A Story of Asperger's, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color
by Julie Dachez
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Pub Date 20 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 29 Jul 2020
"This soulful and serious look at Asperger’s syndrome brings an informed and optimistic perspective to the fore." — Publishers Weekly
"This stellar exploration of living with Asperger’s belongs in all school and public libraries." — School Library Journal [STARRED REVIEW]
Marguerite feels awkward, struggling every day to stay productive at work and keep up appearances with friends. She's sensitive, irritable at times. She makes her environment a fluffy, comforting cocoon, alienating her boyfriend. The everyday noise and stimuli assaults her senses, the constant chatter of her coworkers working her last nerve. Then, when one big fight with her boyfriend finds her frustrated and dejected, Marguerite finally investigates the root of her discomfor: after a journey of tough conversations with her loved ones, doctors, and the internet, she discovers that she has Aspergers. Her life is profoundly changed – for the better.
"This stellar exploration of living with Asperger’s belongs in all school and public libraries." — SLJ (STARRED REVIEW)
"This soulful and serious look at Asperger’s syndrome brings an informed and optimistic perspective to the fore." — Publishers Weekly
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 265 members
This Graphic Novel is a fast, great read! Marguerite navigates life with Asperger's, which I did not realize was not as well known or accepted in France as it is in the US.
It is interesting and keeps your attention. It is not "preachy" at all but explains what it is like for a woman with Asperger's in a fun story. I think it took about 30 minutes for me to read it.
This book would be great for teens or up who would like to learn more about what life is like for someone with Asperger's, especially a woman with Asperger's, which goes undiagnosed a lot more than for men. (I do not think this is a great book for children).
I received a free ARC as a reviewer for NetGalley.
As a sufferer of Anxiety and Depression this graphic novel caught my eye. I personally have a few of the issues Margo deals with in this, however I did not know exactly what Aspengers was. I found the amount of information was detailed and alot but was shown in a very easy to read and an easy to understand point of view. I could tell half way through the graphic novel that it was a persons true story and that made me feel alot more connected to Margo.
Along with the fact that we could see how Margo used to feel, this graphic novel openned my eyes to those with Aspengers and I will now be less inclined to jump to conclusions. Very well written and with beautiful art style illustrations.
An enjoyable read, whether you are on the spectrum or not. For those of us with Asperger's or Autism, it feels incredibly comforting to see the experience on paper. I don't mean so much seeing someone on the spectrum, as seeing someone who didn't know why she had these quirks suddenly realize in adulthood that they had ASD. I also appreciate the fact that the protagonist is a woman, since women are so underdiagnosed. The author showing her therapy group, with people of different ages and backgrounds, who are coping differently to their diagnosis, is a nice touch; it's always good to show that not everyone reacts the same or even shows the same characteristics with ASD.
The most powerful thing about it is, undoubtedly, the drawing. Its use of colour (or lack of it) conveys so many emotions. I'm not going to lie, I teared up in a couple of places.
I wish it had told a story beyond just getting diagnosed, it sometimes felt more like an educational graphic novel than something that was trying to tell me a story. But I quite enjoyed it anyway, and I think it can be very useful for both people in the spectrum and those who have no idea what being autistic means.
A wonderful graphic novel about a really important topic! There is still so much stigma and misconceptions about Autism and its spectrum, and not only in France! I am really glad that this was translated into English so that I could read it! It should definitely be a book on high school reading lists, so that people get a better understanding!
A sincere and illuminating story that will undoubtably strike home for many with similar experiences. There's some truly beautiful use of illustration and colour here to show the transition in Marguerite's life as she learns about Asperger syndrome and begins to make changes in her life and surround herself with supportive friends, and an empathetic and encouraging tone towards others with similar struggles and circumstances.
As a special education teacher, I enjoy reading books that bring differences to light. There is still misconception about autism, and I think this book does a fantastic job at showing a different view. As a middle school teacher, I think this book would be appropriate to have in our classroom as a resource for the students. It may even help general education students understand their classmates with differences more.
Marguerite is in her late 20s, and this is her journey of discovering and accepting she has Asperger's Disease. The story and art do a wonderful job of portraying how she feels and how her mind works, to a point where what bothers her starts to bother us readers as well. I start to feel comfort in her routine, and in silence too, when she does.
There are a lot of details about what Asperger's really is or isn't, and it's very didactic in a way, but still easy to understand. Also, those details and explanations never interrupt the story or the flow; they enrich it. They help build (and, again, understand) the character and what she is experiencing.
This is a really important graphic novel that I sort of wish I had read sooner (it's out in French and Portuguese for a few years already), but I'm glad to have found now.
