Come Over Come Over earns Kirkus starred review

Come Over Come Over

Kirkus Reviews    |    Kirkus staff    |    January 26, 2022

This reissuing of a beloved collection introduces a new generation to Barry’s comics.

Eighth grader Maybonne (sometimes “helped” by her little sister, Marlys) journals the trials and tribulations of her life. She stays up all night during a sleepover, fights with her mom and her sister over phone privileges, and protects her runaway best friend from nosy parents. In between episodes from Maybonne’s school year (originally published as the weekly newspaper strip “Ernie Pook’s Comeek”), 8-year-old Marlys sometimes invades the journal, writing about “The! Planet! Of! Marlys!!!!!!!” Maybonne expresses her frustration when Marlys spills secrets she read in the journal. Maybonne’s emotional reactions are incredibly real; she’ll respond to being grounded by writing “suddenly my whole life got ruined!” but expresses honest, frightened confusion when she witnesses or experiences sexually frightening events. Barry’s trademark chaotic, two-panel style is perfect for portraying the realistic travails of Maybonne’s life, which range from the joyful or funny to the deeply sad. The sisters (light-skinned and absolutely covered in freckles) can be just plain mean to each other but are also there for each other in a pinch. Maybonne’s eighth grade year is best described in her own words: Though it’s her “suckiest year,” she concludes, “P.S. I still think life is magical.”

Unsettling, comedic, and awkward vignettes make readers squirm with uncomfortable self-recognition—and shared hope. (Graphic fiction. 12-adult)

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