Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for Just Pretend by Tori Sharp. I love when we get graphic novels for tours, they’re so much fun. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators.
Thank you to Tori Sharp and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing me with an ARC for this review
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.
About The Book
Title: Just Pretend
Author: Tori Sharp
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: May 18, 2021
Page Length: 304
Genre: Memoir, Graphic Novel
Age Range: Middle Grade
A 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.
I don’t normally pick up graphic novels that tackle divorce, but this one did a good job at tackling both it and some other common issues that middle grade readers would experience. Tori did a great job conveying her experience during this time in her life. Even without ever experiencing divorce in my childhood, I was able to relate to Tori’s experiences and made me have that connection with her and her family.
The artwork was fun and bubbly, just what I’m looking for in a middle grade graphic novel. I loved the colour pallette used–being neither too bright or diluted, sticking with pastel colours. In enjoyed the more simplistic panels and pages–I felt that gave the reader time to breathe and digest the story, bringing their own feelings and connections to the story.
The thing that makes Just Pretend stand out for me is that it’s more than just a standard slice of life memoir. Tori included, what I am assuming, is the story she made up as at that age. It seemed fun and inventive, what parts we get to see.
I highly recommend picking this one up if you enjoy want to get into memoirs and enjoy graphic novels (and vise versa).