The nice thing about graphic novels is that they’re quicker reads than books (though I do try to make myself slow down so I can enjoy the visuals properly). Of course, that makes them comparatively more expensive in the cost-to-time-spent-reading ratio.

But hey, that means you get a new review that much sooner. If I was smart, I just wait ’til I finished the whole series, but I think we all know I’m not that smart.

The third book in the series stayed very focused on one storyline. Where the first two took more side trips, this books used its side trips to stay perfectly on point, which was focusing on Scott’s ex who’s dating (you should stop reading now if you don’t want a spoiler or at least jump to the next paragraph) Ramona’s ex (and then throw in a bunch of former band members and all the convoluted interactions that come with that).

The side roads in this book were flashbacks that helped tell a (somewhat) linear story, whereas the side roads in the first two books were flashbacks that made the story go a few places at once. Neither approach is necessarily better, but the third book is easier to follows because of this.

At this point in the series, nothing new about the storytelling is being introduced, but we’re starting to see things hinting to future books, including an appearance by what looks like to be the ultimate evil ex.

As the title states, sadness is a major component of this book. We start to see a bit of every character’s past that’s hurt them. I don’t want to say that to talk about themes as much as I mean it to talk about driving the story forward. We see a bit more about what makes each of the major characters tick.

There’s only one character that doesn’t get represented in a way to make you feel sorry for them at any point. Even a character you could view as pretty heinously evil is still shown in a light that might make you feel bad for them. At least for a few frames at a time.

One last thing I’ll comment on before calling it a wrap is the timeline the original books were released in. They were released yearly, and it’s very easy to read through them quickly. Had I been reading these as they came out, I would have been desperately waiting for the next book while also making non-credible threats against the author to hurry up and finish the series (Game of Thrones readers are currently in this boat).

So to you original fans, you’re the real MVP.

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