Based on the Academy Award-winning animated short by the same name, If Anything Happens I Love You is a young adult graphic novel that follows two parents as they reckon with the loss of their young daughter, Rose, in a school shooting. Readers follow Rose from “above” as she watches her parents slowly break down under the weight and pain of their loss. Throughout the novel, Rose’s soul seeks to help her parents reconnect. We learn who Rose was and how much life she lived in her short time. By incorporating a wide range of characters, her boyfriend, teacher, and her cat, Rose is able to introduce healing into the lives of the people she left behind. If Anything Happens I Love You may be a story about loss, but in it we see ourselves—in the grief, the pain, and, most importantly, in the fight toward human connection, love, and acceptance.
A companion to the Oscar-winning short film of the same name, this graphic novel brings new elements to a story that has, horribly, become a familiar narrative in American life. In the aftermath of a school shooting that takes their daughter’s life, a father and mother must rediscover love in a world that’s been leached of color. Their daughter’s soul—“the part of you that is really you”—helps them along, bringing forth memories of her joyful life and enabling them to process her tragic—and tragically preventable—death together. With any exercise in adaptation, there is the question of harnessing medium specificity; this work more than rises to the challenge. McCormack, Govier, and Nho, the animated movie’s co-creators, take their successful cinematic story concept and give it new life with the addition of a carefully written text that explicates the philosophy at the heart of the original. Scenes are reordered to relate to one another in new ways, and characters are endowed with enriched backstories. The cat, an adorable fixture of the film, takes on a moving new role. The result is a book that holds its own, settling comfortably into its own niche, ready to welcome a new audience. Shadows, silhouettes, and occasional washes of color are expertly used to increase the emotional impact. Main characters have paper-white skin and straight, dark hair. Heavy pain exquisitely rendered.(Graphic fiction. 12-18) Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022