Layers: A Memoir

First Second. Oct. 2023. 144p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250873736.
Gr 9 Up–Bagieu shares 16 nonlinear tales of her childhood and teen years that shaped her into the woman she is today. While some of the stories are amusing, others are bittersweet. One especially poignant tale includes parallel stories set seven years apart about times she has been sexually harassed, including how she justified to others what happened, which sadly, many women will relate to. The whimsical black-and-white art that some readers will recognize from her previous books, Brazen or California Dreamin’, is appealing. The slice-of-life vignettes flow across the page and convey great emotion, despite the simple linework. As with any short story collection, some of the stories are more effective than others, but each will resonate with different readers as they bring their own experiences to the narratives. These entries will resonate with most teens.
VERDICT This heartfelt, autobiographical graphic novel is an affirming and witty look into the joys and struggles of growing up, and is a highly recommended purchase but is best suited for adults and older teens.

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