Before the beginning of this year I had read a total of two graphic novels and it was rather underwhelming, to be honest. Then came the PopSugar Reading Challenge for 2015 and one of them is to read a graphic novel. I decided to pick Saga: Volume One after seeing the series mentioned in the 2014 Favourites videos of so many booktubers.
Alana and Marko are on the run from the armies of their warring planets. They fell in love while Alana was keeping Marko imprisoned and they fled and married. Now they have their first child, Hazel, to take on the run with them. The characters are flawed but lovable; the art is breathtaking; the plot is fast-paced and full of twists. I immediately ordered the other three volumes of the series out so far and gobbled them up.
I was amazed at the depth and quality in just 160 pages and hardly any text. It blew me away. It only took me about 45 minutes to read each instalment and I didn’t expect them to make such an impact and stay with me the way they have. I began to research more. Every genre, age range, prose style and art style is represented; there’s something for everyone and there doesn’t seem to be any of the strict divides between them like with fiction novels.
But do you know what really made me fall in love with graphic novels? It’s all new to me. I can walked into the graphic novels section of Waterstone’s Piccadilly and Forbidden Planet and it was a whole new world. With the exception of a few famous titles and ones that have been adapted into movies or TV shows, I didn’t recognise anything. I was free to browse and pick up books on a whim, either because the spine looked cool or I liked the. Being a YA book blogger for as long as I have means that this experience is extremely rare for me. I walk into a YA section and I rarely see something I don’t know about and it does take away the excitement a little.
But now I have a collection of 13 graphic novels (I’ve only read 5 – whoops!) covering sci-fi, magical realism, noir, mystery, fantasy, contemporary and supernatural. What’s not to like about that?!
Graphic novels are wonderful as they are and I’ll continue to explore them. But if you’re not sure grab one for your lunch break, for the reluctant or slow reader in your life, use it as a palate cleanser or a quick slump-breaker and just give them a try. You might be as surprised as I was!