A Glance Backward by Tony Sandoval
Publisher: Magnetic Press
Release Date: May 2015
Thank you Magnetic Press and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of an eARC. Having an eARC, did not influence this review in any way.
Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Joey’s world turns inside-out when he finds himself pulled inside the walls of his own home, seemingly trapped in a strange and surreal place. As he searches for a way out, he discovers a myriad of strange, intriguing, and frightening characters, who ultimately lead him to complete the greatest journey of them all: growing up.
Comments: This one will be quick. While I like the art work overall, especially in the colorful pages, I feel very detach from this graphic novel. There are too many instances where things are unclear. Initially, I figure certain figures or events are metaphors or symbols for something… like the man with a coat, but some of the characters or details I couldn’t quite see their significance, meaning, or purpose. While the weird depictions and events were interesting alone on their own, because I failed to grasp most of their meaning and purpose, the novel became uninteresting to me.
While the underlying theme of the story is loss (death), a noble theme… I just couldn’t connect that with what we have in the pages well. I see some correlations, but others just seem too random… which creates this distance between myself and the book and by the end of the graphic novel, I question the relevance of the novel’s attempt.
Our protagonist is an eleven year old. Even the art seems suitable for children. But as a library person, I find it hard to easily recommend this book to children of the same age group due to a scene in the book – which was pretty violent and bloody for some parents, I would think. I tagged this book with “middle grade” and “juvenile” but considering the violent scene involving a lion, I had to step back and consider maybe this is a graphic novel for teens and adults with a child protagonist. But I cannot say for sure.
In the end, this isn’t for me.
Content Warnings (As graphic novels are visual and people tend to get easily offended by visual things):
A violent scene involving a lion mauling.