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Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Going off to university is always a time of change and growth, but for Esther, Susan, and Daisy, things are about to get a little weird.

Collects issues #1-4.

112 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2015

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About the author

John Allison

219 books766 followers
John Allison is the author and artist of the British webcomics Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors with similar names.

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5 stars
7,198 (30%)
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3 stars
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2 stars
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439 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,986 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews165k followers
February 22, 2016
This was such a fun read! Though I did feel it lacked a bit of direction, but it was such an entertaining read.
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
August 20, 2018
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i am stunned that i loved this book so much.

seriously - huge props to you people (YOUUUUU PEEEEEOPLE!!) who kept reviewing this book with such praise and pushing it on me and my apologies for not believing you all sooner. the artwork still does nothing for me, and is the reason i stubbornly resisted it for so long, but i fell hard for the characters, the story, and the general energy of this book.

it's funny, it's charming, it features strong female relationships between wildly dissimilar, believable characters, celebrating that phenomenon that occurs during the first year of college (or "university," since this is british), where everyone's a bit unmoored, on their own for the first time, exploring their options, coming into themselves, and friendships don't necessarily have to have common interests or personalities as their foundation - just proximity, basic compatibility, and some sort of spark that bridges differences.

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and so begins the story of gothy drama queen esther

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homeschooled nerdy daisy

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and earnest independent susan

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the situations are small, familiar - getting sick in the germ-fest of close quarters

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being sexually scrutinized by gross dudes

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while still embracing your own sexuality

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old rivalries

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new love interests

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pulling all-nighters

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chemical experimentation

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it's just … fun. and it reminded me nostalgically of my own distant undergrad days.

leaving the dorm in club gear when nothing else was clean

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nosiness about new friends

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very dramatic and demanding nosiness about new friends

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deflecting that nosiness

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and those in-jokes that become recurring themes peppering strong friendships

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also, sartorial whimsy

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frivolous spending on unnecessary things because of the urgent wanting

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which i totally get, because not only do i want those boots like crazy, right now i am desperately trying to talk myself out of this:

and these:

okay, pretty much everything on this page:


but i digress. back to the "remember college?" stuff

the dramatic tantrums

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the academia-inspired metaphors

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of course, i am too old for this slang to ring my nostalgia bells

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and too american for this

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overall, it's smart, full of good-natured teasing and mama-bear protectiveness - both of each other and misguidedly, of wretched birds

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and it also covers the peril of 'youthful enthusiasm/idealism' gone too far - when feminism oversteps into misandry or when knee-jerk loyalty to friends leads to unwarranted scolding of a blameless party.

i don't have a favorite character yet - all three of them are appealing in their own way.

daisy for the secret dangerous core to her bubblegum sweetness:

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susan for being so impatient and easy to provoke:

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and esther for drinking just like drinky crow:

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and this guy:

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well, both these guys:

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i'm digging this, and even though the art hasn't won me over yet, i'm in it for the long run.

thanks, various goodreaders, for showing me the light!

in a world where math always makes sense, this would have gotten four stars. but it gets an extra star for surprising the crap out of me. 'cuz i'd seen this series reviewed favorably all over the goodreads, and it has been recommended to me a number of times, but i'd flipped through it before and completely hated the artwork, which looked like some newspaper comic strip and didn't interest me in the least. but i finally gave it a shot and WOW! i loved the story and the characters, even though i'm still not sold on the art. so - five stars for the shock of liking it so much that i've already read the second volume and once again find myself stuck in that limbo of want and wait.

full review to come.

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come to my blog!
Profile Image for Nat.
546 reviews3,171 followers
June 5, 2020

This graphic novel was really really fun and cute!
I had a great time reading the adventures of Susan, Esther, and Daisy as they start their university lives.

The incredible friendships with relatable humor, and growing up stories made this storyline extremely enjoyable.

I want more flashbacks!

Definitely going to check out the next volume.

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Giant Days, Vol. 1, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,868 reviews69.2k followers
March 17, 2022
Cute, and definitely worth reading if you enjoy slice-of-life comics.


