Written by: Non Pratt
Number of Pages: 288
My Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Published: August 21, 2018
Read in August 2018
Summary According to Goodreads
Giant Days follows the hilarious and heartfelt misadventures of three university first-years: Daisy, the innocent home-schooled girl; Susan, the sardonic wit; and Esther, the vivacious drama queen. While the girls seem very different, they become fast friends during their first week of university.
And it’s a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key - something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere), Esther and Susan decide it’s up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend.
I received both an e-arc copy of this novel from NetGalley, as well as a physical arc when I attended BEA in New York - but that does not effect my opinion.
I picked up this novel and was anticipating reading it because I am a fan of Non Pratt - Trouble remains in my top five favourite books that I’ve read this year, but I’d never heard of the Giant Days graphic novels.
I was expecting so much more out of this story, as I didn’t find it either enthralling or funny as the synopsis said it would be. My biggest complaint is that the plot felt very scattered and rushed in parts. There is a lot going on in the beginning, a very slow middle, and then a crammed ending that leaves more to be desired. The chapters weren’t divided up in a way that made sense to the progression of the story, and I felt that the plot lacked any sense of excitement or adventure (for my taste). From the beginning it was obvious that Daisy was getting herself involved in a cult-like group, but it was overshadowed by Esther trying to impress a goth-girl and Susan becoming overwhelmed studying medicine.
This story follows three characters; Daisy, Esther, and Susan, who become best friends since they all share the same university residence. I understand the motive behind this friendship, but the three don’t really have anything in common and it hard for me to picture them all together. Daisy grew up home schooled but was written to be so overly-naive that it became more annoying than endearing, and Susan was blunt and forceful enough to make me roll my eyes a few times. Of the three I would have to say Esther was my favourite, because she went through the most character development, and came out stronger on the other side. Plus she’s just kind of a bad ass.
Overall, I think you would be more likely to enjoy this novel if you have read the Giant Days graphic novels or at least know their plot. In hindsight I really wish I had gone read at least the first collection of stories before picking this up so that I would better understand the characters and have a better idea of the world that was created. I will say that this novel made me very nostalgic for my early university years, and I had to give it credit for that. This will not be the last book by Non Pratt that I pick up, but I’ve definitely learned that I prefer her original stories opposed to adaptations.
Also… can someone who read the comics tell me what happened between Susan and McGraw because I totally missed that.