While staring Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson, I was thinking it was like every Raina Telgemeier graphic novel out there. Which is not a bad thing, but since I have read all the original graphic novels of Telgemeier, I was not really digging Izzy.
However, by the end there is enough differences that you are not just rereading Telgemeier. The story pans out differently even though the characters are still similar but then again, practically any story you could pick up about middle schoolers today would have similar characters. The flashing between two storylines, at first, can be a little off-putting. But once you get into it, this flows right along. There are pauses in the stories to help you gather thoughts. Personally, I wish I had taken notes. There are several characters and I forgot sometimes which went with which story. In the end, it all works out, so you do not have to really worry about it.
The story itself is basic: two girls going through middle school. There are several similarities: single parents raising them; they have troubles with friends and boys and they have issues with school. There are differences too: one is an only child, the other has sisters; one is a “brain” and the other, while smart, has trouble with classes and one likes “the practical” (science and math) and the other acting/drama. Therefore, it is just a coming of age story in graphic novel formatting.
The thing that is interesting is the ending. While I am sure it has been done before, I am hard-pressed to figure out where I have seen it. No spoilers, but it should have been obvious that this is going to happen, yet, Libenson cleverly makes you think you are going in a different direction.
Over all a good book. I am trying to find her Invisible Emmie to see if that would fill in a few holes, but I think they are standalone titles.