05 MayIvy 18/52

When an author I like recommends a book, more often than not I find myself enjoying it. And why not? If a like an author, and they say something is good, you’d expect said book to be similar to the author.

That’s what I was expecting when I ordered Ivy by Sarah Oleksyk. A cartoonist I like had posted a list of forthcoming graphic novels with a recommendation for each. Ivy caught my eye, and even the description of it seemed like something that would appeal to me.

Unfortunately, about the only thing that appealed to me was the artwork.

Ivy centers on Ivy, a high school student on the east-coast US. As someone who doesn’t quite fit in, she goes through the typical struggles of a teenage girl. Feeling as though her dreams are being stamped on, Ivy longs to find freedom and do what she wants to do.

This comes in the form of a guy she meets from another city. With Ivy feeling like her life is falling apart, she decides to run away with the guy. Of course, he doesn’t turn out to be the person she expected.

The artwork of Ivy is absolutely beautiful. That in itself makes you want to keep reading, just to take in Oleksyk’s great skill.

Ivy’s struggles are quite relatable to me, in high school I always felt like I didn’t quite fit in. The feeling of graduation approaching and the door to adulthood looms like a bottomless pit. The emotion of that time is captured quite well.

Ultimately what I didn’t like about this was the character herself. Ivy is not somebody that I really warmed up to, as she’s stuck in her own little world of negativity. Oftentimes her decisions made me uneasy. Scratch that – the entire book made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t at all what I expected, though I suppose that’s what makes this graphic novel different. And while refreshing, it was just not what I was looking for.

In the end I just didn’t enjoy this beautiful book, so I have to give it one star.

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