I've been hearing about this for years but it didn't sound like anything that I would enjoy. And to be honest, I actually didn't much enjoy this. It had that hyper-quippy Gillmore Girls feel to it that doesn't do much for me. The characters are young and manic and wacky and adorably confused by their first taste of adulthood, and their problems are silly and over the top.
And while I couldn't wait to be done with them, I know that it's just a personal preference on my part that has nothing to do with the storytelling.


If this sounds like something you'd like, I would 100% recommend checking this out.
However, if you think the premise sounds like nails on a chalkboard and would maybe only pick it up because of all the 4 and 5 star reviews?
Listen to your gut.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,474 reviews19.2k followers
May 18, 2018
Re-read 4/10/18: Man I have been absolutely blowing through graphic novels on my lunch break now that I’ve started getting them on hoopla and don’t have to remember to bring them with me. Anywhoo, this was cuter than I remembered and I’m excited to carry on with the series again!

Original read 6/28/18: This was okay! I feel like I might start to enjoy it more as the series goes on. Here's hoping
Profile Image for Lindsey Rey.
286 reviews2,709 followers
January 3, 2016
Profile Image for Chad.
7,479 reviews857 followers
March 21, 2022
How did I not read this until now? It is fantastic. Oh yeah, I tried to read Bad Machinery first (which has a lot of problems.)

The story revolves around 3 college freshmen (Esther, Daisy, and Susan) who live next door to one another with a couple of other supporting characters, Ed and McGraw. The stories are all of your typical college experiences, turning old enough to drink, everyone getting sick, going to your first college party, etc. Sounds mundane but the characters are so fully realized and fun you can't wait to read more.

Highly recommended for fans of Mark Waid's Archie book or fans of Terry Moore.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,157 reviews97.9k followers
September 23, 2018

“Why are... boys... like this?”

This was a really fun, slice of life, college graphic-novel. And I think I liked it a little more because I always get nostalgic this time of year for college and dorm life. But this graphic novel follows three girls, who share a dorm, and are best friends.

Daisy - kind of geeky, likes ASMR, is queer. (basically me.)
Esther - hot, and extremely funny, goth. (basically ideal dating material.)
Susan - smart, and kind of grumpy. (basically the star of this volume.)

Ed - friend of the trio, with a major crush on Esther that’s pure.
McGraw - new to the university and has a mysterious past with Susan.

And we get to see these five character deal with drama, sickness, a gross article that rates girls at the university, and a birthday! But we also get to see them discover a lot about themselves over the course of these four chapters! And we also get to see their friendship grow and become even stronger.

And my favorite thing about this bind-up of the first four single issues was that each issue stands completely on its own. Yet, all four come together to help create a beautiful overarching story. Plus, this was just a lot of fun to read. Also, I didn’t know that this is set at a university in Brittain, so that was a fun treat, too!

Overall, I think this is really fun and the art is really cute, but it didn’t wow me the way I expected it to. This entire series is so beloved in the book community, but I think this could very much be the start of something amazing! I totally plan to continue on!

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

❤ I read this for Contemporary-a-thon!
Profile Image for Riley.
424 reviews20.8k followers
March 25, 2016
I enjoyed this. The characters were fun and I can see it getting much better in future volumes. But the plot seemed to have a strange flow.
Profile Image for carol..
1,516 reviews7,718 followers
July 5, 2022
Underwhelming, given the rave reviews. Mildly diverting.

Art is reminiscent of the delightful Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy, which is probably what tempted me, along with the buzz. Storyline, however, is strictly mundane. Though it centers on three young British women meeting as college roomies, all their obstacles are mundane. There's a bout with influenza, a sexist social media site (hello, proto-facebook!) and celebrate an 18th birthday by drinking. Ester is a goth, Daisy is a home-schooled naif, and Susan a cynical intellectual. Surprisingly, all are white. It's cute, and parts are funny, particularly when they each navigate having the flu in their own ways. It's entertaining but partially based on Britishisms that may not entirely translate .

