Lent to me by a friend.I have been looking to get this novel for some time now, and I regret that I have been missing out on one of the best stories I have ever read. I do not hand out 5 star ratings easily, but after I finished "Blankets", I was deeply moved and touched by Craig's bittersweet life.The blatant theme of the novel is religion and the divine work of a higher being. Despite out geographical differences, Craig and I shared a similar childhood, growing up in the shadow of religion and local persecution. The story repeatedly poked an old wound that has never fully healed from my younger days. The Bible, Jesus, and religion were not simple religious symbols in my old hometown, but in fact, an instrument used to bully and humiliate the non-Baptist. Craig stated that Jesus and God were not rejected, but the stigma surrounding Christianity tended to create more problems that it solved. I, too, agree with Craig. Some of the teachings of Jesus offers good advice for people to live by, and faith can extend beyond the secular definition. But Christianity, and simply stated, organized religion, is the bastardized result of humans using the "voice of God" to defend their own ego-swollen opinions of life. Craig is able to sum up this phenomenon by stating that Christianity denies the beauty of being a human.The love story was nothing less than outstanding. I might be a hopeless romantic, and I was hoping for the best, but wisdom allowed me to see the eventual outcome of the two main characters. I cannot say I fully blame or excuse Raina for her actions, but since the beginning, her apparent unstable sense of self and her purpose in life was a bright red flag. Her fear of love, commitment, and self worth helped create a beautiful and flawed girl. I hope that Thompson will write a story about the heroine one day.This graphic novel combines art and literature into one of the saddest stories I have ever witnessed. Thompson does not stoop to emotional manipulation, but instead, lays life out in front of his audience and simply shows how our life is a beautiful tragedy that we must all endure.Bravo, Craig Thompson, Bravo.