I am so glad I chose to read this graphic novel. Living in a country where awareness about mental disorders and illnesses is slim to none and the people (along with psychiatrists and psychologists) are highly biased, this book gave me hope for a better future while evaluating the present. The art style and nuances of this story make it extremely special. It sheds light of how people refuse to tend to the needs of neuroatypicals and other disabled members of the community when it is really not that hard; all for the guise of normalcy.
***mild spoiler*** I also loved the fact that the authors chose to show how neuroatypicals might be more susceptible to sexual harassment because they do not interpret social cues well. Sexual harassment is (abhorrently) extremely common, and because of its taboo nature, it is not discussed enough which makes people with disabilities even more vulnerable.
I am glad that this book has been translated to English, so that readers like me can have the pleasure of reading it and possibly more people can recognise themselves, receive a diagnosis and accurate care. I believe this is a book that should be read by everyone, to create awareness and to understand people better.
Also, I absolutely adored the dedication in this book. It might be my favourite now.
If you're someone who thinks they might be autistic, this is the book to read. If you're someone who knows a person who's been recently diagnosed and you're struggling to understand it, this is also the book for you. If you see autistics solely through the lens of stereotypes, then all the more it's a story for you - to understand and grow out of this view.
I liked EVERYTHING about this graphic novel. Everything. From the preface that's incredibly encouraging to those who have always felt they're too different, to the drawing style which is simply precious, to the story itself, which was SO. UNBELIEVABLY. RELATABLE.
Anyway, I really loved the drawings in this graphic novel. Not only are they adorable and the style is amazing, but I've never seen someone ACTUALLY DRAW SOUND and make me feel like I'm hearing it. Situations are just so emotionally presented, it takes me back to my own past and such situations. There's a part where Marguerite slowly feels herself become invisible and disappear while she's sitting at a loud, crowded party, trying to work out how she even fits into all of this. It's so true to how it feels to not belong - becoming invisible, where it seems that even the noise is more visible than you. The artist did such an amazing job.
But the story itself is just as amazing as the drawings are.
From the very first pages where Marguerite gets assaulted with all the awful din of an open plan office or gets called in for a talk with the boss because "not socializing with workmates during your free time" is somehow part of your work performance, everything was just so relatable. I was the one who brought my own lunch and was always misunderstood when the others would rather spend the entire hour waiting in line in a cafe and spending way too much on food that had way too little actual nutrients. I was also the one who would just cut small talk short because, you know, there was work to do - but apparently not actually doing work is preferred in most workplaces? But don't let me rant on, because I'll never stop - I could write a book about every one of these situations and how I could relate to them.
There is so much more that I'd like to share, but I can't, cause some people might know themselves and I don't want them to. I had even written it all out, but then I realized, I really can't share this. This is how close to the bone the story cut.
This book is absolutely recommended. 5 glowing stars. This book was so wonderful. And the only reason I'm not reviewing it on my blog or social media with more detail is because it might be about me, and I'm not sure I can talk about it too openly. I don't want too much detail on this where people from my private life can read it, if you get what I mean.
I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.
I devoured Invisible Difference in one sitting. From the Dedication to the information at the end of the book and everything in between, I was hooked on Marguerite's quirks and her journey to self discovery.
Marguerite's struggles with everyday life is relatable to those I know with Asperger's Syndrome. Once she found the right therapist and had a solid diagnosis, Marguerite learned that it is normal for her to display autistic characteristics. She adapted her life accordingly to bring joy to herself and awareness of Asperger's Syndrome to others.
This is an empowering book for anyone to read, but especially for those who want to get a graphic novel glimpse of what it is like to live with Asperger's Syndrome.
When it comes to books about autism and Asperger’s syndrome, I noticed a pattern with the type of books available; they’re either heavy medical texts that most people would struggle to read,, or they are personal accounts but always written by men. It never occurred to me until reading Invisible Differences that there was a gender bias when it comes to autism, or to how it influences peoples’ perspectives of it.
I absolutely adored this graphic novel. It’s the right amount of educational, with a heartwarming story of Marguerite discovering herself and growing into herself after feeling like the outsider for so long. There were many moments that felt relatable, seeing how her Asperger’s impacts her daily life. Like I mentioned before, there aren’t many female focused books on autism, and it’s refreshing and imperative to learn more about that experience.
I feel like I’ve learned so much more about autism enough to speak to customers about it, and if they want to learn more this would be my go to for them to check out. It’s a wonderful story, giving plenty of information, and a unique perspective. I love the art, and the subtle colourful transition that signifies her happiness, and the information provided.
I will be leaving a review on the Waterstones website.
I truly truly loved this one. It broke my heart too, but in a good way. I understood her loneliness and frustration so much, I recognized myself in a lot of her pro & personnal/social difficult situations.
