School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 10 Up-Asher, an androgynous teen wrestling with his bisexuality and the social implications at school, makes an ally in Eulalie, an angry, punk-inflected girl whose artistic bent and rebellious tendencies bring the two together. Eu starts as the outsider intruding upon Ash's narrative but becomes the primary identification character as she finds herself uncertain as to how to deal with her romantic feelings for him. The artwork has a sketchbook sensibility. Faces and soulful eyes are vastly important but details like toes and backgrounds are more hastily represented. The figure work is sensuous, with the bodies of the protagonists portrayed with a languor despite the use of jagged hash marks for the details. Visual and narrative structure are given lesser focus, with some pages crammed full of textual description with no corresponding visuals, just more emotive portraits. And while the depiction of harsh honesty of teenage life is frank and therefore will find a small appreciative audience, the raw sexuality, sexual violence, and vulgarity might alienate many others. The emotional arc of Eu's initially unrequited feelings for Ash is moving, and the complexity and danger of young sexuality has merit as a story. But that is a heart buried under a great deal of viscera and ephemera and beneath a scattershot approach to storytelling that will prevent the emotional content from reaching most readers.-Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Merey's soulful story of high-school juniors Asher and Eulalie shows just how tenuous our understanding of identity, friendship, and romance can be. Neither Ash, a shy, bisexual pretty boy, nor Eu, a strident dyke with the appetite of a trucker, can be reduced to a single aspect of their identities. During the few months of their intense relationship, they share music, a passion for drawing, and a variety of attempts to socialize with their families and other teens. Merey introduces questions and complications that don't get neatly resolved why does Ash share a bedroom with what seems to be his nearly twin sister? but instead make the characters and plot all the more realistic; we truly can't know all of what makes somebody tick. The impressionistic and beautiful black-and-white images were created with traditional paper and ink, a salutary opposition to all the nontradition offered up by Ash and Eu. Although the work appears sketchy at first glance, every line is clear and every word is clarifying. Without the story becoming didactic, Ash and Eu become students of human nature as they teach each other about the possibilities and boundaries of their lives. These are authentic teens with attitudes, sound tracks, and sexual curiosity (the few scenes of female nudity are restricted to the upper body) that their peers will understand.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2010 Booklist