Review: Anne of Green Gables Graphic Novel

Publisher: Andrews McMeel                   Genre: Graphic Novel 
Release date: October 24, 2017              Pages: 236

As a lifelong lover of Anne of Green Gables,  I was captured right from this graphic novels’ dedication, which reads: “To Lucy Maud Montgomery, who reminds us that nothing is more important than a girl with an imagination.” I could not have better summarized the impact that L.M. Montgomery’s books made on me as a young girl, and I know that the person I am today was shaped by my love of the wonderful female characters she gave us.

One of the things that Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummier do brilliantly in this graphic novel adaptation is capture the “feel” of Anne. The first few pages have very few words. We are introduced to Marilla, Matthew and Rachel Lynde and, other than in the scene where Rachel goes to talk to Marilla, there are very few printed words. Matthew and Marilla are quiet people and they live in a quiet little town, on a quiet little farm.

When Anne enters the scene, the number of words on the page immediately increases, and you can feel the passion and energy of a girl who loves to talk. Anne’s speech bubbles often fill almost the entire panel and it feels like they might burst out and of the square, she is full of energy and the drawing style makes that immediately clear. The wordless pages don’t disappear, because Avonlea continues to be a quiet town, and Anne does have her reflective and deep moments, but where there is Anne the silence does not last for long.

The graphic novel includes the most memorable scenes from the book, including the most famous scene where Anne crashes her head over Gilbert Blythe’s head, the episode where she dies her orange hair green, and the unfortunate event where she accidentally gets Diana Barry drunk. And of course, in what may be the most beautiful pages of the book, we get Anne’s love of a world that includes Octobers.

The creators also include the scenes that show us Anne’s strength and character – such as when she saves the youngest Barry child from Croup, when she finally admits to Gilbert that she forgave him all those years ago, and of course when she gives up her schooling dreams to stay home with Marilla.

One thing I will say, though I hesitate to list it as a negative, is that it did take me a bit to decide whether I liked the art style of this book. Though I loved the landscapes and backgrounds from the very beginning, I was not initially sure if I liked how the people were drawn. In the end, though the people may not have been my favourite, I did fall in love with the style and the overall effect of the art. And the backgrounds more than made up for the times when I didn’t love the character drawings.

The only other downside to this graphic novel was that it ended much sooner than I wanted it to.  I went into it hesitant, because any adaptation to your favourite things is a bit scary, and I came out hoping upon hope that they will decide to make another installment in this series.

If you, like me, are a lover of “that Anne girl,” this book will be a wonderful addition to your collection, and an excellent book to introduce a young reader into the world of Anne. I know that I will be adding this adaptation to my shelf.

I give this book a 4.5 stars out of 5.

I received a copy of this book from Andrews McMeel Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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