This is an inspiring and positive story about resilience and growth, and a very important book for anyone who struggles not only with Asperger syndrome or autism spectrum disorder but any mental disorder really. It also dismantle a lot of clichés and is informative enough for people to drop their prejudices about the Difference in general, if that makes sense.
That book is important, please read it.
Thank you so much NetGalley and Oni press for this ARC, I'm grateful. Plus, as a French woman, it's always funny to read an English translation of a French author.
This is my first Aspergers Book/ Graphic Novel. Being on the spectrum myself I was curious how much I can relate to Marguerites story. I felt very strongly connected from the moment I started reading. The situations in her work space and all the noise and chatter got really under my skin. I really felt the discomfort. Also when she told people her diagnosis and the disrespectful comments were also really felt by me. It is an insightful, heartwarming and uplifting tale of a woman finding I wish there are more books on this kind of diversity.
Meet Marguerite, she has Asperger Syndrome. She likes animals, sunny days, chocolate, vegetarian cuisine, her little dog and the purring of her cats. Translated from French for the first time, Invisible Differences shows the life of Marguerite as she is trying to live but struggling with everyday productivity at work and keeping up appearances with friends and family.
I loved this graphic novel. I don't know a lot about autism or Asperger Syndrome but this has definitely shown me how hard it is for people who do have it to live a ‘normal’ life. There is so much that they struggle with and there is a lot that we can do to accommodate them but not everyone takes it seriously.
We see Marguerite on her daily routine, until one day after a fight with her boyfriend she decides to do an internet search of why she feels the way she does and why she struggles; she wants to get to the bottom of her discomfort. There she finds some answers and after a while she is officially diagnosed with Asperger's and then her life changes, for the better.
I felt the story was especially strong in the area of the design. The way the graphics are laid out was so beautiful and enticing. Mademoiselle Caroline does a beautiful job of bringing Marguerite and her world to life. I loved the little quips about how repetitive her routine is but how important it is for her. I was excited when she got her diagnosis but it was horrible to see that she still had to deal with people who did not take her seriously but she did not let that bring her down. She turns her life around and is now helping millions with their diagnosis as well. The biggest appeal for me was that this is a true story and it is based on Julie’s life.
If you have no idea what Asperger's is or how it affects peoples lives, then this is a wonderful way to start looking into it.
Thank you to NetGalley for gifting a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is an amazing graphic novel! It addresses a really important topic the underdiagnoses of women with autism and Aspersers and the misconceptions held about the people with these conditions. The illustrations are beautiful and it is fascinating to watch the vibrancy change as the story progresses. I learned so much from this book as well as thoroughly enjoying it!
An awesome read, whether you're on the spectrum or not. The illustration is simple but powerful, and easy to follow. For an autistic woman that also received their diagnosis well after childhood - Marguerite's story was incredibly relatable & comforting, even at the more upsetting points. To say I felt "a bit seen" by this story would be putting it lightly! ASD can impact so many aspects of our lives - and seeing all the little ways those traits & symptoms played out for someone else made me feel less alone in my "weirdness", with everything from Marguerite's social flubs to her choices in clothing.
It was great to see a (true!) story about ASD & Aspergers from a woman's perspective, especially because they go under & misdiagnosed so frequently. I think this book would be a great read for just about anyone, and could certainly help foster understanding on a topic that's so frequently misunderstood and shown so frequently in a negative light.
(I received a free copy of this book to review for NetGalley)
Wow. This book sure was something. So realistic (the scriptwriter is autistic). This book is to put in both children and parents hands. Children, so they can know by seeing what autism is and means and parents to get their children diagnosed fast. Because it may leads to so much misunderstanding. It took 27 years for the main character to be diagnosed. 27 years of incomprehension and of feeling weird while she is not.
It made me cry to realised all she had to go through because of an unaducated society. This title is important on so many levels! Read it, watch it, learn from it and then share !
Invisible Differences is a fantastic read with incredible, and emotionally poignant, illustrations. This was a fast read but made me think and check my understanding of people on the autistic spectrum.
Read this if you want to see yourself, or someone you love, represented in a graphic novel.
Read this if you're neurotypical, but curious about the lived experiences of others.
This graphic novel helped me understand friends who are on the spectrum and gave me the tools and resources to support them.
"Invisible Differences" shows how society is obsessed with normalcy. The protagonist is Marguerite, a 27-year-old woman living with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Asperger's syndrome. This work is autobiographical, since Julie Dachez explores her own experiences.
In Marguerite's life, an ordinary day is full of challenges. She is hypersensitive to sound, has difficulty socializing, and is bombarded with demands to be "normal". She is criticized by co-workers, the boss and even her boyfriend.
The book is divided into before and after Marguerite's diagnosis, and some excerpts from "before" are difficult to digest, because she suffers a lot in order to suit people's wishes. She receives advice that is offensive, accepts invitations that cause anxiety attacks.
