In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smashhit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.
So, Paper Girls is actually the first graphic novel I have ever finished reading and I absolutely loved it!
Before this, I would appreciate the style of the graphic novels I tried to read but would find the story hard to follow. With Paper Girls though, something just clicked. I loved how colourful and detailed the art was, and each panel was relatively simple story-wise so I could follow the action without issue.
Paper Girls starts by following Erin, a newly minted paper girl, doing her route during the aftermath of Halloween. After being cornered by a group of boys, Erin is saved by Mackenzie, Tiffany and KJ – the more seasoned neighbourhood Paper Girls – who decide to take Erin under their wing. The four team up for the rest of their route for protection but inadvertently stumble upon a mystery that seems too crazy to be true.
I don’t want to give away much more of the plot because it really goes in an unexpected direction, but I was fully on board for all the craziness. The meshing of the sci-fi/horror elements with the suburban backdrop was handled brilliantly, and every new twist felt earned and exciting.
If there’s anything to know about my taste in literature and film, it’s that I adore coming of age narratives and that I am all about a story with supernatural elements, so this was extremely up my alley. There’s nothing like a 1980s small town setting to evoke that sense of pre-teen nostalgia (even though I wasn’t born until the 90s), and although some of the cultural references were a little too obscure for me to get, I appreciate a story that really leans into its period.
All the Paper Girl gang were delightful to read, especially the snarky, chain-smoking Mackenzie, whose background i’m hoping will be delved into deeper in other volumes. Their motivations seemed realistic for a group of girls suddenly thrown into an unknowable crisis, and their personalities were varied and distinct.
The only downside is that it ends on a massive cliffhanger and I haven’t had the chance to buy the other volumes yet.
After reading this, I really want to go back and give the graphic novels I struggled with another chance, so hopefully i’ll get to them soon!
Goodreads Rating – 4.5/5
Thanks for reading again, friends. If you have any Graphic Novel suggestions, please let me know!