Graphic Novel Review: The Wendy Project

The Wendy Project
The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is so beautiful and sweet and sad. Gorgeous artwork and a bittersweet story.

Wendy and her brothers are in a car crash, and Wendy swears she saw her youngest brother Michael flying off with Peter Pan, but no one believes her. She gets in trouble at school, and sort of connects with a weird guy named Peter. He’s enigmatic and unreliable, only interested in having fun, but Wendy believes he could lead her to her brother. Wendy’s therapist tells her to draw in a journal, and she begins to document the things she sees that makes her believe her brother is alive somewhere in Neverland. Wendy’s family is grieving, Wendy can barely sort through fact or fiction, and it’s Wendy’s other brother, John, who suffers the most. Can they find their way to Neverland and bring Michael back? or is he really dead?

This little book broke my heart in 96 pages. It’s a surprisingly full story for such a short one. I love how such dark subjects like grief, the nature of reality, guilt, anger, and desire are all dealt with so gently and yet with a raw and honest quality. Wendy’s reality is woven so delicately together with the story of Peter Pan, including characters, scenes, dialogue, and magic from the original Peter Pan story.

Wendy has such an original voice! Her character is immediately lovable and relatable, because she’s broken and rebellious and full of faith. I think what throws the story forward is Wendy’s forceful desperation to KNOW. I’m so in awe of the brilliant writing that created this deep and complex character!

The artwork is indescribably beautiful, and the way that the colors show the alternate reality that Wendy sees, while the world of other people remains in black and white… simply genius. I’m so delighted with every page! I just had to stop and stare at some of the illustrations for a little minute and drink it in.

Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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