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The Altered History of Willow Sparks

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3.16  ·  Rating details ·  572 ratings  ·  155 reviews
What happens when you can finally get everything you ever wanted?

Willow Sparks and her best friend Georgia Pratt are at the bottom of the social ladder at Twin Pines High School, just trying to get through each day relatively unscathed. But when Willow finds a mysterious book that allows her to literally change her life, it feels like her luck is finally turning. Becoming
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Paperback, 152 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Oni Press (first published January 30th 2018)
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[Shai] Bibliophage
The Altered History of Willow Sparks is a magnificent coming of age graphic novel. A lot of teens experiencing low self-esteem: whether they are pretty enough, funny, cool, amazing, brilliant or stylish. Whether a teen or not, sometimes we wish that we could be a much better version of our self, and that's what happened to Willow.
The Altered History of Willow Sparks
Because of an accident in the library that Willow works for, she discovered a secret part of the library where unusual books are stored. This is where she got her
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Schizanthus Nerd
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I love a story that makes me think about what I’d do in a character’s position. In The Altered History of Willow Sparks Willow is essentially a book nerd. She is regularly tormented by the school’s resident ‘mean girl’, she loves to read, she works after school at the local library and her friends, Georgia and Gary, don’t appear to be winning any popularity contests either. Oh, she also has pimples, thinks her hair makes her look like a boy and sucks at dodgeball.

Willow accidentally comes across
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Chad
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, netgalley-2018
Willow Sparks is a high school outcast with only a couple of friends. When she comes across the book of her life, she decides to write in some changes.

This book seemed to superficially touch on every trope of the high school nerd suddenly becoming popular. It didn't bring anything new to the story nor did much actually happen. We didn't even get much of an explanation on the books themselves. Besides some nice blue-line art, their just isn't much of substance here.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
A highschool girl is closing up shop at the library she works for, when she takes a tumble and finds a hidden floor to the library - stocked with books that have only individuals' names on the spines. When Willow finds the book with her name on it, she realizes that she can write in the book, and whatever she writes will come true - at a price.

I thought this was a pretty fun idea, and the art was nice enough, but I just didn't really find it particularly interesting. I didn't get attached to the
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Hafsa | حفصہ
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-e-books
Disclaimer: Received a free digital copy of the book through Netgalley.

This book was such a disappointment. It was relatable yet cliché in the start and exuded a sense of mystery, inculcating certain typical high school experiences, including bullying, cliques, gym class disasters and the insensitivity of teachers when it comes to girl problems. I liked the artwork, especially the pages where there are different pictures for different times in the library, which is why this is getting 2 stars.

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Laura
When I finished reading this, I felt as though I had read it before, and perhaps I have, different versions, different ways of telling this same story, which is, what would you do if you could change your future? Would you change it? And how much would you change it?

The characters are all Mean Girls types, and of course the heroines are the underdogs, the nerds and the dull. There is even a love interest among the unloved(view spoiler).

The artist
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Radwa
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, comics, netgalley
*I received an eArc of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review, so thanks to them!*

This was a fun read, that I was slightly disappointed by how short it was. This had the potential to be fleshed out in more volumes, or at least let it be a bit longer. The world and magic explanations seemed rush, even the reconciliation at the end. Everything seemed to be so rushed.

It revolves around a girl who discovers the *books* of the people living in her town and stumbles upon her book,
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Maggie Gordon
The Altered History of Willow Sparks takes on the common trope of magical books that, when written in, can change your life. It doesn't deviate too much from the standard "be careful what you wish for" format, and there is definitely room for more character development. Actually, a lot more character development. But I also think this one is geared towards middle schoolers rather than young adult, so I can see why the book feels so compressed and hurried. The art is great. I picked this up ...more
Alicia
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted more maturity out of this in terms of the fullness of the story and character development. I felt like I was waiting for something that never came-- some larger story or commentary. While I understand the basic themes and the conflict of the main character there wasn't enough about the library, the book, the gatekeeper, Willow herself, etc.

The blue style worked well and the peripheral characters were vividly drawn but could also have been stronger elements in the story.

What would I do
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➷
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Going to join the crowd of 3-star reviews, unfortunately. What you have here is a great idea, a fantastic idea, that simply wasn't fleshed out enough.

The basic plot idea might sound a little cliche (everyone has a book of their life, girl finds hers and edits it to make herself more popular) but it can still be done. I really like the inherent idea behind this book and I think there's a lot to be said for silly plots.

That said: this book is short. I am not sure why, but there is just not enough
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Ken Yuen
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked the set up of the world. The implications could lead to some great stories.

I kind of wish the stereotypical bully wasn't a character in this. It felt like an unnecessary distraction from the stuff going on with Willy and Georgia. Maybe I'm just a little tired of teen drama motivated by bullies? At least the other two bully members turned out to be relatively normal.

I was a lot more interested in Willy and the consequences of her mucking around with her magic book. I think the story
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Mehsi
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

"What if you had the power to rewrite your life?"

Yep, I would definitely rewrite some parts. Just like Willow (and also Georgia) I was bullied immensely in school. I know I wouldn't be able to resist the chance to rewrite things, even if it meant that I would be in trouble later on. Even a few moments of bliss years ago would save me the a few shitty feelings I still have today. :( I know the consequences (I was wondering why
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Mel (Daily Prophecy)
Willow (also Willy) and Georgia are best friends and they are both being bullied by the popular people. One day Willy stumbles upon a book that contains her life and she finds out she can write in it to make small changes. Next morning she has no pimples and after that she wears more fashionable clothes. She becomes friends with the popular crowd and in the progress of becoming happier, she leaves Georgia behind.