It was disturbing for me to discover that Asperger's syndrome is underdiagnosed among women possibly because of the way we are raised: to hide our difficulties. Our gender is also a risk factor in the context of sex, as "aspies" cannot detect potential predators, and the notion of consent is often fuzzy or obscure for them.
The art of the first part of the comic is monotonous and repetitive to emphasize the idea of routine and highlight the rituals that allow Marguerite to perform tasks. The protagonist tries to eliminate unpredictability from everyday life and protect her mental health. While she undergoes a transformation after receiving the diagnosis, the colors black, white and red give way to more vibrant ones and the drawings become more complex, representing the full life she can finally have. Best comic I've read in the last five months.
A woman named Marguerite discovers her atypical behaviors are a result of having Aspergers syndrome. This diagnosis is more common in the US than in France, so this resolution will not be a huge surprise to most American readers. That said, Invisible Differences is an easy read, as readers will be rooting for Marguerite to discover the cause of her issues, and it is a relief for the readers as well as for Marguerite when she does. What stands out the most is the terrific artwork from Mademoiselle Caroline. I hope to see more of her work published in the US - she brings some amazing art direction and color styling to the book and these touches bring this world to life. The book is more for the psychology section of the store than the graphic novel section in many ways, but I would be happy to read more stories of Marguerite's day-to-day life.
I honestly couldn't stop smiling throughout reading this graphic novel. Marguerite is me! She's exactly like me! It was so nice to read a graphic novel about autism that wasn't about how 'weird' or 'scary' it is. I loved the use of colour and the artist's style of drawing, it was such a lovely book to read.
Also fuck Marguerite's boyfriend and her old job. They don't deserve you.
Invisible Differences is a graphic novel that follows the 27 year old Marguerite. Marguerite knows she's not like everyone else because people talk behind her back and make fun of her. She has been to doctors etc to know what's going on with her, but they don't know or they give a wrong diagnoses. Marguerite has Asperger Syndrome.
This graphic novel really shows Marguerite's progress from before and after getting the right diagnose. This is shown by the drawings. It's so well done that I even understand more about autism and how people with autism might feel. I obviously knew what it was because I learned it in school, but now I understand it more on a deeper level. This story is so important, you should definitely read it if you want to understand people with autism.
Can I just simply say that I love this so much?
I also love the drawings. They tell a lot about Marguerite and how she feels. It is also so well written! I definitely recommend this graphic novel because it is so important. Please, read this!
Autism has always been a subject I’ve been interested in, so I’m always looking for new content to help me get to know more and more about what people on the spectrum face.
I very much enjoyed how thought out this book clearly is, I wish everything could be like this.
Thank you Netgalley
Okay so I got the Translated version from #Netgalley and I am so excited to tell you about this book. As a cognitive neuroscientist, this book addresses a lot of issues that people in the autism spectrum face every day of their lives and the discrimination they experience because of their difference.
Here we follow Marguerite who is super 'awkward' basically she is different and for the first half of the book, we explore how different she is, how awkward and invisible she feels around people, her lack of outstanding social humor, sensitivity to noise, her love for her routine and her isolation which explains her disorder.
The lack of understanding of her so-called friends, boyfriend, and family adds to her depression as she isn't aware of what her disorder is. This book also addresses the lack of general awareness of autism spectrum disorders in France and the behavior even medical professionals have concerning it.
So when she finally gets a diagnosis she is elated (which is understandable, because knowing there is a problem, is when you can adjust your environment to cope with your disorder) because now she knows that there is a reason for her difference and she began to make changes. first by getting rid of her boyfriend who doesn't understand her, then friends that made her seem small.
I believe that this a good book to understand although minutely what people with Asperger's syndrome face every day of their lives and how we as a society can help them make the best of life even with their disorder. I also like the conversation she had with her friend who honestly was just so uninformed about autism spectrum disorders.
I like the graphics and the color contrasts, it made for an enjoyable reading experience. There are also links and information at the end of the story about autism and helplines to contact.
We’re only going to understand neurodiversity when more stories like Invisible Differences are told.
Invisible Differences is a warm story. Too often in the media people with neurodiverse conditions are either the butt of a joke or people with strange super-powers. Community and the A-word are the only two depictions of the neurodiverse experience that I think treat people on the spectrum with the respect that they deserve.
I can now add to that list Invisible Differences. Marguerite our heroine goes on a journey of personal discovery and acceptance. The struggles that she faces both at work and in her personal life are brought into sharp focus early on in the story. For example, she finds noise at her office distracting to the point that it leaves her exhausted and hiding in the toilets. Or, how the prospect of attending a party gives her excruciating social anxiety.
