Castellucci, Cecil & Powell, Nate The Year of the Beasts. Roaring Brook Press, 2012. $16.99, 175 pages. Language: G, Mature Content: PG, Violence: PG.
The Year of the Beasts tells the story of Tessa and her younger sister Lulu. Both teenagers and best friends, Tessa and Lulu grow apart over the course of a summer when Tessa becomes jealous of the attention her sister is receiving. When the summer ends in a tragedy, Tessa struggles to understand her role in the accident and how to move on.
Alternating between prose-only chapters and graphic novel chapters, the book tells a heartbreaking story with a mythological twist. I really don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at this: The book really does break your heart. I think it is well written. The jealousy, while something most boys won’t understand, is still handled in a way that both genders can appreciate the book. As the book progresses the prose and comic chapters begin to mesh together creating a powerful ending.
MS/HS – ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Ben