Special thanks to Europe Comics for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: School of Love 1. Secrets of the Heart
Publisher: Europe Comics
Published: 17 November 2021
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle-Grade Contemporary
Linon and Garance are best friends with very different ideas about love. To get to the bottom of what all this romance stuff is really about, they decide to conduct an investigation into some of the older students at their middle school. Why are certain kids more popular than others? Why do some already have a “bad reputation” by the 8th grade? Why is everyone so obsessed with appearances? Along the way, the pair discover that, for best friends who are supposed to share everything, they’ve both been keeping some pretty big secrets of their own.
TL;DR: A cute coming-of-age graphic novel about two friends who just want to know a bit more about love. The friendship between Linon and Garance was so sweet and I loved their little investigative adventures to understand their classmates’ experiences with love and to understand what exactly love means to others. With a fun and contemporary art style and a sweet storyline, I would recommend this to readers of all ages but I know middle-grade me would’ve absolutely loved this!
Oh, I absolutely loved this—the art, the story, the characters! The art style strongly reminded me of the W.I.T.C.H. comics that I used to read as a teenager and it brought such a nostalgic feeling to my reading experience. There was a good balance between the text and the drawings, so the pages weren’t overly cluttered or too full. I loved all the outfits, the colours, and the character expressions too, which were done wonderfully!
School of Love is about two friends, Linon and Garance, who decide to conduct an investigation into what love is. Since they’re 11yo, I’m assuming that they’re in middle school and I remember when my classmates started having boyfriends and started having crushes, so it was really fun following along with these girls as they started interviewing their classmates. Some of their classmates were very comical and I’m sure that the “type” of classmates that we meet, can easily be found in every school no matter where you’re from. Linon was an adorably shy sweetheart and Garance was the more outspoken, sassy one in their friendship, and I adored their friendship.
Although the message that “nothing is what it seems on the surface” isn’t particularly profound or new, I think it’s a message that’s easy to forget and it’s a good reminder; especially for younger generations as they go through puberty and changes. While things may look one way on the outside, you never really know what the truth behind it is or what lies beneath the surface; such as with Enjoy, Adele and even Garance herself. I would’ve absolutely DEVOURED this comic had it existed when I was a teenager, and I have no doubt it could’ve easily been a favourite!
Overall, I really enjoyed this sweet/cute coming-of-age story where two girls just want to know a little bit more about love. This is just the first volume so I can’t be too disappointed that we didn’t get more scenes between Noa and Linon, but the end of this volume does hold a sweet beginning for them, and I would love to continue reading this comic to find out what happens next! I would recommend this to readers of all ages and definitely for the age group this comic targets!
Have you read School of Love or is it on your TBR?