Blog Tour Review: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir

Today is my stop on the TBR & Beyond Tours for Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir.
Special thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Click here or on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Anne of West Philly: A Modern Retelling of Anne of Green Gables
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 01 March 2022
Genre: Middle-Grade Graphic Novel

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Anne of Green Gables with a twist: in this follow-up to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and The Secret Garden on 81st Street, this full-color graphic novel moves Anne Shirley to modern-day West Philadelphia, where where she finds new friends, new rivals, and a new family.

When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she’s going to find it. Armed with a big personality and unstoppable creativity, Anne takes her new home by storm as she joins the robotics club, makes new friends in Diana and Gilbert, experiences first love, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. But as Anne starts to get comfortable, she discovers one thing she wasn’t looking for: a family.

Ivy Noelle Weir is a writer of comics and prose. She is the co-creator of the Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning graphic novel Archival Quality (Oni Press), the upcoming The Secret Garden on 81st Street (Little, Brown for Young Readers), and her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Princeless: Girls Rock (Action Lab Entertainment) and Dead Beats (A Wave Blue World). She lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and their two tiny, weird dogs.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

TL;DR: This was a fun and enjoyable graphic novel with an art style that complemented the positivity in the story, and I sped through it in one sitting! Even without any knowledge of the original story, I was still able to appreciate Anne’s coming-of-age journey and it was really satisfying to see her character find happiness and peace after a tumultuous beginning in her life. Her passion and optimism were honestly pretty infectious!

When I saw that Weir was coming out with another graphic novel adaptation I jumped at the chance to read it because I enjoyed the first adaptation she made for The Secret Garden, which I read last year. Anne of Green Gables is another popular childhood “classic” that I never got around to reading, so I can’t comment much about the accuracy of the adaptation, but for the most part, I did enjoy it.

I loved the art style and the colour palette which was so vibrant and fitting with Anne’s exuberant personality. I particularly liked how the work captured the character’s various expressions so well! Much like in Weir’s other GN, this does have a lot of dialogue/text but it doesn’t overwhelm the art.

As the main character, Anne goes through a significant amount of growth by the time we get to the end, and despite a fairly rocky start, I really appreciated how her character develops. She’s rambunctious, curious and willful but also very smart. She’s a teenager in the thick of her adolescent years but a lot of the time, especially at the start, she came across as quite childish, bratty and a bit petulant. Ngl, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like her because of how much I didn’t enjoy this attitude, but her character really matures as she adjusts to her new foster home, makes close friends, and settles into school. Her friendship with Diana was wonderful but the relationship that held the limelight for me was her friendship with Gilbert. They get off on the wrong foot and he starts out as her nemesis, but I loved how they developed a strong connection through the robotics club and coding, which eventually formed into a best-friendship that was so genuinely supportive and sweet! I also loved how her relationship with her foster parents evolved—it was very much a rocky start there, especially with Marilla, but they grew to really appreciate and love one another by the end. It was very heartwarming!

It didn’t particularly impact my enjoyment of the story but I will point out that while it’s meant to be set in West Philly, I found there was nothing in the setting of the artwork that stood out to me as being part of that area. Then again, I’ve never been there but the setting came across as a fairly generic suburb or residential area, so this really could’ve taken place anywhere. Though I suppose this makes it more ‘relatable’ as readers can easily imagine this story taking place in their neighbourhood area!

Have you read Anne of West Philly or is it on your TBR?

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s