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Aya: Love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Aya: Love in Yop City

by Marguerite Abouet

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I love every single one of the Aya books and I wish there were more. The artwork by Clement Oubrerie is so bursting with colour and life that I can almost hear the noise of the busy, bustling Yop City and feel the warmth of the West African sun on my pasty Canadian skin.

Abouet said she wanted to counter the negative stereotypes of Africa she saw repeated over and over in the media with the happy memories of her childhood in prosperous 1970's Cote d'Ivoire, and she succeeded. Yop City seems like a place full of the warm, tight-knit family and social bonds that so many of us in Western society now lack. Happiness beams through on every funny and entertaining page and you feel good when you're reading an Aya book. When you're finished, you feel a pang and wish there were ten or twenty more to read.

Highly recommended! ( )
  EnidaV | Oct 22, 2015 |
Aya: Love in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet is the conclusion of the once six part graphic novel series. It was combined in the English translation into two omnibus volumes.

In this last half of the series, Aya is having trouble at university because her professor is a lech. Meanwhile a young man, Innocent, has made the move to Paris in hopes of finding a new life. Personally I ended up being more invested in his story, than in Aya and her friends'.

I can see the temptation to import a series as two instead of six to get the story out there all at once. But from a reader's perspective, a little Aya goes a long way. The stories are based on real life memories of life in the Ivory Coast in the 1970s, so the plots and characters are complicated. There's a lot going on and even with the family trees at the beginning of each volume, there's still a lot to keep track off.

Add to the mix, the fact that I read the book as a library book. There's a certain pressure to read at a faster pace to get the book done before its due (even with renewals). The Aya books aren't ones I can skim.

Someday, I hope to get all the Aya at one time (meaning, I'll probably purchase my own copies) and read it slowly. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 12, 2015 |
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