Book Review│Giant Days #UKYA

giant days.jpgnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnGiant Days by Non Pratt

Harry N Abrams, August 2018

288 pages

ISBN13: 9781419731266

Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery

 

 

Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen.

While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university. And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key–something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise.

When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere . . .), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.

 

[This is a review of the Arc provided to me for free through Netgalley, although it in no way impacts my opinions]

 

Everything that led me to this novel feels like fate. To start off with, I am one of the biggest fans of the comics. If you need something to keep you sane at University, especially during Freshers, I recommend those comics- they kept me alive. And when I found out that not only was there going to be a novel, but it was written by Non Pratt, and available on Netgalley? I jumped at the chance, way back in May two days before my final exam of First Year.

Very much channelling my inner Esther, I finished half of this the day before my exam and the last half after the exam. I couldn’t stop myself. I wrote up my review right after I finished it and posted it, and, for some reason, never put it into a proper review on my blog…………… until now. Because now, I have even more of a story to go along with how I got a physical copy of this.

Back in early July, my mum suddenly went, ‘hey, Connie, how would you like to go to comic con in two weeks time?’ I’m not one to be left out, so I went ‘sure’ and didn’t think about it again……. until a week before, when I searched up the address to plan our journey and realised, huh, #YALC was being held in the same place, and wait, my ticket to comic-con would get me into YALC on the Friday to meet my favourite authors and get some books signed?!

Which is why, not only do I have a physical edition of Giant Days, I also have a sweet, sweet coffee mug [that is currently full of pins at University] and a packing list of necessities for University on a really nice postcard. Did I mention the book is signed and I nearly cried telling Non Pratt how much this book meant to me?

Yeah. It was awesome. And that’s the story of how this review came to be, finally. This next part is what I wrote in my original Goodreads review [edited down, of course], and I really hope that everyone gives this book, and the comics, a chance, if you haven’t already!

 

As far as I can tell, this book takes place just after the events of the original minicomics but before the events of the second volume (my favourite, nudge nudge wink wink).  Everyone is going through a different crisis: Esther is dying to make a good impression on a popular goth girl on her course (English with modules in Creative Writing, represeeeennnt); Daisy is feeling dejected and lonely and sets out to make friends by joining every single society she can, including a mysterious cult-like Yoga group; and Susan is dealing with course stuff and McGraw stuff, the latter being my favourite ‘stuff’ in this entire series.

I decided to review each character’s story individually. I’m not able to post quotes because I received an early review copy, but I can tell you this: Esther? Absolutely hilarious. She has some great moments talking about her course and boys, and it was painful how much I saw myself in her character. She had no idea what people were going on about in seminars, making things up as she went along like I always seem to be doing. However, she also begins to change parts of herself so people will like her, which hit very close to home and is something I feel a lot of people will be able to read and understand. I think what she went through was treated with the most care, and I appreciate that.

One of my only issues was… Daisy. Oh, Daisy. She goes through all the classic first year woes that I also experienced last year. Homesickness? Check. Being scared you’re the only person with no friends and always feeling alone? Check. Feeling like bursting into tears when you talk with family over the phone? CHECK. Joining a cult? Chhhhhhh…….. not so much. I think the personal issues Daisy experiences are handled perfectly, but I feel like the seriousness of what was happening at the yoga group were glossed over at the end, and made out to be… not as serious as they most definitely were. You could get arrested for all of those things, and even though having serious consequences would stray from the general happiness and ‘out there’ approach of the original comics series, there should still be moments where things are taken seriously, and I feel like Daisy’s story lacked that.

But anyway who cares about them two when I have Susan and McGraw to gush about? This book sees them go from enemies (mostly on Susan’s part, but I feel like it’s justified, even though I swoon constantly at McGraw) to reluctant (again, Susan) friends, and I loved it. Susan’s deadpan humour and dry wit is perfectly captured, and McGraw being  oblivious but very much the greatest man to ever live is evident constantly. I would re-read this just for them two. I’m tempted to re-read the series now, just for them two [read: I have re-read the series since writing this]. They will always be my favourite part of Giant Days and I have no regrets saying that.

As much as I love this, I’ve had to lower it a star for the whole Daisy thing, but also because this probably wouldn’t have been as good if I didn’t already love the comics. It throws you straight into things and is quite info-dumpy at the start, unfortunately, but I am willing to overlook that because of the brilliant characterisation of the main girls and their friends (poor, poor Ed Gemmel). I also found that Susan was kind of pushed to the background and made to sort out all the drama without having much going on herself, other than little moments with McGraw. Still, I adore this, and am most definitely going to read even more Non Pratt now I know what an incredible writer she is!

 

I would love to know what everyone else thinks about this. Have you read this? Had any similar University woes that the girls experience? Please, gush to me about this series on Twitter or in the comments, I adore Giant Days with all my heart!

Thank you for reeeeaadddding!

 

 

One thought on “Book Review│Giant Days #UKYA

  1. Pingback: Autumn Coloured Covers🍂🍁 – seasonsofwords

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