Life for neurodiverse people is hard. It is harder still when those around you don’t or won’t understand. Being comfortable with oneself is sometimes very difficult. It is even more so when you feel you can’t meet the demands that society makes of you.
The translation of the dialogue is charming. The art in Invisible Differences is clean and lovely. Colours are used cleverly to show the build-up Marguerite’s anxiety or to show things that stimulate her. Neurodiverse people are often seen as somewhat inflexible to the point of being unreasonable. Marguerite is often asked to do things which for most people would find straight forward but for her require a Herculean effort. This is a tale about self-acceptance and at every beat, the art and text work together tremendously. It avoids cloying sentimentality or many of the other feel-good traps a story like this might fall into. The highest compliment I can give the book is that it left me questioning some of my own attitudes which I think is a sign of story well told.
I highly recommend Invisible Differences.
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Invisible Differences is an enjoyable read, but it’s even more: it’s an important one. This is a sincere and illuminating graphic novel about autism. Nowadays there are still a lot of misconceptions about autism, that’s why I think this book does a great job in showing it from a different point of view. There are a lot of details about what Asperger's really is or isn't, so we get to familiarize with it in a very didactic yet easy to understand way. I loved everything in this graphic novel from the preface that is really encouraging and inspiring, to the art style and the story in general.
I’m so glad this book has been translated in English, so a lot of new people are now able to read it. I strongly recommend it.
An excellent nonfiction graphic novel about a young woman's journey towards self-acceptance and diagnosis with ASD. C'est magnifique en l'execution!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this graphic memoir from the perspective of an adult living with Asperger's Syndrome. I have a read a lot of literature exploring children with autism as an elementary school teacher with a degree in special education. As I was reading, I realized this topic is often underrepresented in books when it comes to undiagnosed adults. It was fascinating learning about the how every day common place interactions and experiences can have such a debilitating affect on someone with AS. The visuals were equally as appealing and complimented the story well. I found myself rooting for Marquerite to overcome adversity and advocate for acceptance. I am so pleased this book was translated from its original French so I was able to consume the story. Upon finishing, I immediately found myself watching a TED talk featuring Julie Dachez. This story could be a useful case study to someone in the field examining these conditions or anyone wanting to educate themselves and learn more about people with differences. The informational components at the end were clear and easy to understand wrapping up the book in a complete and definitive way.
A wonderful and important book, this is the story of Marguerite who is 30, she likes animals and has a job and a boyfriend, she finds social situations hard and doesn't always understand what people are saying. Through the course of the book, she wonders if she has Autism, after being laughed at by Dr's she finally gets an assessment and discovers that she has Asperger's, this is a great relief for her and she is able to get the support that she needs and to find a way to live her life in a way that suits her. I think its really clever that this story is told as a graphic novel, it slows down the story, you can visualise how people with Asperger's react to things and there are some funny images of animals to help lighten heavy pages. Which is why I think this would be good for young people to help them understand Asperger's better either for themselves or others. It's particularly good for clarifying how there are different gender presentations and that women often have different presentations which is often missed, it also debunks myths about Autism. The drawings are lovely and cleverly at the beginning they are mostly in black and white but Marguerite has red shoes and occasionally their is other colour used but once she has her diagnosis everything is in full colour!
I really enjoyed this book and found it informative, especially for identifying and supporting people I know with Asperger's. I wish it had been available years ago.
With thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
The illustrations are not only innovative but something new. The build up is very engaging and how the main character finds herself and Asperger's issue is dealt with a new perspective with the help of graphic novels. The black and white combo with colour coming in later brings in the new style of graphic novels. This is such a good read for young children and for adults falling in the bracket of 20-30 years old. I find it to be a necessary catalyst to keep its point across. The illustrations just take my breath away and truly our the life and soul of the graphic novel. Do read this one
This was a well written book and I enjoyed it. I picked this one because I have a daughter that was diagnosed at 14 with Autism Spectrum disorder which is a lot older then usual and my biggest worry is her living with this as an adult. This book is so much more then Autism and adulting it is seeing yourself for who you are.
Julia's graphics are incredible and minute to study though that can actually get you through the main protagonist who is facing socialising issues.
It's an incredible graphic novel!
This was an amazing book! I absolutely loved it! It dealt with the difficulties of being autistic and having aspergers's syndrome in a great way. I enjoyed reading about Marguerite's journey into discovering she has asperger's and how she dealt with it. The artwork was charming and the story was heartwarming. Overall this is a fantastic read for anyone and I would highly recommend it!
This graphic novel is the story of Marguerite and her invisible challenges. When she finds out about Asperger's syndrome, she sets up to find doctors that help her get an assessment. The diagnosis changes her life, explaining all her challenges and differences. And she finds out she's not alone.
