Camp Spirit

Top Shelf: IDW. Apr. 2020. 208p. ISBN 9781603094658. pap. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. Fantasy
The woods are wild, the night is full of secrets, the toilets are disgusting, and our heroine is just not having it. So begins this somewhat supernatural story with a bit of self-discovery thrown in. Elodie, textbook sullen teen to her core, begrudgingly begins her camp counselor stint, during which, to her great chagrin, the camp manager has too many teeth and sneaks off to the woods at odd hours, fellow counselors get inexplicably possessed, and her campers are red-headed hellions. Well, that last one seems pretty normal, honestly. Standard scenes of cannonballs, dance parties, and campfire songs are interspersed with looming threats of ancient forest spirits barely kept at bay. If you don’t try too hard to make sense of it, there’s plenty to delight in—great character sketches, a sweet strange romance, and some pretty fierce-looking monsters keep you turning pages. Lenoir’s (What If We Were) energetic, sketchy art style breathes life into moments that might otherwise fall flat, but a clunky translation stymies smooth reading a bit too often.
VERDICT Elodie’s foray into the wilderness is oddly paced but also oddly endearing, imperfect yet weirdly adorable, appropriate and best for its target audience of teens and nostalgic young adults.
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