Just Finished: A Glance Backward by Tony Sandoval

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.

A Glance Backward

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.

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