Fearbook Club

Seismic Pr. Jan. 2022. 112p. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781949028768.
Gr 6-9–It seems like every school has a ghost story attached to it, and this graphic novel plays with that idea. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential. After Whit Garcia is drafted to the school’s yearbook club as a photographer, he and the other club members dig into the mystery of students who go missing every year. Whit and his friends are likable and fairly diverse, including Asian American twins with eccentric personalities and a would-be bully who is revealed to be far more sympathetic than first thought. There are some appropriately creepy scenes, including an especially memorable one involving ghostly images emerging from developing photographs. However, the narrative logic established by the story is inconsistent and it ends with some unanswered questions. That’s not to say that the book is total loss—it examines anxiety, grief, and bullying and serves as an easy introduction to such themes, setting up broader discussions. Older readers may find the humor overdone with jokes that don’t always land, but it’s just silly enough to entertain younger readers. The same goes for the scares: mostly the spooky scenes are more cartoony. All in all, it’s an easy read that new fans to horror may find interesting, populated by engaging characters.
VERDICT A safe bet for younger readers looking for a fantasy adventure with diverse characters.

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