Also, for those who might be triggered, on two different occasions, some of the humor is based on the naif being high.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
September 20, 2019
Vol 1: ★★★★☆
Vol. 2: ★★★★★
Vol. 3: ★★★★★
Vol. 4: ★★★★★
Vol. 5: ★★★★★
Vol. 6: ★★★★★
Vol. 7: ★★★★★
Vol. 8: ★★★★★
Vol. 9: ★★★★★
Vol. 10: ★★★★★

I've been meaning to read Giant Days forever, and I'm so glad I finally picked up the series! It's not often that I get into contemporary graphic novels, but this is an exception worth making. The characters are lively and fun (especially Esther, who is naturally my little goth heart's fave), there's a healthy mix of diversity thrown into the cast, and the storyline is engaging while even being just a little bit suspenseful.
Profile Image for Andy Marr.
Author 2 books675 followers
September 20, 2022
I'm knocking this down to a three-star rating. I originally gave it four, but having now read a further ten volumes, it's easy to pick this out as one of the weakest in the series. Like its counterparts, it contains lashings and lashings of teen angst and silly melodrama, which is precisely right, given the story and setting. However, the series doesn't really kick off until mid-way through volume 2, when Max Sarin takes over from Lissa Treiman as artist-in-chief.
Profile Image for R.K. Gold.
Author 13 books10.1k followers
April 26, 2019

It was a really cute read in a low stakes world set in Britain. Follows three girls—Esther, Susan, and Daisy. They’re flat mates navigating university life together.

As the volume progressed we dove a little more into the character’s backstories (mostly Susan who broke the 4th wall before her flashback)

Had a couple moments when it felt a little degrassi, not in a bad way, just not subtle at all—but since it’s touching on real topics of conversation I can see this work finding its way into the hands of someone who really needs it, who is maybe feeling a bit like an outcast.

I feel like most people will be able to identify to at least one of the three main characters.

I’m going to end this review here before I dive into spoilers.
Profile Image for Sam Quixote.
4,452 reviews12.8k followers
July 13, 2016
Giant Days follows three first year students at university: Daisy, home-schooled and naive, the youngest of the group; Esther, a Goth chick who looks identical to Nemi and is getting over her recent breakup with her high-school boyfriend; and Susan, the mother of the group and a med student. In this first book, they get sick, deal with obnoxious lad students running an offensive website, and celebrate Daisy’s 18th.

Ok, first of all, I am a foolish fool for not listening to everyone who told me this comic is fantastic - Giant Days IS bloody brilliant, I shouldn’t have taken so long to check it out! In my defence I read John Allison’s earlier comic, Bad Machinery, which was ok but not great so I wasn’t sure if Giant Days would be more of that. My problems with Bad Machinery were that the dialogue was too grown-up and witty for the characters who were 12/13 years old, and the stories had this contrived and precious Scooby-Doo-esque quality to them. But Allison could undeniably write really well, it was just a matter of finding the right setup for his style - and he’s found it with this series.

Giant Days is an improvement over Bad Machinery because the dialogue now fits the characters’ ages - 18 and up - and Allison’s abandoned silly murder mysteries involving football teams for stories naturally suited to the characters. On paper the stories in this first volume sound mundane - getting ill, having a party, love stuff - except Allison’s treatment of them is anything but, showing that he just needs to let the characters be themselves to make the narrative their own rather than forcing them into something that feels artificial.

Tonally, and maybe a little bit with the sometimes over-dramatic presentation, Giant Days is very similar to that other modern masterpiece, Scott Pilgrim, with the characters occasionally breaking the fourth wall/referencing the fact they’re in a narrative (“Flashback! Flashback! Flashback!”). The dialogue is breezy and effervescent and the charming cast are enormously likeable, even the supporting characters like the practical and moustachioed McGraw, and Ed, the everyman, who secretly loves Esther.

Allison juggles numerous storylines at once so you’re never bored: he sows the mystery of Susan and McGraw’s fraught past while Daisy becomes the surrogate mother of Gordon the woodpigeon’s offspring; Susan’s satirical misandrist publication, Femmist, begins to be taken seriously as Esther hallucinates a room of Santeria priests while in a fever and Daisy experiences her first rave. There’s too much to mention but I loved it all and everything effortlessly fits in with the campus backdrop. It reads like Spaced set on a uni campus!