I found this story informative, especially because girls often are not diagnosed as criteria are based on men, but also positive and pleasant to read. The illustrations are lovely, neat and expressive, and the text is concise and interesting. I liked the colour accents.
In UK the estimate is 1 child out of 100 in the autistic spectrum - this is a good way to raise awareness and remind ourselves that we should all be kinder to others, we don't know what life they're living.
Invisible Differences by Julie Dachez is a graphic novel, originally published in French and recently translated into English, that tells the story of Marguerite, a French women who struggles to cope with daily life. She finds solace in routines and quiet, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, coworkers and even friends and family. Often, she feels overwhelmed by noise and craves intimacy but has a hard time achieving it. Even when she goes to the doctor to try and get a medical professional to support her needs after going to HR, she's all but laughed at and told that because she speaks eloquently, there couldn't be anything wrong with her. It's not until she starts researching her symptoms that she discovers the term Asperger's and is tested. Armed with that knowledge, she starts to make positive changes for herself and finds the friends and work-life balance she craves.
As someone who knows someone with Autism, it is enlightening to see the world from the perspective of an individual who is neurodivergent. I found it sad in places, especially when it was obvious Marguerite was trying so very hard to fit into her world and her efforts were dismissed or laughed at. But in the end, it is hopeful, because she finds she is not alone: that she has friends who understand her, doctors who acknowledge her diagnosis and support groups that help her make the changes she needs. I highly recommend this book for everyone but especially those newly diagnosed or family members or friends of those newly diagnosed, especially as the last quarter of the book gives some medical background on Asperger's and how it is handled throughout the world, especially in France.
Trigger Warning: There is a scene where Marguerite is attempting to help her neighbor and he forcibly kisses her. She fights him off and he verbally abuses her and accuses her of leading her on. This scene emphasizes that some neurodivergent people can be the victim of predators because they don't recognize the danger but it may cause issues with some readers.
Note: I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and the publishers.
Excellent own-voices graphic novel exploring the experiences of a young woman with undiagnosed Asperger's, her efforts to understand her neurological status, and her resulting commitment to both live her best life and increase awareness in her native France about autism. The narrative is clean, compelling, and sympathetic. The artwork is appealing, if sometimes overly generic (for example, at times it is unclear which blonde female character is which if they are outside their usual settings). I would strongly recommend this book for teenagers and adults.
Invisible Difference is a book that every school and library should have.
This book follows the 27-years old Marguerite, who lives in France with her boyfriend, dog, and two cats. She lives a life like everybody else: Waking up in the morning, going to the bakery on her way to work, only there we are first introduced to what makes Marguerite different from the people around her. She dislikes noisy environments and doesn't understand the small talk. Furthermore, we realize that she lives every day in a perfect routine, which she needs to feel happy and comfortable.
People around her don't understand her behavior and Marguerite starts to wonder herself why she seems to be so different from everyone else. One day she stumbles across the symptoms of autism, which she shares, and she further researches the topic as well as Asperger. We then follow the process of Marguerite being diagnosed and understanding herself.
I was first attracted to this book because of its cover. Then I stayed for the story. I've never read a book or comic about autism before, so I am not an expert in this field, still, I think the story gave a great insight into how people with autism live and feel. It makes the reader understand them better. Thanks to the adorable drawings being mostly black and white, we could easily see what bothered Marguerite, because of the use of color. The only negative thing I would point out is that the font used is not the best.
I would recommend people to read the book. It's enjoyable and informative and easy for everyone to understand.
Discussions about autism and women with autism are so rare in graphic format, so I'm very pleased to see this one available and in English. Dachez's journey through sexist diagnostic processes point to a larger problematic medical framework in which most of the things we know about autism and the spectrum are based on male profiles (when women present differently). Tender and eye-opening, this is an important contribution to literature and is vital for everyone to read.
This graphic novel was amazing! I loved Marguerite's story and the art style was amazing. What really caught my attention from the beginning and the reason why I requested this graphic novel was because of how little knowledge I had about Asperger's syndrome. So I thought this would be a great way to learn a little bit more.
I found Marguerite's story to be so moving, how she lived her life trying to fit in and then later on finding that she in fact had Asperger's syndrome and how relieved she felt cause she didn't need/felt that she had to make an effort anymore. She simply started living. And the fact that her diagnose help her do so many things like starting a Youtube channel and a blog to educate people about Asperger's was simply inspiring.
I would recommend this book to everyone!
