Gulp! That's how I read Faith Erin Hicks' latest, The War at Ellsmere. It's a classic plot, mean girls against new/downtrodden girls, boarding school, unicorn....um, well maybe not that last.
Comics Worth Reading has an excellent in-depth review of the book (including the artwork, which I don't know diddley-squat about, just that I like it!) I don't entirely agree that the "fantasy element" was "completely unnecessary". Sure, I would have been perfectly happy if either Cassie had continued to defy the evil Emily and totally beat her up or if Jun had come to Cassie's rescue and...violent? who, me? Well, anyways, you could also say the unicorn is very symbolic of Cassie's inner strength.
But it only says one thing to me - a sequel is now mandatory, under the rules of authors-who-introduce-unexpected-characters/twists/elements-at-the-end-of-fabulous-stories. Hear that Ms. Hicks? I am now waiting on your doorstep in spirit for that sequel!
Verdict: Interesting art, lovely plot turns, definitely recommended. Might need a little extra booktalking for teens who aren't familiar with Hicks.
ISBN: 978-1593621407; Published December 2008 by SLG; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library; Added to my personal wishlist