Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries.
Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.
This was another free arc from YALC which you can read all about here! I believe that Lumberjanes is based on a serial comic of the same name. I could be completely wrong but that’s my understanding of the whole situation. I picked it up because of a) it was free and b) because I really liked the illustrations on the front. For once the characters weren’t all the same size!
This book was a little young for me if I’m honest, and I think it would suit someone a lot younger. I don’t think that diminishes the characters but it did seem a little cliche and overworked at points. I will say that this is a really good book if you wanted to introduce a young family member or friend to diversity in books. I think this is this book’s strong point because it never seems forced and it isn’t there to make any specific point, which I thought was great!
I do think the mythology could have been developed more and I felt the story lost some of its impact and potential because it hadn’t. I kinda felt like there wasn’t an awful lot of exposition about why the children weren’t completely freaked out about the fact there were unicorns in a random field. It just wasn’t developed as a plot point. It was the same with the ending as well, it was very abrupt and there wasn’t an awful lot of explanation or any kind of neatly tied up with strings that I thought it would have. I do however think that it teaches kids a nice lesson, which when you’re younger is a nice addition to any book.
Onto the characters, I will say I found it a little difficult to keep a track of who everyone was and how they fitted into the story and why. There weren’t many differentiators between them all and I struggled. I don’t know whether you would have the same issue with the comic seeing as it’s very visual and you can immediately see who is who.
I think my favourite character in Lumberjanes would have to be Mal I enjoyed her character development and I felt she was the only one we really got to know throughout the book. I loved the slight look into her relationship with Molly. It was a cute scene and one that made the book all the better if I’m honest.
I don’t think there was a least favourite character in Lumberjanes but only because all of the others didn’t make a strong enough impression on me for me to choose which I wouldn’t necessarily say is a good thing, to be honest.
I would recommend this book to younger readers. I definitely think there is something to be gained from reading it. I just think I was past the moment of concern!
Have you read the comics? Were you excited for the Lumberjanes novel to come out? Let me know if I should pick the comics up!