Pumpkinheads has everything you could want in a book: best friends, fall snacks, adventure, pumpkin patch activities, humor, and angry goats.
Synopsis: Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks is a graphic novel following two seasonal best friends, Deja and Josiah, who’ve worked together at DeKnock’s World Famous Pumpkin Patch and Autumn Jamboree every year for the entirety of high school. On Halloween of their senior year, which happens to be their last night at the patch, Deja decides that an adventure is in order. The two set out to make sure they leave with no regrets. Deja insists that Josie confesses his feelings to the girl he’s been mooning over “loudly, and at length.” for the past three years, which kickstarts an adventure around the park to find The Fudge Girl aka Marcy aka as many stupid fudge-related nicknames Deja can think up.
Deja was the character that, for me, stood out the most. She was funny, loyal, outgoing, and it was impossible not to like her. Josiah was her opposite in many ways, as he much more of an introverted rule-follower, obsessed with two things: The Fudge Girl, who he has a giant crush on despite NEVER ACTUALLY TALKING TO HER and Winning Most Valuable Pumpkin Patch Person for the third year in a row.
The biggest difference between Josie and Deja is their outlook on life- Josiah thinks about life as unchangeable, preferring to believe that what is fated to happen will happen, while Deja prefers to take control of her own life. Their relationship is like, the purest, sweetest friendship ever, with no unnecessary drama. They would do anything for each other and it’s just SO PURE.
The plot isn’t very high-stakes, with the actual plot taking a backseat to the emotional and humorous elements of the story, but it’s still fun and cute! The book is set in what is basically the pumpkin patch of your dreams- filled with all sorts of delicious fall snacks like kettle corn, every variety of pie ever, caramel apples,chili fries, s’mores, fudge- and fully outfitted with a haunted house, hayrack rides, bumper cars, ponies, a corn maze- it’s basically the best place ever and I want to live there.
Faith Erin Hick’s art style is perfect for this type of story- the characters and setting are beautifully illustrated and give off the best fall vibes. I especially like the little peek into the character design and writing process we get in the back of the book.
Now I have to talk about what I didn’t like, and…. and I can’t think of anything. I kind of wished there had been more insight into what life is like for Deja and Josie the rest of the year- we already no they’re only pumpkin patch friends, but do they go to the same school? What are their friends like? What about their family? Also for absolutely no reason at all I wish they could have visited the Haunted Hacienda, but that’s just my personal preference.
In conclusion, Pumpkinheads is an amazing YA/all-ages graphic novel that I would recommend to anyone 10+ who likes fall, halloween, beautiful art, and cute friendships. I think this is the first five-moon review on this blog??? ANYWAY go read this book or I will hunt you down.