Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom
by Terry Blas, Molly Muldoon, and Matthew Seely
E-arc, 176 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Oni Press
A hilarious story of a diverse group of young sleuths who band together to solve a murder mystery while at a weight-loss camp.
Deep in the Oregon wilderness sits Camp Bloom, a weight-loss camp where “overweight” teens can “get in shape.” Jesse would rather be anywhere else, but her parents are forcing her to go. Noah isn’t sure if he wants to be there, but it’s too late to turn back. Tony is heartbroken at the thought of giving up his phone and internet. And Kate…well, she likes the hikes, at least. As far as these four teens are concerned, it’s just another boring summer.
Until one night, when Jesse and Noah witness a beloved counselor’s murder. The body’s gone by the next morning, but a blurry photo leads to one clue—the murderer is one of the camp’s staff members!
But which one? As Jesse, Noah, Kate, and Tony investigate, they quickly discover that everyone’s got their secrets…and one of them would kill to keep theirs hidden.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my final opinion on the book.
Camp Bloom is a weight loss camp. From the outside, everything seems normal: the place is well kept, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy, and the councelors are very supportive. That doesn’t mean Jesse is happy to be there, she would rather be elsewhere doing something she really like than being in Camp Bloom. But then Jesse started to notice shady things and when a beloved councelor got killed, it makes her wonder: is Camp Bloom really a safe space it claimed to be?
- Interesting setting. I’ve never read any book set in a summer camp, except, well, Camp Half-Blood in PJO series. Normally, books that set in the summer have beach, small islands, or camping setting, but never summer setting. We never have those in my country (our summer last for 6 months 😂) so I’m curious of how these things work; do people stay for the whole summer or only for a few weeks? Do you only attend once or can you come back next summer? While we never went in depth on how summer camps work, it’s still interesting to read about it. Especially since it is visualized, which brings us to…
- Amazing art. The illustrators for this graphic novel have worked on several graphic novel before, such as the Amazing World of Gumball. So if you like colorful and bright illustration, this book is for you. Not only Gumball, this book have the feelings of Gravity Falls with its camp setting, colorful images, and bubbly characters.
- Intriguing plot. Don’t let the colorful and vivid artwork fool you, this graphic novel has an intriguing mystery and pretty deep character background. If you are into Scooby-Doo or Nancy Drew, you will enjoy the mystery in this book. I was blindsided by the revelation as I was too absorbed with the artwork 😂 As we get to know the characters, the tone can get pretty melancholic but their stories are also interesting, I can’t wait to explore more in the next installment!
- I guess if I paid attention to the story the culprit will be obvious, but I didn’t. I really like the reveal and how the motive is revealed. We even got a glimpse into their head!
- It was a fun read. The vibe and activities on the camp are so positive and fun, the counsellors are very supportive towards the campers, and there are plenty activities to keep them busy. I would love to attend this kind of camp myself!
Overall? This graphic novel was such a pleasant surprise! I expected a lot of fun based on the premise, but I didn’t expect to have this much fun, even loving it this much. It has a vivid artwork, intriguing mystery, but also a plot within. The characters are also well-developed and all in all, instead of weighing the story down, these elements work together really well to make this amazing graphic novels. Can’t wait for the next installment!