: How to Be Perfectly Unhappy
(Series: The Oatmeal)
: Matthew Inman
: Gift Book, Comics & Graphic Novels
: Andrews McMeel Publishing
: 31st of October 2017
Synopsis: In How To Be Perfectly Unhappy, Inman explores the surprising benefits of forgetting about “happiness,” and embracing instead the meaningful activities that keep us busy and interested and fascinated.
How To Be Perfectly Unhappy is a tiny little gift book which gently suggests that we as a society need to redefine what being happy means. It’s central point being that Pluto was downgraded, because we initially did not have a very clear definition for what a “planet” is. As the definition become more clear, Pluto clearly did not conform to the necessary requirements.
This is a premise I buy into, as sociability is with more than even obsessed with perfection in our world of social media where anyone can spy and everyone. And when you start to look at happy and what happy means, you realize how brittle that definition is and it quickly falls apart.
How To Be Perfectly Unhappy makes you think. With it’s barely 48 pages it invited discussion about something where there is a mutual agreement that everyone should be happy and if you are not happy, then you are miserable.
The book makes several suggestions of what you can be instead of being happy, unhappy not being one of them. With its quirky drawings and interesting rhetoric, the book is engaging from beginning to end and will be a great gift any miserable book lover you know.
: Ink in Water
: Lacy J. Davis & Jim Kettner
: Biographies & Memoirs , Comics & Graphic Novels
: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
: 1st of October 2017
Synopsis: At once punk rock and poignant, Ink in Water is the visceral and groundbreaking graphic memoir of a young woman’s devastating struggle with negative body image and eating disorders, and how she rose above her own destructive behaviors and feelings of inadequacy to live a life of strength and empowerment.
As much as I wanted to enjoy this book and get carried a way with it, it took me a very long time to get into the story. The narrative is very straight forward with little distracting decor and it was supposed to be a touching story. Or, I thought it would be a touching story, instead it was a hard and gritty narrative of a very real battle with mental illness.
The rawness of the narrative and the very relateable additional issues that often tag along with mental illness made this book very hard for me to read. The story convey in a very real and hard way how mental illness can be there even if you are obviously unaware of it for a while.
IT shows how, even when you know you are sick, the biggest challenge of the battle is not the disease itself but recovery part. Mental health issues, like eating disorders, depression, OCD, they become a part of you and who you are. The disease become part of how you see yourself and you identity, and how are you supposed to recover from your identity?
Davis goes all the way out to show how real her struggle was and she is in not painting any rainbows or making any face-saving promises or painting rainbows. Yet her strong narrative still warrants hope and I would recommend the book for anyone who knows someone or themselves struggle with an eating disorder.
Kettner’s gritty artwork throughout the novel aids to the harsh narrative without sugar-coating anything. Nothing in a story like this needs sugar-coating, even if it makes the story harder to read, and both the author and the illustrator knows this.
Posted in Autobiographies/Biographies, Book Reviews, Comic & Graphic Novels, Comic Books, memoir
Tagged Anorexia, autobiography, book review, book reviews, bulimia, Comic & Graphic Novels, comic book, Eating disorder, Mental Health, mental illness
: Oddly Normal Vol. I
: Otis Frampton
: Diamond Book Distributors
Meet Oddly Normal, a ten-year-old girl with pointed ears and green hair — a half-witch who will be the first to tell you that having a mother from a magical land called Fignation and a father from Earth doesn’t make it easy to make friends at school!
Oddly Normal is the narrator and title character of the book. Half witch and half human she struggles to fit into the world. At her birthday after being annoyed with her mother and father she wishes for them to disappear, and they do. In order to stay safe Oddly has to go to Fignation with her mother’s sister.
In Fignation Oddly struggles to fit in on her new school filled with mythical creatures. and new bullies while her aunt ponder on how Oddly’s parents disappeared and how to get them back.
I very much enjoyed this story. Oddly was a fun character and the story progression was good. It did not throw in too much too early, and things were slowly explained. I look forward to future installments in the series, and I hope that Oddly will stay in Fignation for a while in order to explore this “unexplainable” world. In addition to the story I though the artwork was imaginative and interesting.