Lissa Treiman’s art is wonderfully expressive and gorgeous to behold, all the while selling Allison’s jokes and visually matching the playful humour perfectly. She’s a storyboard artist at Disney whose credits include Wreck-It Ralph and Big Hero 6 so, while this is her first comic, it’s no surprise how well she handles the medium. Whitney Cogar’s colours too are so beautiful and delightfully complements Treiman’s pages.

Giant Days is a fun, clever, witty, and effortlessly enthralling read that I blew through in a single sitting and closed it wanting more - in other words, it’s a first-rate comic. The creative team are at the top of their game and it’s pure joy to experience. Don’t be like me and put this off - believe the hype, Giant Days is all that!
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,839 reviews4,676 followers
May 10, 2021
This was definitely a great slice of life comic book! I don't know what I was expecting in terms of the plot line, but for some reason just reading about the characters proved to be extremely interesting and I really did enjoy it.

It's been a while since I've read a comic book that focused on the development of average college students or just the development of friendship among young adults so I really appreciated that aspect of the story. Looking at all three of our main characters, I would probably have to say that Esther is my favorite character. She has a dark/goth outer appearance, but she also has this sense of humor and light characteristics about her that I really enjoyed. She seems to me to be the balance of the group of friends and I appreciate that. She also comes off as the type of friend that you can talk to about anything without the fear of being judged.

This book does contain some LGBT themes which I thoroughly enjoyed. I won't go into much detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it was definitely unexpected and I'm glad that it is proving to be a part of the character development.

Overall I think that this was a great bind up of the first four issues and I already have the next volume checked out on my kindle to read as soon as I get a chance.
Profile Image for Jillian .
428 reviews1,767 followers
February 14, 2018
reread feb '18
STILL FREAKING LOVE THIS SERIES. now that I've reread vol 1 i can read the rest of the volumes and catch up!


THIS WAS FRIGGIN ADORABLE AND HILARIOUS. Do you love lady friendship, smart humor, diversity, and coming of age stories? THEN READ THIS. This sort of gave me the same feeling when I read Fangirl. This follows three friends who are in their first year of university. It's relatable and hilarious. I neeeeeeeeed the second volume NOW. I'm even considering getting the single issues!
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
April 9, 2018
What a find! This book was fun. It took me back to my university days- New friends, weird situations, interesting friends and absurdities. I enjoy the characters and the energy the art conveys. I did find it interesting that when they went to class it was mostly empty; we used to go to class in my day. Attendance was a mandatory thing.

There is still so much to explore here. I feel like we only met our characters and I am wanting to know more and more and more. Susan, Ester, and Daisy make a great 3's couple. I can't wait to see where this goes. It has to be a dance and it can only be good.

I'm glad to have found this book. I'll keep reading more of this.
Profile Image for Hamad.
990 reviews1,305 followers
January 24, 2019
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Giant Days Vol 1 was a surprisingly good comic! I like that the setting is in a university and the 3 MC are girls who are relatable. This was funny and had good drawing style and it is easy to read. I don’t know where it is moving though but future volumes will decide! This is more of a NA type of comics for uni students! Yay 😀
Profile Image for Paul.
2,306 reviews20 followers
November 25, 2015
Words cannot express how much I love this book!

Well, maybe they can and I should stop being so lazy.

I'm a long time reader of John Allison's webcomics so I was delighted to see his work enter a different arena in the form of the 20 page comicbook. Allison's quirky sense of humour is well represented here, even if he's chosen to lose the paranormal elements of his webcomics. I love all the characters and the mostly done-in-one-issue stories are charming and very funny. If you've never read Allison's webcomics, don't worry; while these issues do contain characters from his earlier work, you don't need any prior knowledge as these stories stand alone and introduce the characters to new readers really well.

