It’s been a little while, guys. I have just been so busy! I’ve published an ebook of my collection of short stories, got swamped with homework, read like 12 books in a week, and started watching My Hero Academia. So yeah. Anyway, this book is a gem. c:
“How do you weaponize friendship?” (pg 234)
In Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk (272 pages), Dany is bummed to find herself split up from her usual friend group. Now in the 7th grade, she finds herself lonely and unable to befriend anyone. Through luck, she discovers her aunt’s old sketchbook has some serious magical capabilities. She brings to life Prince Neptune (from a Tokyo Mew Mew/Sailor Moon/magical girl mash-up of an anime) and her ideal best friend, Madison from New York. Only thing is when imaginary beings become sentient, free-thinking beings, everything doesn’t go as planned.
Existential crisis in juvenile fiction? The best friend is the ultra special, pink-haired character from anime(s) with actual depth? Magical girl shoujo references!?! Let’s go!
I honestly enjoyed the entire cast of characters, relatability, and artwork. Yes, to that cute, expressive artwork. The light humor is great too, not cringy just right.
This story is great for younger kids to acknowledge how all your actions have a consequence; On the other hand, older kids/teens will love that it explores the be-careful-what-you-wish-for trope in a fresh way.
And that plot twist tho? Laughs for days!
“You’re a minor character! Boom!” No context needed but the shade of it all. xD
I loved the cast of characters and a few of them came from diverse backgrounds (black, Guatemalan, Asian, etc).
Dany is pretty normal. Usually, in these type of stories, the main character is whiny, annoying, or special-snowflakey. Dany might be a touch of that, but she’s still likable to me.
Prince Neptune is bae! Yeah, Dany I liked him too.
Also, go Aleesha! She’s adorable and brainy and comically serious and has a cute bun of natural hair.
Tom is also equally bae haha. He’s an adorable character obsessed with conspiracy theories and can think for himself. Gasp. A middle-school character not consumed with popularity? Yep, that’s him.
A wonderful display of colors, not too bold but not too soft. It reminds me of the palette of a 90’s pop culture ad, green, blue, purple, pink, etc.
Like I said before, I enjoyed the anime-inspired expressions and whatnot. I think the paneling was fine as well.
Making Friends is beautiful and wonderfully dumb.
If you’re like me and love shoujo/general anime references, light-hearted stories, and a good laugh, then I definitely recommend it. I couldn’t stop smiling while reading this.
5 out of 5