A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{June 18, 2012}   Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci & Nate Powell

Plot: Every summer, Tessa and her sister Lulu looked forward to the carnival rolling into town. This year, for the first time, they are allowed to attend unchaperoned. It should have been a happy time but when Tessa’s crush fall for her sister instead,  things start going downhill. Soon their sisterly bond turns to jealousy and bitterness. Tessa feels as though her sister has taken everything from her, but she doesn’t realise how much more there is to lose.

This one is difficult to review. It’s one of those books that you don’t understand the depths of until you finish. Then you just want to read it all over again to fully apreciate the imagery.

The Year of the Beasts alternates between novel and comic chapters. At first the link between the two is not entirely clear. The novel tells the story of two sisters growing apart over the course of a summer. In the comic, Tessa sports Medusa-like hair and attends school with mythological creatures who dare not look at her. It is only once you near the end that you realize that the comic is a metaphor for what Tessa is feeling in the last few chapters. It’s really skillfully done. Powell is as good a comic artist as Castellucci is a novelist.

A beautiful, sad and unique book. Highly recommended.

2012 (#60)


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