Author: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Page Count: 224
Publisher: First Second
Original Publication Date: 2019
Genre(s): Graphic novel, Young adult, Contemporary
It’s Halloween at the pumpkin patch, which means it’s the last night Josiah and Deja will work the Succotash Hut together before going off to college next season. Deja is going to miss Josiah—and the snacks. Josiah is going to miss Deja, too, but he’s more upset that he never talked to the girl of his dreams: the Fudge Shop girl, Marcy. So Deja makes it her mission to get Josiah and Marcy talking before the end of the night. But the two run into a lot of problems on their journey across the patch, while also reminiscing and snacking along the way.
Can you guys tell I’m OBSESSED with Rainbow Rowell? I recently finished (and L O V E D) the first 2 books in the Simon Snow series, and since I’m in a graphic novel mood, reading Pumpkinheads just felt necessary. Especially because I’m really missing fall. PSLs, fallen leaves, crisp air… Sigh. Are any pumpkin patches open in March? No?
Pumpkinheads follows Deja and Josiah on a race across the pumpkin patch. There’s a lot of chaos on the last day of the season this year, making their mission seemingly impossible. But don’t worry, cute stuff happens along the way, too. This is a SUPER quick read—I legit read it in the bath and finished it before the water ever got cold. It’s obviously predictable, but in the best way possible. It’s a very fun, easy story to settle into and enjoy.
I really loved the MCs. Josiah is a rule-abiding shy guy. Deja is an outgoing, adventurous spirit with a love of food. I instantly loved these characters, and related to Deja on a spiritual level RE: snacks. The girl loves food, and I am right there with her. I really loved the depth Rowell and Hicks put into Deja. She’s black, she’s curvy, she’s bisexual (not explicitly stated but she has both ex-girlfriends and -boyfriends), and she’s so BADASS. As a chubby girl myself, I love having larger ladies represented in literature in a positive way. It’s very refreshing. And I loved Josiah, too, for his shyness but also for his kindness. Like, when a kid made a comment about Deja’s weight, Josiah stepped in, totally stepping out of his shyness to be a good friend. I loved that. They are both so cute it kills me.
Really lovely story with endearing illustrations and a heartwarming ending. I love feel-good books every now and then, especially ones I can enjoy in one sitting. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, Pumpkinheads is a cute story to enjoy no matter the weather, and it will definitely make you smile (and crave pumpkin pie…).