Henni: A Whimsical Journey to Self-Discovery
If you’re looking for a fun coming-of-age tale that teaches you how to love yourself with a heft dose of fantasy, look no further than Henni. Lasko-Gross’s comic is a thought-provoking treaty on why it’s important for society to be less rigid. The main heroine, Henni, is a young woman who lives in a traditional village amongst fantastical beasts and beings (Henni is some kind of cat-like creature herself). However, with religion and other archaic practices dominating most of the villagers’ every waking thought, Henni decides to follow a different path–her own. She longs to see the world, and when she comes of age, she sets out on a wondrous journey to discover who she really is.
In a world chock-full of young adult novels with weepy heroines and clichéd love triangles, Henni’s a breath of fresh air, especially since the “journey of self discovery” is a theme that resonates well with teens. In the book, Lasko-Gross points out how religion can stifle individual expression and can often kill freedom of thought. While her commentary isn’t subtle since she wants to appeal to younger readers, adults will appreciate her blunt tone, because it’s not wrapped in layers of metaphor or language. If you’re looking for a story that’s thought-provoking but whimsical like a fairy tale, Henni is a universal tale that everyone can relate to.