Blankets

By Craig Thompson

Blankets (Top Shelf; 582 pages) is an autobiographical novel about a sensitive, artistic, vegetarian, teenage boy who finds love with a sensitive, artistic, vegetarian, teenage girl. That is, it should be insufferable. Instead it is a rarity: a first-love story so well remembered and honest that it reminds you what falling in love feels like. The narrator, Craig Thompson, grows up in rural Wisconsin in a devout Christian family. Craig's childhood is one long bout of fear--of bullies, hell, the baby-sitter who molests him and his little brother--until, at a Christian winter camp, Craig meets Raina, a doe-eyed outsider from a...

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