Content/Trigger Warnings: Talk of death, loss of a loved one, grief, depression, manipulation, bullying, depiction of abandonment
“Patience is the thread of healing.”
Marjorie Glatt is thirteen years old and has a lot going on. She’s the one keeping her family together and running the family laundry business, but it’s not only that. Her daily routine consists of dealing with unforgiving customers who want everything perfect, unbearable P.E. classes filled with backstabbing and bullying, and dealing with constant pestering of one Mr. Saubertuck who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
Wendall is a ghost… a ghost who was once a young boy who died far too soon. Not only that, he’s a ghost who doesn’t like living among his other ghosts. His daily routine consists of ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a badgering need to seek life fulfillment and purpose in the forbidden realm of the living.
Our two main characters will collide as Marjorie’s world gets turned upside down and thrown into chaos. Wendall will uncover something dastardly brewing in the shadows. Together, they come together in a whirlwind of what should be the impossible and the struggles of just making it day to day.
Sheets follows two main characters named Marjorie Glatt, who has one too many struggles for a thirteen year old, and Wendall a ghost who is searching for purpose in the mortal world. Both of these character come together in a ball of chaos when on one night, Wendall slips into the Glatt laundry business and turns it into his own playground. Soon, Marjorie is trying to grasp at the life she’s been working so hard to keep from slipping through the cracks. And just when Marjorie is at her lowest, Wendall is the unlikeliest friend to rush in and save the day.
Friend, I have such mixed feelings, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this graphic novel pulls at my heart strings. My heart was a empathetic mess with this graphic novel and I’m still sorting out my feelings. But I guess the best way to try to sort that out is try to write a review on it. The good, the bad, and all the goopy moop of my feelings that still haven’t stopped aching since finishing this graphic novel. So let’s give this a go and take a trip down this road!
For starters, this isn’t going to be a light heart telling of a tale. There’s some serious underlying messages that this graphic novel sheds some light on. There’s a heavy presence of grief and depression in this graphic novel. We see how Marjorie’s father is struggling with the loss of his with and we also see glimpses of Marjorie who still remembers her mother vividly in flashbacks. There’s even a part that I would say almost borderlines trauma for Marjorie as it flashbacks to the accident of her mother’s death. In all honesty, I’m grateful to see a graphic not only show the grief and depression, but also showing what it means to keep going forward even when everything hurts on the inside. I think anyone who has lost a loved one and has had to carry on with moving forward even when it feels like everything is in shambles. I really appreciated the author diving into that especially since this book is a middle grade read and in my opinion, it addresses grief, death/loss, and depression all in a really great way. And near the end, there was a moment where you could truly feel Marjorie breathe again and finally have the comfort she deserved after everything.
I do want to add a little footnote here. It’s something that I have been debating since finishing this comic and even now I’m still unsure if I should mention it. However, I’m going to mention it anyway! So here goes! Ever book will have a hero and a villain. So we get introduced to a character named Mr. Saubertuck pretty early on and having to read about his character was probably the most frustrating thing, more specifically his actions. Reading this graphic novel, a lot of his actions felt like harassment directed to Marjorie. And with his character acting so business aggressive, I just didn’t find it sitting well with me that this kind of behavior was being directed towards a thirteen year old girl and it definitely felt like he was backing Marjorie into a corner. While I understand he’s supposed to be the “bad guy” in this story, it definitely felt like his character could have been taken in a different direction instead of the way it was taken.
And if you want to talk about art, oh gosh it’s so beautiful. The color pallet is soft and easy on the eyes, but I find that it was really ascetically pleasing to the eye. For me, it feel so familiar and nostalgic; almost like I was being swept away in old photographs or classic movies that had first been released in color. I think my biggest issues was the art style stirred more of my soul than the actual story-line of this book (but we’ll get into that in just a minute). The art work is so captivating especially when the author singles out flashbacks or story-tellings and I find it’s a shame because the art is so moving and it makes you feel a thousand things while the story doesn’t quite match up.
Out of all the things this graphic novel offers, my biggest issue was the pacing. Rating it four stars wasn’t an easy choice, but the pacing is the one thing that definitely prevented me from giving this book five stars. In the beginning, the pace is absolutely delightful. I found myself really enjoying the pacing and how the story was taking the time to get us familiar with Marjorie’s situation. Even Wendall’s parts were more steady and gave off a slow build. However, in this graphic novel you hit a certain point and then it was like someone flipped a switch. The pacing completely changes and it feels like the end was rushed into a wrap up. It definitely threw me off while I was reading because one minute things are a nice steady pace and the next it was like everything escalated in a matter of minutes. It was very hard to get past that change and I definitely feel like this novel could have used a couple more pages to just wrap things up.
Overall, I think this graphic novel is really cute and it addresses some powerful things. I just recently learned that there might possibly be a sequel called Delicates. I might end up picking that up this fall just to see if Wendall and Marjorie’s story continues on. And speaking of fall, this will definitely be a cute graphic novel to read during the fall or more specially during the month of October. You just get so many fall vibes while you read this book and the setting inside the book definitely feels like fall. This was a really cute read and I definitely think many fans of graphic novels and comics should give this one a try!
“I guess any place can be okay if you choose to enjoy it.”