Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Parenthesis, a graphic novel memoir by Élodie Durand. And as I’ve said before, graphic novels are so often the most expressive and open medium for memoirs and personal stories. Just look at Banned Book Club! It’s no surprise that I’m ready for this one. Expected Release:February 9, 2021
Why wait on this one?
As always, I pursue stories about experiences I haven’t or can’t (or in this case, hopefully never will) have myself. For Durand, it’s a tumor that emerged on her brain in her teens, causing seizures and memory loss and the identity struggles that come with it. Just when expected to be able to find herself in the world, she instead encounters a physical cause of her loss of self.
Since this book exists… I’m hoping for a happy ending. Or at least, a happy at-the-moment. I’m positive it will be filled with pain and hurt and fear, absolutely. But it seems that so often with those comes inevitable hope (which is itself painful, at times).
Graphic novels are, I think, a perfect medium for memoirs. I stand by that pretty firmly, and I so look forward to this one holding up that tradition.
Julie is barely out of her teens when a tumor begins pressing on her brain, ushering in a new world of seizures, memory gaps, and loss of self. Suddenly, the sentence of her normal life has been interrupted by the opening of a parenthesis that may never close. Based on the real experiences of cartoonist Élodie Durand, Parenthesis is a gripping testament of struggle, fragility, acceptance, and transformation which was deservedly awarded the Revelation Prize of the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Recommended: Yes! For a warm-hearted light read (pun!), for an easy smile about falling in love, and reminder of the truth of Dumbledore’s legendary words: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turnonthelight.“
Summary: Tessa can’t see how she’ll ever get back to her old life. Primarily because she can’t see after the accident. The doctors say it should come back after a few months, but doctors have been wrong before. That means months of no writing, no contact with the limited friends she had who were all online, and no happiness or light. Weston signs up to become her eyes, and try to show her the light in her darkness. Taking her on a trip through her other senses, Weston writes what she tells him to and revels in her lack of knowledge of his own disability. As for what she’ll think of him if she gets her sight back, well… he’ll just wait and see what to do if the time comes.
Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended: yes! Good for a light read, like a beach day – though for this one, I probably won’t recommend it as airplane reading.
Summary: Margaret: overachiever, stubborn, trying to understand her new life Chip: the boyfriend, cocky, master of peer pressure, and unexpectedly pathetic in the face of disaster Kit: a sister vanished, a sister reappeared, and a total mystery. also kind of an annoying mystery Ian: physical therapist / hardass. His boss would say he’s a troublemaker, the other PTs would say he’s a jerk. Featuring: a plane crash, a wedding crash, and an emotional crash
Thoughts: Having finished this, the title is delightful in context. I’m not usually big on medical dramas and books that take place mostly in a hospital, but this was a quick enough read that it didn’t drag me down or bore me as they usually do. I’m not terribly qualified to judge (thank my lucky stars), but the depiction of grief in this book felt real. The ups and downs that Margaret-now-Maggie detailed seemed reasonable for her situation.
I wasn’t sucked in to the romance line, really at all. The whole idea of the stoic mean guy that later reveals his soft side doesn’t appeal to me: I don’t want a jerk as the main guy in the story! It also felt like a very standard procedure of falling in love, with one big grand gesture at the end that felt… contrived, I suppose. At best. I was rolling my eyes a bit and skimming through those last parts.
Was it predictable? At times, yes. The main question was one I was unsure about, however, so I’m grateful for that.
Is it good? Eh. It’s entertaining, if a little common. Nothing wildly unique about the story, based on what I’ve read before.
Did I enjoy it? YUP! I plowed through this mostly in one day that I had off, where I lounged in the sunshine until I finished it up.
Pretty dang good, especially since I had no idea what it was about when I accidentally bought it. I approve of the ending. A good read for a day off. 😊