Graphic Novel Review: Crushing: An Illustrated Misadventure In Love And Loneliness by Sophie Burrows

Crushing: An Illustrated Misadventure In Love And Loneliness by Sophie Burrows. Algonquin Young Readers, 2021. 9781643752396.

This nearly wordless story of loneliness and missed connections is told using pencils but not many colors, though red is used throughout to direct our eyes details and characters and to give them a little more life than background characters. It’s the story of a young woman and a young man, both of whom seem trapped in their own worlds, each trying and failing to catch the other’s eye. She works in a cafe and has awful experiences with dating apps. He’s bullied a bit and takes a job that requires him to wear a costume and pass out fliers. Exercise and music offer some respite. Then there’s a bike accident which leads to something good.

Lovely book, loved the drawings and the colors and just how raw this book feels in moments. I don’t think it’s a YA book, though it seems like that’s how it was marketed — it’s something less common, a graphic novel aimed squarely at adults in their 20s that some teens will enjoy too. So a warning for you school librarians (especially those of you under fire) who may be better off avoiding this sort of stuff for now: there’s some butts in the social app images, and some drinking in a pub as well.


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