I really struggled with this text. The story, and it's intertwining flashbacks, left me struggling to even figure out what was even the basic plot.
On top of it, the PART 1 organization left me wondering what even happened in the story because it seem to end right as I thought I was maybe beginning to understand where the story was going.
In addition to the very confusing plot, there were repeatedly multiple flashbacks from other times in history. To me, these flashbacks didn't seem to ever relate to the text. Even after I have finished the story, I am still at a lost for what was the purpose of those scenes being present in the story in the first place.
As a children's book reviewer, I struggle with stories that push the boundaries regarding sexuality in the story. Yes, sexuality is present, and students need books that help them explore this topic appropriately. However, this book seemed to be overly graphic in regards to what is appropriate for the world of children's literature.
Often times, the main girl character is illustrated nude. She is a young child, and I had a hard time understanding why this choice was even made. In addition, there was an adult sex scene in the story that was illustrated more graphically than I would deem appropriate. Both adult characters were illustrated completely nude.
The greatest asset of this graphic novel are the illustrations. Clearly, the illustrator is very talented. I, however, just did not like the story at all. It is not one I would ever consider to purchase or bring into my classroom.
My advice to parents is to always preview books, get book recommendations for trusted teachers or adults, or check our creditable children's book review sites. Books like this one are often overlooked because the cover looks child friendly. However, once one digs into the entire story, they will quickly realize that this book should target a much older/adult audience.
Graphic novels are created for all different ages. Just because it has tons of illustrations does not mean it will not cross the boundaries of what is appropriate for children's literature. It is always important to take the time to review books that we are going to pass on to our favorite readers.