Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story

Stacy is a 17-year-old having a nervous breakdown. She is taking drugs, struggling with bulimia, and barely maintaining relationships with friends, her mother, and her artistic, temperamental boyfriend. She voluntarily enters into treatment at the Golden Meadows Hospital and what follows is a combination of doctor's reports, flashbacks, therapy sessions, and insights from four friends from different points in her life. All of these different data sources provide a rich, affecting narrative that demands attention. The story lacks the melodramatic touches of a Girl, Interrupted but paints a more human picture.

This debut graphic novel was written and drawn by Tracy White, who has created comics for numerous online and print publications. She has twice been nominated for an Ignatz Award for her webcomic Traced. In addition to her comics work, she is also currently an adjunct professor in the Interactive Telecommunication Program, part of New York University's TISCH School of the Arts. This interview at GraphicNovelReporter offers more insight into the book's background.

Reviews have been very positive, focusing on the emotional impact of the characters and the compelling story. The Mother Daughter Book Club wrote that it was a "fascinating and informative" book that "could open up interesting conversations between mothers and their daughters aged 14 and up." Kim Bacciella "loved the blunt honesty of Stacy" and also "admired [White's] courage in sharing her story." Katie Monnin called the book "honest and unashamed" and "hard to put down."

A video preview of the first chapter is available from the publisher Macmillan.

Thank you for the preview copy, Gina! :)

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