AUTHOR: Liz Prince
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Liz Prince is a girl who wants to be a boy but the world keeps trying to tell her differently.
GENRE: Young Adult | Graphic Novel | Memoir | Non-Fiction
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TITLE: Note to Self
AUTHOR: Connor Franta
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Connor Franta tells us about his inner thoughts through essays, poetry, and photography.
GENRE: Memoir | Essays | Poetry | Non-Fiction
DNF: Did Not Finish at 37%
DISCLAIMER: Prior to reading this I had no idea who Connor Franta was. And frankly, I’m still not sure. All I know now is that he’s a popular YouTube vlogger, but I’ve never seen his videos and therefore I’m not a fan.
TITLE: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
AUTHOR: Allison Bechdel
ILLUSTRATOR: Allison Bechdel
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: In the wake of her father’s death and her coming out, Allison discovers her dad was gay which prompts her to journey in trying to understand him better.
GENRE: Coming of Age | Memoir | Graphic Novel | LGBT+ | Non Fiction
NOTE: There’s a couple of graphic sex scenes depicted in this book. This has also been turned into a Broadway musical of the same name.
TITLE: The Lover’s Dictionary
AUTHOR: David Levithan
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The lives of a couple is told in snippets in the form of a dictionary.
GENRE: Romance | Fiction | Contemporary
If I could describe this book in three words I’d say: cute, fast, and creative. We don’t ever get an in depth look at this romance, we don’t even get their names, but it was still very good. We only ever get snippets of this couple, or various couples, but that’s exactly how it is in real life if you think about it. When we see people in public, we don’t get the whole story, we only get that moment.
Part of what drew me into this book was the dictionary concept because I love it when authors are get creative with the format of their storytelling. I especially loved the way Levithan played with the words he was defining. I can tell he had fun writing this.
I know Levithan usually writes YA, but the feel of this book seems to be directed at a slightly older audience like people in their 20s or 30s.
TITLE: Nat Turner
AUTHOR: Kyle Baker
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Nat Turner’s slave rebellion of 1831 is told through drawings.
GENRE: Graphic Novel | Nonfiction | History
NOTE: It has violent and graphic scenes.
I’ve read my share of biographies in graphic novel format, and this one has been my favorite by far. Why? Because unlike most graphic novels of this genre, this one is not wordy like the others. Instead, this novel tells Nat Turner’s story through pictures alone. You won’t find a single sentence in the first chapter of the book, only pictures.
It’s not that I’m being a lazy reader, but when I read graphic novels I shouldn’t need words to make sense of the story. If I did, I would have just read a normal non-fiction book.
The only part of this book I didn’t like was how Baker incorporated the Thomas R. Gray’s The Confessions of Nat Turner. For those who don’t know, The Confessions of Nat Turner is this sort of transcription of what Turner told Gray about the rebellion. This semester I’ve spent plenty of time with this part of American history, to know that Gray’s publication is not reliable. It’s Turner’s story seen through a skewed perspective from white southern lawyer. We never see the true Nat Turner and what the rebellion meant to him.
On the other hand, Baker is taking ownership of Gray’s confessions by displaying it alongside his version of the events. So, I guess it’s this part is not all that horrible.
But by all means please, please, please, read this novel if you ever get the chance or if you want to know more about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion.