Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How I Made It To Eighteen by Tracy White

In the juvenile section of our local library, there is a large card holder. The cards each depict a different graphic novel that the library owns. There is no description to the book so it's a case of judging a book by it's cover or title. Such is the case with this book, my son picked it out because the title sounded funny. I got the book first and was immediately shocked by the fact that this was not a humorous book at all. It's a great book and I look forward to hearing his reaction to it.
The story follows Stacy Black (who is the alterego of the author) as she survives being 17. It's not a typical story, it's one that will break your heart and have you rejoicing in the end.
Stacy has left home and has sunk into a deep depression. A suicide attempt gets her into a rehabilitation center where she has to dig through all the reasons that led to her destruction. There's drug addiction, low self esteem, bulemia and a mound of other issues that create a wall that might prevent Stacy from becoming an adult.
It is a graphic novel but it's drawn very simply - more like stick figures than the normal graphic but it adds to the despair and lonliness of the character. It's also quite easy on the eyes. Tracy White has an amazing ability to give each of her characters something distinquishable so that the reader is not left confused as to who is who.
The style of the book is a combination of patient records, interviews and scenes of life in the rehab center. A must read for anyone who has or was a teenager.

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