I first was introduced to Raina Telgemeier’s work when I met her at TCAF a few years ago. It was there that I learned about her graphic novel, Smile and having worn braces for almost half of my life I could relate to the main character in that book who also needed to get braces. So when I heard that there was going to be a sort of sequel to Smile, I was excited to go back to reading her work. This time around, in her newest book Sisters she writes about the relationship between sisters and having an older sister myself, I could relate to some of the things in this book.
As always Raina’s artwork is adorable, however as I have an advance reader copy of her graphic novel, there are only a few pages in colour with the rest in black in white. The final copy will be completely in colour and while I think the artwork is lovelier in colour, I don’t mind the black and white pictures as I am used to it having grown up reading manga (Japanese comics). Additionally in this case I felt that having illustrations that are mostly black and white made me focus more on the story I was reading. The story itself, which follows Raina, her younger sister and her mother on a road trip captures the sibling relationships quite well to be honest. Coming from a family of three with two girls and one boy who is the youngest there were some similarities that I found in the sibling dynamics that Raina’s family had with mine. In fact, if you ask my sister, she’d probably say I was quite emotional and grumpy as a pre-teen and even as a teenager.
Another aspect I love about this book which I find is a common theme in much of Raina Telgemeier’s work is her talent for finding the humour in otherwise serious situations. This is one of element that I love about her storytelling style, and it is what draws me to her work time and time again. That and the fact that she tells stories that are realistic and messy, just like real life, not everything is solved to everyone’s satisfaction and relationships and friendships are never perfect.
Altogether I liked her graphic novel Smile slightly more, but Sisters is still a nice read and I’d recommend it for not just kids, but also to anyone who has or had a sort of “complicated” relationship with their siblings growing up as they can definitely relate to the story. As well, tweens and maybe even teen who are fans of Raina’s other works will probably enjoy this book too as it touches upon serious family issues and topics but present them in a way that’s accessible to everyone especially young readers.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.