I disliked Willy and her fast friendship with the popular people. I just can't deal
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Rubysbooks
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Have you ever read a book that made you wish you had something similar back when you were a teenager? That's what this book made me think once I finished reading it. I wish I had this book back when I was an awkward teen.

The idea of the book is pretty simple: you have a regular teenage girl, Willow, working at a library in her spare time, that isn't popular, and is bullied, alongside her best friend, Georgia, by a group of really popular kids. After an incident in the
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Kailey (BooksforMKs)
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this graphic novel about a girl who discovers a magic book that will change her life! Willow is a nerd being bullied by the popular girls at school, but she has friends and a great job working in a library. The book gives her the power to rewrite her life, but of course, magic comes with a price. Willow uses the book to become one of the popular girls, and her life at school seems to be better, but at a cost. If only, Willow can realize the truth before it's too late, she might ...more
Jenna
Enjoyable and a quick read, but it felt like the book skimmed over some important topics by treating them rather generically rather than taking the time to elaborate and make the issues more individual and original. This mainly had to do with the themes of bullying and friendship. I wanted more time seeing our MCs as friends, how they saw themselves compared to the school’s ire, and how they dealt with the change. Instead too much focus was put on our magical book, which in itself also needed ...more
Haley Yoesting 🌻
“What if you had the power to rewrite your life?”

Who wouldn’t be hooked by that tag line? Of course we’d want to alter our lives if we had the choice. That’s exactly what happened in this graphic novel.. except of course it went terribly wrong. Overall, I enjoyed this and I don’t regret reading it. It was just very short, and I feel like it could have had so much to it. It had potential with an interesting concept, but I don’t feel like it lived up to it. The plot was also predictable for me,
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Bean ❤
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rheetha Lawlor
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a good moral about what if you could rewrite your own life. Willow finds a book in the library she works at and is able to write out how her days should happen. She isn't very popular, at all, but has one good friend. She desperately wants to be with the In crowd, aka mean girls, but she's just doesn't have what it takes. So when she finds the book with the empty pages about her life, she takes full advantage, but to the detriment of what she already has that is good in her ...more
Katbyrdie
A majority of this book went as expected, but that didn't take away from the enjoyment. While O'Connor's major idea wasn't original, there were a few twists (or developments) that did diverge from the typical path. The drawings were simple and clean, which I appreciated. I wish there was more world building towards the end, because once the book because unique, I wanted to know more. Overall, it was a good story.
Lindsay
This was a fun take on the be-careful-what-you-wish-for trope, touching also on bullying, beauty and gender standards, and friendship. In the end, though, I did want more detail to the story. (And, as a librarian of over 10 years and a former shelver in high school, I would like to ask: who leaves a teenager in charge of a library? Ever?)

Thanks to Oni Press and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book.
stefiereads
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
3.5 stars.

I am so amazed with author’s drawing. She has been working on this book for 9 years, and with a lot of revision, she managed to create something beautiful :)

I think the story is pretty simple. It’s not those type of book that have sudden plot twists. But if you know me, sometimes I like books like that.
This is a book about friendship, about learning from our mistake, and about being responsible with our own choices.

It’s an enjoyable read!

*I read this book digitally through Netgalley
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Elizabeth
The Altered History of Willow Sparks was intensely reminiscent of me as a teenager. A lot of it is spread between characters, but I haven't read many books that are so reflective of my teen years. The magical elements were super cool, fun, and interesting, although I do wish it had gone more in-depth with them. The art is fabulous.

Recommended, especially to my fellow outcast book nerds.
Courtney
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
This was way better then I expected. I was intrigued about books that can be altered and literally change people's lives. I am glad realized sonething was wrong, and went to get help because she made a lame "popular" kid.
Kate
O'Connor's art in this graphic novel is the star of the show as she really uses the monotone blue and white to great effect. Her shading is awesome and the line work is crisp and fluid.
Unfortunately, the story (typical 'loner nerd' girl misusing the magical book of her life) is tired and predictable, and at several points nonsensical.
Theresa
Cliched cliques and bullying in high school, not enough explanation about the magical nature of the books in the library, and an abrupt ending make this just so, so. The art was very nice.
Manon the Malicious
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this was ok but the art wasn’t really for me and I felt like an ending was missing.
Other than that, the characters were kinda interesting and the story too...
KayCee K
This book explores the one way how magically altering your life could play out. I have mixed feelings about this book because I wanted to love this book. The idea is right up my alley. But sadly I didn't love it, I liked it. It wasn't that it was bad it was just that I wanted more out of it. I felt that the plot was kinda slow and the high school drama was a little too much for me. This is marked as a YA book but felt like a middle-grade book and there's a chance I would have liked it more if it ...more
Rod Brown
A timid iteration of the monkey paw/careful-what-you-wish-for trope. I was sort of getting drawn into the mythology and characters and might have gone for a three-star rating if not for the abrupt and nothing ending. If the characters are going to halfheartedly shrug things off, why shouldn't I as a reader?
Daisya Spencer
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Tara is a cartoonist currently residing in the New Jersey wilderness. When she's not drawing comics, she's teaching them. She drinks way too much tea and coffee, and on any given day there's a 90% chance that every meal she had was cereal.