Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Published: January 11th, 2022
Buy at: Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Add to Goodreads
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.
“A story told in silence. A story without words.” That is the first thing that piqued my interest when I heard of Crushing. A stunning debut graphic novel from award-winning writer, illustrator, and comics creator Sophie Burrows.
The perfect book is the one that lets the reader interpret the story instead of laying it all out. Crushing takes it a step further allowing the reading to interpret the art. It is a book each of us would interpret differently. And would relate to in a lot many ways. More so in the current times than ever.
At its heart, it is a story of two lonely souls yearning for human connection. The quiet when surrounded by the cacophony of city life. A tale of near misses. All with a dash of wit and sometimes dark humor. As the two characters navigate through life, the struggle with loneliness is relatable. We have all been there. It is difficult to slot the story into a genre. It is not about romantic love but two people finding a genuine connection. That is the charm of the book for me.
Another charming aspect is the depiction of true-to-life instances. Whether it is stuffing your face with food while absently switching channels. Or the feeling of being a misfit. As if looking from outside in. There is an undertone of depression although the author did not build upon it. Again, left to the reader to interpret.
The graphic novel is quite unlike others. The pencil art in duotone (gray and red) is simple but equally stunning. Perfectly bringing out the emotions without the use of words. As an artist myself, I loved how the author used the color red across the book. Whether to highlight the protagonists in a crowd. Or strong emotions and important events. Beautifully done.
I read the book right away when I received the advanced review copy back in October. And was blown away by its simplicity and yet powerful impact. On a reread recently, I picked the nuances I had missed earlier. The tiny details, the play of colors. It is definitely a book I would be returning to again and again.
I really enjoyed reading the book and would highly recommend you pick it up. It is unmissable and would be an asset to your bookshelf.
I would like to thank Algonquin Books for providing a digital copy of the book for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
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.
Find Tracey online at sophieburrows.com and connect on Instagram at @burrowsdraws.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a very small percentage of the sale at no cost to you.
January 17, 2022 @ 5:54 pm
Does the graphic novel not have dialogues?
January 17, 2022 @ 7:32 pm
None at all. Barely a few words on a couple of panels that are more “background noise”.
January 17, 2022 @ 7:38 pm
January 17, 2022 @ 8:41 pm
I think graphic novels are the way to go. They make even complex concepts so easy. The point about using “red” seems quite interesting
January 18, 2022 @ 6:45 pm
Exactly Harshita. There is such a range of them, each one unique.
January 10, 2023 @ 12:27 pm
Sound interesting, especially the easy to understand with it being a graphic novel makes it even more worth a pick.
January 7, 2023 @ 10:44 pm
I loved comics once. But never read graphic novels. The review looks good plus this new year I’m ready to give a try to graphic novels.
January 8, 2023 @ 5:27 pm
A rating of 5/5 is now instigating me to pick this book. I read graphic books but not only graphic book and so I must read it for a new experience which i as a reader will love to try. Thanks for the recommendation.
January 9, 2023 @ 8:45 am
I’ve never read a graphic novel devoid of words yet so meaningful. This is a story of every other person we see and meet. Sounds like a must read!
January 10, 2023 @ 3:05 pm
Interesting, Graphic Novel – only art without dialogue. I really like this concept. Interpreting book through graphic. I never heard about this. Your review is as usual awesome. Thanks that I am getting lot of knowledge through your blog post.
January 11, 2023 @ 11:52 am
Can’t help think about comics, maybe this kind may have a novel-like storyline. This is the first time I’m hearing about this kind and would love to read one soon!
January 11, 2023 @ 6:04 pm
I have never read a graphic novel devoid of words. This seems like that movie A quiet place the difference being this is a book. Your review is written well!
January 11, 2023 @ 6:14 pm
I have read this book and it is really good. I agree with what you said. A good book lets the reader interpret instead of spoonfeeding everything.
January 11, 2023 @ 8:50 pm
A graphic novel with illustrations! Wow..I would love to tread this, especially after your review. Silence does speak and how. Sometimes words are not needed to express emotions and the feelings are so poignant.
January 12, 2023 @ 3:39 am
First off, I simply enjoyed /loved reading your review.
So intrigued that this book is going on my TBR and would recommend it to my daughter.
Thanks for sharing it.
January 12, 2023 @ 4:57 pm
This looks like an interesting book. I plan to read more this year. Thank you for the recommendation.
January 14, 2023 @ 9:50 am
I’ve been thinking about trying graphic novels this year, and this review has piqued my interest. People we meet every day all have fascinating backstories like this. This book is calling my name.😄
January 15, 2023 @ 7:34 pm
Wow this book seems interesting to read. Thanks for the review. I would love to grab a copy and read.