This is a lovely memoir graphic novel about growing up and fear and escapism.
I really enjoyed reading this one! It has beautiful art and was easily relatable and beautifully told. It’s set in Paris (translated to English now!) and follows the life of 12-year-old Magali as she has a nervous breakdown over school and tests when she’s twelve years old. Things are just very hard for her; the perfectionism, the irate teachers, the crushing test score demands. When Magali realises she absolutely cannot cope, she quits going to school and begins working from home. Though this also ushers in a really lonely and isolated time of her life. Her anxiety twists higher and higher and I really appreciated how it showed what life was like for her. Also knowing this is autobiographical was especially 💔. I’m sure so many kids face this: the cracking under extreme school pressure and the subsequent fall out.
Magali’s refuge is obsessing over music and she discovers the Beatles and absolutely falls in love. I loved these pages in the book so much because they were just livid explosions of colour — such a perfect peek into Magali’s rich inner world.
It’s a quick read and very personable and lovely. Perfect for middle-grade readers to teens.
I only struggled with the choice of text for the speech bubbles as it was super light/cursive and my eyes are too tired these days 🤣 Just wish they went for a more accessible font.
If you’re a fan of graphic novels, mental health representation, Parisian books, and music — this one is for you! I’d definitely like to read more from this author.
Thanks to Walker Books for the review copy!
Title: Nowhere Girl
Author: Magali Le Huche
Date Published: 1st December 2022
Genre: MG Graphic Novel / Memoir
Publisher: Walker Books
Purchase: Book Depository, Dymocks
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The story of a young Parisian girl lost in the gulf between childhood and adulthood, navigating depression… and discovering the Beatles.
This is the story of a girl growing up in the 1990s – a middle-schooler who finds herself lost in the gulf between childhood and adolescence, developing paralyzing fears of failure, school, other people, and her own changing body. Along the way, she becomes obsessed with the Beatles… which might be just what she needs to find her way back to being okay. Yeah yeah yeah!