REVIEW: Nowhere Girl (2021)

A Graphic Novel Magali Le Huche

Usually school dramas, especially here in the US, hyper-obsess with things like sex meaning that most are insanely derivative and almost never relate in any way to the lives of most of the people that would be reading it. Because of this, I almost never want to read them. Nowhere Girl by Magali Le Huche is thankfully nothing like that, and actually seems to be reminiscent of real issues a young woman might have growing up. Strained familial relationships, dealing with a popular sibling at school, not really fitting in, and stress on top of more stress – these are all issues plaguing Magali. These problems are something she largely escapes due to her new-found love of the insanely popular band – The Beatles. Albeit, this would be a fleeting escape, since real life always comes crashing down as the “high” of their music subsides.

It was interesting to me that the art-style, one that I quite enjoyed, was largely monochromatic in many ways (with the exception of pink and the main character’s orange hair) until she discussed The Beatles or listened to them for the first time. Suddenly the pages filled with full, vibrant, perhaps psychedelic colors, perhaps showing the impact they made on her hum-drum life up to that point. It reminded me of the whole trop from The Wizard of Oz, wherein the film was black and white until Dorothy reached the Magical Land of OZ, suddenly filling the screen with color. I liked this touch quite a bit, and especially liked the call-backs to famous album covers and such.

“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!”

I think the only thing I didn’t particularly enjoy about this book was that the text was in cursive script, while I can see why this choice was made – to appear as diary entries – it was somewhat harder to read on my Kindle than normal books. Perhaps a physical book would alleviate this issue? I was also somewhat bummed that The Beatles were not of a real particular focus of this story in relation to the main character despite what the description would lead you to believe. Yeah, you have her exposition that she was a huge fan of theirs and that they helped her get through issues, and a few splash pages of her listening to music, and that’s about it. I felt that, because of this, it lost any sort of central focus that the story could have had, and just came across as the mundane diary of a normal girl that happened to have more issues, perhaps, than others. Maybe that was the intention, but I would have liked more drama. That isn’t to say that this is in any way a bad comic, the style and artwork make up for that, but I would have liked it to have more of a voice than it does.

If you would like a copy of this for yourself, click HERE

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

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