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3.19  ·  Rating details ·  828 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Alena’s life is a living hell. Since she arrived at a snobbish boarding school, she’s been harassed every day by Philippa and the girls on the lacrosse team. But Alena’s best friend Josephine is not going to accept that anymore.

Not from the counselor or the principal, not from Philippa, and not from anyone else at that horrid school. If Alena does not fight back, then Jose
Paperback, 136 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Dark Horse Books (first published February 20th 2012)
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Average rating 3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  828 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Emily B
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-read
An entertaining read with good artwork. Not the most original or ground breaking storyline but enjoyable none the less.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Almost feels like a darker retelling of Carrie. Alena's only friend has died and is relentlessly bullied by the girls lacrosse team. Alena is haunted by her friend's ghost who wants her to retaliate. Things begin to spiral out of control from there. Andersson's art is dark and moody and fits the story well.

Received an advance copy from Dark Horse and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
I received this from Edelweiss and Dark Horse comics in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, so this one wasn't too bad. While the story was somewhat predicable, and it felt like a cross between Carrie and the movie, "Mean Girls", it was actually an entertaining read. The artwork wasn't bad, not the best, but not bad. The one thing that bothered me was that to cover didn't really have anything to do with the actual story.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, horror
A bit predictable, and the characters are mostly caricatures with truly awful dialog. The dialog might well be partly on the translator, though, as this was originally published in Sweden. Still pretty effective as a horror comic, even if it does fall into some very well worn tropes.
The Artisan Geek
Some of the characters were insufferable, but this comic actually had a good storyline.

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Rod Brown
Jan 10, 2021 rated it did not like it
In this badly done supernatural thriller imported from Sweden, Alena is a high school girl grieving the death of a friend and being haunted by her ghost. At her new school she is being bullied by a mean girl. (The homophobia is both blatant and internalized.) Eventually, bloody deaths start occurring. It's all very Carrie.

It just feels very exploitative, especially since the creator is male (despite his first name which I usually associate with females).

Somehow this was made into a movie (29% on
I don't know what's in Scandinavian water that creates such dark, delicious things, but I like it.

This is a dark-as-hell story about love, about fitting in, about mean girls, about being poor, and about revenge, pain, and guilt. Alena loved her girlfriend, until she was scared of being in love with a girl, and they don't have a real relationship. But then that girl kills herself . . . and comes back for revenge on anyone who hurts Alena. (view spoiler)
Jamie Canaves
I love dark AF with a lady lead and this hit the mark so well. It was that cruel spirit/doesn't-fit-in in Heathers, Cruel Intentions, Single White Female blended into much darker teen girls with great art and I want more. ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! Seriously, this book is DARK! I haven't read a straight horror graphic novel in decades, but this reminded me of a grown-up, European, long form version of a Tales From the Crypt comic from back in my youth. Even though I was reading 3 other books at the same time, I kept coming back to this one over and over until it was finished. I loved that this was a female-focused horror story. The main character is both sympathetic and terrifying. A scary and fun book!

And it made me really gra
Lia Ung
Okay woah. WOAH.
Frances Vega
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was actually pretty good. But I couldn't handle any more of Alena's constant indecisions.
I wanna see the movie though!
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was disappointing. It felt derrvitive of Carrie.
Rachel Smalter Hall
This was fun, and very dark! It didn't stand out as a favorite for me, but I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who likes really dark stories, complex female main characters, or a Scandinavian horror vibe.

After her best friend dies, Alena is haunted by her past and starts having trouble at school. When she transfers to a wealthy private school, she's bullied for being poor, weird, and generally not fitting in. The head of the girl's lacrosse team targets her, and soon the bul
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
I can totally picture the horror movie in my head.

Alena is haunted by her ex lover, a girl whom she denied to others believing that same-sex relationships were more acceptable. Unfortunately, Alena is anything but normal to her classmates. Even when she meets a guy, she is still an outcast. Can Alena accept who she is before it's too late?

I found the violence in this comic quite chocking. Yes, even with the bloody cover. The girls were just too mean and Alena remained inconsiderate when it cam
Emily Barbosa
Disturbing in sooooo many ways
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
You can find this and other reviews at:

Plot: Alena’s life is dark and full of terrors.

Review: Yes. Just yes. I really enjoyed this one! Three reasons why you will to:

1. It’s pretty twisted. Fancy boarding school riddled with horrible people? I can dig it. Said horrible people get what’s coming to them? Yes, please.
2. Diversity. Every time I see characters that portray something other than the perfect suburban Mary Jane, I rejoice a little. Alena touches on how difficult it ca
Soobie's scared
Not my cup of tea!

I read this one because I was searching for Swedish comics to read in Swedish. Apparently Kim W. Andersson is a big name over there. This is my second work by him and I totally dislike it. Again. I guess him and me... We're not made for each other!

