Title: The Wendy Project
Author: Melissa Jane Osborne
Published by: Super Genius
Publication date: 18th July 2017
Genres: Graphic Novel, YA, Fantasy, Retelling
*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
After a terrible car accident, sixteen year old Wendy Davies wakes up in hospital and is told that her youngest brother, Michael, died in the accident. However, Wendy is convinced that Michael is alive and is in the custody of a mysterious flying boy. Convinced that Wendy is in shock, her parents move her to a new school and Wendy starts seeing a therapist. The Davies family members are all dealing with their grief in their own way, but Wendy and her brother, John, aren’t ready to say goodbye just yet.
Osborne has created a mystical and chilling Peter Pan retelling that had me trying to figure out the story at every twist and turn. Original J.M. Barrie quotes were used here and there, with a word or two altered to fit this new story, and it worked really well. Heavy emotions like anger and guilt were gently and wonderfully dealt with. I really appreciated how much depth Wendy’s character held and how complex the story was without being very wordy.
This story captured so much of what it’s like when you allow something to take over your life so much that you become isolated from the world. At some point, Wendy’s behavior became self destructive and I could feel her confusion between reality and fantasy to the point at which I was tempted to stop reading. It was so powerful. I only wish that Wendy’s relationship with Eben could have been explored more. I feel like that was a mini plot hole that could’ve been filled a bit more.
Veronica Fish, the illustrator, did an absolutely magnificent job. The artwork and the colors and shapes and lines were all so consuming and really blended well with the story. I would totally buy this graphic novel just to rip some of the artwork out and put it up on my walls.
This story was thought provoking and the illusion of reality was incredibly well done. So much was said in so few words and the way in which Fish’s artwork entwined with the story was amazing. I was enthralled, to say the least. This was one of my first steps into the world of graphic novels and it has definitely encouraged me to read more of this genre! If you like graphic novels or are thinking of venturing into the genre but don’t know where to start, this is a good place.