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Lou! Down in the Dumps

Lou! Down in the Dumps

By: Julien Neel
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 076138779X
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 19, 2012

Lou was on the rooftop looking over at a wrecking ball that was about to crash into a building. Mind you, it wasn’t just any building, but Tristan’s. She’s been crazy mad dash in love with him forever, but the only thing he was in love with were his video games. *Sigh!* Well, he was totally awesome until she saw him picking his nose. Now he was gone and the building he lived in was going to bite the dust. Then Richard moved into the building, fell in love with her mother, her mother fell in love with him, and nothing was the same ever since. Except maybe that school was going to start up again. Yada, yada, yada.

Mina, her BFF since kindergarten, met her in front of her building so they could walk to school together. They were going to attend Guy Degrenne Jr. High, but when they glanced down the roster, they discovered ... they weren’t in the same class. “BooHoo ... LouLou!” A crisis was looming. “Minaaa! Don’t let go!” The Predator was her homeroom teacher and she was s-t-u-c-k sitting next to a girl who was never going to ever shut up. Mary Emily was nothing like Mina, who was really cool, or so she thought. Lou was in for quite a surprise when Mina put her on ignore.

Lou’s mother’s book, Sidera: Galactic Adventures had been published and was on the bookshelves. She was celebrating because she had Richard and was planning on being the next J.K. Rowling (sorta). They even knocked down the walls between their apartments. Paul had written her a letter, but she couldn’t seem to write back. The only thing that was steady in her life seemed to be the smooching between her mother and Richard. It was much more fun to play at the park, ride the My Little Pony on the carousel, and play with dolls. If this was what being thirteen was all about, Lou definitely didn’t need it!

Lou is finding out that growing up is absolutely no fun at all. Of course she is going through an adolescent crisis and has no idea what to do with herself. Lou is having problems with the people in her life, including her best friend Mina. This graphic novel catches this age perfectly as Lou emotionally struggles with everything and everyone around her. Lou quietly plays with her dolls at one point and imaginatively drifts back in her mind to a more innocent time in her life. The whirlwind of change is around her and while her Mom is experiencing a positive one, Lou is down in the dumps. One of the most touching panels is when she takes her little “pink princess gown” out of a trunk, closes her eyes, and holds it to her face. This series is a two-time winner of the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême.

Quill says: This is a progressive graphic novel, a thirteen-year-old who has discovered that growing up is not quite what she thought it would be like!

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