Book Review of Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Goodreads Rating: 4.17
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Published: 8/27/2019
Page Count: 209
Book URL:
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September. What if their last shift was an adventure?
5.0Overall Score
  • Characters
  • Cover Art & Illustrations
  • Impact
  • Pacing
  • Plot
  • Writing

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I seriously LOVED this graphic novel, it’s so fricken cute! I’d like to read it again



NOTE: This is the first graphic novel that I’ve read and as such my review expertise on this particular genre is non-existent.

Quick Review

  • This novel is so fricken adorable and I immediately fell in love with it, it’s characters, and the illustrations.
  • This book would be perfect for autumn or Halloween as it is set in a pumpkin patch that has all the trimmings and sounds like a fall lovers dream!
  • The central theme of the story is the friendship between two work friends Josiah and Deja.
  • This graphic novel is truly breathtaking and the illustrations are detailed, beautiful, and thoughtful.
  • The story is written to represent a wide range of characters and is very inclusive of gender, size, race, sexuality, etc.
  • The writing style is lighthearted, witty, funny and just plain fun.

**Trigger and Content Warnings**

This book discusses sensitive subjects that some readers may find triggering. Please take care of yourself. Triggers and content warnings in this story include, but are not limited to:

  • Brief body shaming

Read more about Trigger and Content Warnings.

**MILD SPOILERS** Click black text to reveal spoilers.

In Depth Review

Pumpkinheads is a sequential art graphic novel that was an anticipated collaboration between writer Rainbow Rowell and illustrator Faith Erin Hicks; Rainbow Rowell is well known for Eleanor & Park and Fangirl while Faith Erin Hicks is author of the series Friends with Boys and The Nameless City.

All writing was either in the form of dialogue or signs in the background. With so little dialogue and such a short story Rowell does a tremendous job of quickly developing her characters and making you fall in love with them.

This novel is BEAUTIFUL! I really loved both the story and the illustrations. The illustrations are predominantly warm and cozy (orange, brown, red, pink, and purple) which gives off a very autumnal and intimate vibe to support the story’s title, theme, and setting. Like a good cup of coffee while watching the leaves fall during a particularly beautiful sunset (yes, I drink coffee at night).

This is a story between two only-at-work friends, Josiah and Deja, who have worked together for years at the pumpkin patch. It is end of season at the patch, and they are on a mission (many to be exact)! The story of their last night unfolds with lots of twists and turns, funny and witty banter, and beautiful backdrops.

I already cannot wait to read this again come Fall! I would highly recommend this graphic novel.

If I had to describe this book in two words: adorable and cozy.

Strengths and Weaknesses


  • It’s characters: they are warm and easy to fall in love with and the author included an inclusive cast of characters.
  • The friendship between Josiah and Deja is beautiful.
  • Full on fall vibes.
  • Beautiful illustrations that fully support the story and set the scene.
  • Is funny and gives you cozy and happy feels.


  • The story is not long enough for very well developed characters.
  • This isn’t part of a series – because I wanted more!

Reading Reactions

  1. Immediately in love with this book upon seeing the map that is right at the beginning – I love fall, pumpkins, and food!
  2. I’ve never read a graphic novel before and I’m really enjoying this!
  3. This story is cute and funny, I like the relationship immediately established between Josiah and Deja.
  4. I love the illustration style – its colorful yet gives off a 50’s vibe.
  5. Where ever this pumpkin patch is at I need to go there right now.
  6. I really enjoy how with the text in graphic novels you can easily tell the emphasis of the dialogue between characters with bold, italic, and other styling which they really should adapt for regular books. Where is the use of bold in regular books!?!
  7. OMFG! I can’t – their relationship is too cute (Josie and Deja).
  8. The illustrations are so rich, and give you so much to look at and notice.
  9. I fucking love Deja (maybe she reminds me of me, maybe, just a little).
  10. I really enjoy how each chapter wraps up, like a little bow on a little present.
  11. I love all the nicknames they throw around, it’s the best.
  12. I like how inclusive all the different characters are.
  13. Their. Relationship. IS. KILLING. ME!
  14. Can it be fall now?

Book Look

NOTE: I read an ebook copy of the book that I checked out at my local library, and saw the hardcover edition at the bookstore.

  • The hardcover edition of this book is a smaller sized book that is gorgeous. I read an ebook copy from my local library and I really enjoyed how the pages were laid out and how you could individually click each illustration pane to enlarge it. However, I do wish it was double or full page set up like other ebooks, but it shows only one page at a time.
  • The cover art of this graphic novel is just as cute and beautiful as the illustrations throughout.\The text was a cute note type font that is a medium sized and easy to read.\The formatting and chapter set up is perfect and I really loved how each chapter ended and was separated from the next.

Favorite Quotes

“I’m your friend. And friends don’t let friends live small lives.”
Rainbow Rowell

“Like every autumn smell all at once.”
Rainbow Rowell

Musical Suggestions

I would recommend pairing this book with some autumnal instrumentals or jazz. I enjoyed this book while listening to the playlists “Acoustic Autumn” on Spotify by Barry McLoughlin.

Learn More About Pumpkinheads

This page may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase I will earn a small commission fee. I only endorse books, products, services, or content that I have used myself and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again or recommend to a friend. If you purchase anything that I’ve used here, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do! Read the full disclosure.

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