I saw this book on the shelf at the store and flipped through it, deciding that I just had to have this unique graphic novel. The story is a YA Contemporary Romance/Suspense between a piano prodigy and the boy next door.
The story is told in photographs, instant messenger, newspaper clippings, and brief quotes. The photos can be of places, letters, drawings, and people. It was a unique format that could have confused or distanced me as the reader, but the team who put this book together did it in a way that I found compelling and touching.
The story opens with a background of Glory’s life. Her parents getting together, their happy family, her mother’s death, and her music teacher father molding her into a child prodigy pianist. Her life is structured and sterile.
All this changes when the house next door sells and Frank’s family moves in. Frank and his family are immigrants. He struggles in the American school. He has an artistic soul and struggles with academics and athletics. He and Glory connect and grow a friendship and more. She shares her music and he shares his art. The two lonely souls have found a kindred spirit.
But Glory’s father is driven and he cuts Frank out of her life. They go on a European tour. Glory is at a loss without Frank. They try to keep contact even as her dad works to control her even more. Glory slowly disintegrates and her music leaves her. Frank is making plans to go back home to South America begging Gloria to join him.
However, if the reader is paying attention, there is a whole lot more going on. Darker matters are in play. Did anything happen the way the reader is led to believe? The clues are there, but the reader is left wondering what is true and what really happened in this open-ended story.
Once in a while, I look for something different. I enjoyed how each picture said so much without words. I guess it is not a traditional graphic novel, but I enjoyed it. I would recommend it for those who might want to try a YA Contemporary Romance in pictures and messages.
Romance Roundabout #284 YA
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