Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aya: Life in Yop City (Aya #1-3)” as Want to Read:
Aya: Life in Yop City (Aya #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aya: Life in Yop City (Aya)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  405 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Aya is an irresistible comedy, a couple of love stories and a tale for becoming African. It’s essential reading.” —Joann Sfar, cartoonist of The Rabbi’s Cat

Ivory Coast, 1978. It’s a golden time, and the nation, too—an oasis of affluence and stability in West Africa—seems fueled by something wondrous. Aya is loosely based upon Marguerite Abouet’s youth in Yop City. It is
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aya, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Aya

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 831)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jan 13, 2016 Negativni rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"To sam htjela pokazati u Ayi: Afriku bez ratova i gladi, Afriku koja istrajava usprkos svemu jer, kako mi kažemo, život ide dalje." - Marguerite Abouet

Ovaj citat krasi početak opisa ovog stripa, a na samim koricama je pisalo i nešto u stilu da ćemo u stripu upoznati Afriku kakvu nismo vidjeli do sada. To me je zainteresiralo.

Ipak, strip je samo obična teen sapunica sa papirnatim likovima, prepuna klišeja i sa pričom koja se mogla odigravati bilo gdje. Mislio sam da će Marguerite Abouet pružit
Apr 26, 2015 Keith rated it liked it
Aya can pretty much be summed up with the two-page interview with the author from the afterword. In it, the interviewer (who acknowledges their bias, after the fact) is insistent that Abouet admit that there's a political undercurrent to her work. It goes pretty much like this:

INTERVIEWER: Okay, so this is a cute book or whatever. But it's also AFRICA! So it's all about poverty and racism and oppression, right?

ABOUET: Well I dunno. I think it's mostly just a story.

I: Okay, but all the men cheat
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Totally not what I typically read - but it grew on me. At the end of the day, it was a delightfully fun read.
Mar 14, 2015 Joël rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sehr schöne Graphic Novel, die das Leben von Jugendlichen in Yop-City (Elfenbeinküste) in den späten 1970ern erzählt. Ich könnte jetzt viel darüber erzählen, was das Buch alles (zum Glück!) nicht macht, aber viel wichtiger ist eigentlich, dass es eine gute Geschichte mit schönen Bildern und vielschichtigen Charakteren erzählt. (Das bessere Review: hier.)
Jul 31, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2015
I really liked the setting for this one-Ivory Coast in the 70s. I enjoy reading about other countries and cultures, and this was a neat format for it.

The art was good, but the story was a little too much of a soap opera for me, with not very many characters I liked. I'm undecided if I'll read the next volume.
Eleanore M.
Jun 24, 2016 Eleanore M. rated it liked it
I've read Love in Yop City before (I never reviewed it, so I'll be re-reading it for that) and my thoughts haven't really changed - as interesting as I find it, as much as I enjoy reading about other cultures and appreciate the communal spirit evident in Abouet's book, Yop City in the late 1970s is not somewhere I'd want to live as a woman.

Controlling, abusive husbands who run around on their wives, verbal abuse everywhere, physical abuse between friends, homophobia - alright, I'm white. I unde
This was nice. I've never read anything before that takes place in the Ivory Coast. (Or just "in Ivory Coast?")

The art is messy but I really really liked it. I wonder why I like this, but not, say, the art in The Dark Knight Returns. Maybe because this was more colorful?
John Pistelli
Nov 24, 2015 John Pistelli rated it really liked it
This French series of graphic novels by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie is a nostalgic and pleasant reflection on the problems of youth and age during the middle-class boom of the 1970s in the writer's native country, Côte d’Ivoire. While the bookish and ambitious nineteen-year-old Aya is our title character and narrator—and likely the bookish and ambitious Abouet's surrogate—the story is an ensemble piece, wending its way deftly through a number of believably realized characters, from th ...more
Danijel Jedriško
"Ako se kod nas odlučiš na studij psihologije, psihijatrije, pedopsihijatrije ili bilo čega sa "psihi" to je zato što nemaš želju raditi poslije studija ili jednostavno želiš gubiti vrijeme po klupama u školama. Jer kad tu izađeš s tom diplomom, nećeš naći pacijenata. Iz jednostavnog razloga što Afrikanci vjeruju da ako posjećuješ takve liječnike, to je zato što si već napola lud."

Upravo ova rečenica koja se nalazi pri samom kraju "Aye iz Yopougona" ostavlja otvoren smjer kojim će se priča dalj
Jun 06, 2016 Akoss rated it really liked it
This was partially a re-read for me.
If you're curious about my opinions on it you can read my other two reviews at the links below.
Ariel Caldwell
Apr 01, 2014 Ariel Caldwell rated it really liked it
Graphic novel set in 1980s Ivory Coast: I don't read a lot of graphic novels (gasp) because often, the illustrations don't help me escape the present moment; I can't suspend my disbelief with manga or bang-pow comics. In this case, I really appreciated the pictures and detail to setting - it's historical, for one, and I've never been on the African continent. The soap-opera-esque story felt like typical teen stories: love, disappointment, belonging, anger, ennui, sexism, classism, dysfunctional ...more
Aug 23, 2016 Akshay rated it liked it
I picked this up at Blossoms (which has a great graphic novel collection btw), as I was intrigued by the colorful art as well as the setting - suburban life in Ivory Coast in the late 70s, written majorly from a female viewpoint. I had never come across a graphic novel that is set in Africa which does not talk about the cliched issues that plague the continent. The art is really pleasing to the eye, vibrant and colorful, and I felt that Clément Oubrerie was able to capture the visual aesthetic o ...more
I love books set in Western Africa. I think it hearkens back to a sub-Saharan African cultures class I took in my undergraduate years. I was completely taken with the cultures we studied, especially the music. My professor had done her doctoral (and continued) research with the Hausa so she tended to focus on West Africa so my exposure is a little limited (Africa is a big continent!), but I found what slice we got to be incredibly beautiful and fascinating. So any opportunity I get to read autho ...more
Sep 18, 2016 x-fille rated it really liked it
The story of Aya and her friends are told through a choppy collage of slice-of-life vignettes. However, as the story progresses and the character's lives become more and more intertwined, the vignettes are weaved into a more cohesive melodrama.

