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This Was Our Pact
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This Was Our Pact

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,153 ratings  ·  481 reviews
It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by First Second
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0rangeymo Rhodes i do not think so but i hope so!

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  2,153 ratings  ·  481 reviews


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Calista
This is a story suited perfectly for me. I very much enjoyed the fantasy of this. The colors and the mood set a magical tone and it delighted me.

Each year a village will send lighted lanterns down the river on the autumn equinox. A group of boys wants to follow the lanterns down the river and see where it goes. There are 4 of them that have made a pact not to stop and then a 5th boy tagging along the others don't really like. As the night begins, 3 of the boys in the original pack bail. The
...more
Alissa
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wish-list
Ohwowohwowohwowohwowohwow!

Studio Ghibli REALLY needs to obtain the rights to this fantastical and beautiful tale of friendship and adventure! I have a feeling those particular writers and animators would have what it takes to truly capture the magic of this story (forget Disney or Dreamworks--too mainstream). I'd watch it...and probably buy my own copy as soon as the dvd was available. So I could get lost in the journey to find the lantern's final destination among the stars. I want to encounter
...more
Betsy
Do kids quest anymore? I mean in books, of course. Kids in real life don’t have a great track record on real world quests, after all. From a literary standpoint, a children’s book seems like a natural place to put a quest. Whether it’s Bilbo Baggins setting off for a dragon’s lair in The Hobbit or the two nameless heroes finding all the colored crayons in the picture book Quest by Aaron Becker, there’s nothing like a good quest to keep your spirits up, eh? Trouble is, a quest has a built in end ...more
Maia
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites, fantasy
This book knocked my socks off. The starting scene, of a group of kids on bikes setting off down a dark road might suggest Stranger Things but a closer emotional match is probably Spirited Away. Ben is one of five boys from his school who decide that this year, after the autumn festival, they will follow the paper lanterns released into the river below their town to see where they go. An old folk song says they turn into stars and rise into the sky, but that can't be true, can it? Tagging after ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
This is a fairly lovely graphic novel with a sweet, interesting story, but it's way longer than I feel like it ought to be, and I actually put it down at the halfway mark when I realized I hadn't cared about anything that had happened in a while. It doesn't help that the artwork is all pretty monochrome, so things start to blur together after a time.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Ivy
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There have been few times in my entire life when I’ve felt the need to hold a book to my chest after reading it and simply contemplate what just happened. That just happened with this book.
The story was so freaking beautiful, it’s impossible to explain. Sometimes times I lose hope in kid’s books, frowning at the fact that there seem to be no modern stories for young kids that have any depth to them, no new stories to take kids on magical journeys. Thank you for restoring my hope in good fiction
...more
Sara
This is a fantastical, joyous ode to little weirdo's having wild adventures that made me get all teary like the big weirdo I am. Ryan Andrews is a marvelous story teller with a gift for capturing young boys in all their glory, wit, and occasional cruelty. His artistic style is just as kinetic and just a little choatic as his heroes who are determined to learn the fate of the paper lanterns they let lose every year at their autumn festival. What begins as a quick bike ride down the road swiftly ...more
Milliebot
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent middle-grade/coming-of-age comic about friendship. I had no idea there was a fantasy element involved in this book, because I didn't bother to read the blurb. I really love when modern-day books have a splash of magic in them - it makes me think that maybe someday I'll meet a talking bear or come upon a barge full of magical creatures or a friendly troll living under a bridge. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, accepting others and bullying seem to be big for me this ...more
Earl
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The must read graphic novel of the summer starts off like with a realistic premise of a group of boys out to see whether a fantastical story they've heard all their lives is true or not and then veers off into Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli territory! What I also liked is that this was pretty substantial text-wise.
Melki
Two boys share a magical adventure when they attempt to follow some paper lanterns on a trip down the river. Andrews packs this graphic novel with all sorts of sciency tidbits about astronomy, but there's also a wonderful message about daring to take chances.

"Ben, no one is going to force you to, but if you don't jump in, you'll always think back on this moment and wish that you had."

As you can probably tell by the cover, the artwork is gorgeous.

description
Hannah
Jul 11, 2019 added it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2019
THIS WAS OUR PACT is a wild, fun, magical ride. It scratched that itch of mine for stories where our world is tilted to reveal a rich, fantastical macrocosm--this one is filled with a gentlemanly fisherbears; sassy potion-makers, and giant dogs who love Rice Krispies bars. A must-read for fans of mythology and OVER THE GARDEN WALL. My only complaint? I wanted to dive deeper into this starry, moonlit world.
Nay Keppler
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The illustrations were super adorbs, but this read like one of those Facebook threads where you use your phone's autocomplete feature to create stories.
Cy
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, fantasy, childrens
this was absolutely gorgeous. the artwork, the story, the atmosphere, everything was perfect. definitely one of my favorite graphic novels that have come out this year.
Rod Brown
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Two boys ride their bicycles down a road filled with increasingly fantastical characters and situations. What seemed a pretty standard story won me over with its charm, humor and simplicity.
Nitya
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, because I really enjoyed the beautiful artwork and unique storyline.

My only gripe is that I wish Madam Majestic had made another appearance, she was my favorite character next to Nathaniel :(
Ben Truong
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This Was Our Pact is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Ryan Andrews. It centers on a group of boys going on an adventure and the unexpected friendships they make on the way.

