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REVIEW: Pumpkinheads

Pumpkinheads Book Cover
Pumpkinheads Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks Young Adult Graphic Novel First Second 27 August 2019 Paperback 209

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

My Thoughts:

Okay, I feel like I’m a minority in this as I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I was going to. I really wanted to but it just, in the end, was a real let down for me.

The story starts out cute and while the ending is also cute there are just too many negative tropes that built upon themselves for me that made me cringe more often than squee.

I’m sorry this might get a bit spoilery as I can’t really talk about some of the issues without spoiling it. I won’t go into detail but will list the tropes that are here that in the end just became too much.

  • A fat girl obsessed with food
  • The bisexual girl who has dated EVERYONE and causes drama
  • The useless boy who needs a girl to do everything for him
  • Girl keeping silent about her affection
  • Girl putting boy’s wants wishes and desires ahead of her own at all times.

I probably could have handled a few of these at any given time but in the end, they all built up to be too much. I think the ending could have been stronger and I really felt sorry for Deja more than a bit. As a woman of colour, she was sort of just shat on, continually.

In the end, the cuteness in parts and Faith Erin Hicks gorgeous art could not save this graphic novel for me.

I give Pumpkinheads 3 out of 5 stars.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks was published 27 August 2019 by First Secon Books. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, or wherever you like to purchase books.

*Note I have recently after much consideration decided that I can no longer in good faith link to Amazon or Book Depository. Please check out your local bookstore or shop locally.

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Brooklynne is an American born, Transgender Feminist who adores books. She currently resides in Wellington, New Zealand with her Boyfriend, Best Friend and Dog, only one of whom is not named Ryan. She enjoys all kinds of books and can often be found curled up in a corner with one glaring at said dog who refuses to cuddle.
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One thought on “REVIEW: Pumpkinheads

  1. I honestly do not know why I didn’t pick up on all of these things on my first read. I think I was just so excited to read it that my brain didn’t filter in all of these problematic things at first. Because you’re 100000% right, and it is not cool.
    I am with you – a couple of the things I can handle at once, but ALL of those things? Yeah, nah. Sigh. That’s such a shame when that happens.
    Excellent and thoughtful review, too, Brooklynne. 💜

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