because I’ve read a few books recently where I’ve encountered a friend making friends with someone in the more popular clique, or books where someone’s trying to figure out what happened to their only friend, who happens to be missing.

Anyway, I didn’t love it, but I did really like it!  I don’t know if I’ll get the strong feelings for this series that everyone else seems to have, but maybe I just need a little more time than everyone else.

4 stars.  I really liked Lumberjanes, and I loved the friendships the campers have with each other.  I just think I need a little more time with Lumberjanes to really get into it.

Book: Lumberjanes, Vol 2: Friendship To The Max by Noelle Stevenson (Writer, Creator), Grace Ellis (Writer, Creator), Shannon Watters (Creator), Maarto Laiho (Colorist), Brooke A Allen (Illustrator)

Published October 2015 by BOOM!Box|126 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Lumberjanes Collected Editions #2

Genre: YA Graphic Novel

What a mystery!

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

This New York Times bestseller and Eisner Award-nominated series is written by awesome all-star Noelle Stevenson and brilliant newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by the tremendously talented Brooke Allen.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max includes issues 5-8 and the first fourteen pages of Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison.

I really liked The Lumberjanes so far!  It’s really cute, and I love the friendships between all of the girls.  There are a lot of hijinks and shenanigans, and it was a fun volume to read.

I did enjoy it more than the first volume, and I think it’s because I was more into the story and the characters.  Some characters, we see more than others, and while I’m not sure who is who, this group of campers definitely seem to find trouble.  I liked seeing Jen, and she has her hands full with this group.  I am getting used to the characters, and they all have their own personalities.  I’m sure I’ll get to know them more in the volumes to come.

I am glad we learn what was going on the first volume.  The craziness makes a lot more sense now than it did in the first volume, and I’m glad it was explained.  Considering how things seem to go for these campers, it’s not surprising that weird and crazy seems to follow them.  Things are calm and peaceful one minute, and the next…something bizarre happens.  It makes it fun, because you never know what’s going to happen next, but at the same time, the story doesn’t exactly seem…coherent.  It works, though, and I’m starting to like how calm things are one minute before they veer off into something weird.

I also like that each chapter is a different badge.  It does connect, and it makes it seem more Girl Scout-type summer camp.  I love the polaroid pictures at the end of each chapter, and those have a scrapbook feel to them.  Overall, I love that’s a field guide sort of format, and sometimes, it seems like each adventure the girls have is a different chapter in the field guide.

The campers are such good friends, and I really like that about Lumberjanes.  Things aren’t always perfect, but they are there for each other, and they know they can rely on the other girls to help them out.  It’s weird how little you see awesome friendships in YA (at least in my experience, but maybe it’s because I tend to gravitate towards things with at least a little romance in them), but it’s fun to see friends having adventures and good times.

The setting is perfect for all the weird things that happen, and there are a lot of possibilities.  It’ll be fun to see what else these campers have to deal with.

4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed Lumberjanes, Vol 2  I think it’ll keep getting better as it goes on.

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