Oh hey, guys . . . do you wanna read a graphic novel that's an extended metaphor for "the nature of high school alienation itself—the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape"?
Yeah, I didn't either. But then I saw the part about how the high school students in this '70s suburban Seattle neighborhood are passing around an STD that manifests in different physical mutations (lizard tails that fall off and grow back later! tiny neck-mouths that wheeze in the night!). I can't resist a good wheezing neck-mouth.
But, just like high school, the cruelty doesn't necessarily stop even if you remove yourself from polite society and refuse to participate in teenage politics . . . because you can be judged less worthy and persecuted (and possibly beaten with a large stick) by your fellow freaks, too.
|Hurray, high school!|
But the message is universal, and any time a story can connect with the shared experience of a whole age group, across generations, that's invaluable. I'm still trying to decide whether this would be a good book to put in the hands of kids who are currently in high school, or whether it's safer to consume it with the benefit of hindsight and stabilized hormone levels.
If any of you high schoolers out there do decide to pick this up, I would counsel you to remember that the book's reality is likely bleaker than your own, even if it doesn't always feel that way. For instance, do you have a tail that prevents you from wearing skirts? *waits while you double-check* I didn't think so. Also remember this:
|Eventually, most awkward teenagers...|