I was initially drawn to Aya due to the illustration, which I feel provide more character than the story itself. While I enjoyed Aya as a light-hearted read, I cannot help but feel that some of the charm and character may have been lost in translation.

Jul 24, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it
Before there was the "what the media doesn't show you about Africans" meme, there was this lovely graphic novel series.
To an American audience, it's an atypical African story - as in, it's about a prospering African nation (Ivory Coast) & the dating machinations of a bunch of girls therein. I will likely check out the sequels
May 27, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
One of my favorite graphic novels. It's a narrator we don't often hear from in a culture so different from my own, yet such relatable characters. There is a glossary at the back to translate some words/sayings but I would have liked even more explanations. There are also recipes and letters from the author/characters. The story is absorbing and dramatic but also light and fast. Highly recommend for YA.
Jason Bootle
May 26, 2014 Jason Bootle rated it liked it
Enjoyable read about Aya and her girlfriends and their families. Very much a soap opera and with all the twists and intertwined characters it reminded me somewhat of Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the city'. The bonus glossary, recipes and interview with Marguerite Abouet is also a nice closure to this volume. Want to read the next 3 episodes. Would have liked to given this 3.5 stars.
Dec 06, 2014 eddie rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book set in an Abidjan suburb at the end of the 1970s. Warm and full of heart, it is a character-driven look at community life. From a storytelling perspective, this reminded me most strongly of the tales of Palomar in Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets.
The Cote d'Ivoire of the late seventies presented like a soap opera, with interesting characters I grew to like a lot and shows a part of this country that I hadn't seen before. All together very enjoyable, though the frequent violence made me nervous.
Molly Ferguson
Sep 24, 2015 Molly Ferguson rated it really liked it
This book is clever, witty, and fun to read. I was hoping for a little bit more depth for teaching it, but for what it was attempting the text does a lovely job. I felt like I understood the Ivory Coast a little better after reading it.
Feb 28, 2015 Mirna rated it really liked it
Insightful. Heartwarming. Poignant. Such a gem, this.

Definitely a book I will return to, over and over again. A wonderful insight into what life in the Ivory Coast, in the 70s, was like. Filtered through the lens of adolescence and all the inevitable chaos that comes with it!
Feb 06, 2015 Noah rated it really liked it
The author said she wanted to depict an Africa that wasn't just the stereotypical horror stories that Westerners eat up; it was invigorating to see the pains and loves of being a young teenage girl depicted so expertly and warmly.
Alistair Book
Dec 14, 2015 Alistair Book rated it really liked it
Shelves: abooksreview

Watch my full review
An "A" for Aya

Warmly drawn, it's a story that shows the dreams an loves of young women are the same the world over.
Wonderful graphic novel series - I finished it in one go. The illustrations were beautiful (especially those playing with light and shadows) and the story was very entertaining; I liked Aya`s character a lot. ...more
May 28, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel, detailing the lives of a handful of Ivorian high school girls and their families back in the period known as the "belle époque" of Côte d'Ivoire. Well-translated, too!
Asha Brown
Jan 07, 2016 Asha Brown rated it it was amazing
wonderful book written in the 1970s involving three girls living in an African village. I love how you see what's going on between each family and then how all the stories intertwine. I want to read the second and third volumes!
Oct 04, 2014 Joss rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Marguerite is a fantastic storyteller. The books are engaging, evocative and immensely entertaining. A beautiful insight into a prosperous Ivory Coast, not so long past.
Sep 20, 2015 Ms.Kalick rated it really liked it
This is a great book! I really had very little understanding of the Ivory Coast before reading this. I love the glossary in the back and the art is fantastic!
Jun 07, 2015 Komuniststar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Jedna od onih feel good priča sa retro štihom, ovoga puta iz Obale Bjelokosti. Crtež i boja izvrsno prate priču. Teen sapunjača sa jakim ženskim likom.
Dopejestical Basnight
May 03, 2015 Dopejestical Basnight rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book and the material was wonderful in regards to the illustration I was able to use my imagination very well while reading.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Turning Japanese
  • Beast
  • Storm Vol. 2: Bring the Thunder
  • Lucky
  • Efuru
  • Everywhere Antennas
  • Tales of Woodsman Pete
  • Long Red Hair
  • Make Yourself Happy
  • Salamander Dream
  • Susceptible
  • Over Easy
  • Templar
  • 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man
  • Into The Volcano
  • Dragonslippers: This is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like
  • El Iluminado: A Graphic Novel
  • Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. She grew up during a time of great prosperity in the Ivory Coast. At the age of twelve, she and her old brother went to stay with a great-uncle in Paris, where they further pursued their education. Years later, after becoming a novelist for young adults, Abouet was drawn to telling the story of the world she remembered ...more
More about Marguerite Abouet...

Other Books in the Series

Aya (6 books)
  • Aya (Aya #1)
  • Aya of Yop City (Aya #2)
  • The Secrets Come Out (Aya, #3)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 4 (Aya, #4)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 5 (Aya, #5)
  • Aya de Yopougon, Tome 6 (Aya, #6)

Share This Book