Heartbreakingly honest and quietly funny, this #ownvoices graphic novel from a debut creator is a refreshingly real exploration of mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school.
Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school—and then there’s Viola. Viola is Livy’s anxiety brought to life, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear. Livy tries to push back against Viola’s relentless judgment, but nothing seems to work until she strikes up new friendships at school. Livy hopes that Viola’s days are numbered. But when tensions arise both at home and at school, Viola rears her head stronger than ever. Only when Livy learns how to ask for help and face her anxiety does she finally figure out living with Viola.
Rosena Fung draws on her own early experiences with anxiety and the pressures of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents to craft a charming, deeply personal story that combines the poignancy of Raina Telgemeier’s Guts with the wacky humor of Lumberjanes. Exuberant, colorful art brings Livy’s rich imaginative world—filled with everything from sentient dumplings to flying unicorns—to life on the page.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 30 members
Gorgeously drawn, beautifully written, full of sparkle. I think even people who don't have the same experiences as Livy will love and relate to her, but this book will also be unbelievably special to those who do. Rosena Fung employs visual metaphors, even complex/multi-layered ones, in a really clear and satisfying way, and there are fun and captivating details on every page.
As someone who has struggled with anxiety and panic disorder my whole life, I loved this graphic novel. It was very relatable, and showed so many emotions I have felt. I loved how it also showed the friends fighting, but then making up at the end. It’s great to read things like this that are so normal for so many of us.