Maybe I’m broken, because I didn’t find this as winning as seemingly everybody else. I liked the way they weaved together fairy tales with bits of both the past and the present but, I don’t know, I guess I wanted more. More what, you ask? More time with these characters and less time with the fairy tales. Tien’s coming out tale was what resonated with me the most, so I found myself getting frustrated when it would dip back into a fairy tale. I kept thinking “stop reading and just be in the moment.” The stories do reflect on their lives, yes, and they wind up allowing for a very tender moment relating to his coming out, but I simply wanted more of these characters. I kept thinking, yes, that’s clever and all… just stop trying to couch everything in fairy tales and be upfront about it for once. I probably just sound like a grump with all this ranting. I know I’m way, way, way in the minority. And normally I like fairy tales and magical realism and the like. It’s just, in this instance, I felt cheated out of more time really getting to know Tien and his family. I wanted a more extended look at his mother’s life before him. I wanted more of Tien navigating his feelings in both school and at home. Like I said already, I just wanted more of everything, except obviously the fairy tales. This is a very solid base, but I think it could’ve been built upon a lot more. It was their debut graphic novel, though, so I guess that makes sense.