Read eBook A + E 4ever Author I. Merey –

When I think about this book, I don t particularly think about the plot Yes, it s about two gender nonconforming teens who become friends and consider And yes, I was completely enraptured reading it sucked into asher and eulalie s lives Pretty sure I read this in one sitting And the story is important and the story is heartbreaking, and the story is adorable, and the story makes my chest swell just thinking about it.But ultimately it s the aesthetic of this that I m really obsessed with The feel of this is very zine like, very homemade, very collagey, very out of the box as one of the cover blurbs says It s fully 8.5x11, and the outside cover is soft, almost like velvet any paper experts want to tell me the right terminology for it Inside it s a wide mix some actual panels, and dialogue positioned sorta like speech bubbles would be, but also pages of mostly text There s a hand drawn quality It feels like a sketchbook like merey just poured this story out onto the page fully formed though I imagine that effortlessness is art than truth interlude while Raina searches the internets for information about the author and whether she can buy the book directly from the author, then finds author s blog If I was on Pinterest, I would pin everything i merey s done.Reading through merey s blog leaves me dreamy and low on oxygen.I have thoughts of desires of getting tattoos of merey s illustrations.swoon.There s tonnes of fairly explicit sexual content here, which is probably why it s shelved in the adult comics in our library, but I hope the right teens find this book.As for me, I m pretty sure I m a lifelong fan now. I m not sure entirely what to think about this book It does some things very well, does some things very poorly, and touches on topics that are frustratingly absent in 95% of most media The story is about a couple of high school kids who are androgynous The female character, Eu, is sometimes boyish looking but straight The male character, Ash, is feminine looking and bi sexual They meet as outcasts in the same typical high school and form a bond that lasts fora little bit The story focuses on the relationship between these two characters, while touching on issues of sexual identity, social acceptance, andyouth promiscuity I m not sure about that last one, and I suppose that s the toughest part of the book for me The male character, Ash, begins the novel with a disorder where he can not be touched It makes him vastly uncomfortable to have any contact with another human This is interesting, but for the fact that after the first couple sections, he apparently loses this aversion and it s never mentioned again Likewise, his sexual identity, something ambiguous from the start, is basically forced on him during a bathroom rape scene And yet, that scene shapes him into a boy loving sex maniac This bothered me because I for one don t feel like rape should be the genesis of someone s sexual exploration His reactions to this event are, frankly, baffling, and I felt like it shaped who he became for the rest of the novel a deplorable pig Maybe, not having been in high school for a long time, particularly one where trans gender teens had any place, I don t know what it s like for these young people Maybe this book is an accurate representation If it is, I worry because I feel like the teenagers depicted in it, with the exception of Eu is all around pretty great, are disgusting people Their genders and sexual preferences have nothing to do with this It s their attitudes and actions that make them disgusting, and I suppose that s why I didn t find myself returning to the book with any kind of joy I finished it to finish it, and was happy to be done. Reading this book was like going back in time, to the time of awkward teenagers in high school, to the time of confusion, to the time of the cruelty of puberty While I have to admit that my own slice of that period was quite easy, I had plenty of friends who combined had the same sort of issues that A and E experienced Even though our high school was very tolerant, some lesser fortunate kids were going through a subtler version of the conflicts in this book Following the friendship of A and E was quite a ride as at times it brought back happy memories from my friendships, at other times it made me jealous because I feel like I missed out in my life, and yet other times it made me sad to relive the one sided relationships through them This is what really made the book for me, the ease at which I was able to identify with the characters who are nothing like me at first glance I felt that the art direction was spot on for this type of story Unconstrained and casual, a touch unrefined, much like we all were and still are The blend of comic, manga, and sketchbook styles Merey employed is unique and forms a perfect symbiosis with the narrative sometimes deliberately rough, sometimes genuinely beautiful.Last but not least, the font selection was, for lack of better words, cool The main font being very crisp and legible, despite the book being almost exclusively in ALLCAPS. I was given a copy of this to review by Lethe Press I am not a graphic novel reader habitually, so I wasn t sure what to expect I read it in one sitting, and by the end of it two words came to me that described the experience.Heartbreaking Beautiful.I found the art to have just the right level of impressionism to it emotions exaggerated almost crudely, perhaps from a bit of manga influence