The real revelation of this book for me is Lissa Treiman's wonderful artwork! I was initially sceptical when I first found out Allison wasn't also providing the artwork for this series but as soon as I copped a load of Treiman's superb cartooning all my doubts evaporated like dewdrops on Mercury! By the end of this first volume she had become one of my favourite artists and I'm sure I'll track down her other work.

The best news is that this book has proved so popular that the original six issue run has been extended to twice that length! YEEEESSSSS!!!

A-hem. As you were.
Profile Image for ally.
79 reviews3,825 followers
November 11, 2022
i giggled so much!

big saturday morning cartoons energy 🎈
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,040 followers
February 7, 2017
I kept seeing this everywhere so I decided to try it out on Hoopla. Three college students, making their way in the world. I had a home-schooled girl in my freshman friend trio too, so I think I found a few shared experiences. I can see sitting and reading all of these the same way I might binge on tv show on Netflix, light but enjoyable.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
May 29, 2017
First volume (collecting the first 4 issues) of a series about Susan, Esther, and Daisy starting university in the U.K.. It's a very British comic, I am told, but I have to say aside from a bit of language and cultural refs this feels like three white girls going to college, pretty much anywhere. Which is to say it will be immensely popular with the high school girl crowd. The tone is pretty manic but not much really happens.

These girls get to be friends because they are in the same dorm. An old boyfriend surfaces who will be a regular character, clearly. There's a sexist social media site they protest. They get the flu, there are boys hovering, birthday over-drinking, and so on. They are all different and likable, and the dialogue from Allison is really well done. Lissa Treiman does a pretty great job with the illustrations, too.

Okay, I like it just fine, but not yet up to Paul's raving 5 star review!
Profile Image for Jan Philipzig.
Author 1 book261 followers
March 25, 2016
Quirky, charming, likable, humorous portrayal of university life targeted at the high-school crowd (I think). Trying to establish themselves in their new environment, our three female protagonists have to deal with mysterious but affordable Polish flu medication, "lad culture" (read: the latest forms of chauvinism), and the good old stuffiness of "academia." Nothing earth-shattering, but enjoyable enough.
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,600 reviews1,669 followers
February 10, 2017
Okay, so at first I was reading this and it was enjoyable, but I'm thinking, "I don't get the fuss." And then I read like, three more pages, and I was in love. Whoops.

Giant Days follows three college freshmen, Susan, Esther and Daisy. As the comic starts, they've been in school only about three weeks and have made fast friends with one another. Susan is our narrator. She's smart and feministy and has a temper. Esther is very pale, pretty and "practically consumptive." Daisy and Susan are constantly teasing her (good-naturedly) about her flair for drama. Daisy is a little bit naive, but isn't a prude, and isn't afraid to try new things. They are all very funny.

One of the best things about the comic is that within the span of a few pages, you know these characters absurdly well. It's also a very well-done college story. It walks the fine balance of putting the girls in familiar situations that you might remember from your own college days (or that you are currently living, you dang youngins)--getting sick at the same time, milestone birthdays, or making bets with your friends over very dumb things--and upping the ante on those situations to make them interesting stories to read about. If someone illustrated my college days, nobody would buy it.

I'm not exactly sure what the phrase "giant days" is referring to, but what this comic reminded me most strongly of is the feeling of those rare friendships you can only seem to find in places like college, where very dissimilar people are forced together for long periods of time and end up forming lifelong bonds. The very first issue even opens up with the girls laying around, wondering if they ever would have been friends in another situation.

I also want to shout out to my favorite character, McGraw, Susan's nemesis, who is very tall and has a moustache that makes him look he just walked straight out of the 1970s. Even while Susan is busy hating him (for mysterious reasons,) I find him extremely lovable. Actually, I find them all lovable, so now I will stop writing this review and go read Vol. 2.

[4.5 stars]
Profile Image for Nina.
747 reviews276 followers
September 14, 2018
It's been years since I've last read a graphic novel but I'd heard great things about the Giant Days series, so I thought I'd check it out and I really enjoyed the first volume. It was such a quick and fun read and I also really liked the art in it. I will definitely continue with the second volume of this series and I think I'll generally try to start reading more graphic novels in the future.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,986 reviews

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