Friday, February 4, 2011

Girl Stories by Lauren R. Weinstein

Lauren had some tough times growing up.  First of all, she was the only girl who was still playing with Barbies at 13.  All of her friends got too cool to play dolls with her anymore.  Than, she wasn't popular and got picked on all the time in school.  There was one boy in particular who was always mean.  Lauren tried to get in with the popular crowd, but it didn't turn out so well.  Her parents drive her crazy and when Lauren finally does get a boyfriend, it turns out it's not all it's cracked up to be.  In a series of short stories, Lauren tells stories from her life from middle school through high school that any girl will be able to relate too.

 I appreciated that Weinstein was very honest.  She is telling personal stories from her life, and not everything would easy for someone to admit.  She's been in a fair number of embarrassing situations.  I think probably most kids go through situations like this, but don't want to talk about because they feel alone and it IS embarrassing.  This is a great graphic novel for a middle school or new high school student to read and see that other people's lives aren't perfect either, and that you can make it through.

I wasn't a huge fan of Weinstein's illustrating style.  She actually uses several different styles, since she's writing these stories at different points in her life and trying out different ways of drawing.  Everything is kind of grotesque looking, and the coloring felt strange to me.  Weinstein's style is cartoonish, certainly not going for detailed realism.  This is just a personal preference.  I think when it comes to graphic novels, I like the detailed realism better.  Not liking the artistic style did not take away from the stories, however.

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