To continue with my Graphic Novel reviews this month, today I’m reviewing Thornhall by Pam Smy. I managed to borrow a copy of this from a work colleague and read it super, duper quick. It’s one of those books that grab you and with the separate images and blocks of text, it is the kind of book you can wizz through. Unless, of course, you don’t want to.
Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as Ella unravels the mystery of the girl next door.
1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors. When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary, and on Thornhill itself.
2016: Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window. Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.
Star Rating – 4 Stars
What initially drew me to the book was the lack of colour. I know, I know, normally it’s the bright covers that catch my attention but this book was a hardback, black, tomb of a book, with black sprayed edges. It was beautifully designed!
Some people might disagree with me (and that’s totally okay!) but I quite like how the book is set out, with blocks of text and full pages images, there’s even times when the page is just a full sheet of black – a mystery right? Giving you time to pause and think, or eager to turn over the page.
The story is fabulous. A bit of a mystery and also slightly scary, especially if you read it late at night. It’s dark and mysterious, perfect for winter reads.
So even if you’re a die-hard fan of graphic novels or comics, I’m sure you’d love this fab read. And if you’ve never read a graphic novel? Well this could be the perfect start for you. Thornhill was even shortlisted for CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal this year!
As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if you have’t, will you be adding it to your TBR pile?