Ten of My Favorite Graphic Novels

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is to share books from your favorite genre, but I feel like I’ve told y’all about my favorite contemporary books a million times now, so let’s do graphic novels instead! I prefer standalone graphic novels instead of single issue ones in volumes. Here are ten of my favorites!

(It was really hard not to just turn this into a fan post about Tillie Walden. I limited myself to only two of her books and it really killed me.)

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden left me speechless. This graphic novel has everything you could possibly want. Space? Check. Badass female characters? Check. Queer rep? Check. A non-binary character? Check. An exciting story? Check. Seriously, this book is everything. It’s so emotional and even though it’s long you’ll fly right through it because you won’t want to put it down. If I could only recommend one graphic novel to people for the rest of my life, this one would be it.

Spinning was the first Tillie Walden book I read and I instantly fell in love. It’s autobiographical and I loved reading about her journey of self-discovery. This is such an important story as it really sheds light on what life is like for kids who are completely obsessed with a certain sport. It’s also queer, which really should just be assumed about any Tillie Walden novel.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki is the one that really got me into graphic novels. I had always liked the idea of them, but I never knew they were available in the genres that I enjoyed. This One Summer is a fantastic novel about growing up and how no matter how badly we want things to stay the same, change is always inevitable, but not necessarily bad.

This. Book. Oh my gosh. Brenna Thummler really did something magical with Sheets. This is probably tied (with On a Sunbeam) for my most favorite graphic novel. It’s just so special. The story is such a poignant examination of grief in several different ways. I’m also head over heels in love with the art style and color scheme that was used. It all matches the characters and story perfectly. Before you go, read my full review!

Ari and Hector are so soft! Aaaahhh! This is one of the sweetest graphic novels I’ve ever read in my life and I loooove it. The combined force of Kevin Panetta’s story and Savanna Ganucheau’s art make Bloom such a special graphic novel that I love seeing on my shelf. Kevin and Savanna completely punched me in the feels and I wasn’t even mad about it for a second. Plush all of the scrumptious baked goods in these pages are to die for.

If you’re more into the creepy stuff then Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol is for you! It’s spooky and dark without being morbid and has a really great story. The development that Anya goes through as a character is incredible when you think about how short of a graphic novel this is. Brosgol’s art style is also 100% perfect for the story she created and it’s actually brought me back to this book multiple times. It’s a much deeper story than I thought it would be and touches on some very important issues.

Trying to pick my favorite Raina Telgemeier book is torture. I don’t understand how anybody could do it. I’m going with Drama though only because I’ll always be a theater kid at heart. Telgemeier captured the life, spunk, and creativity that lives inside school theater departments perfectly. Her characters are wonderful and relatable in the best ways. Plus, there’s nothing quite like her art style. It’s really something special and brings so much to her stories.

Middle grade graphic novels in general are wonderful, but sometimes you stumble across one that really sticks out. Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward is one of those. The rivalry between the science club and art club felt so realistic and the struggles the characters go through are spot on for what the majority of middle schoolers deal with. I loved watching these character’s work through the pressures they were feeling to conform to their groups and figure out how they could instead work together and be friends as opposed to being enemies.

Historical fiction is not something I often enjoy, but Hope Larson’s Mercury didn’t care about that. This graphic novel sucked me in and I found myself entranced by the two different stories that were intricately being woven together. I loved seeing the parallels between the two storylines. Larson also threw in a bit of magic that really helped take this one from good to great. It’s very different from most other graphic novels I’ve seen, but in the best way possible.

I’m a huge Faith Erin Hicks fan and while it feels unfair to pick a favorite, because all of her graphic novels feel so different from each other, I really think I liked The Nameless City most. This is a trilogy and I’m really looking forward to reading the second and third books. It gave me such strong Avatar: The Last Airbender vibes and honestly what more does a book need?

I’m always looking for new graphic novels to read so make sure you let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl. Visit her blog to see her favorite books in a specific genre and find other’s lists as well!

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