Artichoke Tales by Megan Kelso is a very odd book. At first, I was enjoying this slow-paced story that seemed to have a point. But while I was busy trying to figure out who was who (as the artichoke heads and same tunic clothing made everyone look the same) I was sideswiped. There is a switch in the story and there was no warning. Are we “Then” or “Then-Then” or “Now”? Is this Ramona, Brigitte, or Dorian? (I picked those three as they are mother, daughter and father). And why with all the sex and women’s breasts with skinny perky nips? And female body hair “there” and okay sure guys hang out, too, but not nearly as much. And really did I need to see Grams saggy baggies? (Though despite that she (maybe) was my favorite character). What I am trying to say is, this was screwed up, messy and in the end, I am not completely sure what the point was.
Except for the hard to tell who is who, the artwork was interesting. Sometimes the romantic nature of the story comes alive, other times it is flat. The only colors of blue (or bluish gray) and whites was off putting at times, yet it also really made the story. The contradiction is confusing, but then again, the art is too. They look like sketches, incomplete, but that is most likely what is going to happen. (I had the opportunity to read a reader copy, therefore, I know changes can occur.)
I was texting a friend about this book and at one point I said, I really could do without all the sex and the gratuitous sh**. She laughed, and I answered, yup, there was that, too. The Queen (here system) does not like the food of the last foster family she is with and runs to the outhouse several times. I am not sure why we need to see her sitting there, but we do. And why did the foster sister having some freaky sex turn her off so much? And okay, I understand what happened to the second Queen (I think), but what is going on with the war? Why is that still happening if supposedly some major players are no longer playing?
This is an experience book and yours will differ from mine. In the end I appreciate the opportunity to read and respect the hard work that went into it.