Friday, January 9, 2015

REVIEW: "Exquisite Corpse" by Pénélope Bagieu

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Release Date: May 5, 2015 (originally released in French, April 2010)

Type: First Second Books, Graphic Novel, Contemporary, Stand Alone, Comic Book, Re-release (sorta), France, Sordid Lives (of Writers), Age 22 is Not What You Expected

About the Book: Zoe isn't exactly the intellectual type, which is why she doesn't recognize world-famous author Thomas Rocher when she stumbles into his apartment...and into his life. It's also why she doesn't know that Rocher is supposed to be dead. Turns out, Rocher faked his death years ago to escape his critics, and has been making a killing releasing his new work as "lost manuscripts," in cahoots with his editor/ex-wife Agathe. Neither of them would have invited a crass party girl like Zoe into their literary conspiracy of two, but now that she's there anyway. . . . Zoe doesn't know Balzac from Batman, but she's going to have to wise up fast... because she's sitting on the literary scandal of the century! [Synopsis provided by First Second Books on]

My Review: I can say for sure that I never expected this ending. And I think that was probably my favorite part about the book. I didn't necessarily like Zoe, though I could relate to her in some respects - no one ever plans to be working a dead-end job, but it happens. So you just deal with it while you can and keep looking to the future. The thing is, Zoe wasn't really looking to change all the things she hated about her life. She just wanted to complain. Complaining is great, but it's not going to get stuff done. Even in the end, I'd say she took the easy way out, and didn't really accomplish anything for herself.

I liked this about as much as I would expect to - the synopsis is pretty accurate, so you have a good idea what is going on when you start. The publisher, First Second Books, is one I know puts out some quality work, so I knew I would enjoy reading it. And I did, I just didn't love it. There were parts I liked (the surprise ending was my favorite, as I said), and there were parts I didn't (Zoe, mostly). But ultimately, this book is a read it and move on, never looking back - kind of book. At least for me.

Cover Lovin': This cover is simple, and doesn't really give readers an idea of the plot - but the blue, white, and red contrasts would capture a browser's attention.

Recommendation: Not for your run of the mill graphic novel fan. I can see this book going over better with women in their 20s. This comic book is not suitable for younger readers. There are some sexy times in the book, so please be away of the reader's maturity level before giving this as a gift.

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE stars (3/5). Not bad by any means, but it's not something that will really stick with me for years.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda at Novel Addiction ~!~

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