A fresh, yet familiar, friendship story that is tenderly written. This memoir graphic novel is realistic and relatable as we follow Tori during the events of middle school, issues with friends, the problems that arise when her parents’ divorce, and sibling interactions. To try and find something to hold onto, to balance her through this, Tori finds solace in writing and illustrating her own book that mirror her own struggles and emotions. An author afterwards ties everything together nicely at the end. — Jeanette
Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting graphic memoir, in which a young girl uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents' divorce.
Tori has never lived in just one world.
Since her parents' divorce, she's lived in both her mom's house and her dad's new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there's school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands.
Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart.
Author Tori Sharp takes us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships.
About the Author
Tori Sharp is a Seattle-based author-illustrator and swing and blues dancer with a BFA in sequential art from SCAD. You can find her online at www.noveltori.com and on Twitter @noveltori. Just Pretend is her debut graphic novel.
"Just Pretend is a celebration of active imaginations everywhere, a grounded and relatable tale of family and friends with just a little bit of fantasy swirled in. Tori Sharp's charming story and polished art style will have readers enchanted from the first page." —Whitney Gardner, author-illustrator of Fake Blood
"In Just Pretend, Tori offers a frank and honest portrayal of her dealings with divorce, losing friends, and growing up. Divorce can be difficult on any child, but Tori's tale reminds us that finding refuge in imagination is always welcome."—Rex Ogle, award-winning author of Free Lunch
"In Just Pretend, Tori Sharp effortlessly weaves together the raw emotions of growing up in a fractured family with the limitless world of our imaginations. Her fluid and expressive artwork gives readers a story full of heart, growth, and fantastical adventures." —Mai K. Nguyen, author-illustrator of Pilu of the Woods
"Working in a simple, expressive cartoon style reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s, Sharp captures facial and body language with easy naturalism.... A rich and deeply felt slice of life." —Kirkus
"Led by an endearing and resilient heroine, Sharp’s memoir makes a strong case for imagination as a middle school survival tactic.... Sharp creates a portrait of a resourceful young artist using her passion to forge connections." —Publishers Weekly
"Full of the challenges of family, school, and friends, this is a book that will likely resonate with plenty of teens and tweens . . . Hand to fans of Shannon Hale, Raina Telgemeier, or Maria Scrivan."—Booklist