Updated: Jun 6, 2021
Just Pretend by Tori Sharp
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel
Publishing Date: May 18, 2021
Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting graphic memoir, in which a young girl uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents’ divorce. Tori has never lived in just one world. Since her parents’ divorce, she’s lived in both her mom’s house and her dad’s new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there’s school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands. Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart. Author Tori Sharp takes us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships.
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-pretend-tori-sharp/1137602688
About the Author:
Tori Sharp is a Seattle-based author-illustrator and swing and blues dancer with a BFA in sequential art from SCAD. You can find her online at http://www.noveltori.com and on Twitter @noveltori. Just Pretend is her debut graphic novel.
A big thank you to TBR Tours & Beyond for allowing me to review this very beautiful and moving Middle Grade Graphic Novel by Tori Sharp and published by Little Brown.
Tori chose to write and draw about her childhood and her friendship with Taylor which in some parts of the story might have been hard for Tori but it was a stunning debut and very honest and for me some parts I found heartbreaking and I really felt for the characters. I'm not going into much detail as I believe each person who reads it will get some kind of message or messages out of it no matter how old they are. At 50 years of age I got a lot out of it and in parts it actually made me shed tears. I also loved the fantasy story within the book and hope that Tori will make that into a full graphic novel too as it was amazing and it was very clever to use that. I have not seen that in a graphic novel before.
I loved how Tori showed her readers how she came about using that kind of art style which was stunning and well suited to the book. I had no idea how long it took and how hard it was to get the ideas onto paper and into print and I found this totally fascinating. I can't wait to see what Tori comes out with next and I shall be keep a lookout. For all these reasons I just had to give it 4 big fat stars.