Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Re-Gifters


Teenage Jen Dik Seong - "Dixie" to her friends - lives in Los Angeles. She mostly keeps to herself at school, and the most important thing in her life - the main outlet for her frustrations, is hapkido. She practices rigorously, and she is very good.


Her life is pushed off balance when she falls for a gorgeous blond-haired surfer boy who is also competes in hapkido.  In an impulsive act she buys him a very expensive gift for his birthday, using the money she was given to pay the entry fee for an important hapkido championship tournament. The result is not exactly what she was hoping for, though. And now that she has no money for the entrance fee, she has to compete in the sweep contest against tons of other kids in order to gain entry to the tournament.


The story that unfolds is funny and bittersweet, and although the theme is a familiar one, this story offers up some wonderful surprises along the way. Dixie is an admirable heroine, rash and impulsive and prone to making mistakes, but she owns up to her faults and does her best to learn from the consequences of her actions. The artwork is expressive and full of energy, creating a moving and believable coming-of-age story that, aside from being a ripping good tale, offers readers a fascinating glimpse into a culture and sport that may be unfamiliar to many teens.

I have not read any work by this author/artist team before, but I will be on the lookout for their other book, My Faith in Frankie, which, sadly, my library does not own.

Re-Gifters by Mike Carey, Sonny Liew and Marc Hampel (Minx, 2007)

4 comments:

  1. Yes, my library only sadly has this one, too. I read it ages ago and would like to read more.

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  2. Kailana - It's too bad, isn't it? I keep asking for different graphic novels, and the budget is shrinking so I generally don't have too much luck. Still, I think GNs circulate better than most parts of the collection, and teens in particular love them. So shouldn't we be prioritizing and getting more of them? I think so!

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  3. ~ Just thought I would let you know that you have a new follower :)

    I'm not much for graphic novels as I cant really find the humor in comics and to me its a larger version of the same thing {am I wrong to think that way?}. Anyways - I am sure that they have some nice interesting story lines to them and that if I could get myself to better understand them that I might actually like them, but at the current time I am not sure of that.

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    1. Zapkode.marie - Yay, I love followers! Thanks. :-)

      I completely understand your skepticism about graphic novels. I think that it's best to think of graphic novels as a format, rather than a genre, because there are just so many different kinds out there! There are funny ones, sure, but there lots of other things, too, that bear little resemblance to the comic strips you might find in the paper. If you are a fan of memoirs, for example, you might try Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - it's a memoir of her growing up in Iran during the revolution. The artwork didn't set me on fire, but I did enjoy the story and the way the graphic novel told it in a way that simple text could not. Let me know the kinds of stuff you like to read, and I'll try to recommend a graphic novel that might appeal, if you'd like to give them a try. I am completely hooked now, if you haven't noticed! :-)

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