Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)

Goodreads: Pumpkinheads
Genre: Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Romance
Rating:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.
Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.
Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years… What if their last shift was an adventure?

PUMPKINHEADS WAS JUST SOOO CUTE. If you’re excited for fall, you’ll love this book! I just want more of Deja & Josie. I loved their friendship and their chemistry–they were so sweet! I also need to go to this pumpkin patch ASAP. I’ve never wanted four seasons more than after this!

I did not want Pumpkinheads to end. Ever since stumbling across the title earlier this year, I knew that I’d need to get my hands on it ASAP! So when I walked into the bookstore on Friday evening, I was shocked but super happy to see it on the shelves. I didn’t expect it to be available here already, especially since it wasn’t that long ago since it was released. You can bet your ass that I scooped it up without a second thought!

The Artwork

I adored the artwork in Pumpkinheads and it’s safe to say that I’m a big fan of Faith’s work. The colors were so vibrant and perfectly suited to the fall vibes of the story. The art style is exactly the kind that I love to find in graphic novels and I felt that the illustrations really brought the whole pumpkin patch to life. I felt as if I could taste the food (omg it just looked so good!), feel the fire and smell the changing weather in the air. I also loved how Faith illustrated the expressions of the characters in the story! Josie’s expressions always had me cracking up and the longing and sadness in Deja’s face really felt like a punch to the gut sometimes. It was honestly all so perfectly done. Since finishing the book, I’ve been flipping through it again and again just to look at the art.

The Storyline

Deja and Josiah have been best friends ever since they met at the pumpkin patch three years ago. They’re opposites in so many ways, but they complement each other well. Deja is beautiful and outgoing. She talks to and knows everyone and is loved by pretty much all. She’s also dated a few of the guys and girls while she’s worked there. On the other hand, Josie is a bit of a shy nerd and has had a huge crush on ‘The Fudge’ girl for the last three years, despite never speaking to her in all that time. But that changes tonight because Deja has made it her mission to make sure they both enjoy their last night to the full and to have a ‘last adventure’ at the pumpkin patch that they’ll never forget!

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know what I DIDN’T love about this story! Pumpkinheads is the perfect read to transition into the autumn season! It is fall all over and I want to immerse myself in it repeatedly. Deja & Josie were great characters and their experience dealing with the big changes coming their way was very relatable and so very real. They were both loveable characters and it was nostalgic to watch them reminisce about their days working at the patch, and about their worries for the things to come now that high school is over. It’s something that we’ve all been through and it made me think about myself all those (very many) years ago! While there were plenty of serious and heartfelt conversations, there was also a lot of fun and adventure as their mission took them all over the park, with its fun games and very delicious foods. While the story might not have been something completely new or life changing, I loved it for its simplicity, and that it was still able to evoke a range of emotions from me. It’s about dealing with change and taking hold of those simple moments and living for it. It was sweet, nostalgic and relatable. It was a heartwarming story and the ending is the kind that leaves me with good, happy feels all around!

Have you read Pumpkinheads? What’d you think?
Let me know in the comments below and let’s chat!

Friday Favorites: Books Set in High School

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favorites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: favorite books set in high school. I don’t know whether to rigidly or loosely interpret this prompt because while I’ve read a lot of books about being a high school, I don’t think I’ve read that many where the story is set in high school? Am I overthinking? Probably. I choose to blame my high anxiety and stress levels from this week because y’all, it has been a freaking week and I’m so glad it’s over! 😭 Here are some of the ones I could think of:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I feel like this is pretty self explanatory! THUG has received so much hype and all the praise, and it 100% lives up to it. This was one of my top reads last year. It’s a hard hitting and emotional story that I think everyone needs to read at least once in their life!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Who doesn’t love a good fluffy YA romance? I was skeptical AF when I picked this book up; sure, it sounded like a fun read but it also sounded like it’d be full of potentially bad corny/cheesy YA writing. I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself and actually picked it up because I was pleasantly surprised by it! Yes, it’s cheesy & super fluffy, but it’s the perfect feel good summer read, and I’m not sorry that I loved it!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Yo, this book. I think this is one of the only books I’ve ever reread (not because this is my favorite book of all time, I just don’t reread as much as I want to) but I think that it made me cry even harder the second time around, despite knowing exactly what happens!

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I didn’t put this book down until I finished it in the wee hours of the morning. This was a great YA thriller and I loved every second of the Breakfast Club/Gossip Girl/How To Get Away With Murder vibes! I’m not a newbie to thrillers but this one seriously had me wondering whodunit for a good 50-60% of the book, after which it really started to fall into place and while it was slightly outlandish, the truth was also totally fitting!

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir. This was my first book of 2019 and even though it didn’t take the route I expected, I really enjoyed it. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to grow up in such a super conservative and religious household, let alone one that’s broadcast nationally. A lot of people said it reminded them of The Duggars, but I had no idea who they were, but that didn’t mean I enjoyed it any less/more. But apparently a lot of the family dynamics and even the “scandal” was reminiscent of this real life family.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Okay, I really don’t know if this one counts but I’m making it count because this was became a favorite of mine very recently. I honestly loved everything about it and I wrote a bit of a gushing review for it that you can read here.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. This was the third Rowell book I read and it just solidified her as a favorite for me. When I read this a few years ago, it felt like it was the first time I encountered a male protagonist/love interest with a non-Asian female protagonist. Is that sad? Maybe I’m just not well-read enough? 🤷🏻‍♀️ Either way, it was surprising but I enjoyed it! Both characters had deep-seated issues that were heartbreakingly relatable, but I loved how their relationship started and grew, and I was so there for their love story.

BONUS: The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. These are the books set in high school that are still sitting on my TBR but I’m predicting that I will love them when I finally get to them–which is going to be soon because they’re also on my reading list for pride month! Yay! Have you read any of these books?

What are your favorite books set in high school? Do any of my faves make your list? Feel free to leave me recommendations in the comments!