I LOVED this! Everyone needs to read this right now. Invisible Differences is such an important read and the reason why is highlighted in its pages. We follow a woman, Marguerite, who feels that she is different and is trying to take more control of her life so after suffering in a world not made for her she finally decides to do something about it, she's laughed away by one doctor but eventually (and it's a long time which is a whole other thing about health care in general) she is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and she could not be happier about it! Finally she has an answer and she can now have the tools to get the most out of her life. She runs and tells everyone how happy she is and...no one else is. They don't get it. They tell her she can't possibly have it because she doesn't do stereotypical things. This is so important because people need to realize that it isn't the same for everyone and hopefully this lovely graphic novel gets into the hands of people who don't know that.
The way this is laid out is honestly just perfect. It is so full of information and yet doesn't bog down the story or the character down at all. We get a glimpse into her professional, personal, and love life and the frustration that she feels every day because no one understands her. My blood boiled when she was so happy right after she was diagnosed so she can go to HR to get very reasonable accommodations...and is denied because they don't understand.
This prompts Marguerite to go back to school so she can have a chance to help people and get the hell away from a company who doesn't care about her enough to give her reasonable accommodations. I've been there with Multiple Sclerosis and it's exhausting so I love seeing characters who reach a tipping point in their lives and careers and make serious changes for themselves. All that dead weight that she drops gets replaced with very positive things and people and that's just my favourite part because it ends on such a super positive note that you can't help but leave with a smile.
The artwork is very good and very effective in storytelling. Mostly in black and white but colour is used very strategically here and there are pages here Marguerite goes from feeling good to slowly feeling horrible because of her surroundings and this is often shown to us using colour, we'll start with a pop of red here and there and suddenly the whole page is red. I've never really seen that before and I loved it. I have issues with noise and too much information being thrown at me and this accurately depicts how I feel whenever I have a serious case of cognitive fog.
At the very end we're given tons of further reading which I'm definitely going to be looking into but my favourite part that wasn't the actual story itself is we're also given a lot of information on France and Autism and Asperger Syndrome which was very interesting and very eye opening.
ARC provided Oni Press via NetGalley
This graphic novel was stunning , and heart warming. As someone who deals with anxiety and ocd , I could relate to parts of The story. This graphic novel depicts the story of a woman being diagnosed with Aspergers in France and all her trials throughout. I have thoroughly recommended this to several mums I know . Thank you to NetGalley for my arc copy
Oh my gosh I loved this. Absolutely LOVED it.
I'm not usually a graphic novel reader, but this one peaked my interest because I'm an SLP and I work with a lot of kids that have autism. This story was so important and the graphics really highlighted the way an autistic brain works. The graphics were critical to the story just as the story was needed for the graphics. A perfect marriage.
I really appreciated that this story focused on a girl that didn't have the extreme characteristics of severe ASD, but displayed many traits that would be seen as socially acceptable or "quirky." I think this is important because so many of these "quirks" are seen as someone just being weird and not as an actual disability that hinders the way people function. I also loved the way Marguerite advocated for herself and asked HR for work accommodations. And this is exactly what I mean - HR saw it as a matter of fairness and not necessity because many people without autism don't like noisy work spaces. This is why it's so easy to be dismissive of characteristics that actually limit an autistic person's ability to function. I just - ugh - I love this book. It brought to light so many good and important things!
And let's talk about the use of color - slowly progressing from black & white with splashes of red to a full color spectrum when she understands and embraces her autism was BEAUTIFUL. It made me so happy. I also think it's extremely uplifting for people with autism that might be reading this because it shows that once you accept and embrace who you are, you can be so much happier.
This is needed reading. For people with and without autism alike.
I was given advanced access to Invisible Differences A Story of Asperger's, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color by Julie Dachez from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Invisible Differences, an engaging quick read, beautifully illustrates Marguerite life from before her diagnosis to after her diagnosis. Reading the graphic novel is intuitive as the panels are logically organized and the body language conveyed through the drawings further express Marguerite’s and other characters’ emotions.
Marguerite’s Asperger journey is informative and educational. I did not know about Christine Miserandino’s “Spoon Theory” and found it interesting. The resources at the end of the novel and Julia Dachez’s TED Talk on NetGalley are added bonuses.
I will be adding Invisible Differences to my classroom library!
Invisible Differences is a graphic novel which follows the life of Marguerite, a 27 year old woman with Asperger's.
The dialogue between Marguerite and other characters scratches at the surface of what conversations for someone with Asperger's may be like but it's the images and the use of colour that really bring to life some of the internal anxieties that people with ASD have. I say some because not all people on the spectrum have the same symptoms.
Coming from the angle of a woman who does not know she is on the spectrum, this novel shows what it is like to live without a diagnosis, the impact it has on her social life, her work life and her home life and how her life begins to change once she has had a diagnosis.
As a teacher who works with students on the autistic spectrum, this graphic novel spoke to me so much because everything we do at school should prepare students for life outside of it and I often worry and wonder about our students with needs long after they have left my care. Knowing that so many females with ASD go through childhood without a diagnosis, you can only imagine what a difference it would make if they got one early on.
