Guest review by Gabrielle Noe
The Dark Matter of Mona Starr is a middle grade graphic novel, but can be read by all ages. The author, Laura Lee Gulledge, crafts a story about Mona Starr dealing with what she calls her Matter.
Mona’s Matter is her depression manifested. She starts off the book with trying to grapple around how she can untangle her feelings around it. From breaking down what causes it to manifest to what she can do to help make it slightly more manageable. The Matter manifests itself in mean thoughts to pushing Mona to be alone and not ask for help. You see her both literally, and figuratively, push everyone away from her.
From the very beginning of the book you build up this idea of what causes the Matter to behave the way it does. And when Mona, and the reader, finally confront the problem, it becomes not only understandable, but something we might all be able to relate to. The idea that everyone might have a little bit of Matter is so profound of an idea to Mona that it changes how she views everyone.
As a whole, The Dark Matter of Mona Starr is a fantastic read for anyone who is unsure of how to handle their own depression and worries that they are the only ones out there. It helps with understanding coping mechanisms and shows the importance of building up a (support) network of people who are there to help. Just remember: while you may think your Matter is a blackhole, it could be a star forming.