I love when books surprise me. I didn’t expect much from All Together Now when I initially glanced through it. My expectation was that it would be a fairly mindless read in a graphic novel format. Instead, I received a coming of age book, watching a young lady learn important skills. A good book for middle school readers.
What I am Reviewing
All Together Now is a graphic novel written by New York Times bestseller Hope Larson. Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, this novel is done in shades of red with highlights of black and white. It is the second part of the Eagle Rock series, the first in the series entitled All Summer Long. At 192 pages it is an easy read for youth 10-14 years old. I reviewed at ARC copy for Raincoast Books.
The story centres around Bina and three important people in her life. Austin, Darcy and Enzo.
The Details for All Together Now
All the coloured parts are done in shades of red and pink (and all the points in-between). The text is easy to read.
The story is told over the period of four months, from September through December. Teenage angst, the love of music, the creative muse, and romance (or the lack of it) fill the pages.
Readers will navigate the ups and downs of friendship in the real-life depictions of Bina and her friends. Mistakes will be made, and growth will be the end result. Readers will easily identify with the well-developed characters.
Should You Get It?
If you have young people who like graphic novels and coming to age type stories, this will work. To this reviewer, it is more of a girl book (centring around a girl, and growing up as a girl are themes) then one geared for boys. Not saying that some boys wouldn’t like it, but overall.. Girls. 🙂
I loved the good parental involvement. Bina’s parents and older siblings seemed to be very real people, working to help, and offering good practical advise. Her relationship with her friends is just what you would expect from a middle schooler. Confusing and mixed up, full of ups and downs as young teens start to figure themselves out.
Caution: as so many books do these days, All Together Now contains some LGBTQ elements that creep their way in. Not in an “in your face manner” but in a quieter format, which perhaps might be more troubling. Just something to be aware of.