Review: Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo

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cover of Over My Dead BodyOver My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo
HarperAlley (August 30, 2022)
240 pages; $24.99 hardcover
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Sweeney Boo is a comic artist and illustrator living in Montreal, Canada.

When she’s not busy drawing witchy girls and hairless cats, she works with various publishers including BOOM! Studios, Archie Comics, IDW, Marvel, Image Comics and DC Comics. She is also the author and illustrator of graphic novel Eat, & Love Yourself. Her newest graphic novel is Over My Dead Body.

Over My Dead Body is a YA-graphic novel set at Younwity Institute, a school for witches. Abigail’s friend, Noreen, has gone missing, and Abigail, along with her friends Goldie and Enver must search the school grounds to find her. However, not is all as it seems at the Younwity Institute, and the girls must venture into the Untamed Woods to find their friend. 

The description of this book reads like Harry Potty, but with witches. It’s not that. The graphic novel literally starts out with a young woman as part of a blood sacrifice inside a candlelit pentagram, so Boo is clearly aiming for an older and more mature audience. Still, there are hallmarks of any good boardings school adventure story, and the conflicts with teachers, other students, etc. are relatable and believable enough to keep readers grounded. The characters themselves read very much like adventurous young women, and they all have their unique quirks and character traits to be distinct and different from each other. On top of that, Sweeney Boo’s art style and narrative structure is really innovative for this sort of tale. She clearly takes the graphic novel format and makes it her own and makes it work for her story. It’s a really lush and gorgeous book to read, as well as entertaining and engaging. 

Overall, Over My Dead Body is a clever YA graphic novel. Sweeney Boo creates a unique and absorbing tale built off various fantasy tropes, but makes those tropes cleverly her own. With engaging characters, dark twists, and a unique mystery, Over My Dead Body will be a favorite tale of horror readers young and old alike. 

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