Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
Since it is still technically the season of love, I tried scouring my bookshelves for the perfect book that has that warrior feel to it, but is also love-themed, and written by a woman.
Lucky for me, there is a book for that.
Written and Illustrated by Lela Lee
Published by Harry N. Abrams (2008).
ISBN: 0810972751 (ISBN13: 9780810972759). Bought a copy of the book from Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Malaysia. Book photos taken by me.
This graphic novel is a very quick read – it is a collection of satirical cartoons that touch on dating, falling in love (amidst a great deal of resistance), and tongue-in-cheek dialogues between lovers-but-not-quite, breaking up – rinse and repeat.
The art is minimalistic in nature – reminiscent of Ivan Brunetti’s cartoons – except even more simplified and with lesser complexity. The first few pages were largely entertaining – my favourite is the one above – with the waitress offering despondency and bitterness as part of the menu.
Others like the one above are sweet without necessarily intending to. The general tone is one of sarcasm, and what is supposed to pass as biting wit. Generally, it starts off as mildly amusing, then tapers off to just being plain acerbic; and as the book progresses, slightly tedious.
The jokes that I liked the least have to do with the females appearing to be largely financially dependent on the males – with zero sense of agency. This was published in 2008, so I am a bit surprised that it still seems to perpetuate the myth of the male as the sole provider.
Evidently, I am not the intended audience for this book. However, it is to be noted that it does live up to its title – with the bored rage, the tired cynicism, and the seeming numb indifference of not appearing to care for anything at all, while ostensibly being in love.
#WomenReadWomen2019: Lela Lee is from the US.