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Peanut by Ayun Halliday


by Ayun Halliday

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My favorite graphic novel to date. When Sadie and her mother move to a new town, Sadie finds herself as the new girl in a high school where everyone has grown up together. To overcome her shyness and have something to talk about, Sadie tells everyone she has a peanut allergy. She makes friends and even has a boy interested in her, but what will Sadie do when the nurse needs a health sheet from her mother and spare Epipen? Can Sadie fake a peanut allergy, or will she be found out and lose her friends? ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Awesome book. I read it 45 mind ( )
  Elliepoole | Jun 2, 2014 |
I'm leaning more towards a 1.5 because this work is largely inoffensive, but I still found it so uninspiring that I can't bring myself to bump it up to 2 stars.

But before I get into that, I think I should explain something a little more personal first: I suffer from food allergies (including peanuts.) A LOT of them. Thankfully, none of them are airborne (meaning I can smell things I'm allergic to and be okay -- I just can't eat them), and while some of them are SEVERE, they're not DEADLY like they are for most people. For those who are curious, here's a list of all the shit I'm allergic to: anything and everything peanuts, anything that lives underwater (some people are allergic to only shellfish, or fresh/saltwater fish, but I'm allergic to all of them), some tree fruit (I say "some" because I can eat things with thick rinds, like citrus, for some reason), and some milk products (this is one that baffles me -- I can eat MOST milk products, but things like 2% milk [I can drink skim] and cheddar cheese just do not sit with me; and I don't mean I'm lactose-intolerant btw -- my throat closes up when I eat those things). And here's the thing: no one gives a shit if you have allergies. Yes, they're *concerned* and it's something they'll hopefully keep in mind, especially if it's life-threatening, but no one's like "ommggggg an ALLERGY!! Wow that's so interesting!!" Especially peanut allergies; they're incredibly common.

The reason I mention this is because I was leery of the premise of this book from the start. Having lived with a peanut allergy all my life, it all sounded outlandish and ridiculous. And it was. It was also really hard to like Sadie when she has no personality outside of her lying ways. I don't mean to say that I disliked Sadie because she lied about something (we've all done that), but because Halliday didn't characterize her outside of being a liar, outside of giving her a little snark (which admittedly, did breathe a little life into her.) Her motivations for lying are never explored, which I think could have made for a much interesting story. Thankfully, the secondary characters DO have personality, so that was nice, and I appreciated the candid dialog between Sadie and her friends. Halliday skimmed over other issues though, such as why Cheryl started giving Sadie the cold shoulder. Was she trying to demonstrate that people just drift apart? If that's the case, it wasn't conveyed very effectively.

I also found a disconnect between the tone of the work versus the content. As a whole, the comic's tone feels Middle Grade (despite being set in high school), but then Halliday would through in things that are decidedly NOT MG, such as jokes about faking orgasm, or have Sadie give the middle finger. I have no objections to this kind of content, but it felt incongruous with the rest of the work. I think this was partly due to the art style, which brings me to my next point..

I hated the art. Hated it. The line art looks like a rough free-hand style and it just looks bad. The faces are oddly proportioned and are equally uninspiring. Sadie is always wearing an item of clothing that's coloured some peachy/pink colour, but it felt gimmicky and largely pointless. I guess it was some kind of metaphor for her desire to stand out? Either way, a burst of colour doesn't detract from how bad the art is as a whole.

Overall, I would have a very hard time recommending this to anybody. I don't know how much my personal history with allergies has to do with it, but I couldn't wrap my head around the plot, I found the characterization largely lacking, and the art often made me cringe. For graphic novels that deal with high school life, I much prefer Faith Erin Hicks's Friends With Boys or Vera Brogsol's Anya's Ghost (very different content, but similar in themes and setting.) ( )
  michiepants | Feb 18, 2014 |
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
First of all, I just want to warn readers that while a young adult rating is on this book, I would rate for mature teens as it has several adultesque topics and vulgar gestures, which for most teens is the norm, but parents don’t always like to acknowledge it.
“It’s not kindergarten … I don’t need my mommy charging in to …”
I like this book and find Ayun portrays the teen years to a tee. I am very happy that it isn’t a thin book and in spite of it not being color, the black, white, and red gives it just enough attention to bring each panel to life and emphasize the story. I could actually relate well to this story, as I just recently moved to a small island town where everyone knows each other … and then there is me: the newcomer, stranger, outsider, the beginning to mold your own story and be who you want to be. But to the extent that Sadie took it in this book, well you must read it to find out!
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review* *You can view the original review at Musing with Crayolakym and San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review ( )
  crayolakym | Aug 7, 2013 |
Summary: Even though it’s less than an hour away from her previous school, Sadie is not thrilled about having to move – again – and leave her friends behind and start a new high school. But Sadie’s got a plan for a way to make herself stand out in a new school where nobody knows her: she’s planning to tell them all about her serious peanut allergy. And it works; Sadie starts making new friends, including Zoo, an offbeat but charming boy. The only problem? Sadie’s not actually allergic to peanuts, and keeping her stories straight is getting more and more difficult.

Review: I enjoyed the heck out of this one! It reminded me a lot of Friends With Boys or Drama – both the “new kid trying to fit in on the first day of school” thing and just in their general sensibility and sense of humor. Sadie was relatable, and Zoo was charming and sweet – although I wish his techno-phobia had been explored a little more, so it would have been more than just a convenient character quirk. I also liked some of the character choices that Halliday made – in particular, the growing distance between Sadie and her old best friend, the interplay of relationships among her new friends, and the hurt and confusion on both sides when she won’t introduce Zoo to her mom. The artwork is also great, line drawings vaguely reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier‘s style, but mostly greyscale except for Sadie, who’s always wearing a pop of pink. Is the moral of the story earthshakingly novel or complex? No. But it’s a cute story, and one that feels both current, and relatable to anyone of any age who was ever the new kid in school. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Definitely recommended to fans of Raina Telgemeier and similar YA graphic novelists, or anyone looking for a fun and charming hour’s diversion. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Jun 28, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037586590X, Paperback)

"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. Graphic coming-of-age novels have huge cross-over potential, and Peanut is sure to appeal to adults and teens alike.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:36 -0400)

Nervous about starting her sophomore year at a new high school, Sadie decides to make herself more interesting by claiming to be allergic to peanuts, but her lie quickly spirals out of control.

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