Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chiggers by Hope Larson (a review)

Chiggers by Hope Larson is the story of Abby, who goes back to the same camp she’s been going to every summer, only to find everything is different this year. Her friend Rose is a cabin assistant and doesn’t have much time for her, and her other friends don’t like the new girl she’s been asked to show around. My main problem with this graphic novel was that, although I like Larson’s crisp drawing style, some of the characters looked so similar that I had trouble telling them apart (even on second reading). I also found that I didn’t “get” parts of the story. For example, it wasn’t clear to me why Abby’s friends disliked Shasta so much. (They say she’s annoying, but I didn’t really see why.) I also didn’t understand the significance of what happened at the very end of the story. I did enjoy the fact that the book included the rules of a card game played by the characters as well as instructions on how to make a friendship bracelet. I also thought the magic realism elements of the story were intriguing, but unfortunately not fully developed. I can’t recommend this one, although lots of other folks enjoyed it.

To read other reviews, check out these blogs:
Bookworm ReadersComicsgirlComics Worth ReadingEva’s Book AddictionIn the TowerMaw BooksMiss ShortskirtParenthetical.netRead about ComicsThings Mean a Lotunder the coversWelcome to My Tweendom

You can also read interviews with the author:
Comic Book ResourcesNewsarama

I read a library copy of this book.


  1. It would be hard to read a graphic novel if you can't tell the characters apart!

  2. I used to know how to make a friendship bracelet but I've long since forgotten! : )

  3. It doesn't sound as if very much was clear in this book. Better luck with your next read.

  4. I don't think I would enjoy this one either. Thanks for being honest.

  5. Kathy, exactly! It was a pretty frustrating experience and I read the book twice!

    Jenners, I've never made a friendship bracelet, so it was fun to see how it's done. It also felt inclusive, like you could join in on what these girls were doing.

    Thanks, Nicole! I've read lots of other graphic novels or memoirs recently that I've enjoyed (and understood) more than this one!

    Vivienne, it may just have been me because many other bloggers enjoyed this book, although I noticed that Natasha (at Maw Books) had a similar reaction to mine.