- Posted by Johanna on September 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm
- Category: Graphic Novel Reviews
- CREDITS: by Jimmy Gownley
- PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster; $10.99 US
The eighth and final book in the outstanding Amelia Rules! series ends as it began: with hope. In the face of all her uncertainties and crazy friends, Amelia still has a clear head on her shoulders and the determination to see things through as best she can.
We won’t see any more of Amelia for a while, if ever, but this volume is a satisfying conclusion to her story. (For now, I hope.) Most all the key characters are checked in with, and they all get resolutions of some kind. In fact, some of the scenes will be more enjoyable to the reader if they’re up-to-date on the previous volumes.
Anyway, Reggie gets to be a hero while Amelia and Rhonda both get to be popular and good friends to each other. Amelia even gets to help out her Aunt Tanner, instead of the other way around, the biggest sign yet that she’s growing into young womanhood.
Jimmy Gownley’s characters are as exaggerated and funny as ever, but still balanced in their portrayals. Even head cheerleader Britney gets some background depth while she’s being her usual deranged self. And Gownley’s layouts remain visually interesting and creatively fresh.
The strength of this series was the way it dealt clear-eyed with real struggles. These kids worried about being popular and growing up and all the other concerns of pre-teens — but it was set against a background of economic disruption and broken families and even the questions of fame and being forgotten. Here, Tanner’s being harassed by an internet poison pen, a situation that even requires Amelia to argue with her mother in order to help. The lesson that your parents aren’t always right (especially when it comes to big, meaningful decisions) is one of the most painful for a young person to learn.
The previous books in the series are
- The Whole World’s Crazy
- What Makes You Happy
- When the Past Is a Present
- The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular
- True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know)
- The Meaning of Life… And Other Stuff
They’re all recommended as great comics for young people and those who want to remember what that was like.