I absolutely loved this book! Ferris’ graphics were incredible. Many of them literally took my breath away. I loved that she often changed mediums/style based on the emotions occuring in the story, translating them effectively on the page. Despite the vast quantity of side characters, I feel that each one plays into the fantasy that takes place in the main characters mind in such a unique way, plus the beautiful graphics ensured that I didn’t mind one bit.
This story is dark, and filled with horror, to be sure. There is not a lot of lightness, but the main character is phenomenal, and searching for her own meaning in a difficult upbringing. This graphic novel takes place through 1960’s Chicago as a fictional diary of a young girl named Karen Reyes. She aspires to be a detective, and begins researching the death of one of her neighbors from the apartment upstairs. This book is full of politics hidden in the retelling by a 10-year-old who comes from a poverty stricken and traumatic place.
This was definitely a hefty tome, in more than just size. This book may take an emotional toll on you, but it is so worth it. At 10 years old, Karen Reyes is the average age of the students I work with, and the way she views the world seems so unique to her, yet similar in many ways to the kids I work with. I believe it is a very accurate picture of someone so young going through so much trauma and trying to find her place in the world. The disjointed nature I believe plays into the way Karen Reyes views her world, and the format was perfect for sharp starts and cutoffs of her stories. Prepare to be emotionally invested.