A-Okay by Jarad Green seemed like it might have a slightly different take on the coming-of-age story. However, it turned more into a “boy doing the coming-of-age things like you would see a girl doing in a book.” In other words, a normal coming-of-age story. It is what everyone has had to deal with while navigating eighth grade.
There is personal care, dealing with flaws real and imagined, trying new looks, hurting friends’ feelings, making new friends, and dealing with insecurities. We have seen it all. We have even seen the “Does she/he like me?” storyline before. And that is fine. It is refreshing to see a male character in this position. And all genders can enjoy it. It is a familiar story.
However, I was hoping to dive a bit more deeply into the concept of being Ace or asexual. Yet, at the same time, it probably was the best way to deal with it. As an 8th grader we are just usually just started dipping our toes into the dating/liking pool and we would not necessarily have the answer to: “Am I ace? Or have I just not found “the right” person yet?”
And as this book was loosely based on some of the experiences of Green, there is an afterwards that sums up what is and is not fiction. Overall, as I said, this was an enjoyable graphic novel that shows no matter the gender we all have the same issues we are dealing with when we are growing up.