BAYA Book Review

Lost Soul, Be At Peace by Maggie Thrash

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Thrash, Maggie. Lost Soul, Be At Peace. Candlewick, 2018. 192p. ISBN: 9780763694197. $18.99. HS *** 

Maggie Thrash is experiencing teenage ennui. She doesn’t understand her emotionally distant parents (especially her father, a workaholic judge), she feels ignored at school (even the bullies only give her a little bit of attention), and her beloved cat goes missing (seeming to disappear into hidden corners of her family’s enormous mansion). In her search throughout her echoing, cavernous house, she finds not her cat, but the ghost of a teenage boy who becomes her companion throughout the story.

Lost Soul, Be at Peace, is a less thoughtful follow up and sequel to Honor Girl, a graphic memoir that captures the achy feeling of first love and the self-realization of coming out. In this second story, Maggie is a lost soul, but she’s also a character without true empathy for others. It’s difficult to feel for a character who wants attention, but doesn’t give attention. The book might be an accurate representation of a teenager who is unengaged with the world, but that’s not very engaging to read about.

There are hints of a deeper, more interesting story. Maggie is surprised and let down when no one at school reacts to her coming out. She accompanies her father to work and learns from the trial he is judging that other girls her age have much more difficult lives. She gets a girlfriend. She gets a glimpse of the poverty her father grew up in. However, none of these moments go far or deep enough to reach the level of Honor Girl. 

-Natalie McCall, Mill Valley Public Library

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