Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Happy Publication Day!
Living with Viola by Rosena Fung is a middle grade graphic novel about Livy whose parents are Chinese immigrants. Livy is struggling with fitting in at school and making friends. She also has many expectations put on her by herself, her parents and her peers. The book illustrates and personifies Livy's anxiety by creating a character named Viola. In the book Viola makes Livy stressed, anxious and miserable. Throughout the book, Livy's life is getting more and more complex with school, friendship troubles, and family expectations all piling up. Through dealing with these never ending conflicts and stresses, she learns how to cope with her anxiety and learns valuable lessons about herself.
I really enjoyed this book! The entire book reads fairly quickly and the illustrations are very colorful. Livy is a relatable character and the conflicts she deals with are very real, making for a very realistic book. I really liked the author's use of illustrations to visualize Livy's anxiety. The creativity behind the composition of the pictures really enhanced the reading experience and helped me connect with Livy's story more.
Overall, this book was really well done. Although the plot itself isn't something very new, the way the story is told through illustrations and plot made the story come alive and become a new reading experience.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Annick Press for an e-ARC. All my opinions are my own.