Posted in Reviews

Little Girls by Nicholas Aflleje

Little Girls by Nicholas Aflleje -⭐⭐
I have a lot of questions, and not in a good way. Seems like the end assumed I knew things that had never been mentioned before. Found myself thinking wait, what? a lot.

Recommended: not really
nothing terribly unique to hold me, and if it hadn’t been such a short read I’m sure I would have put it down midway.

Cover of Little Girls by Nicholas Aflleje
Better than the title makes it seem, but not by much

Sam has no friends in her new town in Ethiopia, so when Lielet asks her to help with a plot, it’s fairly easy to persuade Sam to go along. With a plan to disprove the brain-eating monster rumored to be responsible for deaths around town – deaths of animal and human alike – Sam and Lielet set out into the savanna. They aren’t the only ones looking to face this monster, though, and the two girls stumble into an all-out war.

The art: there were some clever moments with the art, where the picture carried the story, and it made me pay more attention to each panel and really think about what I was supposed to get from them.

Conversely, sometimes things were leaning too heavily on the art, and I feel like I missed some key parts of the story. The end seemed to make assumptions of reader knowledge that was never given during the story; almost like I needed to know more about the legend within it on my own in order to fully get the ending. This made it fairly lackluster; even saying that Kerit was a she was jarring, as it had never been indicated either way and it didn’t seem like relevant info regardless.

The story: basically, I have no idea why any of that was happening, and for there to be a name to the event at the end just thrown out saying it was finally over was very confusing. My lack of understanding alienated me from the story, and not being able to sympathize or connect kept me from being fully immersed or invested in the characters. I truly did find myself thinking “Wait, WHY did that just happen?” or “Wait, WHY does that matter?” a lot – it felt a bit like a modern art performance in that way.

To be honest, I’d really been hoping to see a bit more of daily life and culture in Ethiopia as well here, and there were some small bits perhaps, but it was more like I needed to already understand those aspects in order to understand the story. Perhaps I’m just not an intended audience..?

So, not really recommended. The art was alright, the way it was used was clever, but the story itself felt poorly planned.

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Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

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