Forever Home Graphic Novel – Review
Forever Home is a new graphic novel aimed at middle-grade readers but can be appreciated and enjoyed by all ages. It is by cartoonist Jenna Ayoub (Adventure Time) and it’s about finding your place and learning to love where you are.
Forever Home is the story of Willow who has struggled with finding a place to call home. But all that is about to change – her parents have promised that they have finally found a house that’s all theirs and that they will never move again. Willow is excited to finally place down roots, something that she has never done before – but there are other… residents… of the house – and they have a different idea. Will it become a battle of wits that Willow will win? Or will her family be another statistic – a family chased away by the Hadleigh House’s spectral occupants?
Forever Home is published by BOOM! Studios imprint kaBOOM! Studios, and is available from February 17, 2021.
Forever Home Story
There has never been a graphic novel that has called out to me more than Forever Home. Let me get a little personal – I have been exactly in the same spot that Willow is – moving constantly, no childhood home, starting over again and again – where the simple question of “Where are you from?” is very paralyzing.
Willow’s story is my story and it is the story of every third culture child out there, that due to whatever circumstance of their parent’s, they have moved from one location to the next – their parents culture is not their own culture – and they keep having to start over and reinvent themselves every single move. Willow’s desire is my desire, and the desire of every third culture child – or at least most – to finally find a home that belongs to them, to finally find a place where they can call theirs. A house that becomes a home.
So when there are ghosts that threatens her ability to finally have a home – I felt the same desire that Willow felt – to fight for it. To try every single weapon in her arsenal to make sure that she never loses her home again. It’s just hilarious and magical that her opponents are ghostly beings that are loveable and harmless in general. Ghostly beings that are also trying to find their place in their new circumstance. Sure, it’s unconventional – but Willow is an unconventional child and she fights hard for what she loves.
The story is complete in one book, but I would not mind reading the adventures of Willow and the spectral beings of Hadleigh House because every single character is loveable and endearing, including the evil cat that only wants world domination – like all cats, I suppose. This book may be targeted for the middle grade reader, but it can definitely hold it’s own for all older readers.
Forever Home Art
I love the simple art of Jenna Ayoub’s style. The light art depicting a supernatural world is such a great choice. The lines are clean and the colors are inviting, even in the scenes that are meant to be scary. It gives the feeling that there is always something lighter going on, even in the dark implications in the stories.
It definitely aims at its target audience and hits a bullseye because these are the kind of things that I would love to read/watch at that age.
Forever Home Conclusion
Oh, Forever Home? How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love that it touches at the heart of a situation that does not really get talked about – the struggles of a third culture child. The child that moves all the time – the child that reinvents themselves – the child that is tired of starting over. Yes, there are many stories about the introverted hero that moves around a lot – but there’s not much focus on the weariness of unpacking, the desire to stop moving, the jealousy over the little things that they missed. In my own childhood – I was jealous of everyone that had a dishwasher because we never lived in a house that had one.
This story will touch your heart because Willow just wants to be home – and she will make this work – ghosts and all, and she is not going to let this home go without a fight.