Creepy yet benign, this leisurely graphic novel opens on the autumn equinox, when a community sends paper lanterns down a river. Five boys and a bullied tagalong science fanatic named Nathaniel make a pact to find out where the lanterns go. They pedal their bikes along a deserted road, but the vow proves daunting,
...more
Matt
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this delightful graphic novel a group of young boys set off into the night to follow the lanterns that their town releases into the river during the Autumn Equinox Festival with the goal of finding out what happens to them. Before too long only two boys remain, all the others breaking the pact they all made, “No one turns for home. No one looks back.” What follows is a whimsical adventure full of magical realism, humor, and fantastic art. The story reminded me so much of a Hayao Miyazaki film ...more
Kel
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
SO pleased to finally, FINALLY own this!

It surpassed every expectation I had of it, every single page was gorgeously and lovingly illustrated, the characters were compelling and interesting, and the world Ryan painted was whimsical and fun and unique and I didn’t want it to end!!

Such love for the fisherbear!!
...more
Becca
Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A perfect September read, This Was Our Pact is a quirky graphic novel about 90s kids making the absolute most out of the autumn equinox, in the company of bikes and stars.

It features delightful secondary characters: Fisherbear and my favorite—and perhaps it should be noted, really the only female character—Madam Majestic. The landscapes are gorgeous and atmospheric. It reminds me of Hilda and Over the Garden Wall, two great animated series also about kids exploring friendship and nature.
laura (bookies & cookies)
One of my FAVORITES of the year. Ben wants to fit in with the cool kids, but his childhood friend Nathaniel (who's not so cool anymore) keeps tagging along. Throughout the story, it brings up the subtlety of not liking people being made fun of, but not standing up for them because you don't want to be made fun of, too.

Every year, their town sends lanterns down the river for the Autumnal Equinox and they'll eventually arrive in the stars. The boys make a pact No one turns for home. No one looks
...more
Kate
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I got "Stranger Things" vibes from this cover, though this is a gentler story. A group of friends makes a pact to follow the lanterns down the river to see what happens to them: the legend is that the lanterns become stars. After most of his friends back out, Ben is stuck with Nathaniel, the tagalong his other friends made fun of. But as their journey becomes more and more fantastical, Nathaniel's enthusiasm guides them and eventually Ben must decide whether to keep up his too-cool-for-you front ...more
Villain E
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This needs to be a Studio Ghibli movie. Like, now!

A group of boys set out to follow the paper lanterns that their town floats into the river every year. But when they get to the bridge their parents have told them never to cross, only two are brave enough to continue. They enter a fantastical land of talking bears and dogs that can walk on water.

The characterization is perfect, the dialogue is great. The characters are visually distinct. Though many of the pages are monochromatic and the whole
...more
Jenna
A fantastic and magical adventure that doesn’t delve too deeply into the power of friendship, but that feels like a good thing, as we weren’t beaten around the head with it. Lovely color scheme and all the pages were atmospheric. I enjoyed the plot and the road to adventure theme, especially as gung-ho Nathaniel was about all the strange instances they encounter.

My only real gripe is I’m not a fan of rounded teeth...
Malex
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a perfect cosy Sunday read, the art is fantastic, the colours are handled beautifully and the story is so endearing I highly recommend it!

There are small pieces of wisdom all along the book but I'll just quote this one that particularly resonated with me:
"No one is going to force you to, but if you don't jump in, you'll always think back on this moment and wish that you had."
...more
David H.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
A middle-grade story of boys who make a pact to follow the paper lanterns placed in the river and have adventures along the way. I thought it was very cute, and the art done well for its story. The talking bear was a delight, and Madam Majestic was amusing. It's a strange half-real/half-fantastic world they live in, and I also appreciated the friendship the boys (re)discover.
Siina
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, This Was Our Pact was surely a magical ride for sure! It's so awesome that comics like this are made for kids, since This Was Our Pact is meaningful, full of heart and even the plot is great. There's a lantern festival at a town and everyone puts floating lanterns in the river. This group of friends wants to see where the lanterns go, but eventually only two are left of which the other wasn't welcomed at first. These two boys end up still going and get lost, meet a bear and a magician and ...more
orangerful
I kinda loved this. I picked it up not knowing anything about it, I just found the cover art intriguing - the group of kids on their bikes, pedaling off into the night. And it started simple enough, with a boy struggling through a bit of peer pressure - Ben's friend from his younger days, Nathaniel, is now too "nerdy" for him to hang out with for fear of also being labeled a nerd, so Ben leads his new group on an adventure. They make a pact to follow the lanterns down the river. Nathaniel ...more
Wendy
A little slow in parts, but it's fascinating, sweet, weird, and funny. I especially like the friendship dynamic, and that it shows boys doing the same kind of social bullying girls are thought of as doing.
Caitlin Snyder
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Holy absolute cats. For a title and cover that look like a teen angst novel, this is anything but.

This might be my favorite thing I've read this year.
elisaaa
Jul 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
this sounds like the single most beautiful thing ever wtf
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“No one is going to force you to, but if you don't jump in, you'll always think back on this moment and wish that you had.” 1 likes
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