Cover Image: Paper Planes

Paper Planes

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Member Reviews

Jennie Wood’s Paper Planes is a graphic novel that tells the story of Dylan and Leighton, two estranged friends who end up at a camp for troubled youth after a tragic event. There, they have to face their past and their feelings, as well as their own identities and challenges. Dylan is nonbinary, Leighton is asexual and biracial, and they both have a complicated history with each other.

The book is a beautiful and emotional journey of friendship, love, and healing. The characters are realistic and sympathetic, each with their own voice and perspective. The art by Dozerdraws is amazing and vivid, conveying the mood and personality of the story and the characters. The book also has a positive and hopeful message, showing that even in the worst situations, there is always a chance for growth and forgiveness.

Paper Planes is a wonderful and engaging graphic novel for anyone who loves LGBTQ+ stories, coming-of-age dramas, and graphic novels. It is a personal and meaningful work by Jennie Wood, an award-winning author who has written their first nonbinary character based on their own experience. This book is a gem that you don’t want to miss.

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'Paper Planes' by Jennie Wood is a graphic novel about friendship, first love and coming to terms with your sexuality and gender identity.

Dylan and Leighton have been best friends for a long time when their relationship suddenly changes - on top of it all, an incident at a party leads them to attend a summer camp for troubled youth. There, they are not only forced to navigate their feelings towards each other and come to terms with what they did, but also get good evaluations so they can start fresh and attend High School.

This was my first graphic novel in a looong time and honestly, I should read them more often. I absolutely adore this format and how quick and refreshing it is. In terms of this story, it's a great and palpable discussion of growing up and what that means for friendships and one's own identity. I absolutely adored Dylan and Leighton's friendship and how they stuck together despite all the obstacles thrown in their way. You could tell they cared so much for each other and tried to keep each other safe, even when they were hurt. I also really liked how the story was told in the present and through flashbacks to get a good feeling for each character. My absolute fave out of all of them was Cricket though! She reminded me a lot of a past friend of mine and I couldn't help but adore her.

I also really liked the drawing style as it felt quite fitting for a younger audience and made me get immersed fully into the story. The ending felt a bit too open for me though; I would've loved to see some of the plot points come full circle.

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the choices that shape us

Leighton and Dylan, our two protagonists, are two queer teens who are sent to a summer camp for troubled teens, where we see them go through the struggles of fitting in or standing.
Reading it, felt like a realistic take on chaotic teenage life as the characters try to navigate life, their friendships, and their relationship with their parents. It also shows how they learn that all of their actions have consequences and how they try to deal with them.
The art style is beautifully drawn, engaging, and very fitting for the story.

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I really enjoyed Paper Planes. The combination of unrequited love, gender euphoria, and coming of age was great. The artwork is done really well also - just a really great graphic novel.

I highly recommend it.

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An emotional, reflective YA graphic novel about two queer teenagers sent to a summer camp for troubled youth that explores themes of identity and friendship. The art throughout this graphic novel is STUNNING and I ADORED the paper plane motif used throughout the story! With that said, I wasn't a huge fan of the duel POVs (shocker, I know!) - Dylan is an infinitely more complex and sympathetic character than Leighton and, in the end, is the one who does most (if not all) of the character growth, so why give Leighton a POV? In spite of this, the own-voices nonbinary and ace representation should be noted. Overall, I enjoyed this story and look forward to checking out Wood's other works in the future!

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I really enjoyed this!! It took me a bit to really get into with how abrupt the flashbacks and flashforwards are but once I got used to it, I really liked the style! It was very bittersweet and heartbreaking to be able to see both Leighton & Dylan’s thoughts that they couldn’t share with each other. The art was beautiful and the highlight of the story was definitely the ace & enby rep, I think both were handled really well!

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Paper Planes follows two friends who are spending the summer at a camp for troubled youth. The story alternates between present day and the past, which shows how these two characters came to be friends, and the circumstances which led to them being at the camp. The relationship between the two is well developed and endearing, and I found myself coming to care about them a great deal, despite the story’s short length. It also contains a good amount of queer rep, with one of the main characters being asexual while the other is trans. The story did a good job of portraying both of their identities and the struggles they faced.

Highly enjoyable and would definitely recommend!

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I found the story very sweet and interesting. The book reads very quickly, the illustrations are beautiful and the colors are vibrant. i really enjoyed it!

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Though this graphic novel is beautiful and I love the messages, it is not for me. I was not rooting for the characters and at times, confused on the characters motives. I believe this stems from not being the target demographic and the timeline jumping around.

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Personal rating:
2.75🌟, rounded up to 3🌟

The constant time-jump is hella confusing. Let's start with that lol. At times I felt like this graphic novel is sorta a fever dream of some sort, thanks to the very frequent time-jumps. Only nearing the end do we finally get clarification and the storyline started to make more sense but you know what they say: too little too late ¯\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

The graphic is really nice, though. Love the colour palette, the drawing style. Definitely made the reading process of this novel less painful.


