Micro-review: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

I am a diehard Rainbow Rowell fan. After reading all of her novels, I’m now starting to make my way into her graphic novel / comic book bibliography. I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to read this book simply because I had never read a graphic novel before. I’m glad I started with Pumpkinheads – it’s an adorable and highly original story that I’ve now reread three more times just to absorb more of the amazing art and story.

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

The art in this book is beautiful – I ended up spending a ton of time just studying every pane, trying to catch all the small jokes, stories, and beautiful art style. There were plenty of visual gags, and separate plot lines going on if you looked close enough, though the ongoing goat drama was definitely my favorite. The art style definitely matched well with the characters and their dialogue – it was expressive and fun, and effectively showcased the character’s emotions and body language.

As you would expect, the writing was spectacular. Given this is a graphic novel, and as such, is very short, and has very little actual dialog, I was surprised and impressed by how well the characters were established and how invested I became in their final night working at the pumpkin patch. It’s a short story, but both of the main characters grew a lot and were super fun to read about. I could definitely relate a ton to Deja and her need to taste all of the snacks. I wouldn’t recommend reading this without a snack or two by your side.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into graphic novels, this is the book for you. It’s got genuinely good humor, lots of visual jokes, and beautiful art. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s comic books and hope she releases more long form graphic novels. 5/5

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15 Comments

  1. Rainbow Rowell has been on my TBR forever, and this cover is so cute. I’ll have to remember it for autumn!

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