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Everything, everything, de Nicola Yoon – Ember, mars 2017.

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Autant j’avais beaucoup apprécié The Sun is Also a Star, autant ce roman ne m’a pas emporté. Je me suis attachée à aucun des personnages, et l’histoire ne m’a pas ému plus que ça. Je suis restée à côté de cette histoire, à côté de cette rencontre, à côté de cette romance, à côté de cette folle envie de se sentir vivante ressentie par Maddy. La fin, avec son énorme rebondissement, m’a tout de fois bien surprise, je ne l’avais pas vu venir. Mais ce fut une lecture trop mitigée, trop inégale pour l’apprécier pleinement.

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Wrinkles, de Paco Roca – Fantagraphics Books, 2016.

Retired bank manager Emilio, suffering from Alzheimer’s, is taken to an assisted living home by his son. Confused and disoriented by his new surroundings, he finds unexpected support in his roommate Miguel, a brash rogue and overconfident ladies’ man. Together, they employ clever tricks to keep the doctors from noticing Emilio’s ongoing deterioration — and keep him from being transferred to the dreaded confinement of the top floor of the facility. (“Better to die than to end up there.”) Their determination to stay active as individuals and maintain their dignity culminates in a nighttime escape and joyride and adds a dash of adventure to their otherwise tedious day-to-day routine. While for some residents, the home is a place to wind down their lives, for Emilio and Miguel it becomes, in a quirky way, a new beginning. With echoes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Cocoon, Paco Roca squarely addresses the fears of growing old and isolated in a work infused with remarkable humor, humanity, and sensitivity. Wrinkles was adapted into an award-winning international animated film in 2011, with Martin Sheen and Matthew Modine voicing the main characters in the English version. Wrinkles swept all the top Spanish comics awards, including the National Comics Award and Best Spanish Comic Strip and won Italy’s Gran Guinigi Award. Paco Roca won the Goya Award for his screenplay adaptation for the animated film, in addition to other international awards for his work as a comics artist.

Un roman graphique très émouvant sur la maladie d’Alzheimer, sur la vieillesse et la solitude aussi. On suit l’évolution de cette terrible maladie à travers le personnage d’Emilio, qui intègre un jour la maison de retraite, alors qu’il se croit encore en activité. La dure réalité va le rattraper, petit à petit, avec des moments douloureux de clairvoyance parfois. Il est entouré et soutenu par Miguel, résident et camarade de chambrée. Tous deux refusent de se laisser aller, et cherchent la moindre occasion pour avoir le sentiment d’être encore vivants et surtout présents. Les planches et les dessins de Paco Roca reflètent une certaine douceur, comme un signe de respect envers nos anciens. A lire absolument !

  

Gaijin : American Prisoner of War, de Matt Faulkner – Hyperion Books, 2014.

With a white mother and a Japanese father, Koji Miyamoto quickly learns that his home is no longer a welcoming one. Streetcars won’t stop for Koji, and his classmates accuse him of being an enemy spy. When a letter arrives from the government notifying him that he must go to a relocation center for Japanese Americans, he and his mother are forced to leave everything they know behind. Once there, Koji soon discovers that being half white in the internment camp is just as difficult as being half Japanese in San Francisco. Koji’s story, based on true events, is brought to life by Matt Faulkner’s cinematic illustrations, which reveal Koji struggling to find his place in a tumultuous world—one where he is a prisoner of war in his own country.

Nous avons visité le Manzanar National Historic Site l’année dernière. Du coup, quand je suis tombée sur ce livre à la librairie, j’ai eu envie de le lire. C’est un moment sombre de l’Histoire américaine qui est évoqué ici ; celui pendant lequel un très grand nombre de Japonais, ou de personnes ayant des origines japonaises, ont dû tout quitter, après l’attaque de Pearl Harbor, pour intégrer de force des camps d’internement (comme celui de Manzanar en Californie). Certains y sont restés des années. L’histoire de Gaijin est celle de Koji, un adolescent américain, dont le père est japonais. Il va devoir intégrer un camp, avec sa mère qui ne peut se résoudre à l’abandonner. Un roman graphique émouvant doté d’une très belle colorisation.

  

Forbidden, de Tabitha Suzuma – Simon Pulse, 2010.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right.

Quel CLAQUE ce roman… Jamais encore je n’avais achevé une lecture dans un tel état… Je suis encore à terre… Je cherche par où commencer, quoi dire, quoi écrire, quoi penser… Je suis totalement perdue face à cette histoire… Les émotions ressenties sont très nombreuses, très fortes, si fortes… Jamais un roman ne m’a fait affronter une telle situation, une telle intrigue, un dilemme pareil… Aller jusqu’à accepter l’inacceptable ? … Tout est chamboulé…  Un livre qui me hantera bien longtemps c’est certain. Mais un livre à lire absolument (en VO) !

Fish Girl, de David Wiesner (texte et dessin) et Donna Jo Napoli (texte) – Clarion Books, 2017.

Who is Fish Girl? What is Fish Girl? She lives in a tank in a boardwalk aquarium. She is the main attraction, though visitors never get more than a glimpse of her. She has a tail. She can’t walk. She can’t speak. But she can make friends with Livia, an ordinary girl, and yearn for a life that includes yoga and pizza. She can grow stronger and braver. With determination, a touch of magic, and the help of a loyal octopus, she can do anything.

Mettez-moi un livre de David Wiesner entre les mains et je suis déjà ailleurs, loin, loin, très loin. C’est toujours un voyage particulier. Cet auteur/illustrateur a une telle imagination ! J’ai été totalement emportée par cette fabuleuse histoire, par cette soif de liberté et d’indépendance qui grandit chaque jour en Mira. A lire absolument !

Drama, de Raina Telgemeier – Scholastic, 2012.

 

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

J’ai retrouvé avec plaisir le dessin de Raina Telgemeier. L’intrigue est sympathique, les personnages assez attachants, et on suit avec un certain plaisir la création de cette pièce de théâtre.

The Colour of Milk, de Nell Leyshon – Ecco, 2013.

Mary and her three sisters rise every day to backbreaking farm work that threatens to suppress their own awakening desires, whether it’s Violet’s pull toward womanhood or Beatrice’s affinity for the Scriptures. But it’s their father, whose anger is unleashed at the slightest provocation, who stands to deliver the most harm. Only Mary, fierce of tongue and a spitfire since birth, dares to stand up to him. When he sends her to work for the local vicar and his invalid wife in their house on the hill, he deals her the only blow she may not survive. Within walking distance of her own family farm, the vicarage is a world away-a curious, unsettling place unlike any she has known. Teeming with the sexuality of the vicar’s young son and the manipulations of another servant, it is also a place of books and learning-a source of endless joy. Yet as young Mary soon discovers, such precious knowledge comes with a devastating price as it is made gradually clear once she begins the task of telling her own story. Reminiscent of Alias Grace in the exploration of the power dynamics between servants and those they serve and The Color Purple‘s Celie, The Colour of Milk is a quietly devastating tour de force that reminds us that knowledge can destroy even as it empowers.

Après avoir eu besoin d’un certain temps pour m’habituer à cette écriture difficile, brute, sans majuscules, répétitive, et parfois volontairement « incorrecte », j’ai été entrainée dans cette histoire, une histoire très particulière, d’une noirceur certaine. J’ai été très émue par le témoignage bouleversant de Mary, et c’est avec regret que j’ai dû quitter ce personnage fort attachant en finissant ce court roman.

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