Today’s featured book is Crushing by Sophie Burrows. When I got the invite for the blog tour, I knew I had to be in on it, simply because of its uniqueness, and oh yes, that beautiful cover! It was love at first sight. Happy Publication Day to Crushing.
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I love books, and I love graphic novels; and when it is executed beautifully, elegantly, and profoundly with this wonderful mix of humor, wisdom, stark realities, and sweet maybes, I love it even more! So this is kind of a preview to my review below, but I had to say these words too!
The Blog Tour and Book Review
Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for inviting me on this blog tour for Crushing by Sophie Burrows, and for the beautiful ARC of this book.
Author and Illustrator: Sophie Burrows
Length: 160 pages
Genre: Graphic Novels/Illustrated Books & Comics (16 – 99 years!!)
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (January 4, 2022)
She’s lonely and searching for connection. He’s lonely and afraid to reach out.
Life in the big city means being surrounded by connections—making them, missing them, and longing for them. But is finding someone else really the answer to their problems?
Crushing,the stunning debut graphic novel from Sophie Burrows, is a story told in silence; a story without words but bursting with meaning; a story about loneliness and love.
Achingly beautiful, quietly defiant, and full of subtle wit and wisdom, Crushing is a unique meditation on the human condition in the twenty-first century, and a timely examination of young adult life in an age of isolation.
Like I said before, it was love at first sight when I saw the cover art, and I fell in love some more when I saw its uniqueness and its concept.
If I simply say, “I loved everything about it!,” it will sum up my thoughts rather blandly but crisply, and I can be done with this review. But I need to try to do justice to this beautiful book, so here is my attempt in a series of almost disjointed thoughts.
And Then Some More Thoughts
So simple yet profound; so real and touching; relatable and this book is testament to the oft-repeated “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I am awed at how Burrows manages to convey so much with so few words; at how she uses color and art, as well as lack of color and lack of actual images even to add meaning to the narrative.
- those flashes of bright reds and pastel pinks in a world of grays adding connections in the story with the grays adding impact to the loneliness and despair and the pop of color ensuring a thread of hope and happiness throughout;
- both the chaos of the city and the quiet of a lonely life depicted so effectively with the illustrations;
- of being alone in a crowd and finding moments of utter peace there as well;
- about the perils and pros of social media and pop culture;
- showing those flashes of connection in today’s world of increased isolation;
- that smile you share with a stranger as you pass them on the street;
- the kind, wonderful, good, bad, and the ugly that fills our daily lives;
- the realistic depiction of life itself;
- and finally, that sweet story of two people crossing paths so often, trying to fit in, in their own ways in their separate lives, as the reader wonders, “Will they have their happy ending?”
Crushing is a perfect title as it fits so many themes you see across the book: that loneliness that hangs heavy on hearts as they hope to find their “someone,” and also that moment of joy when they are, well, crushing, on someone they see across a busy street, or at the theater, or in a passing bus; that feeling they get when they hope they see them again, and then, when serendipity works its wonders!!
A powerful story that speaks volumes despite its lack of (or really minimal amount of) words. It is perfect for a Valentines gift or any other time too; for those who love graphic novels or romance; and even for those who don’t; for those who need to know that there is hope, and for those who already do know that; well, for anyone at all in fact.
Get It Here
About Sophie Burrows
Sophie Burrows an illustrator and author based in London. She earned her MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, where she spent time nurturing a love for comics and writing and developing her own children’s books. Besides drawing, she loves live music, trashy television, cooking, and spending time outdoors. Her first picture book, Ig and Og and the Other Frog, was published in 2020.
Thank you once again to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me the physical ARC of this book; and for inviting me for the book tour. All opinions are my own.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, what do you think of the featured book now that you have read my thoughts about it? I hope you pick it up for yourself or for someone else (but still read it yourself too!) Did it remind you of any other books? Do let me know your thoughts on this post, and as always all comments and recommendations are welcome!