When I used to work for Book Riot, I knew about things that were coming up the pipeline. I could read advanced review copies of books, and I could be like, “hey, I recommend this book, it’s not out yet.”
But now, I’m out here, a free agent in my reading life, and instead of knowing things in advance, I rely on the good folks at Book Riot to post about fantastic things on Instagram, and then I can add it to my TBR list, and someday I’ll get around to it because my baby is about ten minutes away from crawling and that puts a bit of a damper on my reading life.
Which is why I’ve only read two books this month, and they were both comics, and people in my Instagram have been posting about them for a good while, and I’m late to the party, but I am HERE for the party.
So let’s talk about Paper Girls.
The morning after Halloween in 1988, four 12 year-old newspaper delivery girls are out making their rounds when some really weird crap starts happening. Before they know it, they’re facing mortal danger, existential crisis, the battle of written word vs. everything that’s come since then, time travel, and maybe alien-monsters (I’m still not sure).
But Dana, you read the book. How can you not be sure?
Because, y’all, I read these books in a fury. These are the kinds of comics where you start, and then you get sucked in, and when you finish it (an hour later?), you come up for air and you’re not sure if your wife tried to talk to you while you were reading, so you have to apologize just in case, and then you think about maybe reading it over again.
But it gets better because then – then! – there’s a second volume. Yes! The girls continue time traveling, they continue trying to figure out this cosmic mess they’ve been tossed into the middle of, and there are abandoned shopping malls and technology and missing persons. More existential crisis. More mortal danger.
“Did you try talking to me?” I had to ask Amanda again. “Sorry – this is JUST SO GOOD.”
The books are beautifully drawn, the story is compelling, and I have to admit, the thing that hooked me and made me pick up the books in the first place was the premise. These aren’t boys on bikes delivering papers. They’re girls. Pre-teen girls. Banding together and protecting each other and delivering written word. And they have thoughts and feelings about it – about writing and print and their jobs. Which is interesting and cool.
And thank my lucky stars, there is a third volume. It’ll be out in August. Which means I can get it just in time for my stint of jury duty. Although that may not be wise, because I think they get mad at you if you don’t report where you’re supposed to be because you’re too engrossed in your comic book.