Monster High: Hopes and Screams: An Original Graphic Novel

Score: lemon_1small lemon_2small lemon_3small out of 5 lemons

Starting as a paranormal-inspired fashion doll franchise,Monster High has exploded into a collection of goods from toys, animated online shorts, films and television shows, video games, books, and now–an original graphic novel. Fans of the series will enjoy this full-colored spin on the unique monster dolls as they are brought to life via comic in a spooktacular telling. This graphic novel stars several characters from the series, such as Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, Draculaura, Cleo de Nile, Deuce Gorgon, Lagoona Blue, Abbey Bominable, and Ghoulia.

Full of original, goofy puns, chapters of the graphic novel focus on a specific characters. Within these chapters, the stylish characters navigate through Monster High, proving that even though they are monsters, they can still relate to the average teenager. Cleo has boyfriend troubles, Draculaura tries to manage everything at once, and Abbey tries to reconcile a friendship conflict. They value their friendships, help each other out, and reach for their hopes and screams.

With complete exaggeration to the teenage figure, these dolls convey a scary message. If these monsters are more normal than they appear, are they to resemble the normal teenager with their big hair, eyes, and lips, caked make-up, and unhealthy tiny waist? Is this a standard to look up to? Is this some sort of subliminal message? These character designs can be chalked up as pure fantasy, but they may carry a larger impression on young readers. Don’t blame the artist – the doll was created that way!

I found this read to be enjoyable and recommended for younger readers, from preteens to early young adults. The composition of the full-colored pages is carefully constructed, and I enjoyed the “behind the scenes” pages at the end. Fans of the franchise will like this. However, it lacks any substance, and attempts to be trendy and fashionable than deep. The comic is basic with one-dimensional characters, predictable stories, and unnerving underlying messages. Three of five lemons.