*Breaking Up — Recommended

Breaking Up is an excellent addition to Graphix’s collection of graphic novels for teen girls. The group of juniors in high school might be the friends from Queen Bee or The Babysitters Club grown a little older.

Breaking Up cover
Breaking Up
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Aimee Friedman writes and Christine Norrie draws the story of how the best friendship between Mackenzie and Chloe changes over one year at Fashion High, their name for their artsy, style-obsessed school. Mackenzie’s the fast one, eager to grow up, experience life, and make out with boys. Chloe’s less sure of herself, hanging back to observe. Isabel and Erika complete their quartet.

The year doesn’t start well when Chloe finds out that Mackenzie is sharing secrets with Nicola instead of her. Nicola’s the most popular girl in school, and her attention will give Mackenzie a leg up in the popularity stakes. The situation is complicated by Mackenzie’s hots for Nicola’s boyfriend. The last major member of the cast is Adam, nice-guy geek.

The story is comfortably familiar, but it’s executed with skill. Norrie’s art is outstanding, capturing teen girls distinctively. She pays attention to the expressions and fashions needed to make these girls seem realistic. She also illustrates fantasies and metaphors to make clear the girls’ emotions and attitudes, some of which are hilarious.

The feelings Chloe experiences — uncertainty, confusion, falling in love for the first time, being torn between her friend and boyfriend, concern over fitting in, discomfort with secrets — are those any teen will relate to. Over the year captured in this substantial and fast-paced graphic novel, Chloe grows up, and her lessons learned are a comfort to the reader, demonstrated through beautiful, accomplished art. Any teen who enjoyed Mean Girls will love this story.

Greg McElhatton has also reviewed this title. Christine Norrie previously drew Hopeless Savages and wrote and drew Cheat.


4 Responses to “*Breaking Up — Recommended”

  1. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Apr. 6, 2007: Shorter Journalista 8 Says:

    [...] Johanna Draper Carlson takes a look at Aimee Friedman and Christine Norrie’s YA book, Breaking Up. [...]

  2. Christine Norrie Says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful review, I am so very glad you enjoyed it and that it’s been spotlighted on Comics Worth Reading!

    –c.

  3. James Schee Says:

    I finished this last night and really liked it, though I was left going “Whaa??” at the ending as I wanted to see what happened next.

    I’d seen a bunch of the male focused, nerdy guy wants hot cheerleader to love him, movies and such of this genre. Yet I hadn’t seen the female focused ones I guess until recent years with Mean Girls, Chynna’s Queen Bee and now this.

    I was surprised to see such similiar elements in them that I guess they must be a formula for these type of stories too.

  4. Talena The TeenageGirl Says:

    I LOVE this book, I definitely rate this book 5/5, with all the back stabbing, romantic, disappointing moments for the characters in this story, you’ll never want to put it down. But sadly there is a end and soon you know it will come.

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