Asher, the boy, is androgynous and beautiful Eulalie is tall, tough, with long hair shaved on the side They are complex characters, which I was surprised to find in a graphic novel I stand corrected on my prejudices now.Ash is often mistaken for a girl, assumed to be gay, often bullied by the other highschoolers Eu, on the other hand, is described as a lonely, tough talking dyke The two are drawn together by the fact that they re both outcasts, and their bond becomes very deep, very quickly They are both artists, they like similar music, and in each other they find the support they need to help find themselves.My favourite thing about this story is the fact that despite the initial labels given to the title characters, they are not what you expect There comes a moment where Ash and Eu do talk to each other about their respective identities, but rather than finding new labels for each other they shed the labels the world has given them and simply become who they are In doing so, they take a step towards redefining the very words used to identify them I give this book five stars for characterisation, realism, and redefining stereotypes in a genre that seldom takes the risk. Asher Machnik Is A Teenage Boy Cursed With A Beautiful Androgynous Face Guys Punch Him, Girls Slag Him And By High School He S Developed An Intense Fear Of Being Touched Art Remains His Only Escape From An Otherwise Emotionally Empty Life Eulalie Mason Is The Lonely, Tough Talking Dyke From School Who Befriends Ash The Only One To See And Accept All Of His Sides As A Loner, A Fellow Artist And A Best Friend, She S Starting To Wonder If Ash Is Ever Going To See All Of Her A E EVER Is A Graphic Novel Set In That Ambiguous Crossroads Where Love And Friendship, Boy And Girl, Straight And Gay Meet It Goes Where Few Books Have Ventured, Into Genderqueer Life, Where Affections Aren T Black And White A Stonewall Youth Book Award Honoree For Its Frank Portrayal Of Queer, Contemporary Youth Asher Machnik is a shy, effeminate soul who just wants his junior year at his new high school to go by quickly, painlessly Terrified of being physically touched with a real phobia that makes him break down and sweat , Asher throws himself whole heartedly into his sketchbook, escaping within his drawings Unfortunately for him, Asher s soft features and androgynous look make him a target for the school s ignorant bullies But it s this same delicacy, this fragility, that draws Eulalie to Asher as well He s different from anyone she s ever met before, in a good, but unexplainable way Eulalie Eu for short is seriously mad at the world and she s not afraid to show it Labeled as a dyke and a freak by her fellow classmates, Eu doesn t take crap from anyone But she also understands what it feels like to be alone When she defends Asher in the lunchroom, the two strike up a fast forming friendship They re both outsiders, they re both artists, they re both Jewish, they re both music fans, but most of all, they re both in desperate need of a best friend They need each other As the two get to know each other better, Eu develops a crush on Asher, while he, meanwhile, explores his sexuality and tries to overcome his fear of being touched But will Asher ever recognize that the person who understands him most isn t in some bar, it s in Eu Or will E and A never get to realize what might have been between them This graphic gorgeous black and white novel perfectly captures the whirlwind blur that is high school From going to darkened bars that make you feel empty, to concert halls with pounding walls, Merey vividly portrays the challenges and emotional roller coasters that being a teen is all about.The art is impressive, with great detail and attention paid to bodies and faces, specifically eyes and lips Sometimes the backgrounds are blurred, sometimes there are large chunks of text It is a slightly varied graphic novel experience than the one I ve experienced before, although no less enjoyable I love that the story works on so many levels, too This is a book where readers can read into the book however they like.And while there are some scenes and subjects that are hard to swallow and digest, the book is ultimately uplifting, in my opinion, and it leaves a good taste in your mouth I was sad when it was over and haven t been able to get it out of my head for days In fact, I inhaled the book and stayed awake after I d finished just staring off into space It s been haunting me for reasons that I cannot articulate It s certainly not for everyone, though.a e 4ever is a highly entertaining and worthwhile read, where readers can lose, and find, themselves all on the same page.Audience fans of graphic novels, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning readers LGBTQ , wallflowers, outsiders, thespians, mature teens and adultsThemes boy girl friendships, new kid at school, high school, LGBTQ relationships, questioning sexuality, love, discovering oneself, recovery coping, bullying, religion specifically Judaism , defining and redefining gender roles, art, drawing, music concerts, school play, first love, rape, incest, virginity, phobias and fears of being touched or getting too close to people, self identityReadalikes If you love this, you will also like Wet Moon Volume 1 Feeble Wanderings series by Dr Ross Campbell f2m The Boy Within by Hazel Edwards Circle of Change by Laney Cairo Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger I Am J by Cris Beam This review originally appeared on