This YA-aimed graphic novel follows Andrea and Darra, who are high school freshmen feeling trapped in their small town. Apparently that town is in Massachusetts, but I had to check the back of the book because nothing I read made me realize it was set there — the setting is generic dying industrial town. They break into an abandoned factory and Andrea meets a “member of the fair folk” named Carmen, who promises to get her out of the town she hates if Andrea will free her from the factory. Meanwhile, Darra meets Liam outside the factory, who made a similar deal with Carmen 100 years ago and is now paying the price. Andrea and Darra are now at odds in terms of their goals, with one wanting to help Carmen and one wanting to stop her.
I liked the scenes dealing with their friendship tension, but I felt like everything was a bit shallow and rushed. How long have Andrea and Darra been friends? What are their goals and aspirations? Do they have other friends? I wish the book had gone more into why they felt like such outsiders. The scene where Darra’s mother is putting pressure on her about PSATs is well done, and more of those type of scenes to flesh out characters would have helped a lot in helping me to care about what happened to them. The ending also felt rushed and I honestly felt bad for Carmen, who was relegated to being an evil fairy despite having a good monologue about why she didn’t want to leave the mortal plane. Maybe free her from being forced to deal with a human in order to stay and then she’ll stop draining the life out of people. But that’s the line of thinking that would probably get me trapped in a factory for 100 years because I was too soft-hearted and fairies are not working in the same moral sphere as me.
Overall, not really recommended, except for a fantasy-loving teen who is running out of graphic novels to read. They won’t hate it, but it won’t change their life.