Before starting this review let me share some thoughts behind this section. I have found myself purchasing a lot of books and magazines lately, sometimes I really liked and wanted them, other times I would just come across something that was (and looked) exciting and bought it on the spot. This has resulted in me reading loads of books and keeping all this great content to myself; that's why I decided to share all this great publications with you. They range from graphic novels, biographies, poetry, classic literature, self help books, magazines and more. I also intend to review some exhibitions and art shows in this section. Now hooray to the first review!
Written by Marguerite Abouet / illustrated by Clement Oubrerie
For my first publication review I chose this amazing graphic novel AYA. It was a rainy, grey, Saturday afternoon and I happened to be in Greenwich, after browsing the market and few shops I walked into Greenwich Book Time. There were so many different books, from cooking, science, children literature to comic books, you could find pretty much anything. I flicked through few books and then I came across AYA, my eyes lit up! People on the cover and colours reminded me of my childhood in Brazzaville and my obsession with drawing. As soon as I read the preface and flicked through it I knew I would purchase it! And guess what? This book was for sale for only £2!!! Can you believe it? The original price is £14.99 though. The story goes perfectly with illustrations by the French artist Clement Oubrerie, whose style is outstanding; he manages to illustrate an African story (tastefully) by combining simplicity with fine details and tops it off with a well selected colour palette. In a way I could picture myself being in the story as a quiet observer watching everything with my eyes wide open. The story itself is very entertaining, and essentially deals with a bright young lady Aya, her family and friends. They find themselves in situations many young men and women can relate to, from sneaking out to parties all the way to teenage pregnancy (SPOILER ALERT!!!).
I would recommend this book to adults as well as teenagers and kids, there is a little bit for everyone, the story is told in a simple and compelling fashion. There are five more volumes of Aya, I haven't read them yet, but will be on the look out for them very soon! Oh by the way, AYA was made into a full length film in 2013, which was nominated for a Cesar for the best animated film.
About the author
Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971. At the age of 12, she was sent with her older brother to study in France under care of a great uncle. She now lives in Romainville, a suburb of Paris, where she works as a legal assistant and writes novels she has yet to show publishers. AYA is her first graphic novel. It taps into Abouet’s childhood memories of Ivory coast in the 1970s, a prosperous, promising time in that country’s history, to tell an unpretentious and gently humorous story of an Africa we rarely see-spirited, hopeful and resilient.