Losing the Girl
Losing the Girl
Library Binding21.99
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Series: Life on Earth Vol. 1   
Annotation: As Blithedale searches for a missing girl, rumored to be abducted by aliens, a group of high school students experiences a series of romantic relationships and their effects on friendships.
Catalog Number: #157097
Format: Library Binding
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 273 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-512-44910-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-512-44910-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017006225
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
The first book of a graphic-novel series features four teenagers as they deal with their summertime struggles and romantic entanglements, all shadowed by the disappearance of classmate Claudia, who may or may not have been abducted by aliens. In graphic-memoirist MariNaomi's fiction debut, refreshingly creative illustrations in various minimalist styles (shifting with each protagonist's perspective) make up for some murky character motivations.
Kirkus Reviews
Nobody knows why 14-year-old Claudia Jones vanished, but for one group of teens, her disappearance is just one more mystery in a summer full of uncertainty. Something strange is in the air at Blithedale High School. Troubled by his parents' separation, Nigel, a black teen, craves the attention of girls. His luck turns when he begins a brief romance with Japanese-American Emily, but his aggressively jokey persona ends up repelling her. Emily, meanwhile, wants Brett, a white boy, to notice her. He harbors his own unrequited crush, but a relationship of sorts flares up between them anyway. When Emily becomes pregnant, the unexpected ordeal isolates her from Brett and her friends, including Paula, who is Latina. Having broken up with her abusive boyfriend, Paula grapples with her complicated feelings for Emily. These entanglements form the emotionally charged core of this gripping, affecting graphic novel. Each chapter highlights a different character's perspective, and the style of the artwork changes to match each character's personality, with simple and expressive black-and-white pictures brimming with exaggerated gestures and reactions. An eerie streak runs through the narrative: Was Claudia abducted by aliens, as some schoolmates suggest? The next volume promises more developments and more mysteries. A moody, compassionate reflection of adolescence in turmoil. (Graphic novel. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
Nigel wants Emily, but she wants Brett, whom Paula also desires. MariNaomi-s tale of teen angst, love, and self-discovery explores how these characters intersect while ever so slowly chipping away at a bigger plot around the disappearance of their classmate Claudia, which will be explored further in future volumes of this trilogy. In her graphic novel debut, MariNaomi practices various forms of minimalism, abstracting details until readers are left with the mere essences of the characters as they interact. MariNaomi-s artwork is anything but typical; as the book shifts among the characters- viewpoints, so too does the artistic style. Nigel-s story uses grayscale coloring and thin lines, Emily-s features thick linework and black-and-white coloring, Brett-s monochromatic watercolor, and Paula-s cross-hatching. Spread throughout, these creative artistic effects amplify the tension and awkward emotions, transforming a familiar story of young love into something memorable and new. Ages 14-18. Agent: Gordon Warnock, Fuse Literary. (May)

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-This first installment in the "Life on Earth" series follows four teenagers at Blithedale High along their adolescent journeys with all the joys, agonies, and oddities that usually accompany themwith a few twists. Nigel tries a little too hard, and the girls are laughing at him, not with him. Emily finally catches the attention of her crush, but what will happen when things go too far too fast? Paula would give anything to get out of Emily's shadow. Brett wants the one girl he knows he can't have, and the girl he doesn't love is the only one right in front of him. Meanwhile, the teens discuss the disappearance of a classmate, Claudia Jones. Was she abducted by aliens? Each character comes in contact with something mysterious and inexplicable. Part 1 of the trilogy leaves most of the characters in cliff-hanger situations that beg for a sequel. The artwork is simplistic, like idle doodling, and while it propels the plot at a lightning pace, it disconnects readers from the characters at times. When the narrative does slow, some of the more intense scenes are carefully drawn out for emotional impact. MariNaomi skillfully weaves webs of intrigue, and fans of suspenseful graphic novels will be interested in how events play out. VERDICT Enjoyable but not earth-shatteringfor libraries that need to build up their graphic novel collections. Michael Marie Jacobs, Darlington School, GA
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 9-12
Lexile: GN180L

Claudia Jones is missing. Her classmates are thinking the worst . . . or at least the weirdest. It couldn't be an alien abduction, right? None of Claudia's classmates at Blithedale High know why she vanished--and they're dealing with their own issues. Emily's trying to handle a life-changing surprise. Paula's hoping to step out of Emily's shadow. Nigel just wants to meet a girl who will laugh at his jokes. And Brett hardly lets himself get close to anybody. In Losing the Girl, the first book in the Life on Earth trilogy, Eisner-nominated cartoonist MariNaomi looks at life through the eyes of four suburban teenagers: early romance, fraying friendships, and the traces of a mysterious--maybe otherworldly--disappearance. Different chapters focus on different characters, each with a unique visual approach.

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