Cover Image: Parenthesis

Parenthesis

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This was such a fantastic graphic memoir. The author details what happened to her when a tumor begins pressing on her brain. She loses time, forgets herself, and has seizures. It was fascinating to read about all that she went through. Overall, I would highly recommend that you check this out!
Was this review helpful?
A really important and interesting look into an illness that many people don't understand. The breakdown of what you think is reality and what is really happening is very scary. Excellent artwork that really follows the trauma that she is experiencing

I received this arc from the publisher for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A curious and deeply personal look at the effects of epilepsy on a young woman's life. Using art as a way of coping with her condition and the subsequent treatments that she undergoes Elodie explores the fragility of memories, the difficulty of living with a condition that changes the way you think and process information, and how trauma can both devastate and bring families together.

The artwork is profound and emotive, vering from disturbingly abstract representations of illnesses to cartoony line drawings of Elodie's interactions with the people in her life.

I'm not sure if enjoyable is the right word but I found it to be a well-constructed novel that I think rewards the reader with an ultimately uplifting experience.
Was this review helpful?
Just, wow. The graphic novel is the perfect format for Durand's autobiographical tale of her struggles with a brain tumor, because the visuals make much more of an impact on the reader than words alone would have. The sketchy feel of the artwork fits so well: the haziness of her memories, the images of her illness becoming monstrous and threatening to consume her, and sketches she made while she was sick are sprinkled throughout, making what she went through visceral. I really don't want to give details of her story; it'll make more of an impact not knowing what to expect. This is a moving portrait of Durand's journey into and back out of a harrowing illness, and I highly recommend it.

#Parenthesis #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Parenthesis is a graphic novel memoir written and illustrated by Elodie Durand. It follows the trials of a young woman and her experiences with epilepsy.

Parenthesis is, without a doubt, one of the most personal adventures I've ever read. This story (which is very much a true story, mind you) is so beautiful and compelling – it cuts to the quick. What I find the most interesting about this novel is how Elodie Durand translates their own confusion into the narrative itself. It leaves a few puzzling moments – which was the intent. It was shockingly and brutally effective and is not something I'll be forgetting anytime soon.
Was this review helpful?
Parenthesis was an interesting graphic novel.  It was challenging at times to understand the plot.  However, the main character grabs your attention and holds it until the end.
Was this review helpful?
This story was very personal, including many individual conversations and real experiences with family and medical professionals. Most of the time the art was realistic and emotional, sometimes it would startlingly change to abstract and expressive of dark or intense situations. I found it difficult to stay engaged with the story, partly due to the minute details included about daily life and introspection.
Was this review helpful?
Since this was an eARC, the set up was a tad strange on my eReader, so it didn't flow as well as perhaps the physical book or finished eBook copy will.  This did affect my enjoyment and even understanding of the book in some respects, as it was difficult to tell who was speaking and even what lines were being spoken by whom.

All that aside, this book, WOW.  I can't even BEGIN to imagine what the author and her family went through with her health and how she just lost YEARS of her life and memories and the ability to do simple things, all from a tiny little tumor in a bad place in her brain.  

Oh, and if you are a doctor, LISTEN to when the patient and/or their family are telling you that things are getting worse and that the 1-in-a-million chance side effect is happening to the patient.  At the very least, run the tests to see if they are right.  Because you come across as a COMPLETE JERK if you deny what they are saying is even possible and you come across as an even bigger idiot when they are right and you are wrong!  Not to mention, if it's life and death, for crying out loud, err on the side of caution!  You don't have to believe what they are saying, but ACT on it and don't be a jerk!  Sheesh!

Super important book that I think can be helpful to those going through similar circumstances, both the patient and the loved ones trying to help.  

4, sad but realistic and hopeful, stars.  

My thanks to NetGalley and IDW Publishing/Top Shelf Productions for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
Demonstrates the power of comics to convey experiences that go beyond our words. Addressing her mother, the narrator struggles to piece together her memories of a four year battle with a brain tumor. Durand effectively uses black and white illustrations to bring readers into her experiences and emotions of the period. By playing with the layout and repeating visual motifs, we feel the impact of temporal confusion and how memories can change with more information. Highly recommended for readers age 13 and up and for any graphic medicine collection.
Was this review helpful?
I normally shy away from books with depressing topics, but this memoir has been receiving a lot of buzz so I wanted to give it a try. This memoir chronicles one women's confusion and declining mental state, trials and tribulations of various meds, diagnosis, treatments, and piecing her mind back together. I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting! 

While this memoir is written and illustrated by Ms. Durand, there is a lot of narrative and perspective from her parents too, as they would chime in and correct her, or fill in the (often large) gaps she couldn't remember. These corrections and poignant, "oh." responses just further illustrated how difficult of a time she was having. 