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free digital copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

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This graphic novel feels fresh and inviting. We are told the plot through flashbacks of Leighton and Dylan's friendship and how they ended up at a summer camp together. The art style is beautiful. I really appreciate the casual inclusion of an asexual character and a nonbinary character.

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This was cute and it was a fast read, but I just needed a little something more. I think the color scheme made it easy to tell what was a memory and what was present day, but I felt the story telling itself was a little choppy. I also needed a bit more to that conclusion (or lack thereof). To my knowledge, this isn't a series with future installments so it just kind of leaves off in an unresolved place. (But maybe I'm wrong and there will be more to come? I don't know.)

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Thank you to Mad Cave Studios and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Paper Planes is a beautifully crafted graphic novel about the challenges of friendship and young love. The main story takes place at a summer camp for "troubled teens" with flashbacks to how the main characters ended up there.

I love how the two storylines slowly revealed more about the relationship between Dylan and Leighton and how it all came together at the end. The art was beautiful and the story had me invested from the start.

I also loved the representation, with Dylan being non-binary and Leighton being ace. The handling of their identities was very well-done.

I definitely recommend this graphic novel for a heartfelt YA story with queer rep. 4.5 stars, but I rounded to 5.

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Paper Planes is a wonderful graphic novel with fun illustrations to accompany the story. I really liked how it was told in both the past and present and we were able to see the multi dimensional characters' backstories and learn more about how they ended up at a troubled teen camp. I think this is a quick read that should be on everyone's radar this summer.

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I absolutely loved this book. It was filled with raw emotion and character growth that I loved. I enjoyed that the reasons behind being at the camp unfolded as the characters went through their own thoughts and u der standing of the situation. I liked that all of the characters came with their own set of flaws. It’s incredibly well written and beautifully illustrated. Would highly recommend this book!

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In this graphic novel, we meet Dylan and Leighton, two teens who have been sent to a 'summer camp for troubled youth'. Throughout the story, we see them at the camp but also get flashbacks to their time at school together, their friendship, and the events that eventually led to them being sent to the camp.
I especially liked the structure, switching between the present - their summer camp - and the past. This created some sort of suspense, I wanted to keep reading in order to discover what happened, how they had ended up at the camp, no longer being best friends. In the graphic novel, a lot of time is spent on Dylan and Leighton's friendship and how it develops over time, with ups and downs. This gave the characters depth and made them more realistic. You could see that they really cared for each other, but that things were a lot more complicated than that. During their summer camp, they also built up some new connections and it was nice seeing these develop into friendships.
I quite liked the drawing style, as well as the use of colours indicating past versus present. It had an unpredictable and pretty open ending which left me thinking about it for a while after I'd finished. Finally, there is a good representation of various LGBTQIA+ characters. I've realized that I like reading graphic novels in the genre of young adult, coming-of-age, coming-out, and just teens forming their own identities. So this was a great read, I enjoyed it very much.

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It is a graphic novel. It tells a deep story of feelings and expectations. Of hopes for the future that don't belong to us. What it means to be pressured into taking shapes that don't fit us. What it means to bottle up those feelings for such a long time that they begin to hurt and ruin and destroy you inside... This book deals with these topics and not only, and at the same time keeps them on the surface, without diving into them completely. I wish they were dealt with in a deeper way. I also wish there were a sequel! Thank you very much to the author, illustrator, publisher and NetGalley for this opportunity. I loved it 💖

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I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did, but I managed to finish it in an afternoon. I loved both Dylan and Leighton, faults and everything. The artwork was absolutely beautiful and the emotions jumped off the pages. I felt the flashbacks correlated nicely with what was going on in the present day camp and equally added to the readers knowledge on Dylan and Leighton's relationship.

I also loved the representation throughout the book and how it accurately captured the fear of happily being yourself when your not able to.

While I did think the ending was good and beautiful, I was quite upset with it. The whole time I had been hoping for it go in a different direction and while I still think the direction it wound up in was nice for the book, I still wish it had ended differently.

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I really enjoyed this book. I got attached to the characters and really appreciated seeing quite complex teen friendship dynamics. I loved the non binary and aro ace rep too!
On a slightly more subjectively disappointing note, I didn't like the ending.
Bittersweet endings can be really good, but with this one, to me, it felt more sad and uncomfortable than anything else.

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This was really a really good, bittersweet story about friendship, mistakes, family expectations and pressures, gender questioning, addiction, class differences, jealousy, bullying, growing together and apart. Realistic, well rounded and flawed characters and friendships combined with a really lovely art style made this a touching and enjoyable read.

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