“Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a private boarding school. While Victoria tries to fit in, Katia is unapologetic about her quirks, even though their classmates tease her. After a big fight, Katia runs away from school. And when Victoria goes looking for her, she accidentally tumbles into the underworld of a nearby graveyard. It is inhabited by ghosts, ghouls, and a man named Nikola, who is preparing a sinister spell that’s missing one key ingredient. Victoria teams up with adorable Little Ghost and Nikola’s kindhearted son, and together they search for Katia. They must find her before she becomes Nikola’s next victim!”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
Graveyard Shakes is a fun, spooky middle-grade graphic novel. The main characters, Victoria and Katia, struggle to fit in at their new school and have to navigate the changes in their life while asking themselves questions like, Why do I have to change who I really am for people to like me, and Do I even want to be friends with the kinds of people I’m trying to impress?
They also struggle with supporting one another as their needs and wants fluctuate, with Katia intent on being herself no matter how much it alienates her, and Victoria willing to try as many new things possible for the sake of fitting on.
Meanwhile, we meet Little Ghost (a friendly ghost!) in the Underworld, and a boy named Bodie whose father is keeping him alive by using the lives of other children once every thirteen years.
Here’s where it gets a little dark, because Bodie’s father refuses to listen to Bodie’s pleading with him to stop taking other children’s lives. Bodie is ready to move on from being essentially held captive between the real world and the Underworld, but his dad refuses to accept that he has lost his son once, and will ultimately have to again in letting him go.
Their worlds collide one night during a snowstorm when Katia is nowhere to be found, and Little Ghost has to seek out the help of Victoria so they can find her before Bodie’s father does. Dun dun dun….
This was a fun story and I would read more of Laura Terry’s books in the future.