This memoir also includes a lot of fascinating drawings Ms. Durand did while she was sick. These quick, stream of consciousness drawings helped her think and regain some concentration but also illustrated her frustrations and hopelessness at times. These visceral and haunting sketches are peppered throughout the memoir and always make you pause for a moment.  

My one critique, as it seems others have mentioned too, is the font. This cursive font is tight and small, and letters occasionally run into each other, making it hard to read at times. It got easier to read as time went on, but I can see this causing difficulty for others. I was really pulled into the narrative though and had to continue reading. 

Overall, highly recommended, we'll be purchasing this for the adult graphic novel collection of our library system. 4.5/5 stars
Was this review helpful?
This was an enjoyable graphic novel. The sketchy style was very real and made me feel closer to the author/artist. When she celebrated, I was right there next next to her. In this way, the story was very compelling and kept me interested. It was also a very quick read.

I fear that I wasn't able to get the true experience of this book, however, because the version I sent to my Kindle app had some weird formatting where the words were not actually in the artwork panels. They were instead separated and the words a bit jumbled up. This may have affected my reading experience, but the book itself is enjoyable.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely beautiful and devastating. I loved this memoir and appreciate the author taking the time to write their story.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this review copy!  Due to tablet issues, this has taken me a while to get done---publishing date is tomorrow!  Sorry it took so long for me to get to this!
This is a really moving story of a Frenchwoman's struggles with a mysterious illness causing seizures and memory loss, that finally turns out to be a brain tumor, which is finally operated on, only to have the patient get worse rather than better, then finally begin a long, excruciatingly slow recovery period, marred by memory issues the whole way through.  I really liked the art that went along with the story, especially the drawings of herself the author included, which probably communicate more to us about how she felt during this time than words could explain.
Was this review helpful?
Parenthesis is a gripping graphic memoir of Durand's experience with epilepsy and her attempts to make sense of what happened to several years of her life. Durand includes conversations with her parents to help indicate how little she remembers of the years that she lived with epileptic seizures, a tumor, and subsequent medical treatments. Her inclusion of art she drew during those years helps convey a sense of her confusion and despair as she comes to terms with her medical diagnosis. 
The memoir's artwork and handwritten text give the reader a sense of proximity to Durand and make the memoir more personal and compelling. I was drawn into Durand's story and read the entire book in one sitting. I wish we knew more about her life afterward.
Was this review helpful?
Parenthesis--originally published in France in 2010--follows the author through her multi-year struggle with epilepsy. Just a few years past her teens, Judith starts experiencing mood swings, gaps in time, seizures, and loss of self that she cannot account for. After testing and time, it is discovered that a small inoperable tumor is pressing on her brain and causing epilepsy. This graphic memoir follows her disjointed and limited recollection of these years using conversations, storytelling, and startling drawings that illustrate how she saw herself. I think graphic memoir was the perfect medium for this, and Durand's unique illustration-style told this disconcerting story very well. My only complaint is that, as it has been 11 years since the original publication, I would have loved just a small update letting us know how Judith/Élodie is doing.
Was this review helpful?
An effective graphic memoir that tells the story of Durand's illness using her drawings and text. The drawings convey the terror and fear of unexplained memory loss (which happened over a significant period of time), seizures and general poor health. The pictures capture Durand herself as well as dialogue with family members and health professionals. An undoubtedly terrifying and confusing time is well documented through the author's text and drawings. In many ways, the drawings reflect the turmoil and emotion as much as the words do. This is an interesting memoir.
Was this review helpful?
A powerful, intimate look at the creator’s experience with illness and recovery and the effects of such on the lives of her friends and family.
Was this review helpful?
It took me a while to get into, but I ended up really enjoying this book. The black and white sketch illustrations really help support the text and reflect a hazy, upsetting time period in the author’s life. Very heartfelt!

<i>Thanks to NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.</i>
Was this review helpful?
Parenthesis focuses on the character of Judith, based on the author's experience. The black-and-white drawings represent her journey as she struggles to piece together her memory and experience with epilepsy with the help of her friends and family. 

I would recommend this book to young adults and adults interested in learning more about how people live with epilepsy, who struggle with illness, or who might be struggling readers. There were two elements that I enjoyed. One was the repetition of images to represent when the epilepsy worsened again. The other element I enjoyed were the black and white doodles. They expressed the character's changing sense of self and provided spacing between the pages that had more text and images. One element that confused me was the beginning of the text. At first, I thought the character was experiencing young-onset dementia. However, if the reader sticks with the text, her condition begins to be explained in more detail and the reader learns about the condition as the character relearns and reviews her memories.
Was this review helpful?
This memoir will appeal to anyone with an interest in brain disorders, but it does have a limited scope. Much of the text is in a handwriting font, which while indicating that this is a memoir, makes it difficult to read. I would only recommend for older audiences and those that have an interest in seizures and other mystery brain disorders.
Was this review helpful?