6 YA Graphic Novels You Should Read, According To 'Pumpkinheads' Creators Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks
If you're looking for a new and nerdy read, you're in luck, because I've got six young adult graphic novels recommended by Pumpkinheads author Rainbow Rowell and cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks. Their book is out now, so you can read Pumpkinheads and the other six graphic novels on this list today.
Pumpkinheads centers on Josiah and Deja, two high school seniors who are spending their last Halloween season together at DeKnock's World Famous Pumpkin Patch & Autumn Jamboree, a local pumpkin patch. Knowing that college is coming to quickly separate them, Josiah and Deja try to cram as much fall fun as they can into what little time they have left together.
Of course, you probably already have your copy of Pumpkinheads pre-ordered, if you're a fan of the book's authors. It is the first graphic novel for beloved YA author Rainbow Rowell, and her collaboration with Faith Erin Hicks is a real blessing for YA and graphic novel readers alike. Pumpkinheads just came out on Aug. 27, so you can pick up your copy today from your favorite bookseller, assuming you aren't already halfway finished with it.
Now, Rowell and Hicks have picked out their favorite YA graphic novels for Bustle readers to enjoy. Read more about the authors and their reading recommendations below:
Rainbow Rowell recommends 'Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me' by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
"This book really nails what it’s like to be in love with someone who’s terrible for you. The way you keep wanting them even when you know you shouldn’t. The way you have to shut yourself off from your rational mind to keep wanting them — and then the way other things fall apart when you shut down that part of yourself. It’s languid and meandering, in the way that life is when you’re lovesick. And it’s visually just so beautiful. One of my favorite books of 2019."
Rainbow Rowell recommends 'Heartstopper' by Alice Oseman
"This book was recommended to me so many times that I’d sort of taken against it! Like, I was tired of people telling me I’d love it. Then I read it, and I DID LOVE IT. It reminded me that a good love story doesn’t have to have bells and whistles and a high concept. It just has to feel true."
Faith Erin Hicks recommends 'Silver Spoon' by Hiromu Arakawa
"Arakawa is one of my favorite creators, having written and drawn the excellent action fantasy masterpiece Fullmetal Alchemist. For her follow up series, Arakawa chose to write a gentle, emotional slice of life story about Yuugo Hachiken, a young student who experiences a devastating disappointment in his life, and decides to run away from home and join… an agricultural college. There he meets all kinds of delightful teens, a shy, horse crazy girl who might be the girl of his dreams, and learns to cook and care for farm animals. There’s a particularly touching storyline where he raises and prepares a pig for slaughter. Silver Spoon is unsentimental in its depiction of the realities of farm life, but a kinder, more sensitive story about kids learning to be farmers you won’t find on bookshelves today."
Faith Erin Hicks recommends 'SuperMutant Magic Academy' by Jillian Tamaki
"I remember discovering Jillian’s work over a decade ago with the sublime Skim, a collaboration with her talented cousin Mariko. SMMA is outwardly different from the IRL-teen-angst of Skim, but it still brims with all the knotty feelings I’ve come to expect from excellent YA stories. SMMA is like X-men but without villains crashing the party, it’s like Harry Potter but there’s no great evil to defeat and all your schoolmates’ magical powers manifest in super weird ways. It’s bizarre and emotional and deeply affecting, and I think I have a crush on Wendy (sorry Marsha)."
Faith Erin Hicks recommends 'Princess Jellyfish' by Akiko Higashimura
"Princess Jellyfish is about Tsukimi, a girl who’s terrified of boys (and also of fashionable girls, nicknamed 'Stylish'). Then she befriends Kuranosuke, a boy who likes to dress as a fashionable girl. Together, they fight to save the run down boarding house Tsukimi and her nerdy roommates live in from greedy real estate developers. Princess Jellyfish has a lot to say about the fashion industry, about how dressing yourself a certain way can be like putting on a suit of armor, and how you can discover yourself through art. It’s charming and weird and off-kilter romantic."
Faith Erin Hicks recommends 'Kiss Number 8' by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
"Kiss Number 8 is a challenging read. It deals with transphobia, religious bigotry, family estrangement, and coming to terms with your parents revealing themselves to be human beings with flaws. It’s also an unflinchingly smart and honest book that talks directly to teens who might be questioning their sexuality, their friendships and their belief systems. I love that this comic portrays teenage lives as they sometimes are: messy and complicated, filled with human beings who are trying their best but sometimes screw things up, before picking themselves up to try again."