Sunday, November 22, 2009

Orange is blue...

Orange by Benjamin is a dramatic graphic novel which focuses on an urban young woman in Asia who is fed up with her life and wants to end it. Standing on the edge of the roof, ready to jump, she is interrupted by a young drunk, Dashu. Through a whirlwind of confusing actions we reach the end of the book and the images of a suicide; but who's?

This graphic novel was full of amazing artwork. Benjamin is a great artist. The colors really enhance the mood of the story. The visuals got me really excited to read the book. I was even speaking to others about how amazing the artwork was.
Unfortunately, I felt the story line was less stellar. It was confusing and hard to follow. I wasn't sure the importance of some events and how they fit into the story. Apparently, there was some sort of feelings for Dashu which were hidden and really only shown after the death. As a result, I made little connection to the story. I thought maybe I missed something the first time I read it, so I read it a second time. Then I read it a third time and gave up.
I think it would not be a bad graphic novel for YA to read, as long as it were for fun or just a quick read; almost just to kill time. I think the book would be too hard to analyze and get into in depth.


T. Arnold said...

I know many teens today are into Manga and Anime. This book seems to be in that category. One high school teen girl named Melissa that goes to my church would probably love this book. She says that they have an Anime club at her high school now where they discuss what they have read. Maybe this book could used in one those clubs at school? They also role play the plots of the books.

I’m not into Manga myself, but this book could be an interesting, lighter alternative in discussing aspects of suicide?

Caitlin Strandquist said...

I'd be curious to see the artwork in this book! It sounds interesting.

Anne said...

If you clink on the link "Orange", you can see the actual novel.

Heather Hoffman said...


I hear you on the "confusing" note! The graphic novel which I read (review coming soon!) left me feeling much the same way. I wonder if it is a culture issue? Did you find yourself having difficulty "getting" some of the language? At any rate, I have also found the artwork to be wonderful! I think that for students who are into this sort of book, it might be interesting to have them do some research on the artwork style and its origins, etc.!

Thank you for braving a review on this book!


Anne said...

Heather's post reminded me I forgot something:

As she mentioned that she felt she didn't "get" certain parts of her GN I felt like I "got" individual parts of my story just something as a whole was lacking. I didn't have any problems with any language for what it was but the story did not flow well and have a cohesive feeling. I feel as if soemthing may have gotten lost or changed in translation and this is why the story wasn't that enjoyable to me.