Reading, Writing, and the World of Words A E 4ever is a story that explores the complexity of sexuality and sexual identity in a way that would have been eye opening for me as a teenager Most of the LGBTQ literature I read usually focuses on the first 3 letters of the acronym, with a few ventures into the 4th, but seldom to anything as complex as Merey s graphic novel.The story follows Asher Machnik and Eulalie Mason, two Jewish teens with a beautifully complicated relationship that was fascinating to follow Asher is an androgynous boy who is ridiculed and hated because he refuses to be anything but his authentic self Eulalie is a tough girl with a soft spot for Asher She accepts him and openly wants to be with him, but Asher only seeks her company and friendship The plot itself is pretty typical teenager fare teenage drama and escapades but the nuanced depiction of genderqueer life was a refreshing take on an otherwise typical story I had some issues with some of the sexually explicit content in parts of the novel because I genuinely do not know what to make of graphic depictions of teen sexuality, but other that that I do recommend this graphic novel for teenagers looking to see themselves and the beautifully complex queerness of their lives. I just realized that I never left a review as to why I DNF d this novel And I know that it s not necessary, but I like to leave one when I actually have a solid reason as to why I DNF d.I couldn t stand the art style It reminded me of when I was ten and trying out those really amateur anime styles that were all the craze in the 2008 2012 time period I really didn t like either character, and I just couldn t understand what was going on The way the story was tell turned my alarm bells on, and I just could not figure it out I never got to the point where the character s queer IDs came into play, but I honestly didn t get it Also, something has been bugging me about Ash being androgynous and being bullied about it because he s pretty I just can t place why.Either way, the art and storytelling style just weren t for me I didn t like the characters, and even though I technically had to read this for my class, I decided not to because this book wasn t worth the terrible migraine it was giving me. This book was amazing I really loved it, all the way through Eu and Ash were unbelievably real, dimensional, and flawed in all the right ways I felt like they could be anybody They could have been people who I went to school with, people who come into where I work They were that real Eu actually reminded me of one of my best friends from grade 12 in the way she talked an acted.The book expresses very well the confusion that comes with being a teenager Both main characters dance around the idea of gender identity and sexuality without speaking of it directly except in a few scenes.The book loses a star for three reasons 1 The Art. This is a graphic novel emphasis on graphic, but we ll get to that later The art is done in black marker, and it s quite messy It takes some getting used to The first few sections were just irritating to me, and as a result I didn t get much out of the first third of the book Some of the fonts are hard to read, but if you take a second look, it s easier I think a lot could have been done to make this readable, but it may have taken away from the indie feel of the book, so I can see why the author made the choices they did 2 The Language Subject Matter. I got pretty sick of all the cursing throughout I live a pretty sheltered life, though Most people probably wouldn t notice it as much Another part of this point is a few scenes where sex occurs It s a book based on art, so sex scenes are kind of weird to read, but the author doesn t really show much nudity or anything which is great Again, I m a sheltered kind of person so this still struck me a little bit the wrong way 3 The Epilogue. I feel like the epilogue took away from the power of this book If it had ended where it did before this last part, I would have been much happier.All in all, thumbs up A good read for queer youth. Asher s family moves around a lot Their recent move has brought him to yet another new town and another new high school, and it s taking him while to find his feet It doesn t help that Asher is a really pretty boy whose effeminate looks garner him lots of the wrong kind of attention Eulalie, Eu, about the toughest, skinniest, TALLEST, goth girl you can imagine steps in to save him, befriends him, and then falls hopelessly in love with him They re a bit of an odd couple when juxtaposed, but they do everything together clubbing, music, making art, hanging out at Asher s house Eu is open and honest with Asher about how she feels, but he doesn t reciprocate in fact, he can barely stand to be touched by her When he loses his virginity it s pretty much rape in a bathroom stall with strangers And after that, he s with a number of guys Eu s hurt, but figures Asher is into guys What really kills her is when he starts dating another girl at school Confused, she pushes away from him and tries to find someone else whom she likes as much After some time apart, Asher and Eu come together again and this time there s a new spark between them This story of first loves and first relationships is bittersweet, but everyone who s ever fallen in love will recognize and relate to what Eulalie is going through Rough, bold, black and white artwork illustrates this tale perfectly It s hard and edgy like Eu s protective exoskeleton.