Book Review – Peanut

TITLE: Peanut
AUTHOR/ARTIST: Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe
FORMAT: Graphic Novel


Back to my reading challenge, I know I could count this for graphic novel, but I totally grabbed it because of the cover – it’s peacock blue with a single still-in-the-shell peanut on the front cover.  Let’s just say it piqued my interest.

So in Peanut, the main character is a girl about to switch high schools.  She’s an only child of a single woman and not looking forward to making friends again for the fifteenth (or whatever) time.  So she decides to do something stupid.  She fakes a peanut allergy.

Now, when I picked it up, I glanced briefly and pretty much only saw “girl with peanut allergy”, which means that when I read it, I was surprised that it was really “girl with FAKE peanut allergy,” but in a way, that kind of made it better.  I mean, when they’re trying to figure out what the EE-PINE-FRINE (“Isn’t that for asthma?” her mother asks…) is, the info we’re getting about it is because the character has no clue that she’ll need an Epi-Pen for her “peanut allergy” – not because a character is being overly preachy with us.

The minor characters are a hodgepodge of what you’d expect.  Her homeroom teacher-slash-algebra teacher is sort of out there, the nurse is pleasant enough, there’s a clique of preppy/mean girls, and there’s a boy that she’s really interested in, a luddite named Zoo.  (He calls her Peanut.)  And they all play their roles swimmingly.

There are a couple issues I had with the story – her old best friend is the catalyst of the whole thing, but never talks to her again after she moves, so it’s sort of a wasted character setup.  The teacher that is crazy out there is really out there, but he’s an important catalyst, and simmering him down would make it boring, so just get used to him.

But to balance that out, the story is paced really well, the illustrations are simple but good, and I really enjoyed reading it.  It’s a quick read, too.  I think I read it in a couple hours.

In the end, I’ll give it a 4/5.  It’s worth a read.


Book 3 of 52.

This book satisfies the
“Pick a book based on its cover” requirement.

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