A rather graphic novel
CW: Miscarriages, sexual content
A Sister by Bastien Vivès is a graphic novel that was originally published in France. The story centers around Antonio and Hélene, two young adults who are going through a period of self-discovery, both for completely different reasons.
At the start of the novel, Antonio’s parents are talking about a friend who has lost their baby. The parents decide to invite them to their summer home on the coast. Antonio is expecting a boring summer with his brother, Titi. He expects to spend his days playing video games, drawing on the beach, and discussing Pokémon with his brother. One morning, he wakes up to discover a young woman in the spare bed of his room.
This is Hélene, the daughter of the woman who lost her baby. She’s an only child who desperately wanted a brother or sister, someone who will help her stave off the loneliness she is feeling.
Hélene and Antonio begin a friendship that quickly escalates into a sexual awakening for both of them.
SO, A COUPLE THINGS. There are a few depictions of sexual acts in this book. Be aware of that if you are planning on picking this up. This is also a book in translation, so the language is a little… off? I guess? I’ve noticed this a lot in translated works. It’s not a bad thing, it didn’t affect my review at all, just something I wanted to point out.
As for the book itself, it’s a beautifully drawn novel. It’s simplistic, sparse. This also takes away some the awkward feelings of the sexual acts (remember, they are 13 and 16, so, ya know, children). Having it be simple and basically implied makes it feel not outright pornographic. Still, not a huge fan of that aspect. I really can’t say enough about the artwork. It’s truly beautiful.
Overall, I enjoyed it. The story is well done, the art is beautiful, and I’m a sucker for Pokémon references of any kind. I’ll give this a 4/5, 7/10.
Make sure to pick this up on March 9th, 2021 from your favorite local indie bookstore.
Thanks NetGalley for letting me read this!