Thrash (Strange Lies, 2017, etc.) returns with a graphic memoir blended with fiction.
A year and a half after Honor Girl (2015) ends, Thrash is a high school junior who has come out as lesbian; she is also depressed and flunking out of her exclusive prep school. She lives a life of ease and plenty with her overbearing, henpecking mother and federal judge father in their sprawling Atlanta home. Her only real sense of responsibility is to her beloved gray cat, Tommi, recently lost. While searching her cavernous house for Tommi, she befriends a ghost—also named Tommy—who lives in stark economic contrast to her. With a bit of insightful investigation, Thrash soon learns more about Tommy’s past, her father, and herself. Through an acute lens, Thrash has masterfully captured the tedium and melancholy of being a teenager: the self-doubt and preoccupation, the crushing ennui, and the sense of futility. In one scene, she recalls coming out, expecting this to be the topic of conversation at school, only to be ignored by her peers. Mixing recollections with a supernatural Hamlet-inspired theme, her watercolor-tinged illustrations add a wonderfully ethereal layer to an already nuanced offering. Defying genre boundaries, Thrash has proven herself a capable memoirist able to pinpoint her own pivotal life moments, turn them into art, and take risks with conventions. Nearly all characters present as white.
A thoughtful and compelling exploration of adolescence. (Graphic memoir/fiction. 13-adult)