I highly recommend this book to people who:
Know nothing about Asperger's and autism
Know something about Asperger's and autism
Know everything about Asperger's and autism
Are interested in learning about Asperger's and autism
Aren't interested in learning about Asperger's and autism
What I mean is...everyone should read this book.
📖 Review: 'Invisible Differences a story of adulting and living a life in full colour' by Mademoiselle Caroline, Julie Dachez
An educational biographical novel, full of sincerity, emotion and compassion. Invisible Differences follows our protagonist--Marguerite (27) facing many everyday challenges. This is highlighted socially through her work life and relationships- (romantically, platonically and personally). Marguerite quickly realises she doesn't fit the 'social norm', so sets off an adventure to discover the route cause. Bold and monotone graphics juxtapose pops of red to connote Marguerite's initial perception (of an aspie), living in a confusing, frightening, stark and 'colourless' world. We learn the key 'symptoms', the trials of attaining professional help to be positively identified, sequentially tested and the mental and physical toll it takes. The story covers a wealth of knowledge about the condition and the help offered after diagnosis.
Speaking as a fellow aspie (that was also diagnosed later in life-21), I strongly related to the authors story, sometimes experiencing flashbacks of my own. A serendipity of emotion, I was proud of the bravery expressed by the author in writing such a personal account of her experiences and sometimes prejudice she faces (from coworkers, friends, family and sometimes even doctors/psychologists), before and after diagnosis. I was pleasently surprised the mental health aspects were explored, yet the running theme remained self love and empowerment. I'm pleased to see a formidable duo raise more awareness of this condition and the discrimination that we sometimes face politically and socially. I hope this graphic novel will help others seek support and offer their own help to each other. A thoroughly intricate read, beautifully simplistic yet bold graphics that further help to illustrate the complexities of aspergers in an easy to digest form, highly reccomend!
A wonderful memoir about a young French woman coming to understand herself and her ASD diagnosis in the face of ignorance and discrimination. A good introduction to some of the experiences of autism and a heartwarming story about finding community.
It was the cover that caught my eye on Mademoiselle Caroline and Julie Dachez's graphic novel Invisible Differences, translated from French and now available in English for the first time. A lone figure, Marguerite, stares out from the cover, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Invisible Differences tells Marguerite's story, from working in an office completely oblivious to her needs, to receiving an Asperger's diagnosis in her late 20s, to living her best life and finding a fulfilling career.
Despite being an introvert, I am neurotypical yet I saw so much of myself in Marguerite. This is why books like Invisible Differences are so important because it enables us to reach a common ground where those who are neuroatypical can be accommodated and live in a world less full of overwhelming stimuli and ignorant interactions.
Invisible Differences is beautifully written, a semi-autobiographical account by YouTuber and activist Julie Dachez of the road she travelled and the liberating impact of the diagnosis on her life. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the novel is learning how hard-won advancements in Asperger's Syndrome and autism awareness were in France, how common late-life (as opposed to early) diagnoses are, and how clinicians still doggedly insist on psychoanalytic treatment, despite autism being genetic not psychological in nature.
While set in France, this graphic novel has universal appeal and I would absolutely recommend this as an educational tool for both young adults and adults. Through Mademoiselle Caroline's superb graphics, we experience the difficulties and over-stimulation Marguerite experiences at work, the lack of empathy and understanding from her superiors, and the draining impact this has on Marguerite's life.
The section at the end of the story was especially helpful, containing notes on the history and facts of autism, the impacts and challenges facing those on the spectrum and tips for how workplaces can support Aspies and ensure they succeed.
Most importantly, Invisible Differences is a fun, heart-warming graphic novel where the heroine most definitely overcomes her limitations in the end and I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the graphics.
I give Invisible Differences a superb five out of five stars.
It's really hard for me to talk about this graphic novel. I was really curious about it when it was first published in my country (Brazil) but I wasn't able to buy a copy, so I was really glad to have the chance to read it now. It's been a couple of years (two or three) that I started thinking I might be autistic, some people even asked me if I was which made me think harder about the possibility. One of my friends talked to one friend of hers (an autistic woman diagnosed later in her life) and she said I should read this book. So here I am.
I was crying 15 pages in, and I kept on crying until the very end, because I could see myself on everything Marguerite did and feel. I've always been curious about autism, and used to read a lot about when I was growing up, but I never thought I could be autistic. Reading about someone going through that after their 20s is really powerful and important.
I loved the way Dachez and Mademoiselle Caroline told this story, and I think it worked really well in this format, the colors and repetition helping to tell the story and to make the reader feel what Marguerite was feeling. I will forever keep this one close to my heart.
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