Monday, July 17, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up (Sunny Side Up, 1) by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm, colored by Lark Pien, September 1, 2015. 224 pages. Published by Graphix. Source: Borrowed from Library.
Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It's full of . . . old people. Really old people.

Luckily, Sunny isn't the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they're having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won't be secret to Sunny much longer. . . 

When I checked Sunny Side Up out from the library I assumed it was going to be a light, fluffy read. While it was funny, it had so many unexpectedly serious situations that it made it more than a "fluff read" and transformed into a slightly heartbreaking read.

  • Going in, my expectations were really low for Sunny Side Up. It sounded interesting enough, but I was unsure if the story would actually grab my attention, and hold it, so I was not, you know, all that concerned about being disappointed. To be quite honest, I ended up really enjoying this one. The story completely took me by surprise with the serious undertones that began to be revealed the further the story unraveled. 
  • From the get-go, you can see that there some kind of secret boiling beneath the surface of the book. One that has prompted Sunny's summer visit to her grandfathers; it was this family secret that gave the book so much depth. While I don't want to spoil what happened, I do want to talk about how it impacted the story. First off, Sunny had been holding back the truth on what happened; not that she entirely understood what her brother was doing, just that it was not, well, something good. What really made this situation impactful to the book was how it was portrayed. I felt so much for Sunny when things came crashing down and the truth, in its entirety, was made known. I really liked the relationship between Sunny and her grandpa. The two of them made me laugh.
  • While I liked the artwork, I did not love it. I'm apparently rather picky when it comes to illustrations in books. I'm afraid I cannot be any more specific than that I did not love it because, well, it has been quite some time, like a couple months, since I first read it. Oh yeah, if I'm not mistaken, or thinking about a different book, I believe the story is set in the mid-1970s...

Final Verdict: Sunny Side Up- I really enjoyed the balance of humor and seriousness in this graphic novel. Sunny's story was, in a good way, not what I was expecting. 

Sunny Side Up earns

A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

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