Alena is a teenager who witnessed the suicide of his best friend Josephine. But Josephine - after one year - is still there with her, smoking together and helping her out at her new posh school. A girl from the lacrosse team has targ
Review in English because this book somehow seems to be even more popular in its translated version than in its original Swedish version? Don't ask me how but apparently this is a thing.

Anyhow, I had sort of high hopes about this one and managed as per usual to be let down (my own fault, and not one of the book though). I wasn't the biggest fan of the actual artwork and somehow believed this was going to be about lesbian vampires but nope, that wasn't what I got at all. I think Josefine and Ale
I'm more excited about following Andersson's work than I am about his actual work. His style is not my favorite, but I still think he creates interesting comics. Alena is very violent and captures the spirit of old horrors and slashers. It's pretty great, and I watched the teaser trailer for the film at the Seriefestival. Can't wait to see it! ...more
Chris Walker
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-comics
To be honest, I picked this book up from the library purely on the strength of the cover, having never heard anything about it or Kim W. Andersson. The blurb on the front refers to Andersson as "the Dario Argento of comics," so aside from plentiful gore I wasn't really expecting much else.

And that ended up being for the best because, while a perfectly serviceable story, Alena doesn't feel like it adds anything fresh to the horror genre. On the contrary, I feel like I've read this basic story (sc
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alena is a horror graphic novel with beautiful illustration and a fast paced story, one the reader could finish in less than an hour. The story is centered around Alena, an adolescent who suffers constant bullying by other schoolmates in great degree because of her financial situation and sexual orientation, and in particular from another girl, Filippa, who is jealous of her because her crush has eyes only for Alena.

Altough the story develops well and everybody has reasons (not justifications
Ethan Minsker
School girls gone wrong. Bullying, body shaming, and navigating the complexities of teenage sexuality and then adding mental illness into the mix. Something about this has that "After School Special" quality that puts me off and the fact they are turing Alena into a movie doesn’t help. The parts I do like: taking the bullies to task and the artwork, but beyond that it falls flat for me. When you realize Kim is a man, the story felt fetishized around the female form. Here is the thing, I am sick ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catch-up-reading
I'll post a more detailed, spoiler-y review (complete with fair use-friendly pictures!) later, but for now...let's just say...ok, so this is a graphic novel about a girl helping another girl get revenge on her bullies in very violent fashion.

If the big surprise, twist ending has me laughing my butt off for all the wrong and unintended reasons...yeah, that's an automatic 2-star in my book. Hell, I really want to give it a 1.5 star, actually. Mediocre, except for that ending that the writers actua
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joseph Born
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
This English adaption of the Swedish romantic horror graphic novel Alena is well worth checking out if you're looking for a thriller. Alena's the oddball out at a prep school, who lost her friend to suicide a year ago. Except her friend still haunts her to this day, the story falls into some predictable tropes, but there's also some twists to be had. Kim W. Andersson's artwork is great, and is expressive with a unique style. The characters can be a bit one-note, but the situations that unfold th ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel was dark, twisted, gory, and violent. Despite the gloomy subject matter the artwork was super bright and almost festive. It was a strange contrast but worked for the story. My one problem with the illustrations was the focus on people's mouths which are way too often depicted as drooling. It was kind of weird and put my in mind of big, jowly dogs which didn't fit with the high school kids at all. I liked the twist at the end although I guessed it right from the beginning. Appa ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Trigger warning: Attempted sexual assault, gratuitous violence, bullying.
Alena is bullied relentlessly at her new school. Her best friend died a year ago, but somehow she becomes Alena's guardian angel. This is a dark graphic novel with horror elements. If you don't like blood this may not be for you. I felt that the story was a little rushed, there were some plot points that didn't have the chance to be fully flushed out. The ending was a little over-dramatic. I enjoyed the story, but I didn't
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
Actual rating: 2.5 stars. This was okay, but very obvious. From practically the first page you know what is really going on. The graphic novel could have still worked with fresh takes on other aspects, but it doesn't take advantage of those opportunities. With its mean girl antagonist and unlikable main character, I found Alena boring. I also wasn't a big fan of the art, which didn't help. Most of the characters seemed to border on the grotesque side. ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alena is a great horror story in its own right, but paired with it is switched on slides, a wonderful reminder of Craig and Feldstein (EC's horror comics) artwork (that I love so well) - so, well, I'm sold... off to the comic book shop to get....well, just about everything else Kim W. Andersson has ever done...whoop! ...more
Dennis Jacob
I read the Danish translation, which I can't find here on Goodreads. I loved the artwork. The story was just to derivative. I've seen this storyline in a ton of horror films and novels. The Danish translation worsened things with clunky dialogue that bordered on the excruciating. I don't know if the original Swedish is better. ...more
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