Book No. 30 – Blankets

19 Feb

Book number 30!! WOOH! Blankets is another graphic novel by Craig Thompson. This graphic novel is absolutely phenomenal. It’s characters are charming yet complex. It takes place in a small town during a bleak Wisconsin winter. Blankets is a remarkable portrayal of what it feels like to grow up in a world with immense trials and tribulations. It explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated countryside, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers (Craig and Raina). Craig and his younger brother are victims of molestation when they are too young to fully understand that it is wrong. Craig grows up with a lingering feeling of guilt due to the fact that he could not protect his little brother. Growing up in a small town, Craig was constantly bullied and picked on in school and growing up in a devout Christian family, he turned to faith and church to help him get through. He figured that he would make it his main goal and purpose to get himself to Heaven where he would feel no more pain. His younger brother and him grew up having a troublesome relationship with their father and would find security and safety in the fact that they shared a bed together at night. They found solace in the bond of brotherhood. They began to drift apart however, and at one point Craig has no idea who his brother is anymore. Craig goes off to Church camp one summer and he is exiled from pretty much all the other kids, labeled a freak. Until, he meets a small group of other outcasts where he is introduced to Raina. They become close friends and in the midst of all the pain each has had to deal with, that one summer at church camp, breathes some life back in to them. Raina comes from a Christian family as well, and has been dealing with her parents impending divorce and at 18, she plays the part of caretaker to her two younger siblings that are mentally ill. Both Craig and Raina are outsiders who have lost faith in the goodness of people, but somehow they are lucky enough to find each other! Theirs’ is a story of a first love that can never be, but in that moment, it is enough. It’s more than enough. It’s everything. Towards the end of the book, Craig finally moves out of his parents house and leaves the small town and the person he was there, behind. He moves to the city and gives up his previous unwavering belief in Christianity and learns to trust himself. Him and Raina no longer speak, but he feels her presence with him all the time. In young adult hood, Craig and his brother begin to reestablish their lost relationship and it appears as though Craig is turning into a decent man. This is a beautifully written coming of age story – A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of first love and loss, and of a fall from grace and the origins of faith. A profound and utterly beautiful work from Craig Thompson that is rendered perfectly. It’s a story we can all relate to because we have all been through or are currently going through adolescents. Let me be the first to say that it is not always easy! The constant struggle for acceptance, the sometimes disappointing search of finding love and true friendship, the unanswerable question of who you are, the unwavering fear of the future and what life has in store for you. Adolescents is a rocky road, and all who have travelled it, I’m sure would agree with me. It’s a period of self discovery, adventures and failures! A beautiful and confusing period in a persons life, but like Craig in this story, we will all eventually make a transition into adulthood. And hopefully it will be a good transition. We need to acknowledge the fact that so many people going through adolescents struggle through it and feel lost and lonely, but the sentiment that so many others are going through the same exact thing should make us all feel a sense of unity, because we aren’t going through it alone. We are all in this together. Adolescents is a struggle no doubt, but so is life. We will all fall victim to circumstance from time to time and we will have to make choices, both good and bad, that will end up shaping our lives. Adolescents is but a stepping stone to the beginning of the rest of your life, and once the battle of adolescents has been won, the battle of young adulthood will begin. Such is the way of life. Prevail. It will be worth it in the end.


Taylor Jordan


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