The War of Ellsmere is another graphic novel that’s proof that just because a graphic novel isn’t Japanese doesn’t mean it’s not brilliant. Faith Erin Hicks is a genius.
Juniper ends up at the boarding school Ellsmere, with the hope of rising herself above her humble means, and ending up as a doctor. Life at Ellsmere isn’t easy though. She has to face hard classes, the manipulative queen bee that has no limits, and probably her biggest nemesis, the pressure she places upon herself.
Not that Juniper is completely alone. She has her roommate Cassie, an eccentric girl that believes in aliens and fantastical beasts, does poorly in school, and trying to cope with the fact that her parents ignore her. Cassie’s main reason to be there is heritage reasons, her mother went there, her grandma went there, and so forth. However, she is incredibly artistic, and her loyalty to her roommate knows no bounds.
The story is marked by not only likable main characters and a likable villain in form the queen bee Emily, but snappy and entertaining dialogue. The art is simple, but it has a distinct style to it, and is quite beautiful to look at it.
All in all, this is one of the best graphic novels I’ve read in awhile, and deserves its full rating. I think The War of Ellsmere is only the first volume in what will hopefully be a long running series.