Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lola: a Ghost Story

Lola: a Ghost Story
(From the artist's deviantArt page)
J. Torres and Elbert Orr

Now I shall attempt something never having been done in the history of YAs read YAs...

I'm going to try and review a graphic novel.

I know. You're shocked. I'm shocked. But I've got to spread my wings, like the majestic cabbage moth.

Okay. Summary time.

Jesse is gifted (or possibly cursed) with the ability to see demons and dead people. He doesn't know anyone else who can do the same- except his grandmother. Their relationship was strained (she tried drowning him) while she was alive. Going to the Phillipines for her funeral, he doesn't expect much from the rest of his extended family. But while he faces his demons, can he help others, too?

Ugh. I was doing so well with that until that last sentence. Anyhow, review time.

Jesse, the protagonist, is all around a really likeable character. He's mostly quiet and scared of lots of things (Seeing ghosts, you know?), but he isn't a cut-and-dry coward. In fact, he's not a coward at all. Paranoid, yes, nervous, of course, a bit of a loner, who isn't? I would be if I could see dead people. Maybe if I met him as a person instead of a drawing on a piece of paper, I'd feel a bit differently, but whatever. He doesn't exist. His entire life does not exist. Nothing exists. Nothing but the void.

*Cough* Well, onto the weather. I mean plot.

Let me remind you (in case you forgot since The Lost Snuggie) that I am in love with folktales and monsters and demons and such. I also like mermaids, but they come up a lot less. So the fact that there were things that go bump in the night totally amped up the plot points for me. However, the plot would definitely do great even if it weren't being read by the monster-obsessed me.

While I can't review the writing style, which usually fills this empty spot in the review, I will talk about the execution. Since the story bordered on the horror genre, secrecy and slow reveals were fairly important. They were mostly good, but could get a little confusing.

Oh! And translations. I love the way that translating the Tagalog words into English was set up. It always kind of annoys me when dialogue translations are done like this- "Delicioso! Delicious!" He exclaimed. Like, who would translate what they say after they say it. Asterisks are the way the cool kids do it. I am 100% pro-Asterisk.

Through all my love, I have one thing to say, and it's not even the book's fault. The fact that it was labeled "7+" (at least where I saw it) kinda gets me. I'd hate to say "Shield your children! They can't know about reality!", I don't think this is exactly suited for "7+". There are dead people. I mean, like, really, really dead people. And a brief show of drinking problems, but I'm more concerned about the dead people. When I was seven, I was scared of friggn' Scooby Doo. Personally, I think a bit higher age rating is necessary.

I feel so old saying that.

Well, short review. I loved the book with my own heart and the hearts of all those in my control. Since there's nothing to whine about, I'm just going to gently force you to read it.

Read it.

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