“Peanut” by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe (Illustrator) (2013)
Genre: YA, Fiction, Graphic Novel
Page Length: 216 (paperback edition)
“Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it’s like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone… and no one knows you.”
Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High—pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? (Peanut butter sandwich, anyone?) And then there’s the bake sale, when your teacher thinks you ate a brownie with peanuts. (description from Goodreads)
Peanut is a unique, but relatable graphic novel that is a very enjoyable read. Our main character is Sadie, who has just moved to a new town and is having trouble making friends and fitting in at her new high school. The solution? Fake a peanut allergy. At first everything goes smoothly, but soon it becomes harder and harder to cover up the lies she made and eventually she faces some repercussions.
I felt that this graphic novel was so relevant not only to a YA audience, but reaches out to all readers. Everyone has, at one point in their life, struggled to fit in or meet lots of new people in a new surrounding. When you move to a new place, join a club, etc. it can be hard and even scary to mingle with a crowd or simply find a topic that you can carry on a conversation with. The main moral of this story is not only to never fake ANY type of allergy to fit in with “a crowd”, but also not to lie to yourself or others. Be you, and if others can’t accept that then move on because they’re obviously not worth your friendship.
I also enjoyed the sketch-like drawing style used by the artist. All of the main characters are set apart from the rest by adding an additional splotch of color or extra details to their features and this makes them pop out against the blue and white color tone background.
A fun and enjoyable read. 4 out of 5 stars!