A graphic novel for teens? Yes, Vibha Batra has written a graphic novel for the teenagers. Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books the book is for 14 year onward kids. Set in a contemporary setting of where teens are glued in their virtual world and have many battles to face within heir lives.
The book does talk of relationships, the sarcasm when teens speak to parents or generally to other adults who try to get information about their personal lives.
The author is spot on when she describes the protagonist Soundarya who wants a fancier name and prefers Arya, creates her virtual identity who is cooler and more acceptable to her peer group.
The illustrations by Kalyani Ganapathy are brilliant and it appears like a teen television series that one can watch as one reads the story.
It is indeed coming of age story and has its bittersweet share of coming-of-age story. The story takes the nuances perfectly well when it describes characters in a South Indian family or that of North Indian wedding, the mannerisms of grandparents, teenagers who are bombarded with perfect beauty standards and how they feel about themselves and various issues that affect teens.
Again, since it is a teen story, the novel goes to talk on second marriage for the single parent and Debbie’s story here brings the familiar conversations that might occur if these situations were to arise in our lives.
The book through its illustrations shows how Debbie goes on to live a secret life through Instagram where she believes it is the perfect world without judgments. But is it the case and how long can one be away from the real world?
Mums and Stories gives it a 4 on 5.